Rutherford house school vs Ravenstone

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M&Imum
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Rutherford house school vs Ravenstone

Postby M&Imum » Fri Jan 14, 2022 9:48 pm

We are relocating to Balham and have a girl in year 4 and a boy in year 1 as well as a 2 year old boy.
We are in the catchment for Rutherford house and Ravenstone school and looked round both.
We feel lucky that they both seem like really good schools and we were impressed by the time each of the heads took to show us round and what we saw.
But now we can’t decide between them! I think RH is a better fit for our daughter and Ravenstone would suit our son but don’t really want them in different schools.
Any experience people have of either school would be really welcome!
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Coffeeplease
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Re: Rutherford house school vs Ravenstone

Postby Coffeeplease » Sun Jan 16, 2022 3:10 pm

Got friends who have children in both. Would say Rutherford House is more academic & has a more of a competitive edge. Some children do very well in the environment (I think progress is quite high) and other children struggle. Know someone who moved their child from Rutherford to Ravenstone because the child was really struggling with the pressure of feeling like she was always underperforming. However, that is not every child and most friends sing praises.
There is also a significant difference in outside space if that makes any difference to you.
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daizmaiz1
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Re: Rutherford house school vs Ravenstone

Postby daizmaiz1 » Mon Jan 17, 2022 7:01 am

Our son is in reception at Ravenstone and our youngest will be going to the nursery after Easter. We’re so so happy with the school. We had the same dilemma as you when we were deciding. I love the uniform of Rutherford and the fact that it’s very academic but in reality in my heart it felt cold and like it was trying too hard. I think Rutherford is for parents who wanted a private school but couldn’t afford it (us!) but the teachers and community at Ravenstone has genuine passion. I think the education at Ravenstone is still fantastic without the almost militaryesque pressure to achieve
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Neptune214
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Re: Rutherford house school vs Ravenstone

Postby Neptune214 » Mon Jan 17, 2022 9:41 pm

I have two kids at Ravenstone and our youngest will go there too. We picked the school because it appeared to us to focus on the whole child and we haven’t been disappointed. They work to get the academic results but they also care deeply about nurturing kind and happy children who can regulate their emotions, think for themselves and make good decisions and choices.
The outside space is also a big plus for us. The kids have lots of space to run around outside, get involved in the gardens, enjoy the pond and the chickens. We couldn’t be happier.
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Saturn2013
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Re: Rutherford house school vs Ravenstone

Postby Saturn2013 » Tue Jan 18, 2022 7:14 am

Hi welcome to the area!!!!

Both are great schools !. RH is definitely more educational focused and some parents say it’s the closest public school you can find next to private. Parents love it. They also have sensational after school clubs run both by teachers, parents and external programs. The list is endless. Ravenstone is also a great school but more about the whole picture rather than being educational focused, less “forced” homework more “optional” work if parents and the children chose to do it and you assume/hope learning happens in the class. They allow kids to not be stressed and educational be enjoyable. They have some wildly smart children across the school and each year who go off to successful secondary schools. Ravenstone also lacks clubs almost non existent and their afters school provider ends up being more babysitting than fun for the kids. Parents don’t seem to care about the clubs so it’s not to do with covid just not found 2 b important - you will find most parents at pick up, there a huge community feeling as well. You are looking at 2 very different school who really only have location in common. Good luck!!!
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Viv365
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Re: Rutherford house school vs Ravenstone

Postby Viv365 » Tue Jan 18, 2022 11:42 am

Hi,

Welcome to Balham!

We struggled with the same decision when looking looking for schools for our child a few years ago so totally understand how difficult it is. My child is very academic and I initially chose Rutherford on that basis but in the end we were out of the catchment area for Rutherford and were given a place at Ravenstone and I am so pleased that's how it worked out.
My child is still doing very well academically but most importantly they are so happy to go to school every day. They love their teachers, learning is fun and they have a great group of friends. I couldn't speak highly enough of the headteacher and the senior leadership team, who are in the playground every day and are very approachable and really listen and take parents' views into account. There is such a strong ethos of kindness and community across the whole school, we really couldn't be happier.
The outside space is also amazing and although I don't think the after school provision is as varied as it is at Rutherford my child still attends after school clubs several days a week and loves them. Plus the school has recently introduced more music provision in school so children have access to piano, guitar, saxophone, singing, etc lessons during the school day.
Good luck with your decision, I know people who are very happy with both schools so whichever way you go I don't think you can go too far wrong.
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Tootsparent
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Re: Rutherford house school vs Ravenstone

Postby Tootsparent » Tue Jan 18, 2022 8:21 pm

Hello and welcome to Balham,

I have one in Yr 6 and one in Yr 4 at Rutherford. They have been there since reception. Whilst we were not in the catchment of Ravenstone, we chose Rutherford over a couple of other local schools. It felt like a risk at the time as the school was only 2 yrs old, but it has paid off enormously. I have one quite academic child and one who is not and would prefer to spend all day drawing, dancing and playing. They both are extremely happy.

