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 Post subject: Decision, decision
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:45 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:20 pm
Posts: 23
We planned to have DS sit Christs Hospital and Royal Grammar State boarding school exams. Unfortunately the exam dates clash and neither schools would offer him the option to be tested at school on a different date? We have to choose which school exams to sit. Any views on the pros and cons of either schools would help. thank you in advance for your input.


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 Post subject: Re: Decision, decision
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:29 pm 
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Hi Gottal .. my Geography is going crazy today - Is Christ's in Sussex and RGS in Bucks?

Either way I think I need to move the post from the english section to 11 plus - will get more advice there.


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 Post subject: Re: Decision, decision
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 9:27 am
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Gottal

RGS is in Bucks and is very highly regarded in the state sector (as, I imagine, is Christs Hospital). There has been a bit of a discussion about it recently on the Bucks board comparing it to DCGS but some of the comments may be relevant to you.

RGS has also recently introduced "day boarding" on a trial basis - the boys are treated as boarders during the school day and return to the boarding house for meals, prep and activities at the end of school but don't sleep there. I don't know if this is something you might consider?

Good luck in whatever you decide.


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 Post subject: Re: Decision, decision
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:41 pm 
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Out of interest if you are considering boarding why RGS? Why not Abingdon/Radley etc?


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 Post subject: Re: Decision, decision
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:17 am 
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Location: Maidstone
Yummie - RGS is a state school and charges around £10k per year for boarding whereas the schools you mentioned are around x3 of that.

I know just bits about CH and nothing at all about RGS but I think it really depends on what you want as these are different schools. RGS is essentially a day school with a handful of boarders while CH is essentially a boarding school with a handful of day pupils. If you are after full boarding then CH might be a better solution however if you need financial help you have to decide if your income is likely to go up or not and how you would feel if you end up paying much more than you initially planned. Personally I wouldn't like my child to board where most children are day pupils just as I don't like my child to be a day pupil in a majority boarding. The school will just tend to focus more on the dominant group and there tends to be far fewer activities available after hours and at weekends in predominantly day schools for boarders.

I am sure you probably already know about the CH unofficial forum, its worth a look if you haven't to understand a bit more about the school. The school's portfolio wasn't doing very well last year and the school was struggling a little bit and parents were being asked to pay more and more and they introduced full fee day places to try and sort the deficit. One or two kids left due to fees increase and so its something worth thinking about that too if you are going to need help. I had a chat with a mum who had kids there and the exams are not easy, demand for places is high and its just so competitive now to get in and child has to go through through 2 rounds of tests. I am not sure how things are at RGS but it maybe worth finding out how many people apply for boarding places and what the pass mark will be.

Have you been to see both schools? That might just tip you towards one.

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 Post subject: Re: Decision, decision
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 7:28 pm 
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I know RGS well as were catchment. The two schools mentioned are very different, agree with Sherry above. I guess it depends if fees are an issue....
As far as I know there are very few boarders at RGS. My son passed the 11 plus but we decided to go for an Oxon day school Independent, haven't looked back.


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 Post subject: Re: Decision, decision
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:18 am 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Yummiemummie wrote:
As far as I know there are very few boarders at RGS. My son passed the 11 plus but we decided to go for an Oxon day school Independent, haven't looked back.
RGS has 70 boarders - approx 10 per year group. DS1 wanted to board because of all the extras they get to do after school - but as we only live about 3 miles away we said no!


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 Post subject: Re: Decision, decision
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:30 am 
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I considered similar options, though I have a girl, so it was Christs, state boarding or independent. I needed a boarding place but was worried about my ability to pay for an indie over seven years.

Visited Christs, and have a friend whose daughter went there. The latter was eligible for full fees remission (Mum was on benefits). You need to think very carefully about how able your child is and whether your income level is such that you are entitled to help with the fees. Once you are above the cut off mark in income places depend entirely on order in the entrance exam and very few places are available (I have 4% in my head). I decided that we might just miss the level for assistance but that though she is undoubtedly very able she had not followed the national curriculum and the chances of getting a place were very low.

Agree that its extremely important to look at ratio of boarders to day places and decide which you want. Originally we needed a full boarding place and the proportion of full (not just weekly) boarders to other types of place was a significant consideration in the choice that we finally made. The snag is that things can change. The school has increased the number of day boarders and size of boarding house.I think that this has made life feel quite unsettled and she became much less happy as a full boarder so this year (year 9) she has just switched to being a weekly boarder.

State boarding schools (like indies) vary considerably in the proportion of children that are boarders you need to think carefully about this issue.

As someone else pointed out state boarding schools (some are grammars others are not but a number of the comprehensives come out extremely well in the league tables i.e. better than some grammars) are a fraction of the cost of indie boarding schools and in my view offer an extremely good education

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 Post subject: Re: Decision, decision
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:19 am 
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Thank you all for your input. It was very helpful and as some of you mentioned RGS and CH are very different schools - one predominently a day school the other a full boarding and each probably has its + and. We prefer CH however, admission is very competitive unless you opt for direct entry and pay full fees. We somehow managed to sit both tests on Saturday and now have to wait and see. Thank you also for letting us know of the existence of a CH forum. Will have look for additional info.


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