Swaffield primary school - opinion

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NataliaK
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Swaffield primary school - opinion

Postby NataliaK » Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:03 am

Hi all,

I was hoping to hear honest opinions about Swaffiled primary school from the parents, whose kids are attending the school now.

Are you happy with your choice and the school? How strong would you describe academic level of the school? How is the level of morning and after school clubs?

What also concerns me is that it’s the only school in the area, which is undersubscribed. What makes it an unpopular choice?

Thanks,
Natalia
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Htuts
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Re: Swaffield primary school - opinion

Postby Htuts » Mon Sep 28, 2020 10:20 am

Hi Natalia,

I have 2 children at Swaffield (year 1 & year 3) and cannot rave enough about it.

It is a hidden gem and purely low in popularity due to some weird kind of historical assumption that it was a lesser school in the area. This is certainly not the case, and results this year show that. It is such a special school, and I’m quietly smug that our children get to benefit from it. It was my first choice, and I could have chosen Floreat too, from my address.

The teaching is excellent, and I say that as an ex primary school teacher myself. It has a wonderfully warm, welcoming atmosphere and the children are so happy there. I’m not sure whether you’re able to come and see the school, with the current coronavirus climate, but you need to see it for yourself. I believe there is a welcome video on the Swaffield website, which will give you an idea.

The school usually offers (before covid) a huge variety of clubs, and an excellent after school care. It used to be adhoc, which was so convenient. This has had to change due to government guidelines, but I’m hopeful will return once life settles down again.

Any other questions - please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Thanks,

Hannah
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Htuts
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Re: Swaffield primary school - opinion

Postby Htuts » Mon Sep 28, 2020 10:22 am

P.s. should also add that the wrap around care obviously covers before school too 👌🏻
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SW18-123
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Re: Swaffield primary school - opinion

Postby SW18-123 » Mon Sep 28, 2020 11:03 am

Hi

I also have children at the school. Like you, I posted on here before we decided on schools because I didn’t understand why it was undersubscribed. At the open day, I saw a school that was very warm and welcoming - and staff who were so engaged with the children. It was only other people choosing Allfarthing or Floreat that made me question what I wasn’t seeing at Swaffield. I ended up going with my gut reaction and putting Swaffield as my first choice and I couldn’t be happier.

The school has surpassed all my expectations. They have really spent time to understand what my child needs to succeed and reach his potential. He’s shown an ability in certain subjects and he’s been encouraged to work at a greater depth in those. However, the school looks at the education as a whole and it’s not just about ensuring the child reaches their academic potential. My son is very shy and has needed more help in growing his confidence - his teachers have been fantastic at noticing this and last year he had some “friendship classes” where he received additional 1:1 coaching on how to build confidence and make friends, but it was done in such a way that he didn’t even realise he was getting special attention. I can see how he’s flourished and I’m so grateful to the school.

Pre-covid, my son did chess, tennis, fencing, French, art class and football with Crystal Palace Academy. We’ve also used the breakfast and after school club and the staff at the club are great. I was also really impressed with how the school handled lockdown. We had access to some of the same online portals that private schools were using - and teachers called weekly to check-in on not just the children but also to see if we were coping! The Swaffield YouTube channel probably still has some of videos they uploaded (teachers read to their classes, Mrs Hamilton still did the Above & Beyond assembly and the music teacher did keyboard lessons).

If you’re looking for a school that will push your child academically, but also get to understand what your child needs and really look out for their wellbeing then I don’t think you can go wrong with Swaffield. I’m happy to answer any questions!
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twinmumsw18
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Re: Swaffield primary school - opinion

Postby twinmumsw18 » Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:24 pm

I have twin boys in year 5 and we all also absolutely love the school too, they have been happy every single day. The teaching staff and leadership team are all outstanding and they care so much about every child. We knew this already but during lockdown they exceeded all our expectations in the level of support and care they received.
The after school clubs are (in normal times) very diverse, coding club, running, netball, science, knight school, chess, ballet, gymnastics, choir, to name a few.
I could go on and on about how wonderful the school is, please get in touch if you want to ask anything.
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WC-SW18
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Re: Swaffield primary school - opinion

Postby WC-SW18 » Mon Sep 28, 2020 1:42 pm

Hi Natalia, 

I have two daughters at the school and I'm another happy parent who can answer any questions you have.  Swaffield wasn't on my radar when I was looking at schools as I was closer to Clapham Junction. I'd looked at some local schools and had decided to go down the private route and had secured a place at a school in Clapham. However, one of the parents from my daughter's nursery told me she had visited Swaffield on an open day and had been really impressed, so I booked a tour. For me, it was a yes straight away. It was so warm and welcoming and I had a lovely feeling from the school - something I didn't get from other open days.  

