Independent options for sporty, creative, not so academic girl?

(7 Posts)
ALittleLess Mon 19-Sep-16 14:23:11

Hi all,
Hope someone can help. Currently looking at independents in SW London/ Croydon for DD currently in year 4. She loves sport and any kind of art/ creative activity, high degree of social intelligence, makes friends easily and has a great positive attitude. No problems whatsoever with her behaviour so ADHD/ disruptive behaviour not issues. Would be one of those children who participates fully in everything going. She is not very academic however - she did not meet any of the new state school curriculum targets last year (but would have achieved her two levels of progress under the old system and have met targets). She is currently at an outstanding state primary and there are some extremely high achievers in her class, so not a case of bad school, bad teaching - more a case of picks things up a bit more slowly and has trouble retaining info. Had an ed psych assessment which said there was nothing in particular wrong just takes her longer to pick things up and that she was "average". Nothing that could be statemented as such and generally not much to worry about - advised us to just keep working with her outside of school to help her keep up.

She could really benefit from a smaller class sizes and being able to do more of what she is good at to keep her confidence up.

So far we have looked at Old Palace (definitely not a fit) and are looking at Royal Russell this weekend. On paper RR looks like a good fit as it seems to cater to her strengths but might also be able to support her academically).

In the past RR has had the reputation (whether true or not) of not being as selective academcally as the other Croydon independents but focussing more on progress with children getting the best results that they possibly can. As all the independents have gotten that much more selective, I was wondering if anyone can comment on how selective RR is (will they look at whole child and interview or use test results alone?)
Also open to the idea of putting her into RR in year 5 and hope she gets to stay on for senior school - does anyone know under what circumstances children are told they won't be kept on for the senior school?

Can anyone comment on any other schools might fit a child of this type (open to junior to senior or senior only options??
We are in Wimbledon and could do anything commutable by public transport but we like Croydon as DS is currently at Whitgift so logistically makes sense to have the schools near each other. We prefer co-ed but would also look at girls only.

Many thanks for any feedback or suggestions.

Seeline Tue 20-Sep-16 07:53:48

Don't really know much about it, but Greenacres in Banstead is considered to be less academic. All girls school.

ThereAreNoNamesAvailable Tue 20-Sep-16 10:36:09

If your DD is accepted into Yr5 at RR, it will be on the basis that they think she is good/academic enough to go on into the senior school. They let existing parents know if there could be a problem before that, so they would only let her in if they thought she was a candidate for senior school entry.

The other co-ed independents around Croydon are Alleyn's and Wickham Court School. Alleyn's is very academic, but Wickham Court School might be a good option. It's a few miles away from Whitgift (about a 15 minute drive??), but I don't know much about it.

ALittleLess Tue 20-Sep-16 11:35:14

Thanks ThereAreNoNames. That is good to know- means if she were to get a place in year 5, moving up to senior school not so much of a risk as we would only move her if they felt senior school an ok fit then. I also feel she would have a better chance in an assessment rather than a stand alone exam.
I will look at Wickham Court school. Haven't heard of that one. Alleyns has been ruled out.

gwenneh Tue 20-Sep-16 14:09:35

I would absolutely pick Royal Russell over the other independent schools in the area. My husband is an Old Russellian and my DS went there until we moved back to the US.

It is still true that academics are important at RR, but there is far more provision and attention paid to non-academic pursuits than at the other schools we looked at. My son is still small but he seems to excel more in artistic areas, and those are very well-provided for. We've actually had trouble finding a school in the US to keep up!

The assessment is very friendly and I should think you'll have no problems -- it's not all about academic achievement, it's very much a "whole child" approach. Mr. Thompson, the head of the Junior School, is absolutely lovely and will be on hand to help you out, I'm sure. Good luck!

ALittleLess Tue 20-Sep-16 18:13:30

Thanks so much gweneh, that is really helpful! Will be sure to take a very good look at the art areas on the open day this weekend and the extra-curriculars as well.

codandchipstwice Wed 21-Sep-16 12:33:55

DS friend moved to RR for year 6 after having being failed by state primary - and is having a great time there. He is not too academic but was accepted in after meeting Head and is now in Year 7 - so it does sound like it could be possible.

TBH if I had the money I would consider it as it just seems so lovely and encouraging for everything in a way the state sector is just not able to do

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