Bromley Bilingual School opens in Sep 2014

(69 Posts)
bonjourlondon Mon 23-Sep-13 15:08:14

Dear all,

This is to share this that I only discovered last week (apologies if already a well know information):

The Bromley Bilingual Primary School (due to open in september 2014) is taking applications for Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 now, closing date 15th january. It will be a free bilingual school in English and French.

A public/parent meeting is planned at 2pm Saturday 19th October,
The Lowell Room, Bromley United Reform Church, 20 Widmore Road, Bromley, BR1 1RY

I think this is an amazing opportunity for children and families. I'm posting this because I didn't find any information about it on Mumsnet and thought it could interest other parents on the Bromley forum. We've just applied for our son.


allyfe Wed 25-Sep-13 10:50:47

We applied too smile

casacastille Wed 25-Sep-13 10:53:50

I wish I lived around there...

bonjourlondon Sat 28-Sep-13 07:20:55


What year did you apply for?

You don't need to live in the area to apply at this stage when you apply online on the school site. This was confirmed by the school team, they deal with the applications this year for the opening next year.

bonjourlondon Sat 28-Sep-13 07:21:26

...That was Hello of course, and not Helly...

allyfe Sat 28-Sep-13 13:27:18

Bonjourlondon we applied for year 1, for our oldest. smile Not sure we will get in. I'm hoping they will extend year 1 to two classes (if there is demand) so that we stand more chance of getting in.

Noseynoonoo Sat 28-Sep-13 23:17:12

Are you applying for a school that has no confirmed location?

bonjourlondon Mon 30-Sep-13 09:08:01

Hi Nosey,
Yes the Bromley Bilingual School hasn't confirmed it's future location as they are currently looking for the premises they said. It should be in either BR1 or BR2 postcode though I have been told. There is a good chance that they could announce the future location at the meeting taking place 19/10. Are you interested?

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Mon 30-Sep-13 09:19:51

We are a few miles from Bromley. Does anyone know how competitive it will be to get a place / likely admission distance?

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Mon 30-Sep-13 09:21:15

I have a DD currently in Y1 and a DS due to start Yr R next year if that makes any difference.

allyfe Mon 30-Sep-13 11:33:22

GhoulWithADragonTattoo They are going to do 50% on proximity and 50% on lottery. That way, if you live further away from the school, you still have a chance of getting in. If you have a DD in Y1, then you would be applying for YR2 for her and reception for your DS. They will allocate the places for YR2 first (where there is probably less competition anyway), and if your DD gets a place, your DS will automatically get one via the sibling rule for reception. Does that make sense? Their website does have a lot of information, so have a look (I've read almost all of it I think :p )

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Mon 30-Sep-13 11:56:46

Allyfe - That's brilliant thank you very much. So it's well worth applying smile

MummyPigsFatTummy Mon 30-Sep-13 15:04:58

Hi can I ask if everyone here who is planning to apply for this new school is in fact bilingual at home? I am interested in the school because I would love DD to speak French as well as English, but I wonder whether it would be fair to her when we do not speak French at home and she is only able to speak a few words of French.

If lots of other children are in the same position it would be less of a concern.

allyfe Mon 30-Sep-13 15:49:31

MummyPigsFatTummy my children don't currently speak any French, and we only speak English at home. So, I totally understand your concerns! I am also a bit worried about that. In communications I have had with the parents behind the project, they are very much expecting not all children to come from a bilingual environment. It is still a bit frightening as a parent to commit your child to that, but at the same time it is such an amazing opportunity to become bilingual. I have a friend who is also very interested in applying and her children would be in the same situation - coming from a monolingual (English) home environment.

MummyPigsFatTummy Mon 30-Sep-13 16:22:43

Thanks so much allyfe. That is very reassuring. If a good proportion of the other children are in the same boat, then it would mean DD wouldn't be struggling compared to everyone else and, as you say, the opportunity to become bilingual is a great one.

I will definitely go along to the meeting in that case and find out more about the school itself.

Thanks again.

bonjourlondon Tue 01-Oct-13 13:49:39

We are indeed a bi-lingual family as i'm french but my husband english, so i suppose others are in the same situation and hope that their child can join.
Exciting indeed, and scary at the same time...
Fingers crossed

allyfe Sun 13-Oct-13 19:45:10

Just in case anyone was thinking of going to the meeting on 19th October, it is fully booked (I hadn't realised you had to book a place to attend). They only had space for 50 people. However, they are having another meeting on 23rd November. I think that you will need to book for that - the address is: (all of this comes from their facebook page).

