Reception Class options for 4 yr old boy staying London for 1 yr

(31 Posts)
HKMartin Mon 05-Mar-18 09:19:45

Dear all,
My UK friends have led me to this wonderful place where I found a lot of useful information on the education for kids.
My family is gonna come over with me to London during my study at Imperial for MSc. I am desperately looking for advice on reception class / school that would accept international students (I knew some / most top schools might have been full already). I am looking for schools not too far from Kensington. Grateful for your advices! Thanks!

OP’s posts: |
Hoppinggreen Mon 05-Mar-18 09:21:16

Private or State?

HKMartin Mon 05-Mar-18 09:42:44

Private / Independent likely. Are internationals (e.g. with study Visas) allowed for state schools?

OP’s posts: |
Hoppinggreen Mon 05-Mar-18 09:56:11

I’m not in London so can’t help with specific schools but there are plenty of knowledge people on here who I’m sure will be happy to help you
State school places are very much in demand in London ( and in many other areas) and as yours would presumably be an in Year application you might struggle to find a good schoolclose to where you live.
You can only apply to a UK state school from a UK address which you can prove and you must be living there when you apply. The council where you live has a responsibility to find you A school place but it may not be a School close by or one you would want.
If possible Private may be better but my understanding is that good Private schools are also pretty oversubscribed in London

CruCru Mon 05-Mar-18 11:53:33


I know of a few preschools / nursery schools that can take children in the Reception year but, as I am nowhere near Kensington, I don’t know of any that are where you’ll be living.

This may be helpful. So might this.

Mary21 Mon 05-Mar-18 13:17:38

For State schools you can’t apply till you get an address. Are you planning to be in Imperial accommodation? The local education authority has to find you a school place but this doesn’t,t have to be at your nearest school or a school rated good or outstanding it just has to be a school. You may be lucky because London has a fluid population. Education at reception level is very play based. I also have a feeling that if the schools are full the obligation to find a school place is from age 5.
For independent schools in that area Hill House may be worth a look.
As may St Nicholas Prep. And Knightsbridge Prep. Also check out Southbank international Kensington campus.
I believe Imperial has its own Nursery which maybe worth checking out as a back up. .

fruitbrewhaha Mon 05-Mar-18 13:37:41

With a Tier 4 visa you cannot send your dependents to a state school.

There are many preps in the Kensington area, however parents register their children years in advance. There is a high turnover in London, so it's easier to find space in the later years but for reception year it could be tricky.

Your best bet is to start ringing around your chosen area.


sanam2010 Mon 05-Mar-18 13:42:29

have a look at this website listing preps in Central London. In Kensington, do you have a boy or a girl? I would try Eaton Square or Hampshire School, Hawkesdown for a boy, Hill House, st nicholas prep, lots of options...

HKMartin Mon 05-Mar-18 14:19:24

Dear all,

Thank you very much for your advices. I have just been awarded the scholarship for MSc a few days ago and the first thing I worry is the education of my boy.

I have received some positive replies from Maple Walk , Wandsworth prep, St Nicholas, the Roche... Could you give me some opinion? Besides academics, we would wish our son to continue his exposure to music (piano and drum) and some degree of sports/ outing. Do these schools offer extracurricular activities ?

OP’s posts: |
Ivebeenaroundtheblock Mon 05-Mar-18 17:05:18

Each individual school will have a well developed web site. Have you checked those.

sanam2010 Mon 05-Mar-18 17:20:34

The Roche School is brilliant and very reasonable fees too!

HKMartin Tue 06-Mar-18 00:49:30

I looked up the sites but just to be a bit conscious as I have not visited the schools (and probably not able to until his enrolment). Opinions from other parents will be really helpful smile

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sanam2010 Tue 06-Mar-18 08:34:38

Hi. I had two girls at the Roche nursery and know many families who continued on at the Roche. We could not stay at the Roche School as it was too far for us, but otherwise it would have been our top choice. The school is really great and unlike many others (especially Wandsworth Prep and St Nicholas Prep) it is not run as a business, they really care about the children and are very warm. I have never met anyone who wasn't happy with the school. It is not a fancy private school, if that's what you are looking for, but they are great at everything that matters.

