West London free school(58 Posts)
Really interested in feedback from anyone with a child there.......not interested in any moans about free schools or Toby young - just want to know what you think if you have a child there.
Doesn't it depend who or what you are complaining about?
I have just googled and there is a complaints policy on their website. In the first instance I would address a broad complaint in writing to the headteacher, unless the complaint is about the headteacher, in which case I would address the chair of governors. Names and e-mails of governors including chair are on the website. If you can't find a specific email address you could use the admin address on the website which will certainly be referred or you can send a paper letter by post or hand.
I am perplexed as to whom to make a complaint . Has anyone got any emails of people at the Trust
My son has been offered a musical scholarship to West London Free School, for Sept 2018. Obviously we are thrilled. I immediately looked up the reviews on Mumsnet and they are all so very different that I'm now worried. Is the teaching good? Is there bullying? Are the children happy and doing well academically? I'd be so grateful if anyone with a child there - or maybe even someone whose child has also won a music scholarship - can let me know about their experiences. Thank you!
I've asked about this on another thread, but no joy, so hoping to bump this old one? I would love views from anyone with a child (or perhaps knows of a child) at the WLFS, as am trying to find out what this school is like now.
Is the discipline still strict? Are the children happy overall? Is bullying effectively managed? Do most children get to go on the amazing sounding school trips? How do the children cope with the longer school day? etc.
Any info gratefully received!
Finally some data and overall it is good news!! the West London Free School, has posted its first set of GCSE results this year and they are good. 76% of pupils got 5A*–C.
The school did very well at the top end, with 37% of all GCSEs being marked A* or A. That figure should put the Wlfs in the top 50 non-selective state schools in England, based on last year’s data. the pupils performed particularly well in Maths, Science, Art, Music and Religious Education. In Music and Art, for instance, 100 per cent got 5A*–C, as did those pupils who took Biology, Chemistry and Physics as separate subjects. In Maths, 85% got 5A*–C, while in English Literature it was 78%.
Not that I know of. A few new people have joined from others schools. I know 2 girls emigrated with parents jobs, so not Bec of school.
Does anyone know if there has been much student turnover - i.e. are all the kids who started there still there or have many parents voted with their feet?
I totally agree with wlmum123. THe school is like a "free world" rather than a wel managed and organised school. my ds is attending his 2 year in that school and I must pull him out as soon as possible. In addition, the teachers' mood and enthusiasm is just appalling!! Stay away from free schools!!
Year 7 - great year, but obviously a bit apprehensive on what a new school is like for a child.
After school clubs helped to get to know other kids with similar interest. Lots of engaged parents, organising social events, and also well attended PSA and Parent governor meetings.
DD didn't have any change of teachers mid year, which was good. We haven't seen high turnover of staff issue. DD doesn't complain about it.
School getting a lot more experienced teachers in , and some of DD's favourite teachers left so she didn't have them in year 8 ... but she might not have got them anyway. Her form teacher particular good and supportive. Lots of teacher/parent meeting. Useful school reports to update you on childs progress of each subject. Lots of tests, and homework. Bit of a shock from primary school - where one teacher covers all subjects. DD was ready for deeper learning of subjects.
I particularly like the recent change that in the absence of sick teacher who not in class... a senior teacher would cover the class, rather than a temp supply teacher who usually can't control or teach the class, and it's a waste of time for kids and their learning. DD much prefers it.
School is quite open and upfront about what is expected of kids, and rules, but even so, parent and kid don't know how they are going to feel until they get there. It's worked well for my DD and what we want from a school. She's progressed, grown in confidence and independence so much...we're delighted. She's had an excellent year 7 and 8 socially and academically.
The PTA are pretty active and hold lots of events, so should be able to help. The week long induction for year 7 was excellent, so I would have thought the same would be for 6th form, but I don't know for sure.
Thanks Blueberry14 Mum - appreciate your thoughtful input and sharing with my husband; I have a Year 5 son, too, so am interested to hear about your DD's experience as she went though WLFS secondary in Y7 and Y8. Will likely have my Y5 son go to WLFS, too, with hopes of sibling preference having his bro in Sixth Form this autumn- the school seem willing to take this into account for waitlist purposes, at least for a few more years.
I'll try to remember to post a note here again in a year or so about my older son's Y12 experience in 6th form as I'm pretty sure he'll go to WLFS in the fall, and maybe that will be of interest to other parents later.
In the meanwhile, would still love to hear from anyone else with a child who plans to start Sixth Form at WLFS this fall (2016). I may also contact the school to see if there's a parent rep (PTA?) who can help with being put in touch with other starting families more directly.
Oh... and on the 6th form. I hope she's stays. I think they are putting so much effort on the 6th form, to get it right, with experienced advisors supporting the structure. I know people who were at WLFS and looked around all the other 6th forms options to consider moving child, and still decided that WLFS was the best. Hard to tell without some A level results but I think it looks promising, and would want my DD to stay.
We have a daughter in year 8. We are really happy with WLFS. Before applying we had some concerns, and put HP as first choice, bec of the Art. However, I am so pleased that she got into WLFS, suits her better, and wouldn't change it now.
The school really stretches her to achieve more, and constructive feedback on homework to help improve (lots of homework though.. but she's progressed so much).
Small classes, there are still some disruptive kids but not a big prob, and probably no different from other schools. DD wants to do well and is reserved, so may not have got much attention in a big huge school.
Great hard working teachers (teacher turnover not a problem). I really liked to the teachers I met, seemed enthusiastic and keen on subject.
New building on King Street, much better for kids and teacher, and organising after school clubs. Although, starting year 7 in cambridge grove was a blessing for my daughter bec she started off in small school building and could find her way around easily without the older kids.
