Experiences of Rutherford House

83 posts
capmum
Posts: 13
Joined: Jun 2010
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Experiences of Rutherford House

Postby capmum » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:59 pm

I'm going to return to the original questions from Medway.
How have your Children settled in? My dd stated the school knowing no one, having not set foot in the classroom. She was used to leaving me as she had been at pre school for the past two years. For the first few days we had tears when I said goodbye, but she always came home happy. By the end of the first week she had a group of about 6 friends. Now a month on, she knows everyone's name, loves her teacher and the assistant. According to her, Miss Nicholson (head teacher) is regularly on hand - helping every lunchtime, doing assembly etc. They have a very structured day - assembly, literacy, break, numeracy, lunch, sport, art or Spanish, home. As far as I can make out (from daughter) there are a couple of rowdy kids in the class who, when they misbehave are timed out. The school does lots of positive praise with stickers, certificates etc.

How are the premises coming along? Ill be honest, it is a building site! Weirdly my dd doesn't notice it. Some days I hear the banging and think how it would drive me nuts! At the moment there are two highly speced classrooms (smart boards, toys, dressing up, learning resources etc), a music room which doubles as their dining hall, an office and loos. I think once its completed it will be amazing - but loads of stairs! I think it is 5 floors! That's the nature of city living though. The lack of outdoor space is not an issue- the children are taken to the play park on the other side of the road every day and taken to the common twice a week.

Are you pleased with your choice? I am. It's a really nurturing environment. The teachers seem to genuinely care about the children. And frankly, my daughter IS learning and really enjoying learning. But at the end of the day, the reason the school was introduced in the first place was there is a huge need for more school places, so for many people reading this thread, it may not be a choice!

Just a note on the clique comments - I wouldn't consider myself to be in any clique - my sole purpose for being at the school is to drop off and collect my daughter. However, other parents are always chatting to me and I've never felt uncomfortable. My daughter is happy and that is the only thing that matters.

I reckon Sept 2014 entrants have it all... Brand spanking new school, experiences teachers, established head and PTA, only 100 or so kids... What's not to love?!?
Post Reply
Sugar'nSpice
Posts: 8
Joined: May 2013
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Experiences of Rutherford House

Postby Sugar'nSpice » Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:04 pm

Ditto! We've had the same experience as capmum!
Our daughter can't wait for tomorrow...it's all been so easy.
Do other local state schools offer specialist teachers for foreign language, sport, music and dance? Hands on head teacher? Yoga, karate, art and crafts, ballet,(to name a few clubs) ad-hoc breakfast and after school care to reception children? I think not!
The homework and learning resources passed onto us have been very forthcoming unlike anything we ever received from BV.
In the last 4 weeks I've had the opportunity to have coffee with a bunch of lovely Mums, (mostly ex Broomwood and Finton House I might add) attended the most incredible birthday party in Brixton and a delightful British one in Balham.
I think we are all set for some wonderful enriching years ahead. The combination of energetic,diverse,enthusiastic,dedicated staff and parents is surely going to make Rutherford House into an amazing school.Quite frankly in my opinion the building is quite secondary, surely it's all about the people!
Post Reply
JDMummy
Posts: 107
Joined: Oct 2011
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Experiences of Rutherford House

Postby JDMummy » Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:37 pm

Sugar'nSpice wrote: The homework and learning resources passed onto us have been very forthcoming unlike anything we ever received from BV.
Dear 'Sugar'nSpice:
Do you mind to give a bit more details on the homework bit you mentioned? I'd like to hear what sort of homework they give and different in what way to BV. We need to start the school application for our son now. Many thanks!
Post Reply
Cloud
Posts: 36
Joined: Jul 2011
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Experiences of Rutherford House

Postby Cloud » Mon Oct 07, 2013 1:35 pm

I am slightly sceptical about some of the claims made. People already renting houses on the streets nearby when the school hasn't even been completed yet and there is no official recognition (e.g. Ofsted report) of its strengths. Also that people think they are getting a private school for free. That is ridiculous - they still have class sizes of 30 kids - something you would never pay for. So either the residents of Wandsworth Common are stupid or these posts are wind-ups. I suspect the latter. Anyway, it has been useful to hear different views of parents and good to hear the negative as well as the positive in order to help prospective parents form a balanced opinion. I sincerely hope that other parents will be visiting other schools too and choosing on the basis if quality of teaching, pastoral care etc etc and not on rumours about false catchment areas and selection processes (by the way the suggestion that selection is on any basis other than catchment areas is a COMPLETE wind-up).

