a school like St Trinians?

(13 Posts)
notquiteruralbliss Fri 08-Mar-13 10:34:34

From what I know of Summerhill, the curriculum is completely driven by what a child wants to learn, in that all lessons are optional & have to be signed up for. If a child wants to spend all day climbing trees / making pots, they can. School rules are decided on by the whole school (one person one vote) &, IIRC, every now and then they abolish all rules & start afresh.

happygardening Thu 07-Mar-13 19:12:16

I liked the look of the alternative curriculum at Bedales and in fact love the idea of alternative curriculum's in general as I'm increasingly coming to the conclusion that much of the GCSE curriculum is narrow and boring, I currently have less direct experience of the IGCSE curriculum that DS2 follows I may be being over optimistic but am hoping that its better. I thought the children at Bedales seemed very happy but as I say very contemptuous of their alternative curriculum many admitted having never stepped foot in the outdoor centre or voluntarily particptaed in any out door activities and seemed to think it was all a big joke and being hyped up by Bedales this was backed up by my friends experience. I was disappointed to hear of our friends DC's experiences they had chosen Bedales becasue it was "alternative" but as so often happens at so many independent schools the dream is not the reality and in this case alternative is not that alternative. I suspect if you want really alternative it would have to be Summerhill or Steiner and as we all know that really is not everyone's cup of tea!

scaevola Thu 07-Mar-13 18:51:42

Did you miss the bit if OP which asks 'Is there anything like this that takes a broader approach to teaching the curriculum?'

I'm sure OP will weigh up all suggestions in terms of curriculum and its delivery, flexibility in comparison to levels of flexibility elsewhere, overall ethos and her DD's personality.

She could probably do with more suggestions, which your authoritative style suggests you will have aplenty.

happygardening Thu 07-Mar-13 18:46:02

"OP was asking for alternative approaches to curriculum"
scaevola no she didn't she asked for "a more flexible school like St Trinians" my friends who very recently had children at Bedales did not feel its as flexible in its approach as many think. When we looked at it the children were pretty contemptuous of the "Bedales curriculum" especially the outside activities/bread making etc. Friends who were there (who are exceedingly wealthy) felt that most of the children came from very very wealthy families and spend weekends staying in London flats and pissing it up the wall!! The work ethos is not exactly serious and the very bright and able but quirky children are bullied. But having said this those who fitted in were exceedingly happy.

scaevola Thu 07-Mar-13 18:18:55
scaevola Thu 07-Mar-13 18:13:52

OP was asking for alternative approaches to curriculum. As well as IGCSE and A level in core subjects, it offers its own accredited qualifications, which stand completely outside the normal approach to the syllabus.

Do any other schools do that?

happygardening Thu 07-Mar-13 16:44:04

I think lots of people think lots of people put Bedales and alternative into the same sentence. We looked at it many years ago for DS1 and thought it looked great. But sadly recently I've not heard great things about it from a couple of friends with DC's who were there.

eatyourveg Thu 07-Mar-13 16:39:46

I immeadiately thought Bedales too

happygardening Thu 07-Mar-13 16:35:43

From what I hear from friends Bedales is not as alternative as its meant to be or used to be

scaevola Thu 07-Mar-13 15:54:31

For a day school, it would be helpful if you could give an idea of area.

Is boarding definitely a no-no? Because Bedales is the one that leaps to mind. If you're nearish, might weekly boarding work?

londonmom Thu 07-Mar-13 15:40:49

Newton Prep sounds excellent, but only goes to age 13. Will consider the others, though they are further. Thanks.

notquiteruralbliss Thu 07-Mar-13 12:33:12

My eldest (a refugee from a GDST school which she loathed) went to Newton Prep in Battersea (I think it now goes up to GCSE) & loved it. Or there is St Christophers in Hertfordshire (is a school bus from North London). If your daughter would consider boarding, there is always Summerhill. A friends daughter has been there since she was 9 or 10 and loves it.

londonmom Thu 07-Mar-13 10:50:24

DD is an independent little thing and is very determined to go to a more flexible school like St Trinians (but without the boarding, just a day school). Is there anything like this that takes a broader approach to teaching the curriculum?

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