bousfield primary school or hill house, any first hand experiences please?(18 Posts)
...this thread is not a question of private v state education but more of a specific school to school comparison please... Particularly from those with first hand experiences, whose children go/went to these schools
So we have the above 2 schools to choose from and our little boy is due to start this September. He is a late summer born, a bit (but not very) sporty, sensitive and happy in close familiar companies, at times shy, but not overly so, and above average for abilities. No special needs.
I'm keen for anyone who knows whether those schools might, or might not be suitable for my DS's character. How well you found the pastoral care, how nurturing, sensitive the schools are to individuals who may be quiet but still needing attention. I'm not so concerned about academics and just keen to choose the "right fit" for my DS, one that suits his personality...
Academically, Bousfield is better. PE, Hill House wins hands down. Art - both are good.
Thanks Kingscotestaff. I'm really reassured to hear bousfield is at least comparable with hill house academically. My primary concern is that the class size at bousfield is 30, hill house between 12-18. I'm worried my little quiet, sensitive boy might be lost in the crowd...
Which then makes me wonder -- what if he didn't settle in in the bousfield environment, might it be harder for us to move him elsewhere (to say Thomas's or another more nurturing private outfit). Or might the state school itself prejudice his potential later transfer - either due to academics or just the snobbery factor. (Of course I don't intend to change schools if all goes well, am aware its a huge thing for a little one to move schools)
Bousfield is massively oversubscribed (as I'm sure you know), so parents tend to be very supportive of the school and feel lucky to be there.
A Bousfield boy last year got the top academic scholarship to Latymer, 2 girls to St Pauls, 1 boy to Westminster Under, 2 boys to City of London, 1 to the Royal Ballet School! Plus, of course, a group to Holland Park and a group to Chelsea Academy. They win the Primary Cricket cup each year, too!
Oh, and don't forget the 11+ entry to places like Westminster Under, Colet Court and Kings are targetted at state school children - in the end the numbers may be in your favour at 11+ rather than 13+.
Thanks notfluffy - now that you mention it I distinctly remember visiting hill house and asking one of the boys (who was showing parents around) if there were bullying and similar issues. He started telling me quietly that there were, but a senior boy quickly nudged him, changed the subject and I never got an answer...
Thanks Kingscotestaff - gosh I didnt know 11+ entries to top private schools target state school entries, sounds brilliant! ... but why would they? To be honest I've been led to believe those places preferred intakes from feeder private schools. Perhaps I should seriously look into this...
And by the way i am so impressed kingscotestaff you know last year's exit results of bousfield in such detail! Maybe I should start gathering some comparables.
It's in their prospectus - destinations of the last 3 years of leavers.
Yes, 11+ into top 2 years of prep schools has been used for quite a long time to target sparky state school kids for the senior school. That way they can nab the boys with potential and avoid the more 'coached' candidates. The prep schools are then very good at catching the boys up if their French/Latin is a bit behind.
If you are lucky enough to have a place at an outstanding primary, I think there's a good argument for taking it up and then spending some of the money you're saving on extra input - learning an instrument, going to the theatre/art exhibitions, joining a sports club.
Yes I can see what you are saying kinscotestaff, also tending to agree especially since I would want my DS to go into private education at some point. Hill house doesn't prepare for 7+ entry and neither does bousfield so arguably they are on level playing field in that respect. Or I might be wrong?
Lol notfluffy I think its safe to say almost every Kensington mum knows the school you refer to - impossibly small catchment! I never understood until now why it is soooo sought after, so thank you for the insight!
I do really like bousfield in many ways. I just don't know if a class of 30 is too big given my DS's personality. But then again I did, out of ignorance, leave applications til too late. Even now I don't know of a private, academically strong ( boys only or co-ed) school that also provides for nurturing pastoral care in our area.... So if anybody has any views please share!
Hello bumpandbeyond! curious to know what decision you made for your son in the end and your impressions so far on either school. We are also considering Bousfield for Sept 2014 although no guarantee we'll be offered a place of course...
