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North London private schools

(10 Posts)
Clement72 Mon 24-Sep-12 12:35:27

My son is currently at a state primary school in Camden/Kentish Town area. We are considering switching to private school, starting at Year 3 - which is a little way off yet (he's just started Year 1). Ideally I'd prefer co-ed (I don't mind single sex secondary but would prefer mixed sex at this stage). I'd be interested to hear any recommendations about North and also Central London schools. One that we've already investigated and like is Northbridge House. I need to get organised and look at Highgate (though I would imagine that that is particularly tough to get into). What about any others? Abercorn?

Also, whilst I know that it's often the practice to tutor state school kids to get into private school at 11, do you think it's something I'll need to consider for a switch at Year 3?

Any thoughts much appreciated.

horsemadmom Mon 24-Sep-12 13:25:58

Sorry to say but, yes, you will have to tutor for Highgate. State schools work a year behind the preps for 7+ entry. Buy Bond books. We're very happy at NBH and it is mixed ability so just dependent on space.

Clement72 Mon 24-Sep-12 13:51:16

Thanks horsemadmom - yes, I certainly expected to have to tutor for Highgate but am not sure if it's something I'd have to do for any school for that age of entry. Probaby is.

Good to hear that you are happy with NBH. We'd be very happy for him to go there but I know that it's quite hard to get into now too. Did yours start there from nursery/reception or join later? I'm wondering how hard it will be to get him a place somewhere at 7+

horsemadmom Mon 24-Sep-12 17:44:26

They have occassional places so you might want to register interest now and see what comes up. It is mixed ability so no tutoring. Most preps won't need it either.

SchoolFool Mon 24-Sep-12 17:45:19

Clement - I don't want to scaremonger but there are not many schools that take a decent number at 7 anymore. They have realised most parents don't want the stress at that age.

Those that do are even more over subscribed than at 4 or 5 (eg Habs) and those places mainly go to kids from the pre-preps that prepare specially for these.

Had I my time again, I'd have applied at 4 or 5 when there are a classful of places, not a handful.

Clement72 Mon 24-Sep-12 18:02:01

Hmmm - that's kind of what I thought. There's a natural break at that age though as his current school only goes to the end of Year 2 (probably outing myself here!) and so it seems like the natural time to switch to private (if indeed that is want we decide to do). We've not ruled out switching to another state school - just weighing up the various options. If we do go down that route though I would imagine that it's even harder to move to private at 11 isn't it?

Anyone got any experience of Abercorn or any other mixed private schools in the general area? Just trying to think through our options really.

Clement72 Mon 24-Sep-12 18:10:42

Oh and I meant to say - horsemadmom - thanks for your advice re NBH. I think that the number of applicants for Yr 3 places was much higher last year - so it's not as straightforward as I'd once hoped! I was wondering about trying to move him to NBH a year earlier but that would be a lot trickier for us to manage (and a real shame for him to leave his lovely school a year early). I need to think that one through though.

SchoolFool Mon 24-Sep-12 18:19:02

Clement, that's the odd thing.. Most of the top Independents have large intakes at 11 and with enough prep, many kids from states and preps get in. For example, a top school takes 2 classes at 4+ and about 7 at 7+. They then take another 50-odd at 11+. The worst odds are at 7 in my opinion.

Clement72 Mon 24-Sep-12 18:58:11

Ahh, that actually makes sense. I guess that at 11+ you aren't competing against prep school pupils either - but against others from state schools (albeit tutored though but still) - at least for boys anyway. I just didn't realise that there was such a big intake at 11+. In some ways that is my preferred option - state till 11 but I didn't want to miss the boat. Maybe we try for e.g. NBH at 7 but if he doesn't get in, then go for one of the other state school options with a view to private at 11.

Would still be interested in views of e.g. Abercorn. From what little I've read - it's got the reputation of having quite a high turnover of students due to ex-pats but to be honest, I think that there is quite a high turnover in London generally. Anyone had any good/bad experiences? In some ways, location wise (not that that is the deciding factor!) it's better for us than going further north to the myriad of Hampstead schools.

Also, any other co-ed recommendations?

EverybodysCryEyed Tue 25-Sep-12 20:34:10

Devonshire House is another co-ed and I'm sure they have a lot of spaces come up at 7+

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