Schools and catchment area advice - moving to area

(32 Posts)
fish100 Thu 29-Jul-10 15:11:07


I am looking to move to this area and am currently trying to get my head around the choice of areas to live in Bournemouth and Poole - it is huge!

I have a 2 year old so am looking at schools and catchment areas. It seems from what I have gauged so far that Lilliput and Courthill are the schools that a lot of people rate in Poole but what about Bournemouth?

A lot of the houses I have seen from estate agents come under the Queens Park area. I see Queens Park Infant has an outstanding rating from Ofsted but what is it like? It seems to have a very large and varied catchment any of your children or friends children attend if so, do you rate it ? What about the junior?

Are there any other schools that are well rated in Bournemouth? I don't just want to look at Ofsted because it only tells part of the story but it is really difficult to get the inside info when you are moving to a new area where you don't know other people with children.

Thanks for your help

Appaloosa Fri 30-Jul-10 14:18:37

Hi there
We relocated last year to Broadstone in Poole.It is basically a smart suburb...great for families... Sandbanks beach is 20 mins away and you can get to wonderful places like Studland & Corfe Castle really easily...ditto New Forest etc!!
The local primary schools have outstanding Ofsted reports.The local pre schools are also excellent.Def worth a look!! ;0)

Crazycatlady Fri 30-Jul-10 14:23:52

Bookmarking and watching with interest, we're also relocating down that way in 2 years time.

becklet Tue 03-Aug-10 16:28:50


I live in Broadstone as well, have been here since 1987 and can only echo Di's comments - it really is a lovely area to live! Both my two are at the local middle school, and both came through one of the two local first schools - all of the schools in the area are great, and all rated outstanding by Ofsted.

15 mins drive to the beach, 10 mins to Poole Town Centre, and 25 mins drive to Bournemouth. 10 minutes drive and you're out in the countryside - spoilt for choice really!

Good luck with the move!

Crazycatlady Wed 04-Aug-10 19:22:27

Sounds lovely becklet!

Can I ask what you think of Ferndown and Westbourne? I have read a lot about both online, but would be good to get a real perspective. Have seen lovely houses in both.

Does Broadstone have any good places to eat or any nice pubs? Not my absolute deciding criteria, but useful to know while trying to convince DH...

becklet Fri 06-Aug-10 12:16:14

I like Ferndown and Westbourne, although Westbourne a bit less surburban if you know what I mean! It has some really nice shops, and the houses around the area are lovely. The only thing I would say is that the central part of Westbourne can be a bit seedy at night, but I guess that comes from being so close to Bournemouth and being more of a densely populated area...

Ferndown is a beautiful area, but always feels a bit further away from the main towns to me. Easy to jump on to the motorway from there though if you want to head off to Southampton, London etc.

Broadstone has a few restaurants, a couple of Indians, an Italian, and a nice pub/restaurant that serves a variety of stuff, fish, steaks etc. Mind you, Poole is nearby, and there's a lot of good restaurants there too. I do like to eat in Broadstone though, it's an easy walk home and I can have a few drinks! grin

Crazycatlady Fri 06-Aug-10 17:40:46

thanks becklet! We're currently in south London so know all about seedyness at night hmm. Really want to escape that so we might look further out at Ferndown and Broadstone then.

Flamesparrow Fri 06-Aug-10 18:17:23

Psycho's lot are/were at Queens Park. From what I have seen the infants have been better than juniors.

Willabywallaby Sun 08-Aug-10 07:29:54

I live close to Westbourne and would say it's a bit overpopulated, mostly with old people, and not in a good school catchment. DO bear in mind that Courthill was so over subscribed this year. We didn't get our DS1 in and we live 0.9 miles away, I heard you had to be less than 0.55 miles away this year. Broadstone schools have really good reputations and I always think it has a nice 'feel'.

I work near Ferndown (West Moors) and always get the feeling it's a bit of an old area, but the schools have a very good reputations and you'll get a more country feel.