HKMartin Tue 06-Mar-18 23:26:34

Thanks for the advice. I am now planning a short trip just for school visits (may be for housing as well). Any suggestions on other schools in central london I should look into?

OP’s posts: |
giardiniera Wed 07-Mar-18 08:21:17

The Roche is miles away from central London. Don't underestimate how long it takes to travel across London at rush hour/school run time. You need to figure out where you'll be living and then ring everywhere you can. You will find somewhere but it may not be your first choice.

buzzingmama Wed 07-Mar-18 17:53:32

in and around central london there are lots ... Worth a try to just call alot and see where has a free space ..

it is worth a try at Connaught house, Abercorn, St Christinas (catholic), St johns wood pre prep, St james junior, norland house, newton prep,

HKMartin Sun 11-Mar-18 07:25:55

Hi all,

Thanks for all the information and I am starting to contact the schools at the moment. Currently I am focusing on schools in West / SouthWest London. I realised that most of the independent / private prep schools are quite small in size (some looks like a normal house from the outside). Is it very common in London ? Are there some "bigger" schools in the area?

Meanwhile I also noted replies from Wetherby / Thomas's Battersea that it is unlikely for us to aim for admission in coming Sept. However they hinted the occasional spaces during mid terms. How likely is these occasional spaces offered and any experience of being on a waitlist of these schools? Thank you.

OP’s posts: |
HKMartin Sun 11-Mar-18 07:30:43

And 1 more Q... How's the ethnic diversity in these schools (e.g. The Roche , St. Nicholas etc. )?

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Rollercoaster1920 Sun 11-Mar-18 08:04:03

When does your boy turn 5? If in July August then maybe use the creche / nursery in imperial rather than a school.

Otherwise get a school near where you will live so your child can more easily play with class mates.

Not sure how your visa will affect your ability to get into state schools, if that is possible then religion can help with admittance.

YimminiYoudar Sun 11-Mar-18 08:05:01

When is his 5th birthday? Although children in the UK can start school from the September after their 4th birthday, they are not obliged to until their 5th birthday and preschools/nurseries will look after a 4 year old and will follow a very similar "learning through play" curriculum as schools so your child won't miss out.

Therefore I would start with looking at imperial college's own on-site nursery

HKMartin Sun 11-Mar-18 08:25:37

Thanks. I have been contacting Imperial's nursery for the case too. he is turning 4 in June 2018. As he needs to go back to HK in late 2019 when I finish my studies at Imperial, I would prefer to enrol him to a reception class instead of nursery as he needs to go through admission tests for schools when he goes back to HK.
I asked a few UK friends and it seems he would not be eligible for State Schools until 5 so we are looking at independent schools.

OP’s posts: |
LIZS Sun 11-Mar-18 08:32:43

No he would be eligible from September 2018 for a state school Reception intake. Legally he has to be in some form of education by the term after he turned 5, which may be how your colleagues are confused. I wasn't aware you need to meet residency criteria to apply. London private schools are costly and not necessarily offering a consistent quality of education.

YimminiYoudar Sun 11-Mar-18 09:17:41

If you need to be preparing him for HK entrance tests then you definitely need to rule out state provision. Whether nursery or reception, the state early years curriculum is the same and is a very gentle introduction to formal education with no pressure and self-direction. Even a lot of private schools will have a similar approach for 4-5yos. An international school which understands the requirements for families that will be moving between countries over the years would probably be best

HKMartin Sun 11-Mar-18 09:29:39

Re LIZS and YimminiYoudar: Thank you for your advices. I will not have a UK address until arrival in Sept, and together with the HK entrance test issue, we are ruling out State schools at the moment.

Are there any International Schools in London (preferably West / Southwest London) that I should look into ? I heard about Hill House and Southbank International.

OP’s posts: |
Usernamealreadyexists Sun 11-Mar-18 09:35:41

Look at St Nicholas Prep - it’s on the doorstep of Imperial (assuming you will be at the S Ken campus). Lots of international families there

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