Glendower vs Pembridge vs Ken Prep vs Falkner

(151 Posts)
Ddbrightmoon Sun 31-Jan-21 08:58:36

Hi all

I wanted to ask how people would decide between these schools. We want our daughter to have a well rounded education but also go to a very strong school academically for 11+.

All schools have something going on (FH: uncertainty of the future with changing Headmistress G:Headmistress change although she seems to be doing a great job, pembridge: news of teacher departures and shift to Bute/G/KP at 7+. KP seems most stable and best facilities but G/FH seem a step ahead academically?

There are lots of threads but keen to get the latest view from the group!

OP’s posts: |
Coronateachingagain Sun 31-Jan-21 11:46:46

I would go for KP. FH and G are ahead academically by virtue of being more selective and doing just a little more pruning. KP being GDST will be less prone to show they are absolutely top of the league tables, but still produce great results. Plus they have much better facilities.
P is a step down and not what it used to be, plus they are part of a bigger for profit group which is always a minus.

Ddbrightmoon Sun 31-Jan-21 12:45:26

Thank you @Coronateachingagain thats really insightful and aligned to what we heard so far. We are probably closer to Glendower and KP - ultmately these are all great choices.

By the way any colour on 2020 11+ results? Does it show and meaningful trends to read into?

OP’s posts: |
Coronateachingagain Sun 31-Jan-21 13:47:14

Yes my post sounds a bit harsh if read without context, they are all (all four) really great schools in the end, so it depends more on the ethos you are looking for personally. I can offer no insight on 11+ results and this year will be hard to read into too!

MangetoutW6 Sun 31-Jan-21 20:09:50

Following with interest. I didn’t know that there was a change of head at FH?
Would love to hear any honest opinions about the culture at these schools.
I know FH/KP only have a 4+ intake too, but is there much movement further up the school? I know Bute has a 7+ intake but wondered how likely it is to get a place at one of these schools if you choose not to start at 4.

sanam2019 Mon 01-Feb-21 04:44:23

KP is probably more selective than Glendower (in my experience based on friends and acquaintances who applied to both), Falkner the most selective. Falkner is probably the most rigorous and traditional academically as well, but fairly serious. Glendower / KP probably what you would call more well-rounded (to the extent possible at a selective academic girls' school!). If location is not a factor, I would choose based on facilities.

SparklySnake Mon 01-Feb-21 10:09:08

KP is less traditional and very techy/innovative, letting girls explore for themselves. Which you'll either think is a great approach or prefer something more traditional, perhaps depending on your daughter.

Falkner very traditional and old fashioned. Used to be marmite and dependant on if you liked the head. It says up thread that the head is changing though.

Glendower is (a bit) more glamorous - quite a few celebs - but very nice. I don't know as much about the day-to-days of what it is like academically to be honest.

Pembridge has been a bit up and down in recent years but think it is on the up again. Always been popular and very smart. More mixed academically.

Did you try for Bute too? It is fab but so hard to get a place at 4+ or 7+.


Ddbrightmoon Mon 01-Feb-21 10:55:54

Thanks @SparklySnake @sanam2019 @MangetoutW6 for your views.

Bute at 4+ is a draw (not assessment) and we didnt get a place there.

OP’s posts: |
londonsbmum Mon 01-Feb-21 18:14:57

I have the same question/choice and everything above in-line with what I’ve heard. I was not aware of Headmistress change though at F, DdBrightmoon can you please expand? Also - any views on how the schools help or don’t should you try Latymer or Bute 7+ entry? Lastly if you have a boy would it skew your choice? Lots of parents now doing G and Wetherby and Falkner has boys school too.

Ddbrightmoon Mon 01-Feb-21 18:34:50

@londonsbmum what we heard re: F was that their headmistress is handing over to her daughter (as it is a family run school) but i dont have the details around when that transition will happen.

Re:7+, I hear not a lot of girls transfer from G to Bute

OP’s posts: |
londonsbmum Mon 01-Feb-21 19:06:52

Ah, thanks for clarifying @Ddbrightmoon.

Forgot to mention before, here's what i've seen on 11+ results, in case you haven't seen:

MangetoutW6 Mon 01-Feb-21 20:39:25

@sanam2019 and @SparklySnake - interesting to hear that about the FH atmosphere. My DD loved her assessment there, but I worry about how representative that was of the school environment. @Ddbrightmoon - I thought the daughter was already the head and the mother continues to oversee both schools as principal? I have to say I feel most conflicted about FH. Lots of things to love, but I have a couple of reservations.
We never got to see KP so hard to make a call on that (assuming we are offered a place).
I found Bute very impressive- really liked the head - but no place at 4 for us in the ballot either!

