Marmalade Cat or École du Parc

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noddy
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Marmalade Cat or École du Parc

Postby noddy » Mon May 22, 2017 9:44 pm

Dear all- trying to decide if we would want to put down the £950 deposit on Marmalade Cat by end month- the fees seem high for a 3h session every day and they may soon become eligible for the Wandsworth pre-school subsidy (this is what they tell us). We are a bilingual home and so our preference would be for a nursery such as École du Parc for instance. But we are aware that Marmalade Cat is a "feeder" and has outstanding ratings etc. Any views on a comparison of the two- or if you have any other views on the "feeder" aspect etc. All views welcome- thank you!
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Beachbum
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Re: Marmalade Cat or École du Parc

Postby Beachbum » Tue May 23, 2017 7:55 am

Marmalade Cat is a feeder school for Thomas' and Broomwood. It is very academic which may not be right for your child. My thoughts are that if you like a nursery you should go with that. You will find the right school for your child after. Going to a feeder isn't any guarantee that you will even get in to one of those schools.
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BFW
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Re: Marmalade Cat or École du Parc

Postby BFW » Tue May 23, 2017 9:37 am

Sorry - but it makes me so sad that this crazy competitive world of London Schools has now reached the point where we describe a nursery for 3 and 4 year olds as .... "academic" !!
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Flowermummy
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Re: Marmalade Cat or École du Parc

Postby Flowermummy » Tue May 23, 2017 10:35 am

We didn't chose Marmalade Cat as we were only offered an afternoon place, but I really liked the nursery. No info on École du Parc.

I can comment on the "feeder"aspect though (there are 2 nurseries in the area that have the reputation of "feeder" nurseries to Thomas' and Broomwood).
Both the schools you mention have assessments (hard to know what happens in the assessments, but I don’t think they check for anything “academic”, I think they check that the children are school-ready i.e. they can pay attention, interact with teachers and other children, etc).

Having been through the process, I think:
- the “feeder” nurseries do not do much to prep the children for the assessments (it would be really difficult to, anyways, at that age), although there is a lot of talk between the parents and the nursery teachers about future schools
- “feeder” nurseries have very close links with the schools, however I don’t think they have any input into who receives an initial offer or a rejection (and if you are rejected, there is nothing that the nursery can do)
- however, if you are on the waitlist (I think Broomwood puts a lot of children on the waitlist), it can be very useful to be in a “feeder” nursery, as the head teacher from the nursery can be in touch with the school about how your chances are progressing (you will do the same, of course)
- you mention your LO is bilingual, for the assessment you need to make sure he/she can communicate well in English, as I don’t think either of the 2 schools expect less at the assessment from bilingual children (I got the feeling that at Newton prep, on the other hand, they do expect less English from bilingual children)
So in summary, going to a feeder school isn’t a guarantee that you will get into those 2 schools, but it can improve your chances (especially if you find yourself on the waitlist).

I do think you are right to think about schools now and chose a nursery with that in mind.
But bear in mind that getting a place in reception at a selective school is a bit of a lottery (a lot depends on your LO’s mood on the day of the assessment), so you need to:
- keep an open mind
- definitely have a back-up option that is not selective and that you’d be happy to take
- make sure that the school you want is actually a good match for your child (you will get a feeling)

good luck!
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noddy
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Re: Marmalade Cat or École du Parc

Postby noddy » Tue May 23, 2017 7:37 pm

Thank you so much for all the detailed very helpful questions. I just realized I had not worded the original email correctly- Marmalade Cat (and most private nurseries in Wandsworth) may become ineligible (not eligible!) for the subsidy of £600 per term. I am not sure if many people know this as other murseries have not been as transparent it seems. It seems also from your input that the feeder element is less important than people believe it is- which is useful. Thanks again
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noddy
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Re: Marmalade Cat or École du Parc

Postby noddy » Tue May 23, 2017 7:42 pm

Also if anyone has useful recent experience with Ecole du Parc followed by applying to local schools would be really helpful thanks!
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Flowermummy
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Re: Marmalade Cat or École du Parc

Postby Flowermummy » Wed May 24, 2017 9:06 am

just to add that there are very few children from the feeder nurseries that are rejected (think this is because they come from the feeder nurseries) by these 2 schools, most get an offer or are put on the waitlist. So they increase your chances but there is no guarantee.

