Moving to Surrey, don't know where to start!(19 Posts)
Any advice on good primary schools in the areas around Cobham/Effingham would be much appreciated. We are looking to move out that way before my DS starts reception in Sep 2011. I want to find a really good school first, and then start looking for a house, and as we are flexible on where we live, it's like sticking a pin in a map!
I've tried looking on the Surrey Council website and Ofsted reports, to try and narrow down where to start looking, but it seems very difficult to get an idea of good schools without being in the area already and chatting to local mums.
Anyone live down there? Even out towards Farnham way would be an option.
Such a vague question I know, but any offers welcome!
I know this is going to sound carzy, but you'll have to be quick as Surrey admissions forms usually have to be submitted before October half-term the year before. Check the website for the exact date.
Can't advise oon schools though as I'm in another part of the county.
Hi Chippy, I think you have to apply by 15th January, so that still doesn't give us much time!
If we don't manage to move by the end of this year, we have the option of staying where we are and DS will do his reception year at the local school. I'm not sure how difficult it is to get into a 'good' school outside of the normal entry times, and it is also not great for DS to move so soon after starting school. But that may be our only option if we don't get our act together!
I've had a look at some older threads on here, and someone else was moving from London to Surrey a couple of years ago, and asking a similar question. They were looking at private schools though, whereas we would like to find a good state school if possible. Private can wait until secondary level! We don't need to commute back to London, so that widens our options and the areas around Guildford are appealing as I want to be near a town and DH wants countryside.
So that might help to narrow it down, I'm starting to answer my own question! I still would like some school pointers though please..........anyone?!
That's great that they've moved the date (last time I applied was a couple of years ago). Might be worth starting a thread on the mumsnet local guildford topic too.
I'd start here
And pay more attention to the CVA score rather than the perecent that passed at each level.
Hiya, I live just outside Guildford and work in Cobham so know both areas quite well, although obviously not all the schools, there are hundreds ! My son is just going into Y1 and my daughter is going into Reception this year. You are right that Surrey's deadline is later this year, January I think, but I have to say that normally demand for places in the good schools is quite high, and so if you are a late applicant, the chances of getting your choice of schools is pretty slim unless you move very close to your first choice school and get in from the waiting list.
Cobham is a lovely area, really villagey but close enough to big towns etc to keep you both happy, it is very expensive though !! I have to say that there seem to be far more private schools in this area than state schools, and in fact might be a bit of a shaky choice if you are not sure if you might educate privately at secondary or not, there is a huge choice of private schools, but the state secondary schools are rather average. It is reasonably close to the grammar schools (Tiffins and Tiffins Girls Schools, and Sutton and Nonsuch). For state primaries, I have heard excellent things of the Royal Kent CofE school, and St Mathews is a very good primary too, there is some discussion as to whether it will go to a full primary school (rather than an infant school), I'm not sure what the status there is. St Andrews is rated outstanding I think, but has a bit of a mixed catchment area and probably not such a good local reputation, it would probably not be my choice.
Slightly further down the A3 there is Ripley which is a lovely little village with a good school (Ripley Church of England), however it's in a bit of a no-mans land for state secondarys.
In Guildford then good schools to aim for are Boxgrove, Onslow Infants (feeds Queen Eleanors Junior school, and Onslow Village is a nice area), Pewley Down (feeds Holy Trinity but not sure if this has independent admissions criteria - voluntary aided). The Burpham area of Guildford (so Boxgrove/Pewley Down etc) would feed George Abbott secondary school which the best state secondary in the area by some margin.
Other good schools in a 5 mile radius are Busbridge in Godalming, Pirbirght in Worplesdon (not sure which secondary this feeds, possibly Winston Churchill in Woking which is quite good - note, north Guildford is not renown for it's good state secondaries).
Farnham is a nice area, I have friends with children at Rowledge, I think there are lots of lovely little schools there and Weydon is a good state secondary.
Fleet is a bit further south but has fantastic schools, both primary and secondary and is a lovely part of the world, your money will go further house-wise too.
I think that's about all my knowledge, I don't think Woking is such a great area but good transport links to London.
If you are definitely set on private secondary I would probably recommend Cobham and the Royal Kent, or Guildford and try Pewley Down or Boxgrove (or Ripley), but if state secondary is possible then I'd definitely look to Fleet, or again for the Burpham side of Guildford.
I'm sure there are hundreds of other schools out there (look on rightmove or upmystreet), but my suggestions are based on local reputation etc, rather than purely stats/ofsted (I think they do well there too).
Please excuse my grammar, I have just realised that I have written "secondarys" and have cringed as I reread my post......
