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Rosemary Works School Islington/Hackney

(18 Posts)
BlueMonkey26 Fri 24-Feb-17 10:01:18

I'm considering Rosemary Works School on the Islington/Hackney border for my child (Sept 2018 entry) as I really like their philosophy and feel that a loving (non-competitive) environment encourages most self-confidence. And I consider self-confidence as the greatest indicator of success in life.

However, am a bit concerned that the older class sizes have a lot less children. Why are all the children leaving? I'd love to hear from anybody who has experiences of RW - and if they have moved their children on to other schools why they have done it.

I'm also considering state schools... Hackney New School and Gayhurst. I'm not that impressed with what I know of Queensbridge (friends kids there) despite it being Ofsted outstanding.

Many thanks.

Supermum2007 Thu 02-Mar-17 19:56:11

Hi, my son joined RW's school in the middle of year 3 and he is now in year 5. I cannot praise the school enough. He absolutely loves goes, he always wants to attend morning club and stay on for after school clubs.
He is in a small class year 5/6 but the level of education, attention he is receiving makes it worth it. I feel that each child is valued as an individual and is nurtured. He has become so confident, academically he is doing extremely well and couldnt wish for a better teacher and headmaster. Very supportive and understanding. My only negative comment is I wish they continued into secondary education, which is my next worry!
Good luck smile

motheroftwomonkeys Sat 04-Mar-17 10:14:40

Rosemary Works is a lovely little school. I was also worried about the small upper classes but all the children in those upper years are doing very well and Im reassurred that the school has fully subscribed classes from Year 2 and below. I do wonder though how the school will cope with the full classes going forward given its small premises. The teachers are wonderful and the kids are enthusiastic to learn. There are a few governance things lacking and the admin on the the finance side can sometimes be a headache. The fees are very high so I would way up how much more you would be getting for your money at RW compared to a good state school.

tshirtsuntan Sat 04-Mar-17 10:31:09

I've been wondering about this school for my year 3 son, he's currently a bit lost and struggling in a large state primary. The problem is finances, I have seen on the website they can possibly offer assisted places, does anyone know the criteria/discount applied for this? I know I should visit and find out but if it's wonderful for him I'm not sure if either of us could stand the disappointment if it's just not financially viable? Sorry to hijack. I've heard lots of good things about Gayhurst, great staff, supportive/inclusive ethos.

motheroftwomonkeys Sat 04-Mar-17 11:38:25

I don't believe there is a set criteria regarding the assisted places. I know of some parents who have been made one offer and others in the same situation offered another offer. I can only presume it's a case by case basis. The directors I'm sure would be very open to having the discussion with you.

tshirtsuntan Sat 04-Mar-17 21:34:17

Thank you, I'll give the head a call. Nothing ventured nothing gained smile.

baz1million Tue 07-Mar-17 13:25:06

Hi, I'd second all the good points mentioned on this thread. The standard of education here is very high and if you're able to commit to funding an independent school for your children and you want somewhere that allows your children to reach their full potential without feeling pressured then I would fully recommend this school. Good luck x

Geyserbonanza Tue 07-Mar-17 21:08:31

My children joined RW after doing Reception in a state school. They are now in the upper and lower school. In their old school expectations were so low that the Reception didn't even get a speaking part in their own nativity! At RW all children from nursery to Year 6 do their own assemblies and it is amazing to see their confidence blossom and abilities shine. In the early years and KS1, the class intake are 2/3 the size of the local state school so already they are at an advantage however I love that as the children get older the classes are smaller. I can assure you that the children that left my child's class after KS1 either went to 7-18 prep schools or relocated out of London. Moreover the children at RW are so kind and caring that despite a smaller cohort they all get along brilliantly, welcome newcomers into the mix and there are no gender barriers to friendship. It sounds trite but the small family feel of the school really is evident. This is also keenly developed by the school doing lots of mixed age activities like weekly democratic and enrichment time, so actually the class size really isn't a problem as you'll find they are integrating with others several times a week anyway.
In terms of fees, I would totally disagree with the thought that RW is expensive as when looking at other local independent schools, I feel they were much more costly and didn't offer nearly as much as RW in terms as pastoral care and seemed to focus on academic achievement through 'old school' methods - a stress inducing curriculum is not what I was looking for and my children are working above expectation without it!

epicboysmum Mon 19-Jun-17 15:01:49

I wouldn't do it. My DS was there and he was bullied. We met with the school many times and they were less than useless. When pressed they blamed my DS and the head said he was 'bringing it on himself'. We left and my DS started thriving.

motherforceawakens Tue 20-Jun-17 22:52:51

I'm sorry to hear that epicboysmum.
My experience has been completely different. My son has a characteristic which could very easily make him a target. 99% of the time the children have been extremely understanding and tolerant towards him. On literally one or two occasions in the 6 years we have been there, a child has said something to my son about this characteristic that has upset him. As soon as I mentioned it to either the head or his teacher they dealt with it, either speaking to the child in question or talking to all the children in more general terms about what is acceptable and appropriate behaviour. We have always found the school to have a reassuringly zero tolerance approach to any kind of bullying and that the children are exceptionally kind and empathetic.

