Any opinions on Wren Academy.

(61 Posts)
fortune Thu 08-Oct-09 15:02:12

I went to the open evening last night and thought it was a lovely school. The children looked really happy and confident. Nice teaching staff. Did any one else attend or have any thoughts about it.

fortune Fri 09-Oct-09 16:59:31


fortune Fri 09-Oct-09 18:09:12

bump! bump!! bump!!! bump!!!! bump!!!!! bang.

boyngirl Fri 09-Oct-09 19:54:14

Right sorry..what does bump mean??!

I'm sure it will be a great school but I didn't think it was impressive as Compton. Then the Christian thing is not my bag so...
Thought the head at Compton was more compelling, genuine, relied less on buzz words. Wren has problem of not being able to give parents results of course, so that's maybe why he talked about a lot of things I'm not that bothered about (ie toilets!)

But overall yes lovely school in terms of buildings, facilities and the kids were great, so friendly and well behaved.

CantThinkofFunnyName Fri 09-Oct-09 20:03:57

I wasn't that impressed tbh. Have heard lots of good things about it and lots of children from DS primary have gone there past 2 years but I just found it quite sterile, soul-less and more importantly, I was not impressed with the lecturing technique used by the head which was to talk constantly for 30 minutes, one speech after another, whereas anyone in education should know that after 20 minutes lecturing, the audience don't take in any more information. It was merely my opinion, but I do know people who like it, in particular the strictness/discipline, which it is renowned for. I've opted for East Barnet as first choice instead.

Eurot Mon 12-Oct-09 11:43:04

My niece goes to Wren (year 8) and she loves it. The teachers are great, the kids are happy and the standard of education is superb. If the kids are gifted, they get encouraged and pushed to increcibly high standards. The single-sex teaching for Maths/Science/English is great too.

Most importantly the head master is fantastic (really!) and the teachers are full of enthusiasm, but do not tolerate any bad behaviour whatsoever, so the kids are able to learn in a safe and organised environment.

We could not be happier!

Eurot Mon 12-Oct-09 11:44:45

Also, we are atheists, but the God-bothering stuff is not too overpowering. The Rev Kirby, school chaplain is a very nice man with a great sense of humour.

stressed2009 Wed 14-Oct-09 00:10:23


comet2 Mon 26-Oct-09 15:43:10

I went to the open evening and thought that the head was very caring in reference to the children. Boyngirl you didn't seem to get the point about the toilets. He was trying to tell you that the children and adults were to be treated similarly, of course still with teacher pupil respect.
The school is ideal with lots of discipline and with the lessons as they are, core subject in single sex classes. On the whole a job very well done so far.

voulezvou Tue 27-Oct-09 08:25:58

I used to live near the school and a large number of kids walked past my house every day and at lunch times to go to school. Their behaviour was always shocking and we ended up moving because of the swearing, spitting and at times some minor damage that was caused to people's gates, fences and on occassion, cars! angry

I was a young mum at the time so not as judgemental as I am now that I've got older blush but even I was shocked. So I don't know what the school is like and I'm sure there are very nice kids there but I feel sorry for them having to put up with the large number of poorly behaved kids that go there.

donnie Tue 27-Oct-09 08:44:59

that's odd voulezvou, seeing as the Wren has only been going for just over a year....clearly you are talking about an entirely different school.

voulezvou Tue 27-Oct-09 08:54:47

I'm talking about the one in Wellingborough which has been there a long time! grin

donnie Tue 27-Oct-09 08:55:56

wrong one. This one is in North Finchley.

cecinha Mon 08-Mar-10 13:41:48

I was wondering if anyone who believes in achieving through education could put my mind at rest with regards to Wren Academy. I live in Tottenham and our only option is to send our son to Wren instead of the satisfactory local secondary. He missed Latymer, in Edmonton/Enfield by 1 point, had an offer from a top private school with 60% financial assitance but we still can't afford to send him there. He's devastated at the moment and it's hard to convince him that he is not going to end up in a "sink school". The fact that Wren is a new school without any concrete results leaves me even more anxious as I can not gauge what the standard of teaching is like. My boy was bullied at his first primary for being smart and enthusiastic and I'd love to hear from anyone who has got kids at Wren for the honest and brutal views of the school as a whole, including the teaching standards.