Hello, I've just remembered that Bookham is a lovely area with good schools (and the Howard of Effingham secondary is really good too and in that sort of area). I think Fetcham and Effingham are really nice too but I don't really know the local schools there very well, other than that children from my children's nursery (in Cobham) live around there and that the local schools are generally really good.
Only thing I have to add is that Surrey has a policy of converting infant and juniors (a legacy of when they had first and middle school systems) into primaries whenever possible plus as another money saving measure they have been closing schools wherever possible and completely ignoring the fact that most/all areas of surrey have had a rising birthrate for the last 3-4 years.
I really would try and move very very close to your desired school prior to reception application closing date. You could of course rent initially whilst chosing a final location at a more leisurely pace and having lived in the area for some time to make a more informed choice IYSWIM.
Well I went to Eastwick School (Great Bookham) and The Howard of Effingham, which at the time was a great school. I think it still gets pretty good results. School buses come in from Horsley which is nice too.
Other nice areas are Shere/Gomshall but you would be looking at Guildford schools, where there are some good Grammar Schools such as George Abbott.
Actually my primary school was South Bookham school (now Polesden school) which i have extremely fond memories of as a tiny village primary
Thank you so much everyone! And Helen, your wonderful advice is just fantastic! I read your email out to my husband, who was incredulous that complete strangers would be so helpful!
I have also put a thread on the local Guildford mumsnet board, as I think we are narrowing it down to that area.
As DS starts reception in September 2011 I am now feeling slightly panicky! The option of renting might well be on the cards.
Thanks again you lovely lot.
Okay George Abbot is not a grammar school but a comprehensive. If you are Catholic your choice is wider as St John Baptist in Woking is fabulous, and St Peter's Guildford is good.
Pewley Down and Holy Trinity are one school now, although there is an extra form intake at year 3.
There are other schools I like in Guildford.
I would strongly recommend renting lose to your preferred school, as the deadlines are tight. Do go and look around probably about 2 weeks into term.
Be very careful if you want to live in George Abbot catchment as there are new homes being built close tot he school all the time. There is also a huge increase in the primary school age population (you will see on visiting that Boxgrove has increased to 3 form entry). However you could always rent in catchment for your choosen primary and then move close to GA. Guildford County gets Good Ofsted's, and ST PEter's is also good (but becoming exclusively Catholic due to the application numbers being up).
My friend moved to be within the George Abbot catchment area and its true - you need to live very very close indeed to get a place.
The same is also true of the good primary schools in Burpham and Guildford (we're talking a few hundred metres in some cases) so whichever one you decide upon, make sure you ring the school and find out the furthest distance they accepted admissions from in the past few years before you buy a house nearby.
Even if its your closest school, you may not actually be close enough to it to get a place (and the same is true for many parts of Surrey and Greater London - there are pockets of housing that aren't near enough to any school to get a guaranteed place and if you live in one of those areas you have to accept whatever school place is left over ie the places that other's don't want or reject)
Message to CrispyTheCrisp on Polesden Lacey Infant - I agree - a lovely, friendly, nuturing school. Both my children had a fantastic start there.
generally. in Surrey, you are very lucky indeed for choice of good quality state schools.
The catchment thing is very true. Some areas of surrey have schools that are in such high demand that you have to live firmly within the catchment to stand a chance.
Can you rent within surrey in a catchment for a good primary and then buy at lesiure as you get to know what secondary you particularly want??
That would make your move quicker too, in order to make that January deadline.
We've just put an offer on a house in south farnham but it now seems that the school that my children would be going to is St Peters CofE school. This school rates mostly 3's on the ofstead report, which isnt great! Does anyone have children that attend this school? Or have any thoughts on this school at all? Any help would be very much appreciated as we dont know much about this area and trying to get a good house in a good school catchment area is turning into a nightmare!! thanks
I would start a new thread asking specific about yours many will not notice this is a very old thread and will be responding to ops firstquestion.
Would be cautious about Holy Trinity Pewley Down School in Guildford, they just went from Ofsted outstanding to 'requires improvement'. I believe the school will turn itself around, and do so quickly. It used to be the school many people hesitated over going private for and seen as excellent. It is a real shame this has changed.
I would be concerned though to put my child in there now after some significant faults were found. I know the school reasonably well and that it has a great head/teachers and very different and effective ethos. I think it just lost sight of keeping standards academically high and taking care of those simple, but essential, elements of teaching. Instead all 'show and dance' very creative teaching, which doesn't work for all children and can be over-used.
As I said though, knowing the Head's capabilities and standard of teachers at the school, I think things will be changed effectively and I hope it's ethos will not be lost.
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