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Secondary education

Anyone know Ibstock Place?

55 replies

refusetobeasheep · 11/05/2021 21:56

In Roehampton? Considering it for my daughter but I don't know anyone who has kids there. So any info / thoughts welcome!

OP posts:
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zebra15 · 15/05/2021 14:28

Hello, I'm an Ibstock Place School parent w a DC in Y8. I have very mixed views about the school. I know many other IPS parents do too. Generally the culture of the school is very rigid, old-fashioned with a fixed mindset. The issues are: 1) Lack of pastoral support; 2) Very strict, punitive approach - detention, detention, detention. A lot of stick no carrots; 3) Poor communications - very long, formal, dense written letters; 4) No parent engagement or community. e.g. PTA finds it difficult to organise a used-uniform sale. Very limited parent access. 5) Limited technology integration. Clunky online learning and limited innovation or future-thinking. New Head was previously the Deputy Head - it might have been better to bring in someone new with fresh ideas to bring IPS into the modern age.

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lamplightnow · 15/05/2021 22:57

"New Head was previously the Deputy Head - it might have been better to bring in someone new with fresh ideas to bring IPS into the modern age."

Agree.

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Cech21 · 16/05/2021 11:16

Zebra15 you say mixed views but I don’t hear any positives there?! What would you say these are? Thank you!

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zebra15 · 16/05/2021 13:17

Some positives are: 1) IPS students are generally lovely. Socially my DC is very happy and the children are well-behaved with very nice parents. Zero incidents of bullying. 2) Many of the teachers a very engaged, hard-working and get great results; 3) Wide range of sports, co-curricular activities. 4) Excellent facilities, more open space. 5) IPS is thinking about putting a bus system in place to make travel to Roehampton easier. IPS seems to be thinking about improving the lack of a PTA.

What many parents agree but won't say: IPS needs to improve its pastoral approach. Parent communication is terrible. There is often more negative, berating, harrowing of students and use of detentions rather than positive motivation. Their solution to the challenges of lockdown and "everyone's invited" is to bring in a number of external "bolt on" workshops/speakers and point parents to external web platforms. Head and Deputy Head were promoted internally under lockdown without an open recruitment process.

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GandTtime · 16/05/2021 21:05

Zebra15
You say that there is a lack of PTA, however you are a Senior 8 parent who has lived through almost 2 school years of lockdowns and world wide pandemic! I have been at the school for a few more years and I can tell you that the PTA has been very active in the past! Yes, it is about to be re-branded under the new headship but there has certainly never been a lack of it in the past!

As for detentions, I agree that it used to be very strict and punitive but has relaxed considerably in the last year. There also used to be a great deal of homework but again this has changed and as for communication between staff and parents, I have always found them exceedingly helpful and easy to get hold of! It sounds as if you may be attending a different school from the one I see.

As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day, but Ibstock is doing its best to do the right thing and improve its often old fashioned way of schooling under the previous head. Things will change and many for the better, but we have been very happy with the school and our DC are absolutely thriving and loving it.

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WhyNotNow21 · 17/05/2021 14:27

If they started a school bus it would be a game changer. So many people discount Ibstock because it's very hard to get to from some parts of London. Don't want to be driving my kid to school at secondary but bus or train would be hours long, even though we aren't actually that far away. It doesn't have good public transport links. It really needs a school bus.

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jonjoy · 17/05/2021 14:32

I have a DC at ibstock and I would would agree with some of what @zebra15 has said. The retirement of the head was too long coming and a great opportunity was missed in terms of bringing fresh new ideas, a more modern approach and shift in culture. I too find the school rule with the stick not a carrot and yes it's detention after detention and think that often the punishment is disproportionate to the crime. The individual teachers are mostly amazing and committed. The PTA has had a difficult time due to Covid so I don't hold any negative views on that. I find the communication to be improved recently. The facilities are good with excellent co curricular and sport

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Me3rcat · 21/06/2021 11:49

Sadly, I echo what @zebra15 said. I have a child in the senior school and it has been constant detentions with very little encouragement. There seems also to have been little to no acknowledgement of the impact of lockdown on the mental health of pupils. Wellbeing is outsourced to the TeenHub website. No onsite counsellor. Limited SEN provision. There are some excellent teachers, but unfortunately some have come through under the 'reign' of the previous Headmistress and are therefore culturally of an 'old world' of rigid Victorian teaching. Listening in on lessons during lockdown was eye-opening. IPS needs a shake up, and a cultural change, quickly.

