Primary Schools Clapham/Wandsworth

16 posts
mummymia
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:25 am
Options:
Share this post on:

Primary Schools Clapham/Wandsworth

Postby mummymia » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:55 am

Hello, I am fully expecting someone to jump in and emphatically tell me to use the search bar but please be gentle as this is my first time on the forum and I cannot find a recent thread on this issue. 
We are relocating to Clapham/Wandsworth from Islington motivated in large part by the good schools.  We have not yet found a house so the field is wide open and there is an awful lot of choice so visiting each school for its open day is not practical (working mum not yet local).  I am open to state or independent school.  I know Honeywell and Belleville have excellent reputations but small catchments- are there any other state schools of this calibre that I should look in to? 
With regards to the Independent Schools in the area I would very much like recommendations from current happy parents and especially pointers on which schools to avoid.  My main concerns are schools where it commonplace to excessively tutor children from a very young age and a total lack of diversity (I of course expect minorities to be in the minority but I was a bit shocked when I recently visited a school where there was not one black or ethnic child in the entire school). 
Thank you to anyone who takes the time to help me out, it is truly appreciated!
Flowermummy
Posts: 138
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:45 pm
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Primary Schools Clapham/Wandsworth

Postby Flowermummy » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:44 am

There is a yearly magazine on this topic (free of charge) published by nappyvalleynet: https://issuu.com/nappyvalleynet/docs/s ... 7/64474823

Yes, the are has a lot of schools but also a lot of children.
Re. the independent schools, you should bear in mind that it's mostly a question of where you get offered a place. so not really a buyers' market :)
Broadly speaking you have:
- Hornsby House - you have to register max 2 months after birth to get a place (there is no assessment)
- Broomwood Hall - they used to have an assessment (at 3.5yo), not sure if they still do
- Eaton House the manor - single sex, you register as soon as you can and you stand a good chance of being offered a place (no assessment)
- Thomas's Clapham - you register up to 1y after birth, and the child will also do an assessment
- Newton Prep - you register up to 1 y before starting in reception, and the child will also do an assessment
- Parkgate - not sure of the details
- Finton House - not sure of the details

Re. diversity... the state schools are quite diverse;
The independent schools... I'd say Newton Prep is the most diverse by a mile, then Eaton House (but it's single sex, so you will be giving up the gender diversity) and Hornsby House. The rest are mainly white middle class.

Re. tutoring ... I think it happens at all schools for the 11+ exams. Not sure if any are worse than the others.. from what I heard Eaton House is the most academically pushy (but I don't have children there, so it's just other people's opinions).

In terms of state schools, I have heard Beatrix Potter and Henry Cavendish are also very desirable.
mum_1980
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:18 am
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Primary Schools Clapham/Wandsworth

Postby mum_1980 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:15 pm

I would say keep an open mind with regards to state and private because the schools in this borough are fantastic and all differ in terms of culture and so it really depends on the feeling you get and whether it would be right for your kid.

Bellville and Honeywell are amazing schools but you really do need to live near to the school or be willing to put yourself on the waiting list and wait for a place to come up. It does happen, people are moving around a lot, but clearly it is not guaranteed.

In terms of private schools, Dolphin is a lovely school. It is a Church of England school with a lovely community feel. It isn't pushy, and really nurtures the children - with small classes of 15-18, every kid gets a lot of attention and they produce results. They do have kids of other ethnicities but they are in the minority. I've also heard that White House School is very good and has the same small feel about it. 

Other outstanding state schools are Macaulay in Clapham Common - that's a church school and you have to be a church goer.  However, they do take some non religious kids and so if you like it, it's worth a shot. Also, remember that people in this area move around so much and state schools need to fill places or they won't get the funding, so you might get a call in the summer before your kid starts schools, or mid year or in Year 1, 2 or 3, etc.

If you are interested in bilingual French schools, it is worth having a look at Wix and Shaftesbury Park. Shaftesbury Park has a strong human rights ethos and is very diverse. I know some families who are really happy there. It is not Ofsted outstanding, but I would take the Ofsted with a pinch of salt... You need to go and see the schools yourself. 

