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Primary and nursery Schools !


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#1 vangough

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Posted 26 November 2008 - 01:01 PM

We have recently moved to the area and have a 14 month daughter. When I called Croydon council child services they told me not to worry about applying for schools until my daughter was at least 2 yrs old. Since then I have had various converstations with parents who said 'no way! get your name down from birth' ! This is very disturbing and confusing. I would really like to get some feedback on which state schools are good locally (we are in SE19) Also do you send kids to the nursery school within a primary, at 3yrs? why do some schools not start until 4yrs?
Do schools work on which LEA you are in for selection or is it distance? OR is it pot luck !? any help much appreciated........

#2 Rockchick

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Posted 26 November 2008 - 01:49 PM

I looked at all the schools (state and fee paying) in the area and I'm afraid to say that the best schools and pre-schools around here are fee paying rather than state. If you are interested you must start going round both the schools and nurseries sooner rather than later. Re the pre-schools - if you are going down the private route - you must get your daughters name down now as many take children as from two and a half. You could already be too late for some of them. As for the independent schools (ie for reception intake)you can wait until your daughter is 2. But, You need to visit them all and the best ones are oversubscribed. However, school fees are expensive and it's a huge financial commitment. You must remember that on top of the fees there are extras and uniform etc. If you are unable to take that route the two main schools in the area are All Saints and Paxton - the latter is quite small and you would have to live virtually next door to it to obtain a place...... and if you offered a place in their nursey this doesnt automatically give you a place in reception. Unless they have changed their policy. Yep, its not easy....... talk to as many parents with school age kids as poss to obtain their insight. I went down the fee paying route with my daughter and havent regretted it.

#3 vangough

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Posted 26 November 2008 - 02:32 PM

Thanks for that. I have looked into private too, Virgo, Rosemead and Oakfield but yes they are pricey ! What do you know about Cypress? they are walking distance to us....or St Thomas Becket which is a Catholic school (we are not Catholics though)

#4 Rockchick

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 01:11 PM

I dont know the Cyprus school personally. But as with all schools look closely at their attainment levels.......I know stats arent everything and only show part of the picture....... but look at their KS2 results on directgov.com Also, ask about their KS1 results at 7. Compare their results with other schools in the area (also look at the ones in SE21) and you will start to obtain a feel about where schools stand academically. The fee paying schools do obtain much higher results. I realise that many people hate judging schools on their results and you shouldnt just base your opinion on that alone. However, its a good starting point....... Also, you need to think ahead about senior schools and where the kids from particular junior schools go to after they leave. It's an a lot to deal with especially when it all seems so far away in the distance but research done now will reap dividends in the future. Just remember books, learning to read, understanding maths and interacting socially, self development in all areas as well as the school's pastoral care etc are more important than a room full of brand new swanky computer screens!!!!!

#5 Rachel WDC

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 08:32 PM

Hello am very new to VN only joined yesterday but saw your post re: schools. Have been doing the same sort of research for my daughter and am doing the visiting game. I saw Kingswood in November and whilst in special measures when we moved here 3 years ago I was incredibly impressed with the turnaround. The superhead is now overseeing Elmwood near Clive Road (I think) so it will be interesting to see what happens. You can get in touch with Lambeth for the following booklet "Starting School in Lambeth" its info for Nursery and primary schools www.lambetheydcp.org.uk and 0845 601 5317! Hope it helps.

#6 Local

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 11:30 PM

School performance can be turned round very quickly, and as last year's KS2 results have not yet been published you would have to ask the school for an up-to-date picture. Elm Wood are justifiably proud of their 2008 results!

#7 Molly

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 09:24 PM

I was just wondering whether any VNers have children attending Paxton Primary School and if so, would you recommend it? Thanks.

#8 cathyh

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 10:11 AM

I was just wondering whether any VNers have children attending Paxton Primary School and if so, would you recommend it? Thanks.


My daughter started at the nursery school at Rockmount this year and we are very happy with this school so far. It is a rapidly improving school and has loads to offer the children, also a very friendly parents community

#9 beachyfeet

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 06:40 PM

My son is now 10 and has been to Downsview, Rockmount and Paxton Schools and I have also worked at St Cyprian's Greek Orthodox school as a nursery nurse and feel that I know quite a lot about schools in the area. Having said that, It's very hard to recommend a school because each year group in each school is different and teachers move around from year group to year group so a class that had a bad teacher one year may not have it when your child gets to that class and a beastly group of children in one year is often followed by a bunch of darlings the next! Only when you get into a school will you know what is going to suit your child (and you because you have to see the other parents every day and if they are not friendly its hell). The best advice I can give is to meet other mums and kids of about the same age at playgroups etc, make some friends and send your child to the same nursery/reception class as their children. If this doesn't work out, don't be afriad to move your child while she is young and make use of the fact that we are on the boundary of so many boroughs. When my son had a bad time at Rockmount and croydon said they couldn't help with moving him, Lambeth came up trumps and gave us a place at Paxton school which worked much better for us. The school league tables are pretty much a waste of time becasue you can't get any real idea of whether a school is a kind, caring and happy place from a list of statistics - we also went to meet individual head teachers but this was no help as we picked wrong twice!.

