Evelyn Grace Academy, Brixton ?

(31 Posts)
miso Thu 01-Apr-10 21:33:21

Anyone know much about this school?
It's our closest school & I felt confident enough to have it as our 2nd choice, since our 1st choice was a longshot.
We didn't get the 1st choice, I accepted the EGA place - and now have unexpectedly moved up the other school's waiting list so I have to make a decision all over again!

EGA looks good in lots of ways - the teachers at the open day were impressive and engaging, the pupils are well-behaved - but the school is only two years old (the oldest pupils at present are year 8) so it's hard to see if their methods will work with older teenagers.

And their 'methods' do seem quite intense! According to the teacher explaining it on their website (as part of their BBC News Report), the children have to score on 45 tracking points per week (9 points a day) which I think are effort / behaviour related (?). All I can think of, is that if I had to be micro-managed like that at work, I would view it as a form of harrassment - but maybe 11 / 12 year olds actually enjoy that kind of constant assessment confused

choccyp1g Thu 01-Apr-10 21:36:47

Just for a moment I thought it was a girl's name thread grin
Evelyn lovely
Grace lovely but ubiquitous
Academy original
Brixton a bit Sarah Palin

tootootired Thu 01-Apr-10 21:37:13

I suspect in a school in Brixton that they are putting a strong behaviour reward structure in place because a lot of the kids won't get it at home? If your child is reasonably well behaved/motivated they will probably breeze through.

choccyp1g Thu 01-Apr-10 21:38:06

Another wierd thing, the initials EGA also stand for Elisabeth Garret Anderson, (posh Norht London school).

tootootired Thu 01-Apr-10 21:39:07

We used to live in Southwark and the "academies" there like Walworth seem to have improved what were frankly quite scary schools out of all recognition.

janeite Thu 01-Apr-10 21:42:59

I know it slightly. You can CAT me if you want.

Blu Thu 01-Apr-10 21:45:13

The children all seem v well behaved out and about on th streets, how do you feel about the long school day they do there? (in school til 5.30, isn't it?)
What's your longshot 1st choice that you are on the waiting list for?( a couple of clues wil do!)

violetqueen Thu 01-Apr-10 22:29:52

I think - remember a newspaper article which mentioned strict rules about how the children had to move around the school ,proscribed manner of walking etc - that the children are drilled the whole time .
Being a new school ,it has a lot to prove and one of the ways they are trying to achieve success is enforcing very strict discipline.
It wouldn't suit me - rules for the sake of showing who's in charge get my back up .
But why don't you ask if you can go and have another look round ?

miso Thu 01-Apr-10 23:31:53

I absolutely understand the need for the visible strictness, to allow good teaching to take place. I can hardly argue that Self-Discipline, Effort and Endeavour are bad things!

Violetqueen, it's not quite as militaristic as it was described in that article - and I've heard its great to teach in. I think I am just a bit cynical about the Big Buzzwords, it just sounds gimmicky and even a bit... babyish? Like getting stickers at Primary School - I think dd would rebel against that. But then again they are dealing with 11-13 year olds at present so perhaps it is age-appropriate.

The day ends at 5pm - great as it means extra-curricular activities aren't optional, not so good if you wanted to do an out-of-school activity that started at 4.30 I guess!

The other school is Kingsdale (half-hour on bus instead of 15 minute walk) which seems to have a broader curriculum - but it may not be fair to judge on that as a) however broad the curriculum, not everyone studies everything, and b) EGA is only key stage 3 as yet so the curriculum is bound to be narrower.

Kingsdale is strong on music & (I think?)art which is a plus for dd, ... EGA looks like it MIGHT be but who knows?

Kingsdale's intake is geographically wide, EGA is very localised - but I think both schools have a broad social intake & parents who care about education.

I know we are bloody lucky to have 2 good choices in easy reach, neither would be a 'bad' choice - that's what makes it tricky.

Janeite I will try & CAT you when I have worked out what that is!

violetqueen Fri 02-Apr-10 09:10:51

Kingsdale has scholarships - music and sport I think .
They allocate 15% places to scholarships and the rest are placed in 3 bands where places are allocated by lottery.
The scholarships are very oversubscribed.
Think this correct interpretation - happy to be corrected - but point is ,not easy to get in to ,and with lottery ,you can't rely on geographical proximity gaining you a place .

www.kingsdale.southwark.sch.uk]

TheLadyEvenstar Fri 02-Apr-10 10:04:38

Miso there are a lot of good schools locally if you have the time to look into it, I made the mistake of accepting my second choice and DS1 lasted a month at the school before I had to pull him out, this was NOT EGA btw.

If it is music and arts you want, then apply as a late applicant to Pimlico school, it is an excellent school.

The children I know who have gone to EGA are the ones who lets say struggled in primary school. whether that be in behaviour or education iyswim?

Walworth Academy is an excellent school as well, they have just opened their new building where the school is set into houses.

Sacred heart is ok, Archbishop Michael Ramsey - well I wouldn't send a bad dog there tbh!!!

malovitt Fri 02-Apr-10 10:12:52

I know four Y8 girls who go to EGA, all achieved level 5 sats at primary, are impeccably mannered, love being there and are doing well.

miso Fri 02-Apr-10 12:17:33

DD has (just) been offered a place at Kingsdale with a music scholarship - it was our first choice so it ought to be a no-brainer. She knows a couple of older girls there & was desperate to get her place.

