Newstead Wood School, Bromley

(46 Posts)
JuliesMum Sat 21-Apr-12 07:08:04

My daughter is in Year 4 and we're beginning to think about some possible secondary options to visit during Year 5. We live in Bromley. I am a teacher, although I teach in Croydon so I know more about Croydon schools than Bromley ones.

We're hopefully in the catchment area for Langley Park which I've heard very positive things about. I think dd would get on very well there. She's fairly easy going and enthusiastic about things but knows her mind at the same time. However she is doing well in her class and has good levels so I'm wondering about the grammar school, Newstead Wood. I'd be interested to hear thoughts on this school because I've heard mixed reports on it, particularly about pastoral care and behaviour management. Reading between the lines in the last 2 Ofsteds I'm wondering if some parents aren't always as happy as the inspectors seem to be. Does anyone have any views?

maddiemostmerry Sat 21-Apr-12 13:17:01

I know many girks that have been there and very few that like it. Sorry.

Favouritsm and bullying seem to be the most common complaints.

The girls I know at Langley seem happy although some transfer to the boys for sixth form. Have heard good things about new langley girls head.

JuliesMum Sat 21-Apr-12 18:31:07

Thanks - that's interesting. I've heard stories about favouritism (or the opposite of favouritism!) too. A friend's dd goes there and from what I can tell her class seems to have been labelled the 'naughty class' because of low level disruption from some students that was left unchallenged for too long.

Haven't heard anything about bullying specifically. I guess that can happen anywhere but was it not handled well?

AngelEyes46 Sat 21-Apr-12 18:47:33

I live in Croydon and the reports that I've heard about Langley Girls is all really positive. A friend's (who lives very closely to Orchard Way) DD attends Langley Girls and is on the gifted and talented register and she says that the school is fantastic in supporting this. She's currently in year 8 and apparently this was the furthest that the catchment has stretched. But, she also has a DS who wanted Langley Boys this year, i.e. he is currently in year 6. They put Langley boys 1st choice and Shirley High 2nd - they got Shirley. However, they are 2nd on the waiting list so I think they have a very good chance in getting in to their 1st. Are you closer than she is? Don't know anything about the grammar school mentioned.

JuliesMum Sat 21-Apr-12 19:31:21

Good to hear more positive things about Langley, particularly about the G&T provision. We live in the other direction (Park Langley) and the local dc in our road and around us tend to go to Langley girls or boys. To be honest I think I like the idea of a good comp with strong differentiation above a superselective grammar.

But if anyone knows any more about Newstead it would be good to hear. It's still very early days!

mumeuro Sun 22-Apr-12 19:28:16

@maddiemm - can I ask if you know why most girls you know who attended Newstead were not happy? Were there reasons other than bullying and poor pastoral care? I have heard criticisms from a very experienced local GCSE and A'Level tutor regarding the quality of maths and chemistry teaching, and the same person advised against the school in favour of Dartford Grammar or Bromley High. DD has been getting very good NEFR VR and NVR scores and we live within the catchment area, but I'd rather cross Newstead off our list if there are serious, generalised issues.

maddiemostmerry Sun 22-Apr-12 19:55:52

I haven't heard about specific subject teaching being poor, although I have heard of some poor teaching generally.

From what I hear it's the kind of school where if your face fits you fine.

Have heard of bitching, mostly wealth related. Sixth form girls very competitive about clothing.

Pastoral care, poor.

Sorry that sounds so grim. I'm sure there are some girls there that love it, I just don't know them.

Mumeuro, have heard good things about Tonbridge Girls. Don't know much about Dartford. Have known girls at Bromley High and they seem to have been happy there.

mumeuro Sun 22-Apr-12 20:43:09

thanks maddie, funnily enough I met a girl recently who chose Tonbridge Girls over Newstead as she really didn't get a good feel for the place. It's a bit far out for us though...maybe we will go for the Bexley Grammars instead...

manicinsomniac Mon 23-Apr-12 18:31:40

I don't know it personally but two of my best friends at university were there. They would have left in 2001 so I don't know how much it has changed but they both loved it and were two of the nicest 18 year olds you could ever hope to meet. Both had straight As at A Level, had grade 8 on at least one instrument and, though they weren't sporty, had had plenty of opportunities there. And, more importantly, they weren't snobby or superior, just confident and happy.

