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RICHMOND - Richmond Park Academy

(123 Posts)
kylesmybaby Wed 03-Oct-12 22:11:42

can any parents let me know about this school. i think it must have been pretty bad in the past just from way HT spoke. its really close to me so am thinking of it for ds. HT said something about 'when we took in the kids that hadnt been to school for a very long time'! something just didnt seem right at open evening tonight. thanks

PureQuintessence Mon 04-Feb-13 17:44:06

Sheene, you would not want to live in Scandinavia, not if you want a good school (Finland is not Scandinavia, btw wink )

Horrible bullying. Teachers and schools just toe their hands, there is NO discipline, and parents could not care less, as children have so much autonomy...
Many schools follow the idea that learning should not progress faster than the slowest pupil in the class, which means that a lot of children are bored and restless. It follows this pattern all the way through to 13+ where suddenly for 6th form lessons are taught at rocket speed only allowing the very brightest to keep up (At least thats how it is in Norway)

Elibean Wed 06-Feb-13 09:37:14

shock wow, Quint, I didn't know that. I shall stop carping on about our schools then!

Sheenee, I feel the same way. Hence choosing lovely local state primary for dds, and would really like to do the same with secondary - not least because dd would get to stay local, and hang out with the same girls. They have all been friends since Reception.

I have a good feeling about it.

Sheenee Tue 12-Feb-13 14:10:21

Fingers crossed - we've both got a couple of years to see how things progress. We were thinking about moving out as a possibility but I think it would be too much of a wrench for the eldest as she had a really nice circle of friends, some of whom will be going to RPA (although others are heading private/out of London).

CountessDracula Tue 12-Feb-13 20:48:22

There is a meeting there tomorrow night 6.30 til 8 to talk to existing y7 parents and about the school and how it is improving if anyone is interersted

Elibean Wed 13-Feb-13 11:30:32

Aaargh, why are open evenings/talks always on the days I have no childcare?!

Thanks for letting us know anyway smile

PureQuintessence Wed 13-Feb-13 14:18:16

Random Question: Where can I get good Fish & Chips locally now that the Fish Kitchen is closed?

anniesw Wed 13-Feb-13 15:19:20

Things have changed enormously at RPA thanks to the determination and leadership of the HT. My daughter, in Y7, settled very quickly, has lots of friends from local primaries, walks to school, loves the lessons and has made fantastic progress thanks to inspirational teaching. She announced the other day that Latin is her favourite subject now.

I notice further up people talking about fixing the figures to get an Ofsted good - that Ofsted inspection was incredibly thorough and a good rating was truly deserved by RPA. (And schools can't hide failure by not entering kids into GCSE's which would be immoral. The 5 A* to C % figure is based on the total kids in the year not the number sitting GCSE's)

I would say go and see for yourself - don't listen to gossip. You will be pleasantly surprised. In fact tonight they are inviting primary parents to go in and meet staff and Y7 parents so that they can ask questions of the parents who are already at the school. It's at 6.30 this evening - entry on Hertfors Avenue and you can just turn up

anniesw Wed 13-Feb-13 15:20:07

Sorry - that should say entry on Hertford Avenue @ 6.30 tonight

Decisiontimesoon Thu 14-Feb-13 13:09:14

I have been watching this thread and I went along last night. There's
a lot of good things going on there. The staff were very impressive and I guess they are one of the most important elements. Good teaching gets good results from happy kids. I remember my school days - my best subjects were the ones where I had great teachers so worked hard and did well.

Albertine1 Sat 16-Feb-13 21:40:57

I have two children who started at Richmond Park Academy in January - we moved from Gloucestershire due to my job. One child (girl) is in Y7 and one (boy) is in Y10 - they are both getting on really well, have made lots of friends and are benefiting from the extra tuition the school provides on Saturday morning among other things. Am really impressed with level of communication home by the teachers and the behaviour of the pupils at RPA - my two were at an outstanding school before so I have something to compare it with. You should consider it, as would be great if all the local parents supported it.

Sheenee Mon 18-Feb-13 12:42:19

Shame I missed this last week or I'd have gone along on Wednesday. All sounds very positive.

anniesw Tue 19-Feb-13 10:35:19

The head will do a tour for you if you contact the school and say you missed the evening last week. I hear they are getting quite a few requests

riddlesgalore Wed 27-Feb-13 17:43:58

You might like to ask questions based on DFE performance data:

Particularly the average point scores percentage of GCSE only entries against all (including equivalents).

