question re Thomas' Clapham from American mum

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NYMuminLondon
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question re Thomas' Clapham from American mum

Postby NYMuminLondon » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:37 pm

Hi,

I have recently moved from the states, and am trying to navigate the seemingly impossible task of registering my two-year old for primary school. Thomas' Clapham is one of the few where I seem to be able to put her name down right now, but I noticed that it is Christian-based and we are a Jewish family. Does anyone know how much of a religious aspect there is to the school, especially at the Reception and Year 1 level (we are likely moving back after a few years)? Any other advice on schools that may still accept names at this point would be greatly appreciated!
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dinosaur
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Re: question re Thomas' Clapham from American mum

Postby dinosaur » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:55 pm

Hello NYMuminLondon - I don't have any children at Thomas' at the moment so I can't answer your question about how much the Christian ethos will feature in your child's education. Just wanted to post that it does seem stressful when you start making enquiries at these schools because they tell you they are oversubscribed etc. but there is so much movement in and out of this area that I believe it all works out in the end. Other schools to investigate include Hornsby House, Park Gate, Newton Prep. I hope other Mums will be on to give you specifics about their waiting lists and more information, but those are the ones that spring to mind for me. It is worth visiting them all if you get a chance because I think they are all good, but only you will know what is a good fit for your child. It is also worth noting that the state schools are very good and if you post any specific questions here about the ones local to you I'm sure you will get a lot of feedback.
Good luck! I hope you are enjoying living in the area...
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mgb
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Re: question re Thomas' Clapham from American mum

Postby mgb » Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:11 pm

Hi NYMuminLondon,

You may have already looked into this one but Finton House is another excellent non-denominational school. As dinosaur mentions all these schools have a lot of movement in and out so you may get lucky in two years time.

Worth mentioning that I moved to London from NY as well (I'm American and my husband is British). My daughter is just three months so not ideal for a play date but if you ever want someone to chat with feel free to PM me.

All the best with your hunt.
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Goldhawk
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Re: question re Thomas' Clapham from American mum

Postby Goldhawk » Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:45 pm

Double check before you pay that you will actually get an interview for Thomas'

I'd assume that 2 y is too late although I'm sure they'll happily take your money and stick you on a long reserve list
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susieq
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Re: question re Thomas' Clapham from American mum

Postby susieq » Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:46 pm

Eaton House The Manor admits on a first come first served basis with no interview or test so you could try this as an option. My son has enjoyed 6 happy years there so far with any religious aspect christian with a very small "c". Indeed my husband is of non-christian descent and we have yet to feel uncomfortable with any aspect with regard to religious matters. By the by there a number of US parents at the school as well .
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anootka
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Re: question re Thomas' Clapham from American mum

Postby anootka » Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:42 pm

Hello,
I am a mom from ny with the same issue, my little boy is 2 and 2 months and we don't know what to do about schools.
I have found a Jewish nursery in Wimbledon that is fantastic and my child will be starting there in September (from 2 1/2 yrs) called Apples and Honey on the Common http://applesandhoney.org/Contact/contact.html
(the nursery is open to all faiths) - the Head Teacher was awarded an MBE last year for her work in Education. There is also talk and plan of a Jewish Primary school to open in South West London for the class of 2013. There is a Facebook page for it called South London Jewish Primary School- Interested Families - should you want any more info. The nursery also runs a mom and baby group on Wednesdays at the Synagogue in Wimbledon.
My NCT friend is also on the waiting list for St. Thomas' but she was told months ago that the list was full for the 2013 class. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to email me.

A
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MrsOctober
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Re: question re Thomas' Clapham from American mum

Postby MrsOctober » Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:04 am

Hello,
I doubt very much that your child will be called for an interview for that intake. Most people register their children within weeks of birth for Thomas's. Thomas's see around 250 children for 80 places and have a very strong sibling policy. (This September's intake has 50 siblings, therefore only 30 places were available to non-siblings)
From my personal experience, Eaton House seems to have the most movement on its lists. We called in May 2007 to put our then 4wk-old-son down for the Sept 2011 entry and were told the main list was full so we didn't bother putting him on the waiting list. Then in April 2010, we began to get nervous that we had no back-up plan (having only put him down for Thomas's and Broomwood Hall, two competitive entry schools) We were advised by the headteacher of our nursery that it was well worth registering him for Eaton House, even though the waiting list had now been growing for 3yrs. We registered him, parted with the obligatory £50, then got a call in late October 2010 offering him a place. The only major downside with Eaton House is the size of the deposit required. Thomas's and Broomwood each take £2K as a deposit, Eaton House ask for a term's fees, somewhere around £4K. I know some people who panicked and paid £4K to secure a place just before going for the Thomas's interview and getting a place there.
A friend, whose child is starting at EH this autumn, has told me that there are still lots of places available for this September's entry.
Good luck with it all, it's daunting at first, as every school has its own system, but don't get too worried, especially if you're only staying a few years. In that context, every school around here, incl Belleville and Honeywell, will fit your needs perfectly. x
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Mama
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Re: question re Thomas' Clapham from American mum

