Good private primary schools in Greenwich/Blackheath
Does anyone have any feedback on the Pointer School or the Steiner School in Blackheath? Or any other school in the Greenwich/Blackheath area? I don't come from this area originally and am at a bit of a loss re: feedback on school's here. Any positive or negative feedback much appreciated.
I lived in Blackheath many years ago and heard good things about Pointers but I think it only goes up to age 7 - not 100% sure. ExP knows the head and we did consider it at one point. Don't know anything about the Steiner school sorry. A friend sent her DS to Colfes but it didn't work for him - she told me a few unpleasant stories about it. Her DD ended up going to the small girls school in the village which she was happy with and her DS went to a private school in Eltham which worked out well for him. I know the state primaries in Blackheath had a good reputation - the one on the Cator estate, sorry don't remember the name, although I'm sure there was a thread on here where it said it had gone down hill (you might want to check that as I could be wrong) - maybe due to a change of head. And the other state primary John Ball I think was also considered good but I'm talking 10 years ago now so who knows. All Saints in Blackheath is supposed to be great but hard to get into. I think there's a catholic primary in Lee that's supposed to be good - St Winifred's? I could be making that name up but it rings a bell for some reason. Meridien primary in Greenwich I think is on the up from what friends tell me and Millennium not so good although useless head from what I've heard has now left. Facilities at Millennium were excellent though - lovely, newish school. If you're thinking of secondary as well I've heard Thomas Tallis is going down (just a friend in the area's view) while John Roan is improving but it was in special measures and I'm not sure I'd send a DC there. The secondaries in Greenwich are terrible, or used to be (worst performing borough I think at one point). Haberdashers Aske Deptford way is good (boys) but hard to get in to. Some friends are happy with Kidbrooke. HTH.
Haberdasher Askes, Hatcham (Deptford) is for boys and girls!
All Saints is a CE school and you need to be an active church member or live incredibly close to get in. Same is true for St Winifred's which is Catholic.
SE13Mummy - I stand corrected! I don't know why I thought it just boys so checked the website and it is co-ed although school years 7-11 are single sex for individul classes although they mix together for other stuff which is why I thought it just boys. I'm glad I found that out - it's in my head to possibly move back to London for work. ExP lives fairly close to the school. Sorry to hijack the thread but any idea if it is possible to get in after the normal admittance year of Yr 7?
I went to see Pointers for DS (it does go all the way up to the end of primary). I found the headmaster to be odd and I thought the ethos was a little over-religious. I know several people who have sent their DC there and they are very happy with it.
I also know a family with a child at the Steiner school and they are happy with it, however it is a different style of teaching so it might be difficult for your child to move back to mainstream for secondary if that's what you intend. I was very tempted by it because it's more active and the academic stuff doesn't start until they are older which would have suited DS, but I feel there can be problems with the Steiner philosophy and they also request quite a lot of parental input to the running of the school which would have all fallen to me as DH is a workaholic.
Have you looked at Blackheath Prep, and Blackheath High school? Or in New Eltham St Olaves??
Thank you all - much appreciated.
Sallyssss - No - haven't looked at Blackheath Prep or High School yet so will do that.
Tabliope - We are near bottom of Maze Hill so Meridian is a possibility state school wise.
Bran - I really like the idea of the Steiner school but we are likely to move in the next few years and I am a bit worried about how easy the transition would be to a non Steiner school.
SE13Mummy - We are active church members but not the right church for All Saints otherwise it would be perfect. St Winifred's probably a bit too far away as I don't drive : (
If you live close to All Saints and attend another 'churches together in Blackheath' church you stand a reasonable chance...
posted before but think it got lost! If you are at the bottom of Maze Hill v unlikely to get All Saints (as SE13 mummy said needs to be affiliated church for priority) or Christ Church in Shooters Hill or St Winifreds. All v oversubscribed. Meridian is improving but Head is leaving. Blackheath Prep top school (imo) but selective even at 3 with waiting lists! there is also Pointers, Heath House, Colfes and Blackheath High for private options.
If you would like an indie school for your children then I would apply for Pointers and Blackheath Prep, based on where you live and the fact that you do not drive. Bear in mind that your children will have to climb up the hill in all weathers, and if they are anything like mine, expect moaning.
If you are considering state, then you are in catchment for Merdian. This is a school with a very mixed intake, with children from both the owner occupied Victorian houses behind the Trafalgar Road and the estates. Children call their teachers by their first names, and there is no uniform. You may be in catchment for Halstow, but this is not probable. If you are Catholic you could also consider Our Lady of Grace, which would be a bus ride away.
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Halstow, at this years intake - last offer was approx 270 metres away!! bottom of maze hill approx 800 metres. v expensive houses for sale and rent in that 270 metres! good school though but not top of state league tables in the Borough now.
