RICHMOND - Richmond Park Academy

(118 Posts)
kylesmybaby Wed 03-Oct-12 22:11:42

can any parents let me know about this school. i think it must have been pretty bad in the past just from way HT spoke. its really close to me so am thinking of it for ds. HT said something about 'when we took in the kids that hadnt been to school for a very long time'! something just didnt seem right at open evening tonight. thanks

Evageorge Thu 03-Oct-13 21:17:58

The best thing to do is do your own thorough research on this school, which will lead you to decide whether it is right for your child. Anecdotal evidence is sometimes partial and not always helpful. Have a look at www.how-to-choose-a-school.org. It attempts to be impartial, and will guide you through to make the right decision, I think.

Elibean Fri 04-Oct-13 13:43:33

sorryI'mlate we may have dds at the same primary smile

I have several friends who looked at Christ's and RPA, and others, and the ones who like Christs also like RPA and vice versa.

I so agree about the faith of the community getting behind a school. The RPA Head is a bit marmite-like, people love her or really don't, but I think at Secondary I'd go on what she's done and what she's likely to do next, rather than personality.

We've still got time (Y5) and are looking at some indies as well as state, but in terms of state options - for us, it probably boils down to RPA. So I'm watching this space and keeping my fingers crossed.

One4TheRd Sun 13-Oct-13 22:41:26

OK...so we have been to see RPA and DD really liked the look of it and has decided she wants to take the plunge and join after half term! It's heartbreaking to see her so unhappy at her current school when all she wants to do is get the most out of her education with a good bunch of friends. If any of you have Y8 kids at the school, please ask them to be a friendly face to any newbies starting after half term! ;)

anniesw Mon 14-Oct-13 22:13:50

Hi One4 - I will certainly pass that message on to my DD. I am sure there will be many friendly faces

One4TheRd Tue 15-Oct-13 11:45:19

Thank you...she is bricking it somewhat, but very excited...I feel like I'm in the movie Sliding Doors!!!!

kinka Tue 15-Oct-13 18:28:21

wow = how people get things WRONG
My son just started there and its fab - he loves it and the teachers are wonderful - met the year head once and he remembered my name and was able to talk fluently and knowledgeably about my son! The OFSTED report was GOOD not "just satisfactory" as one person said.
The headteacher is great and caring - please don't believe those who say its a poor school - its not

kewmommy Wed 16-Oct-13 12:38:44

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Elibean Wed 16-Oct-13 13:47:51

Gosh!

That sounds like a different school to the one several of my friends have described :-0

One4TheRd Wed 16-Oct-13 20:45:44

Anniesw...I need you to help me work out the above post!!! It really does sound like kewmommy is talking about a different school to the rest of the thread. Surely if you feel so strongly about the things you have mentioned you would have had meetings with the school??? What an awful experience for your DD. I would have been down there like a shot...The response to contact I have had so far has been amazingly quick...I'm talking replies at 7.39 in the morning!! Latin was definately an option according to the HT, and today at home time the kids I saw leaving were calm and happy! I do know the saying "You can't polish a turd!" But I have really got the impression RPA has turned itself around. The school you are describing is the Shene of the past....supposedly! Now I'm sweating....

kylesmybaby Wed 16-Oct-13 20:56:40

"Most of the pupils comeback from the next door estates" .... And you know this how ???

anniesw Wed 16-Oct-13 21:47:15

I do not recognise the school you are describing and do not believe this account. (DD in Y8) Why would you post on here so freely and not take all this up with the school?

Just to pick up on a couple of points -

Humanities is a huge strength for the school for example and the male history teacher is fantastic and produces excellent results from a standard comprehensive intake.

The school do not sell most of the uniform - only a few branded items, and the winter coat is warm, durable and good value. Is it such a bad thing that the school has high standards and checks up on them each morning? Kids have more respect for teachers if the rules are reinforced rather than loosely applied. Perhaps your DD hasn't liked being reminded of the uniform rules but I think I speak for most parents when I say that it is no bad thing for our kids to learn how to follow the rules. It is a good lesson for life but also helps to make for a better school for all students.

