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Secondary schools in London with good pastoral care for DS

(21 Posts)
Notalwaysabowlofcherries Sun 19-Jan-14 11:12:58

We live in West(isn) London and are looking for a secondary school for our DS. After academic with good pastoral care. He is clever, but not child prodigy level - currently at local prep school. Quite sensitive. Thinking Latytmer maybe a bit too 'streetwise & cool' for him. Loved UCS, but wondering if anyone can suggest some others (coed or single sex, not bothered) that are doable from Hammersmith area. Thanks in advance for any advice!

Notalwaysabowlofcherries Sun 19-Jan-14 11:15:52

Sorry - that was West ISH.

fruitcorner Sun 19-Jan-14 18:24:53

St Benedicts - tubeable, Hampton - there's a school bus, the new Kew Senior School on the chiswick side of Kew Bridge - easy walk from Gunnersbury tube and on loads of bus routes

Chocrock Sun 19-Jan-14 18:48:12

City of London School is on the circle, district and central lines

Notalwaysabowlofcherries Mon 20-Jan-14 16:09:44

Fruitcorner - many thanks for that. Have visited Hampton (loved it), but think just a bit too far from us as we'd have to travel to get to the coach departure point so a good hour each way. Also visited and was really impressed with Kew House School; thought the Head was extremely inspiring and different. Only things is - brand new so zero track record. On our short list, though. Had not considered St Benedicts - we aren't Catholic so assuming that would be tricky…… And many thanks to Chocrock for the City suggestion too; had rather assumed wrong side of London so forget it, but as you say it's all about transport links. Many thanks again!

Dimestore Mon 20-Jan-14 17:26:27

I was going to suggest St Benedicts. The pastoral care is excellent. You don't have to be RC to go there - we are not and it has never been an issue for my dd. It is definitely worth attending an open day, as it gives you a good idea of whether it would be suitable.

Eastpoint Mon 20-Jan-14 18:05:47

Although Kew House is a new school the owners have established Ravenscourt Park and Kew Green schools, both of which are now very successful. I'm sure they'll make an equal success of the senior school and know people whose son's sat the exam at the weekend.

We also know boys who are at Emmanuel in Clapham, they catch the overground from Chiswick, Westfield (is that White City) or Olympia. My friends whose children are at St Benedicts are a mixture of catholic & not catholic. Harrodian? Easy by bus from Hammersmith.

Notalwaysabowlofcherries Mon 20-Jan-14 20:08:08

Really interesting about St Benedicts not being overly Catholic and having such good pastoral care. Will now check out Good Schools Guide and maybe go to an open day. Thank you. Agree re track record of Kew House owners ,just worry that because it is so new it may be being seen as a 'backstop' choice for many rather than being a first choice school. I suspect this will change, but in the meantime I guess would have an effect on mix of pupils. May be over thinking it! WOuld love to hear from anyone with children there already. Saw Emmanuel as definitely doable from us on overground and quite liked it. Just didn't really love it - hard to put finger on why. Can be so subjective and depend on who you chat to on the day so certainly not discounting. Hugely appreciating everyone's input.

gingerbeard Tue 21-Jan-14 16:01:52

Notalways IME Kew House seems to be attracting parents who are frightened of/dislike the 11+ exam pressure and those who want a guaranteed place for their child from 4-18 (Kew Green Prep then Kew House). Not likely to be v academic children so if your DS is bright, it may not be much of a challenge. We're considering Latymer even though our DS is a pretty sensitive chap. See the thread on the Education board.

Notalwaysabowlofcherries Tue 21-Jan-14 16:15:25

Interesting, gingerbeard - I will check out the thread on Latymer on the education board. That is the obvious choice for us given location/academic standards, but have been slightly put off by some of the things I've heard re. slightly sink or swim attitude to pastoral care. Having said that have some friends with children there so not disregarding at all. Our daughter is more confident and resilient and suspect she'd thrive somewhere like that. You have slightly confirmed my suspicions re .Kew House (although the prep schools do turn out some v. clever/able children at 11).

gingerbeard Fri 07-Feb-14 08:52:59

Notalways - the pastoral care is one of my concerns too. We have a DD elsewhere and she has excellent pastoral care - we feel she is really looked after. Having said that she is tougher than DS. Aghhhhh Decisions, decisions.

