Primary school - Should we aim for Ravenstone, Belleville Wix or Henry Cavendish? Moving house

5 posts
Ramaboo
Posts: 29
Joined: Dec 2017
Options:
Share this post on:

Primary school - Should we aim for Ravenstone, Belleville Wix or Henry Cavendish? Moving house

Postby Ramaboo » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:38 pm

Hi

Looking for advice from parents/those who know more about how difficult it is to gain a place at each - I'm new to this! 

We need to move house and want to base the decision as to where on catchment areas for the best state primary. If we aren't tied to any specific area (but want to stay in Clapham/Balham) does anyone have comparative knowledge and preference between Ravenstone and HC in Balham? I know Ravenstone had a dip but recent reports seem very positive (and the catchment distance seems to be twice that of HC, so surely more likely)

Likewise, is it true that Belleville Wix is now really on the rise, and has access to Belleville teachers? We can't afford to risk aiming for the Honeywell/Belleville area, but maybe this is as good an option now as the Balham alternatives.

Also, we will be looking at a year 1 entry, not reception - does that make things easier or harder to get a place? 

Obviously will visit the school open days but as a starting point I thought i would ask for recent real-life parent feedback about how happy they are at the various schools (or if they didnt' get a place when expecting one)

Any help much appreciated

Thanks!

 
Post Reply
JoClaphamMum
Posts: 3
Joined: Dec 2018
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Primary school - Should we aim for Ravenstone, Belleville Wix or Henry Cavendish? Moving house

Postby JoClaphamMum » Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:50 pm

Hi Ramaboo,

I am not sure about in-year transfer but we had to make the same decision recently. For us it was between Ravenstone, HC and Honeywell. They are all very good schools.
In the end we went for Ravenstone simply because it was the school we loved the most. Actually, it was the only school we *loved*. I really liked HC and Honeywell but I just didnt have the same gut feeling. And in the end, I think it comes down to gut feeling and fit. Once you visit the schools you should have an idea which of them are a better fit for you and your child.
The head at Ravenstone left us with a great impression. He was inspiring, engaged, ambitious but also very much of the line that children should be children and not exam focused. The school has a great feel about it, an amazing playground and very engaged parents.
However, you may hear the same from parents in the other schools.
So good luck with your visits and I hope things become clearer once you have been to them all.
Jo
Post Reply
EBn
Posts: 25
Joined: Mar 2012
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Primary school - Should we aim for Ravenstone, Belleville Wix or Henry Cavendish? Moving house

Postby EBn » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:26 pm

Hi Ramaboo
I am a parent of two very happy children at HC.
I feel enormously lucky that they have the opportunity to go there. I was trying to think through what I wish I had known before they joined the school - a bit of a laundry list below:
1. Values - the school has strong values which really show through in the attitudes and approaches of the staff and the children. I have found that my children’s classes have real camaraderie and the school injects a lot of self/ collective belief in the children. The kids celebrate the successes and progress of their friends.
2. Community - there is a very warm and supportive community. People (parents, children, staff) really belong to HC and there is a very open atmosphere.
3. Creativity and energy of the teachers - My children find learning a lot fun. The teachers are hugely creative in exploring routes to engage and teach the children. A couple of examples - my daughter’s reception class had eggs in an incubator and watched them hatch into chicks. The class assemblies have pop songs with updated lyrics related to whatever their topic is for the term.
4. Commitment to excellence- there is a real drive to deliver the best all round education possible for the children there. Academically, my children have made great progress and are challenged while having fun and loving school. In addition there is a real commitment to delivering an all round education. For example - they learn a different instrument every year from year 1 (djembe drum, ukulele, recorder), do swimming from year 3.

HC works really well for us.
As the previous poster put it - we are so lucky to have so many good choices in our area. Do go and visit them and see which one is the best fit for you and your child.

Good luck
Post Reply
TheAlderbrookHead
Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2018
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Primary school - Should we aim for Ravenstone, Belleville Wix or Henry Cavendish? Moving house

Postby TheAlderbrookHead » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:08 am

Hi Ramaboo,

If I might chuck another school into the mix...Alderbrook :)   I've been the head teacher for the past year and, while having a very obvious bias, think it is a great school! 

Ravenstone and HC are also really good schools and I say that on a personal and professional level.  As you have said, visiting open days is really important as that is the only way you can really get a feel as to which is the right school for your child.  

As for places, you can always ring the respective school offices or Wandsworth Pupil Services and find out if there are any spaces in Year 1.  There is always a bit of a move-around at the start of the term; call later in September for a more accurate idea. 

And good luck with the move! 
Post Reply
sid_seal
Posts: 74
Joined: Sep 2014
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Primary school - Should we aim for Ravenstone, Belleville Wix or Henry Cavendish? Moving house

Postby sid_seal » Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:57 pm

A thumbs up for Alderbrook from me, as a very happy parent.
My children have been nurtured and encouraged, and have grown up so much socially and academically. They have fun learning and are always reporting enthusiastically something they have learned, but on the other hand I am impressed at how, for example, they are taught to "think scientifically" - no lack of rigour in the fun!
The school participates in sports and music initiatives run by Wandsworth Council, and there is always a good variety of after school clubs to choose from.
Alderbrook often gets overlooked in favour of other local schools, and it's a real shame. It's small enough for all teachers to know all children, and I have always been amazed at how my children's teachers always "got" their personalities.
So I would definitely recommend visiting it - I don't think you can really get it wrong with any of the Balham schools mentioned, so it's very much a matter of personal feeling!
Post Reply