independent primary schools in and near Clapham

(77 Posts)
Chiana Mon 28-Jul-14 10:52:01

Hi ladies, been lurking for a while but this is my first time posting. DH and I are moving back to London next April after 6 years abroad. DS (7) and DD (5) are thriving in their current British international school, but those are the breaks. We own a home in Clapham, currently let out, but the local state primary does not have a great Ofstead report. We can afford to go independent, so we probably will.

DS is a quiet, shy, sensitive, bookish child, very very bright, so we're looking for a school that will push him academically while still having good pastoral care. I realize every parent thinks their precious snowflake is "sensitive" but trust me, DS really is. Thomas's Clapham or Thomas's Battersea are right out, if Mumsnet postings are anything to go by. They're supposed to be very pressured. If my impression of Thomas's is wrong, please let me know.

DD is a different kettle of fish altogether, fairly bright without being brilliant, and loves sport. Obviously it would be more convenient to have them both in the same school, but given how different their personalities are, I'm wondering if the same school would fit both of them. I'm not picky about single-sex versus mixed. I've heard good things about the Dolphin School, but apparently it's supposed to be quite religious, and we're atheists. I've heard Newton Prep used to be good, especially for gifted kids, but is now going through a "time of transition".

I have heard good things about Parkgate House. The prospectus makes them sound very nurturing. Also heard good stuff about Eaton House the Manor, but that's boys only as I understand it, so would mean finding a different school for DD. From a school run point of view, I'd prefer to have them in one school for convenience's sake, unless there are buses. Are there any other indies in the Clapham area which I've missed?

Obviously I'm going to get the Good Schools Guide and look in there, but I was kind of hoping for any observations from parents who actually know the schools in question as well.

Given that we're moving in April, I highly doubt any of the independent schools will have a mid-year place. The plan is to put them in the local school until the end of the year, and focus on applying to indies for the 2015 - 2016 school year. Another option is that DH may move to London in April, and the kids and me stay abroad until the end of the school year.

There is also the possibility that we could end up moving houses and staying within Clapham but getting a bigger house. So we could end up in the catchment for a great state school. My understanding, though is that catchments get tinier with each passing year.

Thanks in advance!

tempo Tue 03-Feb-15 16:05:04

oh I wouldn't worry, mmm1701 & wandymum, apparently Irisha knows everything about all schools, even ones she admits herself has visited for 2 hours on an open day.

mmm1701 Mon 02-Feb-15 22:20:46

Gosh, Irisha, have you got dcs at all of these schools? How can you know so much about N. Lodge if you have no ds there? And a lot of Broomwood girls do go to London day schools. Many of the parents at Broomwood have boarded themselves and want their dcs at their old school.
But, as I say they do turn a lot of dcs away.....did you kids not get in then Irisha?

wandymum Mon 02-Feb-15 18:23:14

Gosh Irisha - seem to have hit a personal nerve here. I see from some of your previous posts that you previously considered sending your child to Broomwood so perhaps that is the reason? How do you know so much about Northcote - have you ever sent a child there? Do you have sons?

KCJS and WUS do take applications at 11 from other independents (as you keep insisting I am 'misinforming' see their websites for confirmation). Northcote doesn't prepare for the 11+ but parents do enter their children at that point if they are set on the day school route.

You also implied I was lying about the ethnic mix of kids in my DS class too but as you can see from MM's post above that is correct.

I have now idea what your issue with the schools is but I object to being called a liar when trying to help the OP by giving my personal experience. May be stick to commenting on schools you have actual experience of and leave the rest of us to do the same.

irisha Mon 02-Feb-15 17:56:29

wandymum better second hand stories than complete misinformation that you are spreading.

Both Westminster and KCS have main intakes at 13+ (~120 boys) not at 11+ (15-20 boys). Moreover, they will not accept an 11+ application from an IAPS school going to 13+ - those kids have to do a pre-test and follow CE route at 13+. 11+ at Westminster Under and KCS is meant for boys in the state system or independent schools finishing in Yr6.

