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HELP PLEASE ... Herne Hill School (v The Villa)


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My wife and I welcome any thoughts which can help us with School choices.

Our situation is

- we live in Peckham quite close The Villa

- we are unlikely to get a place at preferred state schools in the area because we live outside expected catchment

- Our son is currently at The Villa nursery and we have been broadly happy with it, but have some reservations regarding him staying on at the school (despite the convenience).

He has been offered a place at Herne Hill School, and therefore are after any thoughts on HH v The Villa, or HH generally

We have heard mixed reviews on HH ... including (a) very pushy (b) tends to be more girls.

all thoughts very welcome, in particular experience for boys ... we are confused :/

we need to accept the HH place by this Monday 20th Jan!!! arrrgh.

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I don't have comments on either school as no personal experience, but my main comment would be that in taking either place as they only go up to year 2, make sure you're happy to commit to the private system for the whole of your son's education (and any other children you may have). With the exception of a couple of kids who may go to Dulwich Hamlet from HH school, the vast majority go onto other independents. Its doubtful you'd be in DHJS catchment from near the Villa, and probably unlikely you'd move to a state primary mid way through!
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Have you been to visit all of the local state primary schools? We are spoilt for choice with primary schools in East Dulwich, (most meeting or exceeding national standards) and with a dip in the birth rates coinciding with the addition of some new primaries, the past few years has sadly seen some local primaries being undersubscribed, so you may stand a chance even if you're not in the usual 'catchment'?

And as Soylent Green mentions, you might be surprised. Most open days are over now, but i'm sure if you wanted a tour most Heads would welcome you.

Speaking from a lot of experience - a convenient school run is not to be underestimated when it's being done 10 times a week, in the winter months, especially if you have to be somewhere yourselves before/afterwards...

Also something to consider, is where your child's friend's will live. School becomes a huge part of your life and personally, we've loved that most of our children's friends live only minutes away from of us, and some on our street! Our children feel a real sense of community, as do we.

Best wishes, and like all parenting steps.. follow your instincts! : )

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Yes, zork makes a good point. I know people who live by Goose Green and Champion Hill who were offered places at Dulwich Village Infants - typically a very oversubscribed school. I also know people in Walworth who got a distance offer from Judith Kerr. You should definitely stil appply for a state place as you may be plesantly surprised. There's a lot of movement over the summer too.
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Yes, that was my son. It wasn't the front gate he got out of, it was the front door. The Villa got in touch with the administrator, saying it was defamatory and he deleted it. It was very distressing and what I wrote about it was true and/or my honest opinion. It's not defamation if you tell the truth. Although it's wikipedia, there's quite a useful explanation of the Defamation Act 2013 here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defamation_Act_2013.
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