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Need some help choosing a school(9 Posts)
Hi Guys. Have been reading some of the threads with great interest re schools in Ixelle. My daughter is 20 months and we have just been through the process of applying to our local maternals for a start at the end of the year. So far we have had the following responses:
We have been offered a guaranteed place at De Wimpel on Rue Washington.
We are number 51 on the list for Tenbosch - so no chance of maternal, but maybe primary.
We also looked at Institute Montjoie and really liked the feel of the school and apparently there should be space.
I'd be grateful if you could let me have your opinions/experiences of the above 3 schools - pros/cons. Will really help us make the right decision for our daughter.
where exactly do you live?
What languages do you speak? Does your child have any French or Dutch at all? For de Wimpel, you might be obliged to speak Dutch, you also might find only 1 or 2 children max in the class actually speak Dutch. I was on a bus yesterday with a group of 40 4 year olds from a Tervuren school, I was delighted to hear only Dutch and fluent Dutch too from these children, at a guess a few of them were immigrant children who would not have Dutch at home. I live in a very French dominant area of Brussels, where the Dutch schools have a significant majority of French speakers, when I come across them passing the house or one the way to the pool (I live next to), I hear mainly French and rarely Dutch, when out of the way of their teachers. It's less than ideal for learning Dutch. Just saying, Dutch in Brussels, unless you make a big effort to reinforce the Dutch, in many of the schools which have mainly Belgian French speakers in them, can be a very hard option. If Dutch at home, I'd jump at the chance of a place at de Wimpel. I do know someone whose son is already there, they speak Swedish and English at home and the mum speaks Dutch.
If you're near to Tenbosch and de Wimpel, I'd imagine you're near Ma Campagne too, but there might be no places left there.
There is a new branch of JJ Michel opening in St Gilles in September, if you're north of Tenbosch, it's near Pierre Paulus playground.
If you're south of Tenbosch, then I'd look too at Longchamp.
Many thanks Natation for your response. We actually live in Chatelain and are no more than 5 minutes from both de Wimpel and Tenbosch. My daughter's Mother is Dutch so it will be spoken at home. I'm English and we both speak French. Of the three schools we are considering we really liked Institute Montjoie but know nothing of its reputation. We know that Tenbosch is extremely difficult to get into, but don't really understand why and de Wimpel was our least favourite of the three because of the way the school felt, but assume that it is difficult to get into and the level of teaching is excellent (is this the case?). Can you tell me a little more about Ma Campagne?
Ooh what a hard choice. Are you likely to stay in Brussels? Our children are in a French school and several children have passed through maternelle and are Dutch speaking at home, have been sent to French school so they can achieve mother tongue level fluency in French, then have transferred to the Flemish system for primary. So this would definitely be a consideration if I were in your position. If looking for mother tongue level in both languages, I'd be tempted to French first and Dutch second, continuing through primary and secondary in Dutch.
I have no idea why Tenbosch schools are so popular, other Ixelles communal schools are not, I know someone near there who hasn't even managed to persuade the school to allow her to put her child's name on the waiting list! You're looking for acceuil class though and those places are very limited. 1ere maternelle would be much easier to get at Tenbosch.
Have you looked at Ma Campagne? I know a couple of happy parents there, but it had its enrolments already and is also very popular. Don't know much about the school, other than it and Tenbosch seem to attract those further west in St Gilles looking for a better school, I'd guess the social mix there is better than in some St Gilles schools. Its secondary is very popular - well for the area anyway - so it has a knock-on effect for primary and maternelle.
Are you talking about Montjoie (rue Stanley)? There is a mumsnetter unhappy with the school but I know of a family who did have their child there who was happy. It's really subjective sometimes, some people love their school, other parents at the same school really dislike it.
As for de Wimpel, well there would only be one thing putting me off there and that is the French speakers! Maybe the school has a large enough contingent of "others" that it's not so much of a problem. But as your child already has Dutch at home, it's not so problematic for you. If you send me a pm, I'll see if the contact is happy to pass on her email.
we do like the idea of a French maternelle and then transfer to the flemish system at primary level. I'll send you a pm re contact at Rue Stanley as that is in pole position at the moment and would be good to hear other people's experiences - however, understand that it is subjective. Many thanks again for taking the time to respond to my questions, much appreciated
Our daughter is 15 months and we're also looking for maternelles in our area. The nearest one is Tenbosch, so we're keen for her to go there. I'm not clear on the application process though - I phoned up and they just said to phone back in the second week of Jan for admissions next Sept. How did you manage to end up 51st on the list? What are their admission / list criteria, do you know? If she doesn't get into Tenbosch, will think about other places, maybe Ma Campagne or de Wimpel?
Ellkell77, at a guess, Mickey68 lives further away from the school than the children offered places, priority also to 1050 post code, possibly places were offered to the children already 2.5 years in September 2013.
You keep yourself informed about Tenbosch enrolment procedures, you go into the school in September and check out exact dates. Given that your daughter will be 2.5 years in September 2015, you really have to watch the enrolment dates very carefully, with one of the eldest children born in 2012, you have a certain advantage over others. Look at all schools in your locality.
de Wimpel is a Dutch school, the 2 Tenbosch maternelles and Ma Campagne are French, the Flemish system has a centralised enrolments procedure with priority to Dutch speaking parents. It's now become much harder for those who do not have Dutch priority. Don't expect to get a place at de Wimpel. There were not enough places in Brussels this year in the Flemish system.
And it is worth making the point that there are restrictions in moving from French speaking maternelles to the Flemish system. I think you need to do 1 or 2 years in Flemish maternelle.
You need to have completed 3rd kleuter in a Flemish school to move to lagere (primary) OR you need to have fluent Dutch. Either way, your child is tested for their proficiency in Dutch. As Micky68 has a Dutch partner, I don't think it would be an issue for their child.
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