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Secondary School - Bromley, Chislehurst, Croydon or Bickley area

(26 Posts)
Tortydude Thu 05-May-11 12:34:02

My DD is in Year 5 and I am looking at private schools in the Bromley, Croydon, Chislehurst or Bickley area. She would be better suited in a smaller school ... but not too small. Close to Hayes or West Wickham as possible or a school that has a pick-up bus nearby.

One that offers good academic choice, is friendly and nurturing and one that is affordable!

Any feedback would be great ... would love to hear from you if you have experience of schools in these areas. Thank you.

OP’s posts: |
Caoimhe Thu 05-May-11 19:07:57

How small is too small? My first reaction to your description would be Bishop Challoner in Shortlands - about 40 or so in a year (senior) and about 20 per year in juniors. Farringtons in Chislehurst is a similar size but more expensive. I'm guessing Bromley High would be too big and Babington House possibly too small.

Your nearest may be Wickham Court but I personally don't rate it at all and it is extremely small.

The Croydon schools are all bigger than you may like.

Do you want co-ed or girls only?

Tortydude Sat 07-May-11 19:50:18

Thank you ...

Bishop Challoner sounds good and I will look at their site. Haven't heard of Babington House so thanks for that.

Wickham Court ... had hoped this was the best option as the nearest. Why don't you rate it?

Not worried if mixed or girls only ... just not too big with small classes.

Are there many schools operating buses?

OP’s posts: |
dobby2001 Sat 07-May-11 23:21:04

Tortydude my DD has just started in yr5 in Bishop Challoner grin we originally went to their open day last October to look at seniors but were so impressed that we decided to start her earlier.

The yr 5 class is the smallest there currently, with just 14 children. That said we were advised more children join as it gets closer to seniors and they are usually oversubscribed for the entrance exam and subsequently senior admissions.

They have open days in October and March but if you call them they do show parents and children around by arrangement.

Caoimhe Sun 08-May-11 11:15:52

Hi tortydude,
the problem with Wickham Court is that it is so small that they have to merge years. Certainly last year, Years 7, 8 and 9 were being taught together which is far from ideal. Lots of kids in the junior school move elsewhere rather than stay for the senior school. I didn't think the facilities were up to much when I visited with a friend last year. I would be concerned that it may not be financially sustainable (obviously I have no inside info on this - it may be perfectly sustainable for all I know!!! grin).

Bishop Challoner always scores very highly on pastoral care in its inspections. It appears to be small but with sufficient opportunities - be aware though that lots of small schools tend not to have great sporting facilities and Bishop Challoner also has this issue. However, they hire facilities off-site so the children do have access to various things. They don't run a school bus, though.

I believe Farringtons do run buses but not from West Wickham/Hayes - it is quite a different beast as it is part boarding so has a number of overseas pupils. My info on this school is very limited as I have never visited it.

Babington House seems to suit the quieter types but its results are pretty good for such a tiny school.

Hope this helps! smile

Tortydude Sun 08-May-11 17:53:39

Thank you so much .. it is really helpful.

Out of interest ... do you think 'any' of these local private schools offer more / are better than the state secondary schools ... therefore it is merely a choice of which private school is best for 'your' child?

I appreciate many children do really well in state schools and grammar schools ... but ...

OP’s posts: |
Caoimhe Sun 08-May-11 18:34:31

Well Bromley does have some fantastic state schools. I guess you are in the catchment for Langley or Hayes. They are both very big schools but lots of people would give their eye teeth to get into either. Each of the private schools does offer something but there isn't the clear blue water between state and private provision in Bromley that you can see, for example, in Croydon. This is not to knock the private schools, though. I really liked Bishop Challoner - it has a strong, caring ethos and there are children there who, whilst they may achieve similar results elsewhere, would be happier in a smaller, more nurturing environment. The only way to be sure is to visit!!

dobby2001 Mon 09-May-11 11:40:42

Tortydude you are right in that there are some great state secondary schools in our area, but the competition to get into those schools is very stiff. You need to be living in the right catchment area or for the schools that use entrance tests (Newstead Woods, St Olaves, Harris accademies) be prepared to pay for tutoring from mid yr 4 till they take the tests. Even then,some schools will not slect highest grade but a selection so no garentee of a place. And of course your child will then need to maintain that standard of attainment to keep up with their peers throughout secondary life hmm

My DD is high acheiving but I knew she had her flaws, one being she does badly when under pressure. I was also fairly sure that there were some nuggets of basics that she had never fully grapsed - wihout mentioning this,in a week her new school have identified this and are giving her support to "fill in the gaps"

We had been asking her old school about this on and off for the last two years but we always got a "oh she is just fine, needs to concentrate a bit more sometimes" hmm

She has several friends who are being heavily tutored at present and seeing the stress they are under, at 9 or 10, makes me quite happy that in her case, the small, nurturing envionment of Bishop Challoner is preferable smile.

If you want to ask me anything in private about our experience, feel free to pm me.

