Thames Christian School

9 posts
twice_as_nice
Posts: 343
Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:41 pm
Options:
Share this post on:

Thames Christian School

Postby twice_as_nice » Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:32 pm

Does anyone have any experience of this school? I'd be really interested to hear any feedback on it - feel free to PM.  Thanks so much! 
Outnumberedmum
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:13 am
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Thames Christian School

Postby Outnumberedmum » Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:09 pm

twice_as_nice wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:32 pm
Does anyone have any experience of this school? I'd be really interested to hear any feedback on it - feel free to PM.  Thanks so much! 



It’s horrendous, if you ask me! I don’t understand what you pay for? It has less facilities than many of our good state schools.

It feels like an entire school has been crammed into an old school gym. Most windows look out onto the council estate that surrounds it and some windows are even boarded up.

Very religious. Children taught that gay marriage is wrong etc...(the girl who showed me around actualy said this to me.)

I felt depressed on viewing it and couldn’t wait to get out! It was dark and clodtraphoboc. All on one floor and was a tiny site. Kids looked uncomfortable and embarrassed walking through an estate with private school blazer on.

I thought it was horrible. Strange vibe and the kids who were there clearly couldn’t get in anywhere else.

I’d opt for a state school over that any day.
mummo
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon May 23, 2011 8:07 am
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Thames Christian School

Postby mummo » Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:08 am

I know of three families with children there who have only good things to say about it. Yes, it is small, but this allows it to be nurturing and more flexible on what they can offer which certainly would not be the case in the state sector. My understanding is they are moving into new premises in the next couple of years. In my opinion we are lucky to have another option, yes it may be less academically selective - but thank goodness, the private day schools in London are getting harder and harder to get in to and this provides something different. I strongly believe you have to pick what's right for your child and family, whether that be a highly competitive school with hundreds of clubs and extensive facilities, the local state option, grammar, boarding etc etc. There are so many factors to consider, personally I believe that if a child is not happy they are much less likely to be fulfil their potential. Find something that feels right for your child and you and whilst everyone will have an opinion remember they are coming at it from their own set of unique circumstances.
Paddyabroad
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat May 09, 2015 3:57 pm
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Thames Christian School

Postby Paddyabroad » Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:46 am

Outnumberedmum- as a parent at Thames Christian I find your opinion narrow minded and typical of some of the snobbery that goes along with the private versus state schooling system in our leafy borough. We moved our son from another private school to Thames as we were so impressed by it - we did have choices! Yes, Thames is based in a council state and facilities aren’t as great as other schools BUT being small and caring it is unbelievably nurturing and focuses entirely on the individual with huge one to one care for the pupils. The lack of facilities are compensated for by using other out of school facilities eg. The Grand Clapham for their extraordinarily brilliant show they produce annually. It is the absolute reverse of depressing and is uplifting and a happy place. The religious element (and we are by no means a ‘reigious’ family manifests in teaching children excellent morals and how to cope with the vagrancies of living in this tough new world) and your comment would be that child’s opinion and certainly not taught at school. They have uplifting and relevant assemblies which are inspirational for teenagers growing up in this decade. We have another son in another sought after private school who often remarks about the great things that Thames do. For those people who want to send their child to a private school as a status system rather than a place where the individual receives tailor made education and care Thames Christian is not the school for them which is obviously outnumberedmum’s raison d’etre.
KJT
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:34 am
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Thames Christian School

Postby KJT » Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:16 pm

twice_as_nice this is an amazing school! Two of my three children have/are attending Thames Christian School and if I'd discovered it sooner the eldest would have gone there too. 

My daughter previously attended a girl's independent school that had all the facilities one could wish for on site, but alas facilities do not make a school. She was incredibly unhappy and begged to be moved to her brother's school (Thames), moving her was the best decision we could have made. She is thriving. She is incredibly happy and settled at Thames and her academic results have also improved with the dedicated teaching.

The small class sizes of 16 or less allows for individual attention. High achieving students like my daughter are stretched and challenged while less academically able students like my son are encouraged and nurtured. As a result of this as well as his dedication and hard work, my son has been predicted excellent GCSE results. They don't have all the facilities on site but within a short walk they have access to great purpose built and maintained facilities. 

I have found the pastoral care at Thames to be the best of any school I have been involve with. Being small the teachers know all the students and are able to work with their strengths. When there are any issues, which is inevitable in any school, they are dealt with very quickly and sensitively. Bad behaviour is just not tolerated.

The school is not in a beautiful building but the atmosphere inside is wonderful. The kids actually enjoy going to school. The school is just about to start building a new school near Clapham Junction station. If you are looking for a pretty school then this is not the school for you. However, if you want a school that works with you to nurture a well rounded happy child then Thames is just what you are looking for.

