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Kensington Prep vs Wimbledon High

(67 Posts)
user1485881724 Tue 31-Jan-17 17:07:23

Our DD got an offer from Ken Prep and Wimbledon High but not Putney. We are absolutely delighted but at the same time gutted as we live close to Putney and that was our first choice. We need to decide very soon but we are unsure which school we shd go for. In terms of distance, we live in between both schools. I am leaning towards Wimbledon as it goes all the way till 18 whereas DH prefers Kensington as it is a better school than Wimbledon. If only DD could stay in Ken Prep all the way till 18, then Ken Prep is the obvious choice as we both really like the school.
DD is a quiet and shy girl so i am not sure she will be better suited for which school. Would appreciate any views on either school from other parents. Help please!

MarzipanPiggy Tue 31-Jan-17 20:31:57

Is your DD starting primary school? If that is the case I'm not sure going through to 18 is necessarily an advantage - hard to predict now what sort of school would suit her age 11, and a prep school would advise at that point and prepare her for exams at a number of schools. Good luck!

RoccoW14 Tue 31-Jan-17 22:24:37

Wimbledon is a highly regarded school and it could be an advantage in avoiding the 11+, but maybe your daughter will be a high achiever who would be better suited to a more academic senior school.. or she could go to Ken Prep and end up at Wimbledon senior anyway!

Honestly, I'd try and judge both schools for the here and now with all of the usual questions i.e. which is the better commute (equal distance, but one might be easier if public transport or less traffic if driving), which do you like better - facilities, sports offering, academic, general feel etc.?

Why not call Putney and tell them you've been offered both Ken Prep and Wimbledon, but really wanted Putney? Maybe they'll give you short shrift, but no harm trying.

sanam2010 Tue 31-Jan-17 22:49:06

keep in mind the schools have a lot in common, they are both GDST schools with a fairly similar ethos, curriculum and ability profile of the kids. I would probably look at the WHS senior school before committing, if you have not already. Both great schools though so what Rocco says, check commute etc, you won't go wrong with either choice.

user1485881724 Tue 31-Jan-17 23:33:59

Many thanks for all your replies. Personally I like both schools but has a slight preference over Ken prep. However as I am not a risk taker, I am thinking along the line that if she can get into a good school now that goes all the way till 18, why not i get her in now. What if she could not get into any good schools at 11+. Also dd is shy and not very confident. But on the other hand, I also feel its a waste if i do not take up the Ken Prep offer as it is difficult to get in.

DD is starting reception in this coming Sept.

RoccoW14 Wed 01-Feb-17 06:58:20

It would appear that almost all girls at Ken Prep are offered a place at a good senior school, with schools like Wimbledon and Putney probably being the back up options for many.

As an example, while we don't know how many applied for Putney and therefore if any were rejected, we can see from the most recent results that 30 offers were made. There were 40 girls in the year.

RoccoW14 Wed 01-Feb-17 07:00:43

Sorry, I should have added that of the 30 offers from Putney to Ken Prep girls last year, only 8 were accepted.. so it was clearly a back up option for most.

Eastpoint Wed 01-Feb-17 07:02:23

Which journey will drive you least mad when you have to pick your daughter up from a friend's house at 6pm on a Friday night? Do you live south of the river? Can you face Putney bridge 4 times a day for 7 years?

Trumpdespiser Wed 01-Feb-17 08:34:11

Choose the one nearest to you

LadyOhDearOhDear Wed 01-Feb-17 09:07:51

Can you face Putney bridge 4 times a day for 7 years?

^This. Do not underestimate the time you will never get back again in your life commuting!!. Look at facilities too. Do WHS enjoy WHS Senior facilities eg. swimming pool on site, sports fields etc.

Both good choices. Pick the one that will make your life easier.

expat96 Wed 01-Feb-17 09:23:54

OP, I live in Hampstead so I don't know Wimbledon High. I do know, however, that at the very selective independent girls schools that go up to 18 in north London, a significant fraction of the 4+ intake are not at the schools at 11+. Some parents decide that the schools are not right for their children soon after entry, in reception or Year 1. Some parents are told that the schools are not right for their children in the run up to senior school. It's not a quarter of the girls but, apparently, it's usually more than 1 or 2 in each form of 4 year olds.

My point is that it is not necessarily riskier to send your DD to a good prep school than to a good school that nominally goes up to A-levels. A child who would struggle at a good prep might also not pass into the senior school. Conversely, a child who would thrive at school that goes up to 18 might also do well at 11+ coming out of a prep.

Otoh, the schools that go up to 18 typically spend less time in years 5 and 6 preparing for the 11+ and can, potentially, spend time on more interesting and worthwhile subjects.

user1485881724 Wed 01-Feb-17 10:55:52

Thank you all for the feedback and giving me insights into area I have never thought of.

