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Hammersmith Academy

(36 Posts)
tamegazelle Mon 27-Jun-11 18:13:06

Just wondered whether anyone had applied this year and what impressions you have from attending the open evening?

toutlemonde Sun 25-Sep-11 18:09:30

bump

serendipity16 Mon 26-Sep-11 23:16:09

We haven't been to see it but would be interested in what people think about it. Can't find much about it when I've searched online. At my sons school they haven't even mentioned it, they've only mentioned a few of the other secondary schools.

mummytime Tue 27-Sep-11 08:08:53

All I know is that my DH has been involved in the background in setting it up. It should have lots of wonderful facilities. It has St Pauls I think involved, and the Worshipful company have experience in turning around a failing school. They are all very excited about it, and I believe it is/is expected to be very oversubscribed.
But as with any school, you can't really know until it gets going. However the Worshipful company will have a long term input/commitment to the place, so that should help.

sinclair Tue 27-Sep-11 12:57:03

My DD has started there this year. Facilities are fantastic in terms of the curriculum they offer - it is an IT and I think media specialist school - but not much in way of outside space. It all depends what you are looking for. We are suddenly spoiled for choice as two new schools opened here this year, but I didn't bother to go the academy open day (we are looking for DS Y5 rather than having to make a decision yet) this time around so not sure how the school was presented. we liked the small size - it is smaller than the primary she came from - and the proximity to where we live but DD has SEN so we had particular requirements.

serendipity16 Tue 27-Sep-11 16:29:39

Thank you for the replies.
My son is in Y6 so we've been looking at schools both in the borough and out.
My sons school had a meeting at the school to talk about transfers but never mentioned this school just the more local schools which are Henry Compton, H&C & Fulham Cross...... all of which I'm not keen on at all.
I've been in a bit of a panic really as there doesn't seem to be that many 'decent' schools in our borough or i've heard lots of bad things about them.
Didn't think this would be so stressful lol.
My husband and son went to view the new West London Free School yesterday and my son likes that.

CecilyP Tue 27-Sep-11 17:09:17

I think all the publicity surrounding the West London Free School may have somewhat overshadowed the opening Hammersmith Academy. As they are both completely new schools with no 'history', this could be an advantage over other local schools.

sinclair Tue 27-Sep-11 20:09:24

Agree Cecily, WLFS has done a brilliant PR job (hardly surprising!) but the proof will be in the pudding. HA has opened with a sixth form tho as has Phoenix this year so can at least bank some concrete results/uni entrance details in a couple of year's time - may or not play to their advantage.

Serendipity i think you can still see the academy - lots of children coming up from Fulham i think - and you may be in inner (more favourable ) catchment for the free school? Agree we all wanted more choice but still a stressful experience all round.

serendipity16 Tue 27-Sep-11 20:54:56

Thanks Sinclair, I've had a proper look at the HA and their open days are in October so we haven't missed them. No harm in going to have a look & seeing how we feel about it.
I've just had a look and we're just outside the Admission Priority area but it won't hurt to look at it and to put it down as an option. Struggling to even think of 6 schools to put down.
My sons school has stressed me out saying they had a child last year who didn't get offered any place so we really need to put 6 options down or he could end up in one of the school i really don't want him to attend.
I've dreamt about secondary schools every night for the past week lol . . . and this is just the 1st of my kids to go.

educatedrita Tue 27-Sep-11 20:56:18

Sinclair - just wondered what you felt about pastoral care at Hammersmith Academy and communications with parents? We're really interested in applying, but like others have found it hard to find out any concrete information about the school. I'm really looking forward to the open evening.

We went to West London Free School yesterday evening and I have to say that I was rather disappointed.

serendipity16 Tue 27-Sep-11 22:08:49

Hi educatedrita - My husband and son went to the West London Free School yesterday and they thought it was ok. Just wondering what it was that you found disappointing?
What other schools are you thinking of applying for?

toutlemonde Tue 27-Sep-11 22:33:45

I was not impressed by free school last night either - head seemed to have nothing to say apart from 'girls and boys you must be good' (patronising pompous...). It all felt like a show and that everyone was playacting at running a school. Annoying the way they barely acknowledged that as the school had only been open a couple of weeks, and a lot of that taken up with trips and press stuff, they needed to do the open day a little differently.

They made all the poor kids who had stayed around as tour guides stand in the pissing rain to wait for parents to show around - bad impression.

They also didn't manage to organise a microphone for the head's speech even though they had the same problem at the open day last week and plenty of time to resolve it - shambles.

Having said all that, and despite the fact that sending a child of mine to this tory wet dream school makes me want to vomit through my eyes, I will probably still put down as one of the six - choices are all dire.

serendipity16 Tue 27-Sep-11 23:05:11

Sorry toutlemonde but the last part of your post made me laugh.
Are you a resident of h&f too or out of the borough?
I agree our choices are dire & i'm stressed out about getting my son into a decent school.

CecilyP Wed 28-Sep-11 13:01:03

Have you looked at Ashcroft or Elliot in Putney as additional, fairly accessible, options? If you live on the eastern edge of Fulham you might have a chance with Chelsea Academy which although CofE, only reserves 50% of places for church applicants. Also in K&C is Holland Park which you would have a reasonable chance of getting into.

serendipity16 Wed 28-Sep-11 13:46:59

We've looked at Ashcroft but they said from the intake this year the furthest away a child lives in 1.5 miles......and we live 2.8 miles. It's only 3 stops on the tube & my son really like it there. Also when my sons school at a meeting with the parents the teacher talking said that in the 10 years he's been at the school they've never had a child accepted into Ashcroft.

The teacher also said that Chelsea Academy will only be taking kids from k&c and said not to even bother applying to a place there because we won't get a place.