Thank you all - lots of food for thought there.
I guess I had better just roll up my sleeves and enter the fray!
I'd really like a school with a uniform and reasonable discipline as DS1 can be a handful!
Will definitely have a look at Blackheath Prep though given there is a waiting list that could be problematic.
Will check out Our Lady of Grace as well as I didn't know about that one.
louplet - there will be waiting lists for most of them though?
blackheath prep they do an entrance interview around the child's 3rd birthday - so for kids born autumn 2007, those interviews are in the next week or so.
Blackheath Prep looks like a no go as I spoke to them today and the waiting list is so long they said the chance of DS1 getting in was "remote"
Our Lady of Grace a bit too far away as I don't drive.
Will try for All Saints but seems unlikely as our church is in Greenwich not Blackheath so we will probably be too far down the criteria.
Too far from Halstow.
Will try for Meridian as reasonably close to our house.
Have booked an interview (!) at the Pointer School...
Am I the only one to think all this is a bit ridiculous? I really just want to be able to send DS1 to the nearest local primary school and know it is good
have you tried phoning the council to see which primary school you would be allocated? if it is meridian then go and have a look?
all saints - pretty sure that they have a large enough pool of kids from their own congregation/siblings that they don't have to offer outside that - is it too late to switch your church?
pointers - will be interested to hear your feedback?
blackheath prep - i would persevere unless they have closed the list? even if he doesn't get in for nursery, places do come up in reception and throughout the school - if he does well in the interview he will either get in or be nr top of waiting list?
heath house - phoned them yet?
We are definitely going to visit Meridian and also St Joseph's. Really not too keen on no uniform and calling teachers by first name though(Meridian). Pretty sure we would be allocated Meridian as we are only 0.13 mile away. St Joseph's also likely as again it is very close and we attend St Joseph's Church next door to the school.
Will probably give up on All Saints as we don't really want to change our church as we have a lot of history there (we got married there and DS1 christened there and DS2 will be shortly) but will try for Our Lady of Grace instead as it looks like the bus journey there is not too bad though obviously not ideal.
Will let you know re: Pointers but interview not until 4 November!
Am going to put DS1 on waiting list for Blackheath Prep anyway as you suggest. They said that would be ok. I guess miracles do sometimes happen
Have not tried Heath House yet. Where are they?
So, Heath House is no good as the reception class (16 pupils) for next year is already full and 30(!) children on the waiting list...
OMG it is a jungle out there! I never realised you had to be quite so ruthless and/or organised to get into a good school
Hi Louplet - would be really interested to hear your feedback on the Pointers interview.
We are also looking into it and have been invited for an interview (DS only just over 12 months at the moment so we are probably a little bit premature in looking, just panicking when we hear people talking about the lack of good schools in the area!)
Am a bit worried about the "evangelical" outlook and not sure that we'll measure up.
We have been involved a little bit in the Steiner school (Acorns which is for younger children). DS loves the atmosphere - it's very calming and nurturing - but I share some of the concerns on this thread about the transition to mainstream schools at a later stage, so prob won't be sending him to the kindergarten/school.
Hope the interview goes well for you.
Thanks. Will definitely post thoughts on here after the big day! One of our neighbours has a son there and seems to really rate it so we will see.
Having been to see Blackheath Nursery and Prep, I would definitely recommend that but it is likely you would have to go through the nursery to get into the main school and even the nursery is selective! I have my fingers firmly crossed though the chances of there being a space for DS1 next year are remote unless lots of existing nursery pupils leave.
We also took DS1 to Acorns and loved it but just don't feel we can take the risk on Kindergarten knowing he will probably have to transition to a "normal" school a couple of years later.
Having seen the nightmare out there I don't think you are being premature at all. It is just sad it is like this . All I really want is for DS1 to be able to go to the nearest local school and know it will be good.
How did you get on at Pointers?
Hope it went well!?
It was a bit of a strange experience to be honest. It really did feel like an interview. We are still waiting to hear the result. However judging by what the headmaster told us you are definitely not looking too early. He suggested we ought to get DS2 registered now as at 5 months he is a better bet than DS1! We hadn't even thought about DS2 yet!
Essentially they are completely full in the nursery and reception at the moment. We are waiting to hear if they will accept us onto the waiting list.
The headmaster is certainly a character. His office is full of intriguing and eccentric items including an old working juke box and military memorabilia. It sounds like they also definitely have a preference for practising christian families (denomination not important). Having said that he did point out that they do have some non-Christian children there; they are just not allowed to opt out of the religious part of the assemblies.
It also sounds like the family interview is an important part of the process.
Essentially you have the interview and then have to send in a registration form (plus £50 fee) for them to consider you. They then get back to you to let you know if you have a place, are being put on the waiting list or neither.
We are currently waiting...
Will keep you posted
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