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Desperate for school advice -PLEASE!!

(14 Posts)
Lostaussie Sat 25-Jun-16 07:00:17

We are looking at relocating as expat from Australia to London and are totally lost with respect to school options. Our preference is for a British school but we are keeping international schools as a backup option. I have 2 dds - 11 and 13. They are above average academically but not top of their class. Our ideal school would have a strong focus on getting the best out of each child academically but also enriching them through extra curricular activities and building a sense of confidence and independence. We are likely to be living south west but can adapt depending on the school location.

I would really be grateful for view on the following schools (I realise none of these are top academic schools - due to timing, we won't have a lot of choice):

- Kew House
- Portland Place
- Claire's Court
- Radnor House
- North Bridge House Senior school

Our international backups are:

- international school of London
- Southbank Westminster
- ACS Hillington

I have read everything about all these schools on MN but I'm finding it hard to compare. Would be very interested in people's recommendations (positive and negative).


Needmoresleep Sat 25-Jun-16 08:37:25

It seems like a reasonable selection given your circumstances and the pressure on 11+ places.

Where do you want to live? If you fancy a nice leafy suburb like Richmond, Kew/Radnor House would be obvious. If somewhere central like Chelsea or Marylebone, then Portland. To some extent schools reflect their catchments.

Lostaussie Sat 25-Jun-16 10:37:24

Thanks needsmoresleep. We are thinking of the Chiswick area. Does anybody have any specific feedback on any of these schools?

TeenAndTween Sun 26-Jun-16 12:39:19

You might get more response if you ask MN to edit your title to include London Prep(?)/Private Schools in the title.

Cleo1303 Tue 28-Jun-16 14:27:46

I would also ask them to include W/SW London in the title, and Secondary Schools.

Kew House opened three years ago. Four of DD's friends from prep started in year 7 last year and as far as I know all the children are happy. As it's new the extra-curricular activities/facilities aren't as good as some other schools but I gather the owners of the school are pretty ambitious.

I know only a couple of parents with children at Radnor House who like the school but it is not particularly academic. However, all the children are encouraged to do their best.

I really don't know anything about the schools you mentioned.

There is also Marymount International School in Kingston, but I'm afraid I don't know very much about it.

Cleo1303 Tue 28-Jun-16 14:29:24

Sorry, I phrased that badly. I meant to say I know only a couple of Radnor House parents and they both like the school ....

Katnisnevergreen Tue 28-Jun-16 21:19:42

Have you considered Woldingham? Only 30 mins from Victoria by train and has its own station. Very nurturing and about the individual as well as academia

Davros Tue 28-Jun-16 21:27:01

We are happy with NBH senior. It doesn't have the status of some schools but is perfectly good academically, great premises and location, happy co-ed pupils

livinglooney8 Wed 29-Jun-16 18:13:40

I'd avoid Kew House and Portland Place. I would look at state options instead of these.
ACS Hillingdon has a good reputation.

Cleo1303 Wed 29-Jun-16 20:19:43

Hi livinglooneyy8

I'd heard Kew House was quite good and suggested it a couple of times. Is there anything in particular to worry about? If there is I'd rather not recommend it.

Mumofthree1976 Thu 30-Jun-16 10:44:35

We live in Chiswick and have friends with children at Kew - they love it and are all in awe of the Headmaster. He has great vision for the school and the children there are all very happy. I also know two children who joined mid-term as they were not happy at their rather selective secondary private schools and are now flourishing. Chiswick is a lovely part of West London and the journey to Kew is a fairly easy one on the tube. If you/your children will be new to London - do think of ease of travel as London can be quite daunting when it comes to getting on tubes/trains for young children.

livinglooney8 Thu 30-Jun-16 19:42:14

Look at staff turnover/retention for a start and have a look at the schools at dropping off/home. They might suit a child who doesn't fit in easily at other schools and I don't doubt that children are happy there. Often they are for children who can't get places elsewhere for a variety of reasons and parents are grateful. It's fine if you prefer slightly alternative schools that are considered second rate to the other local independent schools. And yes, Chiswick is lovely, as is Kew. Many schools operate as a business first.

mary21 Thu 30-Jun-16 19:52:10

Not really in your search area but city of London Freemen says it has year 9 places on its website.
Are you looking for this September?
Dont forget London has some schools that are very selective ang high acheiving. Many other schools have bright pupils and middling ones who will do better than expected ones

mary21 Thu 30-Jun-16 19:54:22

That should read better than expected

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