Walthamstow secondaries, Frederick Bremer e17(6 Posts)
Having visited 6 open evenings, am now in the process of considering which secondary to send my daughter to. She is smart - very narrowly missing out on a place on the Latymer waiting list - so I want to make sure that any school I send her to helps her reach her full potential.
Does anyone have any experience of Frederick Bremer? It is my favourite so far, but would love to hear what others think. What I liked about it was its community ethos, the building and facilities, the attitude of the head and all the teachers and pupils I met were really engaged and positive. Am a little concerned by its results, but have had reassurance from them that standards will improve.
We live in Lloyd Park so in quite a few catchments. Here's my thoughts on the others we saw. Please note these are my personal opinions based on what I saw on the open days - I am sharing because I would like to hear others own opinions and experiences - happy to be wrong about somewhere .
Walthamstow Academy - great results and good facilities, staff unengaged with parents or children, one staff member said of past pupils 'everyone remembers us, but we never remember them', seemed to foster a 'me, me, me' mentality.
Willowfield - good results, horrible building, about to move into new shiny building (although the builder's representatives did tell me it had two floors until I pointed out on the drawings it had three - and then he had to check). Several children when asked told me it was 'alright' (although heard lots say they enjoyed it). Seemed a bit complacent. Teacher, when questioned, said didn't support policy of not setting children in yr 7 and assumed it was money reasons they didn't.
Walthamstow School for Girls - good facilities, nice building (in parts), amazing results (and nicest food). Amazing amount of enrichment activities. However, couple of girls were a little rude and arrogant to my daughter and friend when they happened to mention they had already read a book set in yr 8. And had the rudest staff member 'welcome' me by refusing to allow me to take a buggy anywhere in the building (despite having a lift) - because they hadn't planned it that way (no flexibility or discussion allowed!). I had to carry my 16mth round and really struggled with the badly organised tour. Teachers made little effort to speak to parents and heard one openly correct a child for a inaccurate comment she made when giving a speech to parents, when I thought praise was required and correction unnecessary. Due to these incidents, I got the impression that the school would not listen to parents (and I need a school that I can work with), and there was a touch of arrogance about it. I know, sacrilege for a school in the Ofsted Hall of Fame, but that was my own personal experience and despite being in the catchment, I will not be putting it high on my list.
Oasis Free School - said all the right things, good values but did sound a bit more like a business than a school. As you can apply directly this year it'll be my 'wild card'.
Rushcroft - Totally bowled over - was expecting it to be awful based on past experience with students in the park, but it was one of the best open evenings! Head teacher dynamic and focused, has totally transformed the school within one year. All the students were engaged and excited about learning, great attitudes. Had the best (individual) tour guide, hands down, and the best impromptu student 'speech' from a girl who has gone from near expulsion to model student as she realised 'I am a leader, not a follower'. Didn't like the building, facilities ok, student work in classrooms did seem not very ambitious/stretching. Fantastic range of enrichment activities.
Apologies if I have offended here - like I said I wanted to share my own experiences as I realise a few hours is not enough of a basis for such an important decision. I know that what is right for my child may not be right for yours. Anyway, interested to hear others thoughts.
Bumping for interest! My DS is only four, and just started reception in Walthamstow, but I'm already wondering about secondaries!
Wow! That's amazingly informative. Thank you.
I too am thinking ahead ... our DS is only 7. Have you visited Highams Park school - you may be out of catchment though ...
I do think - that within Walthamstow, at the moment, Frederick Bremer seems to be the best bet.
Perhaps - if you still want better feedback, put this on the local pages or on the Secondary school page instead?
Just a note to say, Frederick Bremer is going to appear on a new programme called Educating Walthamstow! That would put me right off!
Hi Museumworker - did you ever get any feedback on this thread? I'm moving into the area and am wondering what to do!
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