State Secondary Schools - are they good?

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Mochi
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State Secondary Schools - are they good?

Postby Mochi » Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:27 am

My son is currently too young for secondary schools, but we're thinking ahead as I'd hate for him to build up form friendships in Primary and then to move him away as he's starting Secondary school... Which will be our plan if we don't feel comfortable with the local state secondary schools.

We live in Earlsfield and have heard wonderful things about the primary schools here... We are in the catchment for some really great ones luckily!

However I only ever hear positive talk about independent secondary schools in the area..

Does anyone send their children to local secondary state schools? Do they enjoy it? (My main concern), do they feel safe etc?

I just need a bit of reassurance than my son will be fine and we won't have to move 😂 humour me please...
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windmill26
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Re: State Secondary Schools - are they good?

Postby windmill26 » Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:56 am

My child went to an "oversubscribed" primary school in Earlsfield and I can tell you that it comes down to personal experience and not Ofstead reports or other parents opinions.
Our experience at primary was average at best.Your child grows and teachers are different every year so one year could be better/ worst than the next or previous one.
My child is now in secondary school and he is thriving.He settled in very well from the start.He doesn't have any friends from primary as they all went to different schools but he has made friends nonetheless as people move on anyway.
Follow your heart and judgement on this as you will hear a lot of opinions (often negative) from other parents.More often than not they won't even know what they are talking about but they repeat and spread misinformation gained at the school gate.

 
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Mochi
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Re: State Secondary Schools - are they good?

Postby Mochi » Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:22 am

Thanks for replying windmill! I'm really glad to hear your son is thriving in his Secondary school - makes me feel much better to know!

I only posted because, while I've heard many good things about the local state primaries, I never hear anything positive about the local state secondaries... so I just wanted to (hopefully) hear some positive experiences with those too!
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SouthLondonDaddy
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Re: State Secondary Schools - are they good?

Postby SouthLondonDaddy » Wed Sep 04, 2019 10:13 am

Windmill, can I ask what schools (primary and secondary) you are talking about?

Mochi, as for primaries, I heard good things about Floreat and Earlsfield Primary, from families who send their kids there. These are families we know and trust so we find that kind of feedback more reliable than that of a stranger on the internet; of course to you I am a stranger on the internet so you should take this with truckloads of salt! We also know another family who is happy with the Swaffield Primary, but that's a bigger school and that can put off some families and kids.

As for state secondaries, the most coveted seems to be Graveney in Tooting; about 1/3 of the places are allocated by merit (performance on the Wandsworth test which all kids attending state primaries in Wandsworth take in their last year) and not by distance.

Other state secondaries are Ashcroft Technology academy on West Hill, Chestnut Grove in Balham, Southfields academy between Southfields and Earslfield.
I'll admit I don't know much about these; Southfields Academy has, for years, accepted all applicants - this alone is usually not a good sign. But they like to stress than, unlike other schools, they don't try to kick out or move elsewhere the worst-performing students to improve the school's test scores.
Ashcroft and Chestnut allocate some places based on specific tests (not distance): Ashcroft measures some kind of technological skills, and Chestnut music and modern languages. I have no idea how these tests work in practice.

The council publishes a list of how places were allocated in past years: https://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/schools-a ... tatistics/
You will notice that some schools allocate places by band: they divide kids by bands based on their results in the Wandsworth test. The theory is that this way classes are more diverse in terms of academic ability, and this reduces the risk of getting classes of mostly top-performing or mostly worst-performing kids. This also means that the maximum distance may be 600m for 1 band and 2 km for another.
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Star
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Re: State Secondary Schools - are they good?

Postby Star » Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:25 pm

Ernest Bevin and Burntwood schools also have a selective stream based on the Wandsworth Test
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Star
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Re: State Secondary Schools - are they good?

Postby Star » Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:38 pm

Btw I know families in the selective stream at Burntwood and are very happy with it ( but I see you have a boy) . Ernest Bevin's Ofsted has gone way down from its Outstanding to Requires Improvement
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windmill26
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Re: State Secondary Schools - are they good?

Postby windmill26 » Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:43 pm

SouthLondonDaddy, as I replied to Mochi I feel that it comes down to personal experience as kids are different and families are different. There are plenty of good Primary and Secondary Schools in the area so there is no need to move.
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onthecommon
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Re: State Secondary Schools - are they good?

Postby onthecommon » Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:08 pm

Our local state secondary schools are great and provide an excellent option for all our children. Visit open days and look at their websites. They do not have marketing budgets so you will need to do this off your own back. The best source of information is current parents.
Mine attend the Bolingbroke and are all very happy, with loads of friends and plenty of great opportunities and the teaching is fantastic.
Here are their latest GCSE and A level results - outstanding for a non-selective school.

http://arkbolingbrokeacademy.org/news/b ... ross-board

http://arkbolingbrokeacademy.org/news/o ... sell-group

Sent from my iPhone
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SouthLondonDaddy
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Re: State Secondary Schools - are they good?

Postby SouthLondonDaddy » Thu Sep 05, 2019 4:24 pm

Bolingbroke gives priority to children of founding parents, siblings, children from feeder schools and, only lastly, to children living closest to the school
http://arkbolingbrokeacademy.org/admissions-policy

If you look at what happened in the past: https://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/media/405 ... o_2018.pdf
only in 2015 were some places offered to kids not coming from feeder schools.
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sw1234
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Re: State Secondary Schools - are they good?

Postby sw1234 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 6:20 pm

Clearly hard to argue with as it’s an academy but The admissions process at Bolingbroke does seem unfair. For many it’s their most local state secondary but they cannot get in unless they move their child into a feeder school in Y6!
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firsttimerSW11
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Re: State Secondary Schools - are they good?

Postby firsttimerSW11 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:39 am

I don't think Bolingbroke's policy is unfair. Of the 5 feeder schools, 3 of them have spaces in all year groups which means if you were keen on Bolingbroke then you'd send your child to one of those 3 schools.

In response to the original question, my opinion (and it is just a personal view) is that I would only choose private for second level. You're paying for facilities, space, opportunities, networking etc as well as the education. If I had no choice and had to choose a state option, I'd chose Bolingbroke or Graveney (selective). Otherwise I'd move out to Kingston where you can try for all the grammars.

Many children move from primary to second level without knowing anyone and it usually doesn't take long to make friends. If nothing else, it teaches resilience.
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