cecinha Mon 08-Mar-10 16:16:43

I am the desperate mom from Tottenham. Any one there with very honest views on Wren Academy???

stressed4 Mon 08-Mar-10 19:55:34

O.K cecinha, teaching standards are high (teachers are lovely) and the first few years will be the best as the school has to prove itself re standards and results. The teachers are very wisely chosen. The School is very strict, no messing about. Headteacher is great and cares a great deal about the school, he has taken it from nothing to having an excellent reputation in just the first year. The school is in its second year now and the year 8's are already at a very high level. There are many extremely bright and equally enthusiastic kids in the school and I think I can say that there is hardly any bullying going on (my opinion). our second child will not be going to Wren as he was always desperate with another friend to go to the local boys grammer (they both got in), unfortunately for me as I will be driving all over next year and be buying two different uiforms. I can honestly say that I would not have had any hesitations in sending my second child to Wren and was very lucky to have got my first child in.

The admin staff and secretary are great too.

cecinha Tue 09-Mar-10 10:02:12

Hello stressed4, how nice to get a response. Your views have been very reasuring and I will let my boy read it too. I think this will give him some comfort that by going to Wren it is not the end of the world. He's slowly coming to terms with the fact that we can't afford the private school fees despite his great performance, and seeing that Wren seems to be heading in the right direction academically, I will confirm his place this week.

I still would love to hear from many parents who have kids at Wren, just for piece of mind, really.

cecinha Tue 09-Mar-10 10:03:31

I mean I would like to hear from as many parents as possible for PEACE OF MIND!! Not piece! Sorry!!

stressed4 Tue 09-Mar-10 19:11:19

Hi again Cecinha, I have just bumped another thread re Wren academy for your peace of mind. *Any opinions on Wren academy*.

allyo Thu 11-Mar-10 15:11:17

Hi Cecinha, please tell your son not to worry. My daughter was the first intake too and is now Year 8. We were so worried because it was a new school but, like you, had little option at the time. She had been accepted into a private school but we couldn't afford the fees. Anyway, the school is excellent so far. And it's small so all the kids know each other and the teachers know everyone. As far as I know (and I asked my daughter again the other day), there is no bullying. And (whether you're a church goer or not), the fact that it's CofE based does engender a caring attitude (as someone mentioned, the Rev Kirby is great. Not at all preachy, he's just there almost as a school counsellor to help kids out. The teaching is really excellent and the teachers always come back to you if you email them with questions! They seem to be great at finding and encouraging talents, whatever they may be. The sport is coming along really well, the arts are building gradually (I hear there will be some sort of drama space soon) and it's exciting watching the school emerge. I firmly believe that the head sets his sights so high that the school will have exceptional results - hope so, as my daughter will be the guinea pig year!! Only slightly annoying thing for me is that things like the orchestra and the drama are made up of year's 7 and 8, obviously, which means the standard isn't amazing. You don't have the older kids who've reached their very high grades in there. But hey, you can't have EVERYTHING! As others have said, the discipline is excellent. You only have to go into the school during the daytime to see how well behaved the kids are. A friend of mine moved her daughter from Copthall because she couldn't work with all the noise and chaos. She's turned herself around dramatically since switching. I really wouldn't worry - it's a great school with lots of fantastic kids. You'll be glad one of these days - Latymer is wonderful but HUGE! Hope I've helped a bit.

notapushy1 Thu 11-Mar-10 15:51:30

Hi Cecinha, I feel for you,as you obviously care deeply about your son's education and have done the best you can, yet the result seems less than ideal to you.I was in a similar situation a few years back, and it all worked out, so please don't fret. I felt such a miserable failure for being unable to afford school fees,or more significantly the11+ tutoring fees that might have made a difference, and aggrieved that children clearly less able than my own had got through the test. But my DC are v happy and doing so well at their schools: better to be a big fish in a small pond!
Re Wren, there are lots of bright kids there, particularly girls as if they don't get into HB , this school is a better alternative to, say Compton or Friern Barnet. Extra-curricular activities are not optional , and the school day is longer than usual. Music is pretty rubbish tho, for reasons above but also because music-place-awarding schools cream off all the best, plus there are no experienced 6th formers to bolster sound.
Local vicar's son attends, as do primary school governors kids, and lots of comfortably off but non-intellectual churchy middle class types.

