Dallington School(12 Posts)
Hello, I am seriously considering sending my child (18 month) to Dallington when she turns 3. I understand there are a lot of sceptics out there regarding the teaching methods and their teaching structure. Can any current parent please enlighten me as to how they find their children doing in Maths, Science and reading compared to other private school children. Also, parents of children who are currently in the process of moving to secondary school-do your children need coaching in maths? I am really confused, I am not from this country and find this whole process more difficult to understand than nuclear fission........please please help me
p.s. did not specify but dallington in Central London
Dallington kids do very well - loads and loads go one to City (Girls & Boys), Queens, Francis Holland. So academically it does do well. But the school doesn't appeal to more traditional parents, that's the reason it's a low-key, lesser known sort of place. If you like uniforms, status, and the "posh private" aura (understandable for some parents, who are paying out lots of money), then Dallington is not for you.
If however, you like the idea of a school that feels more like a lovely home; teachers who always go the extra mile; a genuinely stimulating and artistic environment, then you won't find better than Dallington.
I second that. A very good choice. Happy children and happy parents. A marked contrast to a couple of other local private primary schools nearby which major on cute/retro uniforms, have very poor facilities and appear to have a narrow educational focus (ie focus on the stuff parents can see and easily understand).
If you live locally then also consider the local state primary schools. Prior Weston (in and out of favour with Ofsted because it always followed its own ethos - loved by Barbican and Golden Lane residents alike), St Luke's, Sir John Cass. At least going to see them will allow you to benchmark the private ones you see.
At the same time - I wouldn't want to send a three (or four or five year old) somewhere with no outdoor space on site; they can't have the continuous access to outdoors that's part of most state school provision for that age. And higher up the school the classes are tiny. Agree it seems lovely, though, and some kids do get into v selective privates later - with what sounds like a lot of cramming.
If you trawl through a lot of threads on here about Islington/Hackney schools you will find some discussion about Dallington.
General gist seemed to be that people liked it while their children were quite young, but were not so comfortable as their children went into the juniors.
My OH went for the tour and found the tour itself totally lacksidaisical, gained a poor impression of the headteacher and was not impressed by the facilities. We decided not to take it any further.
Head-teacher of Dallington recently won Lifetime Achievement Award, at the London Teaching Awards. Boys regularly move on to Westminster Under School and City. Yet the school has a creaky old website, no marketing to speak of, and as mentioned above, gives terrible tours by its grumpy school secretary, who has been there for decades.
It is hopeless at PR and yet consistently outperforms the likes of St Paul's Cathedral in terms of secondary school placement. Lots of A-list media-type parents; film-makers, magazine editors, photographers, who don't need glitz and pandering to know this is a stellar school.
DS would have gone to Dallington if we hadn't moved. We loved it - such a happy, purposeful, engaged atmosphere! And tbh the secondary/ 7+ placement results were a big reason why - they are very, very good at preparing children for this while at the same time educating them in a really creative, child-led way.
Having taught for many years in the state sector and seen the kind of grinding commitment that state primary headteachers have to put in, I am rather sceptical about the headteacher of a small independent preparatory school getting a Ted Wragg lifetime achievement award. I am sure she is 'marvellous' and adored by Dallington parents, but....really?
I heard Ted Wragg speak at a conference and feel that someone like this would seem to be a more likely candidate for an award reflecting his name and values.
Does anybody have any views about the run from Islington/Clerkenwell to Hampstead? Is the traffic awful?
Dallington sounds lovely. Does anybody know if is usually oversubscribed in reception?
DS is in reception (upper nursery ) 26 kids this year - 2017
hes been there for 2 years since he turned 3
DS likes it very much - they are not pushy in reception
children get to play a lot with each other
its really like a small village school-
parents are very friendly-
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