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My daughter is due to start settling in sessions at an independent school nursery in September but I’m having a bit of a wobble about whether it’s the right choice for her. We chose the school because it’s a small school with a family feel and small class sizes and we liked the atmosphere and variety of activities we saw at their open day. However, my daughter is very strong minded and they are quite strict with rules and uniform etc and I’m worried it might change her personality. Ideally I’d love to send her somewhere with good consistent boundaries but fewer rules, plenty of outdoor time, a focus on play, no uniform etc that allows children to be themselves but these alternative schools seem to be few and far between so I wondered if anyone has a recommendation that I may not be aware of? I’ve come across the London Acorn School which sounds great but would need some thought about whether we’re able to commit to their policies around screen time at home. Any advice or thoughts would be very welcome!

There are alternative provisions up and down the country but they are few and far between and I often find they seem to be fairly rural. Check out Steiner Waldolf, Montessori and Reggio Emilia for different Education approaches although they vary from school to school. People often travel a distance to attend these schools. You could search for community schools, forest schools or democratic Education too. Some that may be in your area:
Free We Grow, Forest Hill, London
The Family School, Lark Hall, London
There are also those that follow a Charlotte Mason philosophy. You could also look at Human Scale Education (HSE), there are so many options. Find one near you isn’t always easy. Good luck.

Hello Jenni
I have heard good things about Educare Small school in Kingston

Little Forest Folk with 6 sites in SW London and now a primary school would be worth exploring based on your criteria

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