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What says..

Generously sized classrooms, reception area, library and multi-purpose hall all incorporated into the original farmhouse and new extension. Consequently, the youngest children – known as Ladybirds, Caterpillars and Butterflies in the early years are a part of it all (even if the Ladybirds had temporarily opted out on day of visit in favour of a darkened room and a siesta after lunch).

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What the school says...

Welcome to a nurturing school with a big personality.

Giving a child the best possible foundations for a bright future is a true privilege. Our fantastic facilities give pupils tremendous scope for achieving the academic, sporting and creative excellence that we encourage. Just as important is the safe, secure and caring framework that we provide, giving children the support and self-belief they need to make their own individual strides forward.

I get huge satisfaction from seeing each one cross barriers and shine in a way that is uniquely theirs and with two children myself, I know the pride parents feel when they see their child thriving.

I look forward to helping your child thrive too.

Gareth Hughes,
Headmaster
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What the parents say...

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Other features

All-through school (for example 3-18 years). - An all-through school covers junior and senior education. It may start at 3 or 4, or later, and continue through to 16 or 18. Some all-through schools set exams at 11 or 13 that pupils must pass to move on.

Sports

Fencing

What The Good Schools Guide says

Headmaster

Since 2009, Gareth Hughes [50s]. Previously assistant head here for two years, though association with RGS family of schools goes back to 1996, when he was appointed head of rugby at the senior school, subsequently becoming director of sport, then head of lower school. A West Walian, he was educated at Llandysul Grammar School where he was head boy and captained the 1st XV. His first teaching post, after completing sports science degree at Greenwich University, was as a PE teacher at a state secondary school in Kent.

Knows the RGS ethos and structure inside out as a teacher and parent - son and daughter both attend the senior school. Presides over contented staff, who praise ‘pathway of excitement’ on offer (primrose or otherwise) as well as dedication and sensitivity of senior leadership.

Sport an abiding interest. He was a fly half for a range of clubs including London Welsh, Saracens and Llanelli and rugby continues to feature - he currently coaches the U17s at Worcester Wanderers.

Periodically zips on the lycra to pedal the Malvern Hills and also enoys the theatre. Practical as well as polished, he prides himself on re-design of the car park, though pupils will no doubt have been more impressed by the double handstand he performed at recent speech day, teaming up with deputy. It was ‘like something from Ant and Dec,’ reported a member of staff.

Entrance

Taster day for places in year 2 and below. At year 3 and above, assessments in English, maths, and reasoning. Academic and music scholarships available at year 5 for internal and external candidates.

Exit

Almost all year 6 leavers (95 per cent or so) progress to senior school. Unlike external candidates, only have to sit papers in VR and NVR with school record also taken into account, though scholarship hopefuls (academic, music, drama, art and sport) can opt to take additional papers in English and maths – pupils normally scoop a dozen or so awards each year. A few switch to the grammar school system in Cheltenham or Birmingham or to other local schools.

Our view

Though 50-acre site with a late Victorian farm and farmhouse has a rural feel, it’s just three miles from the centre of Worcester. Drive notable for well-tended playing fields on either side of the broad roadway and ferocious speed bumps that would wake even the sleepiest policeman.

May evoke centuries-old tradition, but school was founded only in 1996, starting with just six pupils. Academic standards are high, helped by small classes (about 12 in reception rising to just over twenty at Year 6) and an imaginative timetable featuring discovery afternoons with sessions on science, DT, art and creative media.

Pupils enjoy their lessons, say parents. ‘[They’re so] happy and enthusiastic to learn,’ says one. Evident on visit, with a boy in a reception class rushing up to exclaim that ‘I’m working really hard on my numbers.’ Matched by staff energy, one teacher almost as excited by pupils’ handwriting progress as the pupils.

Head of learning development coordinates a team of nine teaching assistants who provide small group, individual and class-based support for around 15 per cent of pupils. A recent external audit of this department’s effectiveness was fulsome in its praise.

