Primary schools in Islington - state & independent

(35 Posts)
hawthorn23 Fri 09-Nov-12 23:38:57

We are relocating to London in January 2013 and need to find a school for our 5 year old son. We have decided to live in Islington and would be very happy for him to attend a good local community school but have been advised by the LEA that places across the borough are very scarce. I have investigated private options too, and am mostly getting knocked back due to schools being oversubscribed - some will not even take a wait list application. We have been offered a place at Dallington School, and have been given reason to hope for a place at Rosemary Works Schools. The Gower School has not been a complete no, but I am fairly sceptical that an offer will be made in time.

I am concerned that Dallington will not offer enough structure for our son, something we have been advised by his kinder teacher is good for him, ie gives him a sense of security. Does anyone have any relevant experience that will help us determine whether our fears are well founded or not? I will et an opportunity to visit the school in a few weeks.

I would also like to know if anyone has thoughts on whether it will be wise to persevere with the state system. I have pressed for information about the application process, schools that do have vacancies but the LEA has not been forthcoming - I guess they are a very busy outfit. I am worried that my son could be without any school for sometime, or that he will be allocated to a school that is pretty poor, far away from where we live, or even in another borough altogether. I will be very happy to be told I am panicing unnecessarily!

I have been in touch with some schools directly and got the impression some do have places such as Copenhagen Street - they have been really friendly and easy to deal with so far - does anyone have children at this school, or any knowledge of others' experiences?

I was told that schools would be the most stressful aspect of relocating to London, and so far that prediction has been spot on! Any advise at all will be extremely gratefully received!

EmpressOfTheMadBoxOfFrogs Thu 29-Nov-12 01:23:07

<waves to CruCru

We wouldn't touch two of the secondaries near us with a bargepole but we're really happy with DD's comp near Finsbury Park. It's reasonably small, kids seem well behaved, results are good and teachers are very hands on. DD's really happy. Anyone who wants the name PM me.

AuntAda Thu 29-Nov-12 08:26:58

Crucru, there's a logical flaw in assuming that if only X% of a school's cohort get 5 A-C, then that translates into an X% of your child getting acceptable grades.

Whereas in fact what you need to do is to look at the grades achieved by the top of the cohort (assuming your child is likely to be in a higher-achieving band). I wouldn't worry about a school with a low-ish % of 5 A-Cs if there were a reasonable number of kids at the top end getting 9 or 10 As and A*s. Conversely if the overall % of A-Cs was higher, but the top achievers were getting mainly Bs and Cs with only a smattering of As and A*, then that would concern me more. Does that make sense?

I know a dc now in the 6th form who went through Highbury Grove when it was a 'don't touch wiht a bargepole' school. He got 10 As and A* at GCSE, and he wasn't the only one. As long as you can see that the school is doing well by its highest achievers, there's no reason to assume that they won't do well by your child, iyswim.

Empress: HFS?

EmpressOfTheMadBoxOfFrogs Thu 29-Nov-12 16:58:19

Not HFS, AuntAda (Barry?) although I know they're meant to have improved.

EmpressOfTheMadBoxOfFrogs Thu 29-Nov-12 17:04:38

Grrr no sorry I'm thinking of Diana Barry's Aunt Josephine. You've got to be Aunt Ada Doom grin

AuntAda Thu 29-Nov-12 17:42:31

Yy, Aunt Ada Doom obv. smile

CruCru Fri 30-Nov-12 09:02:37

Hi to Express and AuntAda.

I do see your point. Having said that, I went to a comprehensive where a bright, ambitious kid could (and did) do well, despite the average results not being brilliant. Once we got into streaming, it was great. Before that, however, it was ghastly, with bullying and kids rioting in lessons. If I can avoid that for DS, that would be great.

Express, I will PM you about the school.

Farewelltoarms Fri 30-Nov-12 12:52:35

There's two issues CruCru - whether or not you want to stick to state for secondary. Second issue is, if you want to go for private at secondary level, how much better prepared will your child be if they go private for primary (and they as you say do the tutoring for you). I feel that very few private primaries round these parts offer something substantially more than the states. If my ds went to the Hall I'd probably chill about the whole secondary selection thing, but I wouldn't if he went to Gower/Dallington. I'd only go private if it totally absolved me of any responsibility to do Bond papers with him.
Even if you believe that private primaries do the tutoring for you, you have to weigh up the fees/commute of going private against the onerousness of a bit of tutoring.
But anyway, you want to go state anyway...

CruCru Fri 30-Nov-12 16:39:49

Hi Farewell, yes, if we can get into the State primary round the corner, we will go there.

If we did go private, DS would ideally go to one with minimal or no uniform. Some of the ones we've looked at have things like boaters and blazers which I'm not so into. But that is another thread.

nevergiveupever Mon 03-Mar-14 19:21:25

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wewontbebulliedanymore Thu 10-Apr-14 14:07:39

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