Moreover, Northcote Lodge does not prepare nor support 11+.

So I do question your assertion of I can think of 3 to KCS this year from a year of under 30 kids and a couple go on to each of Eton and Westminster every year.

mmm1701 Mon 02-Feb-15 17:26:28

We have dcs at Broomwood and they love it. Very bright ( top sets) and very sporty. It is dynamic, fun, nurturing and academic. They prepare for 11+ and 13+. Dc will go to NL and from there to a London Day school. Dcs have Black and Asian friends there as well as other nationalities. Contact them and have a look . It is selective but takes a variety of abities ( think it select dcs who will fit in) . Those whose kids don't get in will tell you it's snobbish but it's not and there is a real family feel to it.

wandymum Mon 02-Feb-15 15:18:21

Irisha and Happy - what would I know eh? I only have kids at the schools in question angry. Obviously much less knowledgeable than you with your second hand stories.

No-one else need respond to the OP as you obviously both know all there is to know!

To clarify, the boys I know who have gone on to Westminster or KCS have gone before 13 (they have bgger intakes at 11) so that is why they don't appear in the official leaver's info which only shows leavers aged 13.

legalalien Thu 18-Sep-14 11:50:39

Also if you are moving towards Dulwich,I've heard good things about the sports provision at Sydenham girls.

legalalien Thu 18-Sep-14 11:49:48

Has anyone mentioned The White House? Don't know much about it, just that it is in Clapham (am thinking about the schools in our cricket team catchment...).

Happy to provide info on Dulwich Prep if your DH changes his mind. There are now a lot of children attending Dulwich schools from Clapham/Wandsworth/Balham, so playdates and lift sharing not really an issue.

AuntieStella Mon 15-Sep-14 10:51:00

For a clever sensitive boy, it would be worth having a look a Kings College School (they run a coach service, so journey need not be an issue), and in parallel look at Wimbledon High for your DD.

leeanedav Mon 15-Sep-14 10:33:57

I have heard very positive things from parents with children at Dulwich; the sports grounds, in London, is a luxury and also they go all the way up to 18

minipie Thu 11-Sep-14 10:47:22

marking place, as we'll be sending DD to one of these schools in a couple of years' time.

OP, you probably know this, but most of these schools have open days in October, around the same time. For example Broomwood 7 Oct, Hornsby 9 Oct (morning), Finton 9 Oct (evening). So if you can manage to be in London that week you could visit quite a few.

irisha Thu 11-Sep-14 10:30:15

Wandy - please get your facts right before posting. Hooray preceded me, but just to re-iterate, Northcote Lodge is NOT an academic choice. It may well be able to develop academic talents in a smart kid, but it's not why you'd choose it. You'd choose it for other reasons and then hopefully they will be able to give you support to prepare for an academic day school. But it's not the raison d'etre at all.

Nobody is saying Broomwood and Northcote are not good schools, but they will suit a particular set of students and parents - Northcote to a much larger extent than Broomwood, the latter is less marmite I would argue and is a great school if you are happy with the ethos/environment/parent set.

And as for Chinese, Asian and Black kids in your DD class, that would be very much an exception if true. I don't know a single black kid in Broomwood Upper school (may be one or two mixed race), nor can I think of any Chinese - may be one or two mixed race (for the whole school!), just a few Asians. Again, I am not saying it's good or bad, but let's not describe something as diverse when it isn't.

YakInAMac Thu 11-Sep-14 00:01:34

For a sensitive child, what about Rosemead? It might be too near Dulwich for your DH, but it is co-ed, very caring, children go on to good scholarship places at St Dunstans, and Dulwich College (amongst the kids that I know).

hoorayforsummer Wed 10-Sep-14 17:58:45

Wandy - I question your comments about Northcote (but not Broomwood). They didn't send 3 to KCS - they sent 3 to Kings Canterbury. Only 1 to Eton. None to Westminster since 2009. It is not a school that sends reliably every year to Westminster, SPS, KCS, Eton, Winchester (which is my definition of enabling the most academic boys to access the most selective schools). Very few go to day schools. Friends with DS there say you are signing up to boarding at 13+ (except for the 5% of so that go to either Dulwich or Emanuel - both Jan of yr8 exams). They also comment that it is not diverse and that the upper end of Northcote is "robust".

