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Re: Just received rejection letter from Broomwood

by AussieMem » Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:08 pm

I agree that it is a very stressful time for parents & even the wee ones themselves... We do put a lot of stress on our children accademically in this country, & when you live in an area like Between the Commons there is that much more competition for school places.

Having said that, there are lots of nuances to the selection process of different schools, in my experience. A child who is offered a place at one school might not even be placed on the waiting list at another one which seems equally as good. I have known children to be accepted into a school with a higher degree of competition but not offered at a school with fewer people applying... there appears to be little rhyme or reason to it. Schools can take into consideration things like when a child's birthday falls, so that they have an even range of ages throughout the year (eg: Thomas's does this), they might place greater emphasis on certain skills than an area which a different school looks for... Sometimes the school is already heavily subscribed by siblings of current students & there are fewer new places available, at other times the siblings might be overabundant in males or females, putting one sex at a disadvantage. Don't be too terribly stressed about the process at Thomas's & allow your child to enjoy his day of assessment. It might be that Broomwood have several children accepting a place there, only to change to a later-offering school & you will still find your son is able to attend Broomwood, or you might find he fits right in with the criteria at Thomas's... one thing, I would say some parents overlook, is that many schools see certain nurseries as "feeders" for their school, so it could just be a shame that Broomwood do not have the same relationship with your son's current nursery that they do with some... also, one parent I know had a child who did really well at his assessment day at one school, but she failed to take into account his attendence record at nursery - he was often away for minor reasons, & they took lots of term-time trips or long weekends, which overall doesn't instill confidence in the school. These seemingly minor issues can be the point which makes or breaks an application to a certain school! Some we have control over, but many we do not!

All the best with your search! I will be hoping you are offered exactly what you want!

Re: Just received rejection letter from Broomwood

by madamex » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:54 pm

I also have 2 children at Broomwood Hall at Garrads Road and I LOVE IT. I find that despite having a slightly old fashioned uniform and perhaps being owned by people who might give the wrong impression, the school is lovely, teaching is fab, children are very polite and outgoing and the parents are really down to earth and fun! I also read the rubbish about mothers not being allowed to wear jeans to school, being asked at the interview in which order they take their milk in tea, which school they went to etc, this is complete fabrication! Sarah Graham, the head of the lower school is fantastic too - I would highly recommend it. So there! ;)

Re: Just received rejection letter from Broomwood

by ready2pop » Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:20 pm

I'm not convinced that there really is much difference academically between all the local private schools.

We looked very closely at where children went on to after leaving each and there was virtually no difference so I don't think it is true to say that Thomas' is "better academically" whereas Broomwood 'isn't that great'.

As Multiple_Mum says Broomwood seems to come in for an unfair amount of 'rubbishing' most of which is based on nonsense. I have one at Broomwood and another starting next year and I went to a state school and live in jeans so take the rumours with a pinch of salt.

Re: Just received rejection letter from Broomwood

by GES77 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:21 pm

Just to say that we have been contacted today with an offer of a place at The Vicarage, so it looks like the waiting lists are starting to move.

I hope you hear from the school shortly OP.

Re: Just received rejection letter from Broomwood

by JanetN72 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:01 am

I know it is a very worrying time , but due to our location things can change very quickly as we live in one of the most mobile parts of London. Speak to the school and ask their advice. My sister is a Head Teacher and as she always says , when a school says there full , they can always stick an extra desk in class room ! Letting them know how much you want your child to attend their school and what to do until a place becomes available might just get you an extra desk in the class room or to the top of the list ! Best of Luck , and BELIEVE ! Visualising works Miracles ! ! !

Re: Just received rejection letter from Broomwood

by Multiple_mum » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:24 am

I am a mother of three at Broomwood and state school educated.

The remarks above do not reflect my experience of the high standard of teaching and the warm friendly atmosphere across all school sites. I have lived in the area for many years and am constantly amazed how much rubbish is talked about Broomwood (can't pick up your child in jeans, have to have gone to boarding school, have the right accent etc). Complete nonsense. The number of applicants and success of children suggest something is being done right.