#10 vangough

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 03:54 PM

What a mindfield ! So just so I am clear, when do you apply for a nursery place at a State school? Don't the LEA control this so you can't apply until a set time? when do I apply for a nursery place if she turns 2 this October??

I have seen Rosemead and my husband saw Virgo Fidelis and I'm planning to go around Oakfield in a week or two but an independent school is such a huge financial committment, I would rather find a good State option !

We are on the borders with Lambeth and Southwark so will apply everywhere, but I find it really hard finding out about our local schools (which are Cypress, James Dixon and all Saints) as we both work full time so don't have opportunity to go to toddler groups or anything like that. We are also quite new to the area so don't yet know any other parents here !

Beachyfeet - I'm interested to know why you moved your son from Rockmount as this was on our list also...do they have a nursery intake at 3?

#11 cathyh

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 04:50 PM

hi, it can be very confusing, most state schools now offer part time ( or even full time) nursery placements the year your child is three, this is a government paid placement. School nursery placement are applied for at each individual school , usually the december before the summer start. You then need to apply for reception class via the local authority. schools can give you info and most have websites. I was also looking at Virgo F but opted for Rockmount both for cost reasons but also because we were and remain very impressed with the school. Their facilities are fantastic and there is a nice parent community, at least in the junior school where my daughter is. Ofsted reports can give you an over-all picture of the current state of the school, as school do change over time, and the DSCF has multiple stats about all local schools. I suppose different children suit different schools and a lot can also depend on the cohert they start the school with. All offer open days so check out their websites

good luck as it is such a difficult decision

cathy

#12 matt

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 07:24 AM

vangough - I know its a minefield, having just been through this process for reception (and having done it for preschool if not nursery, relatively recently).
I wouldn't take Rockmount off your list, it was our #2 for reception applications, and I know of others who put it #1. Its been completely rebuilt.
I think part of our confusion is that as parents, we want to hear what other parents think (rather than OFSTEDs or league tables etc) but of course schools can change a lot between someone's 10 year old going and your 3/4yr old applying for a place (Especially in recent years with all the new money).
So we just went on lots of visiting days - though I couldn't make the Rockmount one, I was shown round by the head/deputy (Can't remember which) of the infant school - most schools seem happy to do this just for parents, even if you aren't at the "official" event. (and if not, then that might tell you all you need to know).

#13 Dazza

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 08:50 AM

My boy goes to Rockmount which has just gone thru a massive facelift, the infants & juniors are now based on the same site. I went to the official open day & can honestly say it actually looks like a modern school now rather than an old wash house

There scoring is now improving & hopefully the new look will help improve on this further.

My boy is now & is very Happy at this school. However I must say I worry what I will do when he moves on to secondary school I suppose it will be private or I will have to move if things do not improve in the area.

Hope that helps
Your obviously mistaken me with someone who gives a fig

#14 vangough

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 03:27 PM

Thanks everyone - you are providing me with more information than the LEAs and schools themselves ! I think next year will be key for us doing the school rounds !

I do have one last query though....It seems that you can apply for a reception place at 4yrs at schools that go from 4 to 11yrs, but what about Cypress & All Saints who operate a 3-7yr then 7-11yr system between infant and junior schools? do you apply to the infant school direct (ie not through the LEA) first then have to re-apply again to the LEA for a place at the junior? Are they feeder schools (ie you definintely get a place) or do you have all the same hassle all over again with applications !?

Thanks !!

#15 Miss Chips

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 01:46 PM

For All Saints and Cypress you have to apply separately for nursery and for reception - once you're in the nursery, there's no guarantee of a place in reception.

While on the subject - does anyone have a child starting at All Saints this September? My son is starting and won't know anyone (sob!) as his friends are off to Cypress and Rockmount..

PM me if so and perhaps we can arrange a 'playdate' this summer so the kids can have a pal when they start school... I'm sure he'll be fine - this more for my benefit than his!!! :rolleyes: