Independent Boys school in London for expat(56 Posts)
This is my first topic here, so please excuse me if I ask some silly questions.
We are currently in Switzerland and husband tells me that we may be moving to Lodon in a year's time. My Son would be in Year 9 at the time of our move, he is in Grade 6 ( Year 7) now.
We may go in mid-session Year 8 or Year 9, not sure yet
I am trying to do some advance homework on what schools to target. I need Private school as I don't think he will fit in state system after his International school experience.
He is Maths and Science boy, not very sporty, but doesn't mind trying sports. He is above average , but not a genius. He loves challenging work at school and is ready to put in a lot of efforts for studies. His English is also good. Been born and brought up in UK till Year 5 ( not in London )
I know London is very vast, our apporach is to find a school and then move to an area that is near school. Husband's office location is not a problem.
My little research on Mumsnet has thrown names of Hampton Boys and Whitgift .
Please can you suggest me more names, so that I can begin my research on schools.
1. Get an on-line subscription to the Good Schools Guide. This will give you a pretty full list of the sort of London schools mentioned on MN.
2. Email the schools that sound promising, give a brief and realistic penpicture of your child and your circumstances, and ask about the likelihood of them having occassional places at the point you will be moving and what the procedure would be for him to apply for entry. (Try also schools like Ibstock, Kingston Grammar, Emanuel, leave out the big name ones, but there will still be an awful lot who are less selective but who will get a bright child to the right place.). If you can, say confidently that you expect to be herre for the remainder of your child's education.
3. Depending on the response, either look at and puruse those schools who have been encouraging or look at the more traditional expat schools. If you dont get any encouragement anywhere, and you should be able to target perhaps 20 schools, you might have to look at schools used by the more mobile expat population. Portland Place should be on your list, but here are others. At this point I would be looking at a relocation expert to help guide. GSG have a service but so do others.
I also would not write off state. You have the advantage of being able to move right next to a popular school (Graverney?) which should guarantee you a place. These wil also be listed in GSG.
NMS - Thanks for the tip on Goodschool guide. I will do it asap.
Do you think talking so well in advance, when we do not have a moving date will get us any response from schools? I will get started on emailing once I have some concrete date/year of moving. On MN, I am fishing for a school list and some ideas.
I have noted - Ibstock, Kingston Grammar, Emanuel.
I am sure State schools won't entertain till we have an address.
State schools wont entertain till you have an address. However there is always churn in London so if you are living next door to the school you will be top of any wait list, though it is worth checking if yhour move is delayed so that schools have already started preparing for GCSEs and be less willing to take a new pupil on or allow them the same range of options.
In terms of privates there is often a certain amount of churn at the start of Yr 9. But there are also a number of preps who finish at the end of yr 8, so some will run more formal application processes. If you have a reasonable idea of when you might move, I would put out feelers early. At minimum it will alert you to possible problems. There is pressure on school places in both sectors as Lonodn's population continues to increase. Also they may well expect your son to pass some form of test so you will need to cover the ground. (Up to 13, the Galore Park "so you really want to learn..." books cover the 13+ Common Entrance ground.)
Ibstock, Emanuel and Kingston Grammar are co-ed, as is Latymer Upper.
Did you specifically want Boys only?
He'll almost certainly have to sit the 13+ exam but if he's reasonably bright that should be fine.
All the schools mentioned so far have been in SW London. There is also City of London Boys, KCS Wimbledon, UCS Hampstead, and Dulwich College. All of those are Boys only.
Lots of schools, so no panic! But wise to start research now. If a school has a big Y9 intake then get on the list asap. Look at the commutes - a commute for your DH from say Sevenoaks in Kent can be quicker than a commute on the tube from South London and will open up a lot more schools.
They love international students (guaranteed A*language grades) but make sure you tell them you will be in UK until your DS finishes his education as they may be less inclined to offer if they think you might move on!
Whitgift is very sporty, but takes boarders should you have to move in the future, but not a trad boarding school.
Royal Russell may be worth a look. Dulwich College (again take boarders if necessary) Epsom College, St Dunstan's, Dulwich College, St Benedicts Ealing (Catholic),
International Schools: ACS, Southbank - good at dealing with mobile families.
State: you can do a test for the Kent grammars. Their usually intake is Y7 so may be occasional places. Also look at the good states eg Graveney as you have a better chance of a Y9 place than aY7 one.
I am a South Londoner.
Cleo, KCS Wimbledon has a big 13+ intake and is almost certainly going to want Common Entrance. Which if you are not already in a prep is a big ask.
I suggested Ibstock, KGS and Emanuel as all have improving reputations but have been nown to offer occassional places to returning expats. To some extent it can be argued that their improving reputations are down to them turning co-ed! I would add St Bens to that list.
