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The Lyceum School, London - updates?

(25 Posts)
NotTheMomma1 Wed 20-Sep-17 09:03:45

Hi all, our little daughter might start at the Lyceum School in 2018. I understand some changes have taken place in the last couple of years, with Minerva taking over and key people leaving. Somebody also told me that the big renovation they were planning initially is now off. What is the situation like at the Lyceum School right now? Are parents with kids going here generally happy with the school? Any advice is much appreciated. smile Thank you

CatLadyInTraining Fri 24-Nov-17 14:51:19

Bumping as we are also looking at this school. Anyone?

SRB36 Sat 25-Nov-17 18:01:14

Any news anyone? My Son has a place to start in 2019 . I had hoped the plans to expand the school would go ahead. I wonder why it has been rejected.

TypeAMum Tue 06-Mar-18 21:11:52

I am also looking at this school for 2018. Visited the school today and the kids generally seemed happy and content but obviously that was just a first impression. Would love to know from parents whose kids are still studying there. Can anyone advise please?

FreeSpiritWithin Mon 26-Mar-18 23:16:53

Bump - DS got an offer to start in September this year. I'm worried I can't find any reliable reviews for Lyceum after the changes took place.

SRB36 Mon 02-Apr-18 20:01:13

Hi NotTheMomma1, did you send your daughter to The Lyceum? If so, is she happy? How is the school?

FreeSpiritWithin Sun 29-Apr-18 09:59:41

Hi Lyceum mums - any advice at all? Going for Open Day on Tuesday next week.

FreeSpiritWithin Sun 13-May-18 22:10:51

Went for the Lyceum viewing and just to provide an update to anyone interested, didnt like it at all. I cant imagine sending my kid to a school which holds its classes in the basement with no natural light!! Abd the classrooms are open planned which to me seemed bizzare as Im sure it must be distracting for the kids to be able to see and hear whats happening in the next classroom. Also I quized the head about the school's leaver's destination and she was extremely vague. So its a definite no no for me.

schoolworrier Sun 13-May-18 23:01:40

Hi @FreeSpiritWithin I had similar feelings after my visit. Which other schools are you considering for your DC if you don't mind me asking?

FreeSpiritWithin Mon 11-Jun-18 22:08:17

Hi schoolworrier we finally chose Falcon Boys Pre Prep after viewing a lot of schools. I was so amazed with the kids at Falcons and the teachers that I was extremely happy to decide on it. My DS starts this Sept.

NotTheMomma1 Sun 11-Nov-18 10:22:17

Hi, it seems the Lyceum is moving to a new building (natural light included) next year. And a new head teacher is starting in January. So a lot of change. It would still be good to hear from parents that have kids going to the Lyceum now.

NotTheMomma1 Sun 11-Nov-18 10:29:29

Sorry I pressed post too soon. I meant to say it would be good to hear from parents that have kids currently going to the Lyceum. Thanks in advance!

threekeys Tue 01-Jan-19 21:52:31

Hello, current Lyceum parent here! There are lots of reasons to be excited about the Lyceum at the moment. First of all, the new headteacher already started in October 2018 and has successfully introduced numerous changes to the school, not only the academic part of the curriculum but also more competitive sports, a house system that rewards a variety of positive contributions and a bit more structure (but not too much, if you know what I mean). Generally, parents and children are very happy with the recent changes. The move to a new five-storey building around the corner is a big plus for the children and staff. When my child started at the school I too was concerned about the basement setting. But two things out my mind at ease: first, I spoke to a relative who is a retired teacher / counsellor, and she told me that at this age, the most important aspects of school life are the teachers, and the other children. The so called 'green grass schools' with their massive grounds and beautiful buildings definitely appeal to parents, but it isn't what engages the children - it's much more important to look at the quality of teaching itself, and the Lyceum is blessed with some truly amazing teachers!! Second, I spoke to a number of current students and parents and found that the Lyceum community has a truly family-like atmosphere. The children seemed happy, there was generally a lot of support and it didn't feel overly competitive. We are all excited about the new building, but hope that the Lyceum ethos will not be diluted because of it - I'm pretty sure we can preserve it. Any other questions, please ask - very happy to help wherever I can!

threekeys Tue 01-Jan-19 21:58:41

PS. Maybe just to add, if your child is a happy all-rounder, is quite arty and shows interest in a wide range of topics, the Lyceum might just be the perfect choice for you. Yes, the central London location doesn't lend itself well to sports, that is a big downside. That being said, the school is doing its best to incorporate PE into the weekly schedule by taking the kids swimming to nearby Golden Lane leisure centre, football and hockey in Artillery Grounds etc. The new building is likely to have a dedicated art/drama room and the creative side of school life is likely to be further enhanced. Also the holistic, topic-based learning is a good way to get young children to develop independent thinking and research skills and "learning to learn" . Sorry, another long post but here's my contribution!

