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Darell primary school(25 Posts)
I've been doing the rounds in Kew of the local primary schools and really liked atmosphere at Darell despite having heard a few negative things about it previously and its lukewarm Ofsted report. Loved the arts curriculum and it seems to be turning a corner with new deputy head from Vineyard School, new playground facilities etc. And SATs average is lower than some other Kew schools but detailed results show lots of children achieve high scores - just a broad intake it seems. The problem is I don't know anyone who sends their kids there and I seem to be alone in considering it for my daughter! Has anyone sent their children, are they happy? No idea what my daughter's strengths will be yet, but does the school properly support academic progress? Ofsted criticised them on this and one of the other Kew schools is super-academic, so it's a factor to compare even though ultimately I want a well-rounded education (whatever that means!) Any info welcome as it's so difficult to tell very much from a one hour school tour!
Can't answer but watching your thread as Darell is our nearest one I think. Do they take geography into account when allocating places do you know?
Should say still early days for us as ds only 15 mths!
i wouldnt do it my dd did 2 yrs at the nursery and i saw the school down hill big time i know quite a few people have withdrawn their children from the main school in my opinon the best schools in my opinon are marshgate, kew riverside, queen school, vineyard good luck with choosing. We chose marshgate which is brilliant have a look around
Thanks. Oh dear! Is there a specific concern (eg behaviour or teaching) that has lead to people withdrawing their children? It seemed quite a happy school when I went round...
I've got quite a few friends with children there and they are very happy with the school. One is a primary school teacher and she chose it over Queens. You have to go with what feels best for you and a change in leadership can make an enormous difference to a school within a very short time. Although, as you say it's some time before your DS starts school.
Thanks! Looks like it's a bit of a marmite school (ie love it or not). My DD starts next September, so unlike cheeselover I'm at decision time! Thanks for taking the time to send me your thoughts.
By the way, cheeselover, yes it seems distance is the main factor for getting into Darell after priority for siblings and cared-for children. At least at the moment - who knows what will happen in the next few years with all the reforms! Best of luck.
Cheers, tks for the information. It's a minefield trying to get my head round it all! Good luck with your choice Kora.
darell told one person i knew her son had problems she moved hom school and the new school said he had no problems and is getting on really well, problems with teachers not being helpful, listening to concerns, bullying my daughter was in nursery for 2yrs and in the 2nd we had nothing but problems and withdrew her we know about 10 people at least that have withdrawn their children in the last 2-3 yrs. So i def wouldnt choose it.
in my experience - have three children currently at darell and other parents' views past and present - the school is supportive, nurturing and teaching is imaginative.
it has a heart.
no school is perfect and it really depends what you want out of a school and what sort of child you have.
as for SATS results, imho, they mean nothing without being put in context.
How did your child do two years at Darell preschool, mummyq? I thought it was just one year at preschool max.
my daughter was 3 in september 2008 they let her start for some reason 3 days after her birthday so she did 2 yrs there it seems darell do this nearly every year they have children there from the previous yr
I have a friend with 3 childrne of various ages who love the school and have no problems. Kew riverside has a very very small catchment
oops and just realised said "friend" has already posted!
I do hear that the nursery is not as good as the main school. Though again had a freind whose child was perfectly happy there.
All Richmond Borough parents need to be aware that the council is looking to make some significant changes to Secondary Schools over the coming years, which could impact existing schools, so check out the thread: "New Secondaries for Richmond Borough" and join the debate. The council will hopefully listen to parents' views, but we can only engage in the process if we know what's going on.
Don't judge a school from hear say...
We have been in the school 4yrs now and have 2 very happy, settled and grounded children. Teachers are approachable if done in the correct manor and are always welcoming.
The school is entering a new exciting phase with new building works and New Head and Deputy Heads.
I look forward to our next few years at Darell.
I have two children at Darell Primary and we are very happy with the school. As an academic i am keen for them to get a good educational grounding. I find the learning environment and the standard of teaching (the children have had experience of 7 teachers over their years) to be excellent. The broad curriculum, lots of school trips, great arts week etc are, in my opinion, a real benefit for the kids in helping them to enjoy learning for its own sake and also in enhancing creativity.
We had 2 children in Darell until 2 years ago. Became increasingly unhappy and left. As one parent mentioned here, it is a marmite school, you either love it or hate it. I depends on your background, your life views and expectations. It has a very broad social and ethnic mix, out of all primaries in Kew, probably the widest. It means that there could be very rough children, very rough parents, children who come from refugee families where nobody speaks English and can't help these children with reading/writing at home, which means the teacher and parent helper will have to spend extra time in the class room to help him/her. If you and your children deal well with this factor, you are halfway there. The the whole approach of learning through art. Art is great, but sometimes one has to learn how to study books, do revisions, write properly - I see huge difference now after we left in my children's edication. On the positive note, there are many wondeful dedicated parents at that school who love it and work hard to raise standards and change it to the better with the new Headteacher who came in Sep 2011.
School has transformed under the leadership of the new head. Now has uniform and the building works have been completed.
Now a very well run and more traditional school in terms of the approach to learning while still having a friendly atmosphere and a diverse range of kids. This has been reflected in the improved test results and the new Ofsted report the school has received.
Glad you're happy there now, Harris, In the interest of fairness, though,must point out that several well-established families at the school - including my own - took the extremely painful decision to take their children out of the school due to concerns about the style and priorities of the new management and what they regretfully saw as an erosion of ethos and individuality.
Having said that, fully realise what a daunting challenge the new head had ahead of her and, although strongly disagreeing with management style, I wish the school nothing but the best.
Always visit and make your own mind up - don't listen to gossip. Take account of other opinions if you know the person voicing them - otherwise they are of little use
>> School has transformed under the leadership of the new head.
No, it hasn't. I've known the school for over twenty years and it's very much the same as it has always been (warm, bumbling, friendly, slightly chaotic but with its heart in the right place).
My DD is very happy there, btw, and doing very well both academically and socially.
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