Thomas's Clapham, Streatham and Clapham Prep offers

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Happymama
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Re: Thomas's Clapham, Streatham and Clapham Prep offers

Postby Happymama » Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:25 pm

Hi flowermummy. I have been at EH for many years now and have kids in all 3 schools now (Pre-Prep / Prep and Girls school) ... and have never heard of this happening before the end of Year 3 when the boys move to the Prep school. And again I think this is pretty rare.

With respect to the continuous assessment - its just normal school and the boys don't even know its happening ! It definitely does not affect the kids having fun. Presumably the school's thinking behind this is that assessing a child at 8 is slightly more reflective of his / hers ability than at 3 ? just a guess !

But yes - I completely agree with you - not nice to be told that your kid is "struggling".

Anyway won't get off topic again ! Just thought I would clarify from personal experience.
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Flowermummy
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Re: Thomas's Clapham, Streatham and Clapham Prep offers

Postby Flowermummy » Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:17 pm

It's hard to say exactly how much of this happens in each school, because it's not exactly transparent, so we rely on word of mouth
Re. EH, I am sure it's a lovely school but no other school in the area takes an intake at 8+, so if you get managed out at 8+ you are no better off than if you get managed out from Thomas's...
As a parent, you can only hope that this won't happen to your child....
Sorry, I am getting off topic too (as EH was not among the schools people were choosing from)
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sofiatheseventh
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Re: Thomas's Clapham, Streatham and Clapham Prep offers

Postby sofiatheseventh » Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:20 pm

There are lots of local schools with an 8+ intake.

Northcote Lodge and Broomwood Hall Upper School start then.

Then there are the bigger schools: Dulwich College, JAPS, DPL, KCJS, Westminster Under, Colet Court etc.... all of which have a formal intake at 8+. It's quite a common entry point (although admittedly it's unlikely someone 'managed out' from a smaller prep would get through the entrance exams).

To be honest, I think the most sensible approach is to look at the first school you choose as a pre-prep and expect to revisit the decision at 7 anyway. This makes it easier as you can focus on what suits your child as they are now when looking around schools. Plus if you are expecting to rethink at 7 it wouldn't be such a bolt from the blue should your child be one of the unlucky ones encouraged to push off.
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lolaloves
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Re: Thomas's Clapham, Streatham and Clapham Prep offers

Postby lolaloves » Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:29 pm

I am now even regretting sending DC for the assessment at Thomas's after hearing these stories and indeed hearing what is happening at a couple of nurseries on or off the Ncote road where the heads seem to have a special relationship with the registrar. Calls being made to ensure 'their' children make it in the first place and then secure a place at the waitling list stage.
The whole thing is a racket and makes a mockery of the 'assessment'. Either its meritocratic or its not?
They claim not to have feeder nurseries but with 20-30 kids from each of the nurseries I have in mind attending T's that is a load of nonsense.
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Flowermummy
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Re: Thomas's Clapham, Streatham and Clapham Prep offers

Postby Flowermummy » Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:02 pm

Sofiatheseventh - exactly right, if you get managed out of Thomas's, EH, etc your chances for dulwich, colet court, etc are rather minimal! Your best bet is probably broomwood / northcote lodge , but children already at broomwood lower school get priority at 8+.
I am choosing a pre prep with a view to staying there until 11+/13+, we are not planning to move out of London, so the only reason to change would be if it's the wrong fit for ds.

Lolaloves - I actually was under no illusion that these assessments at 3 are meritocratic ... I think it's a numbers game (boys vs girls, month of birth, nurseries, etc), so really not a case of looking for "the spark in their eyes" as they'll have you think ... these schools are all businesses, so I guess they have to have good relationships with the nurseries that send them most kids (which will be those around northcote rd, as that's where demand for Thomas's is highest), but still taking enough children from other nurseries so they have a "mix". :)
So pleased the stress of choosing a pre prep is over!
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lolaloves
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Re: Thomas's Clapham, Streatham and Clapham Prep offers

Postby lolaloves » Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:53 pm

I fell for the 'twinkle in the eye' line I am afraid!
Most people do expect to stay at the school until 11 or 13 and it's ironic that T make a big deal of that when they show you round and indeed in their offer letter where they state that that is the expectation and they don't prepare or expect children to move at 8? Yet if it suits them they do?!!

In other news, leavers destinations back up albeit fairly cryptic
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Flowermummy
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Re: Thomas's Clapham, Streatham and Clapham Prep offers

Postby Flowermummy » Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:11 am

lolaloves - leavers destination is not much better than the "destination map" they had earlier! Compare that to the proper info all other Thomas's schools display! Thomas's Clapham must have had a bad year, but such a silly move to try to cover it up by making it more vague (come on, we can all see through that and understand they had a bad year and don't want to publish results!)..

What I really regret now is having applied to Thomas's Clapham and not to Thomas's Battersea (as you can only join the main list for interviews at one of the Thomas's schools)...when DS was born, I thought being 15 mins walk from home would be nice, but now that he's 3.5 I see it differently...arrrggghhh!!! (and we have a DD who will start school in 2 yrs time, so moving 2 children would be difficult if it's not a good fit)
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Flowermummy
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Re: Thomas's Clapham, Streatham and Clapham Prep offers

Postby Flowermummy » Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:15 am

Also, I hadn't heard about nursery heads "lobbying" for "their" children, but even if it happens I am not convinced they have any real power in influencing Thomas's admission decisions. T is a proper big business and I am sure they have their own goals wrt admissions..
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lolaloves
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Re: Thomas's Clapham, Streatham and Clapham Prep offers

Postby lolaloves » Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:30 pm

It does now list scholarships but personally I like to see how many offers have been made to acceptances at each school as the strongest candidates will have multiple offers so seeing offers alone is not that helpful.

