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chiswick/wlf....anyone have children there?

(11 Posts)
Gowgirl Mon 20-Feb-17 14:57:45

Just what it says really I'm starting to research schools ready for ds (currently yr5, so I have a while) according to offsted chisick currently needs improvement, while WLF, Acton high and HP are all 'good' (I know I'm being wildly optimistic with HP). Does anyone have children at these schools? Are they happy? There is only so much you can learn from league tables and prospectuses and I'm trying to sort a rough order In my head before visits so I know what to ask.
Thankyou grin

mimbleandlittlemy Mon 20-Feb-17 22:09:25

To be facetious about it - yes 1400 people have children at Chiswick, of which I am one. I have a ds in Y10 and he is very happy there and doing very well and I have supported the school on other threads on MN. My ds is currently predicted 11 GCSEs at Level 7 or above in 2018 and did Latin GCSE in Y9, coming out with an A. He will do another GCSE this summer so will end up with 13 in all. Unlike many schools Chiswick currently works the timetable so if a child wants to do Geography AND History they can, without being forced to choose.

My ds is being pushed and extended both inside the school and via out of school projects such as the Brilliant Club. He is a Reading Mentor for a couple of Y7 boys who are struggling with their reading - and is using this as his volunteering for his DoE Bronze.

The school has had/has its problem - you can look on MN indeed and will find people with some - shall we say determinedly negative - opinions. The Ofsted was indeed Requires Improvement. If you read the Ofsted you will see the the Quality of Teaching, Learning and Assessment was Good and it undoubtedly is. Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare was also Good. The 16 - 19 year old provision was Good. It was the Effectiveness of Leadership and Management and Outcomes for Pupils that were RI and both of those are being swiftly addressed - I have noticed a huge change in the last year since the Ofsted and, indeed, in the last half term since the arrival of the Interim Head. As a school that RI, Ofsted have made visits since that report and the school is considered, by Ofsted according to the letter that was sent by Ofsted to parents, to be making absolute steps in the direction required to be out of RI at the next Inspection (which will almost certainly be this calendar year, if not this school one).

So - where does that leave it? The current interim Head is very impressive and is straightening out the serious kinks. She will only be there for two terms - perhaps more if they can't get the best candidate to take the school on but she says she is too old to take the Headship herself. The SEN department has been restructured - it certainly needed it. There is still a problem with Science - but Chiswick is not alone in having problems recruiting Science teachers. It has one of the best History departments by results in England and both History and Maths teaching is, I would say, inspirational.

There is a great mix of kids. Any bullying is stamped on immediately. Communication between teachers and parents is excellent. I have never not had an email answered the same day - and once or twice within minutes of sending.

The catchment has got smaller and smaller - a few years ago it was over 4 miles. It was down to just over 2 when my ds went and got smaller again the following year. Whether that changes this year because of the RI status we'll find out on 1st March. Whether, if the school goes back to Good that changes again will say more about people's slavish reading of Ofsted I think.

They are currently building a new block - the first new build on the premises for a long time which will give more classrooms and better facilities.

Yes - the school could do with some tweaks. Yes - it's not perfect but I think you will find a lot of parents who are very vocal in support and who show their support by sending all their children there.

If you want to know anything else, do feel free to PM me.

Gowgirl Mon 20-Feb-17 22:22:55

Thank you! That was more what I was looking for, my ds is not particularly academic but is middle range, I'm looking for a well rounded school where he can be happy and do well, the anti bullying stance is definitely a big plus as I was miserable through secondry and want to avoid that.

mimbleandlittlemy Tue 21-Feb-17 09:12:00

I think middle range achieves well there tbh - a friend of mine would say her child was distinctly middle range when he came in to the school and is now achieving really good results and she is really pleased with the way his brother, just gone in to Y7, is doing.

I am not completely rose-tinted about the place but it is serving us well. I don't know anyone who is completely in love with their school and that includes people with kids at the local privates like Latymer Upper and NH&E and Kew House. School is never perfect. There is movement between schools too - I've known kids leave WLF to come to Chiswick, kids leave Twyford to come to Chiswick, kids leave Chiswick to go to the Green School... it can be quite a merry-go-round but I think the chances are we will be sticking it out right through to Y13 so we are genuinely committed.

As I say - if there is anything else ask.

MrsGuyOfGisbo Tue 21-Feb-17 21:05:20

I worked at Chiswick in 2013-14 when it was 'outstanding' and it really wasn't!
Would steer clear if there is an option to go elsewhere.

GreenTrafficLights Tue 21-Feb-17 22:16:33

I have a child who I moved from chiswick to WLF. He was lost at chiswick. A middle of the road boy who was not sporty and he just got lost there. WLF has suited him much better and he has come on leaps and bounds academically.

I suspect that chiswick will have to merge into an academy chain soon so it will be interesting to see what chain it joins. That will have a big impact on its future.

Gowgirl Wed 22-Feb-17 09:14:09

What do you like about WLF greentraffic?
More how do you find the pastoral care and after school activities, the things you cant really gauge by the prospectus....

GreenTrafficLights Wed 22-Feb-17 13:31:15

It's the academic side that is most different. At West London they really keep on top of the academics, if a child is struggling or not doing their work this is quickly identified and the child is helped to get back on track. Kids are not left to coast and get lost in a sea of more able or more challenging kids. The pastoral side seems fine too, but we haven't tested that because he has been happy and was welcomed by a lovely group of kids and immediately encouraged to be involved in various activities.

Gowgirl Wed 22-Feb-17 14:07:38

Ds is prone to be lazy, although capable, he settled quickly into his current primary Last year and has a nice group of friends, so like most ten year old boys he's inclined to need a bit of prodding both at school and at home when it comes to homework.

mimbleandlittlemy Thu 23-Feb-17 10:43:16

Mrs Guy - when you worked there (rather briefly) the school was rated as Good not Outstanding. You regularly say stay clear but perhaps it's a bit different for those of us who have had kids in the school an awful lot longer than you actually taught there.

GreenTL - I think you would find the same is now true of Chiswick as far as keeping on the academics. There has been a complete change in how the children are being tracked and they are now down on a child who isn't up to target like a ton of bricks with immediate intervention.

GreenTrafficLights Fri 24-Feb-17 07:18:29

That is really good news Mimble.

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