Newton Prep Apple Nursery

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SouthChelseaBun
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Newton Prep Apple Nursery

Postby SouthChelseaBun » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:17 am

My son has just been offered a place at Newton Prep Apple Nursery for 2018 entry.

He’s very happy at his current pre-school (he’s only been there for half a term but loves it) and I would ideally keep him there until reception. However, the place at Apple Nursery would guarantee him a place at Newton, which we liked when we looked round it, and which is very close to our house (although we still hadn’t made our final decision and wanted to look round a couple of other schools first).

I’d love to hear other people’s experiences of Apple Nursery and of Newton more generally.
 
nycmommy
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Re: Newton Prep Apple Nursery

Postby nycmommy » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:49 am

My daughter is at Newton and has been there since Nursery, we love it. It's a really down-to-earth school. The parents and staff are really warm and helpful. I love the lower school Head as well as the Headmistress. (Upper school head is new, he seems really nice, I just don't know him as well as the other two).
SouthChelseaBun
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Re: Newton Prep Apple Nursery

Postby SouthChelseaBun » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:16 am

Thank you @nycmommy. Warm and down to earth are two of the things I was looking for in a school. My MIL would really like him to go to Thomas’s (possibly to make friends with Princess Charlotte!) but I just thought Newton sounded a bit more rl axed.

We have a couple of other places at all-boys’ schools but I think my son would suit a co-ed school (for primary/prep anyway).
blondieberry
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Re: Newton Prep Apple Nursery

Postby blondieberry » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:53 am

I can also second Newton Prep. We have 3 children there, we joined 2 years ago. My son is the youngest and he joined last year in Reception (he has older sisters in Upper school). They all love school, teachers are amazing, it has a great leadership team throughout upper and lower schools. Happy to chat more if you need.
SouthChelseaBun
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Re: Newton Prep Apple Nursery

Postby SouthChelseaBun » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:39 pm

Thanks @blondieberry, that sounds very reassuring.

We are lucky to have lots of good schools near us (well - nearish, if you count Clapham, Chelsea, Belgravia/Victoria as close), and it’s hard to decide what will suit an individual child when they’re still quite young.

I think what we want is somewhere happy and caring, which suits a wide range of children from different backgrounds, instils albe of learning, and allows them to flourish in whatever pursuits they choose, and which delivers the best possible academic results and gets children into the right senior schools without being a hothouse. I’d also prefer somewhere which isn’t too snobby, if that makes sense.
 
Genie
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Re: Newton Prep Apple Nursery

Postby Genie » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:00 pm

Sure, it's fine; refreshingly free of traditional strictures, rational about uniform, diverse, and not snobby at all. The children seem to love their teachers; I've heard this from all year groups. It's large, but the staff seem to know all the children's names anyway.

It aims for academic achievement, and as soon as the children are in year one the toys get put away and the homework starts. They teach to one year higher; so year one children are taught year two level work, etc.; the pace is quick and children who aren't naturally academically gifted need to work hard, but there is good support for this.

The focus is on maths and literacy, and other subjects like art and music are relegated to one lesson per week; but there are after-school lessons and clubs for art and music if your child has an interest, and great facilities for both, and everybody gets to act in a play or two each year.

I've just asked my child (who has been in NP since nursery, and is now in year 2) what she would say about his school, and she answered: "They give you lots of help and attention. You get to play in the morning, you learn lots, and the children are nice."

The whole locality is a huge building site and will remain so for many years, and the area has a high level of pollution; but as you live nearby you will of course be aware of that already.
hellokittyerw
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Re: Newton Prep Apple Nursery

Postby hellokittyerw » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:33 pm

My DS just started in September in reception, and we really love the school. It's a big bustling school with lots going on, so your LO will most likely find something to be motivated by :)

Agree with genie, the aim is on academic achievement and literacy/Maths, however it's a broad church in terms of ability, so I'd say every child learns at his/her pace (only have experience of the lower school). There are lots of activities to keep the children motivated (e.g. Dressing up for Diwali, visit from the science museum), and the childrens achievements (even out if school ones) are celebrated.

The unique selling point, for us, was the diversity (our other option was Thomas's clapham, which we also liked, but was not as diverse).

If you live nearby you already have a great advantage (most kids travel quite a bit to get to the school).

Most importantly though, IMO, is the fact that you get automatic entry into reception.
Having to do an assessment at the age of 3 is not great, as a parent you don't have control of how they are on the day (our DS had fever and generally was in a bad mood for one of his assessment, nothing we could do about it...).
It's a case of bird in the hand vs bird in the bush :)
If you have your heart set on another school, then of course you should go with your gut feel. But if Newton prep is high on your list of preferences, then definitely take the nursery offer!
the parsley song
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Re: Newton Prep Apple Nursery

Postby the parsley song » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:34 pm

I agree with the positive comments above. We joined in senior school so no experience of the junior school, but have been there for about 4 years and can praise it to the rooftops. It's been a fantastic choice for us.
NinaB
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Re: Newton Prep Apple Nursery

Postby NinaB » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:28 am

Having had children there i would suggest the school is only good for academic kids. I would look at other schools such as Broomwood Hall Garrards Road for a very nurturing environment. Newton is only right for certain kids and they lose confidence if they are not in the top stream.
SouthChelseaBun
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Re: Newton Prep Apple Nursery

Postby SouthChelseaBun » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:51 pm

Thanks very much @hellokittyerw, @theparsleysong and @NinaB - that is all really interesting and helpful.

