Bolingbroke Academy, thoughts?

44 posts
kaboodle
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:04 am
Options:
Share this post on:

Bolingbroke Academy, thoughts?

Postby kaboodle » Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:32 am

I know it's early days but what do parents of the new cohort of Year 7's think so far? Has the school, teachers and pupils given you a positive impression? Are your children happy so far?
kaboodle
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:04 am
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Bolingbroke Academy, thoughts?

Postby kaboodle » Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:22 am

I found this review recently, on Google reviews, which is why I posted this question as to how parents feel. So far no responses but what this person writes seems to fit with other comments I have heard, though most comments seem positive. I suppose time will tell.

xkpol abder
2 months ago-
Very poor school. I was actually very surprised too see all the glowing reviews which I fear reflect more middle class skepticism or indeed prejudices about other options combined with quite a bit of snobbery about the school's original intentions, Very mediocre teaching, very punitive and inconsistent disciplinary policy which is applied in a whimsical manner. There are actually places in years 8 and 9 right now, I suspect because of this system. Very arrogant leadership team who are unresponsive and not held responsible outside a very small clique of parents. Head teacher is also the head of board of governors, which while not unheard of, is like having the chairman and CEO of the company doing the same role. i.e. no accountability and no one to hold her to account. As a parent with a child (I hope not for long) currently at the school, I am writing this anonymously, but if you are considering sending your child here I would very strongly advise against it.
schoolgatesmum
Posts: 369
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:33 am
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Bolingbroke Academy, thoughts?

Postby schoolgatesmum » Wed Sep 23, 2015 4:15 pm

I have two children at Bolingbroke Academy - one in Y9 and one who has just started in Y7. They are both very happy there and as a parent I am very pleased with the school. Not sure who posted on Google Review but I would say that is a very inaccurate picture of the school. There are some glaring errors as well - for example the head teacher is not head of the board of the governors (the chair is someone who is external to the school). There are also waiting lists for each of the school years. The teaching is excellent and caters for all abilities. The school is disciplined but the procedures are fair and implemented very consistently. My children feel very safe at school and the school has a very happy atmosphere whenever you go in.

I'm slightly suspicious as well Kaboodle that you appear to have joined Nappy Valley purely to whip up some negative views of Bolingbroke Academy.

If you want to see what actual parents have to say about Bolingbroke have a look on Parentview https://parentview.ofsted.gov.uk/parent ... t/125192/3
For the question "Would you recommend this school to another parent" 99% said that they would!
kaboodle
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:04 am
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Bolingbroke Academy, thoughts?

Postby kaboodle » Wed Sep 23, 2015 5:17 pm

Thank you for this Schoolgatemum, it's nice to get a reply and can I please assure you I am not here to whip up negative reviews, but to hear good and bad aspects.
schoolgatesmum
Posts: 369
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:33 am
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Bolingbroke Academy, thoughts?

Postby schoolgatesmum » Wed Sep 23, 2015 5:34 pm

If you want to get a feel for the school there are open days in October where you can talk to students and teachers.
Seb
Posts: 172
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:37 pm
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Bolingbroke Academy, thoughts?

Postby Seb » Wed Sep 23, 2015 5:42 pm

Open days are great but feedback from parents is also essential.

My take on BA is that they opened to great fanfare and with a view to continuing the "legacy" of the Honeywells/Bellevilles/Ravenstones but they've suffered from the sheer wealth of the region.

I have many friends who went state till eleven and then dropped out of those schools to go private and as yet it's not yet obvious that Bolingbroke will be able to continue the amazing state tradition we have around here. When we have houses that cost £1.5 million then the young families that can afford those aren't people who've done well by rising property prices but people who've bought in at those prices, and if you can afford an expensive house then you might be able to afford expensive schools.

It's just my opinion but I do wonder if the state schools in our part of SW London will eventually suffer due to the rising wealth of the region, as in no one will do state who lives locally.

Anyway just my opinion...
schoolgatesmum
Posts: 369
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:33 am
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Bolingbroke Academy, thoughts?

Postby schoolgatesmum » Wed Sep 23, 2015 6:05 pm

Just because you can afford private education doesn't necessarily mean you go private. I know of many people at Bolingbroke who could have gone private but have instead chosen to go to Bolingbroke. Almost half of students from Belleville went into Y7 this year.
Seb
Posts: 172
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:37 pm
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Bolingbroke Academy, thoughts?

Postby Seb » Wed Sep 23, 2015 6:16 pm

Just because you can afford private education doesn't necessarily mean you go private. I know of many people at Bolingbroke who could have gone private but have instead chosen to go to Bolingbroke.
I don't disagree.

But my point is many of those who have secondary school children now would have bought their houses at a third of the prices that are being charged today.

Whether we like it or not we are turning into an area where one needs a salary of 300k plus to buy a house and that means big jobs and many of those people have a propensity towards private education. Not saying that all will but just that higher incomes do tend to mean a higher propensity for indy ed.

What we haven't yet got, and what would turn this on it's head, is a feeling that the school has the smarts and facilities of private but without the price tag. There are some schools in Hampstead etc that manage to fulfil that role and if BB can get that then it doesn't matter how much one earns, there is equal status to attending say, Camden School for Girls, as say Latymer, then the school will thrive.

I really really hope it does. A fantastic state secondary school can give an area real character, well above that of another super-polished indy, but at the moment I think we need to be honest and say the jury is out.
secondtimer
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 9:42 pm
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Bolingbroke Academy, thoughts?

