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Lambeth Academy

(24 Posts)
ClaphamMum123 Mon 23-Oct-17 11:41:15

We're fairly sure we're going to put this school top on our form and are fairly confident DD will get in (we're within the catchment) so I was just wondering if anyone had any recent experience? Just want to make sure there are no horror stories really grin

I've spoken to parents I know who have/had kids there who have all been positive, but I find people tend to be more honest online smile

ClaphamMum123 Mon 23-Oct-17 20:02:09

Anything? (Or even about other options?)

ClaphamMum123 Mon 23-Oct-17 20:03:18

(Though I see there's already a thread roaming round about those!)

CamperVamp Mon 23-Oct-17 20:29:38

What are your other options?
Lottery place at Kingsdale?
Close enough to any Wandsworth schools? Did she sit the Wandsworth test?
Any 'aptitude' places?
Any of the undersubscribed secondaries in Lambeth?

CamperVamp Mon 23-Oct-17 20:30:25

Not that I know of any reasons NOT to go to Lambeth Academy.

ClaphamMum123 Mon 23-Oct-17 21:35:43

We're closest to La Retraite but doubt DD would get in as we're not Catholic. Next closest is Chestnut Grove but we weren't impressed on the open day and a group who have bullied and targeted DD throughout primary school are all planning on putting it first (obviously if she and I loved it that would be a different story but as we're not wedded to it it doesn't seem worth it).

She did take the Wandsworth Test and got a very high mark, high enough for Graveney (assuming the cut off is around 255 as before) but when we looked around she didn't particularly like it again, and the journey would be somewhat odd (25 minutes walking and 5 minutes on public transport). We haven't looked at Burntwood so putting it down would be a risk because we have no idea whether we like it or not!

We've looked at Ark Bolingbroke and Trinity Academy and we both thought they were okay but weren't as impressed with them as Lambeth Academy. We just preferred the feel of Lambeth. I know there's also Ernest Bevin but we're over a mile away so I'm not sure she'd get in, and again we haven't looked so it'd be a risk. We're in the catchment for Durand Academy too, which we also haven't seen.

Currently we're thinking: Lambeth Academy, Trinity Academy, Ark Bolingbroke (in that order) as our top three - but are fairly confident of Lambeth. We're out of catchment for Dunraven, haven't looked at Kingsdale as we don't know anyone there and it'd be another odd journey (a sum of 25 minutes walking/10 minutes on tube), and I've never known anyone get in through the lottery.

CamperVamp Mon 23-Oct-17 22:46:37

I have one of my Dc at Graveney. It doesn't do well on Open day because of the old buildings and sprawly site but the teaching is excellent, lots of good quality extra-curricular, happy kids.

AveEldon Tue 24-Oct-17 08:22:53

Are you at a feeder primary for Bolingbroke?

Ernest Bevin is boys only

Have you looked at other journey options for Graveney?

Where are all the people from your primary aiming for?

Have you done the supplementary application forms for the Lambeth schools?

ClaphamMum123 Tue 24-Oct-17 09:10:56

CamperVamp it was actually the extra curricular variety that really impressed us about Lambeth! But also, she may have the opportunity to Graveney for sixth form (a few we know have done that). Neither of us are sure about the streaming system, in her words - "it sounds a bit weird". I understand sets but at DD's primary a lot of children are top set for maths and bottom set for English or the other way round so it doesn't make sense for there to be so little fluidity? Maybe I've misunderstood it.

I didn't even know that about Ernest Bevin! How funny grin we're definitely too far away and don't know anyone there so it's never been on our radar.

We're not a feeder for Bolingbroke - barely any (? Maybe none, I don't know any) from DD's school go there. Most go to Lambeth, Trinity, Chestnut Grove, and a small number go private or to Graveney/Burntwood.

As Graveney's in a different borough I take it we would not just put it say 3rd on our Lambeth CAF and instead have to fill in a separate Wandsworth form?

(PS Still looking for Lambeth Academy views!)

ClaphamMum123 Tue 24-Oct-17 09:16:38

And yes - we're on top of the Supplementary forms!!

SquirmOfEels Tue 24-Oct-17 09:20:03

You do need to accept that Bolingbroke is a very, very long shot for those other than DC at the (?) 6 feeder primaries even if you live right on top of it.

Yes, you put all your choices, in the order you want them, on the form you return to Lambeth.

I don't really know much about Lambeth Academy, most people I know are pitching for Graveney, happy with Bolingbroke and if they have DDs, then keen on Burntwood too.

thecatfromjapan Tue 24-Oct-17 09:32:03

The CAF form is pan-London, so, no, you don't have to put it on a separate form.

Extra-curricular at Graveney is very impressive, particularly in the area of music. If your child is interested in music, that should be a real consideration.

Lambeth Academy seems to do well by it's high-flying students. That said, the parents of the children I know who did well there tended to be very involved in the school (joining the governors, etc.). I don't know what it's like for children with less involved parents.