Dear mrsfrenhcy , last year I applied bousfield primary school.. My dd was not placed.. She was placed in our third choice ( marlh - draycott avenue)... My friend' s ds was placed bousfield. Since we are on the waiting list for that school , I frequently talk about bousfield... Unfortunately I have heart lots of negative things about the school... You should visit and talk with parents.. The worst thing about the school is that if is very crowded...
As an option you should think Marl primary school ... We are very happy with our school.. Although just 3 weeks have passed , we have seen great improvement in my dd... It is a really very good school
Hi Mrsfrenchy, We decided on bousfield. What can I say. Initially very sceptical and couldn't see beyond the brick walls and old looking square block. However. Very very very impressed and exceptionally pleased with the school so far. We felt this way right from the first day our little one set foot into the school. We now have absolutely no second thought whatsoever that we made the right decision - totally irrespective of money/school fees. At the beginning the school was just wonderful in settling the children (hardly any tears from any body!).They started structured teaching very soon after the first few days. Lots of sports, learning, play etc every day. The communication with parents are really good - already had one to one parent meetings and another one scheduled in a couple of weeks time. And loads of happy friendships made with children who all live so close to one another! I was initially worried about the ratio, about how my little one might get lost, but this is so far from the truth. My child has grown in confidence immensely and really enjoys learning. At school when it comes to teaching children, one teacher takes only 6-8 kids at a time, so a lot of personal attention is given and the little ones are bouncing out writing words doing sums. In terms of being crowded, I obviously can't compare to other schools but just go and take a look around and compare/see for yourself. I think it is one of the biggest primary schools in the borough in terms of how much land and space the children enjoy (and not that large an intake). There are 2 separate playgrounds with brand new slides and climbing frames in each, plus garden, a little pond, ampitheatre...
What are the negatives you have heard about Bousfield? I am interested, because I have two children at Bousfield, who are very happy there and are making huge progress, and I only hear positive things from other parents. So I am wondering what people don't like about it.
I have three children at Bousfield and can say, without any hesitation, that it is a wonderful school. Academically, socially and creatively speaking, it doesn't get any better than this school. While it is true that the catchment area is small and attracts very wealthy, foreign children, it also has an equal mix of 'everything in between.' THAT (plus the added benefit of being in the top 250 of roughly 15,000 national primary schools,) sets it head and shoulders above other local schools -both state and private. There are a fair amount of ex-Hill House children at Bousfield and an equal amount of ex-Redcliffe School nursery children who join the reception every year. If you are interested in the 'state vs independent' results, I suggest you ask Bousfield to provide you with a list of leavers destinations. You will find many students in Year 6 go on to the top independents of their choice. City of London, Westminster Under, St Pauls, Putney High, Latymer Upper and Godolphin are a few of the schools that feature regularly. *While the school is excellent, most parents wishing to go down the route of independent secondary almost always supplement the teaching with private tutoring. The school has a much shorter school day (finishing at 3:30pm) for the year 6's and it makes sense to give them a few extra hours to compete with the schools who continue to teach to 5:30pm. For what it's worth, my children are bright, happy, well adjusted and confident children who, in addition to being socially and academically miles ahead of some of our 'privately educated neighbours' can talk and converse with everyone. They have friends with million pound homes and others that live in humble accommodation and they don't discriminate between the two. Bousfield is an amazing school. It's only fault is that it does't have a secondary school.
I also would like to add that those parents who want to continue down the state school road post-Bousfield are not short of EXCELLENT choices for their children. Holland Park, Lady Margaret and Chelsea Academy take on the vast majority of Bousfield leavers. Those that look to send their DC to independent secondary school, never struggle. The choice, as a parent, is vast and the school keeps a very open mind with regard to each child. Children that are invited to the gifted and talented program, are encouraged, to explore all options. Of course, as a state school, it is assumed that the children will go on to feeder secondary state schools but at least a 1/4 go on to very reputable independents.
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