Thinking about being a hopeful new parent

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Dusty
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Thinking about being a hopeful new parent

Post by Dusty » Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:34 pm

My brother went to CH - years ago , pre-girls, pre-leave weekends and when the blankets were still WWII issue - so I know it and West Sussex quite well in an historical way. I also recommended it to a friend and I am delighted to say that her daughter has just been offered a place. My son is at at the same primary school (now year 5) and looking at CH for my friend also showed me that you can now apply for a place even if you are quite well off whereas I always thought there was an income ceiling. We are looking at some independent schools (with gritted teeth/sadness/fury) given the hopeless mess of inner London state schools (there are great ones but you have to live 10 feet away) and now are looking at boarding schools because our son is rugby and sports mad and would finally like some grass to play on. I would really welcome some comments about the following:
1) As long as I keep my job we are quite well off and I could just about fund our 2 children through a boarding school if that's the way things turn out for them. Also I can't claim our family has any real social need because we're all pretty happy and though we live in a flat and space is a bit short it's fine. Would we be doing a more deserving child out of a place if our son was successful? And if we did, is that all part of a CH plan for a balanced intake?
2) What's it like at CH now? We are going to the Open Day in March but I wondered about things like what the new headmaster is like and the current vision for CH.
3) I don't get a great sense from the posts on this board that the school is engaged very much with parents. That might be a wrong impression so please put me right.
Best wishes, by the way, to all the new parents. Even in the olden days, my brother turned out fine, got a great education and always beat me at snooker, table tennis, darts etc.

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Re: Thinking about being a hopeful new parent

Post by MaryB » Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:16 pm

I do sympathise about the inner London state schools -there are no good ones at all near us in southernmost Lambeth, and if my husband hadn't been dead against boarding we might have thought about CH. Both my sons - now 17 and 22 - have been regularly to Horsham to play Fives (not a CH strength, it must be said) and both have been intrigued, but not tempted away from their respective independent day schools. So though I can't help you on what it's like now, what I can say is that once you're over the teeth gritting bit, London independents can be good and generally stimulating places to be. Both ours have been remarkably relaxed and non-elitist once you're in - although only one plays rugby.
Equally, a friend's son, whom I recommended to CH because even the most generous scholarships still made local schools impossible, loves it and is doing well in his third year.
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Re: Thinking about being a hopeful new parent

Post by Vonny » Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:55 pm

I can't answer your questions Dusty but I also have a child in Year 5. A child I have tried to get to show some interest in CH to little avail. Until last night when we had friends round for a pizza :lol: I was asked if I would ever send my children to boarding school so I bagan the usual response of "oh no she's not interested" when she piped up "I wouldn't mind going!" :o :o :o Just to show me up I think!
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Re: Thinking about being a hopeful new parent

Post by onewestguncopse » Sun Feb 22, 2009 4:57 pm

I think the following may be useful to you - I speak as someone who works for CH now I might add!

1. As far as I am aware, with the exception of asking for a Governor presentation, the income level of the parent is ignored. If it is above a certain level you will pay full fees. I might add however, that being a boarding school, full fees are high and many parents will be put off by this. Most parents pay on a sliding scale, with perhaps more money per head found in the Sixth Form, where new entrants are more likely to be be full fee paying. We will lose children in this recession as fees are often a luxury that falls by the wayside when a 'free' education is to be had at the local school! Private education is, after all, a life choice that people can opt out of. I appreciate that some schools in London are poor, and it this is the case then parents are more willing to pay fees than if they live near a decent secondary or one of the remaining grammars. Working in the private sector we do forget at times that only 7% of all children are educated privately. Not all state schools are bad and I speak as a product of one and a governor of another!
2. Academic standards at CH are high and getting tougher. This is one of the biggest changes I have seen in my decade here. It is now essentially a grammar intake, so any child not in the upper end of a good primary class will struggle to get in. Too many parents ignore this and that is why 100's fail the first academic hurdle. Put it this way, the majority of CH students will get AAB or higher at A level. Many applicants now apply to CH along with other schools (private and state grammar) so we do lose a fair few to other schools (mostly day schools with lower fees). At the moment it is about 4-1 against.
3. Communication with parents could be better but we do our best and being a boarding school does not help. New email initiatives will help and the mobile phone is a wonderful invention!
4. The new Head has been joined by a new SMT and this will inevitably bring with it change. Most of it is good and overdue. Some will not like the changes, but then schools evolve with the needs or desire of incumbents. It is not a prison and those who find it unbearable can leave (staff or pupil). Any school that lives in the past will quickly lose its way. Some OB's are slow to appreciate this! :wink:

