Primary school Stratford upon Avon

(18 Posts)
Lalamum18 Tue 18-Feb-14 19:47:32

I'm posting centrally as the Warwickshire local site is very quiet. We are moving to Stratford over the summer and whilst I've done some research on schools and we are visiting some soon I would be really grateful for some mumsnet help!!!
We have a year 2 girl and 3 yr old girl (reception start in 2015) and would prefer to go state. We plan to live in Central Stratford renting until we get our feet but we are likely to move ettington/ alder minster way eventually. I like the look on the web of broad street primary school but trying to put us in the best possible place to give ourselves a chance. I know currently most schools are 'full' and so we may need to go on a waiting list in which case independent May come into play. I also need to sort something out for my 3 year old who will need to go to nursery - absolute ideal would be with DD1 although I suspect this May be unlikely.
Would be really grateful for any thoughts!!

Habdab Wed 19-Feb-14 07:10:24

There are lots of primary schools in Stratford. I would begin by calling the admissions office at Warwickshire County Council on 01926 410410 and ask them which schools have places available in year 2. If they have spaces it doesn't matter where you live, they have to take you. Once your year 2 child has a place it will be much easier to get your younger child into the same school as you will have the sibling link.
Stratford Primary (Broad Street) did have a brilliant reputation but not so much in the last year or two. Also, bear in mind that this one is right in the town centre so unless you are able to walk to school it is a nightmare for parking.
The Willows is C.E., a larger school but a good reputation. It is next door to the high school, has a pool and good outdoor space.
Bridgetown is good but again it is a big school. With all the larger schools you do get a very mixed bunch of kids but this can be a positive in terms of reality for your children.
Thomas Jolyffe is a very good school but it does mainly have the children from the very large estate around it. Don't know whether that angle is important to you.
St Greg's is catholic and nigh on impossible to get into if you are not catholic. If you are then don't hesitate - superb school.
Shottery St Andrews is CE but very very small with mixed ages. Again, a good school but they will be extending it so there will be a lot of building work.
Bishopton - good school but a fair number of travellers and not the best area of Stratford.
Alveston and Ettington both have excellent reputations (particularly Ettington) and both have good pre schools attached. If you live south of the river it is only about an 8 minute drive to Ettington school.
Which side of the river you choose to live is extremely important. The traffic in Stratford is a complete nightmare so getting from one side of the river to the other can take an awfully long time. South of the river is considered to be nicer - schools would be Bridgetown, Alveston and Ettington in this area. North of the river is easier for getting into and out of stratford. North of the river has slightly cheaper property prices too.
I will stop now but let me know if you want more info. Good luck!

Lalamum18 Wed 19-Feb-14 18:07:31

That is so helpful. I have spoken to the LEA who are helpful but currently there aren't spaces at any of the schools but obviously this will change. She will stay where she is until July and then we are moving straight away. Our original plan was to rent centrally to find our feet and so that I can walk to work and the children to school. But if we then end up being put in a school that we need to drive to it will negate the positives. We do love ettington so maybe this will be our first choice if there is space.
Do you know much about the independent options if we need to use them

Habdab Thu 20-Feb-14 08:05:58

There are 2 independent primary schools in Stratford and more over in Warwick and Leamington. I have friends with children in each of the 2 Stratford ones and they both speak very highly of them Stratford Prep is in the town centre, has a good reputation and a decent number of children gaining places at the grammar schools. The Croft School is on the outskirts of Stratford in a nice rural location with large grounds. They excel at sport and again have a good number of success stories at 11+. Both have preschools for your younger child. There are more options over towards Warwick and Leamington, depending on whether you would want to travel.
A big consideration in Stratford is secondary schooling. It may seem a long way off but it's quite a big deal round here. There are 3 selective state grammar schools - one girls, one boys and one mixed. There is also the non selective secondary school. The grammar schools are very popular and very difficult to get into. Thousands of children sit the exam. The non selective school is good but very large. I have friends with children there that are doing extremely well, but some less so. I also have friends in each of the 3 grammars. Again, most are success stories but not all of them. It very much depends on your child. Obviously the grammar schools produce better results but that is because they only have the highest achieving children. There are lots of independent options for secondary but not within Stratford. If you are very keen for your children to go to one of the grammar schools you may want to be more selective with your choice of primary school. The independents really push for success and help tutor them for the exams. Many parents choose private tutoring for the 11+ if their children are in state primaries as they tend to give no input towards the exam.
Some people send their children to state primaries until year 3 and then opt for The Croft or Stratford Prep in the hope that it will help with 11+ success....it often works.
Obviously everything depends on your children, whether you would be aiming for grammar schools and whether it would matter to you if they didn't get in. There are 2 ways of looking at it really. Gamble and pay school fees now in the hope that your child will gain a grammar school place. Or stick with state and then have the option to send them to independent secondary schools if they don't pass. For info, I did option 2 for dd but I am doing option 1 for ds wink
There is no right or wrong answer...like I said, many people speak highly of Stratford School (the non selective school), it just wasn't my preference due to the size. 300 children per year group scared me!!
Please carry on asking questions - happy to help!