Quinteszilla Fri 07-Feb-14 09:48:09

Have you thought about Ibstock?

gingerbeard Fri 07-Feb-14 10:02:41

Interesting Quint. A few years ago would not have considered it, however, it is steadily climbing the league tables and the sixth formers seem to be doing very well indeed. I actually went to their summer fair last year to have a bit of a nose around and was blown away by their facilities. Do you have any experience you can share? I know about the Headmistress is rather "marmite", but i don't feel the need to bond with head teachers, preferring to judge them by their results.

Quinteszilla Fri 07-Feb-14 10:13:32

Yes, gingerbread. DC1 is in Y7. Absolutely loves it. It is a good fit, and we have first hand experience of the pastoral care.

An issue was flagged up to me (regards to my rather nervous child's reaction to starting a new school - again) by the head of pastoral phoning me, inviting me in to talk, and talking to ds, and giving him free use of the nurse to chat any time) Everything was resolved discretely, and to my ds satisfaction.

He is doing well academically. He feels he is well supported and encouraged by the teachers in his worst "least excellent" subjects, such as PE and French, and stretched by the teachers of his best subjects, maths and science. There are so many clubs, and different activities, from dance and drama, to art, chemistry club, lego club, that every child will be able to shine in something.

saganoren Fri 07-Feb-14 10:35:29

People can be snooty about the Harrodian, but every parent with dc there raves about it and pastoral care is meant to be fab. Have you looked?

Shootingatpigeons Fri 07-Feb-14 11:51:43

Ibstock are not good at supporting those with Learning Difficulties, in stark contrast to Latymer for instance, who provide best practise learning support and are very positive and enthusiastic about what those with Learning Difficulties have to offer the school . If your child gets a diagnosis the Headmistress at Ibstock suggests you leave, and I gather she also makes her attitude clear at Open Days. In my opinion that is not consistent with good pastoral care. You may not think this will affect your DC but at most of the more selective schools almost 10% will have been diagnosed by the time they take GCSEs, lots of bright dyslexics find their own coping strategies and sometimes it does not become apparent until working at the higher level.

gingerbeard Fri 07-Feb-14 13:28:15

Shootingat - I have read your comments about Ibstock and SEN before and heard your comments about the headmistress. Her attitude is obviously outdated, but if a child starts there in 2014, I doubt very much whether s/he'll have anymore than a year or two of the current head. I don't think many young HTs these days have the same attitude. Also regarding your comment re Latymer. Sadly we have family experience of the complete lack of pastoral care regarding a current pupil, hence my initial concerns about the school and my child. I suppose the problem with these boards is that most people have absolutely no problems at any of the London Day Schools, but if someone does, we read about it here.

Quint - good to hear your DC is enjoying his new school. Too late for our DC for next year, but hope this helps others.

Shootingatpigeons Fri 07-Feb-14 13:36:29

ginger We have actually had considerable problems at another London day school and there were actually refugees to Latymer which in my younger DDs year has a lovely cohort, quite different to the streetwise reputation, and they were supported in regaining their confidence there . Sadly you never know who you are going to find at these schools, difficult characters can turn up anywhere and be a challenge to the best pastoral care. I am sorry your family member had problems.

mary21 Fri 07-Feb-14 13:38:10

Kingston Grammar??

Shootingatpigeons Fri 07-Feb-14 13:40:34

I would second, third and fourth that suggestion. Very down to earth school and I don't know of a child who has not felt happy and encouraged there. I had not suggested it because of where you are but just read they are running a bus from Chiswick

CountessDracula Fri 07-Feb-14 13:46:52

Yes KGS would be good - they are running 2 buses, one from just S of Hammersmith bridge and one from Chiswick. Or you can go to Richmond and get the train.

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