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primary schools in south london

(8 Posts)
sherisfat Thu 20-Nov-14 18:13:05

Hello I have been looking at primary school and would like to get a view from parents instead of ofsted. On paper the following schools are considered good performing state schools within the top 10% for the whole country: Paxton, Rosendale, Dulwich Village (Hamlets), St Judes and Elm wood. I would be interested to know if anyone has any experience of them.

Also what are you thoughts on the new free school opening somewhere in the upper norwood area?

pinkdelight Fri 21-Nov-14 11:52:38

We looked at Paxton and Elmwood, both of which are in the Gipsy Hill Federation. They're great (if you like GHF approach, which seems to work, but you'd have to visit to know for yourself), but you have to live practically next door to those two as they're small and very sought after. There are bigger schools in the GHF which are a bit easier to get into (Kingswood, Fenstanton) so worth considering those. There have been a few past threads on these and on Rosendale and Dulwich so worth having a search. If memory serves, the threads tend to be about how to get into them, so they too are v sought after.

sherisfat Fri 21-Nov-14 13:46:18

Hi Pinkdelight what is the "GHF" approach?

pinkdelight Sat 22-Nov-14 14:03:07

Some info here but you've probably read it before:
www.gipsyhillfederation.org.uk/aboutthefederation
Beyond that, it's hard to describe - it's not so tangible as a distinct philosophy or anything weird. One parent I know switched their kid from a GHF school as they found it too rigid, whereas another parent I know switched their kid into a GHF school as they found it loads better. It'll vary between the schools, but I guess they don't get that good by being laidback, so it comes down to your personal response to the vibe when you visit. I liked the two schools I visited, but for us the issue was more about the tiny catchments and we couldn't justify moving with the risk of not getting in.

sherisfat Sat 22-Nov-14 15:54:46

yes, I have seen that. I went for an open day at rosendale school. I like the fact they have a mixture of social backgrounds. The children don't do homework which I thought was odd but then I remembered my dad use to ask me why I didn't get homework at primary school. I have also visited dulwich village which is a church school but it appeared quite exclusive. Some of the parents behaved like they would be heartbroken if their child didnt get in.

NynaevesSister Sun 23-Nov-14 19:10:38

Are you looking to move? Because those schools are quite a distance from each other.

SimplyaOneOffNameChange Sun 23-Nov-14 19:26:56

Have DC at Kingswood and also had a child at Elm Wood. Know people with children at most of the other schools except St Jude's.

I don't really know what is meant by the GHF way. I do know that one DC has had a LOT of learning support and the school has been amazing. All three children have loved both schools (went to nursery at Elm Wood) and have been really happy. The school is very music oriented, which suits my kids. We're a musical family, they all do drums and guitar at home, and various woodwind instruments at school. Plus they did recorder and Ukelele and they have a singing assembly every week, which they love. There is always music playing in the halls at the lower site (up to year 2) and upper site (year 3 upwards). They did have an art studio for a while, which got me hopeful for more art which I think it lacks, but this has been a nursery for Elm Wood for the last couple of years. None of my kids are academic types, and both boys are dyslexic. Youngest extremely so. However they've all pretty much done well, and are on target for their age for reading and maths.

Having now gone through the secondary transfer for the eldest I also really appreciate the advantage of going to a big school over a tiny one in that transition for daughter was really easy. She is very shy, very quiet and quite an anxious sort. Yet she was really quite confident when she got to secondary.

Hope that is helpful.

NynaevesSister Sun 23-Nov-14 19:32:37

One thing to keep in mind is that you have to reapply for Dulwich Village Juniors. Being in the Infants doesn't guarantee a place.

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