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Gatehouse School Nursery East London(12 Posts)
We're considering Gatehouse school in East London for our son. He has to go to the nursery there to be guaranteed a place for the school. I'm a little concerned about whether it's going to be lots of formal teaching - based on the school day there's a heavy emphasis on "teaching time" as opposed to free play. Also the day (8:50-3:15), 5 days a week seems very long for a 3.5 year old.
He's my first child and currently with a nanny 2,5 days/week and me the rest of the time so I don't know what level of group schooling is right for a child of that age.
Would love to hear how people feel generally about the "right" approach (lol!) for nursery education and any gatehouse specific comments.
It’s a really big school. Classes are 24, and yours will have 3 classes in the year. In a lot of ways, it feels like a 1950s village school, both positively and negatively. They’ve been through a number of heads in the last 4-5 years, and I switched my daughter to another school in the midst of it all. Her former classmates are not getting the same sort of 11+ prep/secondary school advice as we are at her new school. But, if you’re going to move out of town ahead of secondary and want a pleasant if somewhat bland experience (and are ok with far more Church stuff than “Christian Ethos” lets on), then it’s a sweet little school.
Thanks for this - really helpful. The big classes put me off a little bit too. Which school did your daughter move to?
She's at the Lyceum, which of course has it's own issues!
I've just posted a bit of a mixed experience on it here: www.mumsnet.com/Talk/primary/3038490-The-Lyceum-School-London-updates
Thanks @ExpatMomOf1 I will check out the thread. I like Lyceum too (the uniform!!) but I'm trying to avoid a commute by tube if possible.
@CJA37 - let me know of any questions!
Hello - we are also considering Gatehouse and have got their offer.
Can anyone share their experence? I understand there has been a new Head since 2019. Not sure if it has changed a lot.
seems like is a school with fair amount of homework + acedemic focus
I believe it is the 4th or 5th new head in about as many years... hopefully it will stabilise a bit now!
We went to the open day after getting a place at the nursery. I spoke to the team anout the change in heads. They said its all just been an unfortunate run of things. The latest head's husband is very ill so they're moving out of London. The head who has taken over (Ms Korbay) has been the deputy for some time so should bring stability. Apparently she's in the role for the duration.
The children showing us around seemed happy. We couldn't get anything bad from them. I also spoke to the teachers whose classes we saw - they all said they were very happy and well looked after.
My feeling is that it'll be a nice school. Definitely academically minded/homework/prep for entrance exams featured a lot. I am pleased to see that art and music feature heavily though so I like to think it will be balanced. My thought is that I'd rather have somewhere close by than commute with my son, although if we were closer to Angel or Clerkenwell I'd look at different options.
thanks CJA37- do you have other school in mind?
we are also considering Riverhouse but seems like they have a long waiting list. My gut feeling is that Gatehouse is better, but would be interested to know what other parents think.
Gatehouse offer schoolbus service, so my dd will be taking one of the bus if we take up the offer.
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I think the Nursery is the selling point of the school TBH. It is brilliant and they settle your children well and give them a great grounding. The school had a real community feel about it (bar the inevitable cliquey parents on occasion). So I would certainly consider it as a great choice for that year at least. However since making the move to three form entry it has lost a lot of that small school appeal. They still don’t stagger the playtimes for the main cohort of the school so it is overcrowded and therefore not enough space to run free. A common issue in some London schools but with a relatively straightforward remedy IMO. Perhaps moving to three form entry was greed. Who knows. It’s a shame. The other best aspect of the school is their sport. The Games/PE is fantastic and the head of that department deserves higher praise. It is so important in young children to have such a positive role model in this area. The teaching is not great in some (a lot) of classroom areas, namely the core ones as you go further up the school. They charge if your child struggles and needs more help and do nothing for those who need some more stretching. So, mostly feeding the middle of the road TBH. ‘School of choice’ is one of the strap lines but my guess is that is based on ‘only choice’ if you want private. Worth looking further afield and at various ‘states' too.
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