Ibstock Place School(34 Posts)
DD has been offered a place at IPS, which we all LOVE. However, we are slightly out of the usual intake area in Clapham. Not really too far away and the distance is not really an issue for us. But as we do not know that many people there we do not have an inside track. Any informed opinions out there to help us?
What kind of thing did you want to know? We have been offered a place too, as have lots of ds's friends, but we are possibly going elsewhere.
The children & their parents that I know there are very happy with it.
I just want to know lots of other people are happy! That there aren't any major problems or reasons why the school should be avoided. Reassurance I guess. We feel it's right for our daughter but don't have an ear to the ground in that area.
Yes, it's hard isn't it when there isn't a local groundswell of opinion?
Parents I know are happy enough with it to send their younger dcs to join siblings currently there. All the children I have spoken to who are there are really enjoying it. The only comments from parents present and past is that the extras are expensive - but then they tend to be in a lot of schools.
So no, no major problems or reasons to avoid the school as far as I know!
The only thing I have heard is they are very anti significant special needs. Wont take statemented kids even if bright. So if you have a younger child with SN its worth discussing this with them. I guess mild dyslexia is OK
Thanks all. No school is perfect but on the whole I hear good things. Did hear not great for SEN but that doesn't affect us.
What are your other options? I am turning down my place at Ibstock as have today been offered first choice state school that does better academically than Ibstock. Ibstock is trying to become an "academic" school, but I feel this is at the expense of the pupils, and the 3 hours a night homework would be be too much, as it's an hours commute away in traffic...
Its never been 3 hours a night homework. Thats been massively exaggerated. I have boy yr 11 and girl yr 8 who've been there since yr 7. Both went as they didnt get into other schools but its ended out for the best (as school selection often does). Pros of Ibstock: lots including very happy nice well behaved kids, lovely green space with nice new buildings & facilities, good food, loads of extra curricular clubs etc, location if you get to bike through the park each day. Cons: slightly high teacher turnover & a few below standard teachers (only 2 or 3) who need to leave!; location if you dont get to bike through the park each day. Priory Lane is a dark lane for kids to walk down in the winter if you miss the minibus to Barnes station. And if you are a poor unfortunate driver parent stuck in Priory Lane traffic in the winter you'll wish you werent!
bikerdude - thanks for those pros and cons - very useful. I'd heard the "masses of homework" rumours and wondered if they were true. Do you mind me asking - roughly what sort of level were your kids on leaving primary school. I have a DS2 who isn't going to get into the school his brother goes to as it's too academic, but I think Ibstock could be perfect for him. He's good at maths but not so good at english - still above national average though.
Seemingly everybody has to do GCSE French there. May not be a problem but seems slightly odd.
We really liked Ibstock Place. Is the senior school good academically? Not looking for 10 A*s but also not 7Cs. Children seem to love it which is important. Otherwise it's difficult to know if we're falling for the fabulous setting, facilities and extraordinarily beautiful new building.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Can I thank you for kindly sending a detailed and interesting reply. It is very useful and informative. The fact that you are there, adds much weight to your views and comments. Thank you once again.
I have three children at Ibstock Place School, all of whom started at the school when they were small, with the eldest now taking exams. I consider them to be extremely lucky to be there, not just because the facilities are amazing, with lots of green space, but because of the quality of the education they are getting, the family atmosphere at the school and the relationships they have with other pupils and their teachers. It is truly co-ed as so many of the children have grown up together from the prep school. As a former teacher myself, I can recognise a hard-working Head and staff, with high expectations of themselves and their students. The quality of the teaching and pastoral care is very good indeed - the teachers really know the children and every child is discussed individually on a regular basis - there aren't many schools where each tutor group has two tutors every morning, as well as a Housemaster. Pastoral care is also about knowing what is going on in the pupil body, supporting parents in parenting their child and helping to keep children on track - it's not just about listening to adolescent whinging, although that has it's place and our school nurse is the perfect person. Like the other academic schools in South West London, it is horses for courses. The curriculum is academic, the children are expected to work hard, do their homework, be organised and try their best in lessons, as well as participate in all the extra-curricular and House competitions, so yes, it is exhausting sometimes. They are offered breakfast and tea and supervised prep till 6pm every day, so great for working parents, it offers a long productive day. It does have an academic agenda, but the place is oversubscribed, so it is clearly doing the job that most local parents want it to do. Highly recommended - if you can get a place there.
I recently visited Ibstock so have the full information pack to hand. As a pupil, blinksumday only refers to GCSE results in French. The GCSE data I have here is very impressive: English Literature 91% A and A* and Mathematics 82% A and A*. French is actually only 92%, still very impressive but not accurate. I can only assume blinksumdays view from the inside of how the students perform is based on tests done in school and fails to recognise how well he or she and the other students fare against the nation? (I presume a school cannot lie about its exam results in a publication handed to visitors.)
This thread caught my eye because I also have children currently at Ibstock and can genuinely say to any parent currently doing the rounds of open days etc. that it is well worth considering.
