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North London private school recommendations

(9 Posts)
Nickname1980 Tue 07-Jul-15 22:36:40

I really want my child to get into a great local state school when he goes to reception, but I live in Hackney and I've seen kids not get in anywhere close or anywhere decent. So I've decided to put his name down for a few private schools as backup.

I don't even know where to begin looking. I'm not really a private school kind of person! (I really do hope he just gets into a lovely local state school.)

Any recommendations for schools in north London that aren't uber-competitive "name" schools but, instead, are lovely, outdoorsy places that encourage creativity? And are great for helping the kids all get along? ...

Anywhere that's a 20-30 mins drive is ok. Hampstead, Highgate, Islington, Hackney, Camden (just).

WhattodowithMum Wed 08-Jul-15 09:36:25

How about Forest in Walthamstow? It goes all the way through A-levels.

Or for just a prep you could try:

St Aubyns, it's just off the North Circular at Waterworks corner.

Snaresbrook Prep, in South Woodford, just up the road from Snaresbrook Crown Court

Those are the ones in "striking" distance for you, that I know of. I don't know the Hackney area.

softhedgehog Wed 08-Jul-15 12:07:09

How old is he? Highgate takes at 3 and 7 and is fiercely competitive at both entry points. You need to put his name down the year before for the 3+ entry.

Nickname1980 Wed 08-Jul-15 12:46:18

Thank you whattodowithmum! I will check all these out!

He's 18 months, thehedgehog. Is it called Highgate School? If it's competitive, I feel a little put off... Is it still a lovely place? Not too full-on?

softhedgehog Wed 08-Jul-15 13:41:36

Yes Highgate School. Entry at 3 and 7, very specific dates between which you have to send in a 3+ application, they don't see everyone who applies so anecdotally wise to drop application in on the first day that they take them.

beeashby Wed 08-Jul-15 14:18:43

Gatehouse in Victoria Park? Or the Children's House in N Islington. Or Dallington in Islington is very, very relaxed, though has no outdoor space of its own. Do go and look at the state ones you are likely to get into though. Most Hackney primaries are great now and much better to put down a realistic choice you can bear alongside the ones you wish you had a chance of.

WhattodowithMum Wed 08-Jul-15 15:40:13

I think most London schools are somewhat competitive. Even schools that used to be considered "relaxed" seem more competitive now because of the population increase.

This is true for both state and private. There just aren't enough places. Of course, the form of the competition changes from school to school and from state vs private.

CruCru Wed 08-Jul-15 18:59:35

The Lyceum in the City might fit the bill.

softhedgehog Thu 09-Jul-15 15:10:50

I'm in NW London so maybe not exactly the same area - private schools round here are insanely competitive. think 10 applicants per place (although to be fair everyone applies for 4-5 places but that's still an effective 2 applicants per place). There is a thriving market in tutors for 3-5 year olds.

You could do worse than have a look at King Alfred's in Golders Green - it is very alternative (and very expensive) and tends to divide opinion between those who think it's a fantastic liberal place where the child's own thoughts can flourish and those who think it's a place to send your child if they aren't likely to need to earn a living in the future because their Daddy is Jonathan Ross or similar.

Also, are those areas you've mentioned really a 20-30 minute drive in rush hour? You need to factor in time to park too.

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