Also Ofsted's Data Dashboard:

You may find it interesting to compare other schools against the bench marks you think important. Also remember to check the courses entered at GCSE and A Level to ascertain if the academy/school is guilty of any league table manipulation at the expense of attaining pupils full potential.

I think you will find it very interesting.

Sheenee Fri 01-Mar-13 11:42:03

Interesting - some positive, some less so. We're in the fortunate position of having another 2 and a bit years to wait before making a decision but I really want it to work

anniesw Fri 01-Mar-13 17:48:55

Remember some of these stats can be misleading when taken at face value. You always need to look at the context.

Look here at the figures for tiffin girls - quite a surprise

They are in the third quintile of sinilar schools for English and Maths and the lowest quintile of similar schools for science. I don't think that is what we would expect to see

muminlondon Fri 01-Mar-13 19:27:30

I've just been looking at another thread on the dashboard that gives a splendid link explaining why the progress comparison is too simplistic. It doesn't take into account uneven progress or other factors causing attainment gaps - e.g. between girls and boys (9.5%), English not mother tongue (3%), those on FSM (26.3%). Even the most popular comp in the borough produces bizarre results if you look that one up.

At the same time don't forget that the intake in 2013 may be very different from the intake that sat GCSEs last year or will sit them in two years' time.

Decisiontimesoon Thu 07-Mar-13 12:58:20

I'm going to RPA this evening: they have invited Y6 parents to go and meet staff and students and to find out any more info to help make the final choice of school. Great idea. It's 4 -6.30pm tonight

Elibean Thu 07-Mar-13 13:32:18

Do post afterwards, please, Decision time smile

I am definitely not going to choose on stats, for the reasons Annie gives. Look at them yes, decide on them no.

We're organising a group of interested parents from all different year groups at our primary, to go and visit one morning - with our Head, and RPA's Head. I'm looking forward to it.

fingertips Thu 07-Mar-13 13:48:22

Looking at the performance tables and dashboard, I was disappointed to find that for KS4 pupil progress neither middle attainers nor high attainers reached 1000 for Best 8 value added (1000+ I understand denotes that the academy/school has maintained the average national value added expected or has added value, less than 1000 means that the school has failed to meet or add value). For both groups the academy has scored significantly less. Does this mean that the academy is focussing effort on the low attainers which have a score above 1000 or is the school using a disproportionate number of equivalent courses to increase the league table position at the expense of adding value to mid and higher attainers, in other words concentrating on the C grade borderline.

Given this I fail to understand why the school received a 'good' Ofsted rating recently, was it just a paperwork 'good'.

AmazingDisgrace Thu 07-Mar-13 15:23:02

The dashboard information re TGS is interesting. Just for comparison's sake I looked at Nonsuch, Wallington Boys, Colchester Royal GS and Pates - a fairly random selection of well perceived grammar schools. The results were equally odd. I wonder exactly what the "similar" schools are then?

muminlondon Thu 07-Mar-13 19:06:10

fingertips I was suspicious about the use of equivalents, but no - their GCSE results are solid, particularly for middle attainers. Grades are a little low but their intake has been very diverse up till now. They seem strongest in Maths and Humanities. I guess the science labs are being completely rebuilt so that will help.

muminlondon Thu 07-Mar-13 19:34:37

Another odd result for a grammar school ...

Decisiontimesoon Fri 08-Mar-13 09:35:21

I went along to their 'Friendship party' last night - for Y6 people with an offer. Must say I was very impressed - a hall full of enthusiastic people. And staff are very impressive. With the new facilities due to open ready for our kids - this seems like a great time to be joining. The cakes were lovely too!

BarryShitpeas Fri 08-Mar-13 14:58:47

I was at their "Friendship Party last night. My dd will be starting in September, as it is our local school. I have been round the school a few times before, and know a couple of staff members well. I was a bit hmm about a choice of song which contained the lyrics "baby when I make love to yoouu", sung by a quartet of 13/14 year old girls. grin It would not have been my first choice for a "welcome to our school!" showcase.

Decisiontimesoon Fri 08-Mar-13 15:25:04

muminlondon - thanks for that link - very useful. I agree there is great danger in misinterpreting all these stats. And school is about so much more than how many A to C you get at GCSE (but I do agree that is an important factor)

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