I have been consistently impressed by how well the staff have got to know my children's individual strengths and weaknesses, how they keep me in the loop as to what is going on without breaching the children's confidentiality and how they are encouraging each of my children to want to succeed for themselves and not just for their league tables. I feel that the staff really 'get' my children which is incredibly reassuring to me and makes it much easier for us all to be singing from the same hymn sheet as it were.
Both children are on track for impressive exam results but of more importance to me is that they are turning into pretty decent human beings and I can see that once the normal teenage tantrums are done with they are likely to be quite good company.
Obviously I'll take some credit for that, but school and their peers are so influential at this age that the bulk of it should probably go to them. My children's friends are generally all courteous, mature, community minded and seem to be really enjoying their school days which is wonderful to see as a parent.
The facilities at Ibstock are second to none and the standard of drama, music and sport is consistently high which I'm sure is in no small part due to the dedicated staff and the enthusiasm they transmit to their pupils. There is definitely the opportunity for every child to find their niche.
We are certainly not an uber wealthy family but have always found Mrs SJ to be very warm and welcoming. She is a Head who very much has her finger on the pulse of her school and is justifiably proud of both staff and students.
I appear to have got a bit carried away but I know how tricky it is to make the right decision when all the school brochures are similarly glossy so I hope this helps someone!
Here are some of my observations about Ibstock.
Our family has recently moved to London. By chance, I would say, we got place at Ibstock and we do love it! The atmosphere at school, children and teachers are amazing. Facilities are brilliant and everyone is friendly. Pastoral care is good too.
As English was daughters second language, we were advised to have some private lessons twice per week which were quite helpful.
I would say the curriculum is very academic. For instance, in Year 1 children study multiplication! That is absolutely unbelievable. Sometimes it is hard for daughter to understand and get the idea but she tires.
Teachers put stress on reading as well. I think most of pupils in our group have strong reading skills as they devote much time to it.
This school is the best for us. I think it is like with the wedding gown. Once you have liked the dress, you should stop trying on others. The same is with the school.
Sorry for my word order and mistakes)))
The Head is a bully, I wouldn't touch it!!
I am so glad to have found this thread. We are currently debating what school to chose as ds has offers from Ibstock and Emanuel, our two top choices, and we honestly dont know what to do.
Ds fell in love with Ibstock when we went to Open day when he was in Y5, he has kept saying "that will be my secondary" each time we have gone past! Other children in his class hold offers, and he feels he wont be "all alone". We know people with children in the Junior school and they are happy.
He knows nobody at Emanuel, and we know no Emanuel parent.
We live near Ibstock, he can walk or cycle.
However, my concern is that it is "too posh" with too many "celebrity parents". I worry that my son will be a) starstruck or b) resentful that we are not so wealthy.
We feel that the parents at Emanuel are more "our kind of people" with hard working parents who are not extremely affluent.
Is my perception about Ibstock correct?
My DS also fell in love with Ibstock when we did the rounds last year. This September he started in Year 7 and is absolutely loving it. I can understand your concerns about the uber rich parents, but there are very rich children at every private London day school. Ditto celebrity families. My observations are that Ibstock families are a broad range, with most firmly in the middle (like us). Having just been to a PTA event, I can report many working Mums which is also a relief, but also found the SAHM were not scarily fabulous and glossy which was my private insecure fear. My son has found a great gang of friends who live close to us and the school, and there has been no tension between the new intake and the children who have moved up from the junior school. Mobile phones are banned during the school day and there are strict (but not scary) rules which the children know they have to follow. The HM may be a marmite person, but she is raising standards at the school and has ambitions, which we see as a good thing. The two things which convinced us were that firstly, IPS is local, and secondly, when we walked around, we saw happy confident children who were polite and enthusiastic about their school. PQ - whatever you choose, good luck, both are good schools. By the way, I have NC to protect DS from embarrassing mother syndrome.
Totally get why you would avoid "embarrassing mother syndrome". Do you find that he gets a good mix of extra curricular? I am concerned that it is very football oriented. Ds is into cricket and basket ball. He also loves singing and drama. Is there scope for this? What time do they have to arrive to school?
Do many children normally move up from JR school? How big are the classes and how many classes per year group?
Very good mix of extra curricular - lots of clubs after school. DS is very into music - so far this year have been to orchestra/big band concert, Year 6 music event, Jazz FM workshop, and a beautiful carol concert with a choir formed from pupils and staff. Drama again seems very popular with clubs and school plays. Lots of children DO move up from juniors but doesn't seem to be a problem as DS has made a wide selection of friends from the junior and other London schools. Maybe more of an issue for mothers wanting to make new friends. I've been told the way to do this is to volunteer for the PTA which is very sociable. Lots of PTA socials - coffee mornings, pub evenings, school fairs etc. I work so don't really have time. DS has been playing rugby this term and there are several school teams in each year so everyone who's interested gets a chance to play. Cricket is summer term (plus cricket club)....not sure about basketball...but the school has its own onsite swimming pool, and sports grounds, plus Richmond Park so lots of different sport taught. DS has developed more of an interest in all things sporting since he joined, which has to be a good thing. The school is organised in houses, so in home study time DS is in his house group with children from years 6-10 which has helped him integrate with the older pupils who are very sweet to the new ones. There are around 100 pupils in year 6, and they are streamed post Christmas for many subjects. Classes of around 20. School starts at 8.15, finishes 3.50/3.55 but pupils can be at school from 7.45. There is also free study sessions after school, plus food is served (goes on your bill obviously) so works well for working parents. Clearly no school is perfect, but we are very happy with our choice.
