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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

muminlondon Tue 12-Mar-13 22:23:05

How funny, now Ofsted admits a cock-up:

'A number of schools have contacted us because they were surprised by their quintile ranking compared to similar schools. As a result of these enquiries we have reviewed the quintile methodology and updated the dashboards...'

MrsSalvoMontalbano Fri 15-Mar-13 18:19:15

It is definitely on the up. I visited it last week a different context. When my DC were of secondary age it was nowhere on the radar for local people- having seen it last week 'from the inside' I was impressed with the progress, and I have been in numerous schools that parents fight to get their DC into. There is still a looooong way to go before it as sought after as tiffin grin, but the 'tipping point' has been reached in terms of intake from the Sheen primaries. In 2/3 years I predict parents will be lyng about their address to get in grin (btw, have no axe to grind, not associated in any way with the academy or LA, and my DC are now well beyond that...)

Sheenee Wed 07-Aug-13 10:25:48

Hi - just thought I would see if anyone had any updates on this thread. We still have a while to decide but I wondered if any parents of yr7/8 children had impressions positive or negative.

anniesw Wed 21-Aug-13 23:00:39

Sheenee - yes now at the end of my daughter's first year there and it has been a huge success. Rapid academic progress, lots of friends, many trips. And much more liberating and enjoyable than primary (even though that was at an outstanding local primary). Very pleased we made that choice.

kylesmybaby Tue 27-Aug-13 13:18:50

It seems to be undersubscribed. My friend is still trying to get her son in to Christ and they've just reoffered RPA.

Sheenee Wed 28-Aug-13 09:49:47

anniesw - many thanks. We're at a very local primary that is outstanding and RPA is our obvious choice - most parents I've heard from who have children there seem very positive (with one exception) - I'll go along to the open evening in October (and have been round the school with the head fairly recently) and keep asking as many people as possible.
kylesmybaby - thanks, that's a shame if correct - it would be nice to see it becoming more popular

charliescatmother23 Fri 30-Aug-13 11:54:02

Hello - my daughter will be going back to yr 8 at RPA. She is very very happy there. Has made some lovely friends, does a variety of after school clubs most days and is still home by 4.30, and she's loving learning. At Primary - a local outstanding school - it was hard to get her to read, but with the quiz at RPA she's voracious. As a parent, I'm so impressed with the teaching staff, they give their own time so generously - wish I'd had teachers like them.

loulou63 Sat 31-Aug-13 14:19:29

My daughter has been a student at RPA for the last three years, is just about to start in year 10 and is extremely happy in her second home. We had wanted a local state school education for our child but felt the limited choices in the area would deem independent schooling the only way to go - until we visited RPA (still Shene at that time). It became our first choice and we have never looked back. The head teacher is amazing and she has built and developed a fantastic team of teachers. There is a real community vibe at the school and its parochial care, I believe, is second to none. Communication regarding the children's progress is excellent - half termly reports, target setting days termly, parent consultations and specific meetings and presentations delivered as appropriate as your child progresses through the school, e.g. GCSE option selections; special projects your child may be selected for. The kids are treated as the individuals they are and credited as thinking human beings, they are challenged and encouraged to achieve their potential at each turn. There is an expectation of mutual respect between the adults and children and between each other. I would urge you to check out their website, visit the school at the upcoming open evening and read the latest report from Ofsted. By the way, the jolly girls performing for you in nun's garb were, of course, players from their production of 'Sister(s) Act' and, indeed, were fabulous!
I do hope this helps!

Sheenee Mon 02-Sep-13 14:50:41

That is very helpful - I really like the school (I went to see it a little while ago) and the fact that it is very local is important for us. I'll certainly be at the open evening and will continue to keep up to date on developments over the coming year or so

warwick1 Wed 04-Sep-13 11:48:06

Latest update on the Academies Enterprise Trust is that according to the AET.

“David Triggs will be stepping down from his role as Chief Executive Officer of Academies Enterprise Trust (AET) from September this year. The AET Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Ian Comfort, currently Group Secretary and General Counsel, as Interim CEO.”

