Holland Park School, 'Good money after bad?'

(23 Posts)
LeotheKat Wed 14-Nov-12 12:38:59

Thanks for the info

yumskimumski Wed 14-Nov-12 08:06:28

I think it's a short piece of comprehension, a short VR and a short NVR but honestly, it's not demanding compared to some of the circus skills you have to demonstrate to get into grammar and private schools. And they are at pains to put the children at their ease on the day, according to DS.

LeotheKat Tue 13-Nov-12 12:56:19

Another quick question if anyone can help? what does the banding test include, I have not been able to find any info relating to the content but I presume VR?

LeotheKat Mon 12-Nov-12 13:08:18

Many thanks

Welcometothemadhouse Sat 10-Nov-12 22:17:38

LeoTheKat if you look in the secondary transfer booklet on the RBKC site it tells you how places were allocated on offer day. The furthest last year was 1.45 miles in band B. But I understand things can change, particularly in bands A and B and the children that actually take offers might eventually be further away (this info isn't published though). You can also call RBKC and they are able to tell you how far you are from the school by their measurement system. The number's on their website

yumskimumski Sat 10-Nov-12 09:54:18

And there's the 10% art aptitude intake which is determined by an exam, and isn't dependent on distance between home and school.

CecilyP Sat 10-Nov-12 00:45:46

I don't know what the maximum distances are, but if your child attends primary in RBKC he should get priority over a child who attends primary outwith RBKC, even if that other child lives nearer to the school. The fact that you live in Westminster is not relevant and, since the Greenwich ruling, it is illegal for schools to give priority to children living in the LEA where the school is located.

LeotheKat Fri 09-Nov-12 12:33:31

Does anyone know, in recent years,what the max distance home-school for admissions was? my son attends a primary in the borough but we live just over the border in Westminster ( just over a mile)
We have namded HP on our CAF but I am asuming we are probably just out of the catchment area.

BeingFluffy Sun 28-Oct-12 19:56:51

They do publish the GCSE results - all the RBKC schools results are on the RBKC website. Judge for yourself. In my opinion a comprehensive school whose catchment includes some deprived areas is never going to be 100%. The school caters for all - not just the academic.

Why does it matter if children are bi-lingual? I understand that various studies show that children who speak a different language at home, find it easier to learn foreign languages. My mum is not a native speaker of English, but speaks better English than many who were born here.

BTW my DD went to a private school until year 4 and then to one of the most middle class state schools in the borough. She settled in well at Holland Park and has very nice friends. There are quite a few children who come from private schools and they don't seem to have experienced the problems that this girl evidently did.

JoanBias Sun 28-Oct-12 19:16:17

To be fair no matter how good it might be (and I have no idea) it's possibly a shock to the system after a private school. 64% of students are speakers of English as a second language for example.

And I think it's obvious that the 91% is a load of bollocks.

Why do they not publish the actual GCSE results?

gingeroots Sun 28-Oct-12 09:31:06

Sadly there is no London wide system of banding that ensures all schools get a balanced intake at year 7 .

Far from it . Academies ,Foundation Schools ,Free schools can all set their own admission requirements . And all compete against eachother to get the best intake and highest results .

What we have is an increasingly fragmented system where more and more schools are their own admissions authorities with their own admission criteria ( within the recommended framework ) .

In our London borough all the secondaries are their own admission authorities - some schools have 5 bands , some 3 ,some none .
The schools with banding all require applicants to sit their own tests ,none rely on primary school assesments or SATS results .

None make it clear what form of banding is used - criterion ( where the banding is designed to " achieve an intake representative of the local authority or national ability profile " ) or norm ( where it is designed to achieve " an intake representative of the ability profile of those children applying to a school or group of schools. " ) .

Farewelltoarms Sat 27-Oct-12 15:55:40

Here here last two posters. That was one of the more inane op's threads I've ever seen. So offensive. The fact that they're obliged to take children who live locally. The horror.

Floralnomad Sat 27-Oct-12 11:11:55

TBH your daughter as an educational / behavioural expert at 11/12 years old shouldn't bother with any more schooling ! She should go freelance sorting out the problems in all the London comps . I'm sure they would appreciate her input.

CecilyP Sat 27-Oct-12 11:06:27

They rave about 90%+ GCSE grades A-C, but that is a fraction of the student population of 1300!

Possibly 9/10!

The actual figures for 2011 are 77% achieving 5 A - C including English and Maths, or 55% if equivalent qualifications are taken out. Which is not unreasonable for a comprehensive. So BTECs are very much featured in the league tables eg by taking 55 from 75! Also 100% of higher ability children on entry achieve 5 A-C including English and Maths.

