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South London - any views on these schools?

(14 Posts)
PipAndPosey Mon 22-Jun-15 11:06:39

We live in Kennington, and in case we are not lucky enough to get into the excellent local state primary, DS is registered for:
Thomas's
Newton Prep
Eaton Manor
London Christian School
Herne Hill Prep.

Would love to hear from anyone with experience of the above. We will be touring them all in due course.

Thanks

chocolateyay Mon 22-Jun-15 11:09:51

Cracks fingers - what do you want to know?

What's he like? What are your goals? Are you expats (so potentially moving at some point)? Do you need a school bus?

PipAndPosey Mon 22-Jun-15 11:15:43

Hi there - just looking for any insider information really. DH is a barrister and I'm a SAHM although now got pt job in charity sector. He's our only son at present, very sociable and sparky. I've got nothing to compare him to but he seems very bright to me! He knows all his colours, numbers and ABC is almost there. He is very chatty and can string quite a long sentence together.

My main goal for him is to settle in, make friends and enjoy his learning. Commute is not an issue as I work flexibly.

Thanks!

PipAndPosey Mon 22-Jun-15 11:16:28

Ps we won't be moving anywhere, are very settled here in SE11!

chocolateyay Mon 22-Jun-15 12:16:43

I find it boils down to gut feel and the culture of the school. When you visit, look at the pupils, talk to them, ask what they like and enjoy about the school.

Speak to the head and teachers. Again gut feel - what are they like are they 'genuine' or kiss ass? What are they saying - 'we get our kids into xyz schools' or 'our pupils are geally happy kids'. A happy, relaxed child will learn - you can cram a child and 'train' them to pass exams but to what end?

I know one very well, on wellish, so pm me if youd like my 'reviews'.

KingscoteStaff Mon 22-Jun-15 13:11:57

Another one agreeing with 'Talk to the pupils'. We were choosing between Newton, Thomases and one other and what convinced us was the sparky, passionate group of Year 8s who showed us round. 'Is this what I'd like my boy to be like in 10 year time?' I thought. It was, so we sent him there and, 10 years later, that's just what he's like, too!

chocolateyay Mon 22-Jun-15 13:17:02

We were at one school (not one named here) and some if the shiney year 6 kids were supposed to show us around. The poor kids looked like rabbits in a headlight! They were nervous about speaking to the adults, didn't seem comfortable answering questions - nice kids but goodness, not confident.

I wonder where you chose, cote...

AnotherNewt Mon 22-Jun-15 13:22:09

Do think about your school run. Even with your flexibility, it's a PITA if it's difficult journey especially with bottlenecks.

Of the schools you list, Newton Prep has the easiest journey by far (probably, depending on where you are in Kennington, as it's a short bus ride from Vauxhall Cross).

Which point of entry are you going for? If you already know you haven't got an acceptable state school place, presumably you're after a late/ad hoc reception place any time after this September?

PipAndPosey Mon 22-Jun-15 14:16:02

Thanks all - take the point about talking to the older pupils, and also re the commute! I will test out the drives, and bus routes...
He's very settled in his local nursery, so we will keep him there until reception starts (autumn 2017)

AnotherNewt Mon 22-Jun-15 14:45:58

Thinking about it, Eaton House would work OK too, as you could get the Northern Line (going against the commuter traffic) and then it's not far to walk from Clapham Common station (or a couple of stops on the bus).

But, you need to think about whether you would want him to go single sex from so young. Also, the site is fairly cramped. It's first come first served for the pre-prep, but they weed at start of the prep.

AnotherNewt Mon 22-Jun-15 17:57:16

And one more thought, as you're in Kennington, the no 3 bus route would take you to Dulwich College (definitely worth a look, even if only as a point of comparison) and 3 + 37 to Alleyns.

chocolateyay Tue 23-Jun-15 08:50:54

I also found observing school kids in shops, on transport, at clubs etc gave me an idea of what the schools could well be like.

A couple of schools near us seem to have pupils who are bossy, rude , disrespectful, rather arrogant... I know its a generalisation, and really the parents and not the school, but I would not be keen on those ones!

PipAndPosey Tue 23-Jun-15 10:45:42

Thanks AnotherNewt, great points.
I know what you mean, ChocoateYay. We bumped into a school group from Thomas's on holiday and I was very impressed by their behaviour. They were all obviously very excited to be on a school trip, but they listened to the teachers and were very respectful to the other guests...

exNewtonMum Tue 23-Jun-15 19:07:36

Pip,
Another who had a DS at Newton (winks at Kingscote )

We looked seriously at Newton and Thomas's (Battersea). Whilst going round Newton, at the time our impression was "sparky" was a very good word to describe the DCs. The physical facilities at Newton are better than at Thomas's (Battersea) (e.g. the astroturf pitch, their auditorium - not up to speed with their recent building projects). The feel of the school was more to our liking and certainly my DS enjoyed it - they had some fabulous teachers (some of whom still there) and they supported him really well to secondary entrance - to a very selective and good school which at the time they didn't have much experience of (i.e. not a London day school) but they really put themselves out to prepare him well (bit further on than you are I realise). I think Newton is great from our experience but , but , BUT - we have good friends who have had DCs at Thomas's and would equally speak up for them.

If you want to PM with any questions I am happy to give you the benefit of any experience I can.

ENM

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