This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Schools similar to Alleyn's?(38 Posts)
Would love some advice please. ds is going into year 5 and we are starting to long list schools. Two of his teachers (class and English) have both said that Alleyns could be a really good school for him and after a bit of research I also think KGS could be good and ds's class teacher agrees. He is very arty (on a scholarship prep scheme at school) and also great at creative writing. He's good all round academically but has DCD so not at all sporty. He's polite and hard-working, very gentle and not the loudest boy but popular with the other kids as he's a good listener. I wouldn't say he'd suit a very high testosterone, sporty school or a hothouse as he's gentle and hard working anyway. Alleyn's sounds perfect but I'm aware just how popular it is, would love to hear suggestions for other schools we can apply to, at the moment we are just looking at KGS and Alleyns but would be good to have some other options too.
Go and see Alleyn's. It has many strengths.
I went there. I would not choose it for my DC; however everyone is different (it has probably changed a lot since the 80s when it was very definitely a hothouse)
Reading my post back, it looks very negative.
I went there on an academic scholarship, did very well academically and got into a great university. I played in sports teams and was in school plays etc. It really has a lot to offer.
Dulwich College might be another option (different strengths, but in same area of London)
Hi AnotherNewt no not definitely co-ed, but based on the fact that ds isn't sporty and is gentle/arty, plus he gets on well with girls (I was told by a number of girls in his class he's the only boy they don't hate!) I think he may be better suited to co-ed. I think he'd be fine in a boys school as long as it's suited to less Alpha type boys, he'd struggle in a really sporty school though. Thanks grumpy squash, we will definitely be going to take a look and one of my best friends also went to Alleyns on academic scholarship a long time ago, he absolutely loves it but also aware of how it has changed and in line with other London schools is probably significantly 'posher' than in his day.
Also grumpy squash may be worth mentioning that ds is pretty academic, it seems to come quite easy to him, so it depends on your definition of hothouse but I'm fine with him going somewhere academic but avoiding schools that are clearly very results driven (for example St Pauls).
Emanuel? Though they close their list early, not sure if it's already closed for his year.
I think it's worth going to look at Dulwich, all sorts of boys do well there.
Thanks both - AnotherNewt - yes interesting re Dulwich, met the head recently and he seemed like a very nice chap. I see Dulwich and Whitgift listed as comparable here on the forums a lot but got the impression that Whitgift is particularly sporty - would you say Dulwich is better of the two for someone like ds?
Trinity is often thought of as less alpha than Whitgift. Also very sporty like Whitgift but also very musical so i get the impression it is less of an issue if you're not sporty? I think Id look at all the schools youve mentioned and see what you think. When we did the year 5 longlist we were certainly able to rule schools out on fit for our ds/family and liked others more than expected etc.
I would think he'd be happier at a co-ed school from what you have said. Is Latymer too far for you? It might be worth a look.
Also, when I looked at Ibstock it didn't strike me as particularly sporty and academically it has improved a lot over the past couple of years.
Almost all the London day schools are going to be very sporty - but that doesn't mean only sporty children attend those schools. DD's co-ed (Emanuel) is considered to be very competitive at sport but not every child is madly interested in sport and it's quite clear the school values its chess players and academic scholars who represent the school in various literary competitions as much as they value the rugby players and rowers. The school is also very focused on art, music and drama and there are loads of plays, musicals, choirs and countless bands - jazz, classical, everything.
There is so much on offer that every child should be able to find a like-minded group of friends, and the opportunities are there for all children to excel in their chosen field. Like Ibstock the academic performance is improving year on year. Three years ago I really didn't think it was academic enough and was reluctant to consider it but I'm so glad I did because DD loves it. She is not super academic but there are a lot of very clever children there. It used to be a fall-back school for children who didn't get in anywhere else but is now getting children who have chosen it over Latymer because it doesn't feel so pressured.
It won't ever match the academic levels of the highest achieving schools because it is one of the few schools to retain a sibling policy which allows siblings to win a place with a lower 11+ score so there will be a wider range of abilities. The main thing is that the brightest children are challenged and stretched.
Thanks all and interesting re Emanuel - the only thing that puts me off with Emanuel is the compulsory religious element - they have to go to Chapel once a week? Ds is at the age of 9 an avowed humanist - something I'm not taking too seriously but I'd prefer a school with a less overtly religious ethos - as it is ds's current school is way more religious than I expected with fire and brimstone featuring in a school assembly I witnessed!
