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Private Schools in Caterham ( Essendene)

(13 Posts)
Hellomummy9 Fri 03-Feb-17 10:21:00

BEWARE of Essendene Lodge School in caterham. They will sell you a wonderful story about small class size and friendly/family like environment. This is anything but the truth. The reception only has an assistant helping in the morning (I was told two full time teachers, as were other parents).
They will tell you that your child will receive one on one time with a teacher everyday. This is not true. I had to complain on two different occasions, as when I read my sons reading log nobody had read with him for FOUR weeks!
They don't do gym there, my friend had a meeting with the head about this, and they gave every excuse under the sun!
They won't show you this, but there is no cafeteria or inside space for the kids to play. So my son is eating, learning, and playing in the same room all day ( with no PE class) How boring! The outside space is very sad as well, not even a bit of grass.
I liken the head to a politician, you will never get a "sorry, we will try to fix that" from her..
I'm not the only one with a problem here, we are leaving but a lot of the other mums I talk to feel stuck.
Do yourself a favour and go to Oakhurst grange or a good state school. Avoid this place like the plague!

Dribneleh Mon 20-Feb-17 17:14:24

Oh dear what a shame that this parent feels this way. I moved my child from a state school to Essendene Lodge. He couldn't read when he arrived and now he can read confidently thanks to his 1:1 sessions. He loves his teacher and I have been blown away by how his confidence has grown in such a short space of time. The head is wonderful, she cares for the children and only ever wants the best for them. The school is based in a small area so facilities are limited however they are perfect for the children. Who cares if there is no grass if your child is learning loads and skips happily into school every single day? The school realised that my son is very musical and he now has been encouraged to join the choir and have piano lessons - something he would never have considered elsewhere. He also goes swimming weekly - an important life skill. In addition to this, he has another physical education lesson each week. He is stimulated by the outdoor play area which is safe and age appropriate. I would recommend this school to everyone and am sure that the above message will prompt similar responses to mine in very little time!

Hellomummy9 Mon 20-Feb-17 20:22:11

Oh dear, the administration is posing as parents now.. Your post sounds like a cheap advertisement. 🙊😳

MrsParticular Mon 20-Feb-17 22:35:52

I imagine that the mum who responded above searched for this thread due to the consternation and intrigue whipping around the Essendene playground today following a couple of other mum’s discussing it. That’s certainly why I took a look this evening.

How long has your child been at Essendene? You single out Reception and only have one child at the school given your post so that would mean you have been a parent at the school for just over one term.

That’s quite an emotive list of issues you’ve created for one term…perhaps this gives an insight into why the Head may have had her diplomatic skills on overdrive?

I don’t see eye to eye with the Head all the time either - but a Headmistress is someone you want to lead a school with passion, put in place a teaching team who are committed to helping children reach their individual potential and command their pupils respect; and for me she ticks all of those boxes. She’s not exactly Mary Poppins…but then I want a Headmistress not a best friend who tells me that I’m right all the time.

My first child left Year 6 at Essendene recently to take up a place at their first choice school, as did all of their friends. My second child is still at Essendene with a few more years to go.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but the original post on this thread really does deliver some ‘alternative truths’ and is as questionable as a Trump press conference.

It’s a small school. They cannot ‘not show’ you anything.

Any parent who has their eyes open when they visit the school will see that it doesn’t have the rolling fields that you can pay far more for at other schools – it’s something every parent who has taken one look at it knows before selecting the school for their child.

The children eat in small groups with their teacher at lunchtime which my child loves – if you prefer a cafeteria with banks of tables I find that odd but each to their own.

There are two teachers who take sports classes and every child has sport in their timetable from the start with different sports and activities rotated across the year.

Size is obviously important to you. I wish you luck when you transfer to a big school with a cafeteria. I feel compelled to wish your next school the same luck, if not more, in the process….I have a feeling they might need it.

Hellomummy9 Tue 21-Feb-17 06:34:01

I wanted to leave quietly, but his school has made it extremely difficult for me to leave because they love my 💰.
I wouldn't wish my experience there on my worst enemy. I am afraid for anyone looking at this school, I felt I had a responsibility to speak out about it.
Everything I said is true, no reading for 4 weeks, inconsistent one to one time, no PE classes for weeks.
And yes, I certainly feel children sitting in one classroom ALL day with no PE, or when it rains, is bad for their development.
Thanks for the well wishes though! You sound really friendly and mature.