NotTheMomma1 Sun 06-Jan-19 14:38:05

Dear threekeys, thanks so much for taking the time to reply. To be honest it was quite a relief to find out that the school is now moving as it was a bugbear of mine. The building looks amazing from the outside! It is also great to hear from a current parent that parents and kids are happy about the new headteacher and recent changes. September is now basically around the corner and my daughter (and I) cannot wait. In the end I am quite happy with our decision to register her at Lyceum smile

threekeys Fri 11-Jan-19 22:05:07

@NotTheMomma1, I'm glad I could be of (some) help. Please feel free to ask any questions about the school, I'm always happy to answer any queries people might have - it's such an important and difficult decision! We look forward to welcoming your family at the Lyceum smile

Bizzy2011 Fri 01-Feb-19 21:05:52

Lyceum mum number 2 here. No idea who 3 keys is but I’d second her wholeheatedyly.
One other thing I’d add. Unlike a lot of London schools The Lyceum is super supportive of working parents and provides excellent after school options. I can’t recommend highly enough!

bmbmad Sun 03-Feb-19 11:12:14

Lyceum mum number 3: I have two children at The Lyceum and have been part of the school for many years. I fully agree that the school is now in good shape. The last three years have been very difficult and the amount of churn of staff was worrying (particularly for year 6 teachers). But the teachers that we have now are amazing and I trust the school will be able to retain them. The new head is great and fully committed to making The Lyceum the best school in the area and with the new building and the the changes that are being implemented, I know she can. Ironically, I worried about the building as well when I first started at the Lyceum but this became the least of my worries over time - children are happy there and being in a basement doesn't seem to be a problem for them - although they are super excited about the new building :-) Six months ago I wouldn't have recommended The Lyceum to anyone, but I now have no hesitation. Good luck threekeys and everyone else- I hope you can get a place.

AWEB Wed 13-Feb-19 20:56:12

Lyceum mum 4: our daughter started on nursery in September 2018; had some reservations, but we’ve fallen on our feet...a super new head mistress, new building this year, revamp of curriculum and our daughter is really happy. Having been through the UK prep and private system myself...I’m really happy with the Lyceum. The staff are excellent, we’re both working parents and wrap around care is great, constructive and regular interaction and feedback from teachers and our daughter settled straight in. I was quickly reassured and increasingly impressed with the small but important changes. Good luck and I hope you get a place!

Hatapata Sun 07-Apr-19 20:00:24

Does anyone know if they have still availability for school year starting September 2020?

LightTripper Fri 12-Jul-19 12:34:13

Hi all, just wondering if any of the current parents have feedback on the new building and head now everybody is settled in? I've heard good things from a friend of a friend. I visited in the old building with the old head and really didn't like the basement for the reasons set out above... so quite excited about the new setting which looks much better! Will be looking for schools for 7+ and reception for 2DC in a couple of years so it's nice for Lyceum to come back on the list...

Also, does anybody know what their SEN provision is like? One of our DC has SEN. Doesn't need a 1:1 or anything like that but somewhere very rigid or very "vibrant" (chaotic) probably won't suit, as they can get anxious. We saw Dallington and I can see it would be great for some DC but wouldn't suit ours. I loved the comment about "a bit of structure but not too much" as that would be perfect. What are class sizes like? Do they get smaller as they go through the school?

Sorry for the deluge of questions!


threekeys Sun 01-Sep-19 15:22:30

Dear LightTripper, apologies for the late reply! I don't know where summer's gone but it sure did fly by - somehow!

