Induction at Campbell

Last Monday was our first visit to Campbell with James as a pupil.

Slightly confusingly, since it’s a boys school, there were girls as part of the welcome party, basically on loan from Strathearn, the sister school. The headmaster kicked off the evening with his standard welcome speech (much the same as on the open night) highlighting the heights to which the boys should be striving. Then it was on to more prosaic things like the interaction they’d like between the parents, pupils and school before the boys were taken away with their tutor for an initial meeting and to see where they will need to go on their first day in August.

The tutor meeting was just a short get to know you meeting with their personal tutor who’ll be the person who’ll look after them for the next seven years. After their tea and bikkies, the parents were led down to meet the tutor and collect their sons. There’s not really that much that they have to say at this point and in reality it’ll be the first proper meeting with them in early October where we’ll really start to build our relationship with James’ tutor.

We just had a glance at the prices for the school uniform and, surprisingly, they’re somewhat lower than most of the local shops although that’s without counting the customary early summer discounting.

As far as official homework goes, we’ve several booklets to read through and need to enrol on parentmail as well over the summer. Unofficial homework includes increasing the amount of reading that James does and we’re hoping to work through the remainder of the maths workbook that we bought last year to make it an easier start for him.

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4 Responses to “Induction at Campbell”

  • Alan says:

    My son is joining CCB too and really can’t wait. We hadn’t really considered it until we attended Open Day and were just delighted. Incidentally, I asked about the girls on Induction night and they were girls from Strathearn who board at Campbell and who had volunteered to help out. I thought that was a wonderful gesture and speaks volumes that they are willing to represent Campbell too.

  • Arnold says:

    I can understand the girls feeling that they’d like to help out. Our main reason for putting it at the top of our list was that we all felt at home there. We’d “proper” reasons for it too (range of curriculum and activities etc.) but, really, it was up there as it was the one school where we all felt comfortable and could see James sitting in the classes. Many of the other schools that we went to (and we went to nearly all the local ones) gave you the impression that open nights were just some chore to be done but in Campbell it came across that it was a night for everyone to say “hey, look how great our school is” but also one that very much went out of their way to treat those going to the open nights as Campbell pupils, if only for a few hours.

    Another trivial but, to us, important thing that we wanted to do in the schools was to have a wander round after the open day to picture James as a pupil there. In most of the schools, we were just chucked out after the open day, but in Campbell we got our little wander round. As I say, I’m sure that it sounds trivial, but we wanted James to do it to get a sense of what it would be like to go to each school and it was one of many “trivial” things that collectively created that great impression for us.

    We went several times to open days in each of the schools going on our list to, frankly, catch them on a bad day but never managed to do that in Campbell despite going even more times to it due to the AQE/GL tests. I was really impressed that the headmaster went to the bother of giving a little pep talk to the pupils each time despite there being no need for him to do that.

    • Caroline C says:

      Very good experience at the Year 8 information night taken by the two young VPs – really got the impression they knew exactly what they were talking about and really cared about the boys. Just as you mentioned that the atmosphere in Campbell is open and honest, I was delighted that the chap taking the talk then openly asked for feedback and gave us an email address. We left with the feeling that they were genuinely interested. After emailing my comments, he replied personally. My daughters school do not even reply when you try to make contact. If only Campbell took girls. I hope your boy is settling in – ours most definitely is.

      Incidentally I found your blog by googling Campbell College. Prospective parents should be made aware of this.

      • Arnold says:

        Yes, Caroline, I have found them to be very responsive. Partly that’s down to the smaller class sizes as it obviously makes the tutor a lot more available when they’ve 20 kids to look after than when they’ve 30 as they would in most schools. However, even the VP is responsive and he’s got 900 to look so there doesn’t seem a particular reason why other schools don’t do it when they’ve got similar numbers.

        We’re coming to appreciate more and more the “do your best” approach too. For him, it seems to be helping to make his best better right across the subjects.

        Don’t know if you went along to the parents’ forum the other week but they highlighted then that they’re in the process of ramping up the marketing of the college. The other thing that I mentioned afterwards to the junior school principal (who we know quite well) is that not highlighting the fee is probably knocking out many prospective parents who just assume that it’ll be too expensive and never ask the cost.

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