Alderbrook?

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stylishmom
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Alderbrook?

Postby stylishmom » Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:38 pm

Hi everyone!

My son got a place at Alderbrook. Not our first choice.

I would love to hear from parents with children in Alderbrook as to their experience?

Thank you.
lua
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Re: Alderbrook?

Postby lua » Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:01 am

We are in the same position so also interested in any feedback from Alderbrook parents. Thanks!
Familycompleted
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Re: Alderbrook?

Postby Familycompleted » Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:51 am

Ditto here! Though am pretty confident we will send our Son there. I know 2 other professional parents who currently sent their children to the nursery my son attends (one moved to another bit has an older sibling at Alderbrook) who will be going too. We are going to the open day in 2 weeks time. I suggest you meet the head - she is great, and get a feel for the school for yourselves if you haven't already. There's a clear difference between the lower and upper sections - perhaps marking the sea change the school has experienced with the new head? Do PM me if you want to meet up? Maybe fun for the kids!
petal
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Re: Alderbrook?

Postby petal » Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:45 am

I presumed I'd end up with, but got in elsewhere.
After visiting in January I was quite pleased and positive.
The brand new reception unit ( separate building) is brilliant with nice garden and good toilets ( v important I think)
The new head seemed very good too.
Swimming offered in small school pool with only few pupils at a time.

The only thing I was a bit put off by is that they only showed off the new early learning unit and expected us to go home apart from pool.
I then mentioned that if your child attends the school the whole school is of interest not only the new unit they are keen to show off.
Ended up with a tour of the whole school and further time with head.

they have got an ofstead coming up this summer and I'm sure it will be quite positive
I would happily put my child there had I got this school based on early learning part at least
lua
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Re: Alderbrook?

Postby lua » Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:33 pm

Very useful info, thanks. K1180519, do you have the date for the open day?
SuzanAyaz
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Re: Alderbrook?

Postby SuzanAyaz » Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:54 am

I have a son at Alderbrook and he is in Year 2. I have been pleasantly surprised and so pleased with his progress. A few mums jumped ship when the new head took over last year but my God she's been amazing and they are now kicking themselves.
All of the teachers are extremely dedicated to all of the childrens needs. They work in small groups which gives them really undivided attention. The learning groups are divided up so they are learning with children on a similar level. If there are any areas they are struggling with then extra support is given.
I am truely amazed and very happy. My son loves going to school and is really enjoying learning. I wouldn't have any worries about sending a child to Alderbrook. I think in the past it had some difficulties but with the new head Miss Henry and all of her teachers she has and will continue to turn this reputation around.
StinkyMummy
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Re: Alderbrook?

Postby StinkyMummy » Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:23 am

I have two children at Alderbrook. They are both doing well and are very happy. I have been particularly pleased about how well their literacy skills have come along and I definitely recommend the school.
stylishmom
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Re: Alderbrook?

Postby stylishmom » Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:36 am

Thanks so much for all replies.

It is so encouraging to hear the progress and changes since the new head has arrived. I think I will definitely go to the open day.

Thanks again.
Talkman
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Re: Alderbrook?

Postby Talkman » Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:40 am

Our child is in year three and is certainly happy there having attended since reception. Alderbrook was our first choice, to some people's dismay at the time.
I've pointed out on here previously that prospective parents should not rely on hearsay and dubious rumours from a few years ago but should see for themselves what the school is like.
It's a typical London school with refreshing multicultural intake. The staff are very good but I suspect like most teachers in our precious state schools, under pressure from Herr Gove and his department to meet ever changing government targets.
Alderbrook became a double intake school a couple or so years ago. In part no doubt due to the improvements there but also to help accommodate the ever increasing number of children in the area. Year three is the last of the single intake.
Good luck and make sure you join the PTA.
Mummymoo
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Re: Alderbrook?

Postby Mummymoo » Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:25 am

Hi,

My eldest daughter is in Reception at Alderbrook. She enjoys school and is already reading simple words, able to do mental arithmetic with numbers under 20, she understands cultural differences in a very simple non-judgemental way, she is able to understand making sure children are kind to one another and she is not afraid to speak out when required.

As others have said, I think the school is changing gradually for the better.
Why is it not full to bursting with a tiny catchment? Sadly some young families are being priced out of the local area and, quite simple, 'mud sticks', it saddens me that people are too quick to go on hearsay.

My daughter is a happy, confident, kind and well-rounded individual, I can't ask for anything more than that at the age of 4!
aliyeo
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Re: Alderbrook?

Postby aliyeo » Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:14 pm

I have a son in Reception and a daughter in Nursery this year. They previously attended Mouse Hole/Mouse House/Honeywell nurseries. I can honestly say that Alderbrook is every bit as good as the most popular schools between the commons. Our family have had first hand experience.

