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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 5:54 pm 
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I would be grateful for any feedback from parents who have daughter at rugby high. I will be facing difficult choice between my DD going to brothers school or RHS, academically I don't think there is much different, but it would be useful to know opinions on enjoyment of lessons, easy for girls to make good friends, how much pressure and competitiveness between lots of confident clever girls. Thanks


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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 6:47 pm 
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Hi janeymorris, my dd starts at RHS in September, so I can't help you much now. Mums I know tell me their daughters in year 7 this year are happy. Is your choice between RHS and Ashlawn?

There are a few differences between the schools. Girls are set alphabetically by surname (and not Sats results), for every subject except science/food tec/design technology (I think). At Ashlawn, as you know, dc move within different ability groups for different subjects. So in a way at Ashlawn dc meet more children in different classes. At Rugby High, girls are with the same girls all the time - so I hope they get on.

When we went to the talk last July, we were struck by how friendly and normal the girls were who showed us round, and the girls who gave a talk. (I think we expected geeks!)

I'm told there is a lot of homework in year 7 (but having two older dc at Ashlawn, they had lots of homework in year 7 as well) with lots of regular tests (I have no problem with that, in theory anyway!). My dc at Ashlawn have regular tests too.

At Ashlawn, dc choose their options in year 8 (possibly too early, depending on your opinion), at RHS it is in year 9. If dc choose their options in year 8, they can start working on their gcse's in year 9. I think year 8 is too early to choose options, so I prefer dc choosing them in year 9 - but that is just my opinion.

I invigilate at both schools, I've only done one exam at RHS, I was struck by how hard all the girls worked throughout their exam. I have invigilated at Ashlawn for years, many of the dc work hard, but many do not. :( That is my problem with Ashlawn, for those dc in lower sets, a couple of disruptive kids can ruin everything.

I asked a teacher at Ashlawn if she'd send her dd to RHS or Ashlawn, she said she didn't know, because you get a "better rounded" education at Ashlawn. I think a bright dc would do the same at GCSE at either school. It may be irrelevant, but the head of Ashlawn sent her daughter to Rugby High School (maybe she just didn't want her daughter at her own school).

I hope it is a good school where girls do easily make friends. The teachers and staff I have met all seemed friendly and helpful - but of course, my dd isn't there yet. I do worry that as she is not the top of the class, she certainly never will be at RHS. She says that does not bother her as she never expected to be top anywhere. And it would have been easier for us if she had chosen Ashlawn as it would have been convenient to have all three at the same school.

Is that any help?


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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 1:16 pm 
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Thanks for that. Have you had any issues from siblings or siblings friends ie feeling their school wasn't good enough for her. Did she originally want to go to ashlawn and change her mind after 11 plus or open day.


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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 2:07 pm 
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Hi again, Janey. Yes, I have a friend whose daughter's been unhappy year 7-11.

She's found it difficult to "keep up" - she had a tutor for two years before passing the 11+. A teacher was saying this morning, they can tell the girls who have been tutored, they often can't keep up or just struggle at the bottom of the class. I wonder if the work is really hard - sounds to me like there is a lot of homework (more than Ashlawn). But the mum of this girl - she's always moaned about schools. A girl left at the end of year 7 recently because she just could not cope with the work.

Another thing I heard, a girl had flute lessons and had to leave the same lesson each week for her fifteen minute lesson, the teacher didn't like it and shouted at her so much for leaving the lesson, that she gave the flute up. :( Girls are allowed to leave lessons for music lessons, so the teacher was in the wrong.

Another thing - I don't think there are many after school clubs because girls have to catch buses home - I think that has been a criticism.

That's all I know.

Yes, my daughter did originally want to go to Ashlawn (she has accompanied me several times to see teachers, on mentoring days, and two open evenings), she knows her siblings are there, she knows their friends, she likes the fact there are so many dc there you are very likely to make a friend yourself, she would be able to go their with her siblings - she gets on very well with her older sister. Her own friends are mostly going there. I invigilate there and talk to many teachers, and they are good teachers, young, positive, probably pushy! She was all set to go there, we didn't really think she'd pass the 11+. She then looked round Rugby High, I think she was quite impressed by the three current year 7 girls who gave a talk. They were "normal" girls like her, came from similar primary schools, one was quiet like her. She liked the language classrooms with laptops in, and just decided she wanted to go there. She's quite interested in the Roman Mystery books and has already decided she'd like to do Latin and Greek (not possible at Ashlawn). She is a bit geeky. She's at school right now, when she's home I'll ask her exactly what it was she liked, because from then on she decided she would practice 11+ papers. She did not choose to go because she thought her friends were going - indeed, the girls she will be with (same initial as her own surname) are not her best friends. Her best friends are going to Ashlawn. A lot of girls are going from her school to Rugby High with her, but their names mean the girls she likes will not be in her class. Our junior school has had a bumper year and got 12 girls and 12 boys to RHS and LSS. Maybe that is because they are taking 30 more per year.

