Has anyone got experience with these two school's nursery leading to KS1?
Our DS currently has been offered a nursery place for both schools.
Our intention is to keep him in one of this two schools until at least KS1 (6+). 7+ is still a few years down the line, we are not even sure if we are still going to be in the area or not.
Some facts that we have observed so far:
SD: 20 pupils at 3+. old school building, very friendly teachers, feel like home Colfe: 40 pupils at 3+, new school building, friendly teachers too, but not as personal as SD.
Travel distance: Both are about 1 mile from my home.
A bit about my son: He is a Dec born boy, which means he should be older than at least half of the class. English is not his first language. However, he has been with a local childminder since March this year and picking up English unbelievably fast. He is a little shy, tends to be a bit slow on eating his lunch and dinner, but he is very focused on things he is interested in, for example, cars. He could stay playing with some toys for quite some time unlike some other kids at his ago who tend to move onto new things very quickly.
Any suggestions would be very much appreciated. Thanks.
I am juggling between sending my DS to SD or colfe's now and sending him to a state school nearby (Ofsted outstanding), wait few years, using the money to coach him aiming for a good 7+ independent school, i.e. Alleyn or Dulwich.
If your aim is Alleyns/DC at 7+ then I don't think either of those schools offer you an advantage? Both Colfes and St Dunstans aim to keep kids from 3 to 18 - so although they get a good education, there is no exam prep at any stage.
If you have a state school you like, go for that and then you can get ready for entrance exams when you're ready?
What about Dulwich Prep? There are few schools locally that would prepare for the 7+. Pointers loses a few to Eltham College at Year 3 but don't prepare. Have you looked at Babington House? If Alleyns/Dulwich are the aim then I'd go state with tutoring or prep until 11 (Blackheath Prep a good choice locally).
Hi Mrs Patmore, thanks for your reply. We currently live slightly far from Dulwich Prep. In terms of tutoring, if I start with state school plus tutoring, how early do you think I should start coaching my son? Thanks.
If you are choosing one of the many well regarded primary schools in Greenwich/Blackheath, then I'd look to start tutoring for the 11+ (taken at the beginning of Year 6) from the end of Year 4. The independent exams range from Oct of Year 6 to the January. In our experience, general 11+ prep to a high standard plus creative writing preparation was enough to secure places with scholarships at places like Dulwich College and Alleyns. I guess at your ds's age though you won't know how academic they are yet. Even at places like Dulwich Prep and Blackheath Prep, they can't raise a child's standard that high if they haven't got the raw material in the first place! Why not try State first then think about switching at 7+. You will hopefully have an idea by then how academic your ds is likely to be and maybe you'll know where you'll be geographically too.
OP I think I'd get an idea from the schools you're aiming for what the tests consist of - are there sample papers for example? Or a list of maths skills?
Kumon is v good for getting mental maths skills up in littlies - but apart from that I'm not sure a tutor is the way forward? You could easily spend time writing stories and honing maths skills together?
My DC were at SD until we moved out of London. Nursery to year 2. Very happy with the staff, the pastoral care and the environment. A year or so on and they still miss it. Lots of children with non-UK parents which was a plus for me.
Where do you live exactly OP? Must be somewhere like Lee? Have you considered Breaside Prep or Bickley Park? PP are right in saying you need a prep school as all-through schools will want to hang onto pupils and won't prepare them for Common Entrance exams to other schools.