I have heard Queen's Park junior schools don't have a good reputation, but the houses are lovely! I think the best way is to visit the school yourself once you've narrowed down your area a bit. But if the school becomes popular or they have an influx of children the same academic year it all gets a bit tricky anyway.

Good luck!

Crazycatlady Sun 08-Aug-10 12:54:04

Thanks Wallaby!

DD is only 19 months so we're looking towards infants/junior but not too worried about senior school yet. Is Courthill a junior or senior school?

Broadstone is looking good. We'd love to be able to afford Lower Parkstone/Lilliput but I think that might stretch our budget to breaking point.

Anywhere else we should be looking at in the local area do you reckon?

We're after a 3 or 4 bed house with a reasonable size garden and a garage. (We're coming from London so any garden bigger than a postage stamp will be like Christmas). We have about £350-400k to spend. Is that realistic or are we pipedreaming?

I think we'd be really happy anywhere within 20 mins drive of the sea, walkable to a few shops and near a good primary school.

Willabywallaby Mon 09-Aug-10 19:04:09

Courthill is a first school so first 3 years (I think!). Poole does first/middle/senior, although some are 'combined' which I think means first and middle together. It's all a bit confusing.

I think Broadstone would fit the bill. We just live in Canford Cliffs, but on the edge so Lower Parkstone really. I think the Courthill/Lilliput school thing really bumps up the prices round here, and the houses are really crammed in in some roads.

I've been down here 12 years now but have only really lived within a 3 mile radius so can't properly comment on other areas.

fish100 Mon 23-Aug-10 13:50:08


Thanks so much for all your advice.

I haven't looked at Broadstone or Ferndown because we need to be as near to Bournemouth railway station as we can as my husband will still need to commute to London some days. You definitely seem to get more for your money there aswell.

I have to admit Broadstone sounds lovely because you have shops locally aswell which you don't seem to get in many residential areas I have looked at. I currently live in a small town and can walk into town which is lovely but I notice you seem to need a car just to get to the local shop in some places which is a shame.

I also really like the fact that Westbourne is a centre in itself with shops and services.

Can I ask where your DS1 got into if he didn't get into Courthill? Are the other options good too?

Feel like I am beginning to get a better field for the area..will keep you posted!

fish100 Mon 23-Aug-10 14:11:53

I just reread this and I sound drunk! I meant I feel like I am getting a feel for the areas...hic!

Willabywallaby Thu 09-Sep-10 15:19:06

DS1 got offered Talbot Combined which is under special measures. He started a private school yesterda.

supertrooper105 Thu 23-Sep-10 11:22:07

broadstone fab schools but the small village is quite quiet in the evening some nice bistro/restaurants. The other area, lower parkstone is very popular for nightlife and the area is becoming more and more young so good for socializing. Also the area for lilliput and courthill schools. However the house prices are much the same for the two areas. I currently live in the lower parkstone area and use lilliput school but am looking to go to broadstone for the secondary schools, if you want to bring resale values into it you can't go wrong around lower parkstone, and Lilliput have just expanded to 3 reception classes so greater chance to get a place now.

MumBe Tue 22-Feb-11 22:24:52

christchurch is a better area than bournemouth with oustanding schools - Twyneham comprehensive, lots of shops and restaurants, near the beach and quay with great facillities parks, priory church and primary school, and has regular london service train station. Broadstone is a very nice area with oustanding schools but long way to station. Bournemouth not so good for schools i would not go to the school you mention. st marks primary in talbot village is oustanding but very hard to get into,lilliput and baden powell good but you would need to move area for senior schools as not that good unless children are able to pass to the grammar school. I moved from poole to christchurch for the schools best thing we did its also a lovely place to bring up children also has good lesiure centre with pool great area for sailing, house prices good in this area.. good luck

