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City of London Freeman's School, Ashtead(10 Posts)
Does anyone have a child in the junior school at Freeman's? DD is very bright and self-motivated, so has a chance of passing the 7+ entrance exam, but we're looking for a loving and nurturing environment, with teachers passionate about bringing out the very best from the KS2 age group, not only academically but also in art, DT and music. We'd like a school where the children think of themselves as a group travelling through their educational journey together, rather than as individuals being assessed and compared with each other. Finally, we'd love her to feel she has the teachers' backing to think outside the box, take risks and go down blind alleys, instead of worrying that each piece of work has to be "perfect" and conform with what is "expected". Would Freeman's fit the bill?
I don’t know a lot about Freeman’s, but have you looked around Chinthurst? They’re definitely getting the most out of my eldest in just the way you describe.
I wouldnt describe Freemans as a nurturing environment - it is a good school in lots of ways but I wouldnt put it up there for pastoral care. Chinthurst better for that I would agree.
You are asking a lot you know - compromises will be needed -they are only schools at the end of the day.
Visit both schools. Ask questions. Pay attention to your gut feeling about the schools. But honestly I’m thinking you might have to modify some of your expectations.
Thinking outside the box is a good idea but if the school cannot teach it, you should instead. At the end of the day this is a educational institution not anything else. Have you considered homeschooling or not?
Homeschooling is perfect for teaching children things like flexibility and unconventional skills like thinking beyond the obvious.
@Confused2011 we are also considering Freemen's and whilst we don't have a child there, we have plenty of friends who do.
I would agree that it's not at the top of the list for pastoral care, and the sport provision is patchy. They have a reputation for not winning at much sport wise.
Those with girls there seem to be happier with it than those with boys. There's a fair bit of movement around 11 too. A couple of friends have moved their dds to Epsom college because they're really sporty.
It's reasonably academic though, although not if you compare it to the London schools. It depends what you're looking for. We are also considering Aberdour, Downsend and Banstead Prep. It's a real headache!
We are also considering CLFS, Downsend and Aberdour. It is indeed a headache.
Freeman’s is certainly the most academic but have concerns that it’s very traditional. The other schools come across as far more dynamic with greater added value.
Would also be very keen to hear from current parents with regards to these 3 schools, the good, the bad and the ugly......
The pastoral care at Freemen's is poor to non existent, there is a lot of bullying, about which the school does very little. It doesn't do nurturing - the children are encouraged to be independent from day 1. Sport is much better for the boys than the girls - boys get more squad time, play more matches, have better coaching and have much better facilities than the girls. Lots of the children go to outside sports clubs for a lot of the sports and athletics. The school is also very poor at dealing with children with allergies or other medical conditions - procedures are lacking, medication goes missing etc etc. The music is great, lots of bands, orchestra etc. Drama and art also strong. DT excellent.
Thanks for all your replies!
Missdeameanour, when you say "dynamic with greater added value" what do you mean? I'm completely new to KS2 education, so don't really know what "extras" to look out for.
Epwell, do you have DCs at Freemen's yourself? And are your comments about the Junior School, Years 7-8 or the Senior School? I've met the Junior and Senior School headmasters and they both seem very caring, with a genuine passion for children/teenagers, and they seem to go out of their way to look after the staff in a holistic way behind the scenes way above and beyond the other schools we've looked at elsewhere, so it's hard for me to picture them not taking bullying seriously. Is this really the case? Any other parents with experience of this at Freemen's?
Yes, I have direct experience of the school. The headmasters talk the talk but do not walk the walk. (Have met with them both. Several times.) Sending my child there is one of the worst decisions I have ever made and if I had my time again I wouldn't repeat the experience. Final straw was online bullying over half term involving children from the school and discussing events at school - Freemen's refused to do anything about it on the grounds it was "not term time". Presumably this extends to weekends too, and possibly evenings. Many children there aren't bullied and do fine, but if you are then god help you, because nobody else will. Comments are about the junior school. It can be a pretty brutal place and there is a lot of bullying there. If I had my time again I'd go for Downsend.
Ditto Epwell, if I had my time again would not have sent my child there. Bullying rife, not just the children, the parents are just as bad. Trad environment which, to my mind, is out of touch with normal diverse society - just look at the candidates we have in government currently which provide a perfect example. Thankfully moved My child for sixth form and what a breath of fresh air. Downsend btw now offering education all the way to 18 and good choice. But agree with comments above there are other schools in the area which have better things to offer. Don’t be fooled by straight academics. They don’t produce well rounded kids but I suppose we are all different and it depends what you want for your child.
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