Broomwood or Thomas's Clapham

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Broomwood or Thomas's Clapham

Postby Onlyboys2 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:47 am

Hello and apologies for a topic that has been discussed before but it was a few years ago and I cannot see a more recent thread.

We are in a fortunate position of having a choice between Broomwood Hall and Thomas's Clapham for our first son. We found out this weekend and two days later I don't know how we are going to make the decision. We have a second son 18m younger so we need to make a decision right for the family and that will suit both boys and any other children we might have.

We know a lot of lovely families at BH but very few friends have gone for or been offered a place at TC so we feel we know a lot less about it although impressed by the facilities. I also really like that the boys will always be dropped off at the same place and co-ed all the way.

I don't imagine we will do London day school afterwards, they will board or we will move out of London.

Does anyone happen to have experience of both schools or are there any TC parents willing to talk to me please?

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Re: Broomwood or Thomas's Clapham

Postby Claphamconery » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:19 pm

We have a dd at Thomas's and have been very happy with it so far. Great facilities, passionate staff and a varied and creative curriculum. I would say they impression I got was that Thomas's is less of a traditional prep school (which I like but others will have a view). DD is very happy there so far and seems to be making great progress with reading (she is in reception) but also has plenty of time to play in the mud kitchen and getting dressed up.
The parents all seem lovely and quite a mix of working parents and stay at home mums. Also more diverse/international than I thought.

I don't think you can really go wrong however, they are both good schools, the big question is whether you want co-ed?

Feel free to ask any questions but we are thrilled with it and any concerns about it being pushy/a hot house were unfounded. They have a lot going on and its a busy school but they very focused on pupils having time to relax and unwind and on mindfulness for example!

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Re: Broomwood or Thomas's Clapham

Postby actuallyadad » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:08 pm

Thomas's is fantastic. Hey if it's good enough for the Royals... For me it's a no brainer...

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Re: Broomwood or Thomas's Clapham

Postby TJ74 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:46 pm

I have 3 children currently at Thomas's in year 3, 6 and 8 (a boy and 2 girls). We are very happy with the school. If you have any specific questions you would like to ask, do pm me and I will happily try to answer them.

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Re: Broomwood or Thomas's Clapham

Postby Bodders1 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:13 pm

Hi - I have 2 boys at TC (one in upper school and one in lower school) and am generally very happy with it. We were also offered a place at Broomwood but we opted for TC in the end as we weren't so keen on moving our boys at 8 to Northcote Lodge and we liked the option to keep the boys at TC through to 13 if they were to go onto board. IMO the teaching at TC is great - almost all the teachers the boys have had have been kind, passionate, bright and nurturing. My kids are very happy. They have made great friends and most of the parents (with the odd exception) are nice. Do PM me if you want to chat on the phone. Good luck making a decision!

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Re: Broomwood or Thomas's Clapham

Postby ZCB » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:22 am

We had our girls at Broomwood and went on to London Day schools, but I know that Northcote is different and very focussed on Boarding so if you are looking at London Days for your boys go with Thomas'.

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Re: Broomwood or Thomas's Clapham

Postby MagnoliaMum » Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:28 pm

My two boys have been at Thomas's Clapham all the way through (younger one now in yr 6) and we are very happy with the school. Lovely atmosphere, great teachers and inspiration, lots of parental involvement if you choose to take it up.

Both good schools; I think the main differences are in the first few years and then in the prep years as you've already noted. Thomas's has the Reception year when the kids are slightly separate in lovely purpose-built blocks, but then they go into the busy main school. Broomwood has longer in a quieter environment because of the different school buildings (as I understand).

