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Herne Hill School advice
Posted by: kay 30 June, 2012 11:43


We were planning to send our daughter to the reception class at Herne Hill School this September 2012 but are starting to get cold feet based on what we have been hearing about the down sides to the school.

Our daughter is a rather shy, sensitive child born in August so will be one of the youngest in the class.

We really liked the Herne Hill School teachers, the music and drama programme, the fact the school gets good exam results, seems very aware of the needs of 'summer babies' and the children go on to good schools at 7. However, our daughter has finally settled in her current school (Oakfield School) and has made some good friends. At first we thought that school was a bit too strict for her but now think it was just the teacher she had and the fact the school did not allow parents to come into the class at the start of the year for any sort of gentle 'settling in' period. Though Oakfield doesn't seem to have the same sort of good reputation for academics as Herne Hill School and less children seem to go on to the more academically selective local private school, we are now wondering if Herne Hill School might feel too high pressured for our daughter and if she will again struggle with settling in and then have a hard time when she has to leave at 7 and settle in somewhere else. She is still really young (not yet 4) but seems to be rather average in her current class academically so not a child genius of any sort!

At Herne Hill School we have been hearing that there is a lot of time spent taking exams, lots of homework and lots of stress towards the end with children sometimes feelin they aren't as clever as peers who go on to Alleyns or JAGS. All of this worries us.

We really just wanted to find a school which would be the best fit for our daughter but are now worrying that because of her personality she may need stabililty and a low pressure environment so perhaps should stay where she has been for the past year (Oakfield). I know each child is different and this is a very personal decision but if there are any parents with experience of either Herne Hill School or Oakfield who can comment on their experiences of either school, I'd really appreciate it. It feels like it is hard to get a true sense of any school until your child is actually attending.

Thank you,
A worried mum who just wants her daughter to be happy

Re: Herne Hill School advice
Posted by: Snobol4 01 May, 2015 18:01

Hi Kay,

What did you do in the end? Did you go for Herne Hill or stick with Oakfield?

Interested to know what your updated experience has been. We have a son due to enter at Reception and we have offers from Oakfield, Rosemead and waiting for an answer imminently from Herne Hill. So, we will have to make a decision.

Anyone else have useful info would much appreciate hearing it!


Re: Herne Hill School advice
Posted by: EDZ 01 May, 2015 18:41

Keep your child in Oakfield. My two children have gone from Nursery to Year 1 at Oakfield. It is a really lovely school with execellent academics, especially in the early years. The nursery is simply fantastic. Both girls have been offered places at JAPS (into Reception and the elder child into Year 2 chance vacancy slot (she never applied for reception)) and neither of them had any tutoring. Another girl from my daughter's class also went from reception at Oakfield into JAPS at year 1 also in a chance vancacy. If you look at the placements for the older kids into the top schools from Oakfield you will also find it is pretty high. Remember Oakfield is not selecive so they will have children who the highly acedemic schools will not suit. Oakfield places all the kids at different levels for reading, writing and maths so they all progress at different levels and the kids are not stressed. It is a lovely school. Do not worry, if your kids are right for the school they will get into JAPS, Alleyn's, DC from Oakfield no problem. You might ask why I am moving them, and I can assure you it was not done lightly. Oakfield is lovely and my kids are getting a great education. My reasons for moving all personal and based on that we may have to move in a few years so coming from JAPS will be easier for various reasons in the possibly new highly competitive schooling situation we may find ourselves. I would not otherwise bother to move them now. Also remember Oakfield got a new highly rated head just before we joined 4 years ago. She is fantastic and has improved things and continues to do so. So its reputation for poor acedemics is a bit dated.

Re: Herne Hill School advice
Posted by: kay 13 May, 2015 21:54


We actually did move our daughter to Herne Hill in the end and have been thrilled with the school. The teachers are really incredible and seem to make every subject so fascinating. They were brilliant with the summer born children and have really helped my daughter come out of her shell. The music and drama have been outstanding. We just went through the process of applying to schools at the end of Year 2 and it really wasn't too stressful at all. My daughter thought the assessments were a fun day out from school with her friends. I rate Herne Hill School extremely highly and have found it a very caring place.

Please let me know if you have any specific questions that I can help with,

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