Also ds isn't allowed to play rugby because of his difficulties so a very rugby focussed school isn't ideal but I get the impression that Emanuel celebrates other skills too so hopefully his art will make up for his lack of sporting prowess.
We have already applied to sit the 10+ at Emanuel but this was more to practice for the 11+ but if ds does get in and absolutely loves it we will think about taking the place, although ds is very keen to stay on until year 6 at his current school.
Alleyn's, along with Dulwich College (and JAGS) are all part of the 'God's Gift' Foundation, have chaplains and regular services, in the same way as Emanuel does.
If that's a show-stopper for you, cross them all off your list now.
Crikey AnotherNewt I didn't know that. No, it's not a showstopper, but it's weird that I've only ever seen this mentioned as a criticism of Emanuel and not something anyone seems to discuss in relation to the other schools you mention, makes me wonder if it's more to do with Emanuel's historic rep as a 'fallback' school.
I don't think the religious side of things at Emanuel is particularly onerous. Both the chaplains are lovely and good fun.
The art at Emanuel is amazing and very original as you've probably seen on the video. DD has never been keen on painting so it's good that they can do so many different things and they also create all kinds of things in DT.
If your DS does pass the 10+ and loves it you'll be avoiding the 11+ nightmare! One of DD's friends at her prep did that and although she did feel a little sad to miss Year 6 she kept in touch with all her friends, was still invited to all the birthday parties of friends at her old school, and settled really well. I wish we had done that because I knew on my first visit it would suit DD down to the ground and, as I said above, I was a bit reluctant to start with, but that changed as soon as I actually visited the school.
They are very keen on their rugby and their rowing, but that suits some children, not all of them. 100 of the children were involved in this year's musical and drama is just as highly respected as the sporty stuff.
Please assure DS that they cover humanism in RE!!!!!
I'm wondering if part of the reason Emanuel became such a sporty school was because it was considered to be a 'fallback' school. If the children weren't going to do so well academically at least they could achieve on the sports field!
When I went to the open morning in 2014 the lovely man giving the talk (as the headmaster was away) said that their current Year 8s were streets ahead of where their Year 11s had been when they had been in Year 8, and it was moving up academically year on year. I think the same is true of Ibstock which jumped up the rankings by 60 places in one year.
There is such a demand for places in London it's now Kew House, Radnor House and More House which are taking children who would easily have got into Emanuel three or four years ago. These and some North Surrey schools are the current 'fallback' schools.
Thanks for that Cleo and yes agree, I don't think many people still consider Emanuel a fallback school. All of this very useful and I feel a bit better knowing we have a few schools now to look at!
My son is at Dulwich and they only go to Chapel 3 times a year. He is quiet, scholarly and hates sport but there is a niche for everyone there and he is thriving and happy. There are alternatives to rugby too. I would recommend it!
My son is at Emanuel and has generally managed to avoid Chapel most weeks, usually having a music lesson. They do have to do a short course RS GCSE though. However this is common to many schools.
DD actually enjoys the Chapel assemblies as she is in the choir and loves singing. I think being in the choir makes it more interesting.
Thanks all we have a list -
if you can suggest any others then happy to take a look but this gives us something to be getting on with!
I would start with those and then check out Ibstock and Latymer if you feel you need to see some more.
There aren't that many co-ed options!
DD didn't warm to Ibstock and neither did I, but she has friends there who love it. Latymer would have been quite a challenge, she didn't get offered a place and although I think it is a fabulous school I didn't feel it would really be right for her.
Three of her friends were offered places at Latymer but the two girls chose G&L and the boy chose KGS.
Is Latymer too far? Pupils come from far and wide, inc Southfields, Wimbledon and Kingston - or anywhere near a tube really. Not at all Alpha. Sport is most definitely there (rowing huge) but also very easy to duck out of . Quite edgy socially I would say, but fantastic curriculum and they seem to manage great results without a pressurised atmosphere.
Or Ibstock Place?
Yes I've added Latymer to the list, I had the impression it was more academic/harder to get into than Alleyns for example but ds's teacher says there's really not much in it these days. Ds has learning difficulties - mild speech problems and dyspraxia so Ibstock is out as apparently they say they absolutely don't deal with SEN! I went to look at it for ds at 4 and it wasn't for us tbh - a bit too sporty and ds really needs somewhere being arty/creative is cooler as that's his thing.