Lalamum18 Thu 20-Feb-14 11:36:05

Thank you so much - tbh this is my dilemma now - ideal - grammar school - either mixed or girls only at 11 - but best way of getting there is the query. I also am rather concerned re such a large secondary school as the main non selective. When we first move finances may be tight for 2 prep school fees. Was really interested to hear that Broad Street primary has gone downhill a bit - is there a particular reason for this? We are planning on coming up at the end of March and will visit the Willows, Broad Street, the Croft, Ettington, Alveston and Stratford prep. I guess one thing is, if people move their children into prep at year 3 it may free up a few places towards the end of yr 2.

Lalamum18 Thu 27-Mar-14 18:54:50

Well - we've done our trail of schools - it was great and very positive. Really liked ettington and broad street especially. A new headmistress starts at broad street in September. I m hoping that will help any problems they have had. Ettington was great and there is more of a variety of secondary eg ships ton to choose from. It will now be finding somewhere to rent!!!!

Lalamum18 Thu 27-Mar-14 19:10:08

Habdab - or anyone else - how easy is it to get into an indie secondary from state primary? Where we live the grammar schools generally take the cream and the best indies the next children who don't pass the grammars but it's still pretty tough. And other than Warwick where are the other indie secondary schools?
pS - definitely has confirmed this is the place for us!!!

Dancingdreamer Fri 28-Mar-14 00:21:12

For girls in Stratford the main independent is Kings High in Warwick. Personally I would never send a girl there as have heard too many stories of bullying and poor pastoral care but I am sure others would disagree.

Lalamum18 Mon 31-Mar-14 15:11:56

Well tbh I've not heard great things about Kings High - although I'm not sure if that is often the case in all girls schools!! Are there any other options though!!

Dancingdreamer Tue 01-Apr-14 23:40:34

There is Kingsley School in Leamington. Don't know much about it however.

The other alternatives are St Martins (girls) or Solihull School (mixed) if you live north of Stratford. Both got great reputation. St Martins less selective but still gets amazing results. Very caring and smaller class sizes so loads of individual attention. Soilhull larger and only about 1/3 girls but the ones I know are happy there. Getting harder to get into Solihull at seniors however as are increasing numbers in their junior school who get automatic entry to seniors.

Tash101 Fri 01-May-15 19:44:52

Hello all. My family and I will be relocating to the Stratford area and wondered if there was an update on your opionions of the primary schools in the area? Many thanks

louisejxxx Sat 02-May-15 07:20:31

It really depends which part of Stratford you'll be based in...Central or one of the many villages surrounding it?

Tash101 Sat 02-May-15 07:33:36

We are looking at the town itself or a 5 mile radius around it. My partner is up there this weekend looking at the various schools and the area in general. So just interested in general opinions of the schools there and possible areas to avoid renting in? Many thanks

louisejxxx Sat 02-May-15 07:36:40

Willows Primary is supposed to be quite good but potentially oversubscribed. What school spaces will you be after - what year groups? A good idea might be to call admissions and see what they can offer you and perhaps base your renting roughly on that? I'm afraid I'm clueless with Stratford town centre as my ds is at a village school about 4 or 5 miles out.

Tash101 Sat 02-May-15 07:57:09

Many thanks, I have been in touch with admissions and they have asked us to list three schools we like. Our daughter is 6 years old and currently in primary school in Cape Town South Africa. What village school are you using? We much prefer to be rural than on the high street as it were! Thanks again for your input.

louisejxxx Sat 02-May-15 08:58:13

Wootton Wawen is where my ds is - out in the countryside near Henley-in-arden which is also worth taking a look at. It would definitely be more expensive renting in those 2 areas than in Stratford town centre.

Lcs094 Tue 12-May-15 19:09:43

I'm also really interested in this thread- we too are moving to Stratford (Evesham rd way) and are currently looking at Broad Street Primary School. We have been advised Welford on Avon primary also has a good reputation- does anyone have any views or experience of this? Looking for a nursery school for my son is also a minefield- suggestions would be gratefully appreciated! We are visiting Monkey Puzzle and Freshfields nursery.

stratfordsara Tue 15-Nov-16 20:57:26

I just want to post here, because the post is still live and people searching deserve to hear the other side of the story vs the Croft. Our son had a great time there, from -11. Our daughter was fine until yr3, where she was subject to the most awful bullying for an entire year. The school's response was beyond inept. Everything they did resulted in making matters worse for my dd and another girl in her class. The male female ratio in the current yr 4 is 3 boys to every girl, which means that there are 5 girls to 15 boys in each class, so if your daughter is struggling to get on in her class, she has no where else to find friends. After a year of bullying and many, many meetings with the school, the Head actually told me that in his opinion, the behaviours my daughter and another girl had experienced were not bullying because the perpetrators had not intended to be unkind. Let me tell you, they were deliberately unkind. We moved our daughter to Warwick Prep - we even gave up a scholarship to do so, and she couldn't be happier now. My daughter is not the only child to experience this at the croft. If you speak to other parents about bullying, you will find plenty of other parents whose children have also been let down by the school in relation to bullying. They do not address bullying, they expect children to get on with it and get over it. The true impact of what my daughter experienced at the hands of the pupils and teachers at the croft has only now become clear, having had half a term at another school.. She is now a happy, confident little girl and making lots of friends. The callous behaviour she experienced at the croft was shocking. She has complex medical needs which are exacerbated by stress. The school failed to act and failed to acknowledge this. They failed to deal with the other girls whose behaviour was abhorrent. If my words aren't enough, another girl who was affected by the same situation left two weeks into the September term this year. When you hear the rumours about the school's inability to handle bullying, don't ignore them, they are true.

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