Postby secondtimer » Sun Sep 27, 2015 7:49 pm

This is an interesting debate and I'd welcome more opinions from parents with Y7/8/9 parents. As year 4 parents at honeywell, (who bought our house 12 years ago!) we are just entering the dilemma of state v private and stay v move out. I have heard many good things about BA.. "dynamic teachers" " excellent guest speakers and visits". However, I've also heard concerns around an "over zealous discipline policy" "crowded facilities and lack of communal space" and "unproven results".

It's very hard to know what to make of it all and I am planning to attend the open days to get a flavour of where the school is going.. My cynical hunch is tat if BA has half decent GCSE results, we won't be in the catchment anyhow... :o

So perhaps an opinion on how it compares to Emmanuel might also be valuable?
kaboodle
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:04 am
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Bolingbroke Academy, thoughts?

Postby kaboodle » Mon Sep 28, 2015 9:56 am

Thank you all for contributing. I see that my particular concerns are echoed by others and we are pondering the same issues.

It seems fantastic to have a proper local community school on our doorstep and I shall be attending an open evening. I do like the fact that parents are fiercely protective of this school and seem actively involved in it.

I too have heard of ridiculous reasons for detentions and a slightly arrogant attitude of some of the teachers and leaders 'making no apologies' for their discipline code. I agree with discipline but teachers should lead as an example in kindness, humility and common sense also. I like the idea of a 'nurturing' environment for my children and not just a cold, driven and businesslike environment.

Interestingly, I have walked past school at the end of day many times and am concerned by the behavior of some of the students there. Some of them look and sound very intimidating!

However, like I have said before, the overwhelming consensus is positive.
Phoenix
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:08 pm
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Bolingbroke Academy, thoughts?

Postby Phoenix » Mon Sep 28, 2015 11:27 pm

As a parent who is considering Bolingbroke Academy amongst other state and private secondaries there are several things I don’t like about this thread.

Firstly, the negative feedback on Google (which is no way constructive) and secondly the fact that someone feels the need to highlight this Google post on NVN. Negative feedback like this isn’t going to do the school, and consequently anyone in the area, any favours. It is only going to whip up a frenzy of negativity about the school. Kaboodle - I have some doubt that you are considering sending your child to Bolingbroke, as by sharing this feedback with the NVN audience (a collective of people that is already highly strung and easily panicked when it comes to school choices and school opinions) you are doing Bolingbroke a disservice.

Bolingbroke is our local secondary school and, whether we are sending our kids there or not, I feel that if we are supportive of it it will have a better chance of succeeding.

Seb - you made a comment about the status that comes with the school one sends their child too. Have I been missing something? Is the parents’ status really what it’s all about over a well-rounded education for their children!!??
kaboodle
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:04 am
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Bolingbroke Academy, thoughts?

Postby kaboodle » Tue Sep 29, 2015 6:05 am

Phoenix - I understand your point however I was startled to read the Google review and due to having heard similar points from others I decided to post it and ask parents and their children how their experiences are going.

As a parent I have a right to investigate what was a parents review, a parent who is in the process of taking their child from the school as you can read from the review and although you don't agree with that or with my post 'whipping up a frenzy of negativity' well! If you look down further on the Google reviews another parent also gave the school one star out of five.

I have said repeatedly most feedback is positive. Did you not read that part?

As someone who is considering the school for your children surely you should be interested in hearing all the positives/negatives too?

I find your post very negative too. If you defend the school do so without pointing the finger at me and effectively telling me I am lying about my interest in the school because I dare to point out a negative review!

It is a HUGE decision and not one to be taken lightly.
onthecommon
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:30 pm
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Bolingbroke Academy, thoughts?

Postby onthecommon » Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:03 am

I am a highly satisfied parent of 2 very contented children at the Bolingbroke.
First thing I would say is never listen to rumour and anonymous reviews - they tend to be from people who have an agenda.

Speak to parents who are at the Bolingbroke not to parents who considered it or attended an open day a few years ago.
I can confirm that 30-40 children have joined the Bolingbroke from Honeywell and Belleville in each of the 4 years that it has been open so there are literally 100s of local parents who can share their views.

I hear "rumours" - most or not true or misunderstood. The school is full and has a waiting list for each year. Discipline and rewards are equally balanced. The teachers are consistent in their application of all rules - the children known where they stand and know what is expected.
Teaching is consistently of a high standard - best I've ever known. There are fantastic opportunities for all the children - music, sport, reading, drama, 50 extra curricular clubs, duke of ed etc etc.
Each year the school holds a pupil survey- the children are very happy.
I agree it's a school that sets high expectations for all of its pupils and it succeeds in our opinion.
Real parents will be at the open day - speak to them. If you go to Belleville or Honeywell speak to parents who are actually at the Bolingbroke and not to the gossip. The same goes for other feeder schools.
Hope that helps.
kaboodle
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:04 am
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Bolingbroke Academy, thoughts?

Postby kaboodle » Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:36 am

onthecommon - thank you for taking the time to write this, it is encouraging to hear from parents at the school and to hear about the pupil survey, if the children are happy well, that is a huge factor for me. We are from a feeder school too.

I am concerned with the behavior of children I have seen from the school and worry that it would be a supreme shock for the children who attend our local primaries (at least for mine) to be exposed to the type of language/loutish/aggressive behavior on display. This probably would be the case though in a lot of London schools and from any such transition from primary to secondary to be a shock to the system!
InterestedDad
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 11:43 am
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Bolingbroke Academy, thoughts?

Postby InterestedDad » Tue Sep 29, 2015 4:52 pm

I agree with Seb. A few years ago some local families with kids were long term residents of modest means who bought their homes when it was cheap. Now I think most families with young kids bought their houses at high prices and are wealthy with the option of going private. Together with the rule change that disallowed short term renting, perhaps this is the reason why Belleville catchment has expanded to 554m this year which covers most of BTC.