Kew Riverside vs The Queens School Kew(6 Posts)
Hi everyone. Would be interested in hearing from parents of children at either of these schools as my DS will start in 2019 and trying to chose. Their results seem similar but would like to hear from parents more about the ethos of each school. Riverside is smaller and seems to pride itself on its friendly commuinity feel. TBH I was a bit shocked at how religious The Queens seemed to be from walking down the corridors - lots of scripture everywhere! The head said they did Passion Plays at Easter etc. We are firmly secular but I was brought up in Christian faith so don't mind a bit of it but it seemed quite full on. Any insights from other parents about this? I get the impression that The Queens is more sought after than Riverside but interested to hear why this is... Thank you!
Both schools are very good. From what I have heard, Queens being bigger it has a natural practical advantage when it comes to resources vs Kew Riverside. You may see more resources on extra curricular, or simply on the capacity to draw from a bigger pool of parents for anything they need, including time and commitment. On the other hand I have heard Kew Riverside is very nurturing, the community feel is great, the parent scene is very good and friendly and less clickey and more focused on the children and what matters, and some people prefer it because of that and also because it suits their DC better than a bigger school.
I believe (but check) that Kew Riverside use Queens facilities so do not worry too much about the new building (although Queens space cannot get any better).
The wrap around care is very good at both schools.
The HM at Queens has done a great job turning the school back to Ofsted Outstanding. We went for a visit earlier this year. We were on the tour and saw the Reception class in a very big room with the whole 60 children inside, with different tables set up for activities but clearly was more free play, and I thought, why on earth you you put the 60 children together inside instead of keeping separate classes? Also I have to say, the HM seemed a bit disengaged and would only speak about the facilities and the new building (ie a stale speech really, the building is not the news anymore). The last time I saw this, the HM left after a few months so hopefully I am wrong!
I have given you the angles since I assume that is what you are interested in, but both schools are very good and I would personally see myself functioning in both, with a bit of involvement. I also have some friends and acquaintances that are very happy with both schools, and I do not know of anyone unhappy. So not a clear choice I agree, and depends on your DC and personal circumstances.
Others may have (very) different views so I hope you get more feedback.
Thanks DancingbytheRiver for your very thoughtful and considered reply. My DS is very young for his year being a July baby so feel like a smaller school might be an easier start for him, but who really knows?
The tour I did at The Queen's was similar to yours - the HM went on on about the buildings but didn't talk about the children and when she was asked to sum up the ethos of the school she said that it was "purposeful" and children "got on with things" which I thought was a bit underwhelming.
When we went to see Riverside it wasn't an organised tour as such, they just fitted us in, and we were shown round by the children (sweet, but uninformative) and then met the Yr1 Head who I liked, but we didn't meet the HM. And the public areas seemed a little unloved (reception playground had lots of stuff covered with tarps and looked horrible for example) - difficult to know if they were in the middle of things of whether it shows the school is a bit careless. But teacher did discuss how child-centered they are; they are going to bring in Forest School next year and the school is taking part in a pilot with Barnados about social and emotional learning, both of which I thought were great ideas.
If anyone else has any experience of either school would love to hear it! Thank you.
I heard yesterday, I was right, the HM at Queens is leaving.... does anybody know what are the plans for a new HM?
The usual plan in those circumstances is to appoint a new one . And sure enough, a quick Google shows they're on the task .. www.tes.com/jobs/vacancy/head-teacher-kew-richmond-upon-thames-1183004
Church schools do sometimes struggle to recruit Heads because they place faith requirements on the role. My kids were at another CE school which had to go through 3 rounds of recruitment before they got someone.
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