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Please tell me everything there is to know about Holland Park school (personal experience please rather than just hearsay)

(30 Posts)
Whyisitallsostressful Mon 04-Feb-19 22:32:11

We have applied to a mix of state and private schools for our DC.
The most likely state we’ll be offered is Holland Park School and at the moment I’m trying to weight up pros & cons of taking up a private option given that HP gets good results.
Obviously we did the school tours everywhere we applied, but the very polished presentation of a school at its best doesn’t necessarily give a picture of the reality of going there.
I’d love to hear from parents who have children going there now. The good and the bad would be much appreciated!

OP’s posts: |
richmondmama Tue 05-Feb-19 12:03:08

I have no personal experience of the school but however good it may consider itself, I would be very interested to hear how they can justify the outrageous salaries they are paying - money which should be for the benefit of the children....

schoolsweek.co.uk/investigation-meet-the-head-paid-260k-to-run-one-school/

Bowchicawowow Tue 05-Feb-19 12:06:25

How fucking outrageous that so much money is being spent to educate posh London kids. The system in the UK is shit.

dogsaretheworld Tue 05-Feb-19 12:08:47

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dogsaretheworld Tue 05-Feb-19 12:11:30

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LovingLola Tue 05-Feb-19 14:10:22

I’ve reported that last post.

LondonBelongsToMe Tue 05-Feb-19 14:29:16

given Hunt's children aren't even primary school age (or may just be by now), that last post is utter nonsense. And right to be reported

Babyboysarenowbig Tue 05-Feb-19 14:44:39

Isn’t his son 9....

Whyisitallsostressful Tue 05-Feb-19 15:27:41

While the discussion around appropriate levels of salary for a headteacher might be an interesting one, avoiding background noise, such as that link, was exactly the reason I asked for personal experience.
How much a headteacher is paid and whether you agree or disagree with it, simply isn’t helpful to me when I’m trying to make an informed decision. Money being spent on posh London kids is also factually incorrect as the demographic of the school is such that there is a good mix of children from poor and affluent backgrounds!
I would genuinely like to know if children are happy at the school? Whether it nurtures individuals? Whether there are issues with bullying?

OP’s posts: |
richmondmama Tue 05-Feb-19 16:14:05

I would suggest that the level of salary paid not just to the Head but to several other members of the school leadership (as set out in the Trust accounts), is very much more than "background noise". Academies are granted public funds to educate children, and the more of those funds that go to "nurturing" the bank accounts of managers, the less there will be available for "nurturing" the children, meeting SEN and pastoral needs etc.

Bowchicawowow Tue 05-Feb-19 16:23:04

Haha. The kids mentioned in previous posts are definitely not London posh kids grin

dogsaretheworld Tue 05-Feb-19 16:54:36

Sorry it's not Hunt, some other politician that I thought at the time was something to do with Education, can't actually remember his name. But everything said is entirely factual of what happens at the school.

The salary of the staff I was unaware of but all I do know is my partner had only 2 years and was able to argue to climb up the scale quicker as they do a lot for who they consider a good fit.

For their christmas meals the staff get given an envelope with their name on it to put a 'donation' in towards the school cooked lunch for charity and then it was highly discussed who contributed more.

dogsaretheworld Tue 05-Feb-19 16:56:45

A few of the kids were in the Grenfell disaster, they're not all posh as those with more money tend to go private. There's some very high earners mixed with low earners.

I have no idea about bullying, all I know is that if you want your child to definitely have a teacher consistently throughout the term that doesn't leave due to stress/being pushed out (v common) this isn't the right place. My DP had to leave 4 months before his classes A Levels.

Their Progress 8 score is -0.14. Shocking.