I know you work, but do find out when the open days are and ask your boss, team to be patient with you or work from home. If you can't make the open day, the schools will let you visit at other times so do call them. My only tip for Bellville is it took me forever to get an appointment with them, so if you can, go to their open day. I had to keep calling them and chasing them to finally get an appointment (I think it took me about 6 months, perhaps because they were trying to get a big enough group together). Every other school was brilliant at slotting me in.




 
mummymia
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:25 am
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Primary Schools Clapham/Wandsworth

Postby mummymia » Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:19 pm

Thank you both. 
Flowermummy you are right, it is certainly the case that the schools are very oversubscribed and some of the ones I have contacted we probably won't make it in to- both your posts are helpful for widening the net. 
Mum_1980 I am in the process of trying to arrange visits and agree nothing beats seeing the school, I just thought if any school had awful feedback I would cross it off the list.

 
firsttimerSW11
Posts: 495
Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:25 am
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Primary Schools Clapham/Wandsworth

Postby firsttimerSW11 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:05 pm

Belleville Wix has been taken over by Belleville. Same curriculum, same specialist teachers for sport, music, languages, drame etc, same "parent types" (read into that what you will) and it's definitely worth looking at.

If you're Catholic, you can't go wrong with Holy Ghost in Balham.

Don't believe the private school hype. They all have places available.
mummymia
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:25 am
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Primary Schools Clapham/Wandsworth

Postby mummymia » Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:22 am

Thank you firsttimer I wasn’t aware of this
Flowermummy
Posts: 138
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:45 pm
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Primary Schools Clapham/Wandsworth

Postby Flowermummy » Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:56 am

"Don't believe the private school hype. They all have places available"

Firsttimer is right about that at a "macro" level - in the end everyone gets a place .... but for your own purposes, that won't help you much because you will have your clear favourites and if you don't get a place in those in the first round (annoyingly they all have different dates when they offer places!) then you have to accept a back-up option, maybe pay a deposit, then keep pushing with the registrar for a place at your preferred school (which you may not get in reception but may get later on in Y1)...

Overall a painful process- I so wish all schools in the borough (private or state) would offer places at the same time!
LastMumStanding
Posts: 55
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:03 am
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Primary Schools Clapham/Wandsworth

Postby LastMumStanding » Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:13 am

Maybe have a look at Rutherford House - it has scooped up a lot of the kids who couldn’t get into Honeywell and Belleville (lived too far away) and also remember Wix is now part of Belleville and is solid in the early years and the rest will be just as good as Belleville by the time your child is in those years. Good luck!
Spenner
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:12 am
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Primary Schools Clapham/Wandsworth

Postby Spenner » Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:16 am

Controversial maybe but I don’t think there are many advantages to choosing private schooling at primary level in Wandsworth. The local state schools are pretty much all excellent and have very good facilities. I’d have a look at Earlsfield, Beatrix Potter and Floreat for starters if you’re considering Earlsfield as a location. Earlsfield itself is a very nice area and the intake from the community for these state schools tends to include a high proportion of children who could be in private education as well as children from other backgrounds, but lots of parents choose to stick with the state system as the schools are excellent. Many of the children go on to top schools for secondary.
Flowermummy
Posts: 138
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:45 pm
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Primary Schools Clapham/Wandsworth

Postby Flowermummy » Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:04 am

I agree that local state primary schools are pretty good.
State vs private is a matter of parents preference, really.
People tend to think that if they don't get into their preferred state school, they can just go private. But in this area, it's not as straightforward - because they private primary schools are very popular too, and you can't just show up 1 yr before and be offered a place in your preferred private pre-prep.
Best to have a list of preferences (including both private and state) and see what you get offered, then decide.
The important thing with this process is to make sure you have a sure backup option (i.e. not assessment based if private, or you are definitely within the catchment area of a state school that you like ) that you are happy with.
 
gail0810
Posts: 281
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:30 pm
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Primary Schools Clapham/Wandsworth

Postby gail0810 » Tue Sep 25, 2018 2:09 pm

Both my children go to The Roche School in Wandsworth Town - which is well situated if you are thinking of Clapham Junction/Wandsworth Common/Town areas and worth considering. We are very happy with the school and my children absolutely love it. They can't wait to go each day. It’s a very warm, caring and friendly environment and the children are challenged, but supported too to reach their potential. There are good offerings for sport, music, art and drama as well as lots of clubs and extra curricular activities. The school is very diverse, with children and parents from many different countries and many different languages spoken. As you would expect, the school prepares the children very thoroughly for 11+ entrance, within the context of the school environment and support it provides, rather than a culture of excessive tutoring all the way through. 
mum_1980
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:18 am
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Primary Schools Clapham/Wandsworth

