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Rosemead or Alleyn's?

(22 Posts)
speaka1000words Sun 30-Jan-11 12:37:20

Hi all

I'm new here, I'm after a bit of advice please.

My son has been lucky enough to get into both Rosemead and Alleyn's.

My head is saying Alleyn's and my heart is saying Rosemead.

I'm hoping someone on here who has children at either can give me an inside view.

Basically, Alleyn's is clearly incredible but

1 - when we went on the tour there was not one black face in the whole junior school. Or asian. Or chinese.

It seems odd that the school is so overwhelmingly white, given that London isn't. It felt almost strangely stepford wivish, if you see what I mean

2. On the assessment day, there were one or two nice mums, and several who were really standoffish, one to the point of being rude. I was chatting to a friendly posh mum and another posh mum came up and basically just cut me out the conversation! I thought it was incredibly rude but I found it amusing at the time, but now I don't -what if I'm cut out and my son doesn't get pay dates? what if I don't get on with the other mums?

3. we can afford the fees, but we haven't got a big house or a nice car etc - will we fit in? All the other mums at the assesment day were all clearly much better off than us, and I wondered if this contributed to their stand offish nature.

4. several were already tutoring the kids outside school - it seemed insane. can I avoid being caught up in this?

so, I just didn't like the feel of Alleyn's in many ways - am I wrong to not send son there on a hunch? Anyone else got experience and can assure me that it is not overwhelmingly posh and a person with a thick accent like mine, and clearly (ex!) working class will actually fit in.

onimolap Sun 30-Jan-11 12:48:01

The advantage with Alleyns is that , unless something goes badly wrong, you can stay until 6th form and never go through this again. And that's how you avoid tutoring.

All the Alleyns parents I know (mainly senior school, but a few in the junior) are really nice and normal. You risk getting weird/stand-offish/unpleasant parents at any school. And it's something you can't predict, so cannot plan to avoid.

I don't know about the ethnic make up of the school or how representative it is of Dulwich. I do know that not all the white families are British. They are not all rich. The upper school has a lot of bursaries, don't know about the juniors.

But in the end it's your child, your gut and your choice. What are the up sides of Alleyns for you? And the ups and downs of Rosemead?

prepschoolinsanity Sun 30-Jan-11 13:44:15

well, my one totally failed to get in to Alleyn's - I was totally naive and did no prep, but some of the other mums at the assessment were talking about their tutors, and their two nannies - one for looking after and one for teaching numbers and letters 'and other educational stuff'

(at 4 by the way...)

I thought Alleyn's looked amazing on the tour, but in retrospect, you are right - not one non white face. What is that all about?

My one is going to Rosemead - I'm delighted!

CaroBeaner Sun 30-Jan-11 13:57:36

The two schools have completely different ethoses, really. Visit them both again and decide which will suit your child better.
Or if you live in the area try the very good Dulwich Village State schools, or Rosendale or Streatham Wells or Julians.

Would you enjoy being part of the parent-run aspects of Rosemead? Is your child creative and laid back, competitive and sporty, very keen to sit and learn or less so? Do you think a competitive academic approach is good for children's learning, or are you keener on learning thorugh play and experience? It is about what goes on when the parents are not there, not abut the school gate Mums (or nannies).

woodlysmum Sun 30-Jan-11 14:10:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

speaka1000words Sun 30-Jan-11 14:12:19

OK - he's very competitive, hates sitting still, hates being told things would rather find out by himself, very affectionate, needs to be pushed and focused, very bossy, usually has a pack of other boys following him and being bossed around by him, very sporty and athletic, loves music.

its feels like those women's mag quizzes where you answer a b or c to questions and get told if you are this type of person or that

so those in the know, which do you recommend? and which school is which?

speaka1000words Sun 30-Jan-11 15:10:31

I can't remember the exact date - it was one of the early assessment.

sounds like I just had bad luck perhaps...

by the way, I'm laughing at CaroBeaner's suggestion of state schools I might try as if I'm ignoring possibilities- sadly I"m not in the very tiny catchment area of any of these!

onimolap Sun 30-Jan-11 16:35:27

Sorry, I don't know anything about Rosemead, so don't think I can help much more.

Elibean Sun 30-Jan-11 16:52:43

I don't know either of them personally, but just wanted to repeat what someone else said - gut instinct counts for a lot. There are unfriendly/daft parents pretty much everywhere, but as long as they are in the minority I wouldn't give them too much power in your choosing - but DO think about what you want for your son, what experience overall you want him to have, etc. And tbh, I do think taking where you would be happiest, as a parent, does come into play - partly because our kids tend to respond to similar ethos/communities as their families and partly because you will have to have a lot to do with it.

I went against my head and chose with my heart/instinct for the dds, and never regretted it for a moment. Good luck choosing, never easy!

nooka Sun 30-Jan-11 17:09:14

We were expecting/hoping to send our children to Alleyn's at secondary. Partly because it was the only way to get them into a mixed sex non religious school that they could get to by bus, and partly because my cousins went there and were very happy. Instead we moved countries

Personally I think that instinct is very important, so if you have a choice of two excellent schools (I've not heard of Rosemead, but then I wasn't interested in private at primary) then I would chose the one you feel most comfortable with. All the Dulwich schools are posh, my personal experience was that the Alleyn's kids were the most down to earth, but that's compared to JAGS and Dulwich College, and from the perspective of a teenager too.

