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We want to buy a house in Honor Oak
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shimmysister


Posts: 125
Joined: Aug 2011
Post: #1
20-09-2011 09:52 PM

We want to buy a three bedroom house with a garden, close to Blythe Hill fields, in the catchment area of Stillness school ( 0.3 of a mile). Only problem is that there are hardly any properties coming on to the market. We're probably going to leaflet several streets, here is our proposal:

If you would like to sell your house, we have a mortgage and solicitor lined up. You wouldn't have to pay any estate agent fees. We have a budget of 275,000-300,000.

You can always get a valuation from an estate agent first and then contact us to view your house.

Please send me a message through this website if you're interested

(worth a try ::Smile

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Tinkerbell


Posts: 356
Joined: Dec 2007
Post: #2
21-09-2011 09:33 AM

Hi shimmysister,
Not trying to discourage you, but your budget sounds too low for a 3-bed house in the Stillness catchment area.

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shimmysister


Posts: 125
Joined: Aug 2011
Post: #3
21-09-2011 09:55 AM

Might have to be a two bedroom or somewhere that needs work doing to it. I have seen a few properties that were three bedroom with garden that sold already...a town house in Codrington hill and Austin Close for example, but theres less available for our budget I agree!

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bebei


Posts: 30
Joined: Sep 2010
Post: #4
26-09-2011 04:17 PM

We were in a similar position as you about 2 years ago, but after a year of waiting decided to broaden our search to two other good schools; Dalmains & Fairlawn.

The area does have a very limited supply of suitable houses coming on to the market.

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Jane2


Posts: 221
Joined: Jan 2007
Post: #5
27-09-2011 10:40 AM

For your budget you'd be looking at one of the more modern town houses with a small garden.

Anything Victorian would be too expensive, unless its a large flat (some of the bigger Victorian properties have been converted into large flats which in terms of square footage are probably similar to a small town house).

SE6 postcodes around Blythe Hill are a bit cheaper, but then you are moving further away from Stillness.

It will be tricky for that budget, there's not a huge amount coming on the market at the moment, not sure why - and prices in this area don't seem to be dropping any.
As Bebei says you may have to look at other schools, all the primary schools in this area are pretty good.

But leafleting might work - good luck!

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pebble


Posts: 47
Joined: May 2011
Post: #6
28-09-2011 05:16 PM

Please don't get too hung up about catchment areas. The house opposite to me didn't sell for ages because viewers thought it was too far away from Stillness; however last year the new owner got her child into Stillness Reception and so did all the children that live on that road.

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shimmysister


Posts: 125
Joined: Aug 2011
Post: #7
01-10-2011 06:42 PM

Thanks everyone. Still looking and planning on doing some leaflets tonight! Promising to hear about a bit of flexibility with the catchment area on the part of the local education authority! They did however say that with the September intake the catchment area was no more than 0.3 of a mile, but they have to consider children who live outside these catchment areas!

I don't drive so part of the reason I'm interested in Stillness school and the catchment area around it is that it is also closer to Honor Oak train station. We're also considering living the other side of the station and looking at Ivydale school in Nunhead. I was hearing good things about their music provision last night from a friend.

Have to say that I have a very good feeling about living in Honor Oak and so far have met so many lovely friendly people. Went for dinner last night at La Querce and it was delicious food and a great atmosphere!

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eddiet


Posts: 6
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #8
05-10-2011 04:53 PM

Good luck in your quest. I live on Salehurst Rd, having moved from Forest Hill. We've been here for just over 2 years and have one of our children hopefully starting school at Stillness next year.

It's a great neighbourhood, and worth holding out for. Unfortunately that means that we also don't want to move, so I'm afraid that doesn't help you much!

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shimmysister


Posts: 125
Joined: Aug 2011
Post: #9
11-10-2011 11:09 PM

We've had an offer accepted on a house in Austin Close, backing on to Blythe Hill fields and in the catchment area of Stillness! Really pleased!

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Medley


Posts: 87
Joined: Nov 2011
Post: #10
08-11-2011 02:26 PM

Good stuff.


We're also wanting to buy a house in Honor Oak Park. For us it's got it all: we can still cycle to work; the transport is good and will get better; there's a good balance of shops; there's lots of green space; there are views; there's a good atmosphere.

I've lived in Honor Oak (as in by the Forest Hill Tavern, near where the old Honor Oak station was) for 4 years and love the area in general.


But can someone please explain catchment areas to me a bit? I know I need to do my own research, but it seems very hard to work out just how much the 'rules' will be stuck to.

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,355
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #11
08-11-2011 04:33 PM

Medley,

Catchment areas will vary every year. You need to determine the criteria for any school you choose. Whether your child will go there will depend on may variables. Normally, siblings of existing pupils will have priority. It is possible for some small primary schools that all or most places will be taken by siblings. So, the catchement area will vary. This is unlikely to happen with large primary schools. But the vacant places are allocated to those who live the nearest.