On the whole CH is a great school moving in the right direction. The staff are committed and the nature of the children is also changing too. Far more 'middle class' than it used to be too. Not rich kids but not street urchins either! I always say that it is like the top 20% of a good, state school. Socially comprehensive but academically elite.

These are MY personal thoughts by the way - others may disagree!

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Re: Thinking about being a hopeful new parent

Post by englishangel » Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:46 pm

onewestguncopse wrote:I think the following may be useful to you - I speak as someone who works for CH now I might add!

1. As far as I am aware, with the exception of asking for a Governor presentation, the income level of the parent is ignored. If it is above a certain level you will pay full fees. I might add however, that being a boarding school, full fees are high and many parents will be put off by this. Most parents pay on a sliding scale, with perhaps more money per head found in the Sixth Form, where new entrants are more likely to be be full fee paying. We will lose children in this recession as fees are often a luxury that falls by the wayside when a 'free' education is to be had at the local school! Private education is, after all, a life choice that people can opt out of. I appreciate that some schools in London are poor, and it this is the case then parents are more willing to pay fees than if they live near a decent secondary or one of the remaining grammars. Working in the private sector we do forget at times that only 7% of all children are educated privately. Not all state schools are bad and I speak as a product of one and a governor of another!
2. Academic standards at CH are high and getting tougher. This is one of the biggest changes I have seen in my decade here. It is now essentially a grammar intake, so any child not in the upper end of a good primary class will struggle to get in. Too many parents ignore this and that is why 100's fail the first academic hurdle. Put it this way, the majority of CH students will get AAB or higher at A level. Many applicants now apply to CH along with other schools (private and state grammar) so we do lose a fair few to other schools (mostly day schools with lower fees). At the moment it is about 4-1 against.
3. Communication with parents could be better but we do our best and being a boarding school does not help. New email initiatives will help and the mobile phone is a wonderful invention!
4. The new Head has been joined by a new SMT and this will inevitably bring with it change. Most of it is good and overdue. Some will not like the changes, but then schools evolve with the needs or desire of incumbents. It is not a prison and those who find it unbearable can leave (staff or pupil). Any school that lives in the past will quickly lose its way. Some OB's are slow to appreciate this! :wink:

On the whole CH is a great school moving in the right direction. The staff are committed and the nature of the children is also changing too. Far more 'middle class' than it used to be too. Not rich kids but not street urchins either! I always say that it is like the top 20% of a good, state school. Socially comprehensive but academically elite.

These are MY personal thoughts by the way - others may disagree!
As far as I am aware the academic standards have always been extremely high. I got maximum marks in the 11 plus (in 1965) and when I got to CH I was nowhere near the top of the class.
"If a man speaks, and there isn't a woman to hear him, is he still wrong?"

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Re: Thinking about being a hopeful new parent

Post by Vonny » Sun Feb 22, 2009 7:24 pm

I did well at primary school. In fact I was the only one in the year to pass the 11 plus. OK so there were only 8 of us :lol: :lol: However, on going to CH I went from being top of the class to pretty much bottom :|
My daughter is currently year 5 and last week at parents evening I was told she is a "high 4." I've not got much of a clue how the SATS gradings work but I was told by the teacher she is already higher than she needs to be by the end of year 6. I would say she's probably more intelligent than I was at that age. She's aledgedly in the top 2 out of 33 (which I assume means 2nd :lol: ) but as to how well she would do at CH - who knows.
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Re: Thinking about being a hopeful new parent

