Ken Prep or Falkner House(24 Posts)
Hi all, just wondering what you think of both, I know they are both excellent academic school but there is such a big difference one is very small, family run. THe other one is pretty big with huge play ground.
If you have offers for both schools - go with your gut feel. Your DD will spend 7 years there, so you need to be happy with the place. How do you feel about the HMs - they are very different.
Also - would think about the commute. Proximity is a bonus, and facilitates friendships, as well as just making life more enjoyable for all involved.
As you said - both schools are excellent, so can't go wrong.
Although Kensington Prep has moved up academically recently, their exit results last year were excellent, much, much better than Flakner House results, I would still go for Falkner House. The school has different, very unique, specific atmosphere, which captures you from the moment you enter it.
I would choose Falkner House. It is leagues above Ken Prep. Granted, KP's results in the past year or two were excellent but its success is relatively recent compared to Falkner which is so much more established with a very long track record. I believe KP's results is due to increasing number demanding/ high achieving parents priced out of Kensington & Chelsea who have moved to Fulham. Not an awful lot of choice in SW6 for elite prep schools other than KP so KP gets to hand pick the top girls in the area. Of course you'll get a few families from RBKC travelling to KP but only if they didn't get in at Falkner or Glendower. I think on balance you will get more "value add" from Falkner.
Blw's message is a good example of why you should not listen to strangers on mumsnet, such an ill informed post. Not hard to tell that blew is a Glendower parent, lol!
Just look at the inspection reports (both excellent), exit results (both excellent - and counter to what people say for a long time, not just in recent years, even at FH, there was one particularly fierce year (2011 I think) where only 1 girl out of 20 got into SPGS), then I assume you have visited the schools and seen for yourself. They are very different. One is not "better" than the other. It depends on your style and also on your daughter's personality.
Sanam2010 - touchy! OP is canvassing different opinions and of course there will be variations in what people think. She can reflect on them all and take a view. Obviously you are a Ken Prep parent. Are you so immature and arrogant that you cannot deal with other viewpoints that may not mirror your own?
blw - I am talking about facts, not opinions:
KP results only good in recent years: wrong
KP kids are all Glendower / Falkner rejects: wrong
FH leagues above KP - wrong (any facts to back up your claim?)
Kp results only improved once higher achieving parents from Chelsea / South Ken started moving to Fulham - about the snobbiest thing I've ever heard
So please don't call me arrogant, I didn't say anything arrogant, just pointing out that pretty much everything you claim in your post is wrong.
I am hoping OP makes a decision on facts, not on hearsay and "what other parents think".
Sorry Sanam2010 I have neither the time or inclination to pursue this. Bye!
Thanks all for your answer. DD is also accepted at glendower prep. But my feeling was that it was a bit behind the two. I like both schools indeed very different, afraid FH will not prepare girls to the real world as they are in a cocoon, FH against the rest of the world and may be difficult when come secondary school to face reality: it will be each girl for herself. Afraid of KP that she will be lost in the middle of this big school!
Falkner has just announced it is opening a boys pre-prep in sept 2017 which may or may not affect your decision if you have a younger DS.
Lolakath19 congratulations, you're in a lovely position as all 3 are good schools. I have no reason to stand up for Falkner House as my girl is at Glendower but honestly, very few parents will turn down a Falkner place for KP unless the logistics/ school run makes it difficult. Falkner's big advantage is the cosy, nurturing environment. At the age of 4 most parents really value that and of course being so small the Head knows each child very well, plans and develops for them individually. And of course Glendower should be a strong contender too - be aware they have a very committed sibling policy so there are girls with mixed abilities at the school and yet it delivers great results. Compare that with Falkner who select only the very able girls they want, often rejecting siblings and girls from their own nursery! You can see that Glendower overall probably adds more value to their girls.
It's tempting to be seduced by data and leaving destinations but your child is an individual not a statistic. Ask yourself which school she would feel most happy, nurtured and comfortable at. Good luck!
Thanks for your comment. I have heard some comments on FH which I did not liked: ie headmistress giving some priviledges to girls from really rich family ( not for the assessment but after). I consider me as wealthy but we will be middle class even lower class in an environment such as FH and I do not want my daughter to suffer from that.
Don't over think this! I'm out the other side. Go with your gut and what is convenient - that really matters!! Forget the "I'll feel lower class" - what does that even mean? Both good schools. If you could only have one offer which one would you prefer. Go for it!
The feel of Falkner House is very smug indeed but the atmosphere is fragile - perhaps because it is transitioning the generations. Mrs Griggs' daughter interrupts her a great deal even in public.
The 2016 results of all the schools are interesting and reflect some changes all round.
The girls that finished in the past few years started around 2008-9, so there was a lot of movement in KS1 at some of these schools (bankers and lawyers caught by the recession and priced out of London). This created space for international girls from Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, US to parachute into these schools at 7+, 8+ even 10+. Not sure South Ken can truthfully lay claim to the upswing in results....
