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St Dunstan College- Catford and The Charter School North Dulwich

(46 Posts)
Luna9 Fri 16-Sep-16 13:09:13


I am considering these 2 secondary schools for my DD.

I went to see St Dunstans and it gave me the impression it is a happy school. DD is sporty and creative, likes arts, hard worker and is doing well at school but likes having fun too. I would appreciate any comments from parents with children attending this school.

Our closest state school is The Charter school in North Dulwich but I am concerned they don't have much in terms of extra curricular and sport activities; not sure about arts. Can anybody with children there give me an honest opinion.

Thank you

janinlondon Fri 16-Sep-16 13:24:44

Have PMd you OP.

Luna9 Fri 16-Sep-16 13:37:06

Thank you very much

Luna9 Fri 16-Sep-16 21:33:44

Bumping for more opinions

Luna9 Sun 18-Sep-16 06:46:57

Any other parents with children at any of these schools ?

chameleon43 Mon 19-Sep-16 10:38:32

St Dunstans doesn't have a great reputation locally?

janinlondon Mon 19-Sep-16 13:54:26 there anything a bit more useful you could add to that chameleon?

chameleon43 Mon 19-Sep-16 14:07:52

Well - it has poor results and has never been know to turn anyone away.

I appreciate the OP is looking for an all round school that is not an academic hothouse, but St Dunstans is really going a long way in the other direction.

ApocalypseSlough Mon 19-Sep-16 14:09:58

Which is the easiest journey? If you go for Charter you could spend the fees you've saved on extra curricular. Have you applied though? The Catchment is tiny.

janinlondon Mon 19-Sep-16 14:10:51

Chameleon they are ranked 150 in the UK based on their most recent GCSE results. Is that what you mean.......?

janinlondon Mon 19-Sep-16 14:11:53

A school that never turns anyone away that can achieve 150th in the country would be a bit of a shocker, surely.........?

chameleon43 Mon 19-Sep-16 14:20:30

am gathering you're a parent then!

I don't really go by the league tables - so many schools choose not to participate that to say a school is 'top ten' or whatever is meaningless.

So if you were 150th - where were all the other local independent schools in comparison? And how many other London independent schools were below you?

janinlondon Mon 19-Sep-16 14:57:04

Chameleon you are right - in terms of academic achievement there is no comparison with the academic hothouses. Dunstans only has 62% A*/A at GCSE, compared with 92% at Alleyns or JAGS. But I think to say it has a poor reputation is a bit much, without any real basis....?

Luna9 Mon 19-Sep-16 22:24:55

Thank you

We have not applied yet; going to the open days in the next 2 weeks for both schools. I read old threads about St Dunstans and all the comments were positive. It would be good to have more recents opinions from other parents as the threads were a few years old.

We are within 600 meters of the Charter; facilities and extra curricular activities put me off a bit; I would like to hear opinions from parents with children there. My DD loves arts.

I like Alleyns too but I feel it may be too competitive and feel concerned about the social aspect ( classmates coming from lots of different parts of London); plus the increase in fees every year seems a lot compared to other schools.

AnecdotallyChallenged Tue 20-Sep-16 19:59:29

OP people regularly move to be that close to Charter. I know quite a few.... it's where everyone wants their kids to go to if they live round there and can't afford/don't want independent school.

Doesn't mean it's perfect though. There are more schools than those two though ;-) visual arts bursaries at Chestnut Grove in Balham (you missed the deadline for 2017 entry for that though) and also the Norwood School.

Luna9 Tue 20-Sep-16 22:00:45

Thank you very much Anecdotally. Hope we are still ok for the Charter. Will se what DD thinks after the opening days for both schools

Luna9 Tue 20-Sep-16 22:02:26

By the way; I know there are more schools but don't want her to be commutting a long way; will look at the schools you recommended though

Blu Tue 20-Sep-16 23:04:57

Knowing a wide diversity of parents in the area, including Dunstan's, independent-but-not-Dunstan's, Alleyn's , Jags and DC, and all the local state schools, I have never heard of Dunstan's (or charter, for that matter) having anything like a 'bad reputation'.

chameleon43 Wed 21-Sep-16 12:10:25

Ok maybe you all know a different crowd from me. For the vast majority of people I know, they wouldn't consider St Dunstan's - simply because if you want a non selective, more comprehensive style of independent school, there are other options with better facilities and better results.

I can't comment on Charter.

ApocalypseSlough Wed 21-Sep-16 13:11:51

Where Chameleon?
I agree with Blu

chameleon43 Wed 21-Sep-16 13:28:38

Colfes is the one that seems to get the vote

Luna9 Wed 21-Sep-16 13:50:04

I understand some parents think that if they are going to pay fees they may as well pay for the best so decide to go for schools which are highly regarded as Alleyns, DC, JAGS, etc and discard St Dunstans which I believe is a good school but not as highly regarded as the other ones.

Colfes is a bit far from us.

Blu Wed 21-Sep-16 13:59:13

I would say Colfe's doesn't figure much on the radar of many people living on the west side of the Charter intake, for example. I know people with children at Colfe's but they are more S/SE. It's just a geographical thing.

In the end chat and reputation, especially amongst parents who seem invested in bigging up their own schools as is common, are not a basis on which to make a decision. Looking at the teaching , teachers, style, ethos, curricular emphasis etc etc as a good fit for your child are what matter. Obviously.

I have noticed that other independent schools local to me attract unquantified / unqualified disparagement and I wonder sometimes whether it is parents of other schools making sure the status of their v selective academic competitive school is kept up.

ApocalypseSlough Wed 21-Sep-16 14:43:05

Colfe's would be 2 buses including a change in Lewisham and over an hour. StD is direct bus to the door.

yy Blu there's a ridiculous amount of schools uptalking.

janinlondon Wed 21-Sep-16 15:36:29

Colfes is indeed a very good school, with great extra curric and very good pastoral care. But it is a distance from E Dulwich by public transport. And the GCSE results were the same (62% - identical) as Dunstan's. I agree with Blu and Apoc - each school will have something to offer a particular child. No one school suits everyone. Is NO ONE going to tell the OP about Charter though? I cant believe there isnt a Charter mum on here somewhere??

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