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Fairlawn School and nearby area
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howden


Posts: 11
Joined: Sep 2010
Post: #1
27-09-2010 12:00 PM

Hello there, we're looking forward to joining the community as we are looking for houses in the Fairlawn school area.

We don't know much about the area. Our experience so far has been the Horniman museum (just joined as a friend) and Whites Paints on Brockley Rise (my recommendation!) - but this forum has been a real educator.

I have a few questions if anyone can help

- How near to the schools above do we need to live in order to get a place? (would 0.2m do the trick?)
- What in your opinion, apart from exam results, makes Fairlawn a good school?
- Is there breathing room on trains into London Bridge around 7.45/8am weekdays? We are currently in P Rye - and its not too bad at that time.

Many thanks

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dbboy


Posts: 201
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #2
27-09-2010 01:07 PM

in terms of exam results, suggest you take a look at the Ofsted report

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IWereAbsolutelyFuming


Posts: 531
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #3
27-09-2010 01:48 PM

Fairlawn is a great school but don't get too bogged down by sticking close by it. Forest Hill is littered with really good primary schools.

But 0.2 of a mile would probably be safe even for a popular school like Fairlawn. We got into our first choice school (via the waiting list - we were second on it) which is apparently 0.38miles from our house.

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howden


Posts: 11
Joined: Sep 2010
Post: #4
27-09-2010 02:02 PM

Thank you - we are planning to visit as many local primary schools as possible. Ideally the station will also be within a ½ mile walk (either HOP or FH).

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bebei


Posts: 30
Joined: Sep 2010
Post: #5
27-09-2010 04:54 PM

We too are coming into the area after finding out about the great primary schools, then finding out about the lovely areas attached to them! Never managed to find the right property within 200m of fairlawn, but stillness and dalmains also have very good ofsted results.

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howden


Posts: 11
Joined: Sep 2010
Post: #6
27-09-2010 05:03 PM

Hi. My other task is also trying to find a full time nursery for a 2 year old in the same area - from reading a few searched threads it may be like pulling teeth...

I've emailed Lewisham council, but any pointers would be much appreciated

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tttttttttttttt


Posts: 22
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #7
27-09-2010 06:02 PM

Forest Hill is definitely blessed with a good handful (or more, even) of top notch primary schools, that any parents would be really happy with and whilst I would not want to put anyone off, I would add that its 'less blessed', shall we say, with decent secondary schools for later on, at the moment at least.

My word of caution would therefore be prepared to at least consider moving again when the kids are 10-ish (by which time of course secondary school provision could be very different).

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Contrary Mary


Posts: 124
Joined: Oct 2008
Post: #8
28-09-2010 08:06 AM

I'm sorry, but, why?

Here are the OFSTED reports for the three secondary schools nearest to Forest Hill - two at walking distance, two within a reasonable bus ride. Three of them are rated "2 - Good", and one is rated "1 - excellent". It looks as though the 2010 ones are working their way through the system, and should be available soonish.

It is worth reading them through for more detail, especially Sydenham, where it is noted that although the girls are "spirited", they have a high level of focus during lessons (the bit general Forest Hillers will not see, because it is inside the school buildings, not on the street), and take good care of each other. Also that the incidence of bullying is low. Surely these are qualities you would move closer to a school to find?

Can we stop knocking Lewisham secondary schools please? I am not necessarily accusing tttttttttttttt of this, but I have come across this "must move away at 10/11" attitude bfore, and it sometimes smacks of snobbery. We all want the best for our kids, but League table position isn't everything.

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Contrary Mary


Posts: 124
Joined: Oct 2008
Post: #9
28-09-2010 08:08 AM

Oops! forgot the links - here they are:

Sydenham Girl's
http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/oxedu_reports/display/(id)/122332

Forest Hill Boys
http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/oxedu_reports/display/(id)/88080

Prendergast
http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/oxedu_reports/display/(id)/81269

Sedgehill
http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/oxedu_reports/display/(id)/92089

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howden


Posts: 11
Joined: Sep 2010
Post: #10
28-09-2010 08:35 AM

Thanks again - we are personally a decade away from thinking about secondary schools and might have outgrown the property we are looking for at the moment.

Does anyone use and recommend a day nursery in the area (within walking distance to FH or HOP stations ?

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tttttttttttttt


Posts: 22
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #11
28-09-2010 08:38 AM

The links don't seem to work ............

I can only vouch for secondary school provision for boys which are the only ones I previously researched, so am not necessarily totally up to date with their latest Ofsted report(s), but any young boy attending Fairlawn would be very lucky to get into Sedgehill and I for one (and I'm certainly not alone) was not happy at the prospect of Forest Hill boys.

League table don't particularly do the local schools any favours (I feel), with their results scrapping by at bearly the national average, but for example, the nearly permanent police presence, if you pass by nearly any playtime and end of day (presumably there as a necessity rather than a luxury) certainly didn't endear us to the place. Each to their own.

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IWereAbsolutelyFuming


Posts: 531
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #12
28-09-2010 08:59 AM

I cycle past about 5 different secondary schools at kicking out time each day and all of them have police or community support officers milling about. Be nice if it wasn't the case but I suspect it's fairly common practice in London.