This is following a period of specific criticism as seen in links below:

and general criticism of chain academy group practices:

The Education Funding Agency is currently carrying out a review of some aspects of financial management and governance as part of a wider review of the AET. When finalised this report is due to be published. Mr Gove and the DFE have insisted that they will take action to hold the AET to account for any underperformance and ensure that they make the necessary improvements.

anniesw Wed 04-Sep-13 12:42:46

Don't let that distract from the fact that this academy is doing weel and is serving its pupils very well. Happy kids, great and committed staff doing an excellent job. They just had their best GCSE results with 64% at A* to C with Eng and maths so that is up on last year when they had a massive improvement. Things have got a lot better since being an academy

One4TheRd Wed 04-Sep-13 17:58:33

There is an opportunity for my daughter to start now going into Y8...I am not very happy with her current school with regards to how they delt with a bullying issue...I don't want to be jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire! If anyone could let me know more about that side of the school I would be very grateful, thanks.

anniesw Wed 04-Sep-13 19:26:28

My daughter is in that year group and I think you will find them a lovely year group. The staff are very caring and nurturing too. Loulou, above, mentions that the children are treated as individuals and I agree with that. Have you visited or met the head.

One4TheRd Wed 04-Sep-13 21:05:35

I haven't got that far yet! I remember the school from its Shene days, but have heard that it has turned around a lot in the last three years. I think the open evenings are coming up over September and October, but I think the offer could be on the table much sooner then that if I want to go ahead with it. My DD had such a hard time at the end of last term that she will be going back into a new form! She is dreading it so I have been finding out about any spaces that may be available in schools around me, even though both schools are out of my borough! I'm in two minds to see how she goes when she returns to a different form, but I don't want to leave it too long into the term if she is to move! Arrrrrggghhh it's just one big headache! Thanks for the reply though.

anniesw Thu 05-Sep-13 14:11:41

I'd say go and look now. If dd is unhappy open days are going to seem a long way off. A fresh start might be what she needs

tennisjen7 Mon 09-Sep-13 18:44:11

we are Americans who have been living in Zurich the past three years. We found out at the beginning of July we'd be moving to London. I have two girls, Year 8 and 10. They had been going to an International school in Zurich, we didnt know enough German to go local. But had been very happy in public schools in the US.

We hired an education specialist and housing specialist to help us place the girls here in London. It was also important to us, they be in a school with boys and girls, but that is a discussion for another time.

I wanted to consider local as well as private. But really wanted to get out of the International or private bubble you can sometimes get in. I had lots of feedback on the private and international schools from the international community, some of my friends also having experience. Suffice it to say, big costs does not always equate to a better education and non bullying.

The specialist probably could have made even more money on a private placement as I know that sometimes commissions are paid. But he really did his homework and provided options, both public and private with scores and parents I could speak with. We only had one trip here to decide.

Richmond Park Academy impressed me. and it continues to do so the more parents and staff I speak with. It also has an involved Parents Association which I feel is important. I am very involved in my children's education and like to support the school my children go to.

It was not an easy decision, i know it just went to academy status a few years ago. But sometimes the challenge of moving forward offers more of a chance of involvement. And weak teachers can't hide there. And the turnover has been minimal from what i can tell.

Of course my children don't start until tomorrow, thank god, longest summer ever. And im happy to offer my unblemished opinion in a few months. But my children have already met friends going there and they are excited to start.

One4TheRd Tue 10-Sep-13 20:16:37

I wish your girls all the best on their first day at school here in the UK. My dd has been back for two days and they have been really positive thankfully. I am still going to the open day at RPA on 26th Sep and very much keeping it as an option.

HannahCh Fri 13-Sep-13 11:10:04

tennisjen7 - I think our daughters are at school together! We just moved to the UK two months ago, and our oldest daughter is in Year 10. She started at RPA yesterday, told me that she met a very nice American girl who lived in Zurich for the last several years.

So - what are your impressions of the RPA so far? I must say, I am in complete shock, and trying to find out how to appeal and where to move my daughter asap. Meeting your daughter yesterday was the only bright spot in her day sad

