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How hard is it to get into Alleyns Junior School?

(46 Posts)
Poodilicious Thu 09-Feb-17 19:45:03

My DD is 3 and we are looking for a great preferably co-ed school to send her to next September. We are considering moving to Dulwich as there are great schools like Alleyns & jags but was wondering how hard they actually are to get into?

2 main questions:

1. If there are hundreds of applicants and only 18 places, what exactly are they looking for? Most kids applying will be bright, so how can they possibly narrow it down to only 18?! Especially when it's so hard to tell with such young children...

2. What are the popular "back-up" choices for the unsuccessful kids? And are they any good?

Really appreciate any advice from mums in the area that have been through this... Really don't want to move to an area based on great schools if there's only a 1 in 10 chance of getting in and no good back ups...

Thank you!

woodlysmum Thu 09-Feb-17 19:59:04

Hello. My DS did the 4+ assessment for Alleyns a few years ago and was offered a place. We didn't take it up in the end due to transport logistics and finances. It was the only private primary school that we applied to.
He really enjoyed the assessment process. I vaguely remember that he had to do puzzles, draw, build things, listen to a story.

woodlysmum Thu 09-Feb-17 20:01:00

PS Of the girls I know who didn't get into Alleyns- one went to JAPS and the other to Bromley High. The boy I know who didn't get into Alleyns went to Dulwich Prep

Helspopje Thu 09-Feb-17 20:04:41

Not sure
We are localish but have great options closer so went for them

3 thoughts
3/4+ is a pretty random chance selection time. Evidence is that a meaningful assessment of future likely academic performance cant be made until 7+. I'd be keen to know if there was a sib policy in place and so know how many spots for new families were likely to be available
There is no proximity criteria so no real uncentive to move locally in advance of being successful in being allocated a space iyswim.
There are a lot of other prep otions around there - ducks is popular for one.

Poodilicious Thu 09-Feb-17 22:45:24

Thanks both of you, very helpful. You're right - I think there is a sibling policy too in which case there must only be a handful of places left & hundreds of applicants... Nuts...

Anyone else have any experience / advice about schools in the area?

Abetes Fri 10-Feb-17 09:18:42

My ds joined Alleyn's Junior School at 7+. He didn't have a sibling in the school. I can't remember the proportion of siblings vs non-siblings. I know that all the children who joined at 9+ (6 of them) didn't have siblings already in the school tho - whether that was coincidence or not I'm not sure. I think that they are "family friendly" but there is no absolute sibling policy so there are lots of new families to the school too,

MrsPatmore Fri 10-Feb-17 09:35:47

I think it would be easier to get in at Junior level. There isn't the same amount of competition. At 11+ this year there were 750 applicants. Siblings do get priority but still have to pass the test (I suspect most are a shoo-in though as long as they're reasonably intelligent).

njshore Fri 10-Feb-17 11:13:34

MrsPatmore, that's a lot ! Is that for Y7 entry? If yes, for how many places? How about 13+?

coldandold Fri 10-Feb-17 13:03:38

Actually, I think you have a statistically higher chance at 11+ when there are about 90 places available (allowing for the ones taken up by junior school pupils).

I gather there were 300+ applicants for 18 places at 7+ this year.

So approx. 1:16 chance at 7 versus 1:8 at 11.

Abetes Fri 10-Feb-17 16:52:17

I agree that it is harder to get into the junior school than the senior school if you look at number of applicants vs number of offers. Also, at 11+ the school make far more offers than places as they know that the candidates are probably taking exams for lots of schools. Someone told me that at 4+ they make 19 offers for 18 places as they are rarely turned down.

MixedGrill Sun 12-Feb-17 13:29:47

Sydenham Girls, Streatham and Clapham, JAPS, and DUCKS, the Dulwich College co-ed prep which has girls til 7 and close links with JAPS/JAGS and Alleyns, which many go to. Also Rosemead.

Also if you are in Dulwich Village the state primary is very favoured, as is Charter for secondary. And Kingsdale.

PlumT Sun 12-Feb-17 14:10:52

Mrs Patmore my youngest is a pretty bright Alleyns sibling and didn't even get interview at 11+ and I've heard the same from other mums who have kids already in the school. I also know of 2 kids who got academic scholarships from jags and Dc who didn't even make interview stage at Alleyns. It's got increasingly popular so I think entry at any level is highly competitive.

Summersunandflowers Mon 13-Feb-17 09:40:54

Hi, my daughter tried for Alleyn's this year. She didn't get in. She has a sibling at the school, I know a number of other siblings who also didn't get a place. Does anyone have any feedback on Sydenham High? Not sure whether to go for Rosemead or Sydenham? Thanks

mnistooaddictive Mon 13-Feb-17 09:43:44

Can I suggest you post in the local section for where you live. Mums net is an international site!

