Latymer Upper(95 Posts)
Our DS has been offered a place at Latymer Upper (year 7) and by a couple of schools further away; We and he really like what we've seen of LU but I'd be grateful to hear from current parents about any down sides/negatives we should be aware of, as well reasons why a bright but not especially cool or sophisticated boy would thrive there. Thanks!
My DS is starting LU in September too. He is in a state primary now. My DH went to an independent school and I went to a comprehensive so we're a mixed bag!!
You're right about some state/faith schools not having much of a social mix either -this is fairly easy to ascertain by looking at the percentage of pupils eligible for free school meals which is surprisingly low in some West London state/faith schools.
That's the one!
Yep, I get it. There are state schools (in high value housing catchment areas) and then there are state schools. And then faith schools, and selective states..
Don't have a clear cut answer though. What I do know is that I have a huge part to play in my DD's attitude to social acceptance and integration, both in school and outside. She lives with a 2nd generation migrant mother who doesn't ever let her forget...
ealingwestmum-you're right that the bursary income threshhold at some of the local schools is amazingly high (extending to £100,000 at at least one). I'm not denying that LU has a more relaxed feel than some London private schools, merely that the school's -and some parents'-attempt to portray LU as having a real social mix in line with its founding principles -the "8 poor boys from Hammersmith" idea- needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. I know a number of children who have gone to LU from both prep schools and state primaries and not one has been working class. I therefore am not sure why the school/parents continue to promote this social mix myth; if you want a social mix you need to go to a state school and IMO there is no difference in background between the children from LU and other local private schools.
more...not less financially challenged . Must have been a freudian slip reflecting on my current month's sales!
I can understand your point of view neuro. I do not have any idea of LU's bursary policy so cannot comment on that.
I do remember seeing the income threshold for another nearby school when prospecting, and thinking wow, that was high. I am self employed and would have come well within the criteria, but as a home owner in London for 25 years and with other accrued assets, I would never consider myself as a bursary candidate, compared with other more deserving and less financially challenged families.
My upbringing is very working class, local midlands comp, single family upbringing, but from a work-hard and making fortunate career choices early in my professional life this has naturally moved to a more middle class band as an adult. It's what's judged now, with some very wrong assumptions made about my upbringing but I am less
not defensive than I used to be.
I think all the West London schools have a mix of people like me, to the super rich and that's not going to change, but doing the rounds, LU had more of a down to earth feel than some of its neighbours, though I will not know how true that is until Sept.
I find it funny when people talk about LU as being unpretentious and anchored in its grammar school roots. I would say those days are long gone. Most of the parents I know went to leading private schools and LU is as middle class/posh as any other West London school. Even some of the children I have known there on bursaries have been what I would term very comfortably off.
Excellent to hear about you feel now Rifraf. My daughter is really looking forward to starting in Sept.
I know threads like these do not date and remain really useful for people like me for prospecting through to decision making, so appreciate you coming back to it!
Sorry - I meant to say our son... so DS not DD. Not entirely comfortabel with the mumsnet terminology
Congratulations. I was the OP way back when and I've just seen this thread again. I agree with everything Harboiled says about the school. Our DD couldn't be happier - great friends - fully engaged in sport and music, and developing well academically. LU is a relaxed and unpretentious school, still anchored in its grammar school roots rather than those of a 'historic' public school. We are very happy that he is there.
The fund raising (to me) was a pretty peripheral issue. And all the kids are very excited about the coming sport centre.
For anyone who visits this thread in another years time - if LU is an option go for it!
Congratulations to your DD. And a good choice
Don't worry hardboiled - it was a long shot and know I should not have asked a question on an old thread!
Thank you so much for coming back though - it does help to understand how people feel about a school once water is under the bridge. I know all schools have their cycles, but on balance, LU sounds the type of school my DD would love.
Today was a good day, 3 offers received and LU accepted immediately as we feel it's intuitively right. I will PM you if we have anything more specific, the offer is much appreciated!
Hi I just saw this sorry Ealingwestmum!
Funny to read this thread after two years...
Our experience of the school is very positive. We are delighted.
Seren sounds unhappy about the fundraising last year. I saw it as a positive thing, they had to be imaginative and they learnt a skill which is highly valued in the world. When they finally get to use the new sports centre the children can feel they contributed to a brick or two... Anyway, it did not stop DS from doing hundreds of other things. He is so busy I hardly see him!
As to the comment about pounding of rules... I don't know where that comes from really. Funny she thinks rules are indicative of the school being geared towards boys rather than girls!! Don´t girls need rules??
Anyway, maybe the do have strict rules and they are the reason why DS is the only boy from his primary school circle of friends who has never ever been pushed in the corridor of his secondary school, or has never actually met any kind of violence or classroom disruption.