The rest will enter for BTEC(most of whom my daughter says have behavioural problems/ anti social behaviour issues). The league table looks less convincing when you analyse the figures!

For a child who has only recently entered the school aat Y7 and left soon after, your DD seems to know an awful lot about the older children. Not all children who are more suited to BTECs are badly behaved.

Because Holland Park School is currently a maintained comprehensive school, (it will become an Academy in 2013) they are obliged to take pupils that fulfil distance to school criteria etc. So the school 'selects' internally pupils who they want to enter for GCSE's by setting a banding test for children entering the school. Those whom they choose, are placed in the top banding groups, and the rest are entered for BTEC subjects only! BTEC does not feature in league tables! Also my daughter says the top band groups (around 6/8 groups of about 12-15 children in each class), have scheduled timetables, lunch time and breaks that are different to BTEC students!

I think you have completely the wrong end of the stick about the banding system, which is a London-wide system intended to ensure all schools get a fair mix of children on entry to Y7. The banding test is set when children are still in their primary schools. Whether children are more suited to BTEC or GCSEs will be decided at the Y9, long after the original banding test.

The 80 million pounds spent on a new building has the full backing of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council, so local opposition is silenced! This is really a waste of money!

As far as I am aware, the cost of the new school has been financed by selling some of the land that the old school was on, so represents good financial management.

It is now half term and we have managed to get our daughter back in her old private school, although it means waking up a little earlier to take her to school. My daughter is very relieved she will not be going back to Holland Park School after the half term break!

Well, good for you.

Welcometothemadhouse Fri 26-Oct-12 23:53:40

Thanks BeingFluffy. That's a really balanced view of HP.

It's heartening to hear that the SLT are responsive to issues (I've also heard this from elsewhere too) as they seemed so robotic and compliant at the open day... Whilst not always the case, I like to think that if you're an engaged parent your child should be able to do well anywhere.

We both actually liked Acton High the most, although it has a bit of a fearsome reputation - definitely seems to be on an upward trajectory. We have though decided it's slightly too far; but it will still go on our list.

Most of my child's classmates will probably go to BDA, his best friend is moving out of borough. Most of his other friends are from activities outside school and either at QPCS, or going to various catholic schools so that's not really an issue for us.

Your insight to HP has helped reassure me and so at the end of the day I think we'd feel ok with either HP or BDA. Just need to make the final decision of which to put first!

BeingFluffy Fri 26-Oct-12 22:35:07

I did feel the same way on visiting it initially Welcometothemadhouse, I thought is was very corporate and very male. My DD put it last on her list. The school is very much formed in the Head's image and while he has brought it up from a failing sinkhole there are things I am still uncomfortable with. I feel there is a strong element of narcissism in the senior leadership team, I also dislike the fact that most of the leadership are male, though most of the teachers are women. While saying that I have found the members of SLT that I have encountered are extremely able and pleasant to deal with on a one to one basis.

I did not consider Burlington although it is the nearest school to us because I went there myself when it was a grammar and absolutely detested it. I am also an atheist as are my children and they refused to consider a church school.

From the behaviour I see on the local streets, the opportunities on offer at both schools and of course the new facilities, HP wins on all counts for me.

In my experience of HP, any problems we have had have been dealt with swiftly and courteously. The SEN department is also very good. The majority of teachers are very able indeed and exceptionally committed as they are forced to work extremely long hours.

It is difficult to define the ethos. They certainly are a pushy school and compliant behaviour is valued as is academic ability. It is true that they do idolise certain high flying kids. It does make me uncomfortable even though my child has been a beneficiary of this from time to time but is by no means one of the very small number of "golden" children.

My child is generally happy there and has a lot of very nice friends. To be honest I would go with your instinct and take into account your child's views. Where are their friend's etc going to?

Hopefully someone will post on here with views about Burlington Danes!

Welcometothemadhouse Fri 26-Oct-12 21:23:42

Holland Park really does seem to polarise views. People either rave about it or talk about how terrible it is.
My son now wants to put it as first choice as he thinks the new facilities will be amazing (they better be at £80million!) I always used to want to put it first as I want a secular school. But I left the open morning feeling unconvinced. It was all a very corporate and a very good speech by the head but what he failed to do was talk about the children. I left with no idea about the ethos of the school or the pastoral side of things. I worry that if you're not a high flier you might sink. Burlington Danes which I was always against because it's a church school and I hated when I visited last year really impressed this year and it was all about the kids. We've got a good chance of getting into both and with the countdown to deadline want to get it right!

yumskimumski Sat 20-Oct-12 17:06:34

Well said, BeingFluffy. DS has just started at the school and so far we have nothing but admiration for it. We're especially grateful for a school in the borough that doesn't require a parent to subscribe to a particular religion to get through the door. My DS doesn't recognise the picture you paint of different lunch breaks and timetables, except insofar as the different bands are taught by different teachers, and the Art Aptitude intake attend one extra art session per week. But privateandstate, please share with us where it all went wrong for your DD and why you so despise the school - or is the clue in your name?

