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Torriano School and King's Cross Academy in Camden(15 Posts)
Hello, we are in the (hopefully!) fortunate position of standing a pretty good chance of being within the cut-off distance for both of these primary schools for Reception 2019 entry.
I am conscious that both (especially Torriano) have already been the subject of a few past threads but if anyone - particularly current parents - has any more recent experiences, views, thoughts, etc about either school then I would be very grateful and interested to hear them.
Thank you in anticipation!
I don't know KX Academy at all I'm afraid but everyone I know with kids at Torriano loves it. They've also just had a fantastic Ofsted (as I'm sure you know!), the first since they merged the Infants and Junior schools so it's likely to be (even more) heavily subscribed this year. Hope you find someone with experience of KX, if not here maybe try the Camden local boards?
Thank you Zinnia, that is very helpful! I have seen the Ofsted and also been to the recent open morning, and Torriano is clearly a great school which has been doing well consistently in recent years. Maybe we are silly even to be considering others!
But...but... when I went on the KX tour, there was something about it that really impressed me. It seemed like such a positive, vibrant environment, in which every single aspect from curriculum to building design had been thought through with a lot of care. Hopefully there will be some Islington or Camden parents along soon to give the inside story!
Friends of ours send their child to Kings Cross Academy. They are broadly happy with it I think. However, they had limited options for specific reasons. I will ask them about it...
Thank you Terentia, that would be great!
If you're finding it hard to choose which to put first, I'd seriously suggest going with whichever is closer, as I'm assuming if you're within half a mile of both then they're in opposite directions for you? Both schools seem to have shrinking distance criteria, so if you're nearer to one of them I'd put that first. The practicalities of primary school life mean it's all much easier to manage if you're only a few minutes' walk away, not just for the school run itself but also your DC's social life!
I just asked my friend. She'd recommend it. She thinks the school is strong academically and likes the intake (international, mixed). The fact that it's a new school has its advantages in that the culture is still being formed but also means it's still a bit disorganised.
Good luck with your decision!
Thank you Terentia, that's very useful! Would be interested to know about the "bit disorganised" but I guess that no primary is 100% on that front (for example, Torriano took ages to publish their open morning dates and the tour of the school was a bit chaotic at times) so maybe not worth flapping about.
Zinnia I am completely with you on proximity and yes, they are in opposite directions for us with one nearer than the other (sorry, being a bit vague intentionally). But there is not much in it: both are within 15 mins' walk (10 mins' scoot with the adult jogging behind ) and the one that is a bit further away is in the right direction for my and my other half's work commutes, so it is swings and roundabouts...
I really hope you chose Toriano.
Kings Cross Academy is very different from how it sells itself as. Nursery is heaven but once you move to Reception it is caos. Unprepared professionals.
We have heard about many families (at least 8) moving their kids somewhere else (3 in a same day in one occasion!).
Apparently they are new and pretend to be perfect. I wouldn’t let my child be guinea pig.
I second JuliMum. We were sold a complete fantasy. They have bags of enthusiasm but zero experience . From a quick glance it seems that majority of teaching staff look fresh out of college. Families literally start dropping like flies around year 1/2 once you discover the lack of experience. Poor depth to the learning, lack of school community and extra curricular activities (very absent headteacher), poor communication between teachers/school and parents and generally disorganised from what I remember when my D went to school. I’ve convinced myself that all state schools are like this. But it maybe for you if you like a laissez faire approach to education. We would leave but all schools we like are at full capacity. Really wished I went with Torriano
Really sad to read Gear123 response, we’ve had our LO at Kings’s Cross Academy since it opened and think it’s amazing. Finally a school that is trying to do thing differently for the sake of a better education rather than just sticking to the same old way of doing things. Also their results are some of the best in Camden! Can’t be that ‘laissez faire’ to achieve that!,
Sad to hear you mention the ‘absent headteacher’ who I know has taken parental leave to look after his child, isn’t he permitted to do that like the rest of us?! Brilliant deputy head who acted up.
Sounds like we are better off without Gear123’s bad attitude at the school!
Fully agree with H1850!
My child has been at KCA since it opened as well, and I am very happy with the school.
Think the SLT and teachers are great, am very happy with the school ethos and the focus on a broad range of subjects. They are quite different from other schools, but in a good way in my opinion.
There are plenty of after school clubs, more new ones starting each year as the school is growing. Communication between home and school is absolutely fine too.
If anyone is considering KCA, please do not let Gear123's message put you off!
They may be a young school but in that is openness and willingness to learn. So any issues you have I’m sure you will be supported through it. The school has made several opportunities for parental engagement and the PTA volunteers are ALWAYS eager for additional support ( so I’m really failing to see the lack of community) ok, the extra curricular activities are a little steep but that’s because majority of the children come from working homes so no additional pupil premium. The deputy head is nothing short of a champion, her door is always open and she is engaged with all. The set up may challenge traditionalist but it maintains the core of the NC. I love this school and value the staff as they have made me and my children feel valued. Ever class has at least one full time TA. To touch again on the “fresh out of college” my response is that some parents have an unrealistic outlook of modern state education, the head has skilfully managed funds so that the most resources go directly to the children. But you would know that if you came to the various meetings, seminars held by the school, they are transparent as cling film. They all are visibly working to achieve the best possible outcome for each individual child. From your post I can hear you are having a difficult time but trust me KCA is an incredibly nurturing and supportive environment. And I’m an ex parent. If I could pick the staff up with me I would.
I guess the almost 10 families that have left also have a bad attitude. Even more the term just gone to.
I agree with gear123 I also know a couple of families that left, or I should say were made to leave as that seems to be KCA modus operandi “Push the families away instead of helping them” should be their motto. The deputy head which is also the sendco lacks compassion and empathy and is famous for gaslighting and lying to parents. It’s all smoke and mirrors don’t be fooled by the looks of the academy it’s akin Snow White’s shiny Apple