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Any thoughts on the West London Free School Primary?

(18 Posts)
Fulhamup Thu 22-Nov-12 13:21:43

I went to the open day yesterday and am quite attracted by the offer. There was much talk about the knowledge based curriculum that will be piloted at the school. I have to say, and call me old fashioned, but I think chidlren need to have a strong foundation of core knowledge by the end of their time at primary school.

I know Toby Young is a controversial figure, but please can we avoid rants about him.

Keen to hear anybody's views.

RTchoke Sun 25-Nov-12 19:24:20

We might consider it although we have established primaries near us which are very good so we are not sure whether to put it as our first choice. Was the open evening well attended? Was it mainly very local parents or people from further away than would be normal for a primary school cohort?

HanSolo Sun 25-Nov-12 19:28:58

I have plenty of thoughts on this, sadly not many of them printable.

RTchoke Sun 25-Nov-12 19:38:00

HanSolo are you thoughts based on being a parent in West London who could consider this school but has chosen not to? If it is then I would love to hear your thoughts.

SarahJT2 Tue 27-Nov-12 12:09:22

I think that children need a strong foundation in core subjects as well - but the truth is that all schools are required to teach that core - Reading, Writing, Mathematics - and they are all judged by those requirements. Personally I wouldn't choose that school for my child because we have good schools around us who are established, are doing well, whose staff have worked together, know the community issues etc. I worry about the pubicity and 'spin' about the school's 'innovation'. That was said a lot about how special the secondary education component was b/c of the Latin etc - when Latin isn't that unique and is offered in other schools etc. I would worry about the 'experiment' taking place on my child. The reality is that if this school doesn't do well in Reading, Writing, Mathematics (like all schools have to), it will suffer the same problems other schools do when it comes to reputation, ranking, inspection, etc. And it will take a while before the reality of what needs improving settles in - internally and with a future inspection - and in the meantime, my child would have possibly lost out.

chloe74 Tue 27-Nov-12 12:24:37

As someone who is also hoping to send my child to a Free School, I would recommend the school. I cant see anything experimental about a good old fashioned academic school with traditional values. I also like the parental involvement, which will be able to hold the school to account ensuring it will always have high standards.

sanam2010 Tue 27-Nov-12 20:35:43

I absolutely love the idea of a classical primary school - unfortunately am too far from the school to ever be lucky enough to get my children in. I've received a classical education myself (which is still quite common in continental Europe) and am excited there are schools opening around this model. I don't agree with above posters that the standard curriculum focusing on literacy and numeracy takes care of core knowledge - the idea of classical education is so much more - core knowledge is not just literacy and numeracy, it is learning stories and poems and general knowledge - a lot of primary schools here still like to follow a modern approach learning about random topics, rather than delivering essential knowledge.

I can understand posters who live next to established primaries for shunning the experiment, but for most of us Londoners, we don't have excellent state primaries nearby, so any additional primary school with high standards is highly welcome. I hope more primaries following a model of classical education open in London in the next years.

sanam2010 Tue 27-Nov-12 20:35:46

I absolutely love the idea of a classical primary school - unfortunately am too far from the school to ever be lucky enough to get my children in. I've received a classical education myself (which is still quite common in continental Europe) and am excited there are schools opening around this model. I don't agree with above posters that the standard curriculum focusing on literacy and numeracy takes care of core knowledge - the idea of classical education is so much more - core knowledge is not just literacy and numeracy, it is learning stories and poems and general knowledge - a lot of primary schools here still like to follow a modern approach learning about random topics, rather than delivering essential knowledge.

I can understand posters who live next to established primaries for shunning the experiment, but for most of us Londoners, we don't have excellent state primaries nearby, so any additional primary school with high standards is highly welcome. I hope more primaries following a model of classical education open in London in the next years.

Mummyduddle Wed 28-Nov-12 21:37:53

I went to the Open Day too and overall I was really impressed with the school.

However I am a bit concerned that the focus is too strong on academic achievement for a primary school ie the school day is longer day than average, after school clubs are compulsory etc There was no mention of the importance of fun for learning and I never heard the word caring or nurturing. I can't help but feel that the WLFS vision is a bit fierce....did anyone else think the same?

yellowsubmarine53 Wed 28-Nov-12 21:47:44

Out of interest, how long will the school day be in WLPFS and how are after school clubs compulsory? Do children have to attend every day/ x many days a week or what...they lose their place? Is this from reception?

Mummyduddle Wed 28-Nov-12 22:06:14

From what I can remember...the day starts at 8.30 and finishes at 3.30. It starts earlier not for convenience but to get an extra half an hour of lessons in. I'm not sure about the after school clubs. Maybe the extended day is a good thing (I think I'm just sad to spend less time with my children particularly at such a young age)...it's just that the presentation I went to seemed to be a bit hellbent on hard work!

MumToAPiglet Thu 06-Dec-12 09:50:52

I'd be very interested to hear from anyone who went to the opening evenings for this school. We sadly missed them and need to decide which school to put it as first choice. We live quite near the WLFS but also near another very good local primary. The reasons I am considering WLFS is that it will be smaller, at least initially, and our child hates crowds. I also think there would be more individual attention due to the size.

I am however nervous because the primary is untried and untested and seems a bit of a risk. I am also concerned that it might be rather politicised given Toby Young's political profile. If there was a change of government would the WLFS be victimised? And might the school be used as an experimental lab for all of Gove's ideas because he and TY are so close? These are my main concerns. I like the look of the curriculum and those.

ame297 Wed 19-Dec-12 16:48:00

Has anyone on here put down the West London Free School Primary as their first choice on their application form?

BewitchedBefuzzledBewildered Tue 04-Mar-14 11:51:57

I put the West London Free Primary as a second choice, after John Betts. I will report back after Offer day!

Zizou1 Thu 25-Feb-16 13:24:10

I have put WLFS primary as my first choice for my son. The feed back I have had from parents with children at the school has been great, I am yet to hear any negative feedback, which for me is very promising. Also, I love their ethos. Would just like to add that my daughter attends the secondary school ( which I had put down as my 4th choice), I was initially devastated that she did not get Holland Park, but in hindsight it had been the biggest blessing, I am so happy with the school and how well my daughter is doing and more importantly how happy she is. The communication with parents is excellent. I was very apprehensive about the secondary and primary because of the negative feedback from people regarding Toby Young and Gove. But I have to say, they are one of the best schools in the country, anyone would be lucky to get a place for their child/ren. Rather than knocking Toby Young I think he schools be commended for what he has achieved. 😊 Thank you x

AugustaFinkNottle Fri 26-Feb-16 16:20:06

Are you paid to advertise, Zizou? I've heard plenty of negative feedback, especially about their staff turnover.

Zizou1 Fri 26-Feb-16 17:50:17

@AugustaFinkNottle ummm no I am not paid to advertise. It's my honest opinion. I am VERY happy with the school, my daughter is very happy with school. Holland Park has a far higher staff turnover, does that make it a bad school????

Zizou1 Fri 26-Feb-16 17:59:41

@AugustaFinkNottle additionally, I can only give you my opinion and experience of the school, every child is different and what works for my child might not necessarily work for yours. I was apprehensive about the school before my daughter started and that was because of negative feedback from people that actually didn't have children in the school. 😊

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