Selection may be about a number of factors not just how your child performed on interview, it's also about numbers of siblings, number of boys/girls, age mix all sorts of factors rather than anything specific about your child and what school the parents went to.

We are fortunate to live in an area which has great schools. Perhaps we could appreciate this rather than rubbishing them.

Re: Just received rejection letter from Broomwood

by Labellalavanderina » Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:00 am

Very interesting, particularly the latest posts about interviews, timings and waiting lists.

So, what are the "right" nurseries? Why? We're completely out of the local gossip mill so have no idea where our current nursery places us in the eyes of the schools and those in the know.

Re: Just received rejection letter from Broomwood

by MrsOctober » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:28 pm

My elder son has just completed his reception year at school.
Within weeks of his birth in Easter 07, we were told to register him with local schools. At Thomas's and Broomwood and were told he was on their main lists. We contacted Eton House (advisable to register at at least one non-selective school) and were told that he'd be on the waiting list so we didnt bother spending the £50 there.
At Easter 2010, before our assessment with Broomwood, I was talking to the head of his nursery and asked if we'd been stupid not to have registered him with a non-selective school. She strongly advised putting his name down at Eton House as a fall-back, even at this late stage.
Against my better judgement, I paid my £50 to put my son's name on a waiting list that had been growing for over three years, so could only imagine what number he would be.
A month later we had our parents' interview/assessment at Broomwood. (Let's not pretend it is anything else. We know of someone whose child was not called for an assessment after the parents' 'interview'. The mother is convinced that although she went to Oxford, she went to a state school, but that's another story) My son was then invited for an assessment and was offered a place for Sept 2011. We paid our £2K deposit and were very very happy.
The Thomas's assessments were in early Nov 2010 and a couple of weeks before, we received a call from Eton House offering my son a place. We had a place at Broomwood so we weren't going to take the place at EH. They wanted a term's fees as deposit. £4K!! I'm sure some people paid just in case their child didn't get into Thomas's. My main message here is that we were 100's down the list for Eton House but as it's non-selective everyone puts it down as a back-up, rightly or wrongly. So as Broomwood Hall make their offers, the EH waiting list goes down by 80. When Thomas's make their offers in mid Nov, the EH waiting list goes down by another 80. A lot of people whose first choice is Belleville or Honeywell put Eton House down as a fall-back too. I don't think it's any reflection of EH as a school, it's merely a victim of the system one has to play around here.
In the end we decided to send our son to Thomas's. It was a terribly hard decision as we had heard so many rumours about Thomas's being a hothouse and pushing kids too hard. So far, so good. From what we have seen so far, it is a gorgeous school with happy, confident, gorgeous children. My son isn't showing signs of being particularly academic and is probably in the middle of the class, but we still think that it will bring out the very best in him in every way.
There was a huge amount of movement in many schools before term started. It seems that some HEARTLESS people don't bother to tell the local state schools that they are not taking up their place and as a result these places are discovered in September. I know of 3 children who forfeited their deposits at Broomwood to move to Belleville. Last year a child left Belleville for Broomwood. We've just had a child join Thomas's from Broomwood. There's no rhyme or reason to it.
Apologies for long-winded reply, I just hope it helps some parents who might be stressing over school admissions. Everyone from my son's nursery year is happily settled and very content with their choice of school.

Re: Just received rejection letter from Broomwood

by Medway » Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:10 pm

Yes ready2pop I think the selective schools do get criticised more because their selection process is so opaque so parents end up feeling overly anxious when they don't get in and fairly smug when they do (and that's the point. You feel lucky to be there and so don't notice that the teaching is not greatetc). You might not like it and yes it's cynical but IMO this is what goes on

So my point to the OP re rejection from Broomwood is that it doesn't seem to be that great a school so those who fight to get in and are disappointed shouldn't feel too bad. Thomas's on the other hand is also selective but I can understand why parents want their kids to go there - it is a much better academically.