Four years later and I still feel the same. To echo comments above - the teaching really is outstanding. I have loved every one of the teachers my daughter has had. My youngest has just started Reception, but she has settled in very well.  

During lockdown, my daughter was in Year 2 and therefore didn't go back into school when they reopened in June. However, the staff all agreed to stay on at school until the end of July and every child between Year 2 to Year 5 had the opportunity to go back for two full weeks. I think Swaffield was the only school to offer this in Wandsworth. On top of this, the weekly calls really helped my daughter. Some weeks, my daughter struggled with being at home and her teacher would spend 30 minutes talking to her to reassure her that she was doing well. 

My daughters have 26 / 27 pupils in their classes, so being undersubscribed has its benefits too! Before my daughter joined Swaffield I was focused on how strong a school was academically - I looked at results (and could see Swaffield had a good set of results and the progression score improved each year). However, since starting at school I've realised that what is equally important is the focus on the child's wellbeing.  The children start their day (I believe) listening to a piece of classical music, there is cosmic yoga, there is a chill-out room at break time. All these things help children learn to cope with the pressure of school. 

I feel lucky to have found this hidden gem. My children are happy, they're doing well and they enjoy going to school. 
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Swaffieldmum
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Re: Swaffield primary school - opinion

Postby Swaffieldmum » Mon Sep 28, 2020 2:41 pm

Hello,
I have a daughter in year 3; when we visited all the local schools when applying for reception I too wondered why it was undersubscribed. I think some other nearby schools are more fashionable but by far it was our preferred choice. In fact we originally believed the hype of Belleville and when her name came to the top of the list we realised we much preferred Swaffield. Not that there’s anything wrong with other nearby schools, but when we stepped in it just felt like home. Its a lovely warm and welcoming school with a diverse community. The teachers are topnotch, they pick up on the pupil’s individual needs and tailor teaching to them.
They have dealt with Home Learning during the pandemic in a similar way- there was plenty of online work to get on with, but there was no pressure to get it all done and they asked my daughter to focus on certain aspects which they knew she would benefit more from.
Since starting in reception she has done after school clubs in playball, ballet, streetdance, science, drama, choir and her favourite rock steady- where she sings in a proper rock band (it’s so cute!) and performs to the whole School every term. Obviously this was all before covid, and they have put safety first and not allowed any external clubs back in yet. There is wrap around care though with sunrise and sunset club on site everyday if needed.
She has made so many great friends and the parents also get involved with PTA and school activities such around the world day, BBQs and of course the summer/ winter fairs.
As others have said I’d definitely recommend watching the Swaffield video on YouTube and look at the website.
Good luck with your search, it’s like searching for a new house, when you know you know xx
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LaneSW18
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Re: Swaffield primary school - opinion

Postby LaneSW18 » Mon Sep 28, 2020 3:27 pm

Hi Natalia

My son has just finished year 6 and my daughter is year 5. it’s a two form entry and reception was full this academic year, I think you may find it’s only Honeywell and Belleville primary that have waiting lists as they are feeder schools into Bolingbroke.

It’s always been a very kind, caring and happy school, with amazing teachers but since our new head (2years now), Ms Hamilton has joined the school it’s really taken off, she has an amazing team around her and has very much modernised and brought the school up to date. The results are up year on year, and by the time my son got to year 6 they had introduced a 3rd teacher across the two classes so they could stream Maths, English and Reading into 3 groups. Unfortunately they weren’t able to take the SATS this year but the mock SATS which they took a few weeks before lockdown were the best SATS Results to date. I know of a fair few children now in the top sets at Ashcroft and Graveney and at least 8 went onto independent schools, all of which are selective.

Over lockdown they were the envy of the Borough, they’d set up all the children on google classroom the week before we went into lockdown, so home schooling started straight away. Everyday there was a daily times table of work for each class, all I had to do was manage the break times and feed everyone. We had a weekly call from our teacher to make sure we were ALL ok. They set up a YouTube channel, full of story times, art classes, music classes everything and anything (you should have a look there are lots of ‘meet the teacher’ video) I had friends from other schools use Swaffield’s resources as so many local school did very little or nothing at all. I think that says everything about a school and it’s attitude to learning and support. I was so blown away with how organised and forward thinking they were, and it’s very much continued into this term.

I’m so thankful Swaffield has been the start of my children education and I couldn’t recommend it enough. Hope that helps, best of luck with your decision.
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lemonzest
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Re: Swaffield primary school - opinion

Postby lemonzest » Mon Sep 28, 2020 4:30 pm

I have a child in Year 6 (who has been at Swaffield since Reception, when we moved into the area) and another in Year 2 (who has been at Swaffield since Nursery class). The school was our first choice for each child.

