Independent schools Beckenham/Bromley feedback

(19 Posts)
Whattodowithaminute Fri 19-Apr-19 07:56:33

We’ve recently moved to the area and are considering independent options for our Y3, Y2 and preschool DS. We’ve missed assessment dates but is there flexibility?
Looking at st Christopher’s the hall
St David’s prep
Bishop Challoner
St Dunstan’s
Any others we should be considering? Any feedback on these options. Thanks

OP’s posts: |
HomeMadeMadness Fri 19-Apr-19 17:26:45

Bishop Challoner is meant to be great for pastoral. I've also heard good things about Christopher Prep as a decent all round school. Is there anything in particular you're looking for? Would you consider further afield?

Whattodowithaminute Fri 19-Apr-19 17:39:38

Thanks that’s a useful perspective. Our oldest is quite sensitive so having a school which is strong on the pastoral side would be beneficial. Our middle child isn’t thriving academically and is needing quite a lot of support in Y1 which the state system just doesn’t have the resource to provide-no suspicion for dyslexia etc. We are broadly happy with where they are now but are commuting about 30 min drive for their current state school since the house move. I think to sell to them that this is a positive move we need to shorten the commute so I don’t want to go further afield...

OP’s posts: |
HomeMadeMadness Fri 19-Apr-19 17:45:15

From what you've said I think Bishop Challoner would be a great fit. I say this second hand though as I'm no longer in the area but I have a friend who had two in BC and her youngest struggled academically and socially and needed a lot of support she was very happy with the school.

LondonGirl83 Fri 19-Apr-19 18:38:45

If you are considering St Dunstan's then there are a couple of prep schools in West Dulwich that may work for you: Rosemead and Oakfield. I know people with children at Oakfield who are very happy. Its known to be very inclusive as is Rosemead.

Whattodowithaminute Sat 20-Apr-19 08:53:45

Thanks londongirl Rosemead and oakfield will be the same commute we are doing currently; st dunstans is closer and offers the benefit of being through to secondary which I think would probably suit my oldest as he finds change so challenging. Good to look at all of these as options though.

I think what’s interesting is that people are outraged that we are currently commuting for a state primary and talk constantly about it not being sustainable however commuting for an independent is expected. For us part of the school move is also about being more grounded in our new community.... in struggling to prioritise what’s really important from an education versus community perspective.

OP’s posts: |
HomeMadeMadness Sat 20-Apr-19 16:35:44

It's difficult op but independents do have a much larger catchment so people tend to be far more spread out. Might be worth looking into local clubs too to become more part of the local community.


Whattodowithaminute Sat 20-Apr-19 18:41:55

Thanks homemade yes and thought about doing some local clubs-boys are signed up for beavers this term so will see how that goes.

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aweedropofsancerre Sat 20-Apr-19 19:03:25

I can only comment on St Dunstans as my DD goes there. She started the same year the new headmaster started and we have been impressed with the school and changes he has made. The school were very quick to stamp out any suspected bullying and when there was an issue in my DD year about boys disrespecting girls they did focussed groups with the DC about it. Her best friend was at St D from junior school and I am very happy with the school. I have seen other threads on MN where people have been unhappy however where I live its some parents 1st choice school and they are very happy with it. Good luck with your choice

silvercuckoo Sun 21-Apr-19 00:16:23

Eltham College is probably a bit closer to you than St Dunstan's.

Whattodowithaminute Sun 21-Apr-19 03:54:23

Thanks silvercuckoo I hadn’t wncountered Eltham College. Would you recommend it? It’s a bit further than st Dunstan’s but they would both be a drive. aweedrop great to hear your opinion on st dunstans-friends also had a really positive experience of the school.

OP’s posts: |
chalkyc2 Sun 21-Apr-19 08:01:03

Eltham College is currently boys only and only yr 3+, and is academically selective. It will begin the move to co-Ed in 2020, but as I understand will remain from 7+ only. Depending on where you are there is also Colfes which is co-ed and all through from 4+.

We're the other side of Bromley to you OP so not very helpful - however anecdotally I hear St Christopher's are good. My DC play all the others apart from Bishop Challoner at sport and they all seem nice and friendly. Bishop Challoner is a catholic sch I think - if that matters to you?

I suppose a lot will depend on which sch can accommodate all 3?

Analyzethis Sun 21-Apr-19 20:55:38

We didn't consider BC but did try to look around St Christopher's but were refused a tour of the school when our DS was 2 on the grounds that we were a year too late. We ended up in Bromley with Bickley Park and are very happy so far. It's a boys school though so if you have a DD you may also want to look at Breaside Prep.

Analyzethis Sun 21-Apr-19 20:58:46

Ah I just saw you have three DSs. Take a look at Bickley Park. They have a family run vibe to it that we really like.

Whattodowithaminute Mon 22-Apr-19 07:06:08

Thanks analyzethis I hadn’t encountered Bickley Park and it looks like a lovely school will follow up with the school next week. Getting the right fit and the school having space for them all I know will be another challenge.

OP’s posts: |
Analyzethis Mon 22-Apr-19 11:07:12

Yes it's worth talking to them because they don't fill up spaces with boys they don't think will be a good fit so there will be usually be one or two spaces in many of the classes. Good luck! I hope you find something that works for your family!

Phineyj Mon 22-Apr-19 18:39:53

You could look at Breaside. Pastoral and academic support are good. It's very popular though and I think some of the relevant year groups may be full.

silvercuckoo Mon 22-Apr-19 20:56:03

Would you recommend it?
I am considering it for both my children as a first choice (they are co-ed from 2020), over St Dunstan's which is number two choice. They are quite academic (and academically selective), amazing grounds and wrap around childcare / clubs. Definitely worth a visit.

beautifulgirls Tue 23-Apr-19 11:07:12

Take a look at Farringtons School too. Really good pastoral care there and supportive for things like dyslexia.

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