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De Beauvoir primary - advice pls!

(17 Posts)
littleone83 Sun 05-Oct-14 15:52:05

Hi all

Does anyone send their kids to De Beauvoir primary? I've heard good things about the improvement it's making but wanted to hear first hand from parents...

We live on balls pond rd with our 2 DS (hoping to have 3rd at some point) and that is our only state option. We currently send our eldest to rosemary works which we really like but the thought of 2-3 private fees for primary is a concern so looking at state for primary instead.

The thought of moving to a better catchment seems extreme and with stamp duty would be almost pointless?!

Any thoughts welcome!!


LightTripper Sun 05-Oct-14 23:07:59

Just bumping as I am very close to you and will be very interested in any info! I had also been looking at Rosemary Works as a possible back up. Not sure if we might be in the catchment of Hackney New Primary when it opens also?

bobthebuddha Mon 13-Oct-14 11:42:48

You don't need to move for catchments, seriously. And save your money! I don't honestly think Rosemary Works can give you anything a decent state primary cannot. De Beauvoir is supposed to be doing okay (see previous threads). We've lived around here for the best part of a decade and schools you once wouldn't have touched with a bargepole are fine. And if you're not happy with the school you end up with, stay on waiting lists (or go on waiting lists) and you can always move your DCs!

bobthebuddha Mon 13-Oct-14 11:44:57

If you want to meet de Beauvoir parents, try the de Beauvoir WI and de Beauvoir Residents Association events. Various parents/parent governors hang out there..

LightTripper Tue 14-Oct-14 15:38:37

Thanks! Sadly WI is on the same night as my OH's choir :-(

Otherwise I mainly know the gardeners who tend to be another generation up grin , but I'm sure the gardeners know people who know so will ask around as DD gets a bit older smile

bobthebuddha Tue 14-Oct-14 21:11:14

I am rubbish at going to WI meetings to be honest grin
The DBA international evenings are really good for getting to meet people, although I'm not sure when there's another in the offing. And the lady who runs the St Peter's cafe on Fridays used to teach at de Beauvoir (if I remember correctly), but that was a generation up, as you say! Might be worth wandering in and chatting to her though, she might be up on the latest.

tanimbar Wed 15-Oct-14 10:55:20

I know a couple of families with children at De Beauvoir who seem perfectly happy so far. My DC are at St Judes and St Pauls, which might also be an option for you? I agree you shouldn't need to move, or pay. Things have certainly improved across the board in recent years.

LightTripper Wed 15-Oct-14 12:53:44

We're not religious, which round here seems to narrow down the options a lot. I have to admit I was v naive when we moved here and it didn't occur to me that our DC would be excluded from so many schools because their parents dont follow a religion sad

But hopefully in practice we will still have somewhere decent to send her! I would much rather not go private, as I just went to a village school which I'm sure educationally was MUCH less good than any of the schools round here (e.g. children left at 12 not able to read properly), but there were lots of advantages to knowing everybody in your area.

bobthebuddha Thu 16-Oct-14 23:01:04

You'll be fine, don't worry, LightTripper. The non-denominational schools in the area have improved an awful lot since we were in your position and there's a new primary opening to boot, so I wouldn't say your options are narrow at all!

LightTripper Thu 16-Oct-14 23:55:41

Thanks! I did have a bit of a new mum panic but feeling reasonably optimistic now!

tanimbar Fri 17-Oct-14 21:28:24

We're not religious either! Certainly hasn't excluded us from St Judes, but can understand if you'd rather avoid. Good luck with your decision-making.

rumtumtugger Fri 17-Oct-14 23:57:29

We're applying for Hackney new Primary, ds loves music and it looks good for that. Apparently you have to apply to them directly, so you don't have to use up one of your other school choices. Haven't visited De Beauvoir nor Queensbridge yet, must get onto it!

LightTripper Sat 18-Oct-14 10:55:08

No, no objection Tam, just looked at their admissions criteria and they all looked religious, but great if that's not a barrier!

tanimbar Sun 19-Oct-14 20:43:28

I reckon the number of children admitted to St Judes under the religious criteria is very small, unlike some other Islington faith schools. Sounds like there's a good selection for you to visit!

TinseltownLondoner Sun 19-Oct-14 22:25:59

We're also considering De Beauvoir as an option. Have any of you done a schools visit and have any if you looked into Whitmore?

Despite living in the area, we don't know anyone who's kids go to those schools. Will have to make the effort and join the next WI meeting to try out my decoupage skills....

bobthebuddha Sun 26-Oct-14 13:32:38

Whitmore's historically been one of those places you don't send your kids if you can help it. I ruled it out after seeing a poster up in Reception entitled 'Our Birthday's.' One friend had her DS all the way through primary, didn't rate it and he didn't really have the best time there. I don't know anybody who has their kids there now. It's recently been rated Outstanding apparently, but that's not really a particularly useful measure of whether your child will be happy and thrive.
Have fun with the decoupage grin. I may make it back to a meeting one day!

HH11 Tue 11-Nov-14 11:20:53

I have 2 children in De Beauvoir primary, in reception and year 1. I am really happy with the school and have chosen it over another local school - "ofsted outstanding" Queensbridge primary. (See my previous post May 2014). De Beauvoir has a real inclusive, unpretentious, community atmosphere and a fantastic new head teacher, who started in September 2014. Even though he has only been in post for a couple of months he has already made many improvements and I expect it will become an officially "outstanding" school in the near future. What I like is that the head is always in the playground at drop off and pick up and wants to be available to parents for questions and chats - he knows the names of both my children already! They now offer suzuki method violin lessons and my daughter loves it - so much better than using up after-school time for music lessons. Parents have also been invited into reception class for sessions where you can read with your child and their classmates - a nice touch that helps families feel involved. Those are just a couple of things that come to mind but there is a lot more to say about it and lots going on!
Oh, just remembered - they also use some sort of international based curriculum that basically broadens the approach to everyday subjects to include an "international" perspective. I also heard that the head was liaising with a bilingual expert and planning some input from them to support the parents of the many bilingual pupils.
No school is perfect and De Beauvoir is still undergoing some changes but do speak to the head teacher and see what you think - I am fairly sure there are regular school tours up and running. I am happy to answer any questions too! Good luck!

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