Camberley secondary schools

(10 Posts)
fullsuspension Sun 06-Jul-14 22:47:27

Lapsed poster re-joining to ask advice about, yes, admissions. Am having a bit of a wobble and would really value your advice:

DS is yr 5 so of course we'll be applying for secondary school in October - Given where we live there are really only 2 clear choices - by choices I mean schools where DS would be pretty much guaranteed a place. Anyone who knows this area will probably guess which schools we're confident he will get into and the much larger of the two, which is OFSTED "good" had long been our presumed option.

But now I'm stressing and feeling like a complete failure as a mother - I seem to keep hearing about local parents who have moved / gone private / pulled strings to avoid this school. If you search the school name on here the few comments there are, are all negative, I met someone through work recently who happens to live in the next village and the look of horror when I explained that we weren't in the process of moving to prevent DS from going to the school left me reeling.

The reason for the post is really to see whether it is worth applying to other schools, where we are out of catchment? The third borough school is over subscribed and we are out of catchment so I had assumed not worth applying. Is it a complete waste to apply for schools in Berks (prob in Sandhurst or Crowthorne) or do I just accept that DS will be going to this school and deal with it? (I should add that he has no concerns, but he's 10) Also if anyone knows the school and thinks that's it's actually pretty good - I don't expect miracles, just that he'll be motivated, happy and achieve his potential, please tell me and make me feel better grin

Thanks!

tiggytape Mon 07-Jul-14 09:34:26

You will probably be applying for 4 or 6 schools depending on where you live and how many preferences your council allows you to express.
It is never a waste to use every single preference on your form because all options are equal (no priority for listing a school first, no penalty for listing it last).

You will get assigned the highest ranked school out of all the ones you list. So if you qualify for number 4 and number 6, you get offered number 4
If you qualify for only number 5, that's the one you get.
So the ideal way to fill in your form is:

1st preference = school you love but possibly stand little chance of getting into
2nd choice = a school you'd like a lot
3rd choice (and 4th and 5th choices) = schools you don't mind or best of a bad bunch options
Last choice = a school you will definitely qualify for whether you like or loathe it. The worst option of all the schools you are certain to qualify for.

So, if this is a year of freakishly few siblings, you could get offered school 1,2 or 3.
But if it is a normal year, the council will work through your list until they come to a school you like less but qualify for and will offer it to you.

You remain on the waiting list for schools you liked more but didn't get offered. This can also pay off in the long run with a late offer.

tiggytape Mon 07-Jul-14 09:39:02

You will get assigned the highest ranked school out of all the ones you list that you qualify for that should say.

But you won't know for sure in advance which ones you qualify for - nobody knows for sure - so that's why it is worth listing ones you like but aren't hopeful about.

Last year there may have been 75 siblings but this year only 20 (unlikely but you never know)
Or this year a school with a newly published great Ofsted may tempt applicants away from the school you like so you might get an offer this year even if you wouldn't have qualified last year.
Or people might be feeling richer in your area and a far higher % go private than in previous years.

inthename Mon 07-Jul-14 16:35:35

A lot of parents apply to Hampshire (Yateley, Frogmore etc) or Berkshire to avoid K.
C is very large, 2000+ students but friends much happier since new head took over, who has been a teacher there for many years. The location of C is often talked about but is an old problem of reputation, yes they have a large intake from somewhere listed as the most deprived area in Surrey but I lived there for over 30 yeara with no problems.
T ia seen as the ideal, large, think its had recent changes in head as well, catchment area trickier as more wealthy and estate agents sell houses by advertising them aa in that catchment area.
If I can help further let me know, lots of ds friends at all 3.

fullsuspension Mon 07-Jul-14 20:45:45

Thank you both for your posts - yes I take you're point Tiggy that as long as I put the school that he'll definitely get into somewhere on the list (of four) then there's nothing lost by applying further afield just on the off chance of luck going in our favour.

Inthename yes I agree, and have told myself for as long as we've lived here, that the problem with C is where it is rather than anything inherently wrong with the school. It's hard to shake the feeling though that it's a school people go to because they don't have any realistic choice rather than because they want to and I guess that makes me feel a bit of a failure. I think I need to shake myself out of it though.

inthename Mon 07-Jul-14 21:10:19

I'd recommend a visit, its a very spread out site which also makes it difficult to get a feel for it, have known some very able youngsters do extremely well and they bus in a lot from Bagshot, West End, Lightwater, Frimley Green etc

Ionacat Tue 08-Jul-14 08:43:21

I also recommend a visit. Lots and lots of opportunities there. Have also known able youngsters do really well. Most people who will try and avoid the school won't have ever set foot through the door and based their opinion on the estate's reputation from 20 years ago with the odd horror story thrown in. Also remember that people are more likely to post if they have problems with a school.

hankyspanky Tue 08-Jul-14 08:55:31

My youngest DD left her small village school to go to C. We don't live in the catchment area but, it was the school most of her primary school friends were going to.
I was worried she wouldn't cope well due to the size of C. All my worries were groundless! She did exceptionally well in her GCSE's.
I would recommend the school based on my experience.
Hope this helps.

fullsuspension Tue 08-Jul-14 10:09:18

Thanks all, Yes I agree, I've rung the school just now and we're going to see it next week. It's odd because I'm normally someone who very much tries to see beyond basic assumptions and to ignore classic middle-England prejudices but when it's about my child... smile

inthename Tue 08-Jul-14 16:43:30

good for you. as lonecat says, most people with the bad opinions don't even set foot on the estate, let alone the school. If you're visiting in morning or afternoon near drop off/pick up time watch out for traffic as it gets vwry congested due to a really daft traffic calming system on the road going past the school.

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