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Re: Looked After Children- schooling advice

by firsttimerSW11 » Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:49 pm

If I could choose any school in Wandsworth, it would be Honeywell or Belleville.

Re: Looked After Children- schooling advice

by JGB » Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:18 pm

Thank you so much everyone, for all your invaluable advice. Lots to discuss with my husband and we will be booking as many visits as possible for a fully rounded view. It's really great to read your views and personal experiences; something that's not easy to acquire. As we progress and discover the full extent of our child's needs, we will use this information and the suggestions kindly shared, to inform our decisions. Aboyandagirl, I will take the liberty of sending you a private message soon. Thank you, thank you.

Re: Looked After Children- schooling advice

by aboyandagirl » Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:09 pm

Hi there

We adopted two children in 2012 and got both into a local state school. Before the children were placed we went to visit several of our local schools and went with the one we felt was the most receptive to our needs.

Go and visit, meet the Headteacher and the SENCO, they will become your best friends for the next 6 years!

Ask if they have any other LAC's at their school if they do they will know what to expect.

Personally, I think state schools are better with/for LAC's than private, that's just my opinion, and it's because state schools tend to have a more diverse mix of kids. Also, they will have a greater chance of having more children like them in school. Our school - which is single intake - has at least two more adopted children in school, plus lots of kids with SEN.

We went with a faith school in the end because they really went above and beyond to help us out, and I liked the SENCO enormously. We had 3 OFSTED Outstanding schools local to us and we could have gone anywhere but we chose our school for lots of different reasons.

PM me if you want more info? Happy to chat more but obviously it's tricky on a public forum.

Our son is off to secondary school in September, I can't believe how quickly the time goes! It's a whole new set of challenges!!!

Good luck with it all, you're doing an amazing thing!

Re: Looked After Children- schooling advice

by Mummyinarush » Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:19 pm

Hello! I was going to recommend you go and talk to Mr Croft at Ravenstone to seek his advice, but I can see Mumof3Balham beat me to it! :lol:

She is quite right - there are lots of excellent options in Balham, the key is to find the right fit for your child. I would visit as many schools as possible and trust your gut feel on where your child will be happiest.

The staff at Ravenstone are very supportive and accommodating of different needs. I’ve observed teachers introducing new activities and support to cater to children’s individual requirements (including involving parents in the school day when required, engaging additional support staff and arranging extra activities). They would certainly have experience with looked after children and can offer small class sizes (currently circa 20 in Reception) along with a personalised approach.

Wishing you lots of luck on the exciting journey ahead. Sending your child to school for the first time is stressful but wonderful! ;)

Re: Looked After Children- schooling advice

by Mumof3Balham » Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:33 am

Dear DJG,
As with everyone else it's wonderful you are adopting a 5 year old. I think the important thing to consider with schools in this situation is what is your new child used to, does he have any issues that need sensitive handling etc and what sort of environment will put him most at ease. One of my friends had her own child with some minor behavioural issues and found the private schools not good at coping with it - he went to several before going to a state primary where he was much much happier and has recently got into a leading private secondary school so it gave him all the right foundations!

From a state perspective I have a friend who adopted a 3 year old and he has been at Earlsfield Primary - they are incredibly happy with how he is doing and the support they have received. I also have personal experience of 2 great state schools with my own kids- Rutherford House and Ravenstone. Ravenstone has in the past had poor press as it went through a tricky period (my kids were there during that time). But the Head Joe Croft is amazing - I would definitely advise meeting him. He is the most supportive and inspirational primary school head I have met in the state or private sector. Some people are put off by the lack of uniform but I've found it makes my daughter in particular completely disinterested in clothes! The teaching is good and the have great SEN support if you need it, it's really inclusive. And if you are worried about secondary schools the kids generally get into where they want to - yes a lot go to Chestnut Grove as that's where they want to go but to give an example this year the yr 6 are going to Jags , Alleyns , Whitgift , Streatham and Clapham, Emmanuel, selective places at Graveney, Greycoat School as well as many others.

Rutherford House is also good - keen on high standards, quite strict and the kids all seem really happy - still only up to year 4 as it's a new school so can't judge where kids will go to. Lots of after school clubs and a great parent network. The head - Mrs Mallett, is a strong character - she has a couple of adopted kids of her own as well as her own children so she could also be a good person to speak to.

The most sought after state primaries in Wandsworth have always been Honeywell and Belville - we have lots of friends with kids there and all have been really happy. But I can't comment on how they would support an adopted child and as you have missed reception class you may struggle to get in even though you would be first on waiting list.

Now my eldest is at secondary school (independent following state primary) I can reflect on the main differences between state and independent primary - one of the good things of state is they get to mix with kids from all walks of life and all abilities - a good grounding for working life and also helping them to realise that not everyone is born with great priviledge. They are not pressurised with lots of homework from reception (which they seem to be in the private sector)- and are able to be children more and play - yet they still get into the same schools afterwards. On the downside there is not so much sport on tap - which means you have to seek that out for them at the weekends and after school.
Hope this helps and good luck - go and see a few - look beneath the surface for happy confident kids.

Re: Looked After Children- schooling advice

by 2009Kat » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:24 pm

Congratulations! I can't comment on specific schools but I think that a looked after child goes to the top of admissions priorities for most state schools which may be helpful (ie with a 5 year old, I assume you'd be looking for a reception/Y1 place so would jump to the top of the waiting list for any particular school). Probably worth calling round schools as hard to say without knowing what your child will need in particular and whether any outside agencies involved. Best of luck, hope she/he settles in well

Re: Looked After Children- schooling advice

by JGB » Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:50 am

Bunnypigeon1 wrote:Good for you, what an amazing thing to do for a child.
I have no direct experience but my children are at Eaton house and they have always been able to help with additional needs arising from medical conditions, etc. Worth giving them a call. I’m sure all schools would be keen to help your child get up and running as smoothly as possible.
Thank you very much, Bunnypigeon. We certainly will do our very best to make life as secure and loving as imaginable for our little person. I will contact Eaton House and eventually feed back to you.

Re: Looked After Children- schooling advice

by Bunnypigeon1 » Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:10 am

Good for you, what an amazing thing to do for a child.
I have no direct experience but my children are at Eaton house and they have always been able to help with additional needs arising from medical conditions, etc. Worth giving them a call. I’m sure all schools would be keen to help your child get up and running as smoothly as possible.

Looked After Children- schooling advice

by JGB » Sat Mar 17, 2018 3:12 pm

Hello there,

As a new poster on here, I would be very grateful for any advice from parents with experience of schools both state and private ( at this stage mainly primary) that have some or good experience with Looked After Children. My husband and I are adopting a five year-old child and are looking for the best possibilities to help our child feel nurtured and included by teachers who are willing to give them any extra help needed, and where the general atmosphere would be welcoming among their peers. We live in the Wandsworth Common/Trinity Road area so any school within a three-mile radius would be handy.
Many thanks for any help provided.