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Up-to-date feedback on Holland Park, Chelsea Academy + West London Free School

(7 Posts)
Anomis Fri 24-Oct-14 09:22:26

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.

grunty Fri 24-Oct-14 13:21:15

I have a DD in year 11 at HP. I have posted about it but change name quite regularly. There is very high teacher turnover, very very poor comms with parents. The school is extremely strict and puts a lot of pressure on. Very narcissistic Head and SLT most of whom are male. Academically if your child is able they will do ok but the pastoral side is hit and miss. Very very limited choice in 6th form and less for GCSE than most schools that size. Don't be taken in by the plush building it is all for show, not functional for the kids - no lockers, no displays etc.

Chelsea Academy is quite low achieving and kids I know who left after year 11 thought teaching was a lot better in local 6th form colleges. The former head in my hearing) described the pupils as 'thick as planks'. It has the reputation of bad behaviour or rather they are less effective at dealing with it.

Anomis Sun 26-Oct-14 12:11:02

Thanks for your feedback. It doesn't sound very positive. confused Hoping for some other opinons too, especially on WLFS.

grunty Sun 26-Oct-14 18:42:28

Don't get me wrong they are still good schools. I think you should make your choice with your eyes open and not be taken in by glossy brochures or the Head's slick presentation etc. Re classical education, if your child is in the top sets he can certainly do Latin at HP. They also have a creative writing club at HP. I think though, that school suits the confident, outgoing "look at me" child. The shy, modest, not-in-your-face child tends to be overlooked. That may well be true of many schools though.

Re WLFS, I heard very positive things when it first opened. I know two children who currently go there (they both are involved in musical activities with my DD) and they say it is very disorganised, especially the music dept. They seem happy enough though.

Anomis Tue 28-Oct-14 09:10:20

I think all the top three offer slightly different things and they have their pros and cons like all schools. It's very helpful to hear some feedback so thanks again.

grunty Tue 28-Oct-14 12:13:47

Yes I think everyone has a different experience as well so it is very subjective. The admissions systems also don't guarantee a place at any of them. I think you have to go with your instincts and make the best decision on the knowledge you have.
HP was my daughters last choice. She has done ok academically and has some lovely friends but she finds the school unnecessarily strict and pushy.
My experience as a parent is coloured by the extraordinarily bad communications and feedback. I have also dealt with exceptionally rude and unhelpful staff in admin and Student Services.
My daughter will attend Sixth elsewhere and I am relieved she is leaving.

sixthform220998 Sun 16-Nov-14 19:34:30

My son will start sixth form in Sept 2015. His current top two schools of choice are Holland Park and Harris Westminster.He/I would love some comments/guidance on HP and possible HW( which may be harder as it's new)

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