Re the setting, do they stream or set for all subjects, or do they just set for a few? At 2.5 it is hard to tell how academic he will be.
 
the parsley song
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Re: Newton Prep Apple Nursery

Postby the parsley song » Wed Nov 22, 2017 3:12 pm

I don't agree with Nina that it's only for academic kids, as my son isn't academic - he needs an eye kept on him, regularly losing his stuff, bit quirky, not top at any subject, not sporty and he is very happy there and popular. My daughter is the opposite in being driven and gets very good academic results and is also very happy there. Really importantly for us, it's down to earth, friendly, approachable happy teachers, approachable leadership and an un-snobby feeling, lots of families with interesting jobs, from other countries which we love. Good luck with your decision.
hellokittyerw
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Re: Newton Prep Apple Nursery

Postby hellokittyerw » Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:57 am

Setting - I have heard it starts in Y2 and it's only for English and Maths. But if you want to know for sure, better ask the registrar.

Of course you can't know how academic your child will be at 2.5 (or even at 4.5 for that matter!).
But in your case, that shouldn't matter.
If you take the NP nursery offer, you get a free option of automatic entry into NP reception (maybe not entirely "free". as you give up your current nursery :) ). Then you continue to look at other schools for Reception entry, go for assessments, etc - you may get something you like better, or NP may do enough to convince you to stay.
The reality of getting into a London pre-prep via assessment is that it's pretty much down to luck (I mean, what can you really "assess" at the age of 3??). So having a certain place at NP is very attractive.

Re. the comment that NP is very academic - I don't think that's true.
It's more academic than other schools, but their yearly intake is approx. 80 children, and there is just no way that all those 80 children in a year group are all academic. My friend's son is not academic at all, but he loves the school and is very popular.

From my research last year (when we were choosing a school), from approx. Y2 onwards in most pre-preps there will be 1-2 children per year group who will not "fit in" and they will move on. I have heard of children moving from Eaton House to NP, from Thomas's Clapham to Broomwood Hall, from Broomwood to Streatham & Clapham High (there was a thread about this on NVN last year, but cannot find it). The majority of families will be happy to stay at their current school. But cannot reasonably predict what your child will be like in 4 years' time, so you can only make a decision based on your current circumstances/thinking (and be prepared to move if you do end up in the 1% of cases where the school you have chosen is not a good fit).

Re Broomwood Hall Garrards Road - cannot see how this would work for you, as it's miles away from NP (which you say is close to your house). Broomwood Hall is also very different from NP, so if you like one you probably won't like the other (small, more traditional for BH vs big with lots going on and modern facilities for NP). Generally families who like NP also like Thomas's (also big, coed, with lots going on). And before someone gets offended ...I DO NOT, in any way, mean to suggest BH is not good - just that different schools appeal to different families.

Good luck!
SouthChelseaBun
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Re: Newton Prep Apple Nursery

Postby SouthChelseaBun » Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:32 pm

Thanks very much again for your thoughts. That’s more or less my thinking at the moment. Taking up the nursery offer gives us a guaranteed place at NP - we can always look around next year if we aren’t 100% convinced by that point. He does like his current nursery but quite a few children from there will be going to NP anyway.

NP is very close to where we live (less than ten minutes’ walk) whereas pretty much every other school would involve a drive or public transport in the wrong direction for our commute). We liked the modern facilities and the down-to-earth feeling when we looked round. My husband has a preference for a more relaxed (in terms of dress code) and modern school rather than a traditional one with caps and blazers etc - I have a soft spot for cosy and traditional, but it isn’t a strong enough preference to inform my choice since it’s more important to find somewhere my son will be happy and do well.

I don’t have a strong view about single sex v co-ed but my son likes playing with girls as much as boys - he says he wants to go to a school with girls. Not sure how much store to set by this though. Do boys and girls still play together at primary age? I remember at my primary school children playtime really divided along gender lines and there wasn’t much interaction.
hellokittyerw
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Re: Newton Prep Apple Nursery

Postby hellokittyerw » Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:33 pm

My son plays as much with girls and he does with boys in reception, and he did so since his first nursery.
Other boys play mostly with boys.
Depends on the child I guess.
I personally cannot understand the point of single sex education at primary school age. :D
But if he enjoys playing with boys and girls, why take away this diversity? It's not like the single sex schools around here are vastly better than the coed ones, imo anyways.
Beachbum
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Re: Newton Prep Apple Nursery

Postby Beachbum » Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:29 am

I know that Thomas' Battersea is a good school but I have been put off by the Isis Threat. I don't want my children's school to be a bomb target....