ClaphamMum123 Tue 24-Oct-17 09:36:48

The thing is if we put Lambeth first I'd be very surprised if we don't get it - most of the kids on our street go there! So I'm not that worried about the other schools, if that makes sense. I think Trinity is also quite safe, as is City Heights (and maybe Chestnut Grove? Though I'm not sure if the catchment is shrinking.) so we can afford to put one or two risks further down the form and it not matter if they come to nothing.

What are the pros or Burntwood? We haven't looked at it and haven't heard much about it.

thecatfromjapan Tue 24-Oct-17 09:40:29

I'm not sure I understand your thinking. Basically, if you put LA first, and you're in catchment, your child is going to LA. It doesn't really matter what you put after that.

I haven't hear any horror stories about LA.

ClaphamMum123 Tue 24-Oct-17 09:44:24

That was my point - I was responding to your comment about accepting Ark Bolingbroke as unlikely! We'll probably throw it in third/fourth but won't end up there not just because we're not at a feeder. I'm not very good with words so I'm probably not making sense.

I just want to check that we're not committing to a school only to discover in a month that it was a poor decision.

CamperVamp Tue 24-Oct-17 18:52:06

In all truth my own decision would be to put Graveney ahead of Lambeth. But that's only because I have one friend who felt her Dc was being allowed to be lazy and under-performing. I really don't know much about the school. You have visited - and liked it!

The sets and streams at Graveney do not wholly determine the sets they are in, some who get in on the test are in Upper, some who get in on distance are in Extension. They also look at SATs etc. and make sure that each child is in the right set. But it is all personal choice, and if you didn't get a feel for the school, and really like Lambeth, then it's great that your preferred choice is also the one you will almost certainly get into!

One CAF, list the schools in the order you genuinely prefer them. You will not lose out by putting a 'long shot' first.

Good luck!

thecatfromjapan Tue 24-Oct-17 19:55:24

If you are genuinely thinking about Graveney for sixth form, I'd put Graveney first at this point, to be frank. It's tricky swapping schools at sixth form.

Have you looked at TfL for other routes to get there? Most children travel to Tooting Broadway and catch the 57, or walk down/catch a bus from Tooting Bec.

CamperVamp Tue 24-Oct-17 20:13:34

On the other hand loads and loads of young people swap schools / colleges for sixth form.

And Graveney takes in a big cohort of newcomers into sixth form.

There are a lot of very strong sixth forms in S London, with different strengths. I’d cross that bridge when you come to it.

ClaphamMum123 Tue 24-Oct-17 21:09:38

Oh - I'm obviously not think in depth about sixth form, I was more just meaning it wouldn't be a door that was closed forever if she did change her mind. As CamperVamp said - a lot of teens I know have moved to Graveney for sixth form.

I'm just not sure being in an "upper" or "extension" stream would suit her - she comes from a very mixed primary, and she doesn't deal well with pressure. Very naturally bright and good at tests, but for the Wandsworth Test she did very little prep (she just, to quote, "liked the puzzles") and the best thing for her was to treat it like a game. She found her end of year 5 mock SATs incredibly stressful (lots of tears at ridiculously late times, I had to practically buy the corner shop out of chocolate!) even though I and her school have never put any pressure on her to achieve academically. I think she should be somewhere where she's not really pushed and she is at the top anyway - she needs self esteem more than she needs pushing to be honest. She'll push herself, and with anyone else pushing I'd worry about her mental health. I know many bright kids benefit from being stretched but I just think she's too fragile to be one of them.

AveEldon Tue 24-Oct-17 21:32:37

Have you looked at the progress 8 scores for the schools?

ClaphamMum123 Tue 24-Oct-17 22:19:04

Yes - Lambeth's is +0.1 and I'm satisfied with that, especially in light of the school's intake (I know progress 8 looks at that but often a child with low grades at the end of year 6 just won't make the same degree of progress, due to socio-economic factors and the way exams work, which impacts the statistics).

CamperVamp Tue 24-Oct-17 22:29:34

Yes, it sounds as if what can be a competitive streak in the top sets at Graveney might not suit her.

thecatfromjapan Tue 24-Oct-17 22:36:29

I would have loved to have found a very pastoral, low-stress school for dd. I'm not sure they exist in the state sector. sad

ClaphamMum123 Wed 25-Oct-17 18:03:20

That's what I felt. Competitive surroundings are definitely not what she needs.

The pastoral care at Lambeth seems pretty great - they have lots of mentoring (older/younger years) schemes and they're encouraged to do lots of extra curricular activities both at lunch and after school, and there's a lot of choice. She's particularly good at dance (she's even contemplating it professionally!), which there's a lot of, and she has tried and loved most sports and plays two musical instruments and wants to pick up a third, but doesn't like the idea of playing in a group or orchestra. I'm hoping channeling lots of energy into these means she'll have less left to stress out. The school had a very community feel about it, which I think will suit her. I just wanted to make sure this impression wasn't a million miles off!

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