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Newland House(20 Posts)
We are looking to relocate from central london to Twickenham/Strawberry Hill area. Please can I know your thoughts on Newland House school? My colleague went there 20 years ago and remembers it as quite "militant" which is funny because the current head has a military background and I noticed the kids all jumped up our of their seats like little soliders when we visited the classes. The children didn't look particularly happy in the upper school and the head is a bit odd and cold. However it is the only school we have a place in, academically it looks ok (though none to the top schools such as St Pauls - is that because of distance or they just can't pass?) and I like the music programme.
Any thoughts welcome. This is a huge decision for us.
Not personal experience but a good friend sent two of her children there when they returned to the area. They were delighted with it, though I got the impression the children were worked rather hard with high exam expectations and lots of tests. Those children have gone on to St Georges and I think that was a popular destination.
It's ok. I've tutored lots of boys from Newland for Hampton. Some struggled a lot. If your child is very able and likes to be pushed, I'd go for the Mall or, for a girl, LEH juniors is really good. Think they are all hung up on daft report styles and weird tests these days. Some of the Newland House homework seems a bit dull, but all solid traditional stuff. St Catherine's has a very good prep, mixed ability, less academic than LEH but still good and a caring pastoral system. Hope this helps.
Should add that the usual destinations at secondary reveal a fair bit about the primary school. Hampton is more selective than St Georges, which has just lost its long serving head Jo Peake....and has a worryingly large number of young senior managers getting appointed. Hampton has also gone through changes recently, also has relatively new head, but more academic and sporty. If your child is very able, aim for LEH and Hampton, if they are an able girl but a bit quiet, St Cat's is good. LEH or St Cats juniors and the Mall do very well.
Sorry.. also Rokeby School and Holy Cross over in Kingston are good. Staines Prep is really up and coming and got six into Hampton last year. Girls do very well too. NH is good, but your are right about the homework snowballing. They aren't so good at varied learning styles and I've heard concerns from some parents too...basically, work hard and try on all tasks, sometimes set with little structuring or modelling.
Thank you for the info. Anyone else have any knowledge?
If the only aim is to get your children into a private secondary I would just say that my daughter's state primary school also "got" 6 boys into Hampton. My next door neighbour's son also got into there from a state primary this year. Obviously they were all reasonably bright boys some of whose parents paid for a bit of tutoring although not all. I think Hampton and the other local private secondaries are perfectly accessible from the state system and are able to pick out children who are the right level of ability and will be happy there. I don't know of any children from this area who go to St Pauls' and I don't think many parents choose it in preference to more local options.
Not sure where you live, LProsser, but when I lived in Twickenham and Richmond as a child there were lots of children who went to both St Paul's schools. Agree that you don't need a private primary to access private secondary unless your children may need extra help.
Newland House is where lots of my friends from secondary school went before I met them. It did not seem like a very nurturing environment but things may have changed.
I live near Newland House. I suspect more go to St Pauls from the Richmond side of the Borough now as Hampton and LEH are considered as equivalent and much easier to get to.
I also agree that going to a state primary will not preclude you from getting places at the selective secondaries. They are looking at ability and potential over cramming (though few tutors or private preps would want to highlight that, and in some cases I am not sure if they even understand the distinction. I certainly know of incidences where Prep Schools were surprised by who did and who didn't get in to the selective senior schools because doing well in their repetitive testing regime does not necessarily equate to being able to show all the dimensions of ability and personality that the school seek evidence on in the admissions process). Though not perfect they do tend to spot ability even if the pupil has not attended a private prep / years of tutoring, though it helps if they have had some preparation for working in test conditions and with the parts of the curriculum state schools will not have yet covered. All of these schools have a significant number of pupils coming from state schools, especially Hampton because its main entry is 11 and most Prep Schools are geared to 14 + entrance and resist their pupils applying at 11. LEH have around 30% coming from state primaries even with all girls applying at 11. Even, I understand St Pauls Girls', who used to have a pretty miserable record, is also making a determined effort to make its admissions process one that enables those from the state primaries
and not just Bute House to be successful.
So if you are choosing a Primary/Prep chose it for whether you think your child given their personality /confidence/maturity / learning styles will be happy there and achieve their potential, not based on what schools they get into at 11. Not all, even the most able pupils respond well to being pushed, whilst there is an issue in the selective 7+ preps with pupils being heavily tutored to get in and then struggling and losing confidence. For example each year there are a couple at LEH Juniors who are advised that the senior school is not for them. The 7+ system is becoming less popular with parents and I know some who have chosen Newlands over that. As well as facilities, extra curricular etc. I would rate it being a local school as especially important. It makes friendships easier and you less grumpy as a result of south west London traffic. And for boys do you want them to be in that school to 14 if that is their policy. I have seen some tall, nearly bearded young men, look distinctly embarrassed by that red taped blazer which looks so cute on a 4 year old! Of course getting a place at a local state primary can actually be harder than getting a place in a Prep!