I looked at Holland park school but all i keep hearing are negative comments. My mum works near there & all i hear from her are bad things and her friend who's a PCSO also said the kids are awful & I've heard a lot of comments about bullying. My son is intelligent and quiet & i worry about him going to a school with a reputation like that.

The local school is just the pits, typical that i live closest to the worst school in the borough.

sinclair Wed 28-Sep-11 14:35:26

It really depends what you are looking for doesn't it - Holland Park is very sought after from this end of borough (W12) as we are so close, but they only accept from RBKC so virtually impossible to get in.

For Rita in terms of HA, it is too early for me to make any objective comments as it is our first experience of secondary generally and also as they are a new school I think they are finding their feet with communication etc too. The initial impression is strict (detentions already) but not uncaring, in terms of my DD she has had excellent support from day 1 and before, and the staff I have met have been enthusiastic and impressive. There seems to be masses of homework but that may be standard Y7 and of course there is no PTA or parent governors yet so no channels of communication there either. Time will tell so not much help for you guys this year and like you I feel we did all make a massive leap of faith, Academy and Free School parents alike when we opted for it

serendipity16 Wed 28-Sep-11 14:56:29

We're in W14.
My husband and his family are of the mindset that no matter what school a child goes to that if they are good they will still do well.
Whilst i agree with that to some extent..... I'd rather my son go to a decent school and not somewhere like Henry Compton where he could possibly be dragged down by the kids who are badly behaved & not interested in working.

Think I'm going to have more grey hair by the end of this lol.

CecilyP Wed 28-Sep-11 16:30:08

I can see that from W14, Chelsea Academy would be out of the running.

Holland Park is such a large school, there are bound to be some awful kids - and it is the awful ones that the public notice. It does, however do pretty well at GCSE, including in the English Bacc. Although it gives preference to children attending primary school in K & C, it might be worth checking if they do take any children from W14 which is pretty close, after all.

Would another possibility be Burlington Danes in the north of H & F?

serendipity16 Wed 28-Sep-11 17:23:52

I haven't heard much about Burlington Danes but I've read that it is better than Henry Compton & i believe Hurlingham & Chelsea in the English & Maths.
My son is good at Maths & got 5C in Maths last year so i want him to go to a school where he'll be pushed with his maths as he really enjoys maths.
It's hard to get information from people about schools other than the ones the kids all tend to go to around here which is Henry Compton, H&C, Fulham Cross and Lady Margarets. All the schools have the - straight line distance thing which worries me as the schools i would prefer are further away from us than the 2 schools i don't like.

educatedrita Wed 28-Sep-11 18:00:39

Just catching up with this thread after work.

I went to the London Free School the other evening with the idea that it would definitely be a school that we would put down as an option. I listened to the Head's speech and then Toby Young and my heart began to sink. The problem for me is that not every child will thrive against the background of such a a narrow curriculum and I think that there is a place for vocational subjects, if they are taught properly. I obviously knew about the range of subjects which they intend to offer before my visit, but the talks (and the ideas behind it) began to worry me. For example, the Head specifically said something to the effect that they wouldn't offer subjects like 'Travel and Tourism'. Actually, some relatives of ours, who were not at all academic, are both developing very good careers from doing this subject and are gainfully employed. I know plenty of arts graduates who are really struggling and are applying for jobs in admin!

Even after the talks, I was possibly prepared to consider the school if my dd liked it. The problem was that all the rooms seemed really bare and (other than some of the children we met), we just didn't find what we saw particularly inspiring. Of course- and as someone said to me, you could argue that the school hasn't been opened long and wouldn't have much to show. I then remembered that way back in my career, I was involved in setting up a new local authority school and we put a lot of thought into this very problem - and did manage to put on an open evening that held the interest of parents and children.

sinclair Wed 28-Sep-11 18:22:04

Interesting, opinion if really divided on the curriculum at WLFS isn't it? My son liked the sound of what was said - he heard 'sport' rather than 'Latin' of course - but the lack of vocational subjects and the sense that they were ever so slightly looking down on that area of the curriculum I found quite narrow minded. If you visit Phoenix you will see brilliantly equipped kitchen and sewing rooms, and for many children like my DD who would aspire to work in a professional kitchen someday that would be outstanding provision. My mum taught DS for years and i work in that area so i am slightly biased.

B Danes people are starting to talk about again, i assume they have posted a good set of 16+ results?? no idea re admissions area tho.

toutlemonde Wed 28-Sep-11 18:34:49

Did you see the library educatedrita?! Plenty of shelf space at least...

The focus on academic rather than vocational I don't think I have a problem with, as other schools in the area do the reverse and that would be a far more annoying scenario. Very snobby attitude though, especially the way he put it.

toutlemonde Wed 28-Sep-11 18:36:51

xpost sinclair, definitely looking down on certain subjects.

and will they ever stop harping on about the Latin

serendipity16 Wed 28-Sep-11 18:43:04

My husband mentioned what was said about vocational subjects.
My son is very sporty but also very much into his maths, English, Geography etc. He doesn't like art or things like that.

However my next child who is in yr3 at the moment is the opposite. She isn't as bright as my son & is behind most of her peers. She love to dance, play the recorder (rather badly lol but enjoys it none the less), sewing, art etc..... so i can see how the WLFS would probably not be a school suitable for my daughter.
It would seem that somewhere like Phoenix would suit her better.

My head is spinning, you lovely ladies have given me lots to think about.

toutlemonde Mon 10-Oct-11 21:33:12

Did anyone go to the Hammersmith Academy open evening today? Any thoughts? The building was spacious and cheery and the kids seemed happy, but the head's speech was dire. His vision seems to be secondary school as a 5 year back to work course organised by the job centre.

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