MummyPigsFatTummy Mon 14-Oct-13 12:07:35

Oh no Allyfe. How annoying - I really wanted to go on Saturday. Oh well - thanks for the heads up.

allyfe Tue 12-Nov-13 11:02:34

MummyPigs - not sure if you are on the BBS facebook page, but they have announced the headteacher (he sounds fantastic) and the school site (it will be in the old DHSS building on Westmoreland Road, just by Bromley South station).

WildebeestH Tue 12-Nov-13 19:44:51

Allyfe - that's interesting news. It's really a little far for us and I feel like its slightly untested but I'm also interested in BBS.

allyfe Wed 13-Nov-13 10:32:20

WildebeestH I'm hoping that because the charity managing it know what they are doing, and that they are working with the Judith Kerr school in Herne Hill that it may be a slightly smoother start than some new schools. Although I there will be some teething issues. It just seems such an incredibly opportunity, not least because it isn't an expensive private school! How far away are you guys?

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 13-Nov-13 13:54:44

Thanks allyfe - sounds interesting. I saw the facebook page and while it is a bit out of the way for us (we are the other side of Bromley) it is not that bad I guess. We are coming to the meeting on Saturday anyway so looking forward to hearing more details then.

WildebeestH Wed 13-Nov-13 23:58:05

allyfe...we meet again...and as you now know, we're in Penge. We will outgrow our house within the next couple of years though and moving further out is one option. I do like the idea of a bilingual school but I worry a bit about whether it can be right for any child. I mean I have every confidence that my only just three old is intelligent and wants to learn but what if languages just aren't his thing? Or he misses out on something else because he's too busy trying to get to grips with French. Maybe I underestimate the capacity and flexibility of small people.

bonjourlondon Wed 27-Nov-13 14:11:28

Hello all,
I am french and my husband english, our son wasn't bilingual until he was 3 because we mainly talked in french to him. So we started to watch it and made sure we spoke in english to him as much as possible and he's now 90% bilingual at the age of 5. Children have an amazing capacity to learn and adapt and giving them the chance to be bilingual is an outstanding and amazing opening to the world, others, themselves, it's an intellectual, communicational huge help, and as a bilingual person myself i have expectienced that it only helps in life to be bilingual. Believe me, there is just NO negative to it. In the world we live in, what an amazing asset. We have applied for our son to join BBS next year so wait and see. As for the fact that it is obviously untested, one has to start somewhere. Given the amazing work already achieved by the team behind the BBS project, what was said in the meeting we attended, the profile of the Headteacher, I have every confidence that the aim for this school is to be excellent.

noramum Wed 27-Nov-13 15:05:07

allyfe, it is time for this building to get a new life.

We are a German household and DD grows up English as the outside world language and German at home. DD is 6 and speaks English first, German with some grammar problems. But all-together it is a great opportunity.

I must admit, I don't know if I would send her to a bi-lingual school unless it is a proper set up. From what I heard about the Judith Kerr school in Herne Hill with German only 1 hour a day, this is not enough to create a proper bi-lingual experience.

Bonjour: it should be your husbands task to speak English to your son. I refuse to speak English to my daughter unless we are in mixed or mainly English company.

bonjourlondon Thu 28-Nov-13 14:59:19

Hi Nora,
As the plan of BBS is to teach in English half the day and French the other half, only the English curriculum, that should be enough of both language to create the bilingual experience.
It is true that one should speak their mother tongue to their child, but it is usually recommended to develop bilingualism that the minority language (ie English in our case as we live in France currently) is spoken at home, which is why we spoke to our DC in English a lot.

annazarzyczny Thu 17-Apr-14 17:54:11

is there anyone who got the place at BBS?

I got a provisional place for my DC in y2.
Anyone else?
Does anyone else know when they will expend to Key stage 2?

annazarzyczny Fri 18-Apr-14 20:49:36

we get also provisional place for reception. I just wonder if there is someone else and what is your opinion about this school, as there is nothing to compare too.
my son got also a plce in 6th school on my list from the council, which i'm not entirely happy. now, have to decide what to do... not easy decision i must say
if there is anyone who would like to chat about it email me please

allyfe Fri 18-Apr-14 23:05:49

We got a provisional place for Y1. As far as I can see, a free school is essentially the same as an Academy, but with set up based on a group of parents, rather than the LEA, or someone like Harris.