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SM2021 · 21/06/2021 21:43

My son was at Ibstock from Year 7 to GCSE loved it great parents and kids the music department was excellent - got the best out of my child and those in his year, we moved to a 6th form boarding school just for new experience and stepping stone to UNi

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SunShineStateofMind · 22/06/2021 09:41

We decided to take our DC out of Ibstock Senior School for the same reasons listed above: petty discipline, negative detentions and a very rigid mindset. The world has moved on, but unfortunately Ibstock hasn't. Many parents are unhappy but the school leadership does not care/listen and papers over problems. Maybe it will work if your child is compliant, perfectly well-behaved and never takes a false step. If a child stumbles for any reason, the school is harsh/indifferent and pushes the family out. Agree with @Lenny100 on previous Dec 2020 thread: "Terribly negative atmosphere in the senior school, they have lovely kids and parents in the school but their spirits are crushed and such an emphasis on discipline and punishment rather than reward and positive encouragement.My child has found out that you can actually love school.Please be wary."

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putneyprincess247 · 30/06/2021 09:54

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Schoolgate225 · 29/07/2021 17:34

I have 2 DC at IPS and they are happy and thriving. The new head is making great efforts to increase the focus on wellbeing and taking feedback from parents on board. Academics are good, they are ambitious for children but not as pressured as other local schools and sport, music, drama etc is fantastic. Their remote provision and management through Covid has been excellent in a difficult situation for schools. Some people seem to be hung up on the school but our experience has been very positive.

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4Jasmine · 01/10/2021 10:37

IPS is a lacking pastoral care school ,new head do same way with old headmistress, no more change at all , my child is very unhappy there , said to me he feels pain every day, new head doesn't know how to respect children and parents.I will take my kid out of IPS. Huge agree with @Lenny100 on previous Dec 2020 thread: "Terribly negative atmosphere in the senior school, they have lovely kids and parents in the school but their spirits are crushed and such an emphasis on discipline and punishment rather than reward and positive encouragement.My child has found out that you can actually love school.Please be wary."

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theyregonnaknow · 03/10/2021 12:01

Good grief it sounds just like our local comp, not a school I'd voluntarily spend thousands of pounds in fees on! Utter madness.

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IndyCisiv · 03/10/2021 22:09

Goodness, really surprised by this thread. I have two children ar the school who absolutely love it there. We’re impressed with the new head and the committed teachers. Recent musical theatre production was a triumph and to me spoke volumes about the energy and buzz we see at the school.

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Groundhogday2021 · 04/10/2021 18:52

I do feel that this school gets a very bad press on mumsnet, but I know plenty of parents at the school who love it! Lots of them have children at other private schools and they say that IPS has much more committed, hard working teachers than other schools. I think it’s unfortunate that a few parents who haven’t liked it are so scathing about it. Not every school will suit every child and I do think the best thing parents can do is find another school that suits them as a family better and stop dragging the school down. No school is perfect but I only hear good things about this one, esp since the new head took over.

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maofteens · 06/10/2021 16:19

We looked at it for sixth form (starting this year). Unable to visit due to Covid, we watched the virtual open day film. My daughter turned to me and said 'no way am I going to that school'.
We had already registered and paid our application fee, I had emailed when the formal application process would start as we hadn't received anything. I got absolutely no reply and after my daughter's reaction we dropped it.
Interestingly, the girl who showed us around Francis Holland (where my daughter is now) was at Ibstock until sixth form. She said that she was one grade below requirement for taking one of her A levels and they wouldn't bend, so she left and had no regrets.