There is a huge range of private selective, and not so selective, secondaries available to anyone living in Teddington. Children from this area go to, in addition to the ones mentioned, KGS, KCS, St Pauls and St Pauls'Girls, Godolphin and Latymer, Latymer, Putney High, Surbiton High, Reeds, Claremont Fan. Slightly harder if it is a boy but still you will have many options from which to chose the school that will suit your child best at 11.
There are fantastic schools in and around Teddington both state and private we are very lucky and spoilt for choice. That is providing you can afford a house or rent on the doorstep of the state schools. Our daughter goes to Newland House and is really happy there. She is doing well and it has a very caring atmosphere under the watchful eye of Tracey Chong who is a fantastic head pre-prep head. I only see happy confident children and I've had plenty at my house on playdates. They all come from aspiring family backgrounds true but lets face it it makes parent gatherings easier when you know that everyone has the same aspirations and hopes. That there children will go on to be confident, successful and more important happy. So i can report Newland isnt perfect what school is but its a close as one can expect.
sorry i can't let some of those comments from pollykane go!
we live in fricking teddington. there are not many children without "aspiring family backgrounds" "aspirations and hopes". Are you serious?
fwiw my DDs went to state primary and now selective academic secondary with many dcs from newland house. The parents ARE THE SAME. Get over yourself.
Calm down dear! There's no need to be so over reactive. I'm not sure why you have wilfully misinterpreted my comments? I have no doubt the whole of Teddington is full of aspirational and loving parents that's why we all like i here . I merely replied to the question that was asked about experiences of " Newland House" (that was the links theme). I didn't feel anything I had written was in anyway doing down any other schools (either state or private) or indeed any other parent. I was merely commenting on the school my child attends. I dont know which school you attended but Reading and Comprehension clearly wasn't your specialist subject!.
You may want to check your grammar dear.
Actually some of those "aspirational" parents are a complete PITA when it comes to Years 5 and 6 (and again in Sixth Form) . A few of us developed the skills of SAS hostage rescuers getting our children out of the playground at pick up time so they, and we, were not exposed to all the competitiveness, anxiety and misinformation mainly arising from their need to control a process that is beyond their control.
I just wish they would focus on their children's confidence and resilience rather than their vicarious "aspiration". You come to realise that is what matters most.
Yes, Couldn't agree more. My definition of an aspirational parent is one who wants the best for their child and provides them with as many opportunities as possible to find out what it is in life they enjoy. It's not a pushy parent who takes them to every after school club and private coaching lesson available so they end up out of step with all their school mates. Yes my grammer is poor I blame my Comprehensive schooling! What a terrible experiment that was bring back more Grammer Schools.
I have a child in the pre-prep at NH who is very happy and loves going to school every day. I think that every child has a unique life both inside and outside of school and I hate the idea that any school is just creating robots ready to pass on to the next institution (secondary/ uni whatever.) We chose NH because it is local and small class size was important for our child. Class size is the only reason we didnt go to local state. I have no expeience of the prep school but imagine we will carry on through. No school, private or state, is a perfect organisation; even if it temporarily achieves that state, it can all change overnight. I imagine there are children/ parents at all schools you will/ wont get on with. I hate the idea of chosing a school where everyone is 'of a similar mind' but it would seem that many try to. It can be a tough choice, but I would suggest that once you've made it you dont analyse and question it unless you really have to.
I had 4through newland one still there
teachers very good- headmaster very good
kids only stand up to be polite as my son tells me
great school- they however dont want pushy parents
my 3 have gone on to top notch boarding schools *best in the country and stil have one left- great grounding prep school
Imo and outdated, 20 years ago I attended Newland from 7+, got an offer to Kings College at 11+ but parents had me stay on for CE. However I left the country and ended up in a completely different system.
Head Masters back in the day were Geddes, Hadman and Ott. Teachers were overall good but a few questionable hires. Feedback wasn't sufficient I felt. Teaching in the lower years were better and memories fonder, great for younger learning. At 12+ the school didn't quite flex boys enough to really fly in prep for the CE but grounding was good and kids were bright.
These days the results have slid. In a good year Newland used to be able to send a nice salvo through to St Paul's, KCS, LEH, Hampton. Some familiar destinations these days but the stats don't seem the same. Continuity/consistency in schools are not a given, and the area has big competition. I always felt the rivalry was great and elevated schools collectively.
There are a few threads on Newland House so suggest read them all.
We had 3 children recently completed their time at NHS and we would recommend without hesitation.
In terms of destination, boys go to St Pauls most years from NHS, so if destination is important to you check the most recent data. In my youngest sons year 5 went to KCS and 4 to St Pauls, plus Hampton, Wellington, Reeds etc. Most girls go to LEH and Surbiton, shorter travel distance seems to be a bigger factor at Year 6.
Newland is a good all round school, supporting Year 7 & 8 for boys too. Broad extra curricular, sport, music, drama and other clubs, I would say less "hot-house" than some prep schools based on friends at some places.