All very odd.

On the nursery front I have this first hand, there is a strong relationship between one particular nursery which is well publicised. The other prides itself on the strong relationship it has with the school. Indeed T visits some nurseries to see the children in their daily environment, a very sensible idea in my view, but not great for the children at nurseries where this does not happen.

Battersea seems like a lovely school but it goes on there too. Tadpoles secured 8/9 boys places available in that year and is very open about the fact in can and does sway the lists. That is not to say that the children are not suited to the school but where there a re multiple suitable children, this can be an advantage.
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papinian
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Re: Thomas's Clapham, Streatham and Clapham Prep offers

Postby papinian » Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:42 pm

Re the nurseries, I think this happens with all pre-preps. There's nothing really sinister about about it but it may make it a bit more difficult for those coming from "non-feeder" nurseries.

The nursery knows that if it recommends children who turn out not to be up to scratch, disruptive, etc. then it will lose any future chance of swaying the pre-prep. And the pre-prep knows this, so trusts the nursery's recommendations.

I see exactly the same system in place for extremely competitive post-grads. Almost every year my undergrad university department sends one person to a post-grad at the same Oxbridge college which only takes about six people a year for that postgrad. It's based on mutual trust built up over many years that the department will only recommend someone who is a good candidate and will perform well. (And for those who know that usually postgrad entry to Oxbridge is not college-based - this postgrad course is an exemption!)
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Flowermummy
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Re: Thomas's Clapham, Streatham and Clapham Prep offers

Postby Flowermummy » Wed Dec 07, 2016 2:02 pm

Wow! I must say I had heard of the 2 feeder nurseries for Thomas's, but thought it was anecdotal... of course, not a bad idea (especially observing the children during a normal day at nursery - sounds to me better than the "assessment"). But not great for the children coming from non-feeder nurseries!
I guess it's easier for Thomas's to take most children from feeder nurseries (while still taking some from non feeder nurseries, they need to show they are mixed! :D ) - as they can rely on the nurseries recommendation.
The way I see it, T's have no incentive to go out of their comfort zone because the demand BTC is so great.
But of course, it's not really meritocratic (and IMO no selection process at 3 can be meritocratic).

lolaloves - of course that the leavers destinations info published is not enough!!
My guess is that they had some very good top children (hence the scholarships), but also a lot of children going to not so great places, so overall results not great.
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lolaloves
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Re: Thomas's Clapham, Streatham and Clapham Prep offers

Postby lolaloves » Wed Dec 07, 2016 5:27 pm

I just think they should be open about this.

They should say, the vast majority of the children we accept in reception come from the following 2 nurseries. Parents might chose to go to those nurseries if they are really keen on T?

Instead they make a big deal about it, in fact I only looked into because they mentioned it so many times on the visit (we don't have feeder nurseries despite the rumours etc).

There is distinct lack of transparency is this and the school leaver situation!

I have no axe to grind, we got in from a non feeder nursery but I just think the whole process needs to be more honest.
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papinian
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Re: Thomas's Clapham, Streatham and Clapham Prep offers

Postby papinian » Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:19 pm

lolaloves wrote:I just think they should be open about this.

There is distinct lack of transparency is this and the school leaver situation!

I have no axe to grind, we got in from a non feeder nursery but I just think the whole process needs to be more honest.
The existing process works for the nurseries and it works for the pre-preps. These are businesses - transparency only makes sense if it suits their business model.

The preps don't want to be seen to limit their intake to the feeder nurseries. In that case a scandal at one feeder nursery that resulted in its closure could adversely affect their intake. What the preps want is to maximise the number of applicants while having the best possible chance to select those children who will perform best in the 11+ or 13+. The same applies to disclosure of where leavers go.

There is a lot more transparency among independent schools at secondary level. That's partly because there are common exams but also partly because there are industry level bodies like HMC that require schools to provide data in the same way.
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Flowermummy
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Re: Thomas's Clapham, Streatham and Clapham Prep offers

Postby Flowermummy » Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:24 pm

Transparency would be nice, but I see papinian's point that (unfortunately) it doesn't make business sense... also T's have such a demand for places that they have no incentive to improve their image.
T's seems to get a lot of "bad press" on NVN and generally in parents conversations, I think this is largely due to how they handle admissions into reception. I feel that the getting into T's hysteria is being played up both by T's and the feeder nurseries, which makes the families that didn't get in very against T's but also makes families with offers annoyed at T's arrogance (come on, the cryptic leavers destination info only shows disdain for prospective parents)
I do think and hope that once you start there, it's actually a nice school ...
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dudette
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Re: Thomas's Clapham, Streatham and Clapham Prep offers

Postby dudette » Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:53 am

There's an awful lot of speculation and rumour on this thread by people who don't seem to have any connection with Thomas's other than hearsay. I would suggest that anyone coming across this thread make their own enquiries to Thomas's rather than relying on this misinformation. Thomas's tell us the parents exactly where the leavers are going. I've no idea why they've removed it from the website but it's absolutely nothing to do with them having a 'poor year' - whatever that means. Who's to say which secondary school is better than another? People choose a school based on what's right for their child. Also all this stuff about 'managing out' - again we're only hearing this second hand and I would suggest you may not have heard the whole story from the parents whose kids have been allegedly 'managed out'. You're much better off making an appointment with the head and asking these questions directly rather than relying on rumours from a bunch of people who seem to have a bit of an anti-Thomas's axe to grind for whatever reason. Thomas's have a Twitter feed. If you want to get a good idea of the school it's worth following and a lot better than a lot of the nonsense on this thread!
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