First of all I'm happy to report back to you on the new building, everyone's settled in nicely and the teachers say the children look and act like they've been there for much longer. It is a much larger space but the colour-coding is very well done and the children seem very comfortable in there. There is now a dedicated science/art room and the yoga & mindfulness studio is also lovely. The outside play area, which is covered in AstroTurf and beautiful wall art, is used throughout the day for either play or classroom activities - there is even a living wall and a fish tank in the reception area, which the kids obviously love.

The class sizes do get smaller as you go up. It seems to be the usual central London private school problem. The latest Y6 cohort, who have just graduated, had 12 children. At the other end of the spectrum, I heard that there will be a 2 form reception intake each with about 18-20 kids. Whilst we cannot expect everyone to stay, I do believe the school is set up for expansion and this will certainly have an impact on the overall atmosphere of the school.

I am not sure about the SEN provision as I am not familiar with your child's specific situation or needs, but as far as I'm aware the children that we know who need some kind of SEN provision have received great care for THEIR needs (which could be different from your child's). I'd suggest you have a chat with Mrs Wyatt, the headteacher, about this - she is extremely approachable and knowledgeable about education in general, so I'm sure she will be able to explain what the Lyceum can do for you as a family.

What I can say however, is that the Lyceum isn't the kind of school that pushes children unnecessarily hard. Yes, there is some structure and certain content needs to be covered every day/week, but it is not rigid and there is a big emphasis on kindness and creativity. This is purely based on our own experience of the school so please do take it with a pinch of salt, but I hope you find it useful. Good luck with everything!

LightTripper Wed 11-Sep-19 14:43:54

Thanks @threekeys, very useful. Went to visit this morning and really loved the new building and the energy of the staff and pupils. Seems a very happy place: they obviously put a lot of emphasis on mental health.

Anyway, we're registered already so we'll definitely keep it on the list - what you describe is exactly how it came across this morning and I think could potentially be a good fit for both our DC (even though they are chalk and cheese in some ways!)

The drop off in numbers is actually quite encouraging for us as we'd be looking for 7+ as well as Reception entry.... though I suspect with the new building they might see less drop off in future.

ExpatMomOf1 Thu 19-Sep-19 22:14:55

Hi @lighttripper! We joined Lyceum a couple of years ago. The school clearly had lots of upheaval in the last few years, though that seems to be settling down under new and steady management.

The new building is definitely a great improvement. It is full of light as the PP said, and has quirky street art throughout. Now that there are actual classrooms with doors, I expect the learning environment is much better. Plus, DC says she's getting extra fit climbing all of the stairs! However, one unexpected down side we've noticed with the new building is that the kids are a bit less active in break time - they no longer go use all of the various playground in the area but stay in on the astroturf at the school. As there isn't playground equipment, it can be a bit limiting physically.

The main reason we switched was that the Lyceum seemed to get kids into much, much better secondary schools than DC's previous school (also an independent school). We also liked the small class sizes, the strong music programme and the previous head. Once we joined, we particularly loved the light homework, working parent friendly evening performances and the emphasis on being kind!

All that said, I'm not as happy with the academic side of Lyceum as I'd like to be. Indeed, half of the parents in DC's class registered concerns at the end of last year about the academic side of things for the class for this year - and the response from the school at the time was not particularly helpful. I can only hope that as the year unfolds that the school will prove that they really have been listening. (I'll keep you posted!)

When it was clear that the school wasn't going to take on board the parent feedback, I sort of went into overdrive lining up some outside of school tutoring / enrichment type things. Those outside of school learning opportunities have really brought DC a lot of confidence and sheer joy in learning, but I wish I hadn't had to go looking for them.

I do hope the school gets better at taking on board parent feedback, which does link into... The only other issue for me has been a feeling of something like a total lack of customer service. I tend to think that if we're paying this much money for a service/product, we should be treated like valued customers. And that isn't currently the case. (Though I get that is an issue with the whole sector!) It can leave a sour taste in the mouth particularly after paying the bill, so just be warned.

I don't regret moving DC to Lyceum. Mostly. And should DC get into her preferred secondary school (whenever we figure out what that is), then I won't regret it at all.

Hope it helps to have feedback from a real person with mixed feelings on the school?

LightTripper Thu 19-Sep-19 23:39:17

Yes definitely helpful! I'm not sure any school is ever really 100% fit for any child, but hearing the ways in which it does and doesn't work for different families is super-helpful to try to find the best fit possible.


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