Ontopofthesunset Tue 05-Feb-19 17:04:36

A Progress 8 Score of -0.18 is not shocking. It's average. I know much more about the way progress in primary school is calculated, but I wouldn't be put off a school by an average progress score as the calculations are very blunt. The other data looks fine to me and without knowing detailed cohort breakdowns it's all a bit 'finger in the wind' to be honest; the progress score itself wouldn't worry me excessively.

jeanne16 Tue 05-Feb-19 17:36:19

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hillbilly Thu 07-Feb-19 10:56:25

My DD goes to this school. She's very happy there. There is a very diverse mix of students. It's academically rigorous and behaviour management is very good. As far as I know there is very little bullying.

Homework marking is thorough and comments left for the students on how to improve if necessary. The teaching staff are mostly quite young and I don't doubt that can be unreasonable expectations for staff.

There are ample extra lessons available after school and students are expected to attend if needed. Prior to exams they have additional interventions on Saturday mornings. Multiple after school activities both for sport and other. Also Saturday morning sport for those interested.

All in all, and given the other options available in the state sector locally we are very happy with it. I will add that DD isn't particularly academic and struggles sometimes but she is happy and has good friends.

Whyisitallsostressful Thu 07-Feb-19 23:01:20

Thanks hillbilly that’s really helpful information. I have heard people say that it’s a strict school by way of criticism, but I would see that as a positive as long as the rules and expectations are made clear.

Other comments left above suggest that school trips are only available to band A pupils. Can I ask whether you have found this to be the case with your DD? Are opportunities limited for the children who don’t make band A?

OP’s posts: |
hillbilly Fri 08-Feb-19 17:17:15

There are lots of trips, some related to subjects (languages, geography, history etc) and then there's also a sports trip, numerous choir trips, DofE. They don't have anything to do with the banding.

Whyisitallsostressful Wed 20-Feb-19 15:58:34

Hillbilly, sorry to bombard you with questions, but hoping you might be able to tell me:
(1) which subjects are they set for or do they work within their banding all the time?
(2) which languages are offered for GCSE options? - I should have asked on the tour, but forgot!
(3) are tutor groups within years or vertical?
Thank you!

OP’s posts: |
hillbilly Fri 22-Feb-19 17:46:37

In answer to your questions:
1. The students are banded based on English, Maths and Science collectively- for good or for ill - I personally don't agree with it but it seems to work out. The are taught all subjects in that band. However bands 1 & 2 are pretty much identical except band 1 do Latin. Band movement- up or down - can happen termly, however one set of exceptional or disappointing exams results would not be enough for a band change.
2. GCSE languages offered are French or Spanish (or Latin for band 1). You are asked to express a preference when you receive the welcome pack a few months before starting. No guarantee that you will get your preference if one is oversubscribed. Language GCSEs are taken in year 9.
3. Tutor groups are vertical.

richmondmama Fri 22-Mar-19 09:55:47

For those of you still in any doubt about the priorities at Holland Park School:

schoolsweek.co.uk/holland-park-school-spent-15k-on-luxury-paint-and-6k-on-posh-candles/

The fact that this information was provided to Schoolsweek by a "whistleblower" tells you all you need to know about what must be a fairly toxic school culture....

Artbum Sat 23-Mar-19 10:51:05

Richmondmama why are you so obsessed with HP? You say yourself you have no personal experience. There was a lot of money sloshing around from the sale of part of the site and spending it on image or salaries is up to the school whatever you think. They are not taking it from the kids.

My younger daughter went there and it was by no means perfect but Mr Hall and his staff dragged it up from being the neighbourhood sink school to now being extremely desirable. Frankly if the school wants to spend money on image, they have been successful in selling it to the families now applying. The demographic has completely changed in the last few years.

Ivegotthree Sat 23-Mar-19 19:49:40

That is an appalling waste of money.

JAK10 Wed 24-Apr-19 18:46:23

I am also looking at HP for my son. Does anyone have recent experience of doing the art aptitude test?

bosnianmum Wed 08-May-19 15:38:47

I also have a question about Holland Park School. Does anyone know if they do home visits after students have been offered a place?
Thank you

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