If OP goes through the GSG she will find the schools mentioned and more. To some extent it then becomes a matter of luck which ones have places. I would recommend keeping an open mind re single sex/co-ed. London is very lucky in having a large number of good private schools which rank high in natinal league tables.
As I sugested there are also a number of schools who are more willing to take mobile families. Portland Place is one, Southbank and ACS are others, but there are more. If OP finds her move delayed till Yr 10 or finds it difficult to get an encouraging response from mainsteam private schools (but I think she will be OK as long as she spreads the net wide) I think it is worth seeking professional help. Some of the more "flexible" schools cater to the international super rich, others to very hard working kids whose parents have long term aspirations to access British tertiary education. You want to get it right.
If OPs son speaks French there has been a massive expansion in French secondary provision in the past few years. As well as the convential options, there is also the private École Jeannine Manuel linked to the Parisian school of the same name.
I know KCS is very competitive at 13+ but as OP's son is good at Maths and Science I wouldn't rule out looking at it and enquiring. We don't know enough about the OP's son and his standard of education at his current school to know if it's a possibility or not.
Of course Ibstock, Emanuel and KGS might all suit if they have places but OP had asked about Boys schools and I was asking how important that was to her - and her son. Some parents and some children do not want co-ed schools.
If you are thinking Whitgift also consider Trinity.
A word on the possible timings:
A lot of the schools mentioned on this thread have a formal entry point at the start of year 9, so if sounds as if you can go though the regular entry procedure. They might not be offering ad hoc places in the latter part of year 8 (as they'll have a nice lot of applicants registered already) and there'll be less churn in the first part of year 9 as they'll have just filled places from the admissions round (and churn slows quite a bit in yrs 9-11).
Thanks everyone . I am going through replies. A lot of information to take in.
Suggestion about having a Boarding option if we shift is very good. Thanks !
Cleo - I am ok with co-Ed or boys. Mentioned boy to avoid suggestions of girls school.
From what you all have been telling me -
Year 9 - He has to take 13+ entrance exam
Year 8 - Chances are less in latter part of the year. How about beginning of Year 8, say after first term?
Don't most of these schools have a separate entrance exam for those coming from a school that doesn't prep for 13+ Common Entrance? I think quite a few do, so check this out as well.
Kew house? City of London school for boys? Mill hill? Or there will be a new school in Mayfair in Sept 2017 Mayfair School . It will the upper school for the Eaton House schools.
Website for above new school www.eatonsquareupper.school/
Some schools (usually the more traditional "public" schools) only have 13+ intake. Year 8 isn't an entry point like y7 or 9 so depends if someone leaves. For overseas applicants they may have different entry criteria to 13+ or Common Entrance.
Expat, exactly why it is worth making early contact with suitable schools. If they are likely to have a place and think they may be interested in your son, Registrars will brief you on what would be expected. One rule won't fit all.
You might also consider the Harrodian - co-ed - as that is moving steadily up.
Do call Emanuel if you like the look of it. They are very friendly and helpful. They have a sibling policy so don't go in for the league tables but they still get children into good universities - Russell Group and a few Oxbridge. Not everyone has to be sporty or into drama - they value their chess players very highly too, and there are all sorts of clubs including Dr Who and occasionally pyrotechnics!
Worth considering Whitgift, for its Section Francaise where French-speaking pupils can be taught in French and take the bilingual IB in the sixth form. The boarding is also very flexible so may come in useful if your husband's job moves again before your ds leaves school.
It does have a reputation for extreme sportiness but it's not really like that; there are shedloads of other opportunities for boys even if they're not going to be captain of the first XI, don't be put off!
I think you need to have some idea of which bit of London you're going to be.
If you end up in North London, South London day schools are no use and vice versa.
If he's maths and science-y and a hard worker, he might like St Paul's or Westminster. Westminster would be better if he's not so sporty. King's Wimbledon is a really nice school. Hampton's better than it was.
If you're on the North side there's UCS (University College School), Haberdashers', Highgate, Merchant Taylors'...
Of course there's the Lycée in South Kensington if you're French speakers - it's bilingual.
Lycee Francaise is v over subscribed. I know French nationals coming to London from other French Lycees who have been turned down. But worth checking on the off chance.
Please bear in mind that schools such as Westminster, St Paul's, KCS and Hampton have already made 13+ conditional offers for boys of your son's. Boys take pre-tests in Year 6 for these schools and are offered places dependent on their performance at 13+ Common Entrance (taken in May/June of Year 8).
My DS applied for Year 9 at a couple of private schools in London from overseas. He just sat a 13+ exam and not the Common Entrance. He didn't have problems with it despite being educated in an entirely different curriculum for 3 years.
I would definitely look at the Lycées in London especially if your DS is bilingual and/or has been in local schools. There are more opening (or already done so?) across London, not just in South Ken, so I believe.
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