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pepperpige · 01/11/2021 21:35

I'm actually a sixth former at the school (my mum saw this post and thought it would be interesting to give a pupil's perspective) and I will say that throughout the lower school pastoral care-wise you could tell that many individual teachers were doing their best, but under the rules of the previous headmistress it was difficult for them to do anything. However, there is a notable difference with the new takeover of Mr Wolsey. Not only are they planning on getting a school councillor (something parents, teachers and students alike have been suggesting for years), but the faculty is actively giving the school more of an education on current issues such as sexism, racism, etc. in an age appropriate manner, and they seem to be making an effort to gauge pupil voice. Perhaps it is because the sixth form is better than the lower school, but both my friends and I have noticed a huge change in how comfortable we feel at the school. And I haven't even acknowledged yet how incredibly qualified most of the teachers are (especially for A Levels) and the incredible facilities for both music and drama (both things I have been avidly involved with due to Ibstock). It isn't perfect (is any school ever, though?) but it certainly seems to be striding in the correct direction :)

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scl1 · 30/12/2021 14:34

Does anyone have experience of Ibstock's "learning workshop" and what it might entail? - it's in their stage 1 11+ process. Thanks

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mumoftwo2010 · 17/01/2022 19:22

I have a son in senior 7 and he absolutely loves it. He started only knowing two other children yet has settled really quickly and made lots of friends from lots of different primary schools and Ibstock prep. We've found the teachers really engaging and responsive and they've been really nuturing and supportive of the kids as they transition to secondary. Homework is a little much at times but really delighted with the level and quality of teaching and son's progress. He loves it and we're really happy with the school - hoping our dd in yr 5 can get in next year:)

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LondonMom1 · 03/10/2022 15:02

Hi all,

I'd like to bring fresh views to the chat as some are preparing for their 11+.

I have a child in senior school. The detention issue is still there. Not only the children are hounded for any error but they are also making us, parents, feel horrible with their patronising and contemptuous emails. They have an army of staff in charge of telling kids off and telling us what they have done wrong. They get picked for anything.

Also, the school has turned completely WOKE. On period day Girls and Boys had to come to school in some red clothing. That was embarrassing for both Girls and Boys. Then there is LGBTQ+ day where you have to dress in colour.... which was also embarrassing for minorities...

They should better focus on academics, school trips and inspirational speakers instead of micromanaging pupils' minds and teaching their ideology.

The school also offers one trip a year for 60 kids randomly picked across two years. In other words, 30 out of 120 get picked per year. Parents and kids are really upset about this.


The pros:
They have moved to teams which seems easier but it is incredibly hard to know how they are doing as a lot of the work is done online and we do not often get marks.

There is a lot of sport and a wide range of clubs.

Finally, it is a good trade-off between a London day school and a boarding school as it is a big school with good facilities around.

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ChangeOver22 · 03/10/2022 16:04

@LondonMom1

Thank you for the update.

That sounds grim for £7k plus per term.

How can a school that charges that much only offer 30 kids a chance to go on a trip out of school? I’d suggest state schools manage a better record than that.

Can I ask if you were aware of these problems before applying but thought it might be ok by now or they became known to you only after your DC started?

Would you consider moving DC and if so to where?

We are in the area and considered it but the MN thread is off putting.

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LondonMom1 · 04/10/2022 11:26

Hi,

No, I was not aware of the school trips before and have not even thought about it when I joined.
All parents are on a class chat and this came up on many occasions. Same for detentions. Period day was also really frowned upon, especially from families with smaller kids at home as well as a couple of girls who found it humiliating.

Good luck with your school's applications.

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tedgran · 04/10/2022 11:37

My two older GCs went there, my DGS decided to go to boarding school for sixth form, my DGD went there after being unhappy at a girls only school, she stayed on for sixth form and was offered a place at every university she applied to. They were both very happy there.

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GandTtime · 05/10/2022 18:14

Poor Ibstock was frowned upon years ago for being too traditional and now too woke?!! It seems that it can’t please all of the people all of the time!

My children are there and have had lots of opportunities to go on school trips but I have heard on the grapevine that there is a particular year group that are constantly moaning about lack of trips… and then when they are offered they moan about the cost of the trip!! Again, school can’t win!

I would say to parents thinking of applying to look around it for yourself. Ask about trips/homework/discipline and if they don’t align with your values then don’t apply! Mumsnetters, historically, have often bashed this school despite many parents being very happy with it. My dc have had one detention between them in 5 years of being there! And warnings are given out first so not as if it is a surprise to the kids! I like the fact it has good discipline and my dc have learned by their mistakes along the way. Nothing wrong with that.

It is a very different school from the one we joined and they are truly listening to parents and pupils views. I hear lots of parents being equally unhappy with other (more prestigious) schools but they don’t seem to get bashed quite as hard. Maybe the parents are just grateful to be there. If parents are unhappy they should probably find a more suitable school but this is one family that is very happy with it 😊

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