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Primary School Advice
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LittlePickleHead


Posts: 24
Joined: Jun 2010
Post: #1
23-10-2012 08:07 PM

Hi all, my daughter's primary school application needs to be in by 15 Jan. I'm doing my research, visiting schools, Ofsted reports, Google searches (!) etc but wondered if there were any parents with children in the schools who could give me an indication of what the experience has actually been with a child attending.

Going by last year's distances (which I know could completely change this year so not a guarantee) she would definitely have got into Kilmorie School and Kelvin Grove. Both schools are large (have recently grown) which is off-putting for me (I do prefer the idea of a small school), but they also do seem to be improving and have 'good' Ofsted. I'd particularly be interested in views on Kelvin Grove as there is very little written about it that I can find on the internet, which worries me slightly (there is usually reams written about very good schools in the area).

After that we have the best chance of Dalmain, and then all the others are unlikely unless there is a bulge, so we will probably put down Stillness, Fairlawn and Eliot Bank just in case.

Any opinions good or bad would be really appreciated. I'm really keen to have a school that we can get involved with and be part of the community of. I'm really worried we'll get none of our choices and allocated a school miles away (as I know that happened to quite a few last year) so trying to be realistic with our choice.

Thanks!

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hellohello


Posts: 42
Joined: Sep 2010
Post: #2
23-10-2012 09:10 PM

You need to be very realistic about schools in terms of locations and distance. If you are nearest to Kilmorie or Kelvin Grove then the chances are that that is where you will end up. Catchment area for Fairlawn, Stillness etc are very small. Our son started at Kilmorie this year and he and we love it. Teachers are lovely and Liz Stone is doing a great job. The school is big but reception area is seperate but they are allowed to use the big playground if they want and most of them do as they seem very unphased by it! We also saw Dalmain and that seemed lovely but we went with Kilmorie because the breakfast club and after school club were onsite.

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LittlePickleHead


Posts: 24
Joined: Jun 2010
Post: #3
23-10-2012 09:14 PM

Thats good to hear about Kilmorie - the breakfast and after school club are a big plus point for me as well.

BTW I am being realistic about catchments, it's just we have 6 choices so I want to use them (however futile!).

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hellohello


Posts: 42
Joined: Sep 2010
Post: #4
23-10-2012 09:38 PM

Depending on where you are Rathfern is also meant to be very good. The headteacher is meant to be great.

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LittlePickleHead


Posts: 24
Joined: Jun 2010
Post: #5
26-10-2012 01:42 PM

Thanks hello - I think we might be too far the wrong direction for Rathfern but I'll definitely look into it.

Still hoping to hear from someone with children at Kelvin Grove Smile

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thenutfield


Posts: 235
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #6
26-10-2012 04:53 PM

Hi
I always bang the drum for Perrymount School. I have 2 boys there and they love it, and they are both doing very well. It never gets much of a mention, and it does have the setback of only having a 'satisfactory' ofsted. Despite this, the school is making good progress and got really good SATs results last year.

If you are looking for a small school, its great. Just one class per year (apart from one bulge year, currently year 2), so everyone knows everyone and it has a very nice friendly atmosphere.

And it does have a breakfast club - my boys prefer the breakfast there to at home..they get lemon curd on toast!

best wishes with wherever you end up!

This post was last modified: 26-10-2012 04:54 PM by thenutfield.

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Satchers


Posts: 262
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #7
26-10-2012 07:19 PM

I have heard from Lewisham that they are expecting a continuation of the high demand for reception places over the next few years and they are looking at where further expansions/bulge classes can be made.

I would say that you need to have the 6 closest schools to you (as the crow flies) on your list and then to rank them in order of preference, ignoring the distance. Unless any of the 6 are terrible I wouldn't take the risk of not including any of the closest 6. The only other reason you might 'not' include one of the closest 6 is that you are a large distance away from a consistently small catchment school that you know is 'not' taking a bulge class. (e.g. for where we live that would mean don't bother applying to Fairlawn whatever you might think of it)

You 'should' then get the your highest preference school of the 6 that has capacity to take you. Which to be honest could be any of them depending on where you live and where others who are applying live.