Isn't it one of these super selective grammars though - top 5% not top 20% of something.?

mumeuro Mon 23-Apr-12 19:18:36

yes manic, top 5%, so tough, but hopefully not impossible!

mumeuro Mon 23-Apr-12 19:19:18

...and thanks for your positive feedback!

HandMadeTail Mon 23-Apr-12 19:28:48

Wow, I'm amazed at the negative reports!

My DD is in yr 8, and we are very happy with it. It is a school which suits confident girls who are willing to get involved in school life, so its not for everyone. (I did not even enter my second DD for the test, for example.) We have been delighted with the school, so far, although I realise we have no experience of GCSEs or the 6th form.

mumeuro Tue 24-Apr-12 11:44:52

glad to hear that, HMT! It sounds as though it's great for the right type of girl, as you say, which I suppose is fair enough! No school can suit everyone can it?

Claudia13 Tue 24-Apr-12 12:51:29

Hi HMT, would you mind telling which school you second girls goes to? It was great to learn about your experience to Newstead. I now know this is not a school for my girl who is not confident. TKS!

HandMadeTail Wed 25-Apr-12 09:02:37

My second DD will stay at Bromley High. If we hadn't been able to send her privately, I'm not sure what we would have done!

HandMadeTail Wed 25-Apr-12 09:04:12

Sorry, that's to Claudia.

mumeuro Wed 25-Apr-12 09:57:23

@ HMT - there is always Bullers Wood, or don't you live near enough?

Claudia13 Wed 25-Apr-12 10:54:44

Tks HMT.
That would be my choice if I could afford it also.

Mumtodds Thu 26-Apr-12 06:36:31

I'm really surprised at all these negative messages. My friend's daughter was at Newstead and was the happiest girl ever. She went there from Bromley High and had experienced bullying there. Come 6th form time, my friend asked her daughter if she would like to go back to Bromley High. She said she would rather go to Priory then Bromley High! My own daughter is there and both of us couldn't be happier. There was a case of mild bullying in her class which I reported. It was dealt with immediately and now my daughter and that girl are friends!

1DadsView Thu 26-Apr-12 10:27:45

My daughter is in her first year at Newsteads. I can see how it is not everyone's cup of tea. Your daughter must be quite well stuck together and self confident (I dont mean an extrovert - quietly self confident is fine) and well organised. They are intolerant of bullying in any form however relatively minor. Discipline is strict.

The school is very professionally run and many parents voluntarily contribute a monthly sum to the school to support funding - although this is in no way expected if you cant afford to.

Be warned they work them very hard indeed and there is lots of prep so its not for the faint hearted even in the first year.

Your daughter will in all likelihood be the only one from her junior school going to Newstead and will be at the top of her class. So you dont have any cliques at least to begin with and do need to be a bit brave making new friends.

Teaching staff are mixed as ever and often down to personality fit as to whether she likes them but most appear young and enthusiastic and relish, and are proud, to be teaching the brightest.

We investigated the Tonbridge Grammar school which has not quite as good exam results and entry is based on the 11 plus if you dont know is heavily geared toward mathematicians whereas Newstead has verbal reasoning (IQ) and English tests so you will get fewer maths 'geeks' and more language and humanities students in Orpington.

My daughter is doing very well indeed and loves it. Dont be put off by the buildings or the long queues on entrance examination day - just some of the hurdles you have to get passed. A demanding school but for all the right reasons I suggest.

mumeuro Thu 26-Apr-12 11:01:34

1Dad thanks so much for that, just what I was looking for and good luck to your daughter!

HandMadeTail Thu 26-Apr-12 20:15:59

Mumeuro, we might have been lucky enough to squeeze into the catchment this year!

But, what I mean is, I didn't really have to decide whether to sit her for bexley and Kent grammars, or perhaps to look at moving closer to Bullers, or something. There are good state schools nearby, but we didn't have to go down that route, so chose not to.

mumeuro Thu 26-Apr-12 21:19:26

ok, understand HMT, it sounds as though you have done a great job for both your daughters...hopefully we will do the same for ours!

daffodilly2 Fri 27-Apr-12 19:44:10

I'm pleased with NW. Have A Year 7 Daughter. Like all the activity days arranged extra to the curriculum - lively and stimulating. Lovely girls. Not all super bright just passed the exam.

JuliesMum Sat 28-Apr-12 12:09:35

Thanks for all the comments from people who've experienced Newstead. It's good to get a balanced view and hear some positive things about it from current parents.

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