tiger, thanks for all this info. What about the uniform? Is it expensive? How many school trips per year? (And what do they cost?) I see the website says lunch is included in the fees, but music lessons are charged separately. Do you have to pay extra for clubs? What about singing tuition? Son plays cricket and basket ball, keen on tennis. What is the scope for these sports? He is also keen on both Spanish, German and Mandarin. Can he do all these in addition to Latin? He also wants triple science, choir and drama. He wants to do it all...
I am beginning to think that there is a massive difference between walking 15 minutes to school for 8.15 and having to catch a train and walk 15 minutes on the other end to be at school for 8.00.
Instead of being a parent to a child who attended IPS, I attended myself........many years ago.......and I LOVED it!! To this day my time from 3-13 years is often talked about now to my 4 children and now 3 grandchildren. I felt proud and was very happy there. The small classes, Interested teachers and lots of outside activities were always fun. it taught me confidence and we all excelled in something. We were treated individually and I, too had many "famous" contemporaries but we were all equal and I wasn't fazed by it. Lovely surroundings, great curriculum and I formed lifelong friendships. Lucky you, Good luck!
Uniform not particularly expensive at first. No blazers for years 7&8. Blue shirts and skirts/trousers M&S or twenty odd quid from school shop. Also regular secondhand PTA sales - lots of us use them - not seen as anything other than common sense. Sports kit no more expensive than any other senior school, but there is a lot at the start! Contact the school shop via website and they'll fill you in. Very friendly. There is a ski trip for Year 7 but I'd say the majority aren't going. Other UK trips - ditto. Doesn't seem to be any great pressure so far. After school clubs are free....I assume music tuition is charged to your bill - we do ours out of school anyway. Mandarin is compulsory at the start, as is Latin. French GCSE also compulsory. Other languages offered at GCSE - Ibstock loves its languages! Being local to the school makes a big difference when they do after school activities or want to see friends.
We are leaning towards Ibstock now. But I hear such mixed things. Some say they are really pushing the children. Others say "if you are looking for a pushy school, this is not it". I guess that really is totally down to differences in the children?
Hi - apologies if I'm butting in as I don't (currently) have any children at Ibstock. It just seems to me that gut instinct is the most important thing here. No school is 100% perfect and you will always here some negative things from some parents, so when it comes down to it if you have a 'feel' for a place I think that has to be your guide. For what it's worth I've met people who aren't happy with the middle school, but parents and DC at the senior school always seem very happy with their choice.
I've caught onto this thread late, but would like to add that I think Ibstock Place School is a wonderful choice and winning a place, particularly to the senior school, is a golden opportunity for any bright child. The seniors at IPS would say how amazing they think the school is, how much they get on with their teachers and how 'cool' it is. It is in beautiful surroundings. I wish I had gone to the school myself!
Hi there, we are currently living overseas and considering a move back to London. My daughter has been offered a place at Ibstock in year 4 but I am worried about the community side of things and playdates after school etc. Does anyone know where the families live. We are thinking of Richmond but is that too far away?
Hi - there are lots of Ibstock pupils in Barnes (SW13), but I imagine there would certainly be families in Richmond too. It's right by Richmond Park, so an easy drive away.
Should also add, in case anyone is going by Pistachio's experience, IPS has changed an awful lot in the past 10-15 years.
When I was a student at Froebel College, over the road, it was the Froebel School - very child centered, creative, etc. It has grown, but more importantly has a Head who was brought in partly to make the school more lucrative and more sought after. I wouldn't say it was Froebelian anymore, tbh (went to look round the primary for dd a few years ago, and left disappointed).
lomusyd we were formerly expats and Ibstock has been a well trodden path into UK education for many expat families seeking something akin to an International School in ethos. Plenty of Richmond families.
However as elibean has highlighted the current Head has put the school on the trajectory of being a more traditional academic indie, and there are plenty of other schools that do that job, there may be another that would suit your DCs better. The reality no longer matches the image in expat circles. In particular the Head is not interested in the school providing anything beyond the bare minimum of support for those DCs with Learning Difficulties (in stark contrast with more selective academic schools), and actively discourages pupils who have a diagnosis staying / joining. You may not think that will be an issue for your DC but frankly that does not inspire much confidence in their educational strategies for nurturing the potential of individual pupils.
copthallresident - I completely agree! I have just looked around the junior school and was very disappointed and will not be sending my children there. It seems very very pushy with children streamed for maths from year 4 or 5 I think! they will also ask children to leave at 7, 11 and during the senior school if they feel they are not capable of straight A*s! I think they are trying to climb the league tables but at the expense of the children. If your child is super bright and you are looking for a high pressure environment then this may be the school for you but if you want a small, happy school where the aim is to bring out the best in every child (like me) then i suggest you look else where.
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