Broomwood - parents opinions please

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athomemummy
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Broomwood - parents opinions please

Postby athomemummy » Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:55 am

Hello, I'm thinking of moving my children (girls 7 and 5) to Broomwood. I believe Broomwood offers better facilites, more options in terms of extra curricular and also more options in terms of leaving at 11 or 13. I understand Broomwood to be nurturing and pastoral and also non academic in that it encourages a more holistic type of schooling with lots of sport music and drama. I'd love to hear from any existing parents about what they love and/or loathe about the school, are my impressions correct and especially how does Broomwood upper school handle 11+ leavers. Are they prepared sufficiently for 11+ or is the school hoping/aiming for them to stay until 13? Are the children and parents nice? Confident without being precocious? All feedback or ideas welcome. Thank you!

Muddlemoo
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Re: Broomwood - parents opinions please

Postby Muddlemoo » Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:45 pm

Hi there

we moved our daughter from a local school to Broomwood in year 2 (she was 6). We're only 2 terms in but we are thrilled to bits - she is so so happy. Why don't you PM me and we can chat offline if easier?!

x

athomemummy
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Re: Broomwood - parents opinions please

Postby athomemummy » Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:04 pm

Thanks muddlemoo, will do so now.

ElleBelle
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Re: Broomwood - parents opinions please

Postby ElleBelle » Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:22 pm

My 5 year old daughter started there in September. It has been a really lovely experience for her - she is so happy going to and leaving school every day. She is someone is is naturally reserved but her confidence has really grown and it has been lovely to see. Our experience has been very positive and it was definitely the right choice for us. PM me if you would like more information too.

broodje
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Re: Broomwood - parents opinions please

Postby broodje » Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:08 pm

It's a good school - in your e-mail you are not saying where you are moving from, i.e. another private school or state school. If the latter, of course, you'd get better facilities, smaller classes, etc. as with any private school.

We enjoyed our experience there, but if I were choosing again, I'd go for an 11+ school not a hybrid. The focus is definitely on 13+ and even though the girls are prepared for 11+, they do miss out on the "one cohort" experience of the 11+ school and the 13+ leavers' programme is definitely a bigger deal than 13.

I think in our year 1/3 left at 11+ and the rest at 13+. The focus is also firmly on boarding.

So definitely a great school depending on what you want to do. We always knew we'd go to 11+ only and go for a London day school. In that context, something like Hornsby would have been better for us. But if you'd like your options open, it does offer that flexibility.

athomemummy
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Re: Broomwood - parents opinions please

Postby athomemummy » Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:26 pm

Thanks for replies, all really helpful. I'm moving from another local private school so have small classes already but very cramped premises and no facilites to speak of. It's a good school and very friendly/nice/nurturing but since we are not moving out of London as was the original plan I am questioning whether it's the right choice educationally and in terms of extra curricular/sport/options etc for a longer time. I'm concerned by the 11/13 leaving thing as I'm 80% sure we would aim to go London day school too. I'm also just concerned as to whether the school actually prepare the children for the 11+ In lessons and homework and test papers etc. Any ideas? I do like the idea of having options if our plans change and also if we weren't to get into any of our 11+ choices it gives us some extra time to think/panic! What does anyone think about doing homework on site at the upper school? Love the sound of this, does it work?! How much work is still brought home? Does everyone have tutors for 11/13+ exams? So want to avoid that if possible!! Thanks again for replies and thoughts.

lolaloves
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Re: Broomwood - parents opinions please

Postby lolaloves » Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:20 pm

Have you taken a look at Hornsby House? They have an 11+ only focus and the latest results are incredible (not published yet but shown at the open day)

They had 4 offers for Kinds, 14 from Alleyns, 10 from Jags etc etc

All this from a totally non selective intake at reception.

Its also has a reputation for being very nurturing and holistic.

I have friends who are very happy with Broomwood too although I would say it does not seem the most academic, especially for girls (I think Northcote Lodge is a but more academic)

athomemummy
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Re: Broomwood - parents opinions please

Postby athomemummy » Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:29 pm

Thanks for your reply, Hornsby is massively over subscribed so sadly we won't get in there. But I've also heard it's great.

lolaloves
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Re: Broomwood - parents opinions please

Postby lolaloves » Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:35 pm

Got it. My colleague has three very happy children there and says that the focus on 11+ is increasing at parents' request.

lolaloves
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Re: Broomwood - parents opinions please

Postby lolaloves » Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:36 pm

Got it. My colleague has three very happy children there and says that the focus on 11+ is increasing at parents' request. For what it's worth I think almost everyone tutors at 11.

broodje
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Re: Broomwood - parents opinions please

Postby broodje » Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:57 pm

Re Broomwood, I would like to emphasise that my child was very happy and I can't fault the pastoral care aspect of it - something I am missing in the secondary school. I also think Mrs Jenkinson is a great headmistress with spot on advice who knows all the girls incredibly well.

