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Re: Looking for non-selective private secondary or prep

by swstepford » Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:18 pm

Just a note as this is a much read thread and my daughter’s school is holding early bird open mornings tomorrow and 3rd July - on the edge of Balham and a school many people haven’t yet discovered so thought i’d share the info

It IS a catholic school but not exclusively and is mixed ability fo course as a non selective state but also OUTSTANDING so if you’re Clapham / Balham way DO take a look and MY daughter was drawn to their arts department (music is also great!) particularly which made her choose it

Re: Looking for non-selective private secondary or prep

by jtf » Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:43 am

Dear parents,

Please do not consider Eaton Square Mayfair/Upper school, it is an absolute shambles of a school. A very high number of teachers leave every term (20 this year we have been told), the children are out of control (possibly 100 children have left since they opened 2 years ago, and 1 Headmaster), the level of teaching is beyond average. Numerous parent complaints have been made and yet they still manage to keep the facade. We took our daughter out last year and it was the best decision we ever made. We are posting this because it makes us mad, that after all the money we paid, our daughter had to endure a year of below average education and lack of support, a waste of her life, and unless we post on these platforms they will continue to rake in money (their only purpose), and continue to fail our children, which is unacceptable. 

Re: Looking for non-selective private secondary or prep

by Lavinia21 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:52 am

I have a wonderful experience of my 11y old daughter this year.
Hall wimbledon school is helerious !
My daughter so happy
New so approaching and perspective head theacher with lots knowledge and ambitious
In Senior Hall school
Small size -15 mix kids
Very friendly and happy in school
Accademicaly is very good
Homework every day only 10min each subject
Give a paper to currie
No heavy book like others school
Each week on Friday revision your homework by little test and if you don't understand the theacher will explain and give a time to look again
They are doing very nice curriculum cover all subjects with experiments.
The game included all nice game and sport
The lunch and other food are very good.
The fun in this school with great education program I strongly recommend to come try this school
They study more I think them in Kings
Only no Latin and japonice yet
To get to school also not difficult and progress you will see straight away!!!
Hope this help


Re: Looking for non-selective private secondary or prep

by chezzie » Fri Mar 01, 2019 5:23 pm

OMG - thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my post and for all your suggestions. I haven't been back on here due to us all taking turns at being unwell and half term also got in the way.

We did not go full steam on tutoring as some do, but did tutor where possible two hours per week from end of September and did past tests, IXL, VBR and brushed up on grammar. What perhaps became a strain was that we also had applied for two scholarships, which were very time-consuming (drama and art), yet very stimulating and a fun break from the drier stuff. On the whole it was a pleasant experience and I felt we created a really strong bond over this time that I wouldn't swob for anything.

I'll make a note of all schools suggested and have a look at websites and get on to booking myself on tours for relevant schools. I really can't thank you enough for being such wonderful, supportive locals!!

Best wishes,


Re: Looking for non-selective private secondary or prep

by BFW » Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:35 am

From what I understand Emanuel is much harder to get in at 10+ than 11+ so I would try again next year if you feel its the right school for your daughter ?  I don't have direct experience but it does seem like a lovely school and I know a lot of happy children there.

From your list I would also probably say that Putney High is extremely selective - when I looked at the school last it was approximately 800 application for 70 places (the Junior school almost all automatically move up to the senior school).  If you like the ethos of the GDST then Stretham and Clapham might be marginally less selective and again I hear great things about it.

I would echo the Woldingham suggestion and also perhaps look at the new Fulham senior school (near Hurlingham) and Kew House.  

Best of Luck.

Re: Looking for non-selective private secondary or prep

by YogiClaire » Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:12 am

We've just navigated the 11+. Along our journey we discovered The Hall School in Wimbledon which is on the turn with new ownership and head. It's had a rocky few years but we felt had real potential. Fulham School is in the early stages of growing to include a senior school and has a holistic ethos too.

Re: Looking for non-selective private secondary or prep

by Bbkl » Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:28 am

It might be worth looking at Broomwood if you think a couple of extra years at a Prep would help.
But I think it’s worth bearing In mind that demographic pressures mean that all of the local independent secondaries have become more selective over the past few years and competition for places is more intense.
If your child is not so academic, it can be an uncomfortable experience to be struggling to keep up in a class where the pace is too fast. So do go ve this some thought if so much extra tutoring/practice is needed to get there. Do you anticipate keeping that up through the secondary years?
Definitely look at your local state secondaries, and talk to parents with children already attending (rather than the general gossip) to get a picture of what they’re really like. You might be pleasantly surprised. If you’re set on private, I second the recommendation for Thames Christian College, it’s definitely worth going to have a look. If you don’t mind a journey, Royal Russell in Croydon or, in the other direction Eaton Square Upper School or The Laurels.