Music- she has got more into music than ever expected, and in lots of musi group activities meeting new people from different year group and having fun. DD not sporty at all, and it's a very sporty school. So I'm glad she's got into the music.
Our younger son is still in primary and will enjoy the sports a lot more, esp since they seem to be doing football now.
We were really impressed with Sweeney Todd performance last year (my DD not in it), seemed like lots of talented kids, and felt like a performing arts school. Teachers and school takes it quite seriously (it was at Bush theatre), with amazing results. We were very surprised about how great the kids acted and sung.
Art- Before joining, we were a bit concerned that she wasn't going to do much practical art, and it was all going to be theoretical. But she's got a very active Art teacher, who's great, and they do practical art, as well as study Art history (includ female artists), and it's excellent. I wish I had art history when I was at school.
IT- this seems to be improving. She doesn't do this, but I think they will be in future. She was invited to a coding club run by Imperial which is a great initiative. It's a nationwide challenge for schools to keep up to date with Tech. It's so important for future, so I really hope she has more exposure to this.
They don't do Design and Tech, but I'm not bothered about that. Was very cynical previously about her having to study Latin and classics (I never did), but DD loves it, genuinely finds it interesting and likes her teacher.
Socially. She's made fantastic new friends as well as kept friends from primary school. We're delighted about this.
Great headteacher, who has made positive strategic changes, as well as dealing with individual needs. Husband and I like him. It's not an easy job, and there must be challenges that come along with the management of the WLFS school brand. Approachable,engaged, enthusisatic and making changes which seem to work, logical and not just following same old secondary school pattern.
I think WLFS undeservedly gets a bad rep. It's not going to suit all kids though. It's quite strict, and they do expect a lot from kids academically to strive. DD got into private schools (we reluctantly got her to do the 11+ to give us other options) and we chose WLFS. There are people from different backgrounds and races, which is great and important to us. The PSA are active, and school approachable with questions, and challenges.
We were on the waiting list for WLFS even though we live locally. It was worth the painful wait and agonizing for months. We didn't hear until May, but have no regrets, and made the right choice for her. My DS is very different but I think it will suit him too.
Hope this helps someone out there.
I would also really like to hear any views as there is a chance we will be get a place for year 7 for my DD. We live close by but not guaranteed because of siblings policy etc. Anyway I hear that some parents very happy but still stories of lots of staff turnover and problems with disruptive older children and school not having the experience to deal with it. I would be so grateful for any updated feedback since the new headteacher started and the move into new building. Thank you!
Hi, hope to reopen this thread. We are a new family to West London. My oldest son has been admitted at WLFS's Sixth Form and I would love to hear from parents with students also planning to attend autumn 2016 with the inaugural class.
If you are willing to share:
- is your student already at WLFS for year 11? and why are they staying at WLFS?
- if your student is coming from a different secondary, how did you pick WLFS?
- if you were at WLFS but planning a different 6th Form, why?
Lastly, my son doesn't know anyone in London yet (he's moving in June). Would you be willing to message me privately to talk about what socializing is like and suggestions for ways my son can meet other teenagers over the summer before school starts?
Thanks for any thoughtful replies.
WLFS uses Teach First teachers too which is fairly different to it's ethos of being a grammar school like and competing with private schools, suggesting its wish to attract private school clientele.
Teach Firsters are usually deployed to state schools in challenging circumstances where they are struggling to recruit, or if they do successfully recruit, struggling to retain. To me this really emphasises how much WLFS is struggling as their aims/setup suggested it should be a school of choice to work out, even for those in the private sector, especially with it's location.
All very odd.
Pity you withdrew your post. Things need to be said and nicknames are here to give you the freedom and courage to do so.
You seem to have inside info. Are you a teacher or a parent?
Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.
I am about to choose my preferences for secondary school. I have visited Holland Park, West London Free School, Chelsea Academy, Ashcroft, Fulham Boys School, Ark Putney.
So far my choices are 1-Holland Park, 2-West London Free School, 3- Chelsea Academy, 4-Fulham Boys. Are there any parents who have children at Holland Park, West London Free School or Chelsea Academy who can give me some up to date feedback on their experience of the schools?
Many of the posts on here are old and I would like a more recent opinion. Thanks in advance, any contribution will be much appreciated!
Also if anyone is at the WLFS how are you finding the fact that there are no technical or vocational subjects? I like the sound of a classical education and my son's passion and forte is writing and English.
dippingbackin - as someone who tries to keep an open mind on things, your anecdote suggests that the turnover could well be a story of:
1. Highly employable experienced teachers were originally nervous about joining the school (which was experimental, controversial and in a state of pre-opening fluster at the time)
2. The school was forced to employ less experienced teachers instead
3. They replaced them as soon as they could with more experienced teachers; perhaps the inexperienced teachers realised they weren't making the grade and moved on of their own accord, or perhaps they were "let go". Either way I wouldn't expect the school to comment publicly.
I don't know if that's the truth, but it's just as likely as the implied conclusion that "they all left because they hated working there".
Interesting thread. I agonised over WLFS and Holland Park, for my DS, for entry next year, and at the last minute changed my order of preference from one to the other, when my son was placed on the short list for music aptitude. School size was another big influence, even though the Ofsted report suggested room for improvements, which I found a little disconcerting... In all honesty, I still lack certainty as to what would be the best choice and am happy to leave it to Fate for now.
With regard to the Head leaving: at the open evening I attended, I made a point of asking the new Head why he had left, pointing out that many prospective parents found this a little worrying. He replied that the old Head was now involved in commandeering the ship that is responsible for floating all the schools: the organisation that is the West London Free Schools (as they are planning to open even more schools in the near future), as opposed to just the secondary school. It sounds like he is still very much involved.
Hope this helps.
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