I'll ask her. I can't tell you more because I don't know. Another thing I like about it - it is smaller - but at Ashlawn, once in school, nobody really notices the size - myself included now - but at first I did not like the fact it was so big.

She's home, she said she "just liked it" and when she passed the 11+, even though her friends were going to Ashlawn, felt that RHS was a better school for her. May sound very mature but of course she's not there yet ...


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:32 pm 
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Hi, just wondering how your dd is getting on, is she enjoying it, made new friends, workload compared to Ashlawn.I have friends telling me its fab, lovely girls, caring etc and others telling me its rife with bullying,drugs etc. Always nice to get an inside view!!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:26 pm 
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Hi, Janeymorris. Lots of feedback for you.

Dd2 very happy. I've been worried (I'm a worrier) that she'd make new friends when she is with one class of girls for every single subject except IT, but it's worked. She's with four girls from her junior school, but after two weeks has made a new "best" friend (I know, having a best friend isn't always good). This week, Dd2 has made three other friends. For IT she is with another class (they're sorted alphabetically) and she enjoys meeting up with girls from her junior school in this other class. Dd2 is with the next girl in the alphabet every time they are paired up. I would find this a little claustrophobic; fortunately the girl Dd2 is paired up with is "ok".

She has said there are a few "very clever" girls in her class. But otherwise she says they are "all like me". Not exceptional then.

She has to carry a very heavy bag around; I thought RHS had lockers - they do - for PE only. She has a lot of working books and text books to carry round. Ashlawn have much fewer and no text books at all. She also does some subjects that Ashlawn don't. Ashlawn do French and German in the grammar stream; RHS do French, Spanish, Latin. Spanish is proving quite easy so far. And RHS do philosophy and religion (Ashlawn don't). And for a few subjects she has three books to write in. She has a lot to carry around. They have to carry dictionaries and geometry sets all the time - and she does. I haven't heard anything about bullying or drugs at all but of course now there is no school gate every day, Dd2 cycles, I wouldn't know. Twelve girls went from her school, I think one had a fall out with a friend, otherwise they are, according to Dd2, happy, in her opinion. But then she said she doesn't see more than about six of them.

Homework is similar to Ashlawn, covering books, sticky back plastic, printing things out, but also some work which she's found challenging. She doesn't know what is expected of her. Ashlawn teachers don't in my experience with my two older dc mark homework very often, RHS the teachers are already marking - but occasionally the girls mark each others work. Comparing homework, I don't think there's much difference. I think RHS expect quite a lot from their girls. No detentions until after half term.

She likes the teachers, the lunches (and morning snacks) and seems happy. For the first week she looked almost grey with tiredness but insists she is happy and at the right school for her.


She had one bad evening, she lost two books, she was in tears. I emailed the school and by quarter to nine, the lovely pastoral care lady had found Dd2, who had realised by then that she had actually handed these books in ... honestly :roll: impressed by the pastoral care lady though.

This is hard, her closest friends went to Ashlawn and I'm confused; there are apparently now four grammar classes there (and I think there are only about eight classes in each year). I find it hard to believe there can be so many, some of the girls in them were always at the bottom at Dd2's junior school. And now they're in the grammar stream - I've seen this for myself. But these girls, her friends, are happy too, and in fact they get more homework. More writing to do. Dd2 gets 12 lots of homework a week (but hasn't yet worked for more than half an hour, I think), her friends at Ashlawn get 14 lots of homework.

She has changed now - she is organised and very keen to be early to school. Still needs nagging to do her homework - but does it. I'll ask her about bullying and drugs. I don't think she'll have a clue. I think she is at the right school for her. But I know it's early days.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 2:35 pm 
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Thanks, sounds like the girls need 'pull along' cases! glad shes doing well.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 4:21 pm 
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Do you have a dd in year 5 or 6?

Asked Dd2 about bullying and drugs, she says she hasn't seen any; but of course she is with the same 30 girls for everything except IT; although she must see others at breaks.

She was rather shocked by my question.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:08 pm 
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Hi ginx, just wondering a year down the line how you have found things at RHS compared to Ashlawn. Is your DD still happy, would you have still chosen it over Ashlawn for her. How has she found things like sport, friendliness, fitting in, music etc and has it been a lot of work. Would really value your opinion.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:55 pm 
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Hi Janey,

My dd started RHS in September just gone. She is absolutely loving it. I was worried beforehand about lots of things - she was the only one from her primary school going, whether she would keep up, whether it would be the right choice over Ashlawn which we also loved....

Happy to say she has settled in so well. She has made lots of friends, but does seem to get rather a lot of homework. She isn't struggling with the work but I struggled when she first started, just trying to keep track of all her subjects, making sure she didn't forget any text books etc, just trying to keep her organised basically. They are all given a planner which has been really useful in trying to help with her organisation skills.

If you have any further specific questions, I am more than happy to try to answer for you.


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