Post by Fjgrogan » Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:10 pm

I had the same problem - going from being at the top of the class in primary school to near the bottom most of the time at CH, and I could never get my parents to understand that everyone else at CH had also been top of their primary classes, so someone had to come further down! When I was in my 50's my mother told me that I had come top in the 11+ for the whole LCC area (in 1956) - whether that was true or not I have no idea! I couldn't believe that she had never mentioned it before, but when I asked her why she said that she didn't want me to become big-headed!
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Re: Thinking about being a hopeful new parent

Post by Ajarn Philip » Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:01 am

onewestguncopse wrote: Working in the private sector we do forget at times that only 7% of all children are educated privately.
Without having thought about percentages before, I'm quite surprised it's as high as that.
I know exactly what words I am wanting to say, but somehow or other they is always getting squiffsquiddled around

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Re: Thinking about being a hopeful new parent

Post by englishangel » Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:24 am

Fjgrogan wrote:I had the same problem - going from being at the top of the class in primary school to near the bottom most of the time at CH, and I could never get my parents to understand that everyone else at CH had also been top of their primary classes, so someone had to come further down! When I was in my 50's my mother told me that I had come top in the 11+ for the whole LCC area (in 1956) - whether that was true or not I have no idea! I couldn't believe that she had never mentioned it before, but when I asked her why she said that she didn't want me to become big-headed!
That's exactly what my Mum said, though I was considerably younger.
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Re: Thinking about being a hopeful new parent

Post by blondie95 » Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:28 am

It does seem the schol is becoming a bit of a lets produce lots of very high adademic results and maybe not give the ame amount of time to all the other benefits of CH such as the sports, arts and music and of course the advantage it gives you going off into the real world having already started to learn how to live and deal with others.

I understand to get into 6th form you are now required to get at least 6 A's whereas when i joined in the deps its was 6B's
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Re: Thinking about being a hopeful new parent

Post by englishangel » Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:42 am

But if you look at how many As and Bs are now gained you will see why.

Somewhere Katharine has said what she got for A level and it wasn't 3 As. I don't know what level her degree (at Oxford) was.
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Re: Thinking about being a hopeful new parent

Post by blondie95 » Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:31 pm

I wouldnt say the number of A's/B's at Alevel now are that much higher than 7years ago when exsisting pupils only had to get 5B's to go onto Alevels
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Re: Thinking about being a hopeful new parent

Post by dinahcat » Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:06 pm

I understand that the reason why many schools are asking for higher grades at GCSE is that due to the large number of A grades at A level universities look at GCSE results to discriminate between candidates with equal A level results. If there are two candidates with three grade A A2s the the one with the higher number of As at GCSE might get the place. Mr Franklin is right to advise pupils to strive for the highest number of A grades at GCSE for this reason. One way of doing this is to up the entrance requirement for 6th form entry.

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Re: Thinking about being a hopeful new parent

Post by Momto2 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:46 am

dinahcat wrote:. Mr Franklin is right to advise pupils to strive for the highest number of A grades at GCSE for this reason. One way of doing this is to up the entrance requirement for 6th form entry.
I appreciate what you're saying DinahCat but then you run the risk of losing good sportsmen/band members etc simply because they haven't quite met the standards required. It was 5 Bs and above and at least an A in their chosen AS/A2 subjects last summer by the way.

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Re: Thinking about being a hopeful new parent

Post by wurzel » Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:08 pm

I have to say in the mid 80's as far as I remember the good sportsmen/musicians co-incidentally were academically gifted.

Mike frogatt who now works for sony entertainment and goes round schools explaining why being an engineer is fun was a grade 7 or 8 pianist and violinist as well as doing s levels in maths physics and chemistry to join his a-levels in maths, further maths, physics, electronics and chemistry, he was also a year accelerated

Gavin Howard was 1st XI cricket, 1st XV Rugby got straight A in 4 A-Levels and went to teach maths in high schools in America as a year out before reading maths at Cambridge again he was underage for his year

they are just the ones in my house and year or year above

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