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Private nursery school with uniform - SW London/Richmond area

(21 Posts)
Namechangenell Tue 08-Sep-15 18:47:25

Hi - we will be moving back from to the UK from overseas at Xmas. DC will be starting reception in September. She currently goes to the nursery at an international school where we live now, 8:30-3, M-F. The children wear uniform. I'd like her to attend somewhere similar from January and am looking for recommendations. What I'd hate is for her to go into a non-uniform wearing environment Jan-July and then start up with uniform again come next September, as this would be like a step backwards to the playgroup she attended last year. I'm also keen for the full school day. She is September born and more than ready for it. Many thanks for any suggestions.

LittleBearPad Tue 08-Sep-15 18:56:40

Will she be attending a state school from reception onwards or private. If private then would make sense to choose the school you want her to attend long term and enrol her in the nursery.

Tbh you'll need to enrol in an indie school's nursery anyway as you'll be unlikely to get her into a state nursery school as an 'in year' joiner so the alternative would be a private nursery (not attached to a school). Neither is likely to have uniform. The state nursery will do three hours a day five days a week. The private one you can likely choose your hours.

I have to say uniform seems a strange thing to choose a school on

Namechangenell Tue 08-Sep-15 19:15:57

Thanks Little - I know, put like that it sounds rather random. What I'm looking for is somewhere that will mirror where she is now most closely. State/private still up in the air depending on move date. Ideally state and we aim to be back and able to apply for a reception place by the mid-Jan deadline. However, if DH's work dictates otherwise, we might be into private as it's London and places are scarce.

What I need is recommendations for nursery schools locally. There's one called Athelstan House that seems to fit the bill??? I'd definitely want more than the 15 hours a week basics as DD has been doing that since age 2 and will have had a term of full days already by Christmas.

Pumpkinnose Tue 08-Sep-15 19:18:56

Private Nursery schools in that area of London, especially those with any sort of uniform, are high likely to be oversubscribed - think children's names put down at a few months' old. Suggest a list and a ring round as you may not have the luxury of choice.

Namechangenell Tue 08-Sep-15 19:23:23

Hi Pumpkin - that's also a consideration... I'm planning a trip over to sort out housing, and schooling, so making a list of places to visit. I'd just love someone to say X nursery school was great, or I'd recommend Y nursery. Local state schools I feel I have a grip on, it's the nursery inbetween that I'm unsure of. And in all honesty, it's the school I should be getting right as that's the long term one!

Pumpkinnose Tue 08-Sep-15 19:39:44

Agree nurseries are much more tricky - there's generally more info on primary schools on the Internet/general discussions. Afraid I can't really help on the recommendation side but echo the previous poster that I think that for uniforms you'd be best focussing the search on the nursery of an independent school. Though there maybe large deposits to pay/expectation child will stay for later years. I do think you will struggle with choice I'm afraid. Also even very nice pre preps in Wimbledon say only put the Nursery level children in school sweatshirts not full uniform so in reality might not tick the uniform box in your mind.

However, (not meaning to state the obvious but...) given all the upheaval of moving from one side of the world to the other, I'd have thought whether your daughter is still wearing uniform won't be as big a deal to her as you think.

SW london state school catchments are notoriously tight for the sought after schools. I'd focus the housing search on getting into a really excellent catchment and then let the nursery search come secondary - see what's nearby. Not sure how well you know the area but rush hour traffic can be hideous so a long drive in the morning to nursery is best avoided.

Namechangenell Tue 08-Sep-15 19:45:53

We lived there for years before coming overseas so I think we know the area quite well. The thing is, back then, we didn't have kids and so didn't pay much attention to schools and nurseries! My friends back home have been great for recommending schools and the nurseries they've used, but no one has gone the indie route or has any experience of the indie nurseries as they've all used their local ones - which is what we'd have done too if we'd continued to live locally. I know my focus on uniform seems really odd - it just seemed most consistent to me, based on what DD has done previously. And you may well be right - it might be the last thing on DD's mind!

