our school is not the right fit, please help?

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confusedinthecommons
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our school is not the right fit, please help?

Postby confusedinthecommons » Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:07 pm

Hello NV

We've moved over from America (British dad, American mom) over the summer. Our adjustment has been easy for the most part, our children have LOVED being here and say they never want to leave. The only trouble is school. Our child attended an indoor/outdoor nursery program, very heavy on art/creative play/learning to be a good friend/emotional regulation with no academic push. So we hired a tutor over the summer to bring her up to speed. Shes incredibly bright, very curious and LOVES learning

We thought very carefully about what we wanted for our daughter for school. Gentle, nurturing, lots of exercise/sport, but something that pushed her to her edge academically. We decided on a very prominent school in between the commons after huge assurances this was the school for her, and now my little one, who is generally SO happy and SO confident is having anxiety attacks, says she has no friends (who was voted the most sociable child by every single person who meets her), and is really doubting her abilities.

The school is pushing math quizzes (she is 5 and in year 1), and my daughter is a very competitive child. She's admitted to looking at others papers to get her answers, is now doubting her own mind, and her confidence has really fallen. Ive reached out to the teacher multiple times, even sharing the information my little shared about cheating, and the teacher says my daughter has the ability and she doesnt believe she is cheating. This all feels like a cry for help.

When looking at her time table, it looks like that of a university student, with very little down time or creative time. Her school has admitted to pushing academics much harder in case of another lock down, which fair enough, but its taking its toll on our child.

I think in my heart, I know what she needs. A school that allows her to still be 5 (more play time, creative/dramatic/expressive), but that also pushes her enough academically to keep her fulfilling her potential and staying interested. We also dont want the academic gap to widen so much between her and her peers, but if she stays the course as it is now, she will absolutely despise school.

Does such a school exist? and what are our chances for getting in NOW? should I remove her from the school shes currently in? Hire a full time tutor? We have lined up some school tours but most are for the new year. I would love help <3
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Vista321
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Re: our school is not the right fit, please help?

Postby Vista321 » Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:28 pm

Hi confusedinthecommons

I understand completely what you are saying and hands down recommend The Roche School in Wandsworth for your child. I would make an appointment to see the Head - Vania Adams.

Best of luck
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confusedinthecommons
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Re: our school is not the right fit, please help?

Postby confusedinthecommons » Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:46 pm

Vista321 wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:28 pm
Hi confusedinthecommons

I understand completely what you are saying and hands down recommend The Roche School in Wandsworth for your child. I would make an appointment to see the Head - Vania Adams.

Best of luck

Thank you, I have just sent an email to her about an appointment. 
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alexi
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Re: our school is not the right fit, please help?

Postby alexi » Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:48 pm

So sorry that this is becoming such of an issue for your daughter. Well done to her for admitting she has been sneaking the odd answer or two so that she can get the answers. How awful to feel so pressured at such a young age. I would say a change of school is exactly what she needs needs.

I think that the above poster makes a great suggestion. I would also suggest that you try Hornsby House. 

In terms of moving her out of school and or getting her a tutor. I would be tempted to try get an appointment with her form tutor and her head of her year and explain what you are seeing and experiencing. I'm not sure moving her out of school will help unless she is moving to another school. If she is streamed, unlikely I know, I would ask for her to be moved to a lower ability group.

Try and keep it light hearted and make sure that out of school isn't school work heavy and most of all make sure it is fun.

Good luck with it all.
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Busymumof2SW
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Re: our school is not the right fit, please help?

Postby Busymumof2SW » Tue Oct 13, 2020 2:35 pm

I would also recommend looking at Eveline Day (in Balham). It is a small school and lots of focus on drama & arts. There is plenty of reading, writing and maths but it is very balanced overall. The head is very quick to reply and to help parents in this position (we moved our daughter there this year & we were in a similar place over the summer).
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BFG2020
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Re: our school is not the right fit, please help?

Postby BFG2020 » Tue Oct 13, 2020 2:43 pm

Hi, it sounds to me like your child needs space to be a child. Which sounds ridiculously obvious but some of the stories I hear about local schools make me doubt whether this is the case. I’m not sure where exactly you live but be aware there are lots of really great state schools around in this area. I can only speak from personal experience but my kids are both very different and have had an opportunity to shine in their local state primary. Granted, facilities not as good as private schools and they don’t prep your kids for selective exams at 11+ so that is work you have to do yourself, but I’m happy to see that they’re achieving their potential academically and really happy in their skin and not stressed or pressured.

I hope this helps - you certainly wouldn’t need to hire a tutor to get into any of the state schools and you may have some luck with waiting lists freeing up as there is lots of movement in and out of London.
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Labellalavanderina
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Re: our school is not the right fit, please help?

Postby Labellalavanderina » Mon Oct 19, 2020 6:50 am

Entirely understand the frustration. We are also foreigners and avoided the school you mention because we were lucky enough to hear of its approach by someone who worked there.
I would recommend looking at Finton House. There is a lot of inside/ outside school, den building, farm visits (even now) they are great on emotional regulation and yet the academics are very good. They don’t need to push hard in case of covid closures because their remote offering really worked last term (and they had a number of new starters joining from other schools in the area as a result).
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Maman4321
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Re: our school is not the right fit, please help?

Postby Maman4321 » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:39 am

Hello, I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter’s anxiety.
I found that lots of schools in London are unfortunately a bit like that.
Have a look at Wandsworth Prep School. It’s small, they truly care and have understood that it was important to let a child be a child as these years past so quickly. I have been so impressed with them.
Good luck and I hope you find the right school for them
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skittles
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Re: our school is not the right fit, please help?

Postby skittles » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:49 am

So sorry you are in this predicament. I remember how much time and energy we put into choosing schools for our two when they were younger. One school that hasn't been mentioned is The White House. An absolutely wonderful school in our experience. It is family run and hands on run, kind, nurturing as well as offering high standard academics. Good luck choosing a new school I think that the upshot is that you have a lot of options if this thread is anything to go by so although it will be a pain in the short term you should be able to find the right fit school for your daughter and your family. I wish you all well.
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helenclare
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Re: our school is not the right fit, please help?

Postby helenclare » Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:28 am

Hi - if you want a school that will focus on your child being who she is and developing HER talents, you could look at Dolphin School on Northcote Road. I worked there a while back, and the children were amazing.
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JillianT
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Re: our school is not the right fit, please help?

Postby JillianT » Tue Oct 20, 2020 9:36 am

Do take a look at Dolphin School on Northcote Road. Two of my kids are there, and my oldest has just finished year 6 there as well. It's small and nurturing, with great academics, teachers who really care and a belief in celebrating everyone's talents, whether that's academic, musical, sporting or otherwise. The registrar, Viv Benson, is extremely friendly and warm and a good first point of contact. Also do pm me if you have more questions.
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Ramaboo
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Re: our school is not the right fit, please help?

Postby Ramaboo » Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:55 pm

We've also found Newton Prep in Battersea very nurturing - just mentioning as everything else has been already but great for our 5 year old, and quite a broad range, not just academic focus
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