Secondary Schools - Teddington(16 Posts)
Am considering secondary school choices - any feedback from parents with children recently/currently at Teddington School/Turing House would be appreciated. many thanks.
I don't have direct experience - my dd starts at Teddington this year - but I have a lot of friends with children there. I don't know anyone at Turing House but I did visit it so can share my impressions.
I think both are good schools, and in other parts of London less spoiled for choice parents would be fighting over them. I thought Turing House was very impressive when I visited: obviously, being new and so still very small, it has a real family atmosphere and the children were really impressive. I really liked most of the teachers I met, though was bemused by the science teacher saying that girls are naturally drawn to biology...
If it was staying in Teddington it would be hugely oversubscribed, I'm sure. But many parents - including me - didn't want to choose it when there is still so much uncertainty about where it will be located. I felt very uncomfortable with the local politics, and it ending up somewhere it's basically not wanted and the potential for local resentment about admission policies. Plus, because its catchment is similar to Waldegrave, it is predominantly boys and likely to remain so. But if it gets certainty over location this year, I would certainly recommend you visit it - I hugely liked a lot about it, particularly the caring intimate atmosphere.
Teddington is our local school, so started points ahead. I like its building, I like the atmosphere, I like the fact that all the children I know who are there seem happy and feel safe. I think it probably skates along on its demographic, and doesn't add as much value as it should. I worry about the staff turnover and I wonder if children would be allowed to float along under the radar. It gets talked down quite a lot by local parents - but funnily enough, I've only heard this from parents whose children aren't there. The parents whose kids are there seem pretty happy.
My DS is at TH and loves it. The staff are exceptional - always going above and beyond. The kids are happy and have a good variety of work to do. My DS is happy to go to school and is genuinely engaged in his work. It's a small site but they seems to be coping. Lots of clubs and extra curricula stuff going on and because it's small the kids really do get the chance to try everything, unlike bigger schools. Ultimately, for me, it's down to the quality of teaching - everyone I've met there is outstanding, enthusiastic and dedicated to making the school a success. We count ourselves very lucky.
Another TH parent here with daughter in year8 and another joining her next year we expect. Agree with what blue star says - very pleased with the teaching and daughter very happy and doing loads of extra curricular. We're outside the waldegave catchment in Hampton hill so there are loads of girls from round here who go, not just boys. It's a popular choice from Hampton hill juniors.
Thanks for your responses. Main concern re TH is the site uncertainty.
The y8 Tuting families I know have had uncertainty from the outset but they're a hardy lot with a blitz spirit. You might be surprised how many have had higher preferences offered since starting but have turned them down because their kids are so happy. I think the Whitton site will be great when it gets built as its huge with loads of space for sports facilities. The Amida site would have been a better location but it's not as big . The 481 will need some more capacity for our lot to get to Whitton, but it's walkable st a push. I do wonder if they'll end up needing another Teddington building to tide them over till the permanent site is built, as it's not exactly moving quickly, but we'd be fine with that. The building they have at the moment is lovely inside with all new equipment and all the outdoor sports are in Bushy Park.
Another happy Turing parent here (year 7). Once the site is sorted and they're Ofsted-ed they'll probably be even more oversubscribed, so get in while you can.
I know some happy Teddington families too though, so I'm not dissing that option. You're lucky to have the choice.
We are lucky to have lots of good schools round here, and I'm mystified at how many parents - at primary and secondary levels - waste energy slagging off the schools they're not using.
OP, only you can now how important the site issue is for you. It was a deal-breaker for me, but I was lucky enough to have another good school nearby. If I didn't have that luxury, I would have applied for TH without hesitation.
Hi. I've only just seen this but not many people replied so I'd thought I'd add my view. My daughter is just finishing Year 7 at Teddington School. She loves it - which is great - but even better, I am really impressed with the school and the way they are tracking progress. They have a new system in place this year for measurement. So they grade not just the level each child is working at in each subject but also the effort the child is putting in. Parents get to see this summarised at subject level twice a year, so you get clear feedback on both progress and effort. But if you look in your child's books you will see that for almost every piece of the work they do, the teachers are grading twice (ie giving a grade for level working at and a grade for effort). And along with the grades they give a directed improvement task - ie what the child needs to do to get to the next level. This is very clear, targeted feedback that in my daughter's case, is really accelerating her progress. The school has a very friendly feel about it too and seems to have a strong desire for success across the board, with strategies designed to push progress across all groups of ability. Well worth a look I say.
Thank you magicadvisor, we plumped for Teddington and my son is starting this September and am very pleased with what I've seen so far - and your post is really encouraging too!! Thanks for taking the time and effort to post this.
That's great news, hope he really enjoys it, welcome to the school!
Thank you! I'm sure he will - he can't wait to get started :-)
My daughter has just finished GCSEs at Teddington. I have been very happy with it on the whole. Downside is the turnover of teachers which we have been assured is normal % for this area where younger teachers struggle to live anywhere locally and thus tend to move on after a few years. But it's a very happy place from the point of view of the students. Daughter has a couple of friends who transferred from other local schools where they were bullied and they have been much happier at Teddington. There is a huge range of students from geniuses to special needs and it's a large cohort in each year (249 in her year) and I think some parents struggle with not having the amount of feedback and personal contact they are used to in primary school and don't realise that the teachers are very busy and no news is probably good news!
My impressions of Teddington, having just seen a child through gcses is exactly the same as Dorcas suggested I'm afraid. There didn't seem to be any passion for learning being engendered in the children there. It just seemed to be going through the motions and hoping enough info stuck. That is until Year 11 when panic sets in and they throw extra lessons in. It also seemed to me that they were coasting on their demographic. So many parents were paying for tutors in multiple subjects to get their children to the required level. This seems disappointing given the overall calibre of the children that enter the school - you just have to look at the SATs of the local primary schools. I also felt they were satisfied with C grades rather than encouraging children to get the best results they can. Maybe things are starting to change as I know they are starting to tackle the problem of low level disruption in lessons. My child used to say that sometimes the teacher would address the lesson to them as they were the only one listening! I know there is a recruitment and retention problem, which provides a difficult challenge for the leadership team. But from accounts of others, there is more buzz about other schools in the area, e.g. Greycourt or Orleans.
I think orleans is very similar. Lots of low level disruption. Erratic home work so you get into a pattern then there isn't any so you have to start all over. Pupils aren't pushed to do better till year 11 then lots of catch up classes. It's OK not outstanding
That is until Year 11 when panic sets in and they throw extra lessons in.
Happens a lot, and yes re the coasting because of a 'naice' intake similarly.
grilling questioning schools on whether they use specialist teachers all through the school, ie in KS3 as well as KS4 - this is a key diffentiator, but parents are easily fobbed off/impressed by eg seeing that books have lots of 'marking' in them as below
Some schools will only put their specialist teachers into y11, while using eg IT teacher to tech English, Geog to teach maths etc for the lower school - do not accept slippery or woolly answers - eg 'all teachers are qualified'. Yes, but in what? A teacher who is keeping one page ahead in the text book is useless for the able or the struggling..
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