Yes, aware that the private nurseries may not get the grant anymore, the grant is for children of 3+ at the start of each term, so you wouldn't have got it anyways in your first year at the nursery (presumably your LO will start at 2+)
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Fisherprice
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Re: Marmalade Cat or École du Parc

Postby Fisherprice » Wed May 24, 2017 1:24 pm

My daughter attends Ecole Du Parc and she is unbelievably happy there. She bounds out the door each morning so as a parent I can definitely recommend it. I'm also always impressed by the quality of the learning she is getting.

We would also like her to attend a local prep school (Thomas' or Newton) but we need a decent day of care as we both work. As it is the hours for Ecole are a pain for us so I can't imagine only getting a morning or afternoon slot and hence we are forced to look at the non feeder options.

As a parent though, compared to others I'm relatively relaxed about her not being in a "feeder school" and whilst we will be disappointed if she doesn't get into our chosen prep school we will survive.

If Thomas' / Broomwood is a must for you, then its probably safest to go for a feeder school. If you just want excellent quality care then I cannot imagine you will be disappointed with Ecole.

Good luck with your choice. Both are great nurseries so its not like you can go wrong.
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noddy
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Re: Marmalade Cat or École du Parc

Postby noddy » Wed May 24, 2017 6:23 pm

Thank you so much- we are a working family as well so the better hours at Ecole du Parc plus the holiday camps are definitely a draw! Do you use the camps as well?
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Fisherprice
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Re: Marmalade Cat or École du Parc

Postby Fisherprice » Wed May 24, 2017 6:57 pm

Absolutely. I wish they had them for the entire duration of every holiday.

We otherwise try to time our holidays during the periods when nursery is on break and there isn't holiday club or we pay our au pair for the daycare.

It works but we wouldn't be able to do it without nanny/au pair cover.
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Fisherprice
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Re: Marmalade Cat or École du Parc

Postby Fisherprice » Wed May 24, 2017 7:08 pm

Completely off topic but when I add up the cost of childcare the numbers are eye watering. I have to pay nursery fees, holiday club, au pair and holiday daycare and the final tally is way above the average salary in the U.K.
It's true the option of working is only for the rich and I'd love one of the parties to finally take some action on this.
(Not meaning to turn this into a political post)
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noddy
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Re: Marmalade Cat or École du Parc

Postby noddy » Wed May 24, 2017 9:44 pm

It is truly unbelievable. completely agree that you are penalized for holding a good job in terms of childcare costs going through the roof..
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siqiuk
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Re: Marmalade Cat or École du Parc

Postby siqiuk » Fri May 26, 2017 8:52 am

My daughter is at ecole du parc and she is v much enjoying her school life. They have different teaching style in compare to marmalade cats, as no learning of phonics at PPS class but more of through discovering or exploring. For example, those two weeks the school kids enjoy the whole process of hatching chicks, and previously they got the special visit by fire fighters. Other bonus point is as trilingual family, she has managed to master her French. The school has two campus one French only, one bilingual, so quite popular for non speaking French families too who wants their child to pick up another language. The parents association of school is active and parents all v communicative.
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noddy
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Re: Marmalade Cat or École du Parc

Postby noddy » Fri May 26, 2017 10:50 pm

Thank you, very helpful
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vendredimanche
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Re: Marmalade Cat or École du Parc

Postby vendredimanche » Tue May 30, 2017 1:48 pm

Hello there
We are also a bilingual, and full-time working family. My experience dates to 5-6 years ago but both my children attended Ecole du Parc (which we loved: small, nurturing, caring, welcoming - a great first schooling experience) and then joined Thomas's in reception. We were also offered Broomwood, so I wouldn't worry about the "feeder" aspect. Unfortunately we have lost touch with most of their lovely friends from the Ecole, as around half joined Ecole de Wix and the rest went to other schools.
VdM
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