We live next to the A3 at the edge of putney next to the neuro disability hospital, We did a trial school run today via car to Kensington Prep and it took us almost 20 mins. We did a morning run yesterday around the same time to wimbledon and it took 15 mins with no parking but Mansel road is a one way system and it is quite congested with many parents dropping off the kids. On the tube, we are 10 mins walk to southfields and East Putney so again the journey time to both is almost the same. DH has asked me to go to Putney High (as its a 5 min walking distance) today to see if they will reconsider but i know chances are slim.

tourbillon Wed 01-Feb-17 11:10:41

The overwhelming majority of girls stay from 4 to the senior school at WHS. It is also pretty rare for girls to be told they won't be welcome to stay. I would absolutely not want that awful gridlock commute over Putney Bridge every day, although I know there are SW families that do it.
If you think your DD is exceptionally bright (and you are both ambitious and have your heart set on SPGS/Tiffin etc at 11+) then that might sway it to the prep. Ken Prep leavers' list is impressive, but most WHS girls stay because they love the school. Don't underestimate the 11+ process; if you want to look elsewhere at 11 it is entirely possible but you have the benefit of a sought-after confirmed place before you even start looking.
The other option is to start Reception and keep looking for an occasional place at PHS. They do come up. They may lose 1-2 to LEH at 7+, although that intake is very competitive.

tourbillon Wed 01-Feb-17 11:17:45

OP I think we cross posted, but just wanted to ask if you travelled at the actual school run time because 20 minutes sounds incredibly short. My DD almost missed an important appointment recently when it took us almost an hour to get from Tibbet's roundabout to cross Putney Bridge. There is a reason (senior) school buses going into town leave so early!
Good luck whatever you decide; they are both great schools.

sanam2010 Wed 01-Feb-17 11:38:12

that is so silly of Putney High, shows you how random this 4+ process is! I would definitely talk to them and see. It's a bit of a long shot but the GDST schools do have some transfer agreement and once you are at a GDST school they should be helpful if you want to transfer, so it would just make sense for PHS to take your daughter is she is going to start at WHS or KPS anyway. For what it's worth, our nursery head seems to think that WHS would suit shy bright children better and KPS would suit a confident child better, but then my shy DD will start KPS this September, so yours would not be the only shy one. There are a few other girls from Southfields at KPS, they usually come via tube, it's a 5min tube ride from East Putney or Southfields to Parsons Green. We currently do Putney bridge for school runs several times a week (if not using the tube) and before 8.45am it is actually not bad at all, it gets bad from 9am mainly. So if you take off at 8.10am, I don't think you would have trouble getting to KPS by 8.30 at all.

user1485881724 Wed 01-Feb-17 12:40:32

Hi Tourbillon,
We did the back road. We cut through oxford road from east putney and rejoins Putney High street at the start of the bridge. Otherwise we will be stuck forever coming from Tibbet's corner. We left around 745 today and got there by 805am. But we need to another another 10 mins to find a parking and drop her off. So all in perhaps 30 mins.

If only DD was offered PHS, it will save us all these dilemma. Anyway just called PHS and the obvious answer is no. We have been asked to try again at 5+, 6+ etc. Still an option for now but depending how DD cope in her new school as it will be disruptive to change the school once she has settled and made friends.

LIZS Wed 01-Feb-17 12:46:07

Have you also applied to state schools too? It may be worth taking a more local school and hoping for PHS later on. Was she waitlisted or just refused a place? Do either of the other schools operate a drop off and run system so you wouldn't need to park.

user1485881724 Wed 01-Feb-17 12:57:51

Unfortunately it is a "No Offer" letter from PHS and both school does not do a drop off and run system.

tourbillon Wed 01-Feb-17 14:00:46

Hi OP, I know it must be so frustrating for you with PHS on your doorstep and she is obviously well able to maintain the pace if offered as a first choice by the other two schools. But on the bright side you have two really great schools that are both tough to get into. You can't go wrong. Were a PHS place to come up you honestly your DD would find it easy to move. Best of luck to you!

RoccoW14 Wed 01-Feb-17 14:04:05

The tube is probably worth trying. KPS is only a few minutes walk from Parsons Green.

Eastpoint Wed 01-Feb-17 16:18:53

I have a daughter in yr 11 at SPGS & 4 girls moved there from WHS at 11+. WHS got the best results of any GDST school last summer, the new head is lovely (I met her at an alumnae event).

RoccoW14 Wed 01-Feb-17 16:41:28

Eastpoint - are you referring to the WHS junior school results at 11+ last summer or their senior school results for university destinations?

They don't publish their 11+ results as I assume most would progress to the senior school. They may, as a result, put less effort into exam preparation at that stage and you may need to do it outside of school. That said, it could be a good thing - why waste time on exam preparation when you have a guaranteed place at the senior school and your time could be better spent on other activities?

With regards to 11+ results for GDST schools, I think Ken Prep generally does the best, with about 25% offered a place at SPGS annually.

tourbillon Wed 01-Feb-17 17:21:44

Eastpoint is referring to the GCSE results presumably. It just doesn't make sense to say Ken Prep does "the best" when WHS girls on the whole aren't looking to leave. You can't compare a Prep's leavers' results with a junior school.

RoccoW14 Wed 01-Feb-17 17:36:18

Good point, agreed.

tourbillon Wed 01-Feb-17 17:39:35

Sorry, I think the GDST league tables is GCSE and A levels combined, not just GCSE. Although WHS A levels are never quite as strong as KCS take girls into the sixth form which is a tempting prospect for the highest performers, but probably outside OP's line of enquiry!

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