I asked my son, 15 at the time, what makes Thames different to other schools and after a brief moment of thought he replied 'The teachers actually really care about you'- I think that says it all! 

I would suggest that you go and have a look at Thames and see for yourself what it is all about.

 
Diwhb
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:08 am
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Thames Christian School

Postby Diwhb » Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:38 am

Hi there twice_as_nice,

I have one child who has just finished, and one about to start.

Teachers are teachers, GCSEs are GCSEs, but at Thames, due to the ethos and ratios, the teachers know the children very well and always go the extra mile for every child, from very high achievers to those who need a little extra support. Communication with parents is excellent. Study skills are taught superbly, so there is an air of calm during exam season.

My older one moved for yr 8 from a school with beautiful facilities, pool etc, in a wealthy residential area. There was a distinct lack of love and inconsistent and ineffective management strategies.

My younger child’s prep school suggested notably selective schools for secondary. Although our hearts were already at Thames we kept an open mind and child sat for a couple of these places. However we rejected the offers as we were not convinced the quality of teaching (due to ethos and ratios), attention and care could match Thames, and facilities did not convince us over the care of the staff at Thames, as well as the personal opportunities.

Dr Holsgrove is insightful and resourceful. Children access a fantastic range of local facilities. There will be a new building soon but that will just be a bonus, not a decision maker. Being a small school, children are part of the bigger community of the school and can access many opportunities. Individuality is celebrated and developed. Teachers go the extra mile to ensure each child has the right experiences, including entry to high level sporting events, art competitions and drama roles.

There is no evidence to suggest children make more progress when studying key stages 3 and 4 in a selective environment. The curriculum is fundamentally the same wherever you go. As a parent and someone who works in education, I would say on the contrary, children thrive in a mixed environment where they can each compare themselves in a more realistic sample of the population in terms of ability and benefit from learning amongst different learning styles (albeit with staff who passionately manage that). The children do have a range of learning abilities, but the school does have a rigorous selection process and the children generally have very supportive and interested parents.

All in all I have every confidence my children will continue to fly, both academically and personally, and understand who they are in a world of beautiful differences. My older one has never been held back at Thames, only challenged and nurtured. My child has been happy to go to school and was sorry to see the experience come to an end.

We are not a religious family, but we are very respectful of different cultural and religious choices. Both children have been educated in christian schools, and have never had any opinions forced upon them. They both have their own well developed views and can articulately but sensitively express themselves. They are part of a multi cultural and multi religious society in London and they love it.

The uniform is not over fancy, in fact very similar to many of the local state schools. Thames has a good relationship with its local community and links to the state primary school over the road. The kids are comfortable and streetwise, although statistically more likely to get mugged in the Northcote Road area.

It’s a personal choice, but for us our priority is that our children are known, cared about as individuals, challenged and recognised for their strengths. Thames isn’t perfect of course, no school is perfect, but it’s minor imperfections are not things that bother our children.

One key thing to consider is value added as opposed to actual exam results. It’s easy to teach in a school where the top 2% of the population have been creamed, and it would be worrying in that case if results weren’t exceptionally high overall. Thames does have good overall results, but it has a mixed intake which means the range is bigger than a highly selective school. Results suggest a combined formula of hard working kids and superb teaching. Maths classes are arranged in sets, but otherwise classes are mixed, although crucially children are not held back.
BJF
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:30 pm
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Thames Christian School

Postby BJF » Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:04 pm

I firmly believe that all schools do not suit all children, and the process of selecting a school is about finding the right school for the individual child. We have one son at Thames and our other son at a large, selective, independent school and both boys are very happy.

We are not a religious family and in an ideal world I would prefer all schools to be non-religious, but that's not the world we live in.  By attending Christian schools our sons are taught to respect other people's beliefs and to appreciate that not everyone they meet is going to share their views and beliefs - invaluable skills in today's world. 

I understand it's hard to not be seduced by impressive sports facilities and vast manicured grounds but what really matters to us is that our boys are happy, confident and challenged when at school and that is certainly the case for both our boys.

I would guess that anyone who thinks the children at Thames are "embarrassed, uncomfortable and are there because they didn't get in anywhere else" probably hasn't really taken the time to get to know the school or the children at the school.
2ndmum
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:43 pm
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Thames Christian School

Postby 2ndmum » Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:50 pm

I have two friends who have children at Thames Christian School and the girls are thriving like they have not done before. They get a lot of personal attention from teachers and love the school. Yes, the building is not great, but my friends made a conscious decision to focus on quality of teaching and a good school climate, values and ethos. They are both seriously professional working mums and know what good looks like. I trust their judgement. 
twice_as_nice
Posts: 343
Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:41 pm
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Thames Christian School

Postby twice_as_nice » Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:29 pm

Thanks for the replies, very helpful!