White House Pre Prep reviews?

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Fruisli
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White House Pre Prep reviews?

Postby Fruisli » Thu Feb 25, 2021 9:59 pm

Our son is on the list for White House prep school - if we want to hold the place we need to commit fairly soon. Our only concern is whether it’s too small and doesn’t give children the same opportunities as a Thomas’ / Broomwood Hall but would love to hear any experiences people have had there.

Thanks!
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workingMumfromBalham
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Re: White House Pre Prep reviews?

Postby workingMumfromBalham » Mon Mar 01, 2021 10:32 am

Hi Fruisli,

Both of my boys are at White House Prep, and I had the same worries about a limited social circle.  Obviously I have no basis for comparison, and it depends a lot on personality, but I've noticed a few interesting things.  

For pastoral care and academic results, there's no question that smaller classes are better.  The kids get so much individual attention, and the school does amazingly well year after year.  And of course, it's been a lucky factor during the pandemic, as the small 'bubbles' have allowed the school to carry on, business-as-usual.

Extras like art, drama, music and sport is where it gets interesting.  Everyone participates in everything, and there's nowhere to 'hide'.  One child will be the school's superstar in each field, without much (or any) competition, and receive the adulation of their peers for being the 'best' at that something.  Is this good or bad?  Self-confidence is probably a good thing, but you'd have to look outside the school to determine if you're genuinely talented, or just a big fish in a small pond.

Similarly, if you have a penchant something obscure, you'd be unlikely to find a mate who shared your interest.  Is this good or bad?  Does this manifest as 'cool individualism', or 'weird oddball'?  

You're also rolling the dice with the parents.  Personally, we've lucked out and found some of our closest mates through the school.  But if you're unlucky, seven years is a long time to grit your teeth through all the social events!
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vinrouge
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Re: White House Pre Prep reviews?

Postby vinrouge » Mon Mar 01, 2021 12:12 pm

It feels such a big decision choosing the primary for your child, and there are so many things (worries!) to consider.

I have 2 children at the WHS and couldn't recommend it highly enough. I also had the same concerns about size and whether there would be enough kids in the class for them to make friends with and play with, but have been very happy with the size of classes and their groups of friends, and the school is growing - every other year is a 2-class intake whilst they scale - the children then get the benefit of merging the 2 classes for sport, music etc - whilst each form is usually between 10-15 and so the children really benefit from individual attention in core subjects like english and maths. I personally went to a pretty small school in a town outside of London, and to be honest, the size the White House is the same as my primary

I would also say one of the other advantages - because the school is smaller, all the years mix - the school do really promote a family ethos and mixing of years, and with their size it really works - it's so charming seeing the year 6 kids messing around with the reception kids, and they all know each other! And for sporting fixtures against other schools a team will be made up of children from different years.

I don't know other schools so well, so can't comment on how the range of subjects compares, but in terms of extra curricular activities I think WHS offer everything you'd need - music lessons, sport, drama, some extra languages... I love the fact that all children are involved in the regular school-staged events such as the nativity, Harvest Festival, end of year performance - a fantastic way for the children to get used to standing in front of large groups of people. If you wanted to excel in any particular sport you'd need to find a club outside school, but I suspect that would be the same anywhere if you want your child to be top of their field.

Hope that helps. Good luck with your decision!
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Moonlightdawn
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Re: White House Pre Prep reviews?

Postby Moonlightdawn » Mon Mar 01, 2021 1:18 pm

Hi

My children are not at the White House but we have previous experience of a similar small prep school in Wandsworth. I thought I'd offer a few thoughts.

After a lot of deliberation, we decided to change schools because we found the cramped setting a bit constricting. One of our concerns was also the limited pool of pupils and parents that one is exposed to. We also worried about how our children would eventually adapt to bigger secondary schools.

We did this just before our youngest was due to start Reception (the school had a nursery). It was not a straight-forward decision by any means as our child was pretty content.

We ended up going to a much bigger prep school. There have been times when I have missed the quaint, village-like culture of their previous setting.

But I also love the big, bustling energy of where they are now - as do my kids. The facilities are spectacular including the huge playground, auditorium and football pitch. One of my kids is very sporty so they have benefitted big time.

I hope I'm not making your decision any harder. I just wanted to highlight some other aspects which I found important. So much of this is personal though and we all have different needs and preferences. There are so many wonderful schools in Wandsworth and we are lucky to be spoilt for choice.

Sending you my best wishes.
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