If you spoke to any of the children, I am not sure they would say they went to an academic school, but they would tell you they take a lot of pride in their work and doing the best they can. They are offered some great opportunities with music, spanish, art and many great trips. The after school club provisions are awesome. There is also a very involved Friends (PTA) so if you want to be involved there are many opportunities for you.

As for it being like a private school, I am not sure that is true from my experience. Overall, I would say it is a really lovely school and despite a bit of congestion at pick up which you often hear people call out as a con, we're very happy our children are there. I also know parents at Ravenstone who are happy. As a parent with two quite different children, the school works very well for them both. I am sure your children would be happy at both. Good luck in deciding!
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Tootsparent
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Re: Rutherford house school vs Ravenstone

Postby Tootsparent » Tue Jan 18, 2022 8:22 pm

Hello and welcome to Balham,

I have one in Yr 6 and one in Yr 4 at Rutherford. They have been there since reception. Whilst we were not in the catchment of Ravenstone, we chose Rutherford over a couple of other local schools. It felt like a risk at the time as the school was only 2 yrs old, but it has paid off enormously. I have one quite academic child and one who is not and would prefer to spend all day drawing, dancing and playing. They both are extremely happy.

If you spoke to any of the children, I am not sure they would say they went to an academic school, but they would tell you they take a lot of pride in their work and doing the best they can. They are offered some great opportunities with music, spanish, art and many great trips. The after school club provisions are awesome. There is also a very involved Friends (PTA) so if you want to be involved there are many opportunities for you.

As for it being like a private school, I am not sure that is true from my experience. Overall, I would say it is a really lovely school and despite a bit of congestion at pick up which you often hear people call out as a con, we're very happy our children are there. I also know parents at Ravenstone who are happy. As a parent with two quite different children, the school works very well for them both. I am sure your children would be happy at both. Good luck in deciding!
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RavenClaw
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Re: Rutherford house school vs Ravenstone

Postby RavenClaw » Tue Jan 18, 2022 9:12 pm

Another Ravenstone parent here - kids in Yrs 4 and 2. Also chose Ravenstone over RH and very happy we did so - all the comments here about Ravenstone supporting and encouraging happy, confident and well-rounded children chime with our experience.
Don’t know much about RH, but I’d question the accounts here that suggest RH is somehow more academic than Ravenstone. I think RH might talk more about results - and leave kids feeling under more pressure - but that’s not always the same thing as delivering the best education. (I work in a specialist educational field and am focussed on outcomes rather than processes.)
In our experience, Ravenstone clubs are great, though we’ve only tried music and sport (where our kids have made friends with some RH kids who come to Balham Ballers clubs.)
Overall advice: don’t let this decision cause you too much stress. You have a choice between two great schools and your kids will have a great time at either, then do very well whichever you chose. And welcome to the area.
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puffyisgood
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Re: Rutherford house school vs Ravenstone

Postby puffyisgood » Thu Jan 20, 2022 9:23 am

I suppose ideally OP would get a response from someone with current parental experience of both schools. I can't offer this, but am a current RH parent with a modest knowledge of Ravenstone through friend' kids, attendance at clubs & events, and so on.

As already pointed out, Ravenstone is light years ahead for on-site space. Rutherford's site is barely adequate for the number of kids it has. Morning drop-offs are a mess, though I can't say that this really matters much. Use of the playground has to be carefully staggered/shared between year groups. A couple of the RH classrooms [I think at least one of the ones at the very top of the school used to be a caretaker's office or similar back in the Balham Youth Court days?] at aren't the greatest.

The head at Rutherford is top notch, an absolute force of nature, but has been there a while & IMO seems unlikely to still be in post certainly by the time OP's son is moving through KS2. A number of things may change when she's gone, though of course the limited space won't be one of them.

I'm don't particularly think Rutherford would deserve a reputation for being "academic". It has a lot less compulsary homework than many ordinary primary schools [e.g. I can confirm this compared to Telferscot but don't have direct experience of Ravenstone]. I think really the 'academic' label is at least partly a euphemism for having expensive uniforms and relatively affluent parents who will quietly start paying for tutors once secondary school applications start to loom on the horizon.

Although RH has its share of 'state till eight' kids who slip into the private sector towards the mid-late stages of their journey through primary school, they seem, increasingly, slightly more successful than a lot of local places at filling the gaps that appear as a result. Maybe they need to be because of a funding imperative.

As already mentioned, after school provision is first rate. There's a huge choice of clubs & activities.

As already mentioned, the The PTA is good - there are a few grumbles about inclusivity which aren't totally without foundation but it's IMO probably less bad on this score than most PTA's.
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reb27
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Re: Rutherford house school vs Ravenstone

Postby reb27 » Mon Jan 24, 2022 1:09 pm

Hi there,

I have first hand experience of both schools. Our daughter started RHS in reception and will leave Year 6 in July. Our son also started at RHS in reception, but we moved him to Ravenstone at the start of this academic year.

They are both very good schools, and we're really lucky to have them on our doorstep.

Feel free to dm me for any specific questions. Happy to offer any help.
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