Postby mum_1980 » Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:51 am

I'd agree with Spenner and Flowermummy. The primary schools in this area are excellent. We sent our son to private primary and then switched to state after a year and a term because he got into the school we wanted him to go to. Many parents, who privately educate their kids, warned me that it will be more difficult for my kids to transition from state primary to private secondary. I can see their point, but I don't buy it. I spoke to parents who have done just this and they have recommended I get a tutor either for the last year or the last two years of school in order to prepare the kids for the private entrance exams. Some parents also take their kids out of state primary a year early to go private. And just because your kid goes to private primary doesn't mean they won't need tutoring for the secondary entrance exams. It is true that their school with prepare them for it which a state school doesn't but it really depends on their abilities and intelligence. So don't be fooled that just because you go to private primary that they will automatically get a place in the private secondary of your choice - they still have to pass the exam. Many kids have moved from state primaries to private secondaries - ask the schools you are visiting for a leavers list to see where the kids end up going to school. Also remember, there are some good state secondaries and grammar schools too! That's why it is important to keep an open mind and choose the school depending on what seems right to your kid and family and if you have the budget for private well then you are lucky enough to have more choice!
TheAlderbrookHead
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:59 am
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Primary Schools Clapham/Wandsworth

Postby TheAlderbrookHead » Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:08 pm

Hi mummymia,

Have you thought about Alderbrook?  I have just taken over as Headteacher and I think you'll find it meets your criteria; we have a diverse community and I have been seriously been impressed with the children, staff and community as a whole in the four weeks that I have been there. 

I know that we don't have the reputation of Honeywell or Belleville but our results are going up and the positivity towards the school from the whole community is overwhelming.    

Choosing a school is very personal and I totally agree that the best thing to do is to visit the school to get an idea of which best fits for you.  I am doing a tour on Tuesday at 9:15am.  I know it's a bit last minute but it would be great to see you.  If you can't make that time, please contact the office and I'm sure we can sort something out. 

Best wishes,

Mr Weal

 
Paulette
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:52 pm
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Primary Schools Clapham/Wandsworth

Postby Paulette » Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:57 am

Heya, We were in the exact same position as you are 2 years ago and asked ourselves the same questions.

We started looking for a house, having mapped all the schools and registered our child into those that require early registration. Then we decided to visit them. We're both working parents and yes, it meant quite a few mornings missing work. But it was worth it. Whilst we visited only outstanding schools, we realised there is a very praised one we didn't like AT ALL. Call this gut feeling. Another one we thought was too middle-class English (we're a European couple) and it was just not us.

So I would visit them one by one, one once a month maybe. 

For what it's worth, we concluded that what matters for school is that it has small classes. We also noted that fee-paying ones train you for your exams and try to get you into the best possible school as it's their bread and butter business, whilst state schools do not aim for that at all. They're civil servants.

Other point:
"Clapham" in itself is wide. The feel and the crowd in different areas like BTC, in the Nightingale triangle, Abbeville road or Clapham Common is very different. I would also make sure you pick the area that appeals to you and your lifestyle at this stage in your life.

I'd say (and please other people correct me)

BTC: Posh couples with 2 kids. Very busy with tons of shops from standard (from Clapham Junction to Battersea rise) to high-end types on Northcote road. Lots of options for dining, from cocktail bars, brunch places, and pubs which attract youngsters to more expensive traditional restaurants.

Nightingale triangle: Posh couples with 2 kids. Quiet. No shops at walking distance, appart around Balham station. No real dining options around for those days you dont feel like cooking.

Abbeville road: Posh couples with 2 kids. Limited but good quality / high-end shops and restaurants on Abeville road.

Clapham Common: Young couples and single professionals. Very busy with lots of shops from standard to high-end types (maybe not as much as on Northcote road). Lots of options for dining, maybe less traditional restaurants but more interesting ones. More of a foodie place.

Good luck!
 
RJXYZ
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:48 pm
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Primary Schools Clapham/Wandsworth

Postby RJXYZ » Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:51 pm

Hi,

Does anyone have any experience of the schools (local authority and private) around the Falcon Road/Battersea Park area?

Thanks!