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.
Hi my son in year2 is joining pointers this April after the Easter term. We are relocating and don't know the area at all. I would be glad to make some contacts whose kids go to the pointer school as well. Please get in touch
The children at Heath House school seemed very bright and well behaved but a lot of this may be due to genes and the family environment they live in. The school buildings looked very small and cramped, with lessons going on even in the entrance hall when we arrived, due to a lack of room; the school doesn't have significant outside space of its own. The Head owns the school and there is no independent board of governors. She shows families around every day for 2 hour tours in a very "grandiose" manner and did not appear to assess our child at all, just scrutinized us. The Head stopped 1 school pupil after he had politely and appropriately said good morning to her and asked him to repeat good morning Mrs.... in a more subservient way, which seemed unnecessary to us. The school is very small with only 1 class for each school year. I think we will go to a more mainstream school that is not the monopoly of 1 person..
The previous , earlier, independent school inspection reports of Heath House also had concerns re: the management and leadership of this school so worth reading these too.
We're going to nursey in sept too! I preferred it to bh prep.
Has anybody got any recent experience/thoughts wrt Blackheath High? We have already accepted a nursery place there for September and I would really appreciate any comments from other parents. We loved the feel of the school and the warmth of the staff but were a little underwhelmed by the older girls who showed us around compared to students from other schools we have visited.
Many thanks in advance!
Just wanted to post as a mother of two children at Meridian primary school (y2 and y4). I really recommend this lovely school - the new head has made some significant changes, whilst hanging onto the lovely ethos and friendliness that the last head left behind. It's very musical (some of the parents are academics at Trinity College of Music) and creative, and has a very good reputation for parent-teacher communication. This is not a school where you just drop off at the door, and have no idea what goes on inside! You are very much encouraged to get involved and become part of the school community. My kids are really happy there. Do go and have a look round if you're in catchment.
Very interesting Yennefer, thanks for info on Pointers! Would you recommend anywhere else instead?
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Toothypegs Congratulations! Maybe we will see each other at the school gate someday
Beckypops That is very interesting. Thank you. Unfortunately for us we are massively out of catchment for both All Saints and John Ball and were looking for DS1 and later DS2 so Blackheath Girls not an option . Really useful feedback though. I liked Blackheath Prep (we were too late to apply for DS1 to be assessed) but was interested to hear later that some parents had actually turned it down in favour of Pointers.
thanks Beckypops! I am kicking myself that we did'nt go to see John Ball and apply (although I'm certain we are out of catchment) - we may have got in .... never mind, very happy with our choice (private) but would be nice not to have to pay!
Let's see - John Ball - we went there not really expecting to like it that much, despite its brilliant Ofsted results. However I was pleasantly surprised by the very friendly atmosphere, the children we talked to on the tour were very well mannered and well spoken and told us how much they loved their school, and the teachers and headmaster were lovely and approachable. I like the fact there is a mix of kids there from different backgrounds, experience of this I believe is important for children (having raised my three now grown up stepchildren in the rarefied and I think in the end unhealthy environment of overprivileged Palm Beach.) However, I thought the actual school was better overall than the nursery (which is separate to some extent) but I still thought the nursery was very good.
On Blackheath Girls - although it has a great reputation, I had never really seriously considered a single sex education. I added Blackheath Girls into the mix last, just as a way of covering all bases. And I loved it! The atmosphere in the school is just lovely, tons of little girls all running around happily, chattering away to us, very nice building and facilities, the friendliest teachers and headmistress you could ask for. No daunting 10 task test (like Blackheath Prep!) just an informal interview. I really couldn't fault it.
Hi Becky - would be interested to hear your reasons why you liked Blackheath Girls and John Ball - I never went to see John Ball but the website was impressive (and its results).
On the religious thing -
Just wanted to let you know that we interviewed for nursery at Pointers last year and told them straight out that we are not religious, and we were offered a place.
And contrary to popular opinion, All Saints confirmed they hold about 30% of their places for non-churchgoers.
We've visited Pointers, Blackheath Prep, Blackheath Girls, John Ball, All Saints and Colfe's and after going in with the firm pre-conception that Blackheath Prep is the Holy Grail I ended up surprising myself by liking Blackheath Girls and John Ball the best!
Hope this helps!
Just a quick one! Louplet - I wanted to let you know that we got a place! How odd - especially when he said it was full. Perhaps that is just a ploy to make you want the place more!
Good luck with starting school this year.
Happy 2011! x
Absolutely. It is a jungle out there! I was brought up in Welling and went to Chis and Sid and was just totally unprepared for how Machiavellian and/or organised you have to be to get into a good school in Greenwich.
now I know why old school friends have moved away from Blackheath as their kids have hit school age.
I went to BHS senior only. Sister went to junior and senior, other sister junior only.
Brothers went to dustbins (St Dunstans)
No problem. Sounds like a similar experience. He was pretty definite that they were full at our interview but firm that we should apply and we got a place! So, it is worth applying if you are interested. There is another thread on Pointers that I started if you want to see some more feedback like I did.
We have accepted the place : ) It is for reception in September next year.
Hope you had a great Christmas. Good luck with whatever you decide to do re: schools.
Sorry it's taken so long to reply
That's fantastic news!! I'm really pleased for you.
We did have our interview. It was, as you say, odd!
We weren't there that long - he was very busy with other interviews. He didn't really seem to have the time to talk. We were told that there is a waiting list. However, he was quite insistent that we apply - so who knows!? I guess people must drop out along the way as they get places elsewhere.
I'm so happy that you got a place though! I guess you are going to take it? Let us know how you get on! x
Just wondered if you have had your interview at the Pointer School yet and if so what you thought?
I can't believe it. DS1 is being offered a place at the Pointer School! I guess the interview went better than I thought.
Fingers crossed for you too.
Thanks so much for the feedback. It sounds interesting to say the least!
I really hope that you have some success there (if you still want it after having seen it!)
We are going for the interview this month so will post thoughts back here. I'm a little nervous
Fingers crossed that you have some luck. Please keep us posted!
I went to Blackheath High many years ago.
The Junior is now in the old senior in wemyss road.
No idea what the schools are like now though...
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
How did you get on at Pointers?
Hope it went well!?
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.
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