I do have some worries about it, but I'm hoping that those will be answered between now and the school opening.

We met the Headmaster last week, and he was very impressive. One of the things he said was that he was very keen to set up a feeling of school community before it opens, so with lots of opportunity for parents/children to meet and to find out about the teachers/school.

Banned and Anna are bilingual or monolingual families?


annazarzyczny Sat 19-Apr-14 09:08:43

we are a multilingual family, polish/italian and ofcourse english. this is also one of my concerns, fourth language! i do love the idea of bilingual school, however not sure if we are not too ambitious here and that would be too much for our son...
i'm going to meet head teacher so i hope our idea will be clearer then
we also not live very close to the school (20min drive, or bus)

allyfe Sat 19-Apr-14 11:26:30

Hi Anna,
Wow smile One of the things I was worried about was my nonfrench speaking family managing with French, and about my daughter managing to do as well with her learning if she had to cope with French as well. But I was massively reassured about their identification of the crucial need for differentiated learning. It is obvious, but they are very much planning to cater the level of French to the need/background and knowledge of the child. As such, they are aiming for GCSE French level only (for written/reading - obviously spoken should be MUCH more fluent). I actually found that massively reassuring because it takes the pressure off in my view. At the same time, if they are doing well, then they will take it to a much higher level. For your son, I would imagine the spoken will come easily because of his language background.

The travel is also a major concern for us. We are less than 10 minutes drive away at 9pm at night, but during the day, with traffic, it could be more like 30 minutes+, and then drop-offs at the school could be really difficult. But with enough demand, they will think about a minibus because they don't want travel distance to be a hindrance. I am thinking that once we meet the other parents and families, it may become possible to lift share etc. as well. The problem for us is that we are in between Kent House and Beckenham Junction train stations (15 minutes walk each way), and not on a bus route to Bromley South. So transport is not straightforward!

I do think it sounds like it will be a very exciting school. It will be really interesting to see who the teachers will be too.

Ally x

We are multilingual family but my my dc aren't bilingual. We live a bit far away from the school, I will drive or take the train.

But I have one older DC in Y4. So I am not sure how it will work out for us.

My only concern is if the school doesn't expand to KS2 and have to change school again.

It is such an amazing opportunity so I don't want my younger DC to miss out.

allyfe Sat 19-Apr-14 18:46:54

Banned the school is going to go up to 11, so it won't be just KS1. They just couldn't open all years at once. So I don't think you need to worry about that bit.

annazarzyczny Sun 20-Apr-14 12:52:44

we live close to lee green, where the way to school would be with really heavy traffic. there is also a bus. for now we need to consider all pros and cons really. it would be good to know each other and maybe found someone living close or on the way.
the main things for us is still the question if 4 languages are not too much?!

Thanks Ally.

The same here weighting pros and cons.

allyfe Sun 20-Apr-14 19:22:32

I'm hoping that meeting other parents/children, finding out the class size, if everyone will already be French speaking, finding out where families are living (and how the transport thing is going to work/if there is scope for the minibus option or lift sharing or childminders) will all help us to decide. In principle, I get keener and keener each day. I love the idea of my children being bilingual smile

Apparently there will be another newsletter out this week, with some details/suggestions for getting parents together etc. I still have to persuade my other half. He isn't a French speaker and is a bit worried about the logistics.

NomDeClavier Sun 20-Apr-14 20:06:11

Is there no French curriculum input at all?

allyfe Sun 20-Apr-14 20:14:19

NonDeClavier as far as I understand it is very much national curriculum, but presented in a very themed way and with a real focus on projects which cover all aspects of the curriculum, and with a focus on creativity, critical thinking skills and internationalism (none of which I associate with the NC - and I don't mean any disrespect there to teachers, only the very fact based requirements of the NC).

I don't know anything about the French curriculum - what would you consider to be French curriculum input? Just curious smile

NomDeClavier Mon 21-Apr-14 10:19:00

Most bilingual schools incorporate material from the CNED or cours sainte Anne into their curriculum. For French children or those looking to enter the French system they would need to be up to speed on French handwriting, mathematical methods and French history too.

