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Darell vs. other primaries in Richmond area?

(26 Posts)
tspsds Fri 18-Nov-16 10:13:52

I'm considering Darell for my son to send to in September 2017. Does anyone have any experiences and opinions/pros & cons of Darell compared to the other local primaries such as Holy Trinity, Marshgate and Deer Park?

Intagli0 Fri 18-Nov-16 21:15:59

My son started in reception at Darell this year. He is very happy and we are thrilled with his teacher. The music is fantastic. It's a very friendly, inclusive school which stretches the most able but supports all the children very well. As an ex-teacher, when I was looking around the local schools, I thought the teaching was the most creative, engaging and intelligent. Good luck with your choice. It's a bit of a stressful time doing the application! Go and look at all the schools, but there's a lot to be said for being able to walk to school if you live locally.

Intagli0 Fri 18-Nov-16 21:17:14

Ps. It's nice to be able to play in North Sheen Rec after school and go to the café!

tspsds Sun 20-Nov-16 17:58:51

Great to hear your son is happy at Darell IntagliO! Were you concerned that they don't seem to do so well in the national tests?

Intagli0 Sun 20-Nov-16 19:02:16

There is a much more inclusive intake than many of the other local schools which is a great strength of the school - children with English as an additional language, children with special educational needs etc. The results in their bald form don't take this into account. And yet the children make great progress from their starting points... And the most academic children do very well indeed... But hopefully have a greater understanding of the variety of people that make up society too.

The teachers at Darell are fantastic. Come and have a look. It's honestly a very happy school where children of all backgrounds thrive,

Intagli0 Sun 20-Nov-16 19:03:28

Hope you choose it for your son!

NorthSheenisNice Mon 21-Nov-16 09:16:48

My son is in yr 6 at Kew Riverside. To be honest (with the exception of Deer park about which I know nothing!) I would say it's impossible to choose a bad school in this area at the moment.

Go around and see all the schools you might get into and choose the one you like the most.

MrsSDepp Mon 21-Nov-16 22:33:47

Holy Trinity has got a playing field and lots of lovely outdoor space, including a new conservation area. The outdoor space was one of the main selling points for me. I'm a bit biased but my 2 children are extremely happy there and I do think it's a wonderful school. However, as another poster had said, they're all very good round here, and you need to visit each one to get a good feel for what is right for your family.

NorthSheenisNice Mon 21-Nov-16 22:45:17

Hey we have a playing field too!!!

MrsSDepp Tue 22-Nov-16 19:05:58

Hello NorthSheen! Sorry, didn't realise!

Icimoi Wed 23-Nov-16 00:33:56

To be honest, with Richmond primary schools it tends to be more a matter of finding out which one you will realistically get into rather than choosing. For some, you won't get in unless you live in the next road so there's not point putting them down as a choice.

tspsds Fri 25-Nov-16 23:03:18

Hi, thanks so much for your replies! I did visit most primaries in Richmond. Based on where we live I think Darell/Deer Park are the ones were we'll get in. Marshgate may be still possible but am not sure if it's not too "academic" and too little child/play focused particularly the first years after reception. Deer Park is probably a no due to new site (distance & relatively small outside space).

AbsintheAndChips Sat 26-Nov-16 14:48:52

DD is at Darell (she is ten) and is very happy and progressing/achieving well. There is a huge range of academic abilities in her class but they all seem to be well catered for. I think Marshgate is probably the exact opposite of Darell so it really depends on what you are looking for! DD's cousin is at Marshgate and it seems to be a very very different environment.

tspsds Sun 27-Nov-16 22:57:56

That's interesting to hear. Do you mean Marshgate is more demanding of its children?

AbsintheAndChips Mon 28-Nov-16 11:59:15

No, that's not what I mean at all. I think I'm talking more about atmosphere and priorities of the school.

MrsSalvoMontalbano Thu 08-Dec-16 13:08:55

When I moved to that area my DC were pre school and the LA person who came to speak at the NCT said that parents were obsessed with primaries, but all the Richmond primaries are excellent - the problem comes with secondary...And yy unless you are catholic, you will realistically only get into one school anyway.

Boatyboat Wed 27-Sep-17 15:05:54

I'm glad a new thread has been started about Darell which is more up to date. My daughter is now in year 1 and we are loving Darell. It's a truly inclusive, nurturing and lovely local school. What I like most are the other families and parents who all seem committed to making it a great school for their kids and who share the ethos that school should be a happy, fun place where kids learn to love learning. It does not force a pushy or competitive environment and considering its diverse population it does incredibly well academically.