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shimmysister


Posts: 125
Joined: Aug 2011
Post: #12
08-11-2011 08:29 PM

I phoned up Lewisham education authority and asked what the catchment area for Stillness was last intake and it was between 0.3-0.4 of a mile walking distance not as the crow flies. We will be approx 0.2 away which hopefully gives us a good chance, but have to prepared for variables changing this. We're also in the catchment of Dalmain which is a good school too so I think its a good plan to have other schools nearby you don't mind as a second choice. I know of loads of people that have got their kids in to schools when they're not in the catchment area so there is always the chance that they have less sibling intake each time and cast the net further.

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shimmysister


Posts: 125
Joined: Aug 2011
Post: #13
08-11-2011 08:31 PM

By the way. Good luck in your house search Medley! I'm new to the area, but very happy with it!

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Medley


Posts: 87
Joined: Nov 2011
Post: #14
08-11-2011 09:23 PM

Cheers Shimmymister.

Am starting to understand things a bit better now - about catchment areas.

It's going to be a battle to get a place where we want, but a battle we haven't yet started

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NewForester


Posts: 377
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #15
09-11-2011 12:52 PM

Medley - you can find the distance of the catchment area for each school in the "Starting School in Lewisham 2012-2013" pamphlet (page 26). There are two relevant columns - Distance of last child offered for published admissions number and Distance of last child offered for bulge class

At the recent Local Assembly, Liz Dart said that Lewisham's aim was that all children should attend a primary school within 1 mile (1600m) of their home.

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thenutfield


Posts: 235
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #16
09-11-2011 09:12 PM

Medley, don't forget that - in your 'battle' to get what you want - if you win, it means some other child loses. A child who may not have the benefits of a motivated and dedicated parent as you clearly are.

rather than be so fixated on one or two schools, wouldn't it be better to be more relaxed about which school your child goes to (there are no bad primary schools round here), but help make your child's primary education a success anyway by being involved with and positive about whichever school it happens to be?

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Medley


Posts: 87
Joined: Nov 2011
Post: #17
10-11-2011 12:52 PM

Nutfield - some fair points, but a bit too idealistic for my taste I'm afraid.

Just to be clear, I'm not yet a parent, although I hope to be. We're trying to plan for the future, in a loose way.

And thanks very much to all who have helpfully pointed to bits of info.

But to return to Nutfield's points, I certainly mean to help any child of mine - natural biological or adopted - as much as I can. The reality, however, is that a good school can make a big difference. Although you may be right in saying there are no bad schools in SE23, that's relative. I'm acutely aware that I was lucky to go to good schools, and that helped me a great deal in life. My wife didn't go to good schools, and although she's a professional success story we don't want her to go through what she did.

In other words it's not just a question of sharp-elbowing through, although life in London sadly is a competition much of the time (good luck not battling at work for example), it's also being concerned that a child has a good and fruitful time at school - atmospherically as well as academically.

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rmurraywest


Posts: 42
Joined: Jan 2010
Post: #18
10-11-2011 03:02 PM

Schools change very fast, Medley, and whatever Ofsted you read etc etc will go out of date very quickly.
When I moved to SE23 a certain local school was 'the one' to go to, and every estate agent had 'catchment area for....." written all over the particulars. Fast forward a few years and it's all different again. Five years time and I would expect many of the local schools to have different Heads and totally different reputations.
So I wouldn't say that going for your local school was all about idealism. You could pick an Ofsted"Outstanding" school and see the head and senior leadership leave the next week and the whole thing go pearshaped. On the other hand it could go from strength to strength. I guess that's why it's important to get involved, whichever school it is. Even if Ofsted is your main concern - which it certainly wasn't for us.

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Medley


Posts: 87
Joined: Nov 2011
Post: #19
11-11-2011 04:00 PM

Interesting, thanks all.

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Jane2


Posts: 221
Joined: Jan 2007
Post: #20
13-11-2011 07:21 PM

"Although you may be right in saying there are no bad schools in SE23, that's relative"
I have to agree with Nutfield that all the primary schools in this area are good. I looked around quite a few, spoke to loads of parents, and I can honestly say I would be happy for my children to go to any of them. We are very fortunate.
In the end I chose the one closest to me because I do believe in being part of a school community, and also its ethos suited me, but I think its easy to get worried over the differences between them when actually they are all a good standard, and I'm not just saying that because I live here.

I know of parents in other areas of London where there are particular schools that you wouldn't touch with a bargepole, and I can honestly say I don't know any primaries like that near to me.

The differences between the schools are less to do with good and bad schools and more to do with the parent's idea of what a good school is - and that varies depending on what your personal priorities are (e.g. is it SATS? OFSTED? An active PTA? Demographic of other children? Focus on sports/arts/music? Size of school? Location? Playground? Uniform? Parents get quite het up about all these and can be strongly for or against each of them) And of course once a parent chooses and gets their children into a school, its fairly common they will praise their own school and criticise other schools!

So no, I don't think there are any bad schools here, at the moment anyway. Just that some schools suit some parents better than others.

Schools can change fairly rapidly depending on leadership so its quite hard to plan 5 years in advance; and the best way to influence a school is to get involved in the PTA/Governers, as others have said.

Lastly its worth noting that Lewisham's primary school results are overall good compared to the rest of London. We weren't aware of that before we moved here (pre children) we just made a lucky choice!

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