harris south norwood

(7 Posts)
jimmyjoejamtoe Sat 16-Jan-16 14:15:38

Why is this school often sneered at, shunned, derided by "naice" parents in the area, when the results are like this:


Am I missing something? Genuine question. It looks good by that dashboard, Imo. Anyone any thoughts on the school?

Minifingers Mon 18-Jan-16 06:30:27

Harris is my nearest school. I know some children who are bright and hard working who are doing very well there. I took my own daughter out in year 8 however - just felt it was a too socially challenging environment: harsh and joyless, not just the children but the teaching staff, who I thought were massively pressured and didn't seem very happy. I suspected staff turnover was very high. At one point my daughter had 8 maths teachers in a term. Her behaviour deteriorated and I quickly made the decision to switch her to a girls school (Sydenham - can't recommend it highly enough, they took really good care of my daughter and communication with us was great). I don't think any of the Harris Academies are very nurturing or happy schools. They are very target driven, which is good if you have a bright, hard working and ambitious child. It's awful if your child is a struggler or has behaviour issues though. My two younger children have gone to Kingsdale in Dulwich.

jimmyjoejamtoe Mon 18-Jan-16 09:56:13

Thanks minifingers. We are Thornton Heath, so I doubt we would get the sydenham one and that'll be quite a treck. Can you recommend any other good secondaries in SE25/CR7 areas? Thanks again.

Minifingers Mon 18-Jan-16 10:27:52

No, it has a fairly tight catchment for year 7 intake. However, we got dd in from a waiting list in year 9 (she was out of school for a term) and I'd always encourage people to look at this option later on if things don't work out at the school you've chosen.

When we were looking for ds2 we really liked the Norwood school (just near the top end of Streatham common). It's smaller than quite a few others, has great buildings and a really nice atmosphere. They also have a catchment you'd fall outside of but they select 10% for ability in dance, art and music.

Kingsdale where my 12 year old goes (and where my 10 year old will hopefully be in September) is doing really well (bar the double stabbing in November sad It's in the top 20 oversubscribed schools in the UK. They select by lottery and also 15% by aptitude for music and sport so have no catchment. It only takes my ds 35 minutes to get there door to door and he's coping ok with the travelling.

If I was doing it all again for dd I'd have picked Norbury Manor over Harris for year 7. Know quite a few people with daughters there who feel it's a nice school. I really have issues with the highly sexualised and aggressively sexist culture in some of our mixed schools in South London. My daughter was exposed to some vile language and behaviour at Harris - kids watching porn on their phones in the playground, a boy in year 8 sexually propositioning her in a really explicit way when she was just 12. She's a tough kid and not in any way shy, but it reduced her to tears.

Sorry - not meaning to scare monger because I know bad stuff goes on in all schools. It's not a specific Harris issue. I do worry about gang culture. My children are mixed race and it's a real thing to them. There some really sexually exploitative, violent and nasty behaviour going on in some groups - it's more of a problem in South London than many people realise. Much as I like the area I would always choose to educate my daughter in a single sex school, and my boys in schools which are more reflective of the London wider demographic than of the area immediately surrounding my home. Kingsdale seems to have lots of nerds, very bright m/c children and eccentric kids, as well as lots of kids from tough estates from Peckam and areas like that. It's a proper comprehensive that really does cater for all social groups and all abilities. It also seems to have a reputation for turning out happy kids, and for me that's more of an issue than the GCSE results.

Filthycop Mon 25-Jan-16 13:07:00

Ou daughter is in Y11 at Harris South Norwood and we have generally been happy with it. She is a 'naice' girl from a middle class family and has managed fine - she doesnt really mix with any kids that cause trouble. There is more fear about gang culture than actually exists there. She had an incident with bullying which was swiftly and effectively dealt with.

She is currently being crammed through her GCSE s and they are piling the pressure on - which is hard! but hopefully effective. As parents in a Harris you have to be a little pushy to get what you want - but I expect that ios the same in any school. We had initlaly hoped for Harris Crystal Palace at the time but then decided that the local school would be better for her. We have never wished that we chose a different school for her.

That all said - we will look for alternatives for our son who is applying soon - I think that the split site with 400 Y7 children all starting at once is a bad idea and quiet children will be lost and overlooked.

jimmyjoejamtoe Mon 25-Jan-16 14:20:53

thanks, that's an interesting post filthy.

cheers for your input.

Minifingers Thu 16-Jun-16 13:29:42

"There is more fear about gang culture than actually exists there"

If your daughter is sensible and mature and hard working she's probably not mixing with children who are in, or on the fringes of, gang culture. My dd was, and it's very real to us and to me. It really isn't middle-class pearl clutching.

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