CaroBeaner Sun 30-Jan-11 18:29:51

Rosemead is lovely. Less 'posh' than Alleyns, if you put it like that. smile

legalalien Mon 31-Jan-11 22:03:15

What CaroBeaner says. Anecdotally, Alleyns junior school is a bit more of a hothouse, and inevitably attracts parents who think that's a good approach. Rosemead more laid back. I think it's more about ethos than snobbery / class background, so really depends on your child's personality (and your attitude to education) than your accent, if that makes sense.

emmy56 Mon 31-Jan-11 22:27:41

I'm intrigued by this. I went to Alleyns over 25 years ago.

We weren't very posh and although I did have a group of friends, felt a bit inferior.

At that time the emphasis was to cram and pass exams and not really to think - just my view though.

sandgrove Thu 03-Feb-11 18:49:42

i would go to alleyns based on your child's description. there's not much sport at rosemead (some football for some yrs..not much else), games twice a week and no after school clubs for kids younger than yr 1. they are not very tolerant of any misbehaviour or boisterousness...if you call it poor behaviour..i call it being a child ...they pretend to be but one bout of bad behaviour (i.e. saying wee wee or being too talkative in assembly) seems to stay with the child. i have children at rosemead and would love to be anywhere else... thinking of moving out of london altogether now and escape the private school train completely. the head for nursery/reception/yr1 is good and listens well but none of the teachers are particularly encouraging, nurturing or positive under the surface... unless you are the favourite. they don't handle boys well and i'm now very sure that's the reason there are few boys in the graduating (yr six) class because the boys have gone elsewhere by then! not a boy's school..and i am among several sets of parents who are saying the same things. they really want the kids just sitting quietly and listening ALL of the time without lapse. my children have personality and this is "not allowed". finally the actual classrooms are quite small and cramming more than 20 children into such small rooms has got to be chlostrophobic.
on the upside the parents are lovely people and for the most part not snooty at all. there is also very good community feel.
the make up of the classes is diverse and not all white british..a good mix.
but i say go with alleyns...good school...great may be a bit more snooty but that's a small price to pay for a good education.

sandgrove Thu 03-Feb-11 18:52:38

also music is good at rosemead!

dulwichquine Fri 04-Feb-11 14:41:46

out of interest, which one did you choose in the end?!

lounger Fri 04-Feb-11 15:33:36


I think you might kick yourself later if you don't go for Alleyn's! Aside from the superior facilities and the fact that you won't have to worry about anything now (more assessments!) until your child is 18, Alleyn's is academically on a completely different level to Rosemead. They have a few hundred applying for places at 7+ and only make offers to a handful, so for your child to get in is already a fantastic achievement. With regards to the ethnic mix, a tentative explanation. Children of such high academic calibre from Asian and African backgrounds generally come from families who for cultural reasons tend to favour single sex education. This is a sweeping generalisation I know but I think I'm on the right lines. If you look at neighbouring JAGS and Dulwich College which are single sex and on the same academic plane as Alleyn's, you will find a far more diverse ethnic mix. Alleyn's simply don't get as many ethnic minorities of that standard applying to them in the first place. Don't worry too much about the nannies and perceived snobbery. It really is only perceived. I know lots of kids from all these schools and Alleyn's kids (and parents) are just as grounded as you'd find anywhere else.

minipie Fri 04-Feb-11 15:49:20

Re the lack of non white faces - Alleyns has been like that for at least 20 years or so. Jags and DC have always had a much bigger ethnic mix.

Could never figure it out. But it is weird.

scrupulous Wed 06-Apr-11 11:13:46

The reason that Alleyn's has such a small ethnic minority component is very straightforward and nothing to do with any policy of exclusion or prejudice. It is a co-educational school and the majority of ethnic minority parents looking for independent education prefer a single sex environment and simply do not apply. They are happily and successfully accommodated by JAGS and Dulwich College.


scrupulous Wed 06-Apr-11 11:31:46

Sorry - only read the first dozen posts and foolishly did not get as far as lounger's post. Hence duplication of opinion.

Must add - I have children at each of the Dulwich foundation schools and am extremely happy. All three have both strengths and weaknesses. I have an suspicion that Alleyn's particular strength is recognition of individuality in their pupils.

Knoxette Sun 18-Jan-15 19:03:47

I have two daughters at Rosemead and couldn't be happier with the school. Class sizes 16 (alleyns has larger 18-20, jags 24) great teachers. They tend to start with less bright children than at alleyns, however I think that is harder job as a teacher. They already single out areas for improvement in small groups and I can't speak for alleyns but I also got the arrogant impression when I went round. Everything about rosemead is extremely down to earth. No arrogance. they don't have all the faciliites but they have a fantastic head of games/sport and they use community facilities to the max and there is a significant fee difference between Rosemead and other schools. The parents run it so they decide where money is spent so you don't get full fee payers sponsoring teachers' subsidies (the class intake of our daughters' year was just less than half staff children on a 2/3rds discount which made me really angry). On the downside you do have to take 11 plus, they don't play rugby which if you're a boy is maybe a problem depending on what you want your son to do with his life. The music at alleyns is pretty exceptional I think but I have no first hand knowledge. All in all, I don't believe inTutoring and Rosemead is one of the happiest places I have had the benefit of being associated with. It is a little shabby in appearance but I don't think the kids care, a little disorganised but the teaching is superb and you have only 16 to a class... Where else do I want to spend my hard-earned cash?

Knoxette Sun 18-Jan-15 19:05:20

Should just point out that the comment about subsidies above applied to alleyns

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