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Co-Ed Non Selective Prep - South East London

(18 Posts)
hkmcgilp Fri 16-Jun-17 09:18:43

Morning - happy Friday.

Wondering if you lovely ladies can help me.

Im after some school advice.

Are there any non selective co-ed prep school around south east London?

I'm looking for my son who is 2 in August - however - as he is a Summer baby, wondering if anyone also knows of any schools that are ok with delayed entry?

HIs name is down for Dulwich prep - has assessment in January.

I'm after options in case he doesn't get into DPL Which is fine.

I'd also be interested in state schools as well. And I'm aware that as he grows we may need to change, however, would like to try and avoid the schools that only go up to year 2 or whatever and then change or are they ok? I'm just trying to minimise change.

I'm Australian and just not sure where or what I should be looking...

Many thanks


PettsWoodParadise Fri 16-Jun-17 18:15:44

Whereabouts are you? Further out than Dulwich you will find the likes of Babington (co-ed to 11 then girls after that); Farringtons - both in Chislehurst. Farrington's have a pre-reception which was like a cross between pre-school and school and suited our DD. They had some who were out of the usual year group. Some boys start at these schools and move on at 7 to the likes of Eltham College or Dulwich. I know you said co-ed but I know lots of happy boys who went to Bickley Park school that goes onto 13 and has some great destinations. A dedicated all ability co-ed prep that finishes at 11 is Braeside, they support applications to grammars and independents.

I know you say you want to minimise change - we did too and initially chose an all through school. However it suited her perfectly to end of Y2 and then she outgrew it and it wasn't the right fit so we changed at Y3 for a selective school, that was OK (not brilliant though) and she could have stayed on for secondary but chose our local state grammar.

hkmcgilp Fri 16-Jun-17 19:12:11

Hi PettsWoodParadise

Thank you for your response.

We are in Dulwich but not ruling out moving. I'm also conscious of any commute.

I have the prospectus for Breaside at home which I must say I haven't properly inspected.

DS is starting at Dulwich Oaks Montessori in September and DPL may not be suited once ready, hence getting all ducks in a row.

A few people have recommended pre reception at Herne Hill School and then taking an exam (7+) but the thought of an exam at that age terrifies me. Thought I could have this wrong.

I'm going along to the next bickley park open day, so thanks for that.


Micah Fri 16-Jun-17 19:16:26

Colfes and st dunstans? Both co ed and non selective.

citykat Fri 16-Jun-17 22:25:20

Oakfield? Rosemead? The Villa in Peckham ( Bellenden)- all will have some sort of assessment day but less 'rigourous' than DPL. Or Dulwich College DUCKs.
State school will be whichever is closest to your home. Unless religion to assist you.

andsoshesays Fri 16-Jun-17 23:21:35

Think Colfes is selective now. Although not difficult to get in I think.

Lowdoorinthewal1 Sat 17-Jun-17 09:21:07

I think you are right to avoid 7+ for a Summer born child. A lot of the 7+ assessments are in January, at which point my DS would have been 6.4. He is a bright boy and probably would have been ok with the maths. However, his motor skills would still have been well behind. He only really started to be able to form his letters correctly at the start of Y1 and would not have made it to writing a timed composition by January of Y2. He could easily do that now at 6.10- those extra months still make a massive difference at this age. Likewise he would have been able to read the comprehension papers without a problem, but would have struggled to write full answers under timed conditions.

Some settings that use early selection claim they adjust for Summer borns but in reality I think few Summer borns make the cut. My friend's DS is in a selective pre-prep that had a specific Summer born selection session. Despite this NONE of them were selected in his year.

user1489830224 Tue 20-Jun-17 11:33:19

Colfes and St Dunstans are not massively selective at nursery/junior, thank goodness. They are selective from year 7 and Colfes have now added an extra year 7 class due to popularity. Colfes in particular have great facilities for all pupils for sports, a pool, large sports fields, etc. Also a theatre, they do LAMDA and a very extensive music dept with all pupils encouraged to learn an instrument. Worth a look.

user1489830224 Tue 20-Jun-17 11:36:25

Colfes is in Lee, just off the South Circular, a short drive from Dulwich.

hkmcgilp Tue 20-Jun-17 12:28:46

Thank you. Breaside won't take him outside of his afe, so would have to start when he is 4.4 days in reception..not 5...I'm also looking at colfes as well..

user1489830224 Tue 20-Jun-17 12:51:20

I'm a Colfes parent You're welcome to PM me.

hkmcgilp Fri 23-Jun-17 16:26:23


Thank you for all of your input. I've requested a prospectus for all schools suggested.

Just wanted to find out, some of the suggestions have senior schools attached, so I wanted to find out:

1) do you need to go to a pre pre prep for entry into an independent or grammar (I'm trying to figure out the difference).

2) can you go to a government primary and still get into somewhere like colfes or alleyns (for example)

3) how can you find out if an independent senior schools has 'feeder' primary schools that are and are not pre prep.

Do independent schools have catchment areas?

I'm wondering the above in case my little one doesn't get into a pre prep and or we are not amazed by those we see.

Please also correct me on if any of the above is incorrect. I'm Australian and our school system is slightly different.

I'm finding this all very overwhelming. I also realise that at not even 2 - I can't predict his senior school, but if I can find a good junior with prospects that would be awesome.

Many thanks

Micah Fri 23-Jun-17 17:20:23

1) do you need to go to a pre pre prep for entry into an independent or grammar (I'm trying to figure out the difference).

No. Independent= fee paying. They set their own entry conditions. Grammar- state school so no fees. They are allowed to select by ability, so you sit a test, best scores get in.

2) can you go to a government primary and still get into somewhere like colfes or alleyns (for example)

Yes. Lots do as primaries in those areas are excellent.

3) how can you find out if an independent senior schools has 'feeder' primary schools that are and are not pre prep.

They don't. They'll have the associated primary school which if you attend allows you to continue through the school. In se london theres no such thing as a "feeder" school really, as state selections are done on home to school distance, faith, ability, etc.not which primary you went to.

Do independent schools have catchment areas?

No. They can pick who they want.

hkmcgilp Fri 23-Jun-17 17:42:55

Thank you

PettsWoodParadise Fri 23-Jun-17 18:25:16

Just to add to Micah's excellent post, just because an independent school goes from 4-18 it doesn't always mean an automatic pass through. Many do, but not all. If they are selective they may also edge you out before the usual transition time if not at the right level and some have tests for the senior school to determine who goes through.

Also on catchment areas some schools have rules on distance to travel, for example the excellent Sevenoaks school is part day and part boarding, for day students they say no more than an hour's journey.

hkmcgilp Fri 23-Jun-17 18:55:45

Thank you pettswoodparadise .. this school search is quite simply a nightmare - but thank you all for your help

HikingIsBest Wed 30-May-18 16:47:12

Hi user1489830224 - would you remember if you had to pay a fee to Colfe for doing the initial assessment at the age of 3+ to see for Reception level? Thanks!

Qualified Mon 30-Sep-19 10:12:20

Breaside did the same for my summer born and he had to start in reception when he had just turned 4. I had a letter from the Secretary of Education, our local MP, speech and language therapist, pediatrician reports etc. saying they needed to use the Summer Born act. They didn't but that was due to the fact they had already offered all the school places and despite me asking them for a year in advance they did not save him a place. I moved him out of the school in year 3 as the quality of teachers at this school is very poor and he is now at a brilliant school.

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