The standout points in Alderbrook's favour are:
1. It is a relatively small school compared with most locally with c. 250 pupils rather than 750+.
2. The Headmistress and the EYS team are fantastic and always available to deal with any concerns.
3. They receive extra funding as a teachers' teaching centre is located in the school and they have access to those young enthusiastic teachers to assist in classrooms.
4. The EYS area is separate from the main school which gives your 4 year old a chance to settle into long school days before negotiating big children in the playground and lunch room too.
5. The Head and her team was very hard working and progressive. The higher years work in very small group sizes as they have a high teacher/assistant ratio to children. Never more than 15:1 I believe.
6. There are plans to implement after school clubs to encourage those who wish to try for scholarship/grammar/private senior schooling, i.e. verbal /non-verbal testing.
7. It is very easy to speak to the Head or her team. They have a real open door policy and change happens quickly.
8. Sportswise, they have a small pool, teaching 4 children at a time. My two have learnt to swim this year. During the school day there is PE and yogabugs. There are lots of after school clubs and team sports too.
9. If you are musical, they seem to have a lot of equipment and lessons on offer too.

If you haven't had a tour, go along and see it for yourself. We were very surprised after seeing it that it has been avoided but that seems to be a thing of the past as this year, it too is over subscribed, both nursery and reception.

If you want to ask anything else, feel free to PM me.

Ali Yeo
chattymama
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Re: Alderbrook?

Postby chattymama » Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:21 pm

As the previous poster rightly points out 'mud sticks', and I for one would previously not have considered Alderbrook.

However, the (extremely picky) principal of my child's pre-school (who has been teaching in the area for years) recently went to inspect it, and was so impressed that she said she has gone from advising parents to 'put it last on their list' to advising them to 'put it as their very first choice'.

On that basis, we met with the new head, Seana Henry. Originally from Ireland, she was brought in as a troubleshooter by Wandsworth council, and then decided to apply for the long-term role and stay on. She promised she's in it for the long term. She came across as kind, fair and hugely passionate. She's reshuffled a lot of the teaching staff (and anecdotally I've heard she also let some go - though interestingly she didn't tell us this).

Her approach appears to be a 'ground-up' one, ie: lay the foundations, get it right at reception, Y1, Y2 etc. As one of the parents has already mentioned, they are putting children into sets so that anyone struggling gets the right support, and the brightest are sufficiently challenged. They've prioritised high-quality staffing, and taken on decent teaching assistants so there is a teacher AND assistant per class group (ie a 15:1 ratio). There's a brand-new 'Early Years' building which Ofsted have already (presumably off the record?) described as 'outstanding'.

So far, so amazing. BUT... they don't seem to have the same vision for the older children. It's as if they think that if they get them off to the right start, that'll be enough. I'm not convinced. Currently they're only getting a handful of kids into private secondaries (eg. Emanual) or the better grammar-type states (Graveney) and they don't seem to have a master plan as to how to increase this.

My advice? Send your kids until 7+ and then re-assess. Either the whole school will be brilliant by then, or it's a sensible time to transfer to another school (or go private), or of course consider top-up tutoring, so they're prepared for the 11+.

As for 'likeminded parents' - if you gathered every professional parent you knew with an offer (or used NVN to find them!), you'd have a PTA to be reckoned with. That's how Belleville pulled its socks up, over a decade ago - everyone sent their kids en masse and basically supported the school (plus helped with fundraising etc). Virtuous circle ensued.

Good luck and keep us all posted! (We are a year away so watching this all unfold with great interest)...

X

ps. for anyone being offered a school within walking distance (albeit not their first choice), at least consider yourselves lucky that you're not in THIS predicament, which is frankly appalling: http://www.nappyvalleynet.com/mums/view ... ld#p114449
chattymama
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Re: Alderbrook?

Postby chattymama » Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:28 pm

pps. Just seen Allyeo's 'point 6' re prepping older kids for scholarships and/or the better secondaries. They didn't mention that when we asked them (perhaps it's a new 'plan'). Anyway. Interesting.
Siyeo
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Re: Alderbrook?

Postby Siyeo » Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:54 pm

I have lived off Broomwood Road for over 20 years and live in sight of one of the preferred state schools in the area. As my wife has mentioned we have been more than impressed by Alderbrook School and the attitude of all of its staff. We did have reservations, but we have been quickly put at ease.

In a way we haven't been put at ease with our first choice of school, which continues, along with the council to choose to do nothing about the people that rent close by to the school to get their children accepted and then move outside the catchment area and even the borough at the expense of the local residents. We continually see said schools children traveling by car in the opposite direction on the walk to Alderbrook. This I can only think leads to a fragmented neighbour hood and a ridiculous amount of unnecessary vehicles on the road at drop off time and pick up.

This poor moral judgement of endorsing the short term renters over and above the local people and not supporting the latter, makes it very hard for me to feel happy about sending my children to said local school. I feel loyalty and integrity are vital aspects of a childs character and if these are not being shown from the top, I am happy for my children to have no part of that school and the potential "dog eat dog" attitude that will follow.
Talkman
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Re: Alderbrook?

Postby Talkman » Tue Apr 22, 2014 1:16 pm

Well put Slyeo.