Help - what is best prep / jr school for a Putney Mum?(11 Posts)
Please help! I have been doing the merry go round of prep and junior school visits for my DD who will start pre prep school in 2018. I'm dizzy trying to work out where to send her. I've done the ofsted reports, and focused strongly on the school leavers reports to see which schools send their pupils to the best public schools and have done all the things they tell you to do to find the best place. I feel like I've hit a brick wall! We live in Putney and have places at some schools. Ideally I would prefer for her to go to school in Putney or where there is a bus from putney as the trek to other schools would take quite a toll. However, the schools that keep popping as 'the best' seem just too far away and difficult to contemplate (e.g. Thomas's, newton prep, broomwood hall etc). There are some reasonable schools in Putney but nothing has 100% ticked the boxes and I'm just not wisened up to what is the best choice. Having been in the private sector myself, im expecting a certain standard. Any advice on the best junior or prep schools with the top school leavers results that are stimulating for the pupils, sporty and have a good curriculum and high standard of education, is greatly received. Putney High seemed impressive and top of the list at present, but I was keen to have co-ed in junior school, and they also don't prep the children for common entrance (im very interested to hear from any parents that have navigated their way through this!). We like Prospect House which was very impressive but not sure how their leavers list compares e.g. to some other schools such as Fulham Prep. I know Fulham Prep is a buzz word but having visited it, I wasn't impressed with the pre prep as much as other schools, and the Belgian assistant head mistress was rude to parents and did not show the level of manners one would expect at a 'leading school' - nor were the wall topics as impressive as some of the other schools. That said, the children were extremely confident. I also know from my work, the school is a magnet to the expat school agencies which worries me as I don't want my DD to end up with a large amount of transient friends. The expat agencies seem to get priority because of the bulk number of pupils they channel through. We have also looked at Ibstock Place, and have a place at Eton House in Clapham which sadly I think I realise is too far away to get there from Putney as the school bus goes from Parsons Green. It still places us in the conundrum of an all girls school. Help! Sorry to sound like an over zealous mother but totally lost in my decision making and desperately want to make the right decision that gives my DD the best chance to get in to great senior schools and also somewhere she will be happy / thrive. Any knowledge on best schools and options for a Putney mum are very greatly received
Kensington prep in parsons green is amazing and a short hop on the tube. However, it is all girls. Merlin school although ends at 8 and boy heavy. Those are the 2 schools I loved when we considered moving to Putney. Ibstock Place will also tick all your boxes and is improving academically year on year
Kensington Prep is really good - the girls seem to have a great experience & it's easy from Putney. Where do you want her to go at 11?
I would just go for a school that feels right without worrying go too much about the leavers destinations to be honest. My DCs go to a state school in Putney and their leavers destinations are not wildly different to Fulham Prep etc amongst those who go private. You won't really know at the moment what kind of school will suit at 11 so I'd choose one where you think your DD will be happy. Prospect House will easily get your child into an academic school if they are able as will Hurlingham, lion House etc etc. An easy journey is very important for clubs, friends etc.
I'm guessing you don't want a state school but there are some very good ones in Putney.
It's very easy to get bogged down in all the information and results. You have a great list of schools and are out for the best for your child. The best school is the one that your gut tells you is right. Most importantly, she won't be interested in what schools she might be going to at 11 or 13. So do they do things there that she is into right now? If she's outdoorsy do they do forest school stuff, or is she arty do they have great facilities or a performing / music slant.
If your child is happy then they will naturally do well because they are inspired.
We went a bit "off piste" with our choice of prep and haven't regretted it one bit. Friends thought we were mad to not go to the highly regarded school in the next road. But there's not one day when I regret our decision. My kids are always itching to go back to school in the holidays and actually run into class in the mornings. Both girls are doing extremely well academically (it's non selective) and being stretched.
If co-ed is important to you, don't be swayed by a girls school just on results. It's hard but go back to where you feel most "at home". That will be the best school for all of you.
Will you get into OLOV, St Mary's, All Saints or Brandlehow? If so, I'd take that place, definitely until the end of Year 2. The education at all 4 is superb, and you will have a better idea of the school that will suit your DD when she is rising 7.
We were put off by Prospect House by the face they don't do hot meals at lunchtime - but that was 10 years ago, so may not still be the case. In the end, we bit the travel bullet and DS and DD went to Newton Prep, but if we had been offered places at the state primaries I mentioned above, things would have been very different.
We did what Kingscote suggests. Our dc got into the best London schools at 8 and 11.
You could just go with the school you feel is most right for her and where you think she'll be happiest.
What will you do and more importantly how will you feel if she isn't St Pauls material? You can't tell yet. She nigh get into PHS at 4 and they nigh suggest she'd be better suited elsewhere at 7 or 11.
This may or may not be helpful. It is quite focused on west London.
If you mean Eaton House the Manor, it's pretty trad, very very overcrowded as they've over-developed the site to expand, and isn't co-ed (the boys and swirls schools are separate but on one site).
Parkgate House is however co-ed (and more fully so, these days rather than being as girl-heavy in the past) and it has a lovely atmosphere but it's small and only goes to 11.
Would you consider going a few stops on the train? Because Newton Prep might suit - co-ed, excellent facilities, prepares for both 11+ and 13+ transfer.
Are you thinking of boarding later on?
Only the Clapham schools you mention you like - Broomwood, Eaton House and Thomas's all get far more kids into top boarding schools than they do into top day schools. In particular, it's worth bearing in mind that those schools only manage to get a minority of their girls into day schools of Putney High calibre or better.
I think you'd be insane to travel to Broomwood (which definitely does not have a very academic reputation at all), EH or Thomas' when you have Putney High on your doorstep.
The other thing the schools you name that you like have in common is that they are all quite old fashioned - country prep in London type schools.
The reason for asking what school at 11 is that some boarding schools, e.g. Wellington start at 13 rather than 11. Yes you can change school but it's easier not to & sometimes pupils want to be in the top year at a school.
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