Minkyjj Mon 28-Feb-11 17:17:03

Hi fish100,
Just thought I would let you know my experience of catchment areas in case it helps. We moved to Poole 2 years ago when my little boy was pre-school age and my daughter at the end of year 2. We missed the deadline for reception applications because we moved in May and the deadline was January. As a result my son did not get a place at Courthills (our catchment school) or Lilliput (our second nearest school. Our son still remains on the waiting lists for Courthills or Lilliput 2 years on. These schools are so oversubscribed that unless you live in the right roads there is no guarantee. It currently takes me 2 hours each day to drive the school runs and with baby number 3 on the way its going to be tricky.My advice is to look at the areas you would really like to live and dont get too hung up on catchments as there is no guarantee. I really hope you find what you are looking for but I am sure you will be happy in the

alexandra2 Wed 02-Mar-11 09:15:18

Hi we live in westbourne ( between westboune and the beach)and it is lovely - 5 min walk down to beach. Some excellent schools in this area mostly church schools. Loads to do with children in walking distance playareas/ indoor play cafe/ toddler groups / music classes etc etc. If u need any more info let me know.

rainbowmagic Thu 03-Mar-11 22:55:51

I think that by now you will have relocated. We are also relocating to poole area and have looked at Lilliput and Courthill. We cant register until we have moved so as back up we have them down at Collegiate. We are hoping that its a good school even though it does look abit in need of a refurb the staff come across as being very good.
Im sure all will turn out well in the end it always does.

Willabywallaby Sun 06-Mar-11 07:50:04

I think having Bournemouth Collegiate is a good back up plan it is undergoing change at the moment. Be aware how close you had to live to Courthill (under 0.55 miles away!) this last intake. Lilliput took church children out of catchment probably due to their addition of an extra class, I think you pay more for Lilliput catchment than Courthill.

jenjen27 Tue 06-Mar-12 21:46:43

i'm looking to move to dorset in the next year and would love to move to corfe castle. does anyone know if corfe castle first school is a good one.and info would be very much appreciated

jenjen27 Tue 06-Mar-12 21:51:29

i am looking to move to dorset in the next year, i have 3yr old and a 6yr old. i really love corfe castle, does anyone know anything about corfe castle first school. is it a good one?

Beanigan Fri 09-Mar-12 23:03:50

Hi, sorry I know nothing about corfe castle... I only moved across here 2 years ago from Brighton and moved to lower parkstone... Our son now goes to Courthill school ( we are 0.23 miles away and current latest intake is 0.4 miles). Personally I would aim for lilliput catchment where you should pretty much get your child into lilliput or courthill in the close streets surrounding the school. Otherwise... Corfe Mullen or broadstone look good options, just that much further from the sea....

Secondary schools are not that bad here, Poole high has got better, you alto have St Edwards and the grammars. X

juicylucytoo Tue 15-May-12 12:18:06

Planning to move to Dorset in the next 2 years and am thinking about Bournemouth / Poole, although also considering Christchurch, Lymington and other parts. Bit undecided all round. We have 2 boys who will be 7 and 5 by the time of the move. Have been looking at Queens park and Boscombe within Bournemouth. Moving down from London
Really interested on your views on best places for
A) schools
B) children's activities
C) community / local vibe - cafés / shops

Hoping you can help us make up our minds! Thanks

Wilkiemini Thu 13-Sep-12 12:29:49

Personally I would not take my family to live in boscombe it's the rougher area of Bournemouth lots of problems with drunks and drug use!
Good for shopping but somewhere I avoid if I have the kids with me!

Queens park is okay again there are some areas around there you probably would want to avoid its quite a way out of the town centre but has great bus routes the junior school is rated outstanding but the junior has had lots of issues and is not known for being very good!

I was lucky enough to get my son into Courthill school in Poole this year but we live very close to the school and they took an extra class this year!

I think Bournemouth and Poole have lo's lack of good to great schools and they are fought over hence it can be a nightmare when you don't get what you applied for! Secondary schools are also a nightmare we live in lower parkstone but Our son goes to a school at castle point in Bournemouth because none of the obe's offered were suitable!

More people are moving to the outskirts of Bournemouth and Poole to
Be in an area with a better chance of getting a good school!
My friend recently moved to ringwood for this reason....she used to live in kings park but she wouldn't consider the schools there!
It's a bit pot luck really.......I'd say infant and secondary have the most issues with applications though hence when our lo's are older we shall move further up country to get the good secondary schools

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