Primary schools (Berkhamsted) -go CofE for 'outstanding'??

(7 Posts)
chummymummy7 Thu 18-Apr-13 22:49:01

Are there any Berkhamsted parents on here at the mo? Advice/opinions please. DD is currently on government grant hours at the Montessori and need to think about Reception entry 2014.

We live at the Swing Gate end of town and gave been told there's little hope of a place at Westfield or Greenway - so will need to try for Victoria or Swing Gate. Should add that we're not church goers (Victoria is a faith school).

DD is very able and bright. Should I use persistence to try for Victoria, Westfield, Greenway or put Swing Gate - our closest school and tbh looks ok, its ofsted is I think good (with outstanding features?)

Also - I'm not a big fan of the idea of faux church going to try and blag a place at a faith school.

Schools in the area so over subscribed...is the best idea to put the closest, non-faith (but perhaps not best) school as 1st choice, or look further into the better-seeming schools (other end of town)??

ReallyTired Thu 18-Apr-13 22:58:08

You have to pick up to four choices on the online application form. This year school applications have been a total nightmare in hertfordshire and some children have no place for reception at the moment.

I think you would be an idiot not to have swingate as one of your options, although it doesn't have to be your first choice. There is a balance between trying your luck and being reasonably realistic about your chances.

Have you actually visitred Swing Gate? Academic results don't tell the whole story of a school. A school in a wealthier part of town will find it easier to get good results.

chummymummy7 Thu 18-Apr-13 23:17:40

Thanks ReallyTired. What happens to the kids that don't get a reception place at all?sad

Will def put swing gate down, of course. I don't know all the in's and out's of applications yet... If I put swing gate as 2nd or 3rd choice then don't get the others, I'm guessing that swing gate would count our lower ranking of them against us and we could lose out there as well?

Haven't visited any schools yet btw. Want DD to experience some cultural diversity but also to be stimulated,challenged etc.

Just not sure. Her nursery teacher suggested looking at schools in neighbouring villages. Won't they be filled with local kids though confused

ReallyTired Fri 19-Apr-13 16:44:08

"Thanks ReallyTired. What happens to the kids that don't get a reception place at all?"

The LEA has a legal responsiblity to find a place SOMEWHERE. Sadly choice is luxury that many kids in Hertfordshire (or indeed other parts of country) don't have.

Parents hope and pray that their child is given a place in the first and second rounds of continuing interest. Otherwise the LEA pays for a taxi to some dreadful school the other side of the county that you have never heard of and is in special measures.

The good news is that free schools are opening up to try and relive the pressure on places. Some existing schools are being expanded to cope with the increase number of children. Swing Gate is becoming a two form entry school.

There is a lot to be said for going to your nearest school unless its utterly dire. Its nice having friends around the corner and being able to walk in the morning. In your position I would put Swing Gate first.

chummymummy7 Sat 20-Apr-13 23:00:41

After much thought we prob are going to do just that and put our nearest school first(after looking around them). We're lucky to have a decent one so close by. Thanks for your input ReallyTired.

I just hope that guarantees a place, at a time when it seems there are no guarantees, especially without a sibling already in a school.

Freckles73 Tue 23-Apr-13 17:47:19

Hi there

My DD has just got her reception place in Berkhamsted. I think everyone got a reception place in Berkhmasted this year, in fact the statistics that Hertfordshire sent out show that 86% got their first choice. But I would 100% put swing gate as your first choice. I have friends with children there and they are very happy. Westfield and Greenway are only 30 intake so the catchment area is tiny especially when siblings are taken into account. Swing gate (and Bridgewater) are 60 intake so the catchment area is definitely bigger for those schools.

I think whatever school you get will be fine as they are all brilliant, and I am sure it'll be in Berkhamsted not a neighbouring village. The three tier system that is being bought in is to make sure that happens.

chummymummy7 Fri 26-Apr-13 18:10:03

Thanks Freckles and congrats on your daughter's reception place.

Am I right in thinking that Bridgewater is only opening as a first school this or next year, as I thought it was a middle school?

Am guessing that will mean more spaces for those who want to try it?

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