Kensington Prep School

(21 Posts)
Tennismum1 Tue 15-Oct-19 20:48:12

Hi,
I’d love to hear from some current Ken Prep parents please. Is it friendly? How academic is it and in particular do the children spend a lot of time reading and writing in reception/year 1? Is there a lot of tutoring higher up the school? How is the sport?
I’d love to hear your views and please do message me privately if you’d prefer. Thank you

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sanam2010 Wed 16-Oct-19 23:43:39

We're super happy and find it a very friendly and warm school, most kids you see coming into school are always smiling and excited. Sport has received a huge push under the new Head and is now brilliant. I have not seen any tutoring yet - am sure in Year 5 some people start doing it to varying degrees, but it might be less than in other schools. So far all teachers have been excellent and I doubt any tutor I could find would be as good as the class teachers.
Am not sure what you consider "a lot of time reading and writing", it is possible that writing is pushed more and earlier than at other schools, but that probably means 30-60min per day, no more.

user1494882341 Thu 17-Oct-19 23:06:18

My daughter just started Reception and she loves it! (And so do we!). It’s a very caring school but you can also see that they focus quite a bit on academics. My daughter has just started reading (and she is the youngest in her class) and they are making her practice to learn to write, but they do it in a way that she still seems to love going every day! We try to read a few pages every day (but they have 3 words on each page and it’s no more than five pages, so it takes 5 mins). Once a week we have one page of homework for the entire week to do some letters, so as you can see, not very time consuming, at least for now! It honestly is a great school. Everything is thought through carefully. Can’t comment much on sports but from how often they do it, to me it seems good. Also with the amazing playground they have, you can see girls running around everywhere. It is a very friendly school - my daughter is particularly social and bubbly and she has blended in very well. We couldn’t be happier! smile

Globaliser Fri 18-Oct-19 14:21:14

Friendly, very academic, sport OK, music outstanding. Not pressured for the girls and very well organised.

Tennismum1 Fri 18-Oct-19 22:44:19

Thanks very much for the comments- they’re really helpful. I wondered what has changed on the sports front and how good it is now as that’s important to me (and my daughter seems pretty sporty so far). Thank you

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Tolleshunt Fri 18-Oct-19 22:50:40

There’s a huge amount of tutoring in the last couple of years, and it can become very febrile around who’s got offers to which schools. I suspect it is no worse than its competitors in that respect, though.

Lolakath19 Sat 19-Oct-19 08:08:57

@Tolleshunt do you have your daughter there?

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Tolleshunt Sat 19-Oct-19 09:00:22

My niece, who I actually tutored for a while. Most parents were employing professional tutors though.

Lolakath19 Sat 19-Oct-19 09:49:32

When are the parents starting to tutor? Year 5? School seems to be really pushing against

Tolleshunt Sat 19-Oct-19 11:09:29

It seemed to be a mixture of year 5/6. From what I gather, it’s not so much the school putting the pressure on as many of the parents. Some of the girls were v v stressed by the time they were sitting the tests.

Marchitectmummy Sat 19-Oct-19 15:13:54

Two of ours are pupils and are happy at the school. We have children in another prep and I would say Kensington is less academic than the other schooo and average in sports, as others have said that is changing. I'm not sure parents choose the school with a view it will be a hot house or nurture a sporting star, I would say it isn't really suited to parents looking for either of those.

The girls do not spend time reading individually to staff during the school day, typically one page per day to check their reading level. Parents are expected to read with younger children daily. That is the same at my other children's schools too.

It's a nice school.

Lolakath19 Sat 19-Oct-19 18:00:46

I am very surprised to read the above mine was reading every day with teacher or ta or a parent in reception and year 1. 2/3 times a week in year 2.

Marchitectmummy Sat 19-Oct-19 19:02:06

I can only say my experience with my daughters, are yours at the school now? Neither of my daughters are in reception this year. I don't think it's an issue and we have been happy with the school. As your experience the girls did /do read everyday however one page per day is the average they read / have read - that is fine for us, but is not exceptional or beyond any other school. Our girls were advanced readers prior to joining Kensington, perhaps that's why. Who knows, I could give further details however I do not wish to be identified particularly.

MummyAZTM Sat 19-Oct-19 21:36:38

I’m just wondering if you had to choose between Kensington prep and putney high and Wimbledon high which one would you choose and why? My daughter is sitting 4 plus for 2020 reception entry.

sanam2010 Sat 19-Oct-19 22:08:11

have two daughters in the school and they read with staff 2-3x per week in Reception / Year1, 2x a week in Year 2, less than 1x per week in KS2. Plenty of guided reading and small group phonics / reading / comprehension sessions with about 5 girls per teacher as well.
Usually 3-4 pages with one child, the other one more like 5 - 7 pages. If a teacher one read one page, I would imagine they focused on comprehension and expression as that needed work. It is a very thorough programme.

MummyAZTM - they really are very similar as they are all GDST school, many prefer all through schools of course, but my advice would be to see which offers you get first. Some superstar girls get into all three, but it is very common for girls to get into one and get rejected by the others, it's a very competitive process. All three are fantastic. PHS/WHS are probably better for sports and are all through, KPS tends to have slightly smaller class sizes. Curriculum, ethos and academics will be very similar.

Marchitectmummy Sat 19-Oct-19 22:46:00

@MummyAZTM it really depends on your daughter / your aspirations have you visited them all? Kensington feels small compared to the other two. Although through schools have benefits in terms of facilities, ease of transition onto the next stage, children who carry through will already be known to staff which is nice.

Putney is or has increased in size and there is building work about to start. I don't know the full details however if you are considering there it's worth understanding the impact of the works on the school for the next couple of years. Personally I would avoid until the works are complete but it may be less of an issue for others.

Visit all three and it should help your decision.

MummyAZTM Sun 20-Oct-19 07:03:26

Thank you MarchitectMummy and Sanam. Those are all very useful points. I have actually been round all three and loved PHS and Ken Prep particularly. I feel KPS has slight edge in the facilities and I prefer the smaller feeling. I guess it does all depend if she gets offers for them and if any! In terms of back up’s non selective; which ones would you recommend that are as academic around FUlham or Putney? Thanks so much

AnotherNewt Sun 20-Oct-19 07:25:45

"if you had to choose between Kensington prep and putney high and Wimbledon high which one would you choose and why?"

The one with the easiest school run. The differences between the schools are pretty small, especially when you take a longer term view. And the single thing makes the biggest difference is one you cannot use in selecting the school - who se is in your DD's class

A horrible school run will take its toll on everyone - it doesn't affect the school day once your DD is there, but it adds (avoidable) stress to every schoolday.

AnotherNewt Sun 20-Oct-19 07:30:20

If you want a non-selective school, it'll almost certainly be first-come-first-served. Which are you already registered for?

Or are you asking which have ballots?

MummyAZTM Sun 20-Oct-19 07:59:19

Thanks everyone. We are registered for the hurlingham, prospect house and Fulham Prep. I like different schools in each one but not sure which one is likely to be more academic but nurturing.

Tennismum1 Sun 20-Oct-19 08:53:28

I’m surprised that PHS is viewed as highly as KP, or WHS for that matter. I’m now worried that we were just didn’t have that good a tour of PHS but it felt like some of the facilities were rather old (and not ones being replaced) and lots of the girls seemed to be applying for other senior schools despite having places there already. Although maybe it’s the same at WHS? The academic standard at KP also seemed higher than at PHS and it felt like there was more space when just comparing the junior school. It’s always hard to get a true feeling for somewhere in a short tour though.
Finally, do KP go offsite for any sport apart from swimming? I’m wondering how they play hockey for example.

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