Nurturing independent school

(9 Posts)
depp1020 Fri 08-Mar-19 16:19:11

Hi, I started a recent thread on Mumsnet about potentially moving DD during her Reception year. I am familiar with the local independent schools but I am now considering independent schools anywhere in the West Midlands. My husband and I were planning on downsizing our house anyway so are prepared to move to a different area if needed. Jobs are not an issue.

Our main reasons for moving DD are:
1. Her class is very noisy (there are several loud/lively/ disruptive boys in her class).
2. Her class has no direct access to outdoor space and the children spend most afternoons in their small classroom. This most likely exacerbates the first issue.
3. Reception children start formal education in the summer term e.g. sitting at tables and reducing/removing the play based aspect.
4. The school seems to focus on academic achievement.
5. DD has started to complain that school is boring and that every day is the same.

DD is currently at a state school. We are really looking for a nurturing school with a broad curriculum, which fosters a love of learning and allows children the space and opportunities to grow, not one focused on academics and outcomes at 7+/11+.

I would be grateful for any suggestions. Many thanks.

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depp1020 Sun 10-Mar-19 09:21:58


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ritzbiscuits Sun 10-Mar-19 20:23:21

Think you'll struggle for responses on here as it's very London heavy.

I'm from Walsall originally so only know of Hydesville but don't know it's recent reputation. I would imagine a lot of prep schools will be focused on 11+ as that's the expectation for many parents paying for prep schools.

You could try 11+ forum for your area and see if anyone knows of a prep that's not 11+ focused?

depp1020 Sun 10-Mar-19 22:19:31

Thanks for responding, ritzbiscuits. Yes, many of the threads seem to relate to schools in the south. Although maybe the type of school I am looking for doesn’t exist in my area. I have mentioned Dolphin School (we previously lived in Berkshire) in a previous thread as this was the type of school I was alluding to.

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Lonecatwithkitten Mon 11-Mar-19 07:43:10

I think you are more likely to find what you are looking for at a school that is through to 18 as their first measurable target in GCSE rather than 11 or 13+.

depp1020 Mon 11-Mar-19 09:49:33

I agree, Lonecat. I changed the title of this thread for that reason. We had considered a 7-18 school for DD but I really struggled with where to send her for nursery and KS1. I don’t regret sending DD to her current school as she thrived in her nursery class but her current classroom environment is not ideal and I don’t see this improving.

I think this term (since January) things got worse as she was sat between two of the loud/disruptive boys; although her carpet partners have changed this half term, she just isn’t showing the same enthusiasm for school. She’s started saying she doesn’t want to go to school and for weeks now has been really clingy at morning drop offs. There weren’t any tears this morning but she kept saying she was tired and didn’t want to go to school. Is this normal at this point in Reception? I honestly don’t see any of the other children doing this.

There is a local 3-18 girls’ school that we are looking at this week but I have found out that the Reception class there has not been without its own issues. The teacher has had a lot of time off and some of the girls are on the waiting list for another local independent school. There are current only 12 girls in the class and this number may go down!

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cortex10 Mon 11-Mar-19 10:03:56

Birchfield near Albrighton is lovely


depp1020 Mon 11-Mar-19 10:57:03

Thanks, cortex10. I’m aware of the school as my parents don’t live too far from there but I’ve never visited it. Do you have direct experience of the school? If so, would you be able to tell me more about it? From the website I got the feeling that it isn’t particularly diverse, but I may be wrong. It would be important that my daughter feels like she would fit in. This was one of the reasons why we chose to live near town where we currently are, and not one of the villages.

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dietcokemegafan Mon 11-Mar-19 12:56:01

No knowledge of your area but I agree you'd want a school that goes to 18, or 16 at the earliest, then there's no 11+ pressure

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