Pumpkinnose Tue 08-Sep-15 20:48:25

Have you been on nappyvalley dot net ? Think you shoukd get some good advice on the forum there and lots of users who go the indie route. Always lots of threads on private schools / waiting lists. They have two sites, one for the Clapham area and the other covering Twickenham etc. I think you'll get some good advice there especially if you can be more specific on areas.

Good luck - it's hard enough trying to deal with this all/make a decision when its round the corner, let alone half way round the world!

Namechangenell Tue 08-Sep-15 21:09:04

Thanks - I'll have a look at that. Sounds like it might be what I need!

ceeveebee Tue 08-Sep-15 21:10:58

Sudbrook school in petersham has a fantastic reputation, one of the best nurseries in the country, but only has a smock not a full blown uniform. My friends DD went there and really rated it. However it's difficult to get a place.

Most private schools start at age 3 rising 4 I think? So she could start private school straight away. Unicorn school on Kew road is also excellent but as such you need to put your name down at or before birth!!

ceeveebee Tue 08-Sep-15 21:12:45

You could also join the Facebook group for "Richmond/Kew mums' network" and ask there. Most of my mum friends are members and it can be a helpful source of advice

alicemalice Tue 08-Sep-15 21:15:27

Is it really the end of the world though? She's only 3.

alicemalice Tue 08-Sep-15 21:16:18

By which I mean, there are so many other important factors in a nursery than whether they wear a uniform.

Namechangenell Tue 08-Sep-15 21:23:32

Thanks cee. Alice - as I said above, it may well not be the most important factor. It's just what is most consistent with what she's done to date. She's done two years of mornings only and now she's into full days. She's worn a uniform since the start of this calendar year. If she'd never had uniform I wouldn't care. I just think it might feel like a step back.

ceeveebee Tue 08-Sep-15 21:30:26

Tbh having racked my brains I can't think of a single private preschool/nursery round here that wears uniform. Only really some state nurseries and the prep schools.
I'd focus on primary school (some catchments are 200m!) and then you may have to compromise on nursery as places in outstanding nurseries are hard to come by even without specifying uniform

LittleBearPad Tue 08-Sep-15 22:00:40

I agree ceevee but would add places in nurseries are hard to come by let alone for outstanding ones. We waited five months for three sessions a week at an outstanding nursery. The equivalent, essentially, of full time nursery will be trickier.

thenewbroom Tue 08-Sep-15 22:34:11

Rowans in Wimbledon has one preschool year and a uniform but as Pumpkin says above, you generally need to register at birth.

ceeveebee Tue 08-Sep-15 22:46:26

Don't feel disheartened by the way - just do some ringing around as you just never know, the population round here is fairly mobile and places do come up, especially in pre school year when some DCs might go off to school nursery or prep school.

(We're actually in the process of relocating from Richmond to Manchester and managed to get 2 places for our 3yo twins at a nursery which is one that you have to sign up at birth, due to two families moving overseas so it can happen)

MMmomKK Tue 08-Sep-15 23:48:37

At many private nurseries in Kensington and Chelsea kids wear smocks on top of their normal clothes. So, while its not a uniform, kids do look rather similar.

On the other hand, not all state schools have uniforms - Fox - an excellent state school in Notting Hill does not have one...

So, if I were you I'd focus on your school choice first - if you are thinking about private, many of the girls schools will have an assessment, and you'd need to get your name on those lists ASAP.
If it is a state one you are after - then renting within a stone throw from your target school before the admissions deadline is key.

You will not get a place at any good state nursery given your timing, so your best bet would be to get a place at a private one, within a reasonable distance. Most will only be 9-12. Not much flexibility there.

Cheekychip Wed 09-Sep-15 00:00:46

Park Hill, Kingston
(Easy drive through Ricmond Park)

Namechangenell Wed 09-Sep-15 03:04:35

cheeky - that is exactly the kind of place I am looking for and great location. Thanks so much.

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