It's international, with students from all over the world. It is both socially and culturally diverse which is why it stands out from other schools in the borough. I care about inclusion in all senses so this works for me and my family.

For us it was the only option due to the competitive nature of the system in Richmond and based on where we live (actually quite far from the school but with no viable alternative). I wasn't sure what to expect and now I realise I had some misconstrued anxieties about what matters. If you are considering Darell, or rather, if Darell is likely to be the school that you will most likely be offered a place then I think you will be pleasantly surprised by what this unique school has going for it. It's a hidden gem in our community which should be celebrated. My daughter loves school and is thriving, I couldn't ask for more- she's only 5!

gtijerina Thu 19-Apr-18 21:01:09

Hello- We're going to be moving next to Old Deer Park this summer and missed the normal school allocation process. Would we have a good chance of getting Darell in the off season process? It seems the closest to where we would be?

AbsintheAndChips Fri 20-Apr-18 00:01:22

I think you would probably be OK to get a place. Maybe ring the school and ask? What year would your child be going into?

gtijerina Fri 20-Apr-18 14:02:42

She would be going into reception. yeah, calling them is probably the best idea.

Lupiform Fri 20-Apr-18 15:27:06

Over the last few years I think there have usually been a few spare places in Reception so I think you stand a decent chance.

Sunshine0925 Mon 23-Apr-18 18:39:43

I am not sure if this is the most appropriate thread to post this on but it is the most recent so I am hoping you may be able to offer some advice. Do you think the schools classed as outstanding are comparable to the Kew private primaries? I am really struggling to choose between them and can see pros and cons in each. From speaking to parents in the private schools it seems they are there because they didn't get into/ didn't have a suitable state option? I am so confused. We can afford private fees if there is truly a benefit but don't want to spend money where it isn't necessary. I would love to hear your experiences

AbsintheAndChips Tue 24-Apr-18 13:40:12

What do you want to get out of primary school? Entry to a selective secondary?

My child is at Darell, which is one that some people seem to go private to avoid, and has just got into both Tiffin Girls and SPGS so it would have been a massive waste of money to have sent her to a private primary from our perspective. Quite honestly, all the Richmond state primaries do a really good job so I can't really see what the benefits of private would be.

Sunshine0925 Tue 24-Apr-18 14:55:06

That is really great, congratulations to your daughter!
I did look around Darell but was put off- the classrooms and corridors seemed very dark and in need of redecorating and the head kept focussing on how they help underachieving children but obviously your daughter is evidence that they support brighter children well too!

My concern with state primary is the larger class size, not as much foreign language (but does that matter?) will my child be pushed as much? I want child to be happy and not over pushed but I think stretching them is a good thing. I hear state schools focus on getting children up to a set level then once achieved focus on other children needing extra help?

Yes, my aim is to have happy children that achieve their maximum potential and get places in selective secondary schools, probably the same as every parent!

AbsintheAndChips Tue 24-Apr-18 15:13:44

I think Darell is really good at differentiation. DD has had some really good opportunities while there - stuff like lessons from a secondary Maths teacher and other enrichment activities. They have a really wonderful music teacher. Every year learns a different instrument in KS2 so they get the opportunity to try several out. They do French in KS2.

I think all the state primaries offer some foreign language and I am not sure how much it is necessary, tbh. Secondary schools will assume no prior knowledge in any case.

Class sizes haven't been a problem for us. DD has been in classes ranging from 18 to 34 (very briefly) at different times and quite honestly, the smaller classes were worse for her. Children need to be able to spark ideas off each other and a big class means more potential friends.

I'm not particularly keen on the head at Darell, but the actual teaching is mostly absolutely brilliant.

Realistically speaking, you will probably only have the choice of one or two schools in any case from the state sector. Most schools' catchments are pretty small. And you know your children best - are they very bright? If so, you don't need a prep or tutoring. Are they likely to need 'pushing'? If so and you want a selective secondary, you might need to think about tutoring or opt for private (but that's obviously a lot more money).

I don't personally think a private primary is worth the money but many seem to. DD had a girl in her class who joined from Kew Green Prep in Y2 (the family has since moved out of London) and she was not ahead in any way, nor did her mother think it had been worth the money. The mother thought the teaching at Darell was much better!

And of course, I only have experience of one school - they are all different!

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