13+ entry to North London independent boys/co-ed(7 Posts)
We are moving back to London from Kent in July 2014 and are looking at senior schools for our Yr 8 DS who is currently in a good local independent. We will be based in Islington, near Angel. DS has a high IQ (125) but has a very poor working memory and very slow processing speeds - both in the bottom 20%. The result is an academic under-performer. We missed the boat on a few schools which pre-test. We have looked at Mill Hill, Forest, Portland and North Bridge House. My husband doesn't want DS travelling for ages to his school. I would really welcome any thoughts on these schools: how hard are Mill Hill/Forest to get into; have I missed any obvious ones that look far away but are an easy journey?
Mill Hill an easy tube ride up to Mill Hill East on the Nortjern line and then a short bus journey up to the Ridgeway. I don't know if the school bus goes down to Islington (there are pick ups in Highgate/Crouch End/etc) but details on school website. Phone the admissions person up as they should be able to tell you if anyone comes from Islington. If you go to open day on Saturday they usually have a map up with pins showing who comes from where.
toolittletimetoomuchtodo - Thank you. We are going to go to the open day on Saturday. Do you know if it is a difficult school to secure a place at? Is it a nurturing school or full of alpha types - DS gets teased a lot at his current school as he is defintely not an alpha boy.
Mill Hill is a good school and it is not extremely hard to secure place there. Talk to your local independent school and see how they feel about DS getting into mill hill
A few boys from my DS's school who couldn't make it to extremely academic schools but are very academic boys are going to mill hill now. I think they have a large mixture of children.
I don't know much about Forrest.
Northbridge house Senior school is easy to secure place in but if your DS is academic he may get bored there and under perform even more. Their facilities are also not that good.
Tbh out of Northbridge, mill hill and Portland I would choose mill hill. Their sports grounds are huge, in general it is a good school.
I think Forest would be a very good choice if you can get in -- it's not as difficult as City or Highgate. North Bridge is too chaotic for anyone who needs extra attention, the staff tend to be very inexperienced and the turnover is high, so they don't really get the chance to work with students who need more. The facilities are terrible. Forest is much more established and solid, better teaching, much better facilities and from Angel is probably about the same length of journey. Forest also very down to earth, Mill Hill a bit less so.
ds is at Portland - they are doing very well by him. He is not an easy take for a school - 140+ IQ with significant attention deficits and your every dyspraxic symptom and some, including social issues that have spilt over into disruptiveness in the past. A good few academic schools that can pick & choose have said No way about him (despite the ability), and he did end up there as a bit of rescue option. However, I really am happy with it for now, and it seems to have very sympathetic and flexible teaching. I like co-ed, too. We might move on for sixth form, but generally, unless you're looking for acres of playing fields etc., I think it's an underestimated place.
Look at value added rather than position in league tables its a real eye opener
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