Lewisham may not know for definite where the bulge classes are going to go for next year by the 15th Feb but I would hope they would have a pretty good idea by the new year and the headteachers should be able to tell you by then.

I have heard that Beecroft (in Brockley/Crofton Park) was undersubscribed last year and had spare places.

P.S. I've hardly heard any bad things about any of the schools in Forest Hill and think we're very lucky on the whole - as long as you can get a place that is! Good luck!

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Littlebelka


Posts: 187
Joined: Mar 2010
Post: #8
27-10-2012 08:38 AM

Talking about Becroft, what happened to Brockley Primary, which was on the site. Was it absorbed into Beecroft?

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Satchers


Posts: 262
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #9
27-10-2012 10:48 AM

Yes I think Brockley Primary has become Beecroft

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,351
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #10
30-10-2012 08:55 AM

You could look at a league table.

E.g. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/educat...77256.html

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Satchers


Posts: 262
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #11
30-10-2012 09:19 AM

Unfortunately the published league tables are 18 months out of date.
The latest ones, from this summer, should have been published by now I think but haven't been.

Horniman's scores for example are in the low 90%s this year after a blip where they, and a number of other schools had external scoring they didn't agree with but could do nothing about.

Other schools may have published more recent figure or they may be available on heir website?

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hoona


Posts: 201
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #12
30-10-2012 11:07 AM

For very up to date schools ofsted reports and tables etc check out http://www.locrating.com. Very useful tool.

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shellbear


Posts: 12
Joined: Oct 2010
Post: #13
16-11-2012 06:40 PM

I'm looking at the moment too and interested in parents experiences. I went to an open morning at Dalmain this week and was so impressed with the children and the head teacher. It felt like a very creative environment and we were shown around by the children from different year groups who seemed really proud of their school. It is a shabbier building than Stillness which I also saw and liked but felt like it had a different atmosphere. Would really like to hear from parents with children at both.

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Littlebelka


Posts: 187
Joined: Mar 2010
Post: #14
17-11-2012 10:27 AM

I was impressed too

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smudge74


Posts: 8
Joined: Oct 2010
Post: #15
28-11-2012 10:57 AM

Dear Shellbear

I was in exactly your position a two years ago. I looked at both Stillness and Dalmain. I felt Stillness was visually exactly what I hoped for in a primary school but something really drew me to Dalmain, though it didn't look as cute there were other things I loved about it.

We were shown around by the pupils and when the head teacher gave a talk afterwards I felt I really agreed with her ethos. I believe things flow down from the top in an establishment and so the head teacher counts for a lot. She has been there a long time and as a result has hand picked all the staff herself meaning that all the teachers surely have a very similar vision and attitude. I really liked the vibe of the school. In the end I decided that these things were more important than the way a school looks. I chose Dalmain and am very glad I did.

The school has been everything I hoped for. It is very warm, friendly, inclusive, nurturing, supportive and creative. The teachers we have had have been excellent. The head has been all I hoped for too. There is also a strong and active parent/teachers association.

Most importantly the children there seem happy and valued. My oldest has been very happy there and my second will be joining the school very soon.

Absolutely no regrets!

Hope this helps. Good luck with your decision.

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thenutfield


Posts: 235
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #16
09-01-2013 08:04 PM

Perrymount School had an Ofsted inspection just before Christmas and have been rated as Good (up from Satisfactory, which is fantastic for the school and a testament to the great work of the Head and all the staff there).

This means that ALL primary schools in SE23 are now either good or outstanding.

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pebble


Posts: 47
Joined: May 2011
Post: #17
13-02-2013 11:42 PM

Haseltine just had an Ofsted and got Outstanding.

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,351
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #18
14-02-2013 08:49 AM

the Headteacher at Haseltine is excellent!

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