Postby Mama » Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:59 pm

Hi!
I hope you are settling well. If you are really interested in Thomas' school it may be interesting for you to know that if your child attends Mouse House or Mouse Hole nursery school in Mallinson Road, they are guaranteed an assessment at Thomas' NOT A PLACE though! I am not sure but it may apply to other nurseries belonging to the Kindergartens group, i suggest you have a look online at their different nurseries websites.
Good luck!
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Goldhawk
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Re: question re Thomas' Clapham from American mum

Postby Goldhawk » Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:37 am

Seems unlikely to me.
Just marketing by the Mouse Kindergartens or do they have a proper link to the school??
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Swmummyofboys
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Re: question re Thomas' Clapham from American mum

Postby Swmummyofboys » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:38 pm

The principal of Mouse House is the head of Thomas's so there is a connection and a large number of MH children go to Thomas's (26 are going this year). It doesn't guarantee you a place though and lots of Children who do the assessment don't get a place. Being at MH also doesn't guarantee you will get an assessment at Thomas's.
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NoMorePeppaPig
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Re: question re Thomas' Clapham from American mum

Postby NoMorePeppaPig » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:39 pm

Oh yes they indeed have a link...they are owned by the headmistress of Thomas's Clapham...
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Mama
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Re: question re Thomas' Clapham from American mum

Postby Mama » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:34 pm

Hello again!

The Headmistress at Thomas' is no longer the Headmistress, next year someone else will take that post (if it is not filled yet). She will nonetheless stay as the Head of the Kindergartens.
As I said in my previous post, going to the Kindergartens does not give you a place, just the opportunity to have an assessment. I mentioned it because that gives you a chance in three to get a place, compared to none.

There are many other great schools, in this area you will be spoilt for choice. That said, it is difficult to start in reception.

Good luck!
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Mama
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Re: question re Thomas' Clapham from American mum

Postby Mama » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:43 pm

Hello for the third time,

A correction: it is assitance to Thomas' kindergartens that guarantees an assessment in Thomas' as per their page here below. Mouse House and the other kindergarten nurseries do not guarantee an assessment, just the "Thomas' Kindergartens" ones.

http://www.thomas-s.co.uk/schools/kindergartens.html

Registration and Entry
Children are registered for a place in the term in which they are two and a half years or three years old. It is expected that they will spend approximately two years at the Kindergarten before joining their preparatory school. The children from Thomas's Kindergartens are interviewed in exactly the same way as children from other kindergartens for entry into Thomas's Schools. Entry to the Kindergarten does not guarantee entry to the main schools, but it does guarantee an interview.
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MGMidget
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Re: question re Thomas' Clapham from American mum

Postby MGMidget » Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:59 pm

Contrary to what others have said, you don't have to register at Thomas's as soon as your child is born - they keep the list open for quite a long time. I thought you had to register in the first year of birth to be sure of an assessment interview but it may well be longer. If you have checked the situation regarding registration and they say you can still register and will be guaranteed an assessment then you are fine - and back to your original question about the religious aspects! However, I would check whether you will be on the reserve list or the main list. The main list guarantees an assessment whereas if you are on the reserve list you only get invited to an assessment if there are sufficient people who drop out of the main list by assessment time (I expect lots of people do drop out though).
Also, although its quite costly, it may be worth simply registering with all the private schools nearby in the hope that one or more offers you a place from their waiting list. Many people do seem to drop out so you will increase your chances of getting something by registering with several even if the waiting lists are quite long.
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MGMidget
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Re: question re Thomas' Clapham from American mum

Postby MGMidget » Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:34 pm

By the way the current head is still the head of Thomas's for another year. The new head starts in Sept 2012 and is Philip Ward, currently headmaster of Feltonfleet School.
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