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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:56 pm 
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Hi,
I wonder if anyone can shed any light on their experience at either of the schools above. My niece has been offered a substantial academic scholarship topped up with a small bursary so full 100% at both schools. We are extremely proud of her and very happy. Incidentally she also passed both grammar school exams - wallington and nonsuch, we now don't need to worry about the outcome of the grammar school selection process in March as they live out of catchment.
We just wondered if anyone had any experience of either school, maybe turned one down for the other. We have considered the pros and cons of both. The commute is not too much of an issue and although we have read that CHS is much more academic than RR we understand the school still produces good results. My niece is naturally very intelligent and self-motivated and does really well in school with no tutoring so I'm sure she will be fine wherever she goes and hopefully she will retain her initiative and work ethic as she gets older. She has always been educated in the state sector but I'm sure she'll fit right in either private school.
We'd appreciate any advice or insights you might have about either school to help us make our decision. She is torn between the two at the moment but there are upcoming event days at both schools that might help with the decision making. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:15 pm 
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Wow !!! Although I live about 10 minutes away from both schools, I do not have any experience of them.. I just want to say congratulations and well done to your niece for such performance. I'm really impressed..... :D


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:33 am 
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Thank you so much, it appears the schools aren't very popular on this forum. It would just have been helpful to get (even anecdotal) opinions or reasons for preference of one over the other.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:17 am 
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Last edited by Ladymuck on Sat Mar 21, 2015 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:56 am 
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Thanks Ladymuck for your comprehensive response, its much appreciated. The grammar school places obviously haven't been turned down yet but as its heavily oversubscribed she might not get in anyway due to distance. This just gives us less to worry about while we await allocation day.

Re CHS, would you consider it almost equivalent to the grammars academically then since as mentioned, it is free? The concern over making a potentially wrong choice is a bit overwhelming. RR is looking less attractive, I suppose a bright child will still shine wherever they go but motivation could definitely be a limiting factor in the future. Personally I prefer the single gender secondary schools but that's just me.

Would you mind sharing information re the ethnic split? A pm if you'd prefer.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:20 am 
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Jadsima -well done to your niece - I can't comment on the schools but Ladymuck's answer seems fairly comprehensive if you read between the lines. I would just add a note of caution to you about the reality of a "free" place at a private school. You mention a small bursary - be aware that scholarships and bursaries predominantly cover fees and fees alone. Your niece's parents will still be required to pay uniform costs (substantial in private schools - expensive enough in grammar but they are still controlled to a certain extent), trips - there will be many and varied at private - obviously some of these are optional but some are required and where a grammar may go for a more economical local trip, this is not necessarily true of a private. Is you niece prepared for exposure to some significantly wealthy families and their activities - skiing every Easter etc, Barbados in the summer - yes you get families who are wealthy at grammar, but these are tempered with more average income earners too - is she likely to get embarrassed at not keeping up with the Jones's? These are rhetorical questions and not designed to put anyone off private - I just worry when people think they have a free place - the general rule of thumb is that you need to budget at least double the fees for a private school per year - her fees are covered - is the rest?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:27 am 
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Last edited by Ladymuck on Sat Mar 21, 2015 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:05 am 
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@kenyancowgirl, thanks for your response. I agree with all you said re additional expenses. It is definitely something to seriously consider.

@Ladymuck, you're an absolute star for taking the time to reply in such detail. I can assure you that her scholarship at RR was 80% with a 20% bursary. The CHS is more of an even split. I have kids in the indie sector myself (currently taking the North London consortium exams) so understand how costs rack up. It's obviously a lot more for secondary school. It is of concern that she might somehow feel inferior to others if she misses out on everything and doesn't have all the latest gadgets and to some degree I will help but frankly there's absolutely no way she'll be 'keeping up with the Jones'. You have given us lots to think about and for that I am grateful. I live quite a distance away so have no local knowledge of the area but i offered to ask the questions on here. We are a lot luckier down here with all our choices particularly for girls schools.
I think there might be more bursary girls at CHS and while I know my niece to be a confident child who takes no prisoners I don't want her ever to feel in anyway less than adequate simply because they are not well off.
I have offered to buy uniforms etc and we'll probably take it from there if we don't, as hoped, get one of the grammars she passed. I just wish RR was better academically as it seems to tick more of the boxes. If you're paying for private education it should be a more holistic offering encompassing great education and fantastic extracurricular.
I'll pass the message on and we'll see what the future brings. My feeling is that if she gets offered either of the grammar schools then thank God however if not and the alternative is one of the local comps then we just have to bite bullet and let her go to one of these fee paying schools.
Thanks again to you both. At least she has got admission in some schools, I'm still fraught with worry at the outcome of the interviews and pending interviews my daughter has and we don't find out till end of Feb, agonising!! :?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:14 am 
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Last edited by Ladymuck on Sat Mar 21, 2015 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:20 pm 
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Ok, I don't know about HMC or how it affects anything neither am I really concerned. I am just grateful that my niece was offered the scholarship.
I certainly don't want to open any can of worms just seeking advice re preference of others for the two schools. Thanks for your input so far.


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