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Play-based primary / prep school in or around SE London - do they exist?!

(16 Posts)
lolacola1977 Wed 07-Oct-15 20:12:45

I am looking for a genuinely play-based school in or around SE London. It seems as if all the pre-preps I have found seem to only play lip-service to "learning through play" with very little room for true free play. The ones which allow some free play in reception seem to ramp it up for Year One, as does the State sector. We are not keen on Steiner as we didn't feel it suited our family, but other than that, would consider pretty much anything from a prep to a Forest school which really allowed for free play.

curvyredmug Wed 07-Oct-15 20:33:04

Pre-preps survive or fail based on their 7+ results, so they all have to get going on the reading/writing/maths early on in reception, if not before. You'd be better off with state, or a private school that goes to 18 and therefore can get going a bit more slowly.

Pikachoomumma Wed 07-Oct-15 21:12:53

If you would consider going outside of the M25 / might be moving in the future I can PM you about a really amazing play based Prep?

lolacola1977 Wed 07-Oct-15 21:14:28

So it seems - we are in a state school black hole unfortunately and DH thinks if we can afford private we should do that rather than move areas...I'm finding the whole thing a bit depressing as I really want DS to enjoy making stuff / getting messy and playing with masking tape for a bit longer...moving to Scandinavia isn't an option sadly! Any ideas about private schools which go up to 18?

ChalkyC Wed 07-Oct-15 21:24:10

Where actually are you based?

Solidaritywolf Wed 07-Oct-15 21:33:41

Small acres school in Peckham

Itshouldntmatter Wed 07-Oct-15 21:38:51

Home schooling? There is a Montessori called Rose House that might work? But it doesn't suit all children. Have a friend who sent her dd there. Didn't suit her at all - the more traditional school ended up working much better. But it worked wonderfully for other children there.

lolacola1977 Wed 07-Oct-15 22:03:10

Thanks all for getting back to me, we are based near Lewisham - have just found Small Acres and I wonder if that's the kind of thing I'm looking for...although think DH would prefer something more mainstream - does anyone have any experience of it? It seems so strange that in a city like London there are so few places which offer something more relaxed.
Itshouldntmatter - would you mind elaborating on Rose House? Feel free to PM me...
Pikachoomumma - we would consider outside the M25 if it was the right place...pls do PM me...

Pikachoomumma Thu 08-Oct-15 00:20:38

Hi, I've just realised the school I was thinking of is actually a Steiner school. Pity - it's very popular as it has a farm, cafe, lots of art and forest school etc.

I agree that state schools are unlikely to be an option for you, and I think the most that a pre prep can offer is traditional academic learning alongside play based learning, but I've never found a prep in London which offers that, as they are afaik mostly very 7+ exam centred.

Give me a moment and I'll dig out names of a few schools which might suit you....

Pikachoomumma Thu 08-Oct-15 00:49:12

Small Acres www.smallacresschool.org

Sunrise sunrise.org.uk

King Alfred www.kingalfred.org.uk/king-alfred-school/king-alfred-philosophy/framework.html

Summerhill www.summerhillschool.co.uk/learning-at-summerhill.php (Summerhill is pretty famous, I'm sure there are lots of posts on it.)

Dania daniaschool.com

This may also help www.theguardian.com/education/2013/may/22/free-schools-full-list-2014

Best wishes!

lolacola1977 Thu 08-Oct-15 13:50:25

Thank you, really helpful - will take a look...!

Itshouldntmatter Thu 08-Oct-15 21:13:09

Hi Lola, my friend thought a play based, child led environment would be best for her DD. But it didn't work. I don't know much, but my interpretation is that she wasn't stimulated enough. She is thriving in a standard state. But she has friends who love it. Essentially, it is just what works for your child. The difficulty is that it is really hard to know that when children are so young. I think my friend had the right approach. She tried what she thought would be best. When it didn't work, she changed it. Hope you find something that works for your family smile

lolacola1977 Thu 08-Oct-15 23:14:48

Thanks, hadn't thought of that, DS seems to be pretty switched on, which is why I thought play-based might give him more stimulation, but hadn't thought of it in the reverse...it's like that film Sliding Doors, we'll never know what was / wasn't the right choice.

Pikachoomumma Fri 09-Oct-15 05:26:10

It is very hard to know how they will react! But I'm inclined to think that if your home environment is quite 'free play and DC is thriving on that then maybe stick to quite a free play sort of school?

GoodSouls Mon 19-Oct-15 21:43:39

Hi Lola, I think the nursery my DS went to is the Rose House that a previous poster mentioned.
They have expanded since he left and they now have 3 sites and take children up to 11.
They are based in Forest Hill/Catford so probably ideal location wise, I'd say go and take a look, the staff are very motivated and passionate and DS loved his time

findingschools Wed 21-Oct-15 22:42:12

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