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How do you do prep school?

(8 Posts)
Zaksmum Fri 06-Nov-09 20:23:10

I've been looking to move my DD (just 3)from her current nursery to perhaps a prep school.
How does it work? What are the admissions like, do children start in September?

My DS (7) is currently in state primary school, and I'd consider moving him too, but not sure.

And the holidays seem much longer - how do working parents cope?

I need advice!!!

(I live SE London - Blackheath/Greenwich borders)

LIZS Sat 07-Nov-09 07:58:19

There may be a waiting list, even in Nursery, perhaps an exam and assessment for entry after 7. Traditionally a child would join in September but so, may vary according to space being available in the relevant year group.

Ours has a series of activity days to cover holidays but most not open to preschoolers. Alternatively you may need to find a cm as other holiday schemes focus on state school holdiay periods.

Cluckyagain Sat 07-Nov-09 08:05:06

Agree on the waiting list although it may not be a long one at nursery age, a little longer for pre prep (4-7, Yr-Y2) and then a BIG one for prep entry at 7 (yr 3) This all depends upon the school though - the 'better' ones (for want of a word!) will have longer waiting lists, although I can think of a few very good ones around here who do not have waiting lists for either nursery or pre prep but their prep entry is massively competitive. In that case, depending on if you want your child to go on to a certain prep school it may be worth going to the pre prep and then at least you have a little foot in the door.

ABetaDad Sat 07-Nov-09 08:20:26

Zaksmum - usually an exam and assessment to get in. You ring up schools and ask to go and look round. They tell you the process and if there is a waiting list. They send you an application form. That has to be done usually by end of December and any assessments are usually in January. They tell you if DC is in by February and you sign on the dotted line by 31 March along with a deposit.

The holidays are longer and we use private holidays clubs like Supercamps to fill the gaps. There is a Supercamps run at Blackheath High School

Millarkie Sat 07-Nov-09 08:24:21

A lot of schools have their admissions process on their websites. We used to use a nanny for school holidays (she was at university so she was available just when we needed her).

ABetaDad Sat 07-Nov-09 08:27:17

However, Supercamps do not do 3 yr olds. We left our DSs in a private full time nursery until 5 and then transferred them to Pre-Prep in the September. Pre-Prep and Prep childen are usually able to stay in after school care.

By the way, Blackheath High School is a GDST girls school but takes boys up to 11 so if you are looking for a short term solution it might be worth thinking about that as DS and DD can go to the same school until DS is 11. Wil make your life a lot easier.

The GDST schools are generally fairly cheap but highly academic and we sent our DSs to one which they loved until they had to leave. Being with a lot of girls did them no harm.

oneofakind Sun 08-Nov-09 21:34:53

prep schools in blackheath are highly competitive and usually you need to sit an assessment, even for nursery. for the most popular one rumour has it, that even in these credit crunched times, there is only one place for every 10 applications.
holidays are a 'mare' if you work - had never heard of supercamps but they seem like a great idea for older kids. we use a combination of mum, a family friend and all of our leave trying to cover the considerable holidays.

dilemma456 Sun 08-Nov-09 21:53:18

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