So I think you should look at the personalities of your boys and how they have coped with nursery. Historically Thomas's has tended to suit the more confident children (and the more boisterous of the boys) who are energised and stimulated by lots going on around them, and Broomwood to suit the more nervous children who might feel a bit intimidated by the numbers and do better in a smaller scale - big generalisation, I'm sure. Obviously both schools have already offered your eldest a place, so they think he would be ok in their environments - but you will have a bit more of a feel for what would bring out the best in him. Is he extrovert or introvert, chatty or quiet, old for the year or young? And does he have any opinions on this (my eldest proclaimed loudly and confidently on exiting his Thomas's interview that it was the school he was 'going to go to'!)

Another direct point of comparison I'm aware of. A friend of mine moved her daughter from Thomas's to Broomwood in year 5, as she had started to struggle to keep up academically and, although the school were doing what they could to help, she was losing confidence. She has settled in very easily and found that the work there moves at a slower pace so she has been able to keep up fine. Both schools obviously get to a similar academic point by the end of yr 8, so it probably comes down to Thomas's going faster earlier because of all the children needing to do exams in yr 6 for day schools, pre-tests etc. Incidentally her son in the year below has remained at Thomas's and thrives, so it really is a question of matching children to the most appropriate school.

Good luck!

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Re: Broomwood or Thomas's Clapham

Postby alongwayfromhome » Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:11 pm

We had a similar situation a couple of years ago, but slightly different in that our daughter was already at BH when our younger son was offered a place at TC. We agonised long and hard over the issue- our daughter was incredibly happy at BH and the gentler start to school had suited her perfectly and really built on her confidence, BUT we had the overriding feeling that TC would have been perfect for our son.

We debated moving our daughter to TC, but moving a happy child seemed foolish.

In the end we settled for BH on the basis that results at 13+ were pretty much identical, and the schools just had two different routes to the same outcome. So I echo the previous posters comment that it depends on your child’s nature.

In the end we moved out of London before my son started so it was all anxiety over nothing, BUT we were shocked by the amount of catching up our daughter had to do at her new prep school. BH had focused on the confidence/gentle introduction more than her new school and so she had to jump up to the new way of doing things. That said her reading was amazing compared to her new peers- which was the BH big focus. I can’t fault the nurturing focus of BH. My daughter went bouncing in and came bouncing out each day without fail and the children were all calm and caring towards each other- something not to be overlooked.

You won’t go wrong with either, but just think about where you will be in 2/3/5 years as the cross over May be easier from TC if you are planning on moving out.

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Re: Broomwood or Thomas's Clapham

Postby dudette » Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:06 pm

I can’t speak for Broomwood but I would agree that Thomas’s might not be the right school for children who struggle academically. They don’t put a lot of pressure on the kids - it’s simply that there are a lot of bright children there. Higher up the school the kids are put into sets and I think those who are in the bottom set for everything can feel a bit demoralised if they’re not super-confident. Conversely if your child is quite bright and fairly confident then I think Thomas’s is fab and your kids will have a fantastic time there.

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Re: Broomwood or Thomas's Clapham

Postby BFW » Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:53 pm

Sorry - I don't mean to be controversial but...I am really not sure what "Thomas' might not be the right school for children who struggle academically" means ? How is one supposed to figure out if your 3/4 year old child will struggle academically ?! They all change - especially boys !

Just go with your general feel of the school and with how convenient it is. I have older children in secondary school and I can promise you that all the schools in the area do pretty much the same job !

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Re: Broomwood or Thomas's Clapham

Postby dudette » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:19 pm

BFW - it means what it says. As I said - it really only applies to children higher up the school - but yes you're right, it's very hard to know at 3/4 how your child will turn out. I just thought it would be useful for the OP to be aware of the fact that currently the school sets children - in certain subjects from Year 3 and in all subjects in Years 7 and 8, and I know of several children who are in the bottom set for everything who find it hard-going and a bit demoralising. It's a bit like the current controversy over senior schools booting out kids who don't perform well in GCSEs. It might not be very relevant to a child sitting 11-plus but it might still be good to know. I'm personally not a great fan of setting - I've made my point to the school and they have cut down on it but it's still there. The schools might all "do pretty much the same job", but if a child would be happier at one school than another then that must count for quite a lot.

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