Kensington & Chelsea (referred to above) not South Ken
As a parent who had two daughters go through Kensington Prep (the younger left last year), I have to comment on how much we all enjoyed our time there. It is a nurturing, progressive and kind school, and although it is academically challenging, we never felt it was unduly pressurised. Both were well prepared for 11+ and got into good senior schools with no extra support. Although the playground may seem massive now, KPS is fortunate to have so much outdoor space, a rarity on London, and one that your child will benefit from as she grows older (onsite netball, tennis, just running around without worrying about getting run over by bigger kids, etc). The little ones have separate areas so they feel nurtured, but lots of "room to grow". It is not a "large" school in that it only has 2 forms per year, not unusually large for a prep. The music department is second to none in my opinion. We loved it and it is just a really happy, lovely place. Obviously everyone has a different experience but I just wanted to express my opinion. I have nothing against FH as close friends send their daughter there and she is also thriving and happy. Both are amazing so I would say go based on location/logistics and what suits your child.
Just saw you added to this thread from last year interesting timing. May I ask how was your exprerience for siblings? It seems harder and harder. When I asked they said this year they have 8 siblings offered a place out of 10 which does not seem right given the number of girls per year and then add probability that they have a sister entering reception this year...
Over the years, given you had the chance to be there at least 7 years - did you feel that was rad for families?
Also I hear people saying logistics and being local facilitates friendships but are girls really mostly local to Fulham or do you just end up commuting elsewhere?
In total we were there for 10 years as our daughters are 3 years apart. When they say they don't gurantee sibling entry, they really mean it and it is not arbitrary, but for good reasons. The vast majority of siblings do get in by really only if the school feels that they would thrive. I have seen at least three instances of younger sisters not being accepted, and two instances of siblings who were accepted but ended up leaving the school because it did not suit them. I would say in the latter instances, the school seems to have done everything they could do to assist and provide additional support and it would have been up to the parents to decide to move (because their DD was unhappy). And girls have been held back a year as well, rather than leave. Obviously it is disappointing for parents who had their hearts set on having all their girls at one school but at the end of the day I think the school does what they feel is right, and it is impossible to get it right 100% of the time especially when assessing girls at the age of 3. There is always the option to reassess for entry in year 3 of course but I don't know of any cases where girls who did not get in in reception then joined in year 2, so presumably they were happy where they were.
I just am a big believer in the staff and they do have their hearts in the right place. The GDST is also a wonderful larger network that they can tap into for resources and best practice. (I swear I am not being paid, I just drank the kool-aid - happy customer).
Over the years what has happened to KPS and all London schools is the number of applications has gone through the roof, fees have gone up and the demographics of the school has changed a bit as a result. Whereas for DD1 everyone lived in SW6 or SW15, over the years more and more from SW10, SW3, W11, SW1 and sometimes further afield (although to be fair those are usually transferring in for occasional places in years 4 and 5). I do believe they still try to prioritise those living locally, but this may have changed (whether officially or unofficially is anyone's guess). Still, I would say most girls do live fairly locally although lower down the school I could not say.
We were lucky that both girls did well there...it happened to be closest to where we were living at the time as well so maybe that helped.
Sorry for long, rambling post.
Thank you very much bundlebrent. It seems to be a fair assessment re demographics, fees and also siblings policy. Clearly as they get more popular they will be more strict.
I am hearing more and more positive feedback which is reassuring. I really think they are great at all levels just this sibling policy is worrying
Hi Gella08, why does the number of siblings they gave you not sound right? I am not sure what you mean, too low? The number fluctuates every year, some years it will be on the lower end (8-10), some years on the high end (I think 20 was the max). Maybe this year was on the lower end, but then there were a record number of external applications, so it did not make it any easier for external candidates. All the siblings I knew for this year were accepted, but I have also heard via others that some did not make it. Again, this number changes, some years all siblings make it, some years a higher number is rejected. As BundleBrent says, it really depends on the child, they are just making sure that they can thrive at the school and are more or less in range of other children admitted. It seems to be a very fair and thorough process for the siblings and they will not be turned down because a 3 year old had a bad day or because another child scored one point higher. It is really reserved for the cases where they have concerns if the child could be happy at the school for the seven years. I would not worry too much about it, unless you have two vastly different children, in which case Glendower would have been a safer choice, but it does work out for most families. Some day you will wish that they could accept all siblings, of course, but that is not fair for new candidates either, you have schools like Thomas's where the majority of places is taken up by siblings in some years, and who knows if that is a better way of doing it.
Thank you for your contribution. II got told 8 sisters out of 10 got in this year at kp which seems too low I would expect more siblings given the numbers. If the hit ratio was 80% I would feel rather comfortable.
You are right glendower was safer but too far and even though very nice girls i did not like the facilities.
I am worried as it feels like once you declined a school they are not really open for your second or third so it feels like you have to try and make a decision for all .
I know none of the selective will guarantee a space but some seem more open than others.
Sanam do you know how their 11+ results are this year ?
My daughter was at Kensington Prep when it was near Kens tube not after the move (and then North London Collegiate where she did very well too) and when she was at KP it was one of the best prep schools academically in the area so I really would dispute that that KP historically has not done well! She loved it by the way.
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