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Leopold Primary - Harlesden - NW10

(19 Posts)
crankypants Sun 20-Apr-14 19:28:49

Appreciate it's unlikely, but is anyone familiar with this school? We have very unexpectedly got a reception place here and are now considering sending our son there instead of private. Would love to hear any opinions of the school. Thanks.

bamboostalks Sun 20-Apr-14 19:41:12

Predominately pupils with Afro Caribbean backgrounds. Very strict. Extremely focused on Sats tests. About 40% FSM. Very culturally diverse and quite deprived area but I'm sure you know that.

crankypants Sun 20-Apr-14 19:51:25

Bamboostalks, thanks so much for the reply! Have you got kids at the school, are they happy there? Do you know much about the school's expansion into the Gwenneth Rickus building?

We're totally over-thinking this as this is our eldest child and we're not that familiar with the school system here.

Which secondaries do the Leopold students go on to?

bamboostalks Sun 20-Apr-14 19:53:55

I do not have children there but know a fair bit about Brent schools. Was this school your first choice?

Twodownonetogo Sun 20-Apr-14 20:42:11

There are better schools in Brent. I wouldn't say it was strict, the teachers shout a lot but they doesn't mean the children are listening. Where would your son be going if you accepted the place? The Gwenneth Rickus building or the main site in Harlesden? Apparently the school housed half their year six year in the Gwenneth Rickus building without permission and had to sneak the kids out when they had an unexpected visit. You will find with all mediocre (or less) schools that the parents desperately speak highly of it to make themselves feel good about the choice they have made. And as they have no choice or experience of better schools they make the best of what they have.
The majority of the children end up at Capitol City Academy.

crankypants Sun 20-Apr-14 20:52:33

Thanks both. I really appreciate the replies. No, it was our third choice and I expect we only got offered the place because of the expansion to Gwenneth Rickus.

Don't know whether we're at the main school or the GR building, it doesn't specify in the offer letter. I had assumed that they would put all the reception classes together?

Our son has a place at a small independent school in Hampstead which we are very keen on. However we had heard that Leopold was very academic and so that's why we are considering this offer more seriously than we perhaps otherwise would.

crankypants Sun 20-Apr-14 20:53:23

That story re putting the year six kids in the GR building without permission is incredible!

bamboostalks Sun 20-Apr-14 21:21:52

It's not so much academic as very focused on Sats iykwim? There's a lot of emphasis on respect for authority, etc. Being honest, it wouldn't be a school I would choose. The head is very dictatorial. She feels she is realistic about the challenges her particular cohort will face in life and wants to prepare them for that. She is very much of the 'no excuses' camp as well which isn't necessarily a bad thing but it's not for me.

crankypants Sun 20-Apr-14 21:33:16

Bamboostalks, thanks for that. I think I do understand what you mean. We don't know anyone who attends the school so your comments have been really helpful.

Twodownonetogo Sun 20-Apr-14 22:11:32

I'd agree with you bamboo, I wouldn't say the school was academic either. They may like to portray themselves as such though.
Hmm given a choice of a pre prep in Hampstead or Leopold Primary School in Harlesden? I know what I'd choose for my child.
PM me if you have any other questions cranky.

slowcomputer Tue 22-Apr-14 07:17:00

Which pre-prep in Hampstead? Hampstead Hill? or another one?

crankypants Tue 22-Apr-14 13:20:15

Hi slowcomputer, no, another one. It's a junior school, ie takes kids up to age 11, so not a pre-prep I don't think ( but I am not great on the UK school nomenclature).

Twodown, which are the better primary schools in Brent, in your opinion? I know of Malorees but the catchment is tiny (and I recently heard they were downgraded to an Ofsted good?). Also Princess Fred's but we aren't church-goers (and I heard it too was recently downgraded). Where are the good schools hiding??

slowcomputer Tue 22-Apr-14 17:51:05

What are you planning for senior school? If you are thinking private selective then the private school will prepare him for the 11+, tell you what schools would be appropriate and provide lots of input. If you are at a state school you'll be on your own for tutoring etc.

nlondondad Tue 22-Apr-14 19:17:24


You wrote:

"You will find with all mediocre (or less) schools that the parents desperately speak highly of it to make themselves feel good about the choice they have made."

Rather interesting comment. Do you really mean that if parents speak well of a school it really means that they are deceiving themselves? (So all good reports of schools worthless?)

So we should only believe parents who say their school is terrible?

Just asking....

Twodownonetogo Tue 22-Apr-14 19:59:18

nlondondad - Depends on the school. I suppose this comment was rather tailored to this particular school. And I do believe they are deceiving themselves. Sorry for the confusion. This nappy valley area has a varied mix of people, some desperately wanting something they cannot find (or afford). Those who can, (in this area) school their children elsewhere if they cannot get into their school of choice. As I said, if they have no experience or choice of something better then they have to make the best of what is available and often there is a large group of parents who like to fool themselves ( and perhaps others) that the teaching is top notch.

katmat3 Thu 24-Apr-14 00:15:02

Hi OP,
My friends two DC went to that school (twins and white if that makes any difference??) .They did really well from all aspects of behaviour and learning.
They passed their 11+ for St Michaels Catholic Grammar in Barnet and they are doing well too.
So i guess,the best thing is to get as much inside info as it's possible...

crankypants Fri 25-Apr-14 19:51:05

Cheers katmat3. Yes, all inside info is helpful as we don't know anyone personally who goes there. Thanks so much!

Wallina Thu 01-May-14 10:48:46

Our daughter is in Reception at Leopold. Originally we had not planned to send her to state school at all, but we heard the school well spoken of (and not by people who are "desperate") so we shelved our prejudices and went to meet the head, Mrs Kendall, and had a tour of the school. We were very surprised: we saw motivated, well behaved and happy children of all ages. Mrs Kendall is an inspiring head teacher, but her ethos does percolate down the school. In other words, our prejudices were turned on our head, particularly as we had visited several private schools by which we were not impressed (even though we had offers of a place, so we were not "desperate" either). We decided to send our daughter to Leopold as a result of our visit and our own research. Currently, we are happy. You must make up your own mind. I do recommend that you get in touch with Mrs Kendall and visit. Visit any school which you are considering, and go from there. I hope this helps!

Amy1304 Thu 01-May-14 18:26:04

Hi crankypants,
My 3 children went to Leopold Primary School. My kids have been there from nursery and my son is now in year 8. The school has a very good ethos and the head Mrs Audrey Kendall and her staff(team) are very much enthusiastic.
My son left Leopold and is now in an independent school so it is very untrue that the kids go to Capital city. In my son's year group only one person went to capital city. Some kids went to Latymer Upper, The John Lyon school, Mill Hill, Slough Grammar as well as state schools. The kids I believe perform well wherever they go to.
The teachers are very good but a lot depends on the home. Some parents manage to complain about everything the homework and do not want to work hard with their kids.
I personally live very close to the school. Please be assured Leopold is a sort after school and I believe you will not regret your choice.

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