Moving to Richmond, Private schools question

(10 Posts)
upwizard Mon 20-Jan-14 03:45:09


We are moving to Richmond area this summer. We will be renting for the first 2-3 years for flexibility and then buy. We have a DD about 2 yo, she starts reception in Sept 2016. As I understand it is a bit late to get a place in a non selective private primary school, but we are going to get to waiting lists of few schools anyway. What do you think our options are? Does anyone has experience of putting their child on waiting list at that age and getting a reception place?
We both will commute to work so cannot look at far away schools. We have to travel to Earl's Court and South Kensington, so proximity to District line would be a major plus for us. I gathered that Old Vicarage, Broomfield and Unicorn school are quite over subscribed, so we can go farther to Twickenham - Teddington - Hampton if needed, alternative is to get a place in a state school and wait for a place at the closest private schools.
Thanks for answers.

twofalls Mon 20-Jan-14 03:54:30

I don't know anything about private schools but the state schools in Richmond are on the whole excellent. Have you totally ruled them out?

upwizard Mon 20-Jan-14 04:29:41

Of course not. The state schools placement is quite understandable for me. You have to live in the catchment area or go to church to get it. We do not go to church, so look at only state schools. Because we rent we are quite flexible and can select a place near a good state school. Private schools are a bit more mysterious for us. We both went to selective state schools, so no experience with private schools. We can now afford it so would very much want to explore private schools as many of out friends are not happy with state schools performance.

twick13 Mon 20-Jan-14 09:04:25

Jack and Jill school Twickenham?
Kew College?
Vineyard state has/a good reputation.

allison67 Mon 20-Jan-14 11:43:00

Our daughter has been at St Catherine's in Twickenham since Nursery, so they will take girls from 3. I could not recommend it more - Sr Paula the Headmistress is amazing. It's a Catholic school, but all faiths welcome - I think over half are non Catholic. Small school -approx 400 girls total. Just one class in each Prep year, then 3 classes in the Senior School plus the 6th Form.

Gingerbreadbaker Mon 20-Jan-14 14:35:03

Hi OP. My starting point would be to visit some of the schools you have mentioned and to keep in touch with those you like. There can be a whole world of difference between the atmosphere in two schools, even though their perceived success rates are v similar. A lot of it is down to personal taste too. I suggest you visit Old Vicarage, Unicorn and Broomfield and see which one "speaks" to you. Remember Kew/Richmond is an area with lots of families from abroad who move on after a few years, so places can and do come up even in the schools which appear over subscribed. Good luck - it's a great area to bring up a family.

upwizard Mon 20-Jan-14 18:12:26

Thanks for your insights. We'll definitely visit all schools and register our DD with the ones we like.
We looked at Jack and Jill, we liked it and it does have places, but it is a bit difficult to reach. Does anyone take their DCs to that school from Richmond?
Did not know about Kew College before, thanks.
I know Vineyard school and heard that it is very good state school.

Gingerbreadbaker Fri 07-Feb-14 10:11:36

Upwizard - you spend a lot of time driving your DCs to and from school - not to mention holiday clubs, school plays etc. My advice would be to pick a school which is easy to get to. If your school is too far it also makes playdates tricky as some mothers just aren't interested in driving very far to drop off/pick up.

Heathclif Sun 09-Feb-14 10:50:52

Totally agree that you should go and look at schools and put your name down at each. You might want to look at whether schools start streaming them in the upper school in preparation for selective school exams at 11. You may or may not want that sort of competition.

Putting names down at birth of course means that waiting lists do move because a lot can happen in four years. Also if you are thinking of having another child some give sibling priority so that if the younger child's name is down in time for a guaranteed place the older sibling goes to the top of the waiting list. That was how we got in when we suddenly found out we were not allocated a state primary place!

Heathclif Sun 09-Feb-14 10:52:02

Also agree that if at all possible live walking distance from the school your DC goes to. Traffic is a nightmare around here.

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