Thomas's Clapham, Streatham and Clapham Prep offers

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DonJ
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Thomas's Clapham, Streatham and Clapham Prep offers

Postby DonJ » Sat Nov 12, 2016 9:30 pm

Hello,
We have received offers from both these schools - and are in a complete spin about the decision. I loved the nurturing feel of Streatham, but got an absolute sense that Thomas's was stronger academically. Streatham has the advantage of providing until 18, but Thomas's would prep for the 11+, and hopefully give us more choice amongst the London day schools for secondary education. I'm concerned anecdotally about the supposed ultra- competitiveness of Thomas's. I would love to hear from any parents with children in either school about how they have found their experience. Many thanks!
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Goldhawk
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Re: Thomas's Clapham, Streatham and Clapham Prep offers

Postby Goldhawk » Sun Nov 13, 2016 1:01 pm

Do you want coed or single sex?
What about the location? Are you nearer to one than the other?
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DonJ
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Re: Thomas's Clapham, Streatham and Clapham Prep offers

Postby DonJ » Sun Nov 13, 2016 3:34 pm

I have a younger son, so co-ed would be preferable for avoiding a double school run! In terms of distance, they're about the same...
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Wheresmyschool?
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Re: Thomas's Clapham, Streatham and Clapham Prep offers

Postby Wheresmyschool? » Sun Nov 13, 2016 5:02 pm

they are very very different schools.

S&C is amazing and nuturing and on the way up but Thomas's has been for a very very long time a school where children are perceived to be brighter/more assertive/more confident. I'm NOT saying that they ARE brighter/more assertive/more confident but my experience of parents at Thomas's and the children who attend is that they like to be seen as being more successful.

I think the fit with your children is going to be the most important element and as the schools are very different it should be relatively easy. A bright, confident and assertive child who is happy in a large school and can "hold their own" will love Thomas's. A child who is more of a wallflower and more timid will feel overwhelmed.

They are both great schools so it will be wonderful!
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DonJ
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Re: Thomas's Clapham, Streatham and Clapham Prep offers

Postby DonJ » Sun Nov 13, 2016 7:35 pm

Thank you very much for your reply! To be honest, I had always felt that my daughter was more of a wallflower, but in recent months her confidence has improved enormously. Previously I hadn't thought that she was the right "type" for Thomas's - but this was admittedly based purely on hearsay. As a school, I know less about it than Streatham and Clapham, which felt very supportive and welcoming as a learning environment.
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walesdavies
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Re: Thomas's Clapham, Streatham and Clapham Prep offers

Postby walesdavies » Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:13 am

Whilst, it is totally YOUR choice & instinct as to which would suit your child better - if you'd be happy with either then I would say that if you prefer co-ed & NOT having to do 2 school runs then go Thomas's! Logistics can be important as well as other things (but only if you would geniuinally feel your child would be happy!).

I have 2 children at the school & they are both very happy - in fact they love it! Although both are confident chn & I wasn't worried about them going into a 'big' school, neither of them are competitive in nature & I felt my daughter, in particular, would need the most support. They both have their individual & different needs & I have found the teachers & the school very accommodating, nurturing and warm.

Hope that helps! Feel free to DM me if you have any more questions
:)
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Confus_ed
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Re: Thomas's Clapham, Streatham and Clapham Prep offers

Postby Confus_ed » Mon Nov 14, 2016 11:31 am

I've recently moved my daughter from one of the generally better thought of local preps to Streatham and Clapham Prep and couldn't be happier.

It is a lovely school. There's a great mix of girls from all sorts of backgrounds, great teachers and a really nurturing atmosphere. Plus a real ethos that the girls can do anything they put their minds too. Lots of specialist teachers for languages, music, art, science, the various sports from reception onwards.

Somewhat at odds with the schools' local reputations we have found SCP to be much more rigorous academically. My daughter was in all the top groups at her old school but is now having to do extra work to catch up as the standard is much higher.

In terms of later schools I wouldn't focus on it too much unless you might want a boarding school? Most of the SCP girls do go on to the senior school (increasingly so as its reputation is on the up) but they still have to sit the entrance exam and so taking other entrance exams too isn't a problem. We are still open minded about where our daughter may go later on and the school told us that when we get to that point they will help prep her for anything covered on other schools entrance exams that they aren't already doing for their own test.