It's just that having now spent the last month thinking she'd be going to EGA, where most of her friends from Primary are going, she thinks she wants to go there instead now!

My logical brain says she should take the Kingsdale place since it was harder to get, then if it doesn't work out, maybe there is a chance she could transfer to EGA or somewhere else. Although I haven't actually heard of anyone who has transferred to EGA during the year or at the beginning of Y8, so I don't know how easy that would be.

And I know its not logical to think that the place that was harder to get must be 'better' but it is harder to give it up if that makes sense!

I can't believe that having wished for years that there was a great 2ndary school in walking distance, now there really is one I'm thinking of sending dd down the road on a bus blush.

From what I've heard, EGA has the full spectrum of kids from those who struggled at Primary for whatever reason, to those who were already high achievers, so I'm not worried on that score. A lot of the teaching seems innovative & I think it has the potential to rival the best schools around here. I was really impressed with their music department, & most of the other subject areas - art was the only one which didn't make much of an impression, though of course that could change.

Is it evil of me to want dd to have a bus-ride in the morning so she has to leave a bit earlier wink? That would make my mornings so much easier... I might even get into work on time one day.

Pimlico was on our list but further down because of the journey time. But I am trying to get my head around how many kids shuffle around in Y7 before everything settles - does it really happen a lot?

I let Primary School slip by without a care, & everything turned out fine in the end, so I'm not sure why I've turned so super-anxious 'must get it right' this time round.

I do know people who switched their dc's from Primary to Primary until they got the 'right' one, and the instability that left in its wake did leave me a bit resentful, so I don't really want to be doing that at 2ndary level.

JJ6 Fri 02-Apr-10 12:40:31

do you mind saying or hinting at what primary your daughter went to I am curious as to the catchment area of EGA?

miso Fri 02-Apr-10 14:23:39

I know children that are going to EGA from Hillmead, St. Saviours, Jessop & Crawford School. Crawford surprised me as it's nearly in Camberwell but I think quite a few are going from there.

I don't really know any children from north & west of Railton Road so idea how far the catchment spreads in that direction.

(Although it doesn't have a catchment as such, just distance criteria so the 'catchment area' may change from year to year).

miso Fri 02-Apr-10 14:27:09

I've just looked up Elizabeth Garret Anderson - it really is already called EGA as well! That's a bit unfortunate.

JJ6 Fri 02-Apr-10 16:59:58

I am at the stockwell end of the 'catchment' area. I have not been to the school but the children I see out and about are very neat and tidy and well behaved. And as they are in school until 5 you do not actually see them out and about too much. No mucking about at the bus stops mid afternoon like some of the other schools around here. I think it is a very long day though and does not give children time of thier own. I am sure teh philosophy is to keep kds off the streets of Brixton and to instill some discipline and structure. Not sure if it would suit all?? It will e interesting to see the results for GCSE in a few years time.

violetqueen Fri 02-Apr-10 17:48:05

Theladyeveningstar - I thought Pimlico School lost it's special music course when it became an Academy ?
Is it still a good school with a well balanced curriculum etc ?

TheLadyEvenstar Fri 02-Apr-10 21:16:42

Violet, the children i know who go there are thriving tbh.

Not sure about the performing arts side of it tbh if I am wrong I stand corrected.

Dawntreader Mon 12-Apr-10 23:32:24

have a look at this - it's their current parent newsletter. Doesn't look too bad!
this page

TheSundayTimes Tue 31-Aug-10 12:28:17

Hello!
This is the Sunday Times commenting. David James Smith discussed the Evelyn Grace academy in his article on Sunday, and will be online tomorrow from 1pm to answer any queries and comments you may have. Readers can contact him via this webpage:
http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/Blogs/sunday_t imes_live/article374137.ece

and the article discussing Evelyn Grace can be found here:
http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/Magazine/Featu res/article361356.ece#page-1

TheSundayTimes Tue 31-Aug-10 12:29:05

Hello!
This is the Sunday Times commenting. David James Smith discussed the Evelyn Grace academy in his article on Sunday, and will be online tomorrow from 1pm to answer any queries and comments you may have. Readers can contact him via this webpage:
www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/Blogs/sunday_times_li ve/article374137.ece

and the article discussing Evelyn Grace can be found here:
www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/Magazine/Features/art icle361356.ece#page-1

peeweewee Sun 26-Sep-10 20:04:26

Just saw this and felt like I could contribute..would love to know how you got on with EGA?! I worked there for a time and I felt quite uncomfortable with the way it was run...and chose not to stay despite being offered a permanent position. It felt a little "cultish" to me. Saying this though, the achievement of the top set Year 8 students was amazing. The expectations of both behaviour and learning are very high. It follows the ethos of the Charter schools in the US so it might be worth reading up on their philosophy too.

I think it's horses for courses but I am too liberal for EGA - I like students to be developed into leaders, whereas I felt that the students had no choice but to follow commands.

gingeroots Sun 26-Sep-10 21:38:43

peeweewee - how lovely to hear from what must be
( in these Academy heavy streets of South London ) a dying breed .
Can you hint where you moved on to ?

peeweewee Sun 26-Sep-10 21:44:34

Ah I'm a little embarrassed to admit to have sold out but after nearly 10 years in challenging urban schools have moved to a nice girls school in SW London.

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