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Creative alternative schools in london

(31 Posts)
Loopyloo80 Wed 15-Feb-17 22:04:17

I've come across the Acorn School in Morden, which looks amazing.

Any other stand out creative schools in london?

By creative I mean non-standard, doing something a bit different to the rest.

BikeRunSki Wed 15-Feb-17 22:09:34

I don't know about now, but 30 years ago when I was at school in London King Alfred's might have been of interest to you. Although it is the other side of London to Morden.

Loopyloo80 Wed 15-Feb-17 22:18:57

Oh yes - I've heard of King Alfred's but haven't really looked into it. We live in North London so it's closer than the Acorn! (Though we're on the move and I am kind of tempted to be led by schools.)

Davros Wed 15-Feb-17 22:45:08

I was going to say King Alfred. Quite hard to get into at secondary as most start young and continue through. I like it but it was not suitable for DD imo as she needs more structure, not that it's unstructured but just too relaxed for her

Loopyloo80 Thu 16-Feb-17 08:33:59

I'm definitely going to check it out after hearing this. Thank you!

Would love to hear of any others?

Davros Thu 16-Feb-17 09:01:33

What age? There is Fine Arts College in NW3 for GCSE up

Loopyloo80 Thu 16-Feb-17 09:28:25

From reception, really - but hopefully up until they leave school.

A fine art college would have been my own personal dream school!

Though my kids are (currently) very into the outdoors. They go to a Forest School nursery and they thrive there.

That has made me start thinking about sort of alternative or creative schools. Mainly because my own education experience was a bit rubbish. I went to a poor school and absolutely hated it (loved the social aspect, not the lessons at all - and PE was dreadful, put me off sports!). The teachers had a hard job, as if was in a rough area, but they did nothing to spark interest. Lessons were learn-by-rote and lecture-style lessons (when we were too young for lectures in my opinion).

Anyway, so I'm feeling motivated to look into giving my kids the opposite!

GrubbyWindows Thu 16-Feb-17 16:02:49

Small Acres in Peckham? They do group unschooling, and charge a pretty penny for it. But it does sound dreamy. (I have no experience of it though!)

AnotherNewt Thu 16-Feb-17 20:17:15

Small Acres is primary only, and about to lose its current site. Admissions suspended until plan for what comes next is worked out.

It was the nearest thing to Summerhill in London.

Davros Thu 16-Feb-17 22:17:04

Steiner schools?

meditrina Thu 16-Feb-17 22:22:25

Steiner schools have an undifferentiated approach and are considerably more rigid than typical state schools in their curriculum and how pupils must progress through it.

Now if you support their ideology Steiner could be exactly the right place for your family. But don't confuse a prescribed later start to reading with a flexible approach.

Loopyloo80 Fri 17-Feb-17 20:12:09

I'm not sure about Steiner. I think there are some aspects I really like and some I don't so much... I think I need to look into it a bit more!

Closetlibrarian Fri 17-Feb-17 20:16:09

Is there a Froebel school anywhere near you? I think you'd like their approach (which, unlike Steiner, has no 'woo' connotations and is founded in actual educational research)

Loopyloo80 Fri 17-Feb-17 22:17:29

Ooh I haven't heard of Froebel schools - I am reading about them now!

I can see there's one in Lewes, having a look to see if there's one in London...

Loopyloo80 Fri 17-Feb-17 22:27:09

Just spotted one in Rohampton - Ibstock Place - which seems to get excellent reports. It's miles away from where I live / would move to though! Arg what a shame! sad

GingerAndTheBiscuits Fri 17-Feb-17 22:31:35

I applied for a teaching job at King Alfred's many years ago and absolutely loved it. The children I met were wonderful and the site and ethos both lovely. In fact I subsequently left teaching because I knew i'd never find a school like it! If I won the lottery I'd want my two to go there!

Loopyloo80 Fri 17-Feb-17 22:48:16

Wow ginger! I need to go and see this school now! (Slightly nervous it might be out of my league expensive since its in Hampstead...)

theothercatpurred Fri 17-Feb-17 23:23:42

Steiner schools are based on a religion called Anthrosophy. As an atheist that puts me off.

But also, their reputation as being centres of creativity is misplaced IMO. They are the opposite of creative.

When learning to draw, for example, the artwork of all the DC at Steiner schools tends to look the same. This is because they're taught a set of symbols and encouraged to use them in all their artwork. They are encouraged to use a particular palette and taught stuff like curves are good, sharp angles are bad (I forget why). That's not creative, that's prescriptive - not to mention batshit IMO!

Worth searching the MN archives for threads on Steiner. If they haven't been deleted, you should find some eye-opening stuff from people who've sent their DC to Steiner.

theothercatpurred Fri 17-Feb-17 23:28:51

On a more positive note - how old are your DC? Do you have very little ones?

If we were still in London I'd love to send my DC to the nursery in Highgate Wood. They literally spend all day, every day outdoors in the woods, building dens, making mud kitchens, climbing trees etc. What a wonderful start to life!

www.intothewoodsnursery.co.uk/

Davros Sat 18-Feb-17 19:28:08

I have to say, we had a Steiner nursery 2 minutes away from us, way nearer than anything else. We didn't choose it because it was too "woo" and poxy premises. I regularly drive past Ibstock Place and it looks amazing.

NotCitrus Sat 18-Feb-17 19:31:56

A lot of state schools are embracing Forest schools and sending classes for a half or whole day each week. Often driven by the desperation to reduce crowding on site, but works well. Have a look at good but not outstanding schools and ask questions.

AnotherNewt Mon 20-Feb-17 06:50:49

I don't think Ibstock Place is a Froebel school any more.

Closetlibrarian Mon 20-Feb-17 13:29:45

Yes, Ibstock seems to have stripped out all the Froebel principles, apart from in the pre-prep (reception and YR1). From that point on it looks like a standard London independent day school (i.e. focused on results, facilities, etc).

Davros Mon 20-Feb-17 15:53:27

Doesn't Ibstock specialise in performing Arts? Something like that from what I read on the sign when I drive past

magnolia99 Sun 09-Apr-17 07:38:27

theothercatpurred
Anthrosophy is definitley not a religion! It's a philosophy. Regardless of how batty it may be, don't conflate the two.

anthroposophy
noun
"a formal educational, therapeutic, and creative system established by Rudolf Steiner, seeking to use mainly natural means to optimize physical and mental health and well-being."

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