Lots of the girls have siblings at Dulwich Prep (which is a brilliant school in every way) so that could be a good option for your son later on? There's a shuttle bus from the SCH senior school site over to the junior school and a helpfully located DPL mini bus stop by the common which makes combining the two very easy logistically.
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lolaloves
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Re: Thomas's Clapham, Streatham and Clapham Prep offers

Postby lolaloves » Mon Nov 14, 2016 12:00 pm

If you can avoid the stress of 11+ I would, its become a total nightmare, S&C has an excellent reputation and I think is much better at developing the whole child than Thomas's.
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MagnoliaMum
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Re: Thomas's Clapham, Streatham and Clapham Prep offers

Postby MagnoliaMum » Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:29 pm

I can't comment on S & C as I have two boys, but I have very long experience of Thomas's Clapham. My elder was there from 2005-2014 and my younger started there in 2011. It is absolutely not the case that they do not 'develop the whole child'; both boys have done huge amounts of music, drama, sport, public speaking, art, creative computing, etc etc. The school actively develops children's self-confidence, but at the same time encourages them to think of others and give back to their community. I think they produce well-rounded, non-arrogant kids, with good skills of applying themselves to their studies.

I remember being anxious before my older boy started there, after having been warned of 'hothousing' by other parents (notably whose kids hadn't been offered a place!). It is an academic school and it is busy, bustling and full-on. Your child(ren) need to be robust enough to thrive on that. However there is not a 'Thomas's type' - the children are a good mix of alpha-achievers, normals and those who need a bit of extra help. The parents don't conform to one stereotype either.

If you hear opinions from other parents, be wary of those before 2013, when the Head changed. The current Head has very different views and has brought in many excellent changes, mainly about building good life-skills and attitudes. He has also encouraged much greater diversity in where the children end up afterwards, either at 11 or 13+.

I suggest you book visits around both schools again and try to picture whether you can see your daughter there. Look at the kids there; is that how you'd like her to develop and the sort of friends you'd like for her? Lovely to have the choice - but tough too! Then go on your instinct - good luck!
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sofiatheseventh
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Re: Thomas's Clapham, Streatham and Clapham Prep offers

Postby sofiatheseventh » Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:52 pm

I know several families who have felt that their children were 'managed out' of Thomas' for being amongst the lower achievers.

I doubt that the school is actively doing this but there appears to be a feeling amongst some parents that children at the lower end of the academic scale as not as well served/ welcome there. I wonder whether (as per the thread about Newton Prep) it is partly because of setting children/families being unhappy about where they are placed.

Something to bear in mind as I can think of 3 children this has happened to recently.
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DonJ
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Re: Thomas's Clapham, Streatham and Clapham Prep offers

Postby DonJ » Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:54 pm

Thank you so much to everyone who has replied, I truly appreciate it. It's lovely to hear good things about the academic side of S and C, and about the well-rounded approach of Thomas's, as both contradict a lot of chatter you sometimes hear about them! I can't deny the attraction of both my children being able to attend the same school, and of potentially being able to have a wider choice of secondary school - although recent leavers destinations at Thomas's do look rather more geared towards boarding school than day school.
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Bodders1
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Re: Thomas's Clapham, Streatham and Clapham Prep offers

Postby Bodders1 » Mon Nov 14, 2016 11:32 pm

Hi there - I am a current Thomas's Clapham parent with 2 children at the school. Our experience of the school has been very positive and my kids LOVE it - they skip into school each day and come home happy and full of what they have done during the day. I have found almost all the teachers to be warm and nurturing and there is generally a friendly and nurturing environment particularly in the lower school. It is a "busy" school but that is probably true of most of the prep schools in this area and there is no doubt that the school achieves excellent academic results with a good proportion of kids going to London day schools rather than boarding. Neither of my children is very competitive and my younger child can be shy. Like another poster has said there really isn't a "type" of parent or child either. Thomas's is a good option for those who want co-ed right the way through and it offers the flexibility of preparation for 11+ and 13+ and my understanding is the day/boarding split is pretty much 50/50 these days. I would be happy to have a chat to you about our experiences if it would be helpful. Do feel free to PM me.
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sofiatheseventh
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Re: Thomas's Clapham, Streatham and Clapham Prep offers

Postby sofiatheseventh » Tue Nov 15, 2016 12:27 am

I'm always slightly intrigued by Thomas's reputation as the most 'academic' of the local schools. Looking at its latest published leavers destinations, it got a lower proportion of scholarships (16 in a year of approx 80 kids) than Broomwood Hall (21 for 57 leavers) or Hornsby House (which had a whopping 40 for 51 leavers) to a similar set of destination schools.

Sorry I know that's a bit off topic as BH and HH aren't on your list but it does suggest that the differences in academic levels between all these schools tends to be a bit overblown.

Thomas' list still seems to be weighted a bit more towards boarding and interestingly the boys' results look better than the girls in terms of numbers getting into the hardest schools to get places at.
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Goldhawk
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Re: Thomas's Clapham, Streatham and Clapham Prep offers

Postby Goldhawk » Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:23 am

The scholarship figures can be misleading.... you need to know how many scholarship offers were taken up.... which for Hornsby was more like 13

The top kids may get scholarship offers from everywhere they apply
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sofiatheseventh
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Re: Thomas's Clapham, Streatham and Clapham Prep offers

Postby sofiatheseventh » Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:54 am

I understand that but it doesn't make a differenve in terms of comparing the various schools results as the same will be true at all of them.
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