Re: Looking for non-selective private secondary or prep

by jenwaken » Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:10 am

We found our son was getting increasingly stressed in Year 5 with all the exam prep and decided to opt out of the exams altogether. Our eldest was very happy at JAGS but we could see the same type of school was not going to suit our son. He went to Ewell Castle School, which is now mixed sex, and it has been very good. It is 21 minute train ride from Clapham junction, and his commute is no longer than his sister’s to Dulwich. Small school, but nice facilities, proper uniforms and sports teams.

Re: Looking for non-selective private secondary or prep

by parentpractice » Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:07 am

Hello Chezzie

I know there is a wealth of information here and so many parents will give good school recommendations.

My top tip would be that there are many good schools out there both state and private and it’s about finding a school suited to your values and your daughter’s educational strengths. If Emmanuel haven’t given her a place the chances are it may not be the right environment for her. We see many clients whose children have been tutored hard to get into a school that ultimately may not be the right environment and there is always some fall out in the teen years

I’m more interested to know how your daughter has coped with the news- as long as her self esteem is strong she’ll be able to cope with this knock

Sending you positivity, hope and optimism

Re: Looking for non-selective private secondary or prep

by awildebeest » Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:22 am

Oh that sounds like a nightmare for you and your daughter. I think Emanuel has become more sought after, at least that is the feeling I get from friends who children are applying. So yes, unfortunately it probably is more selective than it was a few years ago. Sydenham or Streatham and Clapham are good suggestions. I think Putney and Wimbledon are as academic as Emanuel if not more so... Have you looked at St James in Kensington Olympia? Just a few stops from Clapham Junction on the Overground? I have friends with children there and they love it.

Re: Looking for non-selective private secondary or prep

by Mimita » Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:07 am

I am very interested in this post because my daughter is in Year 4 and we are thinking of what to do next. She is in a primary school where it is obvious they don't do much all day long. Her aspirations don't match her current school so we were wondering whether it should be extra tuition or bite the bullet and put her in a prep school for two years.
To answer your question, will Newton prep take her until 13 and then she'll be prepared to move then? Otherwise, I know you weren't thinking to go that far away, but many girls take the train to Woldingham from Clapham Junction. I am not sure how selective they are. She can flexi-board if she wishes. Also Sydenham prep or Streatham and Clapham are not as selective as Putney or Wimbledon. I don't know how the journey will be from where you are. Don't despair. It will work out better than you hoped.

Re: Looking for non-selective private secondary or prep

by cjdad » Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:49 pm

Thames Christian College near Clapham Junction station ticks all the boxes for you. 

Re: Looking for non-selective private secondary or prep

by headshrinker » Mon Feb 18, 2019 12:03 pm

It is really tough at 10+ as they are still quite little and could easily just make silly mistakes in the exam and not have a clue. 
I am guessing she is going for 11+ too. People quite often get in on a second go so worth a try. Counterintuitive as it may seem, I would ease off on the tuition though. That really is an awful lot of extra work (most kids I know did 1-2 hours/week). If you overdo it they can become burnt out and stressed. Better to have her relaxed and happy. She's likely to do better. 

In the meantime, help her find a state school she likes and make your peace with her going there. People act like it is a terrible thing to end up in a totally normal school when the reality it they are full of lovely, bright children just like yours. That will help ease the pressure too. Good luck!

Looking for non-selective private secondary or prep

by chezzie » Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:59 am

Hi all.
I hope you can offer tips and advise re this matter.

My daughter has just sat her first exam ever at Emanuel for the 10+, and despite all efforts (at least an hour exam prep per day for 7 months prior and 1xhour tutor from Keystones twice per week) she didn't pass. She also applied for two scholarships in case this would have helped her, but obviously none was offered. She attends at a very good state school. I always worried the jump from state to private would be difficult, but at the same time know of many whom have been able to make the cut at 11+.

We had hoped to get into the school as it is meant to be a little less academic than most secondary privates and because it would have suited her personality. 

I just wonder at this stage whether the school may be changing and becoming more academic since new Head (previous head at King's College), - these are just my thoughts - but I see they are shared with others here and on mum's net - and this may mean that it is no longer the right school for her.

Could anyone offer tips on any known secondary schools or prep schools in the SW London area, that are a little less academically driven and more holistic in their approach?
I have Harrodian, Acorn, Putney High and the Swedish School on my list, but know there must be many I have not spotted.

Of local state secondary schools, I know that Bolingbroke Academy is meant to be good, but my impression is that it is "business-y" - which my daughter is not... I stand to be corrected!?
Any tips on other local state schools would therefore also be of interest. 

Of Preps, St Thomas's Clapham would be great, but seems very selective, so not sure we would be able to get her in at year 6 or 7.

(Seems a lot of private schools close their doors for the year during year 6 (Putney Junior and Streatham Junior) as they're busy prepping the children they already have for 11+ exams.)

Such a jungle.... 
Any thoughts and pearls of wisdom are most welcome!