Bar desire to broaden language provision – currently only French is offered - parents happy with curriculum and say school communicates well, from online weekly newsletters (with retro-pop titles such as ‘Love is in The Air’ and ‘Great Balls of Fire’) to information evenings to talk through approach to maths, phonics and reading.

Technology is much in evidence but not allowed to dominate. ‘Just as the calculator replaced the slide rule and became another tool in the pencil case, so has the iPad,’ reassures the website. They (iPads rather than slide rules) are provided to all year 5 and 6 pupils and used for what school terms blended learning where tech adds an extra layer e.g. in art lesson where coats of arms, reflecting an individual’s personality, were being designed on screen.

School is Worcestershire hub for computing, hosting sessions in ultra-impressive ICT suite for county’s teachers to share best practice. It’s all coordinated by school’s digital leaders who also film concerts and design and present internet-based assemblies.

Parental resistance to this digital form of education, says school ‘has dissolved’ while pupils, clearly a committed bunch, describe iPad-related study as ‘like a fun way of learning … the more fun you have, the more you will learn.’

One of the school’s charms is that it remains a single entity, with generously sized classrooms, reception area, library and multi-purpose hall all incorporated into the original farmhouse and new extension. Consequently, the youngest children – known as Ladybirds, Caterpillars and Butterflies in the early years are a part of it all (even if the Ladybirds had temporarily opted out on day of visit in favour of a darkened room and a siesta after lunch).

Top floor of the extension houses specialist rooms for science, ICT, French, food technology and music (which lacked, we thought, some of the sparkle of the others).

Outside, pitches, a pavilion, a traverse wall – funded by the PTA – a major range of playground equipment and a twin-pitched Astroturf. The only facilities that the school lacks are a separate sports centre and – high up on pupils’ wish list – a swimming-pool.

Rugby, football and cricket for boys while girls have hockey (U11s recent national champions) netball and athletics. For years 3-6, match day squads frequently run down to E team level. Judo, fencing, and sailing also on offer, with enrichment programme including jewellery, cooking and Lego.

Singers and instrumentalists well catered for with orchestras and ensembles. Chamber choir performs and has won at the Cheltenham Festival. Recent drama productions include Annie, Bugsy Malone and Alice In Wonderland.

Competition is encouraged via the house system, where the four houses (Cash, Cornwall, Goodrich and Perowne – all former Bishops of Worcester) contest for supremacy in music, sport, English, art and even in pancake races.

School notably good at confidence boosting - one parent who hadn’t previously considered independent education was converted after her ‘shy girl’ started at pre-school and ‘really came out of herself.’

Polite and articulate children, who routinely stand aside for adults to pass them on the stairs, praise life here. One, who thought starting here would be ‘really scary’ was instantly put at easy by teachers who were ‘friendly, young, entertaining and (reassuringly) clever.’ Another felt that her school was so good because ‘it feels like a family.’ Their only criticism was of match teas which are apparently ‘always the same with pasta and that cheesy stuff.’

Good for working parents – no extra charge for before and after school care (7.45am to 6.00pm). Active PTA run a series of events ranging from fireworks spectacular to a festival with music and crafts and, of course, the summer fete featuring year 6 pupils with their ‘Smoothie Challenge’, bouncy castles, pony rides and stalls run by local businesses.

When even the knitting club is so alluring that one parent, who had chosen the school as ‘an upgrade’ experienced great difficulty in dragging her daughter away from its excitements, clearly a school which has got the balance right.

Special Education Needs

We can offer one to one help (up to one hour per week) for children with mild dyslexia or dispraxia. In the Early Years department speech therapy can be offered. All at extra charge.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder Y
Aspergers Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
Dyscalculia
Dysgraphia
Dyslexia
Dyspraxia
English as an additional language (EAL)
Genetic
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class
HI - Hearing Impairment
Hospital School
Mental health
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
PD - Physical Disability
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
VI - Visual Impairment

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