lilaray3 Fri 13-Sep-13 14:35:46

My daughter started RPA in April 2012. I was extremely skeptical about her prospects at this school as she had spent all of her school life in private education. The last school she attended was Putney Park which has subsequently closed down. However my point is that RPA has erassed all doubts and exceeded all of my expectations. My daughter (who is now currently in yr 10) has improved more in the last 18 months than she did the whole of the time she was in the private Sector. Math which she struggled with continuously through school is now one of her strongest subjects and she is currently in the top set thanks to the wonderful support and encouragement from the teachers at the school. RPA will soon be the school which parents are scrambling to get their children in to. The support, encouragement and belief they have in the children is exceptional, but most importantly it is installing respect into its pupils. coming from the private sector this is generally standard among pupils, but it is wonderful to see teens opening the door for teachers when they pass and standing to attention when the head walks into the room. They may mis-behave at the bus-stop or scream down the road but what teen does not loose control a little once out of the school gates? The important thing is that whilst in school they have respect for those in authority and have the desire to learn and do well. This is all present at RPA. Of course you have a small selection of pupils that challenge the rules of the school but is that not present in almost every school, even the private sector! My second daughter is currently in year 6 in Sheen Mount and I have had no hesitation in putting down RPA as my first choice

SDhopeful Mon 16-Sep-13 19:42:44

HannahCh hope you're okay - what happened to make you want to move?

HannahCh Mon 16-Sep-13 23:05:47

SDhopeful - our first impression was that nobody really cared about DD moving from another country and having adaptation difficulties, as well as language ones. Plus she was given approximately five minutes to choose her GCSE subjects - this after she got a very brief explanation about the GCSE system. The first few days she just cried all the time, which was heartbreaking. But the things improved tremendously! I guess it was just the chaos of the first days, maybe? Now, when everything calmed down a bit, all teachers ask her whether she needs help, she will have an assessment of the level of her English, and she did manage to choose the subjects she likes for GCSE. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will be ok! The only problem that still remains is, of course, the distance - both the very long travelling time, and the fact that her schoolmates do not live in our neighbourhood.

Decisiontimesoon Wed 02-Oct-13 14:54:47

Did anyone go to the open evening last week? What did you think? Especially versus other open evenings

Elibean Wed 02-Oct-13 18:00:28

I didn't, because I'd already been round the school (and dd1 had a day there in Y4, last year). But I'll probably go to one of their Tuesday morning tours.

sorryimlateagain Thu 03-Oct-13 14:51:07

Hi. I've been trying to gauge local thoughts on RPA, Christs, etc via MN and have been to 3 open evenings so far (RPA, Waldegrave, Grey Court) with Christ's tonight. I have a yr6 dd at a local primary and am now soul searching on the whole secondary thing. I also did a Tuesday head tour at RPA. I have to say I wasn't blown away by the RPA head, she doesn't come across well at times but she has obviously done a great job and built a good team around her. At the open evening I was very impressed by the teachers I spoke to. They were so full of enthusiasm and absolute belief in the school. I thought the head of governors was excellent and also the head of the new sixth form. I was also very impressed by the 3 different pupil ambassadors that showed us around. This included the deputy head boy who was fabulous! It is still difficult to know what to do because it still feels like a leap of faith. We can't really see what we'll be getting with the building work on going. What was a shame is a real lack of insight into the school that you get from looking at the class room walls which were pretty blank (I suppose understandable with the building works) but this was really emphasised after visiting Grey Court yesterday. I really liked this school but with its new ofsted outstanding and it's great results I think this year we'll be outdistanced. A teacher we spoke to anticipated a lot of children applying from Kingston. Waldegrave I also think we're outdistanced for but I liked the head. I'm still not sure an all girls school is right for my DD. I do know some parents with kids at christs and seem very happy. I don't know anything about the new head, who was the deputy. I went to christs open evening last year and was not particularly enamoured of the previous head but quite liked that the school was smaller. It did appear to lack the ambition I've seen at all the other schools. Both RPA and Christs are walking distance for us and tbh I don't believe we will have much choice in reality. We didn't with primary schools as it was such a bulge year and we ended up at a primary that had, like RPA, a poor rep but has turned around completely with a new head and new build. We love that school now and wonder whether we'd have the same kind of luck with RPA. It needs the faith of the local community to make it happen. I'm looking forward to comparing RPA and christs after this evening and hearing what the new head has to say.

SDhopeful Thu 03-Oct-13 19:29:59

Not sure that you can really judge effectively based on the OE, better on the daytime visits. One of the advantages of RPA is that they have massive amount of funding to improve their situation, not just the new build, but lots of free after school activities. If you live in Sheen/Mortlake then realistically you have a choice of Christ's or RPA, as Orleans is impossible. Grey Court a possibility, but much less so than in previous years. If you get GC - a better bet, but between Christ's and RPA not much to choose, so proximity would be the factor I would go on.

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