Dribneleh Tue 21-Feb-17 08:13:26

Thank you for your response. I am a parent at the school and I had heard about your message so responded in a mature and civilised manner in order to give people a balanced view of the school. How sad that this has been perceived otherwise.

MrsParticular Tue 21-Feb-17 08:47:03

The school has policies when it comes to fees just like any other. Every school requires you to give notice and looks for parents to abide by the contract they sign - if they didn't do that they couldn't continue to provide the great schooling that we believe our kids are receiving. You will find the same policies in place wherever you transfer your child to unless it is a state school. As it happens the school delivers a huge amount for fees which are much more affordable than others and to my mind concentrates on what's important rather than the expensive add-one which tend to make parents rather than children happy.

You said you wanted to go quietly, so it's important for you to realise that this thread identifies who you are - you have posted that you are in reception and that you are leaving. No other children appear to be leaving. Very shortly your child or another parent will share with others that you are leaving. That kind of info goes around a playground like wildfire. Just worth realising this and consider deleting this to avoid being cornered in the playground by parents who disagree....the few that were discussing this yesterday were quite passionate about their disagreement.

Hellomummy9 Tue 21-Feb-17 09:16:04

I see you are trying to bully me into deleting my post, I will not. I don't care if you know who I am.
I saw you speaking with the head and I see she is rallying the troops! So very unprofessional yet I expect nothing else from her. Your post is rude as you have made references attacking my character (likening me to Donald Trump?!) 😂 Just because I disagree with you? Oh dear!

I won't be censored, otherwise I may liken you and the Head to be Kim Jon-un!
I'm done now really, this is getting silly. But thanks for the good laugh.

Prospective parents: If you are reading this, the thread speaks for itself. If you have a complaint you will be threatened into compliance by the head and her cronies!

MrsParticular Tue 21-Feb-17 11:44:53

You've truly misinterpreted my post. I'm just very aware of how these things can get out of hand and given how you were unusually open about certain details I wanted to ensure you were aware of that.

Guillemot2 Tue 21-Feb-17 21:12:39

I find it hard to believe you are talking about the school that my son is attending. I guess it's all about expectations and priorities... All I will say is that my son is really happy at school and making incredible progress. He is keen to learn and take part in class and it's all down to charismatic teachers.

AJrunner Wed 22-Feb-17 15:21:56

Hellomummy9, I'm sorry you have had such a bad experience with this school.

I don't know your personal circumstances and I don't have experience of the infants part of Essendene as my children both joined in year 3. However I will say that I my experience of the school is a very positive one.

My eldest child is leaving this summer to go on to her first choice senior school. A school I might add we thought would be unattainable given her starting point in year 3. It's been down to the tireless work and support of the teachers and headteacher (and a lot of hard graft from my child), that this has been possible.

I think you will find notice periods with the school fees will be exactly the same where ever you go unfortunately.

I hope you find a school that is a better fit for you and your child.

fabfortysomething Thu 23-Feb-17 15:13:06

My child has been at Essendene Lodge for just over three years, having joined from another school. We felt welcome from the moment we walked through the gates and in all this time I have never heard any parent express these sentiments.

Our experience at Essendene has been an exceptionally happy one. The school is outstanding academically - all our Year Sixes have done very well in various entrance exams - and we could not have asked for a more supportive and nurturing environment for my child, who has grown in confidence and flourished.

I would not hesitate to recommend the school to any prospective parent.

MrandMrsFamily Sun 05-Mar-17 16:14:02

It may well be that Essendene Lodge school is not the right school for your son, it is however a shame that you publically slated an excellent school rather than just going quietly.

We imagine you provoked so many comments because parents at Essendene Lodge appreciate our school, see how hard all the staff work and how happy our children are. There cannot be many schools where the children, who are the best judges, are so well looked after.

Most of your original negative comments refer to facilities you must have known about when you looked around the school. As parents perhaps you didn't notice the outdoor spaces or the absence of a cafeteria.

Our eldest child has already moved onto secondary school where the foundations laid by Essendene Lodge have given him an excellent start.

If only more schools were as caring as Essendene Lodge there would be considerably more confident, happy children enjoying an oustanding education.

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