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Any north londoners with views on William Ellis School?

(7 Posts)
naxa Wed 24-Sep-08 16:40:02

I found out that we may be within the catchment area for William Ellis school in Camden and was wondering if anyone had any views on it?

DS is sporty, musical and general all-rounder. We are outside the catchment for most of the other popular schools in the area(incl. Acland Burghley) and with the intense competition for selective schools (and ds' lack of desire to spend evenings going through old test papers!) I feel I need a back-up option...

As we don't live on the doorstep of the school, I hardly ever see the boys coming in or out of school and so don't even have a superficial opinion. Any local insight or views would be much appreciated!

lazymumofteenagesons Thu 25-Sep-08 15:42:31

I know a couple of people with sons there, including one who is a teacher in indepenent school.
The boys I know who went there came out of my sons prep school, so this is not a very good example.
Like any inner london comp they seem to have a big mixture of kids and results. But all I can say is most of these parents could have afforded private school and chose WE.
It is better thought of than Ackland Burghley.

frogs Fri 26-Sep-08 08:13:56

Naxa, we're considering WE as well, having found that we may be in the catchment. We are definitely within catchment for AB, which I actually rather liked -- what you see hanging out round the tube station at lunchtime doesn't really reflect what goes on in the school.

WE has had a bit of a financial crisis recently, so I'm guessing the intake area may widen. Apparently the music places are not as contested as the selective schools, so might be worth a punt. There's a family on my road with two ds's, one of whom is at Highgate, the other at WE -- I don't really know the mum to speak to, but am planning to doorstep her and ask.

It's more formal than AB, if that's what you're after. I like the fact that they do more languages than many other schools.

naxa Fri 26-Sep-08 13:27:16

ooooh, all sounding a bit more positive than I thought - except the financial crisis part of course.

DS likes a bit of structure in life wink but he's also very social and apt to go with the flow, so I'd prefer a school that's a bit more formal. Any ideas how WE is on sport? I think I could persuade DS into any school I wanted as long as he believed they were strong at sport!

Frogs, would be very interested to hear what your neighbour says. Highgate and WE seems an unusual mix, so I'm guessing there's either a strong personality factor in the equation, or finances are playing a large role....

frogs Fri 26-Sep-08 13:35:38

Naxa, I have a feeling the neighbour's WE boy has some kind of SN, though don't know more. Bit of a tricky subject to raise, but am def going to try to cross her path at the next opportunity.

My ds sounds like yours -- good wth structure and loving sport. His 1st choice is going to be QEB I think, but obv you can't count on getting in, so need a good backup. We'd def get into AB, so need to think about whether we'd prefer WE. Are you going to any of the open days next week?

Ds is only in Y5, so we have another year to go. Having established the local options are not so terrible that we need to move house (phew!) I'm feeling a great deal more relaxed about it. But I guess I'll have to drag myself round one of the WE open days next week. [knackered emoticon]

naxa Fri 26-Sep-08 14:53:09

frogs, can't stand the whole open day malarkey and ds not interested in sitting listening to headteachers so will be missing the shows next week.

I'm not too keen on QEB for my ds but opinion coloured by ds of a friend who went there and left (used to being top of set and suddenly middle to bottom, none of friends went there and couldn't relate to the others). Will put DS up for entrance exam as practice for other schools though (unless he finds out that QE don't play football and he refuses to even go for the exam!)

ra29 Fri 26-Sep-08 19:15:33

My ds started WE this term in yr 7 and so far so good. We looked at QE boys and personally I couldn't stand it. It felt pretentious and uninspiring.WE, I found much more lively and so it was our 1st choice. When DS went to WE for his trial morning however, he came out really anxious and I thought I had made a terrible mistake. He is small, clever and has glasses and so my fear was that he might be bullied etc. However it has been fantastic. Yes the intake is mixed- which is what I wanted but he has come home really stimulated, talking about things in a riveted way that he never did at his lovely primary school. He has made some good friends already and seems happy. He has seen a couple of fights already which has shocked him a bit but the school are pretty hot at dealing with problems and I suppose these things do happen in inner city schools. So far I still really think I made the right choice. There has been a financial crisis and I think this year the intake may have been a bit effected by this but there's a new head who comes from a school with outstanding ofsted.
It's right by the heath so I think there's opportunity for good sport but I'm not sure how brilliant as my ds is not that sporty although has enjoyed all the sport so far. It's supposed to be more structured than some of the others and they're big on uniform (not really my thing but I know many think it's important). Their gcse results weren't brilliant this year but I have friends who's kids got all A's so it shows kids can do well. It's early days for my ds and I'm not completely over all my anxieties but I think starting secondary is scary anywhere and the people I know with boys further up the school are very happy with it. I was told ds wouldn't have a problem with getting into private schools like UCS and I had offers of financial help but I really wanted him to mix with everyone and develop the confidence that I think goes with that.

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