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#1 jowilliamson

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 11:15 AM

Hi, We are thinking of moving to the area and are interested in hearing about local primary schools. Any comments or recommendations gratefully received along with information on catchment areas!

#2 Tux

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 07:41 AM

This area is very tricky when it comes to schools, especially if you are moving to the area, as CP is covered by 3 different boroughs, which makes viewing schools and applying for a place a little laborious.

There are however, plenty of schools here, varying quite substantially in their facilities and success. I recently went through all the Ofsted reports for the primary schools in the area, which can be found on the government website. I would suggest you start there to get some idea what the schools are like, followed by a visit. I think finding a school you are happy with is such a personal choice, however all the schools seem to be more than appy to show prospective parents around.

I guess you could do with a list of all the scools in the area. I can't seem to find one of those though. Sorry!!


http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/reports/

#3 Fang

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 09:07 AM

Tux is right. Start with the Ofstead reports. As has been said, the number of local Authorities and their respective education departments in the area can complicate things slightly regarding catchment areas etc. However, in my experience this is not a problem with Croydon/Lambeth. Schools have had to learn the art of 'selling' themselves to prospective students/parents so don't be afraid to ask to look around and talk to staff. Most of them have 'Open Days' during the run up to the admissions process and don't forget that we are entering a demographic 'slump'. The number of kids of infant school age is set to decline considerably over the next five years and some local schools are likely to reduce their intake from two to one form per year.

"This is what we find, this is what we find, the hope that springs eternal, springs right up your behind."

#4 Rosehip

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 02:42 PM

Welcome to VN, jowilliamson.

The link Tux gives does have the facility to list all local schools - simply enter a postcode (you could use SE19 1AA - not sure exactly what this is but looking at the list it thows up seems to be at roughly at the top of the Gipsy Hill/Westow Hill/Central Hill junction, on the Lambeth side - so the north side of the Triangle) and you will see all the schools (you can select primary/secondary etc) within a specified radius. The Ofsted reports are a good place to start, as are the league tables (which you can find in the Education part of www.bbc.co.uk) but, of course, they only tell half the story. Often the Ofsted reports are several years old, and the new system of reports only evaluate the schools according to four grades, Outstanding, Good, Satisfactory and Inadequate, which some feel to be a bit of a blunt instument. You really need to visit the schools and get a sense of the ethos, values etc, and meet the head teacher.

Not sure quite where you are looking to move into. The VN umbrella covers a wide area(Norwoods - Upper, West and South, Sydenham, Penge and Anerley) and 'Crystal Palace' is actually the meeting of 5 boroughs (Lambeth, Croydon, Bromley, Southwark and Lewisham), though in my experience 'catchments' around schools tend to based on walking distance from home to school, rather than which borough the child's home is in.

Just one small suggestion. If you are moving to the area, you might want to think slightly further ahead and throw secondary schools into the mix. It seems like ages away, but in fact those infant/junior school years zip by in no time and before you know it you are having to go through the whole process again. If you are well placed for the next stage too it makes sense...

Hope this helps. Rosehip

#5 jamesl

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 02:50 PM

I don't know much about local schools but, as a resident of the Lambeth bit of CP, I was shocked to read last week that over 51% of the borough's children either go to an out of borough state school or attend a private secondary schoool.

#6 Dazza

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 03:09 PM

That does not surprise me a bit.

Dazza

PS My boy goes to Rockmount Infants where he seems to be thriving it had a bad reputation but it seem to be moving in the right direction the last few years.

Edited by Dazza, 10 April 2006 - 03:10 PM.

Your obviously mistaken me with someone who gives a fig

#7 jowilliamson

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 07:26 PM

Thanks everyone. I will check out the ofsted reports and take it from there!

V scared about the idea of considering secondary schools before he is out of nappies, but the first 21 months have certainly zipped by so I am sure the next 10 years will do the same!!

It certainly seems a very friendly place to live if this website is anything to go by.

Jo

#8 Sylvia

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 04:39 AM

hello, Jowilliamson,
Where about in virtual Norwood do you intend to move to. Are you also Registered with (friendsreunited.co.uk) because that site would be a good site, as to find a primary School as to where you want to move to, and you could read the School's history. I went to Pacton Primary school in Cawnpore street off gypsy hill, and my high School was Kingsdale in Allyn park road. Both my neices went to norwood girls School in Gypsy road, even though they now they have left, and I think that is a primary school as well as a High School. I hope that some of this information helps you, along with all of the other information by the other members that have given you.

Best Wishes,
Sylvia

#9 loplop

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 08:39 AM

Does anybody out there have children currently attending, or recently having finished, a primary school in the area ? (Surely Dazza can't be the only one ?)
a carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond

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#10 Tux

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 09:06 AM

My oldest is starting at Donsview school in September.

#11 duckec01

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 11:36 AM

My youngest goes to St Joseph's but that's only any good if you're a left footer.

#12 HeadGardener

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 03:17 PM

Am waiting with bated breath for the letter telling us which of Lambeth's very mixed bag of primary schools our child will be going to in January.

<_<

#13 croesus

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 07:18 PM

My son goes to Sunnyhill in Streatham, and is having a great time there. There was a thread on Primary Schools a little while ago you might like to read.

#14 HeadGardener

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 10:27 AM

Croesus - tell me more about your experience of Sunnyhill. We visited the school (to which many of the children in our street go) but found it very depressing. The children in the classes seemed bored, the teachers looked scruffy - sorry if this makes me sound like a miserable grump and I don't expect primary school teachers to dress like bank managers, but neither do I expect them to look as if they're just back from Glastonbury - and the school itself was tatty and neglected. I realise that the fabric of the building is old, but I was surprised how few displays of the children's work there were in the corridors, for example.

So is it really as grim as it looks?

#15 Petal

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Posted 20 April 2006 - 07:39 PM

My son is at All Saint's in year 6 and going onto Harris in Sept. Have to say it has been very up and down. We were very happy with the infant school but the transition up to the junior school did not go smoothly. Lots of bullying and not much work getting done. However, things have improved considerably and on the whole my son has done ok there. The bullying stopped after the old headteacher took early retirement ( due to stress i believe!) and the headteacher from the infants has now taken on responsibility for both schools.

I never dreamt that finding a decent school for my child would ever be an issue but boy it has been the biggest headache of my life. Do lots of research and visit the schools in plenty of time before you have to apply is my advice.

Good luck with your search!