Schools in Fulham - your views(5 Posts)
DS1 is starting school in September 2016. He's very chatty and interested in how things work, loves reading and learning facts but also playing in the sand (what else can you tell at this age?). We've done our research: Ofsted, Good Schools Guide, visited all the schools but one, chatted to neighbours. We liked the school options where we live and are finding it hard to prioritise - although assessment may rule one or two of them out. We also have a DS2 who will be starting in 2018, and we're not ruling out state schools (however, not being religious, we haven't got a very wide choice).
Please reply or PM me if you have children at any of the schools below and thoughts to share. In particular, we want to get a sense of how the school instills a love of learning, and how it supports children in choosing a secondary school (so experiences from Y5-6 or Y7-8 for FP and T's particularly appreciated, but all are welcome). We are not just looking for glowing reviews, as nowhere is perfect - just an honest opinion of the school and any thoughts to share. Here they are, in no particular order:
Fulham Prep - established, good results, Ofsted outstanding, good facilities. Recent changes of Head for Yrs 3-8 (previous head back in charge after attempt to hand over, but for how long?) and school ownership (now owned by Educas). Unsure about what this will mean for the future of the school.
Thomas's Fulham - established, good results, Ofsted outstanding, great facilities. Leadership determined and stable. A bit concerned about homework and pressure in later years, although children seemed happy when we visited.
Parsons Green Prep (Eridge House) - feel of a smaller school, ISI inspection good, great facilities. Concerned about frequent changes in leadership.
Sinclair House School - recently expanded from Yr3 to Yr8, Ofsted good. We were really quite impressed with the Head and teachers, and nice new building. Slightly concerned about lack of outdoor space and results record.
Redcliffe School - established, good results, ISI Excellent. Boys leave at 8, so would commit us to changing then (not a problem in itself). Slightly concerned about small outdoor space.
And for the state options:
Melcombe Primary - Ofsted outstanding, very diverse intake, children seem happy. Facilities okay (as expected, less shiny than private schools).
Earls Court Primary - quite new free school, some good reviews from local parents. A bit of a trek until it relocates to the new development. Haven't had a chance to visit yet, will do in the Autumn Term.
Finally, for the wildcard, we also visited Hill House. We really liked it, but Ofsted obviously didn't. It's also quite far and potentially difficult to manage the different drop-offs. Head changing.
WLFS/Earls court just got outstanding which I would take as a good sign - incredibly tricky to get!
Equally I wouldn't be put off by the Hill House Ofsted as they are aiming for an entirely different education.
Thanks, TwigletPiglets and everyone who PM-ed me.
Regarding Earl's Court Free Primary, we'd be going for the Earl's Court allocated places with an outside shot, but as you say, it's getting very tricky to get into. Also, interestingly, they have removed preference for WLFS-Group Primary schoolchildren in the application process for the WLFS Secondary (following consultation: www.wlfsat.org/uploads/Note_on_Admissions_Consultations.pdf). Not necessarily an issue as long as the primary is good, but something to weigh in when considering a longer commute.
In fact, the commute would be the main thing counting against Hill House (rather than the poor Ofsted report, which I gather they are addressing): 30 minutes+ every day, potentially until 2026. It's a very personal choice, and I know many people commute longer for the right school; I'm just not sure I'd want to do it if there are schools that are just as good (or better) for our DCs on our doorstep.
Apologies, the previous link didn't work: www.wlfsat.org/uploads/Note_on_Admissions_Consultations.pdf
We are looking at offers from a couple of the smaller schools on the list, with the bigger ones due in January (and state ones due in April, but we're not in a great place for catchment).
As it's getting very close to decision time, we would really appreciate any further insights from parents with children in these schools, or others going through the same process.
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