wandymum Wed 10-Sep-14 17:21:53

Don't rule Broomwood/Northcote out based on earlier comments. It is a very nurturing and friendly school and is becoming increasingly more diverse. DD has chinese, asian and black friends in her class. Also not true that boys don't go on to academic schools - e.g I can think of 3 to KCS this year from a year of under 30 kids and a couple go on to each of Eton and Westminster every year (St Paul's not a popular choice for some reason). Definitely go and have a look around: like you I have a very academic pushy 7yr old DS and a shy quite DD who is 5. Both love the school and are thriving there.

shepsheep Fri 05-Sep-14 16:16:11

me and DH were in a similar situation as Chiana. we moved back to London in 2012 from Dubai and settled in Wimbledon. DH and I had been in Dubai for over 9 years so we were at a loss with which schools to send DS and DD to. We had a look at Harrodian - very nice indeed esp for DD who is very art focused. We liked Newton Prep and Thomas's Clapham as well but finally we settled on Godolphin for DD and KCS for DS. Incidentally, we had next to no support from our school in Dubai - they did not want us to leave given the fees we paid them!!! - very unhelpful, but a friend of ours recommended us to go to a Schools Consultancy with a company in central London. they were excellent and really helped us finalise our choices, especially as we did not know what options were open to us. Now DH has another job offer in Dubai but we are DEF not moving back!!

ivpet Fri 05-Sep-14 13:43:53

Just forgot....please see latest Ofsted report for The Roche School-OUTSTANDING in all aspects!

ivpet Fri 05-Sep-14 13:42:13

Hello,I just joined Mumsnet as I saw bad comments about The Roche School.....I have two children there and I can tell you that all other schools are far down towards Roche.It is simply one of the best school.We live in Clapham and my kids are in Roche-Thanks God!School is like a big words to describe how my kids likes school....and not only mine.So whoever said to put Roche down on the list of good schools....sorry that is wrong 100%!

soundevenfruity Thu 21-Aug-14 08:47:05

Has anybody mentioned Hill House? It's non selective with brilliant results and coed. High percentage of expats so there is movement in the year so might have places in April. Plus it's a lot cheaper than others.The only catch it's not in Clapham but should be doable. I talked to somebody who takes their child there from Wimbledon so theoretically it shouldn't be a problem with absence of local friends. For that you can put them in one local after school activity.

Schoolsearchconsultant Sat 09-Aug-14 20:22:44

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Chiana Sat 09-Aug-14 00:49:44

thanks very much, KingscoteStaff

KingscoteStaff Fri 08-Aug-14 09:42:54

Chelsea run holiday football camps in Battersea Park that my DD went to from about 5 or 6.

Also, check out Bedhead Football Club - they train in Battersea and have girls' teams from U7, I think.

Chiana Fri 08-Aug-14 08:02:25

Have PM-ed you.

I certainly wouldn't mind getting the name of the club from you (via PM if you're not comfortable putting it in the thread). Barnes is a bit of a trek, but possibly do-able if there's nothing suitable locally.

Mind you, DD is only 5 and a half, so it's tough to say how talented she is at this age. We think she's good, but we're not sporty, so what would we know? She enjoys herself is the main thing.

Good to know re: Hornsby and getting on the waiting lists early.

soddinghormones Fri 08-Aug-14 07:05:15

Ps I'd love to know what your DH has against the Dulwich schools as they're all quite different in character

soddinghormones Fri 08-Aug-14 07:03:03

One of dd's friends plays football to quite a high standard (her dad is a coach!) - I think she trains at Barnes but could check the name of the club if you're interested

Hornsby do girls football

Unfortunately irisha is right in that many extra-curricular activities around here are hideously over-subscribed with long waiting lists so would be good to start getting your dd's name down on waiting lists before you move

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