The secondary schools in FH outperform the cosy, Hampshire secondary school I went to. They are certainly different to what I experienced but then my kids will be dyed-in-the-wool Londoners by the time they get there and probably wont bat an eyelid.

Back to Howden's questions, there are a number of good nurseries but they all have massive waiting lists.

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hellohello


Posts: 42
Joined: Sep 2010
Post: #13
28-09-2010 09:44 AM

My nursery may have places as fairly new and I also know of another opening near honor oak. if you message me then i will give you the details.

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Contrary Mary


Posts: 124
Joined: Oct 2008
Post: #14
28-09-2010 09:48 AM

OFSTED reports in .pdf


.pdf File  Sedgehill.pdf (Size: 256.53 KB / Downloads: 295)
.pdf File  Forest Hill.pdf (Size: 262.19 KB / Downloads: 278)
.pdf File  Sydenham.pdf (Size: 256.69 KB / Downloads: 376)
.pdf File  Prendergast.pdf (Size: 100.23 KB / Downloads: 225)

And yes, I agree the picture is a happier one for girls at the moment - but in the same way that Sydenham girls often get judged according to received wisdom, I think that the lads at Forest Hill boys are better than they are painted. (Although the specialist arts status may improve the painting in years to come!)

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tttttttttttttt


Posts: 22
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #15
28-09-2010 09:54 AM

Forest Hill seems to have a thriving community of child minders, as a possible alternative to a nursery place ............

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #16
28-09-2010 04:16 PM

Having lived around here for yonks Sydenham Girls School have suffered a bit from their general reputation when out in public. However none of this takes into account the BSF programme which has transformed many Lewisham secondary schools so hopefully all local schools will be given the chance to shine. I work for another London borough and the previously undersubscribed schools there have been turned around significantly in a relatively short period of time.

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michael


Posts: 3,215
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #17
28-09-2010 04:40 PM

Sydenham School has not yet made any improvements related to BSF funding (as far as I know), although their £23m was not part of the summer cuts by Gove. I visited the school recently and apart from a few changes round the old 6th form block, the structure remains much as it did in the 1990s, unlike Forest Hill Boys which has absolutely no trace of the buildings I was educated in - it has been completely rebuilt.

English Heritage listing of the ghastly tower block in the school will not help the regeneration of Sydenham School. But either way, the investment in this school will be a great benefit to girls currently entering primary education in Forest Hill and Sydenham.

Details of the BSF programme from the Headteacher: http://www.sydenham.lewisham.sch.uk/Webs...ebsite.doc

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Perryman


Posts: 809
Joined: Dec 2006
Post: #18
28-09-2010 05:19 PM

The heads and teachers at these high performing primaries are no doubt working hard and effectively, but move these schools to a less affluent part of Lewisham and their performance would drop.
Children with a stable and rich stimulating home-life will do better. There is no mystery here.

If they flattened part of the Tewksbury lodge estate and built a smallish secondary school, I think it might well genuinely be ranked within the top 10% schools in the country.

As it is, there are not enough privileged children in the area to dominate a large secondary school - the 2 main secondary schools are much more representative of Lewisham - an inner London borough with all that implies - (various levels of poverty/deprivation being the key).
And naturally the secondary schools' focus is on the majority of children who have been underachieving/are likely to underachieve (and they do this job very well, I understand).

I'm not saying the children from the elite primaries cannot survive and prosper at these secondary schools - their home advantages should see them through, and maybe a dose of local reality makes a young person more rounded. But academically, as a minority, they will not reach their potential in my opinion.

Incidentally does anyone have information on home tutoring?

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #19
28-09-2010 07:00 PM

Agreed in part, especially the bit about parental support, but I know of examples of former sink schools in less affluent areas of inner London who are now oversubscribed with white middle class applicants trying to break down the door to get in who would normally have run a mile. I am thinking of one in particular in the middle of a large council estate. This and others like it have been turned around by government investment and also a rather aggressive policy of not accepting that children are defined by their social class or background and therefore raising their expectations.

To the best of my knowledge the Haberdashers schools are very oversubscribed despite being in New Cross and other less affluent areas.

My point is that things can change and hopefully will in respect of many Lewisham secondary schools. Not fantastically relevant I suppose but I have been less than impressed with some of the Dulwich College and James Allens pupils I've encountered on the P4 and in Dulwich Park; nice accents and clearly well off but manners, no. But I suppose if you are made for life no one is going to judge whether your tie in on straight or your hair needs a wash but I doubt whether these standards would be considered acceptable in some of the schools which I am familiar with.

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Satchers


Posts: 262
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #20
29-09-2010 09:59 AM

Information about how near you had to live to the various primary schools in Lewisham last year is in the starting primary schools booklet on the Council website. This shows the impact of bulge classes that have been included this year (including at Fairlawn) and although there may be some this year it doesn't tell you where these will be. I would have thought unlikely to be in the same places but I don't know?

Obviously this doesn't mean the distances are going to be the same this or any other year but it is a useful indication......

http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/EducationAndL...School.htm

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