I visited RH and am still trying to make up my mind. I think it sounds promising but had personally been more impressed with the approach for reception classes (the teachers, their methods) at Fircroft. It is just risky I guess... But glad to hear some have had really positive experiences.
Post Reply
DotingDad
Posts: 20
Joined: Apr 2013
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Experiences of Rutherford House

Postby DotingDad » Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:52 am

I must say I was concerned by the first few posts, but it seems to have balanced now. :)
For what it's worth, our (eldest) daughter is at RHS and is doing really well. Very happy.
We are very happy with the level of teaching and the school in general.
All this stuff about cliques sounds a bit silly really. It's a new school - been open for a month - and parents are starting to meet and get to know one another.

It seems to me, from looking around this site and checking out schools last year, that the choice of a school is very personal. The least that can be said for RHS is that it increases the capacity in the area and offers a new, interesting option. Ideally it will be Outstanding, cause Ravenstone and maybe other schools in the area to raise their game and improve the options for everyone living in the area.
I am not a cheerleader for free schools, but it seems that that's how any new schools have be be set up currently.
The school ethos is still developing IMHO. The reason we went for RHS in the end is that we felt they would be very focussed on doing really well - clearly they have an objective of achieving OFSTED Outstanding. The fact that our DD would be in the first cohort we felt was generally positive - the staff/children ratios will never be higher.
It also happens to be our closest non-faith school - along with Ravenstone which we most likely wouldn't have got in to - something we didn't test as we made RHS our first choice

The building works going on at present is certainly not ideal, however the space currently occupied for classrooms seems fine. Once the works have been completed it should be great - the outside area is quite decent (room for a small playing field and maybe three Tesco garages ;) ) and good, well kitted out common space on the ground floor.

Just to confirm some facts:
The entrance policy is identical to all other non-faith local state primary schools in Wandsworth.
All places were filled this year, but people from a quite wide catchment got in.
It seems obvious that the catchment area will shrink over time, as siblings start to come into play and as the school gets better known. If it means that the catchment for all the local primaries increase a little it will surely increase the chance of local families getting into their preferred school.
Post Reply
surreymummy
Posts: 5
Joined: Oct 2013
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Experiences of Rutherford House

Postby surreymummy » Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:33 pm

WOW ESHER!!! I have never read such an awful post. you have chosen to send your child to a school in TOOTING and you want a white middle class environment?! You live in an diverse area, as a state school, regardless of free school status, RH would be breaking so many laws by just selecting white pupils with no SEN. I am glad some sensible parents have offered a balanced view on their experiences, schools are such a personal experience, I speak as a parent and a teacher. Esher I would worry if my children were mixing with your children who I can only imagine will have picked up from your attitude. I went to school in Tooting, and gosh there were people from many ethnicities at my school, I have learned so much from being educated with and friends with such a broad range of people. I am truly shocked by your post.
Post Reply
Medway
Posts: 203
Joined: Mar 2011
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Experiences of Rutherford House

Postby Medway » Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:14 am

Thanks for all these points of view - very interesting and helpful. There have been some discussions about budgets at RHS on the Tooting Primary school thread - questioning how Rutherford is going to afford to many of the things it would like to (staff to pupil ratios, number of TAs per classroom) on the same pupil contribution as other primary schools. I think these aims are great - this is where I would want as much money spent as possible - but I want these claims to be backed up so I can believe them...rather than being worried it is sales patter which will never materialise in reality, (like the fact that class sizes will be 30, not 27 as previously claimed...)