It also makes me wonder how well prepared native French trained teachers are to teach the NC, or whether the teachers are not native speakers or not trained. But this thread is the first I've heard of this school so I'm going to do some more research smile

allyfe Mon 21-Apr-14 18:35:38

NomDeClavier the teachers all have to be NC trained. The Head is French and he said that he himself had been surprised at the number of native French NC trained teachers. But I don't think the deadline for applications for teachers has closed yet, so we won't know the actual teachers for awhile.

Worldcitizen1 Thu 24-Apr-14 21:19:22

Hi, I've received a provisional offer for reception. I'm just wondering whether anyone else is coming from Orpington way? My son doesn't speak any French, he has done a few words at pre-school.

annazarzyczny Thu 01-May-14 08:08:50

Hi worldcitizen,
Did you meet the headteacher already? What are your feelings about this school?

Worldcitizen1 Fri 02-May-14 21:18:19

No I'm meeting him tomorrow. I think the bilingualism is fantastic if it's implemented in the right way - but as it's a new school it's hard to know what it'll be like in practice. I'm a bit worried about the building works and the place where it's located.

allyfe Fri 02-May-14 22:09:59

I'll be interested to hear what you thought of him Worldcitizen. I was talking this evening to another provisional reception parent who had met him. We asked similar questions about the location smile. Hope it goes well.

I've decided not to accept the place for DD 2. It would have been to difficult to get there with DD1 in Y5 and my DS in preschool.

Good luck

Worldcitizen1 Sat 03-May-14 15:53:32

It went really well, such a friendly person. Everything looks like it's going to plan. They're now recruiting UK trained bilingual teachers. During KS1 they'll be learning to talk French if they can't already, with no formal French reading or writing - I think this is best as it could get confusing learning to read in two languages. They'll be following the national curriculum with the addition of French everyday and an emphasis on music. They are keen to build a strong community - they want to organise some social events so the parents and kids can meet up. The building work is supposed to be finished by mid August. Phase 1 is focusing on the first 5 classrooms.

annazarzyczny Mon 05-May-14 13:57:54

hello again, worldcitizen, what about transport? what are your options? are you going to drive to school?


Worldcitizen1 Mon 05-May-14 18:56:25

Yes I'll probably drive especially as they're so little. Not sure where to park though.

GirlFriday1975 Thu 08-May-14 14:56:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

allyfe Thu 08-May-14 15:13:40

Thanks for that post GirlFriday. I've tried to find out thoughts on CfBT but without much luck. It is really helpful to have some idea of questions that should be asked of the Headteacher regarding the set up of the school.

Joneshouse Wed 18-Jun-14 23:05:50


We have just been offered a year 1 place for our son, however it seems the site will not be the DHSS building in Bromley South? Does anyone know anymore about the location of the site and if the plan is still to eventually move to Bromley South.... Prahaps some of you may have attended the recent meeting. Really confused need some helpsmile

Hooliesmoolies Thu 19-Jun-14 10:11:54

Hi Joneshouse smile We went to the meeting. The temporary site is where Princes Plain Primary school is. They don't actually have a permanent site at the moment - apparently Westmoreland Road is not big enough now the school will be 3 form entry of 30 children per class. They are looking for a site within central Bromley, so their criteria is a school that is within a 1 mile radius of the Westmoreland Road site. There were parents who were talking about car-pooling to be able to get to Princes Plain. The site at Princes Plain looks lovely, it is just a long way from us. Where abouts are you based?

Joneshouse Thu 19-Jun-14 21:52:24

Hi thank you for your reply we are between Bromley North and shortlands! We looked at the site today which I agree should be fine but as you said too far especially with morning traffic ......big dilemma as we would prefer our 1st and 2nd choices but have been on the waiting list for a year!
La Fontaine sound like it could be great but not having a fixed future site worries me along with potential teething problems

pipandpop Thu 19-Jun-14 21:57:01

Hi Joneshouse & Hooliesmoolies, we're in a similar situation - we have an offer for year 1 place but the temporary site is so far away from us. It's difficult to know what to do when the permanent site is still unknown. Did they give any indication at the meeting of when they'd decide where the school will be permanently based?

nancy75 Thu 19-Jun-14 22:04:57

I live in Bromley but DD is already at school so won't be looking for a new school, i do wonder where they will find room for this school, from my understanding they didn't get planning for the DHSS building (probably a good thing as parking and traffic would be horrific). I take it they are looking to use an existing building? the school does sound very interesting

Hooliesmoolies Thu 19-Jun-14 22:06:14

Hi Joneshouse and pipandpop smile. We also have a yr1 place. They weren't totally exact about when they would know, but they were pretty sure they would know before September. I think we could only manage it if we could car pool with people. We just couldn't do 5 days a week. In case you are interested, there is a (prospective) parents facebook group. I'm hoping I can identify some parents close to us on there.

pipandpop Thu 19-Jun-14 22:16:20

Thanks Hooliesmoolies - do you have a link to the facebook page? I just did a search but didn't find it.