Swaffield is a happy, diverse and friendly school. The teachers are dedicated, warm and hardworking. The leadership team is taking the school from strength to strength and my children have had so many opportunities to grow, in addition to the excellent academic progress which they have made.

I have been impressed by how the school has taken the additional challenge of COVID-19 in its stride, with excellent communication with parents and carers, staggered starts and comprehensive risk assessments. As mentioned by another poster, the offer to take years 2-5 back for a fortnight running into the school summer holidays was greatly appreciated. This really made a difference to the wellbeing of children who had been homeschooled, and were missing their teachers and peers, over many months.

Despite COVID-19 restrictions my children have taken part in school assemblies (livestreamed between individual classrooms so that all of the children can celebrate each other's achievements, regardless of 'bubble'), filming a musical project for an external event, and so much more in just the last week. The youngest child also adores the new 'castle' climbing frame which the PTA fundraised for and which was installed over the summer. As others have said, in more usual times there is a plethora of extra-curricular activities and my children have enjoyed netball, Bollywood dancing, fencing, science club, eco club, gymnastics, Spanish club, chess club and doubtless many more that I can't recall at this moment! As mentioned above, the on site wraparound care is a must for us working parents.

It is difficult to visit schools at the moment (I sympathise as we are currently applying for secondary schools), but do call schools to find out what further information or opportunities may be available and visit websites/Youtube pages to see what videos etc might be available to give you a flavour. I hope that your child has a brilliant start in Reception!
 
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its_mummyS
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Re: Swaffield primary school - opinion

Postby its_mummyS » Tue Sep 29, 2020 6:16 pm

Hi Natalia


Another mum here whose child in Swaffield. Children are happy at Swaffield and the clubs are numerous. What drew me to Swaffield was the wrap around care. 
However academically I found reception was not great.  If you are looking for a school that is academic or your child is very bright I don't know if Swaffield is that school and this may be why it is under-subsribed. 

Many children have left Swaffield to go to Floreat. 

Try to do the virtual tours and go with your gut. 

 
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Brocklebankmummy
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Re: Swaffield primary school - opinion

Postby Brocklebankmummy » Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:24 am

Hi there

I also have two daughters at Swaffield. One in year 3 and one in reception. It’s an amazing school, we could not be happier with it. I was new to the area when choosing schools and went to all the open days, and it was Swaffield that stood out to me. The teachers are fantastic, during lockdown the support was excellent, my kids are happy, doing well academically, and I have also made some really good friends as an added bonus from a mummy perspective! Honestly can’t sing it’s praises higher.
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lyh73
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Re: Swaffield primary school - opinion

Postby lyh73 » Wed Sep 30, 2020 11:55 am

its_mummyS wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 6:16 pm
Hi Natalia


Another mum here whose child in Swaffield. Children are happy at Swaffield and the clubs are numerous. What drew me to Swaffield was the wrap around care. 
However academically I found reception was not great.  If you are looking for a school that is academic or your child is very bright I don't know if Swaffield is that school and this may be why it is under-subsribed. 

Many children have left Swaffield to go to Floreat. 

Try to do the virtual tours and go with your gut. 
Hi there its_mummyS, I wondered if you could expand more as to why you don't think the school is not great for academics?  Would be good to understand your experience.
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elllamkp
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Re: Swaffield primary school - opinion

Postby elllamkp » Sat Oct 03, 2020 9:35 am

Hi,
Another thumbs up for Swaffield here. My daughter started in Reception and was there for nearly the whole year. We have 2 other daughters and live the other side of Earlsfield so when we got a place at a closer school we made the tough decision to move her.
Even though we are no longer at Swaffield I can’t speak highly enough of the school. The class sizes were great so my daughter got loads of time with the teacher. The staff are all wonderful. My daughter did really well there and was very, very happy.
The main thing I wanted to say is that the school is so welcoming - much like the school
Village school I attended as a child. I have a lot of friends whose children attend and the kids are a delight. Without a doubt, if we lived that end of Earlsfield, Swaffield would be my first choice of school.
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lillyhella
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Re: Swaffield primary school - opinion

Postby lillyhella » Sun Mar 14, 2021 1:57 pm

Hi lillehella, I was wondering if you could tell more about why you don't think school is not great for academics. Many children have left this school. Would be good to understand your experience.
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twinmumsw18
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Re: Swaffield primary school - opinion

Postby twinmumsw18 » Tue Mar 16, 2021 6:50 pm

Hello I posted a reply above but wanted to comment on the school not being very academic. I totally disagree with this, my children are in their 7th year at Swaffield and have been taught by excellent teachers the whole time and are constantly challenged. Everybody that I know of that left has done so because they moved away or decided they were doing ‘state til 8’ and so went to a private school. I couldn’t be happier with every single aspect of the education my children are receiving and feel lucky that we are a part of this wonderful community school.
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