Good private primary schools in Greenwich/Blackheath
Does anyone have any feedback on the Pointer School or the Steiner School in Blackheath? Or any other school in the Greenwich/Blackheath area? I don't come from this area originally and am at a bit of a loss re: feedback on school's here. Any positive or negative feedback much appreciated.
I lived in Blackheath many years ago and heard good things about Pointers but I think it only goes up to age 7 - not 100% sure. ExP knows the head and we did consider it at one point. Don't know anything about the Steiner school sorry. A friend sent her DS to Colfes but it didn't work for him - she told me a few unpleasant stories about it. Her DD ended up going to the small girls school in the village which she was happy with and her DS went to a private school in Eltham which worked out well for him. I know the state primaries in Blackheath had a good reputation - the one on the Cator estate, sorry don't remember the name, although I'm sure there was a thread on here where it said it had gone down hill (you might want to check that as I could be wrong) - maybe due to a change of head. And the other state primary John Ball I think was also considered good but I'm talking 10 years ago now so who knows. All Saints in Blackheath is supposed to be great but hard to get into. I think there's a catholic primary in Lee that's supposed to be good - St Winifred's? I could be making that name up but it rings a bell for some reason. Meridien primary in Greenwich I think is on the up from what friends tell me and Millennium not so good although useless head from what I've heard has now left. Facilities at Millennium were excellent though - lovely, newish school. If you're thinking of secondary as well I've heard Thomas Tallis is going down (just a friend in the area's view) while John Roan is improving but it was in special measures and I'm not sure I'd send a DC there. The secondaries in Greenwich are terrible, or used to be (worst performing borough I think at one point). Haberdashers Aske Deptford way is good (boys) but hard to get in to. Some friends are happy with Kidbrooke. HTH.
Haberdasher Askes, Hatcham (Deptford) is for boys and girls!
All Saints is a CE school and you need to be an active church member or live incredibly close to get in. Same is true for St Winifred's which is Catholic.
SE13Mummy - I stand corrected! I don't know why I thought it just boys so checked the website and it is co-ed although school years 7-11 are single sex for individul classes although they mix together for other stuff which is why I thought it just boys. I'm glad I found that out - it's in my head to possibly move back to London for work. ExP lives fairly close to the school. Sorry to hijack the thread but any idea if it is possible to get in after the normal admittance year of Yr 7?
I went to see Pointers for DS (it does go all the way up to the end of primary). I found the headmaster to be odd and I thought the ethos was a little over-religious. I know several people who have sent their DC there and they are very happy with it.
I also know a family with a child at the Steiner school and they are happy with it, however it is a different style of teaching so it might be difficult for your child to move back to mainstream for secondary if that's what you intend. I was very tempted by it because it's more active and the academic stuff doesn't start until they are older which would have suited DS, but I feel there can be problems with the Steiner philosophy and they also request quite a lot of parental input to the running of the school which would have all fallen to me as DH is a workaholic.
Have you looked at Blackheath Prep, and Blackheath High school? Or in New Eltham St Olaves??
Thank you all - much appreciated.
Sallyssss - No - haven't looked at Blackheath Prep or High School yet so will do that.
Tabliope - We are near bottom of Maze Hill so Meridian is a possibility state school wise.
Bran - I really like the idea of the Steiner school but we are likely to move in the next few years and I am a bit worried about how easy the transition would be to a non Steiner school.
SE13Mummy - We are active church members but not the right church for All Saints otherwise it would be perfect. St Winifred's probably a bit too far away as I don't drive : (
If you live close to All Saints and attend another 'churches together in Blackheath' church you stand a reasonable chance...
posted before but think it got lost! If you are at the bottom of Maze Hill v unlikely to get All Saints (as SE13 mummy said needs to be affiliated church for priority) or Christ Church in Shooters Hill or St Winifreds. All v oversubscribed. Meridian is improving but Head is leaving. Blackheath Prep top school (imo) but selective even at 3 with waiting lists! there is also Pointers, Heath House, Colfes and Blackheath High for private options.
it is a minefield isn't it so much for choice!
If you would like an indie school for your children then I would apply for Pointers and Blackheath Prep, based on where you live and the fact that you do not drive. Bear in mind that your children will have to climb up the hill in all weathers, and if they are anything like mine, expect moaning.
If you are considering state, then you are in catchment for Merdian. This is a school with a very mixed intake, with children from both the owner occupied Victorian houses behind the Trafalgar Road and the estates. Children call their teachers by their first names, and there is no uniform. You may be in catchment for Halstow, but this is not probable. If you are Catholic you could also consider Our Lady of Grace, which would be a bus ride away.
Halstow, at this years intake - last offer was approx 270 metres away!! bottom of maze hill approx 800 metres. v expensive houses for sale and rent in that 270 metres! good school though but not top of state league tables in the Borough now.
Thank you all - lots of food for thought there.
I guess I had better just roll up my sleeves and enter the fray!