Hooliesmoolies Thu 19-Jun-14 22:17:56

Does this work...?

la fontaine facebook

pipandpop Thu 19-Jun-14 22:19:16

Yes! Thank you!

weegiemum Thu 19-Jun-14 22:20:37

I live a long way from Bromley (though I lived there when I was 6!).

Our dc are in a long-established bilingual school in Scotland.

It's brilliant, but it is a huge amount of work for pupils and parents. Our dc were in P3 (Y2) before English even popped up on the curriculum.

They've done fantastic but it's not the easy option!!

Hooliesmoolies Thu 19-Jun-14 22:23:41

grin Loving the Bromley/bilingual connection weegiemum

One of the things I'm a little bit worried about is exactly that weegiemum, that it will be very hard work to make it work - particularly initially. Which is one of the reasons the fact that it is so far away is a bit of a concern. It will be hard enough without a big commute.

Joneshouse Fri 20-Jun-14 13:02:12

All I know after speaking to the head teacher is that the temp site is for 1 year and that the new site will be within 1 mile of Bromley south train station! but there seems to already have been a number of changes from the original proposal; name BBS to La Fountaine, location and CFBT to step academy. I have looked more into step academies and they don't seem very good ?

Hooliesmoolies Fri 20-Jun-14 14:49:56

I was actually a little concerned about CfBT. There have been some significant issues at Judith Kerr (including the head teacher leaving and some other members of staff going). I'm actually quite pleased that they have swapped Academy sponsors. I did quite like the name Bromley Bilingual, it had a nice ring to it. I may be totally wrong, but I get the impression that the headteacher may get more autonomy with the Step Academy partnership. But the location is a massive issue for us.

pipandpop Fri 20-Jun-14 20:53:05

We can't make it to the picnic tomorrow but if anyone else goes and finds out more about possible permanent sites then I'd love to know. Or indeed any other interesting info about the school that's not on the website/parent pack.

I'm really surprised that parents are expected to make a decision about their child's place at the school without knowing the long term location of it, particularly if you need the school to be accessible by public transport. If the school moved a mile north or west of Bromley South then great, we're in BUT if it goes in the other direct then it becomes completely non-viable for us.

Maybe we'll decline the offer and then see if we can get a place via the waiting list once the location is known. So frustrating as I do really like the idea of having my children educated there.

DaisyLouB Sat 21-Jun-14 23:27:45

We were at the picnic today, lots of families there, had to leave early so didn't get a chance to chat to many however the issue of location seemed to rear its head again. Apparently we will find out later in July if the council have found a permanent location however the site near princess plain is lovely, very spacious but it's the uncertainty of what will happen from 2015 onwards that concerns me greatly....

NS18 Wed 09-Jul-14 16:36:41


We have recently applied for a place at La Fontaine but didn't get an opportunity to attend any of the meetings/meet ups.

Have any of you accepted a place at the school and if so, do you have any information about after school care being offered by the school?

Responses will be greatly appreciated as we need to make a decision soon but need all the practicalities in place before doing so.


DaisyLouB Fri 11-Jul-14 21:49:27

They will have a breakfast club I think from 7.30am and then each day there will be after school clubs and activity leaders will provide on site, childcare until 6.30 perhaps 7pm to fit around work commitments. All offers are provisional so you get to also keep the school place offered by the council and can make your decision in the coming weeks. Hopefully there will be an update in regards to the permanent site. Feel free to email the head teacher Sebastien, he should be able to email a sample list of before and after school care provided. He is very approachable and in my opinion a great asset to the school.

NS18 Tue 15-Jul-14 11:57:07

Hi DaisyLouB. Thanks for your reply. Much appreciated. I will email the headmaster and get some more details.

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