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The Academy School(7 Posts)
Anyone with kids in The Academy School, Hampstead- I would love to hear from you, feedback, teaching, pastoral care, community?
We did not have a good experience and my son left after a year. When we were there it was totally disorganised, actually left an 8 year old child on the heath! Intake is not broad with a a lot of children who obviously could not get into the more sought after preps but whose parents could not countenance the thought of sending them to a state primary. My son had some very odd experiences with teachers there. Having said that if you are set on private and your child is not developing at the 'normal' National Curriculum prescribed rate it may suit, but I would caution you to be very hands on. Some people do love it as they feel it is the only school where there child is comfortable and can progress. It put me off the London private school scene forever!
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
We have had a totally different experience. I think the school is excellent, albeit very quirky. My son is there, he sat the 7+ and got accepted into Belmont, UCS and Highgate. Academically he is well above the national standard, as are most of his friends who are at this school.
The school is incredibly nurturing. The kids work really hard, but they play hard too. The Academy produces very happy, well mannered and highly educated kids who get into some of the top secondary schools. Their latest OFSTED results were OUTSTANDING which speaks for itself.
Depends what YOU want. If you want a large school with "name" in a grand building but the class size and personal approach do not matter(the class size in big name schools is 22+), Academy should be your last choice. And the opposite. If the name and facilities are not your priorities but you value SMALL class size and personal approach, it is a great school.
Myself I dismiss any private fee paying school with class size over 16-18. What's the point to pay so much money if the class size is like in a state school?
My kids' state school the classes have been minimum 28 (usually completely full which is how they want it as they get funding per pupil and it's a good school that people want to go to) so 22 feels tiny and nothing like a state school.
Personally I think under 20 is too small. I've read that the ideal class size is 24 - large enough to get a good debate going, easily divided into two, three, four or six groups when necessary. There's an argument that if all the children are pretty able you can go much, much bigger without any loss but it becomes more like a lecture. A very highly regarded state school I know with excellent results has 40 in its top maths set.
(Disclaimer my kids have gone state primary and then 'name' private secondaries but they are quite standardly academic sort of children).
I can recommend the King Alfred School, not far.
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