Poodilicious Mon 13-Feb-17 10:17:15

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

AnotherNewt Mon 13-Feb-17 10:22:24

There is a Londin topic now, where it might work.

But you can't use MN Local for London schools issues because potential schools straddle borough boundaries.

There are oodles of threads asking about schools in the various education topics. It is the normal place for them.

And February is the peak of the private school offers round, so there is a spike in the numbers of threads too. It'll all calm down (just in time for the state school offers and a spike in posts about how to appeal effectively)

fleurdelacourt Mon 13-Feb-17 10:24:00

erm no need for name-calling!

But agree - there are lots of discussions about specific schools on the main board, no need to go into Mumsnet local.

FWIW I also know of siblings who didn't get in to Alleyns at 11+

Rosemead/Sydenham - depends what you want. Sydenham will see you through to 18 and won't prepare for 11+ to other schools while Rosemead specifically targets the 11+ - with considerable success.

MrsPatmore Mon 13-Feb-17 14:13:38

I hadn't realised just how popular Alleyns was! I guess at least you have two bites at the cherry - if you don't get in at reception then you can try again at 11+.

Summersunandflowers Mon 13-Feb-17 20:20:43

Hi Fleur,
Thanks for the reply. I'm happy to avoid the 11+ if Sydenham High is good. I loved it when I looked around, I just want to be sure! My eldest is at Alleyn's and I want to make sure they both have a good education. Any experience of Sydenham, or is it better to do Rosemead and then 11+?

mnistooaddictive Mon 13-Feb-17 23:34:54

Poodicious- no need for personal name calling. You are rude and deserve no advice if that is how you wish to treat people. I will post in whatever threads I like and you need to remember your manners.

user1487078534 Tue 14-Feb-17 13:40:01

Alleyn's prep school is much harder to get into than JAPS. Speaking as a Dulwich parent, Alleyn's has a much better local reputation and tends to get more applications/acceptances from local parents. JAPS tends not to be the first choice for local parents, applications tend to come from further afield from parents basing their decisions on league tables (which can be misleading). We found the teaching at JAPS mixed, where my daughter spent three miserable years. There was persistent bullying from unhappy, competitive, overworked girls, which the school to our mind did not do enough to counter. The only good thing I can say about JAPS is that entry to the senior school is pretty much automatic, and the new (or not so new) JAGS head Mrs Huang has been fantastic.

ridinghighinapril Tue 14-Feb-17 15:49:30

The problem with comparing competitiveness between JAPS and Alleyn's is the former will only have applications from girls whereas the latter will have applications from the same girls plus boys. In addition, there are only 9 places for girls at Alleyn's versus 36 at JAPS.
Schools also have a vested interest in hyping up their exclusivity and then parents get themselves into a frenzy and perpetuate it. I personally have not come across one having a better rep than the other.

Obviously, your/your DD's experience is a different matter and I'd hate that for my DC. Is it a systemic problem in the school? I know of another family who's son was bullied at Alleyn's and is thriving at Dulwich College, girls who love JAPS and another that didn't enjoy her time there but (AFAIK) wasn't bullied.

ridinghighinapril Tue 14-Feb-17 16:58:49


bialystockandbloom Tue 14-Feb-17 17:23:32

Wow this thread is a bit worrying for me - we've just accepted an offer at Japs at 7+ for dd, turned down Alleyn's! Pretty surprised at user's post, especially the bullying part.

Ime Alleyn's doesn't have a 'much better' reputation (especially at senior level), just a different one. Having grown up in the area and known many people from when I was at school myself, and friends with dc at both now, Alleyn's has quite a different vibe to it. We chose Japs as it seems to suit dd more, she's not particularly outgoing but pretty academic. Alleyns seems to put a lot of stock on its drama reputation, which isn't really dd at all.

I gather there were about 200 applicants for Alleyns at 7+ (18 places both sexes), about 130 for Japs (15 places).

FWIW we also loved Sydenham High, would have probably chosen it over Alleyns actually if we hadn't got Japs. Really lovely feel to it. But so much depends on your child, and it's a lot harder to tell at 4yo (as opposed to 7) what will suit them. I do think co-ed at least till 7 is better.

The main difference between SHS and Rosemead is that as Rosemead is a classic Prep it will focus on the 11+ whereas SHS (or Japs/Alleyns) won't as most will stay to 16/18.

All the big dulwich schools are ridiculously competitive,like many places in London.

ridinghighinapril Tue 14-Feb-17 19:03:27

Interesting numbers - assuming (reasonably, I think) the majority who applied to JAPS also applied Alleyn's, then only approx. 70 boys applied to Alleyn's. I can only assume the JAPS intake is from a wider area than Alleyn's, hence the disparity.

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