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St Christopher school letchworth

(16 Posts)
SarahCordarragh Fri 20-Mar-15 22:39:31

Hi, does anyone have their kids at St Chris and, if so, what do they think of it please? Possibly looking to change schools

Milco Thu 26-Mar-15 22:45:38

Hi Sarah
I have two DCs at St Chris - they are still little, in Reception and Year 2. They are very happy there. Very happy to help with any questions - though don't know a huge amount about the senior school. How old are your DCs?

SarahCordarragh Fri 27-Mar-15 09:44:45

DC is 7 years old so currently in Year 2. How do you find it there?

Milco Fri 27-Mar-15 16:03:05

Hi Sarah

So we have two the same age. My eldest is a DS. He loves the school and his teacher, and has made good friends. We chose it with him in mind at reception and it suits him well - very friendly, everyone knows one another, and is very good I think at nurturing and valuing everyones talents (or indeed lack thereof!) - be they academic, sporting, creative or a mixture. He was a shy and sensitive 4 year old and it has really helped him blossom.

My DD joined him at the school as soon as she was old enough (rising 3) and although she is quite different in many ways, she is also thriving. I think some parents to choose it as it has the reputation of helping children who for whatever reason are not thriving/may not thrive in a more standardised school, but actually I think their approach is great for all children - at least from what I have seen/experienced.

I have also found it a good place to make friends myself. We are very local and had an existing network of friends in the area but I feel I have met lots of like minded people at the school, which is something I wasn't so sure I would.

What sort of thing are you looking for? Are there any particular worries you have about the school?

SarahCordarragh Sun 05-Apr-15 09:47:07

Hi there

Thanks for your reply. I think St Chris is the perfect place for our DD, however, she is currently quite happy at her current school and they are doing a lot to help her with her dyslexia. My issue is for the future and as things step up in an academic environment, how she will cope and manage. I can see us coming to St Chris during the next year or so, rather than immediately.

I was wondering what the level of SEN there are in the year 2 class as I know there are only 9 children in it?

Also, do they still push the children a bit or are they allowed to go at their own pace (my DD might just sit and do nothing on that basis!!).

Have a lovely Easter.


Milco Mon 06-Apr-15 09:52:06

Hello again

Happy Easter to you too.

Yes it is a small class - currently 10. To my knowledge there is not a high level of SEN within the class. Maybe one child has a bit of extra help - but I'm not even sure about that. The school is, however, very SEN friendly - if you can say that. I think further up the school the proportion of children with an identified SEN increases - as the class sizes increase - I suspect because parents seek it out for that reason.

I would also say that the school is, IMO, very good as making minor adjustments to the way they do things to suit the individuals in a class. I think helps children who are a bit different from the mold thrive. I suppose I'm saying that there does not seem to be a clear distinction between SEN-child - therefore adjustments made/extra help given vs non-SEN child - therefore everything "the usual". Maybe other schools are like this too? But I am sure it is a lot easier with the high staff to child ratio they have at St Chris. My DD is in a much larger class - 18 - and as far as I can see there is a similar approach.

They do push the children in the sense of encourage, set expectations which are manageable for that individual. What they don't do is push children to meet an externally imposed or generic standard. As far as I can see, they try very hard to make the lessons stimulating and accessible, and to support children where they need adjustments, with the aim that all children will be motivated to, and will, learn at their own pace.

I would say that my DS is the kind of child who would have benefitted from a more continental-style early education - i.e. play-based until 6ish. This of course is not what the UK generally does. St Chris has steered a course in between the two - they follow the early years curriculum and (more loosely perhaps) the KS1 curriculum but without the pressure to meet particular standards at particular points. Now in Yr 2 his reading and writing are taking off and - most importantly I think - he has really enjoyed his learning at school so far, even though at times I think the amount of reading/writing has been at the upper edge of what he was comfortable with.

The school has a reputation for being against competition. I think this is broadly true - it tries to celebrate talent without too much focus on prizes for the best. But certainly my DS does pick up on who in his class is furthest up the reading scheme etc and this is now something which he cares about - and which seems to be motivating him to read more. I think this has come from him and conversations with his peers.

The idea of choosing a school which does not try to motivate children through pressure does sometimes feel like a bit of a gamble - though more for the senior school - I am very pleased about the relative lack of pressure in the primary years. But so far I have been pleasantly surprised by the degree that my DS is developing his own motivation (though you couldn't really call him a swot grin).

Of course, as with any school, there are occasional niggles. But overall we are very pleased with it for both our DCs.

Hope that helps. Always happy to answer questions - here or via PM (though actually not sure if I need to set that up first). Maybe see you at St Chris some time.

Milco Mon 06-Apr-15 09:53:46

Just re-read that - a bit of an essay - sorry grin

SarahCordarragh Sat 04-Jul-15 12:42:59

Been ages since I've been on here! The issues all went away but now they are back with a vengeance so we are probably going to get DD to go to the open day and if she likes it, then get her to do the assessment day. Looks like we will finally meet at St Chris sometime in the autumn term!

Milco Mon 06-Jul-15 21:30:59

Hi Sarah

Good to hear from you. I always forget to come and look on the local board. I am watching this thread now so I get a message when someone posts - wish I had found that before!

Sorry to hear that issues for your DD are back. You probably know - but just in case - you can arrange a visit at any time, not just at the Open Day (not sure when the next one is - October maybe?). Anyway, I hope your DD does like the school when she visits (and you do too) and maybe see you sometime! Always happy to (try to) answer questions here.

SarahCordarragh Wed 23-Sep-15 13:39:21

Hi there, just to give you an update, we are coming to the Open Day on Saturday with a view to having DD come in for her assessment day shortly thereafter. Will let you know how it goes!

Milco Wed 23-Sep-15 21:14:15

Hi Sarah

Thanks for the update - that's great! Hope you like what you see on Saturday. DS is really enjoying Yr 3 so far - which we are v pleased about as he LOVED his Yr 2 teacher so a hard act to follow. Maybe see you one day soon then if your DD does come for a day in school. If you want to ask any questions after the Open Day you are very welcome to PM me (or post here).

SarahCordarragh Wed 30-Sep-15 14:32:49

We loved it and DD is coming in on Tuesday for her taster day. She's very excited! Will most definitely see you soon.

Milco Wed 30-Sep-15 17:02:07

Fantastic! I'm so pleased you liked it. I will look out for you and your DD on Tuesday and tell my DS too. Looking forward to meeting you!

Kpark2018 Tue 03-Jul-18 06:38:28

Hi I know this is an old thread but did the change work out for you? Wee are considering DD for year 6 this coming September. Any insights appreciated!

Indybindy Sat 25-Aug-18 10:53:32

Anyone know Heathmount school? Looking for a gentle not so academic school for my daughter .

Indybindy Sat 25-Aug-18 10:55:44

Sorry posted in the wrong place!

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