However, it's definitely not as academic as it could be and doesn't do much for the brightest girls at the lower end of the school. They do have a scholarship group for 13+ big not really anything for the 11+ group.

I am surprised to hear that focus on 11+ is increasing - from the destinations list and number of girls leaving at 11 vs 13, I wouldn't arrive at this conclusion. Something to probe, but in any case there will always be a dichotomy of the split departure point.

I think Broomwood is serving a very clear demographic and that demographic is aiming at 13+ boarding at Benenden, Bradfield etc often with boys at Northcote Lodge aiming for boarding too.

Re academics, I think Northcote is definitely more academic - this is consistent feedback from parents with kids at both schools.

At least half of the group at our 11+ group had tutors (sometimes two for maths and English), the others might have had them too but I didn't know the parents well enough to be certain. That's said, I don't think it made a difference to the outcome - the academic ones got offers from alleyns, jags, whs, phs, Wycombe abbey. Less academic - streatham and Clapham, Emanuel, woldingham etc. Tutoring didn't seem to make a difference. But people still tutor. School prep on 11+ is in a different league to pure 11+ schools (I am comparing to West London preps) - the latter ones are more thorough.

Rehomework at school, I hate this - removes flexibility and gives you no insight into what your child is covering at school and what their weaknesses are. But then I am a control freak.

All in all, very happy with our experience and my child is doing very well in secondary school - she was very well prepared, especially when it comes to humanities. But if I were doing this again, I would have chosen an 11+ school with more mixed demographic. I am struggling to think of any schools apart from Hornsby though that would give a better experience than Broomwood.
Ps if you don't get what you want at 11+, you can always spend another 2 years at a 13+ prep. Broomwood and newton prep (and Fulham prep further afield) always get kids for year 7 & 8, either because the families want boarding at 13+ and need to close the gap (e.g. Coming from font on, Honeywell, abroad) or trying for better schools at 13+ when the child is more mature. Ultimately, you need to go with the school thAt feels right and as long as you are fully aware of the trade-offs, strengths/weaknesses you should have a good experience)

athomemummy
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Re: Broomwood - parents opinions please

Postby athomemummy » Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:34 pm

Thanks for your reply broodje, really helpful and informative. A tricky decision but useful to have in out from those currently there or recently left. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts!

Confus_ed
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Re: Broomwood - parents opinions please

Postby Confus_ed » Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:13 am

As you've noted upthread Hornsby is too oversubscribed for you to get places. It is worth asking why Broomwood always seems to have spaces for kids to join.

My own experience is only of the lower school as my children left at 7+ so we never experienced Upper school/Northcote lodge.

You are correct that Broomwood is a 'non academic' school. Very much so. I moved one of my children to another local school, which is not thought of as super academic either, and on arriving they were a full year behind in maths despite having been in the top group at Broomwood. Both my children had to be taught the basics of letter formation again at their new schools because Broomwood had done it so inadequately.

Since the Upper school does get the girls 11/13 places I assume they catch up later but the pace at the lower school is very slow and too many of the teachers are newly qualified or have just a few years teaching experience.

I don't agree that this is because "it encourages a more holistic type of schooling with lots of sport music and drama". I don't think they do any more drama or music than elsewhere (and the facilities for drama and music in the lower school are not as good as in other schools). One play a year plus a class assembly in church each term if memory serves correctly. Much less focus on sport than at Hornsby or Finton and again facilities not great as their sites are small so they rely on going to the common.

I don't want to go into great detail but I wasn't impressed with pastoral care either and certainly don't feel my children were nurtured there. PM me and I can explain.

Moving my kids out of Broomwood was the best decision I have ever made. Not only are they doing much better academically, they have far more opportunities and are happier and more confident.

Bandstand
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Re: Broomwood - parents opinions please

Postby Bandstand » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:18 pm

I wondered how long it would take for this thread to become a Broomwood bashing post!

Broomwood is a super school if you fit in. It is very gentle, in my experience it has some outstanding teachers and of course is lead by a phenomenal head! Mrs Jenkinson is inspirational.

We recently moved away, our children are flying at their new schools which I put down largely to the great grounding they had. In my view the music and drama is outstanding, the sport sadly constrained by lack of facilities and competitive focus.

Broomwood let's children be children, if you want a more aggressive pushy school there are plenty of them in sw London !

Good luck making decisions. In my experience you find happy and unhappy parents in most schools, the unhappy tend to be most vocal.

Wheresmyschool?
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Re: Broomwood - parents opinions please

Postby Wheresmyschool? » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:33 pm

I wondered how long it would take for this thread to become a Broomwood bashing post!


I find that comment a little odd - I think this post gives a well balanced view of the school - with comments on both the positive and negative side of the fence.

Surely that's not 'bashing', just 'balanced'?


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