Which schools to choose. Advice please!

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Elsie
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Which schools to choose. Advice please!

Postby Elsie » Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:36 am

Thanks so much to this community for what looks to be solid advice and opinion. We are about to arrive from Australia to live in Clapham Junction with our two daughters (10yrs grade 5 & 13yrs year 8) and Wandsworth have advised there are spaces in John Burns and Shaftesbury Park for Primary and then in St John Bosco or Southfields Academy for High School. I'd love to hear from anyone with knowledge about these schools please? It's really difficult from afar to get a read on things. Thanks in advance!
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Kimbillie
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Re: Which schools to choose. Advice please!

Postby Kimbillie » Mon Aug 05, 2019 1:04 pm

We are at John Burns and love it. Disclaimer- I’ve recently become a parent governor of the school. very small school with a 1 form intake. Great atmosphere, great teachers, very polite children. A real mix of cultures/ religions/ social backgrounds - which was very important to me. Head is 2 years into position and is doing a great job (the latest ofsted inspection was done when he’d been in position 3months). Very very good recent Sat results. Another Australian family with yr5 and yr6 children have just arrived (but I don’t have any contact details for them I’m afraid). I also have many friends at Shaftesbury Park who are also very happy.

Good luck with your search.
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Elsie
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Re: Which schools to choose. Advice please!

Postby Elsie » Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:43 pm

Thank you Kimbillie! Great to hear positive things. I like multicultural too. Can you please tell me what a “1 form intake” means? Thanks.
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the parsley song
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Re: Which schools to choose. Advice please!

Postby the parsley song » Mon Aug 05, 2019 6:05 pm

Hi there Elsie. I found it really hard to understand the system here coming from a different country (and still do, 15+ years later!). I am more over the Wandsworth way so don't know those particular schools but State schools get inspected every few years so you should read the Ofsted reports on the schools you are considering. Here's the John Bosco one: https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/provider/23/135762. Also get on to Mumsnet and search under the names of the schools as it's a massive site and opinions are mostly very frank!

You can check out the academic performance of schools here among other places: www.compare-school-performance.service.gov.uk

Schools all have open days and group and individual tours, so make sure you get onto these as they really give you a gut feeling of whether you and your kids will be happy there or not.

Good luck with the move!
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Elsie
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Re: Which schools to choose. Advice please!

Postby Elsie » Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:12 am

Thanks Parsley.  That's really helpful.  It's so difficult to know where to go.  When I've read the ofsted in the past it looks like Bolingbroke would be my obvious choice however I don't believe we'll ever get to the top of the waiting list.  I guess I'm looking for reassurance that these other schools will be OK for my quiet, introverted DD  😉
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nannyS
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Re: Which schools to choose. Advice please!

Postby nannyS » Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:28 am

Hi Elsie.

In my opinion as your girls are in higher school years, I believe you will have a lot more choice of schools than those families who start primary from reception and secondary at Year 7. In those years top priority being distance from home with exception for church schools, criteria being religion/faith.
For example, two popular primary schools btc are near Clapham Junction but not close enough to be in the catchment area for an acceptance place from reception. However families in these schools do move out of the area and places become available in higher years, which you may be eligible depending on their waiting list. Having said that, Wandsworth have lots of great primary schools. I don't have any personal experience of John Burns so cannot advise.
Are you able to apply for a school place based on faith, attend church regular etc.
St. Cecilia's Secondary Southfields is a top choice https://www.stceciliaslondon.com/  and Holy Ghost Primary Balham http://www.holyghost.wandsworth.sch.uk/. Not sure of their waiting list but if you prefer a church school, give them a try.

All the very best with your move and New Adventures here in Sunny South West London  8-)
 
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Elsie
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Re: Which schools to choose. Advice please!

Postby Elsie » Tue Aug 06, 2019 1:34 pm

Thank you Nannys.  I'd love to think the closer schools will open up some spaces.  I don't think the faith based schools will accept us.  My daughter was at a catholic high school in Aus but they were happy to take non-religious families here and there.  
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nannyS
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Re: Which schools to choose. Advice please!

Postby nannyS » Tue Aug 06, 2019 3:50 pm

It is the same here Elsie.

 At your younger daughters year, your looking at the feeder schools ( secondary ) so I suggest to concentrate on those primary's with better opportunities. Name down on waiting list and regular check for updates for a place. 
We don't have the best state secondary schools and as your eldest will be at a vital age going forward for exams, plus teenage years are hard enough without added pressure of meeting new classmates. I would suggest again, name on waiting list and give an opportunity for her to see the school for herself along with yourselves. Faith schools here also have a percentage of places on non-denominational, your daughter coming from a catholic school may or may not have an advantage. 

 
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Kimbillie
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Re: Which schools to choose. Advice please!

Postby Kimbillie » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:02 pm

Hi Elsie
1 form entry is one 1 class per year group and typically in a state school that’s anything from 25-30 kids. Shaftesbury Park has 2 forms per year so 60 children per year group.
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