I'd really like a school with a uniform and reasonable discipline as DS1 can be a handful!
Will definitely have a look at Blackheath Prep though given there is a waiting list that could be problematic.
Will check out Our Lady of Grace as well as I didn't know about that one.
louplet - there will be waiting lists for most of them though?
blackheath prep they do an entrance interview around the child's 3rd birthday - so for kids born autumn 2007, those interviews are in the next week or so.
Blackheath Prep looks like a no go as I spoke to them today and the waiting list is so long they said the chance of DS1 getting in was "remote"
Our Lady of Grace a bit too far away as I don't drive.
Will try for All Saints but seems unlikely as our church is in Greenwich not Blackheath so we will probably be too far down the criteria.
Too far from Halstow.
Will try for Meridian as reasonably close to our house.
Have booked an interview (!) at the Pointer School...
Am I the only one to think all this is a bit ridiculous? I really just want to be able to send DS1 to the nearest local primary school and know it is good
have you tried phoning the council to see which primary school you would be allocated? if it is meridian then go and have a look?
all saints - pretty sure that they have a large enough pool of kids from their own congregation/siblings that they don't have to offer outside that - is it too late to switch your church?
pointers - will be interested to hear your feedback?
blackheath prep - i would persevere unless they have closed the list? even if he doesn't get in for nursery, places do come up in reception and throughout the school - if he does well in the interview he will either get in or be nr top of waiting list?
heath house - phoned them yet?
We are definitely going to visit Meridian and also St Joseph's. Really not too keen on no uniform and calling teachers by first name though(Meridian). Pretty sure we would be allocated Meridian as we are only 0.13 mile away. St Joseph's also likely as again it is very close and we attend St Joseph's Church next door to the school.
Will probably give up on All Saints as we don't really want to change our church as we have a lot of history there (we got married there and DS1 christened there and DS2 will be shortly) but will try for Our Lady of Grace instead as it looks like the bus journey there is not too bad though obviously not ideal.
Will let you know re: Pointers but interview not until 4 November!
Am going to put DS1 on waiting list for Blackheath Prep anyway as you suggest. They said that would be ok. I guess miracles do sometimes happen
Have not tried Heath House yet. Where are they?
So, Heath House is no good as the reception class (16 pupils) for next year is already full and 30(!) children on the waiting list...
OMG it is a jungle out there! I never realised you had to be quite so ruthless and/or organised to get into a good school
Hi Louplet - would be really interested to hear your feedback on the Pointers interview.
We are also looking into it and have been invited for an interview (DS only just over 12 months at the moment so we are probably a little bit premature in looking, just panicking when we hear people talking about the lack of good schools in the area!)
Am a bit worried about the "evangelical" outlook and not sure that we'll measure up.
We have been involved a little bit in the Steiner school (Acorns which is for younger children). DS loves the atmosphere - it's very calming and nurturing - but I share some of the concerns on this thread about the transition to mainstream schools at a later stage, so prob won't be sending him to the kindergarten/school.
Hope the interview goes well for you.
Thanks. Will definitely post thoughts on here after the big day! One of our neighbours has a son there and seems to really rate it so we will see.
Having been to see Blackheath Nursery and Prep, I would definitely recommend that but it is likely you would have to go through the nursery to get into the main school and even the nursery is selective! I have my fingers firmly crossed though the chances of there being a space for DS1 next year are remote unless lots of existing nursery pupils leave.
We also took DS1 to Acorns and loved it but just don't feel we can take the risk on Kindergarten knowing he will probably have to transition to a "normal" school a couple of years later.
Having seen the nightmare out there I don't think you are being premature at all. It is just sad it is like this . All I really want is for DS1 to be able to go to the nearest local school and know it will be good.
How did you get on at Pointers?
Hope it went well!?
It was a bit of a strange experience to be honest. It really did feel like an interview. We are still waiting to hear the result. However judging by what the headmaster told us you are definitely not looking too early. He suggested we ought to get DS2 registered now as at 5 months he is a better bet than DS1! We hadn't even thought about DS2 yet!
Essentially they are completely full in the nursery and reception at the moment. We are waiting to hear if they will accept us onto the waiting list.
The headmaster is certainly a character. His office is full of intriguing and eccentric items including an old working juke box and military memorabilia. It sounds like they also definitely have a preference for practising christian families (denomination not important). Having said that he did point out that they do have some non-Christian children there; they are just not allowed to opt out of the religious part of the assemblies.
It also sounds like the family interview is an important part of the process.
Essentially you have the interview and then have to send in a registration form (plus £50 fee) for them to consider you. They then get back to you to let you know if you have a place, are being put on the waiting list or neither.
We are currently waiting...
Will keep you posted
I went to Blackheath High many years ago.
The Junior is now in the old senior in wemyss road.
No idea what the schools are like now though...
Thanks so much for the feedback. It sounds interesting to say the least!
I really hope that you have some success there (if you still want it after having seen it!)
We are going for the interview this month so will post thoughts back here. I'm a little nervous
Fingers crossed that you have some luck. Please keep us posted!
I can't believe it. DS1 is being offered a place at the Pointer School! I guess the interview went better than I thought.
Fingers crossed for you too.
Just wondered if you have had your interview at the Pointer School yet and if so what you thought?
Sorry it's taken so long to reply
That's fantastic news!! I'm really pleased for you.
We did have our interview. It was, as you say, odd!
We weren't there that long - he was very busy with other interviews. He didn't really seem to have the time to talk. We were told that there is a waiting list. However, he was quite insistent that we apply - so who knows!? I guess people must drop out along the way as they get places elsewhere.
I'm so happy that you got a place though! I guess you are going to take it? Let us know how you get on! x
No problem. Sounds like a similar experience. He was pretty definite that they were full at our interview but firm that we should apply and we got a place! So, it is worth applying if you are interested. There is another thread on Pointers that I started if you want to see some more feedback like I did.
We have accepted the place : ) It is for reception in September next year.
Hope you had a great Christmas. Good luck with whatever you decide to do re: schools.
now I know why old school friends have moved away from Blackheath as their kids have hit school age.
I went to BHS senior only. Sister went to junior and senior, other sister junior only.
Brothers went to dustbins (St Dunstans)
Absolutely. It is a jungle out there! I was brought up in Welling and went to Chis and Sid and was just totally unprepared for how Machiavellian and/or organised you have to be to get into a good school in Greenwich.
Just a quick one! Louplet - I wanted to let you know that we got a place! How odd - especially when he said it was full. Perhaps that is just a ploy to make you want the place more!
Good luck with starting school this year.
Happy 2011! x
On the religious thing -
Just wanted to let you know that we interviewed for nursery at Pointers last year and told them straight out that we are not religious, and we were offered a place.
And contrary to popular opinion, All Saints confirmed they hold about 30% of their places for non-churchgoers.
We've visited Pointers, Blackheath Prep, Blackheath Girls, John Ball, All Saints and Colfe's and after going in with the firm pre-conception that Blackheath Prep is the Holy Grail I ended up surprising myself by liking Blackheath Girls and John Ball the best!
Hope this helps!
Hi Becky - would be interested to hear your reasons why you liked Blackheath Girls and John Ball - I never went to see John Ball but the website was impressive (and its results).
Let's see - John Ball - we went there not really expecting to like it that much, despite its brilliant Ofsted results. However I was pleasantly surprised by the very friendly atmosphere, the children we talked to on the tour were very well mannered and well spoken and told us how much they loved their school, and the teachers and headmaster were lovely and approachable. I like the fact there is a mix of kids there from different backgrounds, experience of this I believe is important for children (having raised my three now grown up stepchildren in the rarefied and I think in the end unhealthy environment of overprivileged Palm Beach.) However, I thought the actual school was better overall than the nursery (which is separate to some extent) but I still thought the nursery was very good.
On Blackheath Girls - although it has a great reputation, I had never really seriously considered a single sex education. I added Blackheath Girls into the mix last, just as a way of covering all bases. And I loved it! The atmosphere in the school is just lovely, tons of little girls all running around happily, chattering away to us, very nice building and facilities, the friendliest teachers and headmistress you could ask for. No daunting 10 task test (like Blackheath Prep!) just an informal interview. I really couldn't fault it.
thanks Beckypops! I am kicking myself that we did'nt go to see John Ball and apply (although I'm certain we are out of catchment) - we may have got in .... never mind, very happy with our choice (private) but would be nice not to have to pay!
Toothypegs Congratulations! Maybe we will see each other at the school gate someday
Beckypops That is very interesting. Thank you. Unfortunately for us we are massively out of catchment for both All Saints and John Ball and were looking for DS1 and later DS2 so Blackheath Girls not an option . Really useful feedback though. I liked Blackheath Prep (we were too late to apply for DS1 to be assessed) but was interested to hear later that some parents had actually turned it down in favour of Pointers.
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Very interesting Yennefer, thanks for info on Pointers! Would you recommend anywhere else instead?
Just wanted to post as a mother of two children at Meridian primary school (y2 and y4). I really recommend this lovely school - the new head has made some significant changes, whilst hanging onto the lovely ethos and friendliness that the last head left behind. It's very musical (some of the parents are academics at Trinity College of Music) and creative, and has a very good reputation for parent-teacher communication. This is not a school where you just drop off at the door, and have no idea what goes on inside! You are very much encouraged to get involved and become part of the school community. My kids are really happy there. Do go and have a look round if you're in catchment.
Has anybody got any recent experience/thoughts wrt Blackheath High? We have already accepted a nursery place there for September and I would really appreciate any comments from other parents. We loved the feel of the school and the warmth of the staff but were a little underwhelmed by the older girls who showed us around compared to students from other schools we have visited.
Many thanks in advance!
We're going to nursey in sept too! I preferred it to bh prep.
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