It would have been great to hear from a Governor, but I respect that they need to stay out of online discussions...
Post Reply
Jibberty
Posts: 25
Joined: Apr 2013
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Experiences of Rutherford House

Postby Jibberty » Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:05 am

Medway, I (obviously) cannot answer your questions about budget and I agree that it would not be appropriate for a Governor to post on here, but what I can confirm is the class sizes. There are 27 children in each class and iirc it is and has always been stated that there will be 56 children in each year group, split between two classes; thus tallying with the original statement of 28 per class. At present there is 1 teacher and one higher level TA per class, along with a 'floating TA' who splits her time between the two classes. This is in addition to specialist teachers for specific subjects - Spanish, music, PE to name a few. There are also several parents who have been DBS checked and who help out with all manner of lessons and activities.

I am still deeply saddened by the earlier outrageous and, frankly, disgusting comments with regards to some kind of 'selection' process - this is simply not true. RHS places are offered along the same strict criteria as all primary schools in Wandsworth and, as such, it is impossible to engineer the sort of Arian world previous posters alluded to in their posts. They seem rather conspicuous by their post and never return stance to me...
Post Reply
Cronut
Posts: 23
Joined: Oct 2013
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Experiences of Rutherford House

Postby Cronut » Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:20 am

Hello

So will the class size be 28 every year from now on
Post Reply
Jibberty
Posts: 25
Joined: Apr 2013
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Experiences of Rutherford House

Postby Jibberty » Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:24 am

I shall ask when I collect my daughter later and post then but it is afaik, yes.
Post Reply
Cronut
Posts: 23
Joined: Oct 2013
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Experiences of Rutherford House

Postby Cronut » Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:50 am

Thank you so much for that, and it would help clear up another issue as when friends of ours attended the open day last year before the school opened, the were informed that class sizes would be 28+28=56 (as you mentioned above) but those same friends have told me that the school policy on their website states 30+30=60 from next year...

I look forward to you post later.
Post Reply
Medway
Posts: 203
Joined: Mar 2011
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Experiences of Rutherford House

Postby Medway » Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:43 pm

It is my understanding that class sizes will be 30 from now on as budgets simply cannot support the 28 per class aspiration. This brings Rutherford in line with other schools, but also highlights the over-claiming that has been going on without due attention to how far money can stretch. All these additional teachers etc etc, hands on head are all very well when the school has only 56 pupils...what happens when it's 100, 200, 400. It will probably be fine - but it's a risk. The school simply must get it's story straight to be credible as Rutherford does not have the luxury ofperformance stats and years of successful management to support its claims.
Post Reply
balhamite
Posts: 215
Joined: Nov 2010
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Experiences of Rutherford House

Postby balhamite » Fri Oct 11, 2013 2:32 pm

Just been looking at the Rutherford House website and there is some conflicting information on this.

The admissions policy page on the site says 56 each year
http://www.rutherfordhouseschool.co.uk/admissions/

But then in the full admissions policy which you can download it says 60 going forward
http://www.rutherfordhouseschool.co.uk/ ... icy_V0.pdf

The wandsworth choose a primary school brochure says 56 though. All a bit confusing.
Post Reply
Medway
Posts: 203
Joined: Mar 2011
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Experiences of Rutherford House

Postby Medway » Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:40 pm

The school website needs updating - probably an oversight but it needs to be done to stop being confusing/ misleading. surely one of the thousands of people reading this thread comes from the school and can action this.
Post Reply
hjm
Posts: 440
Joined: Apr 2010
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Experiences of Rutherford House

Postby hjm » Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:24 pm

I went to the Rutherford House open day in January 2013 for the 2013 intake out of interest. At that point we were told there would be 28 children per class. This was specifically pointed out. When I went to the open day a couple of weeks ago for 2014 intake we were told there would be 30 kids per class. I challenged this and asked why it has changed and was told it was for budgetary reasons. My key concern is that if this promise isn't met, what other promises will they fail to deliver on. I have actually emailed the school asking this question and will update you if I get a satisfactory response.
Post Reply