Chantal9 Tue 10-May-11 15:13:09

Croydon High School has 2 classes of max 20 in each year group. They have an open day next week 18 th may. 1.30 for junior school and 6 pm for seniors

Dragon2020 Mon 21-May-12 20:44:01

Excellent little school. Very caring and nurturing - the headmistress knows who my daughter is, who is in the junior years. Would recommend! Her writing has improved hugely since joining a few months ago, homework everyday a new reading book every day. Good Christian faith ethic which is good to encourage children to think about others! There are sporting facilities very close by for which they use the mini bus, so no problems there.
Her old school: you were lucky to get a new book twice in a month. They seemed to focus on playing rather than serious learning. In saying that, her old school had an excellent dedicated teacher who enhanced her reading skills in reception, but unfortunately it is the luck of the draw at many state schools - even church ones; and subsequently went back to an uncaring teacher who thought she doing you a favour by just showing up to work.
Quality of the parent - sorry to say it, is better to - the old school had parents turning up in pajamas and fighting and abusing each other on occasions in full view of the kids and police having to get involved.
With independent schools, you get more respect as they know you are paying fees and are serious about their education. Saying that there are some great faith and none faith primary schools/ secondary schools - you just need to live within their catchment area.

doodlecloud Sat 26-May-12 00:12:09

Building on what Dragon2020 said, as far as I know Newstead do not have much in the way of a catchment area...I went there and I live about 10 miles away and I know people that lived further. They only take the top scores not a random selection so maybe tutoring would be needed but of course many children also get in with no tutoring at all. However, if you are worried about stress then this may not be the best place for your daughter.

Harris does take a selection of abilities but I've never really heard anything good about them...

Langley Park do have a strict catchment area but I hear lots of good things about them - many people move house to get a place there. So maybe Langley or a private school? I don't really like the idea of private schools but it sounds like your daughter may be more comfortable there. : )

doodlecloud Sat 26-May-12 00:13:06

Sorry, not Dragon2020 but dobby2001

Phoebe08 Mon 03-Mar-14 11:40:12

Hi I am trying to find out about Bishop Challoner School. Am interested for DD for 2015 and we were very impressed when we went to the open day last year. However the headmistress has suddenly departed and this term there is an acting headmaster. I also note that there GCSE results were disappointing when compared to other nearby independent schools. Maybe that was why head left. Anybody have first hand experience of school?

Phoebe08 Mon 03-Mar-14 11:42:38

Typo - I meant "their" GCSEs

miss600 Tue 04-Mar-14 02:07:00

Royal Russell is another local school with a great reputation for pastoral care. Would be my school of choice in your situation, I think.

miss600 Tue 04-Mar-14 02:08:02

Royal Russell is another local school with a great reputation for pastoral care. Would be my school of choice in your situation, I think.

Phoebe08 Tue 04-Mar-14 06:34:36

Thank you. Will go and have a look.

Pooka Tue 04-Mar-14 07:43:30

St Christopher's in shortlands is apparently very nurturing and friendly - have a friend who has a dd who will be leaving this year to go to Newstead wood.

I've heard good things about st David's in west wickham from friends.

My nephews went to breaside and both did very well. We toured recently and really liked it. But decided to stick with out our current (state) school.

Pooka Tue 04-Mar-14 07:47:08

These are all obviously 4-11 schools.

Wickham court is in a lovely building. But I don't know anyone with dcs there.

If you're close to west wickham there are some really excellent state schools nearby too - lucky you! Have heard good things about wickham common and pickhurst (from teachers and children).

Pooka Tue 04-Mar-14 07:51:06

Sorry! Just seen that was a reopened thread now about bishop challoner.

A colleague of mine's ds recently left for 6th form after quite a long period of dissatisfaction with the school. I think she felt that he wasn't being pushed enough and generally was a bit disappointed.

But that's just her experience. I'm sure there are happy families there.

Phoebe08 Tue 04-Mar-14 09:33:45

Thanks Pooka. The 6th form at Bishop Challoner is very small and so there are limited subject options but I did like the feel of the school. I live in SE London and we have some very good comprehensives nearby but all those we like are needless to say massively oversubscribed and we are also keen on a mixed school which reduces our choice further and we wanted a plan b if we cannot get a place at any of our first 3 choices. I thought Bishop Challoner may be an option but I am not so sure now as their GCSE results are lower than some of our local comprehensives. I feel that if we are going to make sacrifices and pay fees we would expect the school to have better GCSE results.

Crabbypink Tue 03-Jun-14 08:09:04

Yes, my children have gone all the way through Bishop Challoner. The headmistress departed because she was bunk. Terrible. The acting head is a longstanding teacher, and excellent. School peace was instantly restored. The incoming head is from Bromley High. We'll see what she does. It's a nice school, very caring and happy, but quite small. Only 22 max in junior years, and 40 in senior. My children have done extremely well, and I wouldn't change their education. People who crap on the school just don't know anything about it.

Phoebe08 Tue 03-Jun-14 17:43:30

Hi Crabbypink, thanks for that. Very interesting. I went with my gut feeling despite the sudden departure of the head and applied for a place at BC anyway and dd is starting there in September as only got 4th choice of state school. I think she will be very happy there and let us hope the new head improves GCSE results.

LondonLaura Fri 12-Sep-14 21:44:55

For anyone else considering Bishop Challoner, we just moved our two kids in and could not be happier. It's not a hot house, it's about the individual child; they are cultivated as unique learners not people who have to conform to their mould. It is a wonderful school.

Monkeys121 Tue 02-Oct-18 14:11:46

why do people say not good things about Chislehurst school for girls does anyone know if it is a popular school and would it be easy to get into any comments welome

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