Is your choice LU? PM with any questions if you wish.
Hi - know this is a zombie thread but if any of you posting from before are still around to share how things turned out for your DCs 12/18 months on at LU, those of us that may be in a decision making position in a few weeks would be most appreciative!
In particular (for me), have things improved on the sports front for girls?
LetsEscape, I don't know where the rule-pounding is coming from. It's not a big problem, only alongside the absence of other things.Beingfrank, DC will survive. Just some thoughts for anyone applying.
Seren - you sound rather unhappy. Are you regretting your choice?
You are absolutely right that this year there is fundraising as a priority. This was not the case last year. As you know the target has been met so next year will not be the same. I much rather the school chose to fundraise rather than hike up the fees and in any case in less than 18 months time we will all benefit from some great facilities including new pool and actually a whole new floor that I am sure will increase the minority sports for all, including the girls.
I am sorry your child has not had a good year. I hope they have been able to enjoy all the extracurricular activities, drama, music etc. and that she has a great time on the activity week coming up soon. For the record, I don't have experiences of rules being pounded into them in year 7. Was this just one form tutor or across the board? Certainly not our experience last year. Actually some rules may have been useful to some individuals! It is however a big school (160+ in a year) which I think can be a shock for some quieter children so is best suited to individuals who are more confident, social and love buzzy energetic places, with bags to do and want to get involved.
Update for anyone still listening on how our first year at LU has been like. In a word: fundraising. The entire year has been spent being asked to raise money for the new school sports centre. Our friends' children have had school trips and a residential in the first term for the incoming children to get to know each other. What were LU pupils doing? They had a bake sale to raise money for the new sports centre. We parents threw dinners in January and charged our friends for the pleasure, to raise money for the new sports centre. Fundraise! Fundraise! Fundraise!
The happiest parents seem to be parents of boys, and that's no surprise. This school--parents of girls take note--is really geared for boys. The rules are pounded into them the entire first term. Perfectly good children, but rules are rules! There aren't many sports for girls either. Parents have had meetings with the new head of sport, but he doesn't know what to do about it.
The other official line is that the students are fine, but the parents are anxious because they are used to sweet prep schools. That's a very useful angle. The school has no responsibility to make the community cohesive for parents and students. The parents just need to take a chill pill!
I think the later tours that day were done by year 9 - are you sure he was 11?!
I have a son at LU and looking down the year directory, there are a very high percentage of non-British sounding names. To say that foreigners are unwelcome is not correct, it is just not the case.
boy who showed us round seemed more like a 40 year old than a 11 year old - scarily serious and mature!
Ahem! I am 53, and neither serious nor mature.
(And I went to Latymer as a boy)
I went to open day on 9th and had different experience. Staff very friendly and as in any west London school there were lots of foreign parents and i really doubt that foreigners re treated differently than others. I found children I met friendly although the boy who showed us round seemed more like a 40 year old than a 11 year old - scarily serious and mature!
No you haven't. You cannot possibly have been at Latymer or be telling the truth. Half of my DS class has one or two foreign parents. A third of DS friends speak another language and have lived abroad. My DS is bilingual and I am a "foreigner" as you put it. The staff talk to everyone regardless of income, they give generous bursaries to bright academic children. Mostly unspoiled. And it manages to be academic and rounded.
So I am afraid you walked into the wrong school. It sure wasn´t LU. Or you had blinkers on.
Your post is oozing venom.
Just been to an open day at Upper Latymer on the 9th of November 2013.
The kids are spoiled, no knowledge of languages. Staff is nice only to upper class people. When they found out that you are foreigner they just walkaway. This is not an academic school.
DC is somewhat noncommittal, but has said LU, probably because of all the teachers' recommendations. I have said that it's necessary to shout loud enough to be heard at LU but also didn't want to make it sound scary.
It's not shallow of you to put the fact that it's a top school ahead of everything else. It's the world we live in. If I weren't influenced by these same forces, I wouldn't be debating this. I'd put DC in Harrodian.
Seren, what I've heard from friends who have sent their children to LU, is that if they shout loud enough they will be heard. Of course, if your DS doesn't do this, then it will be more difficult for him to be at the forefront of drama and sports - less so sports, as do remember LU offers a huge range of sports so he will find one that he excels at.
I personally always put the fact that it's a top school ahead of everything else (slightly shallow of me I know), although I completely agree that at schools like LU, Westminster and St Paul's they are asked to grow up more quickly than at slightly calmer, less hothouse-like schools such as Harrodian. Have you asked DS which one he prefers? In the end, he's the one who's going to be spending all his time there and working hard for the school!
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