cecinha Thu 11-Mar-10 19:59:53

Hi everyone,

Thanks for your time and comments; I feel more reassured now. I never got to visit the school - my partner did - as I have always had a phobia of Academies and the bad press they get. My partner came back full of praise for the place, particularly the kids' behaviour; however, he was not able to see the teaching and seeing that he is not of an academic disposition, I really agonised over Wren.

My son has now seen all the above and feels less upset, although he is still going on about Belmont, the private school, his "dream" school. I think I am partially responsible for it as I was educated privately in my country and found it very hard to relate to state education. I guess it's for me now to try and undo all the damage I have caused and come to terms with the difficulties of sending children to independent schools in London on our income.

Please keep your views coming. I hope that between now and September my boy will have got over it after reading about the school from other parents' perspective. smile wink

notapushy1 Thu 11-Mar-10 22:18:11

Dear Cecinha, I too was privately educated, albeit with a full scholarship, and used to think that that's what I wanted for my DC...But couldn't help chuckling when I heard that Belmont was the private school in question- it's hardly Westminster/StPauls/City/Habs ! OK,the semi-rural setting and imposing architecture,playing fields may be charming , but academically,well... There are a significant no. of uncultured nouveau- riche non-graduate parents, who are far less involved in their childrens development than you must be. I heard one parent even sent their NANNY to a parent's meeting! Some years ago, a dad @ my DC s nursery school told me he was going to be sending his kids to Belmont. I nosily asked him what he did for a living and he said he owned a nightclub, but not one I could possibly of heard of, full of floozies, in his words.Well people have to get the sort of money to pay for those schools somehow....

ardone Thu 11-Mar-10 22:22:29

My first reaction is Oh My God. We all want the best education for our children however reading some of the above makes me wonder whether its for their benefit or your own.
Yes Wren is not able to show us how high up the league tables they are, and no it itsn't up there on the desirable school list (Yet).
But you only have to watch the children leaving school at the end of the day and see the smiles on their faces, and the camaradrie amongst them to know that Wren is obviously pushing the right buttons.
The staff are fantastic, without exception. The children are concientious and polite. There is zero tolerance towards bullying be it in school or via other means ie. social networks. Mr Whitworth leads both staff and pupils with passion and enthusiasm, and along with Rev. Kirby instills good old fashioned respect and discipline.

cecinha Mon 15-Mar-10 12:21:59

Hi All,

Once again, thanks for your emails.

I do understand where notapushy and ardone are coming from so let me just clarify a few points.

Whilst Belmont is none of the schools notapushy mentioned, it's considerably better than our local comprehensive in our catchment area and my boy loved the atmosphere there, including the lovely and attentive staff. We don’t live in Barnet, so Wren was a long shot, if you know what I mean. As for social class, I am not quite sure notapushy got it: it does not really bother me what the parents do for a living – my partner used to be a model maker with works displayed at the British Library, who is now working as a bus driver, so there you go. I tend to relate to people on the basis of who they are and not whether they are cultured or not (although it does help to make conversation and pass the time when all the escape routes have been exhausted at school gatherings!); that does not define their personality, in my view.

You see ardone, we all want the best education for our children and part of that is intrinsically related to our own experiences. Trying to deny that when choosing a school for our little darlings does not sound very truthful to me. Whilst he was at primary school, I always hard parents, especially mothers, saying that ‘it did not really matter which school their kids went to’rubbish, just to find out later on that they had all been paying for private tuition since year 3 to try and get their children into the best free grammar schools available, telling me the most outrageous lies when I tried to ask them for help finding a reliable tutor for my boy.

Reading your views on Wren has gone a long way calming my nerves. I am really pleased my boy is not going to end up at a “sink school”, and let’s be honest, this is ultimately any parents’ worst nightmare. smile wink

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