BeingFluffy Sat 20-Oct-12 15:53:25

I am sorry but I think you are talking a load of crap. My DD is now in year 9 at Holland Park and I do not recognise what you are going on about. My DD has been in the top class of the top band since she started but although the initial bandings are based on the admission test, the bands are reviewed at the end of the first term of year 7 and regularly after that. ALL students do some GCSEs i.e. maths and English, but the school is comprehensive so some do sit Btecs as well because they are not very academic.

What you say about banded classes is absolute bollocks. There are 30 kids in all my DD's classes (she will do two GCSEs this year at the end of year 9). There are less kids in the lower band classes, because they need more individual attention. They all have the same breaks etc. It is absolute rubbish that most Btec students have behavioural problems that is completely and utterly untrue. The money for the new building comes from the sale of part of the school site.

Why is is a "waste of money" to spend money on a state school? Most people in RBKC support the school because it is now very good and the current Head has transformed it. I have lived in Kensington all my life and wouldn't have sent my child there 10 years ago and I was worried about DD, but on the whole I am glad she went there.

I am sorry if your DD did not like the school but telling lies to justify your decision is not on. The school is "comprehensive" not just for middle class people and has a fair proportion of (horror of horror) the working class element from the council estates. It sounds like your DD was not in the top bands and you couldn't handle it.

KitKatGirl1 Sat 20-Oct-12 15:34:39

Do you know how percentages work?

bamboostalks Sat 20-Oct-12 14:04:13

What's your question?

privateandstate Sat 20-Oct-12 12:17:00

My daughter attended a co-ed independent school in year 7, but our recent move to Kensington meant we changed her school because of the long distance to travel to school. However, for a short time, we were able to get our daughter into the local State run Holland Park School. Big mistake! A sin bin for the majority of children!

They rave about 90%+ GCSE grades A-C, but that is a fraction of the student population of 1300! They take approx 240 for each year group 7 to 12. So 100 or less out of 240 children will sit GCSE's. The rest will enter for BTEC(most of whom my daughter says have behavioural problems/ anti social behaviour issues). The league table looks less convincing when you analyse the figures!

Because Holland Park School is currently a maintained comprehensive school, (it will become an Academy in 2013) they are obliged to take pupils that fulfil distance to school criteria etc. So the school 'selects' internally pupils who they want to enter for GCSE's by setting a banding test for children entering the school. Those whom they choose, are placed in the top banding groups, and the rest are entered for BTEC subjects only! BTEC does not feature in league tables! Also my daughter says the top band groups (around 6/8 groups of about 12-15 children in each class), have scheduled timetables, lunch time and breaks that are different to BTEC students!

The 80 million pounds spent on a new building has the full backing of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council, so local opposition is silenced! This is really a waste of money!

It is now half term and we have managed to get our daughter back in her old private school, although it means waking up a little earlier to take her to school. My daughter is very relieved she will not be going back to Holland Park School after the half term break!

privateandstate Sat 20-Oct-12 11:57:22

My daughter attended a co-ed independent school in year 7, but our recent move to Kensington meant we changed her school because of the long distance to travel to school. However, for a short time, we were able to get our daughter into the local State run Holland Park School. Big mistake! A sin bin for the majority of children!

They rave about 90%+ GCSE grades A-C, but that is a fraction of the student population of 1300! They take approx 240 for each year group 7 to 12. So 100 or less out of 240 children will sit GCSE's. The rest will enter for BTEC(most of whom my daughter says have behavioural problems/ anti social behaviour issues). The league table looks less convincing when you analyse the figures!

Because Holland Park School is currently a maintained comprehensive school, (it will become an Academy in 2013) they are obliged to take pupils that fulfil distance to school criteria etc. So the school 'selects' internally pupils who they want to enter for GCSE's by setting a banding test for children entering the school. Those whom they choose, are placed in the top banding groups, and the rest are entered for BTEC subjects only! BTEC does not feature in league tables! Also my daughter says the top band groups (around 6/8 groups of about 12-15 children in each class), have scheduled timetables, lunch time and breaks that are different to BTEC students!

The 80 million pounds spent on a new building has the full backing of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council, so local opposition is silenced! This is really a waste of money!

It is now half term and we have managed to get our daughter back in her old private school, although it means waking up a little earlier to take her to school. My daughter is very relieved she will not be going back to Holland Park School after the half term break!

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