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Lycée South Ken Primary(6 Posts)
We are an English family currently in France and have just been offered places at the lycée in South Ken for both our boys, 7 & 11. I was a bit surprised as I thought it was oversubscribed, and we don't have long to make up our minds before the deposit is due.
I went to the lycée myself from 4-16 so know the system fairly well in principle, but wanted some recent knowledge on what the primary is like there now. (I had been hoping for Fulham or wix bilingual as I have visited both, but haven't been in the S Ken building in nearly 30 years!)
What are the CE2 - CM2 teachers like? Are there any horrid dragon CE2 teachers? (we used to get the occasional gastly teacher at the lycée who they couldn't sack)
What is the English teaching like for the native English speakers?
How are they on arts / creativity these days?
Do they still do Wednesday afternoon clubs and how expensive are they?
Which building are they in. When I was still in primary they built the 'new' brick and pink building on Harrington Road to fit the primary, but back then there were 7 classes per year, now they only have 3/year. Do they have secondary class mixed in with them, or is the primary in a different building now?
How mixed is it? When I was there it was great mix of nationalities, although not that ethnically mixed for London. Given it has been a lot harder for non-French to get in recently is it mostly just French families?
What language do they speak in the playground. It was mostly English when I was there apart from a small groups of recently arrived French nationals. Not that this would bother me either way, I'm just curious.
Are the many other families that live South West who go there? Or are they mostly at Clancarty and Wix? What is the traffic like to drop by car in the morning? I hate the idea of having to drive him to school but it would be too long by public transport from where we live so I would have to.
My 7 year old has done so well in French in the year we have been here in France and is fully bilingual that I'd love him to keep it up at least till the end of primary. He rather has his heart set on returning to his state English school, so I don't want him to be miserable and trying to gage how easy the transition be. I also think he might coast a bit in his old school and could respond well to being pushed a bit more.
Thanks so much if you could answer even just a few of my many questions!
Fulham and Wix, only go up to age 11 or 12 I think, as then they move on to secondary. It makes sense your children would go to lycée south ken if your older one will be going to secondary. Or does the older one have one year left in primary? It is now easier to get into I think because of Brexit and a lot of French moving back to France. I am not sure for South ken, but Fulham they speak English and French in the playground, but as the years get older it seems more and more English is spoken. Have you tried to get into Fulham or Wix? If you do not want to be in South ken?
I would definitely keep them in the French system to keep their French. It is such a gift to have.
The older one has a place at an English secondary school we are happy with, so really just considering it for the younger one. We applied with Fulham and Wix as our first choices, but have been offered S Ken so I assume that is where there are places. I'm not sure if we would continue with secondary school at the lycée.
Our alternative is to continue in English system but do the French between the commons after school French in Clapham to keep up the french, but it is a bit hard work as it's two long days a week.
Strange, as the south ken is most sought after. I would call and ask just in case there is a spot in the other two schools. These kind of mistakes can happen. For example, when we applied, we never received our offer email of acceptance. I called in to find out what happened and they said they sent me an email, but I never responded. I checked junk and spam and no email and NO WAY I would have ever not respond, as I had been checking every day and very much interested in getting my dd in. Anyway, mistakes in admin can happen. Also, my friend was offered spots at other locations until she finally got a fulham spot. She just kept saying she wanted a fulham spot and waited it out. I would try to keep you dc in the French system at least for primary if you want them to keep the French language. You will be surprised how fast a child can lose the language if they do not get enough exposure up until a certain age.
You’re getting offered the place at the lycée because the French are leaving the UK in droves.
Would you consider a place in the English stream at Wix if you can’t get one in the bilingual class? French is so widely spoken in the playground, taught from reception. Coupled with after school garderie and clubs open to all children inc those in the English stream that they’d definitely keep up their French. Also remember wrt the bilingual stream at Wix to apply via Wandsworth council also (not just via the lycée) if you haven’t already done so.
Thanks, that is a good idea to check with them and find out the chances of a place coming up in Fulham. I also need to find out if we will still be on the list for Fulham if we accept the place at south ken.
I think South Kensington is sought after for secondary as the alternative is Wembley, but I've heard that they don't have enough pupils there at primary now.
That is really interesting re afterschool clubs at Wix. I did call Wandsworth council today and the waiting list for the Wix bilingual is 38 and the top person is only 94m away! So there isn't much chance of getting into the bilingual class. But I didn't ask about the English class...