And the headteacher is there for everyone to see/meet. I have never known one to be so open. Much more so than you would get in most schools.

anniesw Wed 16-Oct-13 21:55:33

If anyone has been concerned by the long post above from I suggest you also look at this thread on the local Richmond website - several RPA parents have been posting there too.

http://local.mumsnet.com/Talk/local_richmond_upon_thames/1867675-RPA-or-Christs

JWhizz Thu 17-Oct-13 10:21:05

Kewmommy's comments have greatly saddened me especially at this crucial time when other parents are considering school choices. To any other prospective parents I'd like to say... I am a very happy parent at RPA and cannot begin to praise this school and the staff enough. I know many other parents who are just as happy with the hard efforts of all the staff and the children at RPA. I know my child is extremely happy and very well looked after on all levels. Mrs Kirby is an amazing head, she is warm and approachable, with a fabulous team around her. I cannot believe Kewmommy would have failed to address such concerns in the appropriate manner, and has chosen instead to air them on a public forum?
I am a parent who is passionate about our local school of choice. In fact I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to the RPA team for all their ambition and hard work. I'd like to congratulate RPA on its overwhelming success with their latest GCSE results, and for continuing to perform at such high standards during the building work which is beginning to look very smart. The teachers are what drew me to this school and they have proven to be inspirational to my child, and instrumental in my child's phenomenal success.

Elibean Thu 17-Oct-13 10:52:57

Phew! That sounds more like what I've heard smile

There are always a few unhappy ones in any community, and I really hope that Kewmummy has taken up her dissatisfaction with the school and gets the support she needs.

charliescatmother23 Thu 17-Oct-13 12:29:00

I agree JWhizz - my children are very happy at RPA. Didn't see Kewmommy's remarks so can't comment. My kids are certainly being stretched by some brilliant teaching.

One4TheRd Thu 17-Oct-13 13:15:31

I'm glad to read your responses! This could be the single most important decision I ever make!! Can any of you tell me anything about the streaming as I have never experienced it before. Is there room to move about if you progress or are finding it too advanced? I'm not sure if I agree that the CAT's are a good indicator or not. I look at some of the NV reasoning and see hieroglyphics, yet I wouldn't consider myself a dummy!

anniesw Thu 17-Oct-13 21:24:48

They assess frequently - so there would be scope to move if DD was in the wrong set

loulou63 Fri 18-Oct-13 08:05:20

Hey, there's always one, isn't there! My daughter is in Year 10 being challenged, stretched and inspired by a brilliant teaching staff and on target to achieve excellent grades in 10+ GCSEs (fingers only slightly crossed!). I know many parents from a range of year groups, sets and social backgrounds. I work in a local primary so get regular updates on ex pupils progress at RPA and not one child or parent has expressed that they're any less than thrilled with the school. Lesley Kirby is a legend - Fact!!
P.S I live on the local estate, don't have 2 heads, an ASBO, wouldn't harm a fly and never, ever say 'innit' - am I letting the side down?!

JWhizz Fri 18-Oct-13 12:21:52

By no means loulou63 are you letting any side down! You are championing excellence and challenging perceptions of narrow minded stereotyping...well done, and every success to your very bright daughter.

One4TheRd Fri 18-Oct-13 13:08:40

Hahahaha...Thanks for that loulou63. Am also estate fodder!!! It is a friendly, safe environment that I am looking for most...the parents here seem to tick that box so I'm sure the kids will too!

One4TheRd Fri 25-Oct-13 21:56:32

Well, they are sending Latin homework to us for dd to do over half term and bring in with her on her first day!!!! I just knew I was going to like this school!! hahahahaha (She is not so impressed!) So not what I was expecting!

One4TheRd Sun 10-Nov-13 12:45:17

Just to say that my daughter has had such a wonderful first week! I haven't seen her this happy in a while. RPA were very much expecting her and had a timetable and a buddy waiting for her when she arrived on day one! Academically I can't pass judgement just yet but she has enjoyed all of her lessons so far. I think she is a little bit like a new toy at the moment but I am hoping the friendliness continues!

Sheenee Mon 11-Nov-13 11:07:06

That all sounds good - do let us know how she gets on with things - my daughter is in year 5 and the general news I've heard (both here and through people I know with children at RPA) has been positive.

Elibean Mon 11-Nov-13 16:28:19

One4, I've recently been chatting with some friends who have been hearing great things about RPA from ladies they met through their Church group with dds there. One in Y8, in fact! I hope your dd is as happy as theirs clearly are.

One of these mums apparently said that she feels that at the moment, due to their need to promote themselves amongst the local families, the more able children are getting an extra-huge amount of support (targets regularly reviewed, academic support etc). She didn't sound as certain about SEN or lower ability groups, but I hope they get some good attention too.

We're still looking at/preparing for a couple of local indies, but in my heart I'm hoping RPA is still sounding as good next year - and that dd chooses it for herself.

Do you think there is a case of keeping the hype up and glossing over anything that could be negative?

I am thinking in terms of bullying, behaviour upon leaving school etc.

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