Dog Kennel Hill & Bessemer Grange
Posted by Giacomo
22 December, 2019 19:47
with the deadline for primary school admissions approaching, my partner and I are finalising the school's application list. First of all I want to say that I feel really grateful and blessed to have so many great primary schools in this area, I love East Dulwich!
Anyway, after visiting 8 (!!!) schools in the area, we have narrowed down the list to three finalists: Heber, Bessemer Grange and Dog Kennel. We are going to put Heber first in the list, but with few chances to get in, as we leave a bit too far.
Bessemer Grange and Dog Kennel also stood out after we visited them, but for very different reasons. I guess each school is different and it is not always possible to simply say which one is better.
As most head teacher said on the open days, a good indicator of which is the right school, is to feel the vibe and see which one resonates with you.
My partner and I had a different gut feeling about them, and we find ourselves very undecided about which of the two to put as a second choice, as we are very likely to get in being in both schools’ catchment area. I liked Bessemer Grange and my partner fell in love with Dog Kennel.
Below we have put our list of pros and cons for each of the schools combining our thoughts. I was wondering if anyone could give us some more insights into both, especially Dog Kennnel which I feel has way less articles in this forum respect to other schools.
Bessemer Grange PROS:
- Green all around the school and visible from class rooms
- Shared space with JAGS
- No high traffic roads and therefore good air quality
- Separate playgrounds for different age group and 5/6 year in separate building
- Very large rooms for nursery and reception
- Available space for after school club, which is run by same employee of the school and on same premises
Bessemer Grange CONS:
- Very big school, it feels a bit like a campus and not a lot like a familiar environment
- No particular focus on art and music (but I might be wrong)
- the pupils felt a bit constrained in their indoor activities due to the lack of space
- none of the teachers was mentioned to be a super star at what they doing and we were told that there is a high turnover (is this true?)
Dog kennel PROS:
- Great focus on Music and Art, they have a Music mark, and are in the process of obtaining Art mark too.
- Theatre and extra curricular activities seem amazing
- Very cozy/family feeling
- Separate building for nursery, reception and first year
- great approach to learning math
- school allotment
- second language (Spanish) taught from reception
- parents seemed to be very involved with the school activities/ found raising etc.
- Good space outside
- Impressive library and displays
- Students seemed really engaged and happy
Dog kennel CONS:
- Indoor space for reception looked a bit small respect to Bessemer Grange
- Location is not ideal as it is a bit far from ED shops and amenities
- Close to a main road
- No space in after school for 4 years old, they are trying to get an external provision to run it, but not sure yet
Thanks a lot!!!