For the record my son got into Thomas and HH (we did not apply to Bw) but is going to the local school

Re: Just received rejection letter from Broomwood

by ready2pop » Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:33 pm

Thomas', Finton, Hornsby don't envisage children leaving at 7 so don't prep for 7+ either - although quite a few children do move over to the Dulwich schools at that age. And Thomas' isn't a charity either

I do feel Broomwood gets a rough ride locally when all the schools actually operate in much the same way. That said I've seen plenty of characterisations of Thomas' as super pushy.

Wonder if it is a coincidence that it's the selective schools people are most critical of ;)

Re: Just received rejection letter from Broomwood

by scrappybluecat » Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:41 am

Don't worry as I am sure that you will get a place at Broomwood we didn't immediately but then did a month or so later. I suggest that you keep ringing the Registrar, be very friendly and nice but just keep saying how keen you are to get into the school. Good luck! :D

Re: Just received rejection letter from Broomwood

by Medway » Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:43 am

To be honest when I read all this it makes me sad and a little angry on your behalf. While I like the fact that round here we have a broad selection of different types of private schools to choose from, I also feel as parents we are manipulated to a certain degree, particularly when deciding "which one is right for me'. (note the use of me - I think we mostly select the school we like best, is most/ least like our own schools back in the day, teaches/ emphasises what we think is important, is convenient for our home - rather than what's genuinely best for our kids.). The waiting lists are as clear as mud and often the selection criteria are truly about whether you and your husband are the right sort. Will you fit in in playground and conform nicely. If not - you are too much of a risk. Any questions you ask during the interview which indicate you could think too much. Or god forbid question or disrupt...

Broomwood seems to me - based on what you say and conversations with several mothers to the the WORST of these schools and compounding this are 1) it is profit making 2) the teaching is apparently not that good. Because they want kids to stay on to NL they are deliberately not pushed to learn for the 7plus exams for Dulwich etc.

Personally - and again this is important to me - I want my kids stretched to meet their full potential academically as well as have a jolly old, sporty time. If these school can't prove they'll do this then I would move on with relief

Re: Just received rejection letter from Broomwood

by MGMidget » Thu Jul 05, 2012 4:25 pm

Interesting point on the choice of nursery. I had suspected that too as the head seemed rather taken aback when I told her which nursery my son was at (not one of their usual feeders) and asked why we had picked it. Can't say what influence this had on their decision about our application though as I can think of many potential reasons why we might have 'failed' the test :D .

Re: Just received rejection letter from Broomwood

by ready2pop » Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:43 pm

I'd forgotten about that thread MGMidget - interesting.

I think what someone said on it is worth remembering though - all the schools we are talking about are good and it is just a case of horses for courses.

Re: Just received rejection letter from Broomwood

by GES77 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:24 pm

Then, and only then, we ask you to decide on the basis of what you have heard whether you think Broomwood is the kind of school you are looking for. If it is, we invite you to place your child on the registered list “a fee of £100“ which guarantees you a place. If it isn't, fine, we'd rather you found out now than later.

The above is taken from the owners reply in the thread detailed above (thank you Midget). Can I just clarify that this is NOT the case. Our £100 did not "guarantee" us a place. We have been put on the waitlist.

Later in the thread the owner also writes that the readiness assessment at 3 years old is a year before they start. RUBBISH. In my son's case, it was 2 years before he would have started. So not sure how they can even begin to assess (and slightly alarming that the owner is not aware of the actual entry procedure!)

From my experience, it boils down to you being the right sort of parentfrom the parent interview and if your child goes to the right nursery that 'feeds' into the school (i.e. the politics of the private nursery and school system around here).

Interestingly, a few mums with children at Broomwood have subsequently told me that not getting a place could be a good thing...there are currently rather a lot of unhappy parents at the school.