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Alderbrook Primary School in Balham, London

(16 Posts)
Bambinocino Tue 24-Apr-12 09:19:25

DD has been offered a place at Alderbrook, and we're trying to decide between that and a local independent school. We'd prefer DD to go to a state primary if it's a safe and welcoming environment where she'll get a bit of attention (she took ages to settle in to nursery age 3 and will only be just 4 when she starts school). I went to the open day in Nov. 2010 and the reception class seemed a bit chaotic and unstructured, but am going to go and have another look before I decide. Does anyone have any recent experience?

Bambinocino Tue 24-Apr-12 12:42:21

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audrey01 Tue 24-Apr-12 14:40:04

Hi, my daughter is currently attending Reception there. I have to say - I had my reservations before she started last September as Alderbrook was not one of our top choices, but living very close to the school, we knew it would be the surest school we would get in anyway!

Yes, the school itself is a bit shabby and Reception class can be at times, unstructured. But I was extremely impressed with the Reception teaching staff who are not only dedicated but are warm and friendly and really care about the children. My daughter loves the school and comes home each day telling me about her friends, teachers and her day in general. I am really pleased with the progress that my DD has made both academically and socially so far. She was quite shy to start with, and now she has a good circle of friends that we have playdates with regularly outside of school as well.

Definitely go visit to have another look, keep an open mind and don't be fooled by appearances.

Good luck with your choice either way!

Bambinocino Fri 27-Apr-12 16:05:51

Thanks audrey01, that is great to hear. I went and had another look today and was pretty impressed - the buildings etc are looking much fresher than when I went in 2010 and I sat in on a couple of classes for a bit which overall seemed calm and happy. I think we'll probably accept the place. smile. It's v reassuring to hear your dd is enjoying it there.

JellyBelly10 Fri 27-Apr-12 16:15:50

I realise that this is totally irrelevant but just wanted to say that I went to Alderbrook! However I am now 44 so it was quite a while ago! For what it's worth I loved my time there, but clearly most of the teachers I had are probably dead now! grin

FebreezeYourJeans Fri 27-Apr-12 16:17:27

I hope it's changed dramatically in the last few years, it was failing parents and children during my relationship with it which ended in 2005.

Bambinocino Fri 27-Apr-12 16:51:48

Febreeze, I get the impression the new head who started in 2010 has made a big difference. She seems to be creating quite a positive atmosphere. But I'd be really interested to hear about your experience..

FebreezeYourJeans Fri 27-Apr-12 21:15:30

Very happy to share but message me if you want to know more as it would be very easy to out myself. Many problems were with the old Head so hopefully they have managed to move on.

morticia69 Mon 06-May-13 15:01:27

Just saw this as I posted a similar one. The head seems to have changed again! The feedback I've had from a current alderbrook parent is not very positive. Her son used to get extra support for his behaviour and now its been withdrawn, without any explanation.
He just keeps getting sent home and told that he is disrupting the class. My dilemma is that I have a choice between Alderbrook and Henry Cavendish. HC got a 3 for their nursery whereas alderbrook got a 2. But i'm worried about their ability to provide for children's needs further up the school. It's clear that this boy in question has some special needs. The parent feels that they just want to be rid of him.

Mrsrobertduvall Mon 06-May-13 15:29:39

Did the head used to be at Ursuline prep?

DaisyLady1977 Tue 07-May-13 14:18:01

We have also been offered a place for reception next year. We are very close to belleville and were expecting to get in. I am going to arrange to go and have another look round it. I did go round the open day but didn't ask lots of questions as didn't really expect to go there. Any other thoughts from parents welcome. Its such a long way to get there for me too which isn't helping. Also considering private school but really object to paying..... And it's painfully expensive of course!

flipflops99 Fri 10-May-13 18:56:49

I would just like to share my experience - as a parent whose children actually attend Alderbrook. We feel very fortunate that our children attend a school with such a supportive and happy atmosphere where children are expected to work hard but also enjoy school. Both of our children have had some very good teachers who they have loved and we have found approachable and felt that they have really understood our children.

Agreed the building is shabby – it is a Victorian building, but there is a new state of the art early years unit being built in time for September 2013 for new nursery and reception classes. This has been funded by Wandsworth Council who had enough faith in Alderbrook to agree to expand it from one to two form entry. New playground equipment has been installed for the older children as part of this package, too.

I get fed up when I hear people with very little first hand knowledge refer to Alderbrook as a not very good school, which seems to reflect what it was like some considerable time ago. After all, it was rated ‘good’ by Ofsted at the last inspection and it is continually evolving especially with the arrival of the new head teacher, Ms Henry who is very good with the parents and demonstrates great vision and commitment to the school.

My children are both very happy at Alderbrook and are making very good progress. They love going to school and have lots of friends. There is a small but active PTA that works hard putting on a variety of events to raise money for the school and which has the full support of the head teacher.

Go and visit Alderbrook with an open mind and talk to the staff and to other parents. Then you will be able to make an accurate up to date judgement about the school. Personally. we are very happy with Alderbrook (thank goodness as it is our nearest school) and wouldn’t dream of sending our children anywhere else.

morticia69 Mon 13-May-13 23:31:01

flipflops99 - you are very pro Alderbrook which is great for you. But you must realise that prospective parents need to hear both sides of the story. Whenever you visit a school they like to present a glossed over version of who they really are. I like talking to other parents, they give you a good idea of what is really going on. I can only rely the experience of my friend who informed me that her son feels "bored" at Alderbrook and that he has had about 3 or 4 new teachers in one year. Other parents were threatening to leave.
The class has gained a reputation as being unteachable and now have the head teacher going in to teach half the class everyday. I am quite sure that you were not told this when you go in for an open day, but this is what I've been told from a parent.

morticia69 Mon 13-May-13 23:31:45

flipflops99 - you are very pro Alderbrook which is great for you. But you must realise that prospective parents need to hear both sides of the story. Whenever you visit a school they like to present a glossed over version of who they really are. I like talking to other parents, they give you a good idea of what is really going on. I can only rely the experience of my friend who informed me that her son feels "bored" at Alderbrook and that he has had about 3 or 4 new teachers in one year. Other parents were threatening to leave.
The class has gained a reputation as being unteachable and now have the head teacher going in to teach half the class everyday. I am quite sure that you were not told this when you go in for an open day, but this is what I've been told from a parent.

Fruity44 Sun 27-Apr-14 11:37:47

I am interested to hear from parents who feel that their children are not getting any additional support following the cut of the Learning Mentor (behaviour), English as Additional Language Teaching Assistant and the Speech and Language/Occupational Therapy Assistant

roseannaprincess Sun 09-Nov-14 23:26:15

This message is for jelly belly 10 hi I used to go to alderbeook primary school too and I'm the same age as you. Iv been trying to find old class mates would you mind if I asked you who your final year teacher was ? I know me fuller was one of the teachers but I was in mrs richardsons class .

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