Namechangedyetagainandagain Mon 01-Feb-21 21:48:26

We had offers from G, KP & FH (didn’t apply to P) and went for FH. Couldn’t be happier. Very happy if you want to PM with specific questions as don’t want to out myself.
Re the head point, @MangetoutW6 is correct, Mrs Rogers is Head and Mrs Griggs is Principal of the two school - doesn’t cause us any concerns at all.

SparklySnake Mon 01-Feb-21 22:39:30


I have the same question/choice and everything above in-line with what I’ve heard. I was not aware of Headmistress change though at F, DdBrightmoon can you please expand? Also - any views on how the schools help or don’t should you try Latymer or Bute 7+ entry? Lastly if you have a boy would it skew your choice? Lots of parents now doing G and Wetherby and Falkner has boys school too.

Most won't help at all with 7+ and dislike it as they want you to stay on. No reason you can't prep for the tests yourself though.
For somewhere that helps prep for 7+ you are down to pre-preps like Merlin in Putney or Lion House.
The Bute head is changing too as well as orchard house. I think covid has lead to a bit more movement of heads as things have just been so tough.

Mommy77 Tue 02-Feb-21 12:57:58

Have friends with girls at all of these schools. They are all wonderful academically. It comes down to the Head (do you like her) and, frankly, the other families. KP has a greater breadth of families from different walks of life. Falkner House generally has families that both parents work and are highly academic themselves, but are happy to let the school get on with it (I don’t know that there is even a PTA?) and Glendower has a heavily involved PTA with a range of families but the majority do a lot of after school tutoring and can be a bit competitive inter-family. It also depends on what your year group is like, which is just luck of the draw. I would go with the one that is closest, tbh. They are all great schools.

Comeonsummer1980 Thu 04-Feb-21 23:57:05

FH the grandmother founded the school and head past to mother and then granddaughter, I think this was a while ago though. If you don’t like the head though you won’t stand much chance changing it!!!!

MusicallyMad Sat 06-Feb-21 18:41:53

Namechangedyetagainandagain Could you tell me the class sizes at FH? I’ve been told they have 28 all in one class for Year 2. Is this right? Do you know about the other years?

Namechangedyetagainandagain Sat 06-Feb-21 20:49:54

We were told at open days there would be no more than 24 in a form, and that’s true for my DD’s year. I don’t know for sure about other years, sorry. All I’d say is that it’s such a personal school, that it wouldn’t bother me if there were a few extra girls in the class - they pride themselves on knowing each child.

RaspberryCake Mon 08-Feb-21 18:36:20

24 in Yr 2 at FH. Not 28. But a TON of specialized teaching staff. The class size doesn't indicate a whole lot about the level of individuality (which is just superb!)

londonsbmum Tue 09-Feb-21 14:23:25

Wonder if people have made decisions yet?

Lolakath19 Tue 09-Feb-21 15:52:15

My daughter was at KP and we transfered her to FH last year as my son was in the boys school. Could not be happier smile
She also had a place a 7+ at Bute that we declined.
There are always a few opening at 7Plus at KP due to girls leaving for Bute or latymer around 12 when my daughter was in year 2 although school does not prep them.
Feel free to message me if you have any questions.

humility1144 Wed 10-Feb-21 13:55:33

@Lolakath19 thank you for your insight. We have a place at ken prep 4+ but we also have a boy who is 2 years old and we were concerned about the logistics of 2 drop-offs ect. We also have an offer from Thomas's.
Between Ken prep and Thomas's do people have experience with either and one school really that much better?
Any thoughts welcome.

Lolakath19 Wed 10-Feb-21 14:10:05

@humility1144 I would go for what is the most convenient two different drop off in the morning can be quite tricky/exhausting if you don t have help. Also check if the 2 schools have same holidays (it was not the case between KP and FH boys) and that was one of the reason we decided to move our daughter smile

humility1144 Thu 11-Feb-21 10:03:56

thank you @Lolakath19 yes, the 2 drop offs would be a nightmare especially since they would be overlapping for 4 years! that sounds like a long time!
What is your thought maybe on the option of sending her to Ken prep for the 1st year and then the year after that to switch her to Thomas's. Of course fully know that there might not be any spots or any maybe our little boy won't pass the assessment.
(this year it was a ballott, so maybe it was a miracle she got in anyway) ...

Lolakath19 Thu 11-Feb-21 11:35:17

I would probably not risk it to be honest. And for her to be changed once she just only made some friend might be hard. Do they have siblings policy at Thomas

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