Over ten years ago we were searching for what you are looking for now. An honest review of our local schools. Not the dressed up monologue of the local head teacher and not, dare I say it, the opinion of OFSTED after just a few days visiting said school.

Ok, so who am to voice an opinion? Hubby and I have put our two sons through school in Southend. The eldest is in his late teens and heading to the end of his compulsory school life.

Over a decade ago our catchment school, Hamstel, did not have a good reputation so we decided to stay clear. We could not, however, afford to move so we applied for Greenways ( which has always had a brilliant reputation) hoped for the best and he got a place. A few years later and our youngest son got his place there. So this is a review of Thorpe Greenways and our experiences of it spanning over ten years.

Starting from the top, the head of the Federation and the heads of the schools are so good. They are often around at the start of the day and the end of school so parents can speak to them about any concerns that they have without delay.

Our eldest son has Special Educational Needs so this review is invaluable to any parents that have dear children with SENCO/SEND needs. The lady teacher who is the head of this department is so kind, patient and softly spoken. She is in demand so I would recommend making an appointment to speak to her before your child joins the school to see if she is the right fit for your child’s needs. She kindly arrives at school quite early if a parent needs to speak to her before they go to work.

Sadly, I did have two negative experiences with two teachers who were not listening to me about concerns that were important to my child. I am pleased to say that they both no longer work there. The staff that have been kept on are very impressive.

So, we come to the teachers themselves. What has stood out to me is the way that the teachers work together. They set a really good example for their pupils by working as a team. They speak to each other in a respectful way, always having good manners.

Thorpe Greenways also have a really impressive Pastoral Care Team. They are always on hand. You can speak to them in person before and after school. They are clearly visible in their high visibility jackets. If you have any private concerns you can speak to them in a warm and comfortable environment. They really do take good care of their pupils. Over the last decade I have volunteered for every single thing a parent can do at a school, so I have got to know a lot of the teaching assistants there. They are all really dedicated and know the students very well. Many of them are experienced enough to take over the teaching and lessons of the main teacher if ever the need arises.

There are too many clubs to mention but before school, lunch times and after school is chockablock full of fun activities for the children. Be it sports, music or further learning there is something of interest for every child. The fact that so many teachers volunteer their time for these extra curricular activities is further proof of their dedication.

Surprisingly, the recent OFSTED reports aren’t as good as they have been, but from a parents point of view, Thorpe Greenways is a safe, calm environment that promotes high quality learning and is full of well mannered staff and pupils.

I am very glad that my children have experienced school life there.

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