epicboysmum Wed 21-Jun-17 09:03:08

It is good to hear that other people have not had such terrible experiences. This is my story, which is is outing. While we were at Rosemary Works my son developed a stress related condition due to bullying. We were in and out of the hospital for over 6 months getting to the bottom of it. The condition meant that he had an audibly grumbly tummy and uncontrollable loud sulphuric belches. Not only was he being bullied, this made him even more of a target. His teachers and the school knew about it, but made little effort to help. Once in my presence he belched and the TA said in front of the class 'oh epic boy, you are so disgusting' which of course caused no end of sniggers amongst his classmates and further stress, more belches, etc. I have a letter from our consultant which suggested that if at all possible we leave the school, as in their time of treating epic boy they had become aware that Rosemary Works were not willing or perhaps incapable of dealing with the problem. We left. At the new school we had the most wonderful, caring and sympathetic teacher. Condition stopped within weeks and never recurred. It was clearly brought on by what was happening at school. Meanwhile, DS2 was in Rosemary Works nursery class 3 days a week M-W. We left him there as we were waiting for confirmation of other school place and didn't want more disruption. He had been down for a place at Rosemary Works although we had already decided that anywhere, even home schooling was better. We had yet to inform RW because we didn't want him to be treated differently. Anyhow, the school show was Wednesday and Thursday. School told parents we had to like the school on Facebook and then book the day we wanted to watch the show. I didn't want to like the school on Facebook after what happened to epic boy. Plus, DS2 was only there on one of the performance days. I was then informed that Wednesday was fully booked and I would have to go Thursday AND if I wanted to see my son in the play I would have to pay for an extra day. This was even if we only turned up for the performance and then left afterwards. I said to the secretary 'what is it with this place - after what happened with epic boy, you would think that you would be a bit more generous to my family'. The owner came out of her office and gave me a basilisk stare. She summoned DH and I to the school a couple days later and said that DS2 place had been rescinded and asked us to leave. She also said she would return the deposit if we kept quiet, which is why I have done so until now. Finally, I sent both a letter and email asking the school to hand over all correspondence relating to my sons and our family. The consultant had previously suggested this to find out what they were doing to stop the bullying and I didn't want DS2 to be treated differently (see how much I trusted the professionalism of the place?) so didn't until we left. Schools have a legal requirement to give this to us if requested. They never did. That is just how poor the management are. They don't even fulfil their legal requirements to parents.

motherforceawakens Wed 21-Jun-17 11:56:12

I'm sorry to hear this epicboysmum and wish both your boys well in their current school.
I'm happy to say though that this bears no resemblance to any experience I've had at the school in the 6 years we've been there.

epicboysmum Wed 21-Jun-17 13:01:33

** - it was about four years ago - we probably know each other!!! (Wave grin) and you never knew why we left - we were all so traumatised we kept it quiet. We also didn't want epicboy to be labelled and known as the one with a stress related condition brought on my bullying.

epicboysmum Wed 21-Jun-17 13:02:30

Oops those stars are meant to say motherforceawakens. Fat fingers.

cekativud Wed 04-Oct-17 18:59:29

STAY WAY FROM THIS SCHOOL, education levels are low, it is self-assessed and not been controlled for many years. Yes small school, in rosemary works case means low class size because pupils leave, it suffers from no facilities, poor management and general lack of funding.

cekativud Wed 04-Oct-17 19:00:36

STAY WAY FROM THIS SCHOOL, education levels are low, it is self-assessed and not been controlled for many years. Yes small school, in rosemary works case means low class size because pupils leave, it suffers from no facilities, poor management and general lack of funding.

Helpfullymum Mon 20-Nov-17 13:12:24

My child was at this school in reception for a year - before moving to another school. Lots of people only stay for a short time, leaving because a state school place becomes available or on to a different Independent school. We were only there for a year and pretty much knew it wasn’t for us and would be just a stop gap right from the start.

LondonJac Mon 15-Jan-18 20:52:05

I have two children thriving at this school. In the four years they have been there I have never seen or heard of any bullying. I recognise motherforceawakens description; that sense of community and inclusivity shines through in everything they do.

The teachers and support staff are dedicated and talented and the head runs the school with intelligence and genuine care.

The school nurtures a love of learning and empowers the children to be curious and adventurous in their studies. Academically the school is superior with most achieving levels well above their years. The children are beautifully happy, self-confident, fulfilled and well behaved. But it isn't an overtly highly competitive school, and some parents demand more streaming, more competition and more tests. The school ethos and values can't sit well with everyone and I'm absolutely fine with that.

Like every school there are (and have been) children with learning and social issues and challenges but the approach the school has taken seems to be intelligent and individual. On the other hand, I have seen and heard parents behaving badly.

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