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Falkner House Boys vs Wetherby vs Garden House vs Thomas's

(13 Posts)
learningparent Wed 11-Nov-20 13:30:41

Our son got offers from Falkner House, Wetherby, Thomas's Kensington and Garden House. Does anyone have any thoughts about these schools, how they compare to each other and what kind of children would thrive in each school? Thanks in advance!

OP’s posts: |
HyperHippo Wed 11-Nov-20 18:30:59

All are brilliant to be honest!
Which Thomas's?
Wetherby is obviously the more established one and lots of options of moving at 7+, 11+ or staying for senior - without them pushing you to stay on at any of those points which is nice. Academically works well for boys of all levels and I think pushes them to do their best. Always hear positive things and think it is very solid.
Garden House boys tend to mainly leave at 7+ or 8+. I think it is more geared for girls. Very naice but not as much substance beneath it. Less down to earth than the others. Lots of changes of heads Boys school but co-ed opportunities.
Falkner will be really working hard to get good exit results. Girls school is so respected. Small, cosy feel where they really know your child. Guess downside is it is not yet tried and tested and geared to 11+ exit. Similar to Garden House with single sex but opportunities to mix with girls/siblings feel close although different sites.
Thomas's is brilliant in terms of combining down to earth, fun, academic rigour and modern, innovative initiatives. Geared to 11+ or 13+ exit. Co-ed which is different from the others.

Your location may come into it? Siblings?

learningparent Wed 11-Nov-20 19:08:14

Thanks for sharing your insights! I am referring to Wetherby Kensington and Thomas’s Kensington. I have heard that the former does not appear to have the same prestige as the Notting Hill branch and has only been rated Good by Ofsted? I am also a bit concerned about the lack of onsite outdoor space - is this an issue? Is Falkner House a hot house compared to the other schools under consideration?

OP’s posts: |
HyperHippo Wed 11-Nov-20 22:08:56

Oh ok. I don't know a huge amount about Notting hill vs Kensington I'm afraid.

I'd go for Thomas's if you want somewhere until 11+ or 13+.
Second choice, Falkner personally as I like their ethos and approach.

If you want to move at 7+ or 8+ then wetherby or garden house fit better.

I don't think any of these schools are mega hot house like. Pressure comes more from parents so it depends how you approach it.

Marquez35 Thu 12-Nov-20 20:21:57

Garden House Boys without a doubt - I had a very similar dilemma and after reviewing and asking for feedback I came to the conclusion that GH boys provided the right amount of academic push, great school destinations with the right amount of nurturing support that age range needs. My son loves it and couldn't be happier. He is growing into a caring, clever happy boy.
The first poster is right boys do leave at 8+ (year 3) but more and more are staying. I believe next year they have at least 15 out of the 40 so a class full who are planning to stay.

Lolakath19 Fri 13-Nov-20 14:13:53

Falkner house parents here (boy and girl) smile
My son was so happy there that we decided to move our daughter and she is thrilled. Let me know if you have any questions.
Children are so nurtured and cared for, could not been happier.

Lumene Fri 13-Nov-20 14:20:17

Congratulations. We know a few people who or at or who have been through Thomas’s. All were delighted though all have also had friends who went through excellent state primary schools and ended up with places in exactly the same secondary schools.

learningparent Fri 13-Nov-20 15:36:19

How does the boys’ school compare to the girls’ school at Falkner given it is less established than the girls’ one and does not yet have an Ofsted rating? Is there any track record in terms of exit destinations yet for boys? How often and in what ways do the boys and girls interact and do activities together? What were your choices before choosing Falkner and what made the difference for you to go with Falkner for your children?

OP’s posts: |
Lolakath19 Fri 13-Nov-20 16:26:11

The exit results are on the website www.falknerhouse.co.uk/penywern-road/about-us/after-falkner-house/
Last year was the first year where they got cohort in 7+ and 8+. I think at 7+ there was 5 offers for St. Paul and in 8 + was 1 at paul 2 Westminster and 1 kings.
As you say it is very knew.
My son is currently in year 1 and we had the choice between wetherby Kensington Eaton house belgravia and Falkner House. We decided for FH following our visit we loved :
- the ethos,
-the family Orientation,
- the fact that the boys are surrounded by dogs.
- Lots of exercise every day (2 days at the park, martial arts, pe in the hall)
- Tailored approach for each children
As they say very well it is not a sausage factory they will not pressure the kids which is what I like. Homework is very limited. In year 1 for example reading every day a poem to learn every 2 week And 5/6 words spelling every week.

Girls and boys generally have events together like sports day. Unfortunately with COVID striking we did not have much so far as they have to stay in their bubbles. There is also a walking bus between the 2 schools when you have kids at both (suspended currently given context).

londonsbmum Wed 18-Nov-20 18:04:46

I have same problem as learningparent but with Wetherby Notting Hill. Does that make a difference? I'm very aware that all these schools are amazing and that we are really splitting hairs here, but i've had mums tell me you that you don't give up a spot at Wetherby NH. And Thomas' ballot this year makes parents feel ultra lucky to have gotten a spot. Lastly - if you have boy and girl - curious on opinions of splitting up kids between these schools based on best one by gender or keeping together at same school for togetherness/logistics' sake?

londonmami Wed 18-Nov-20 19:17:33

I’ve heard the same re Wetherby! 😄 I have a friend who has her son at Wetherby NH and daughter at Pembridge (also part of Alpha Plus so supposedly there is some quasi-sibling policy) next door so logistically it works well and she’s very happy with both schools.

Congratulations on the Thomas’s ballot! Compared to Wetherby, it seems a bit more relaxed but still gets great results. Maybe it comes down to whether you prefer single sex or co-ed and perhaps your location?

learningparent Mon 23-Nov-20 09:37:16

What is the number of applicants to offers acceptance ratio for the different schools? How competitive is it to get a spot at each of these schools?

OP’s posts: |
Lindtnotlint Fri 27-Nov-20 23:33:09

Falkner is absolutely brilliant. So kind and unpushy but achieves amazing stuff. Each child treated like an individual and a member of the family. Can’t praise highly enough. Girls’ school a bit slicker and more practised but boys’ school fantastic too. They really, really care about your kid.

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