Moving to Greenwich

(15 Posts)
meijin31 Tue 01-Mar-16 03:00:51

Hi mums! We are a family based in Tokyo moving to the UK for DH's work.
After some googling it seems Greenwich is a great place for family life and good schools.
We've already missed the deadline for primary applications, and will probably have to do in-school applications when we arrive in late spring / early summer.
Any advice on which are the best school catchment areas? We are probably going to live near the school to ensure maximum chances of getting in.
Right now, we're really impressed with Millennium primary and Brooklands primary school.
Are there any new homes coming up near either one of these schools that you can point us to? We are planning to buy a 3-bedroom flat if we can afford it!
Also, any parents with kids in these schools? Would love to hear your feedback!
And good luck to all waiting to get the school placements today!
Cheers, Mei.

lizzytee Thu 03-Mar-16 09:56:05

Evening standard league tables are your friend if you want academics here - this tells you the percentage of children reaching level 4 or higher in each London borough.

Brooklands, Halstow are the schools with the longer standing reputation as the 'good' schools - but be aware that they have very MC catchments and many year 6's will be sitting 11-plus exams for both private and grammar so will most likely be getting out of school tuition.

Not sure what year groups you are looking at - in our most local schools year 4 and 5 seem to be the tightest as the expansion of school places didn't start until the year the current year 3 started school. People move all the time however so it's likely you won't have to wait too long.

meijin31 Fri 04-Mar-16 00:30:24

Thanks lizzytee, my DDs will be applying for Reception and Year 4.
I think there's not much I can do right now, except go to London, buy / rent a property near one of these schools then apply and hope for the best!
I heard Halstow is pretty much impossible to get in so I'll concentrate more on Millennium and Meridien school catchment areas.
Another place which looked interesting was Kidbrooke village, which would probably be within the Brooklands school catchment area. But from looking at google street view it seems there's still heaps of development happening, so perhaps not the best time to be buying there yet?

MrsPJones Fri 11-Mar-16 19:21:48

You will have more chance getting the year 4 child in, as people move out of London as their children get older. The reception child would then get sibling priority. I would ask the local authority if they know of any current vacancies for your older child.

SwedeDreams Fri 11-Mar-16 19:24:52

You could try shooters hill which is further out in Greewmgag but means you could probably get more for your money.

Christchurch is outstanding and also deansfield or Eltham green.

Lots of movement in Christchurch. If you dont mind c of e.smile

meijin31 Fri 11-Mar-16 23:18:24

MrsPJones - Glad to hear that, its a good strategy indeed.

SwedeDreams - Will look at Christchurch. We're non denominational so we don't mind C of E but not sure if they have faith requirements?

Also, we are now thinking of looking at some independent prep schools just as a backup. Any good ones to recommend? As they are not reviewed by Oftsted it feels a lot harder to gauge performance?

Thanks.

lizzytee Mon 14-Mar-16 09:26:15

If you are considering the local independents I would think about your secondary school plans if your older DC is Y4 or Y5. The choices in Greenwich borough are the borough comprehensives - some better than others for different things, none especially hard to get into, no exams, catchment only.

Kent and Bexley next door still have a grammar school system with selective tests sat in September of Y6. They are supposed to not require tutoring to pass but everyone who takes them seems to pay for tutoring. There are 3-4 private secondaries which are good schools, academically selective but not as sought after as the big name day schools in Dulwich or central London so while there is competition for places it is not as fevered. Again, it seems that whether children are at a private or state primary, their parents pay for tutoring for secondary entrance tests typically from some time in Y5.

As others say, the council has to find a place for your DC. Y4 is often easier than reception and once you have a place for one DC then you have sibling priority. People move all the time in this area plus the number of places for current y3 and below is higher due to expansion of schools.

If you are looking at independent prep schools, best in mind they will have entrance tests for your older DC and you are looking at an annual cost of £20k rising to up to £30k once the younger DC is y3+. In practice you will also have to pay a terms fees if you leave to take up a state school place - you can't postpone the latter but have to take it up as soon as it's offered.

HTH

fleurdelacourt Tue 15-Mar-16 10:11:14

If you're not applying until late Spring/early summer - then your chances of a place at brooklands are limited. If you do buy somewhere in Kidbrooke (there are lots of completed phases and the development looks pretty good to me) then you'd be allocated Wingfield and not Brooklands. as it's closer. Wingfield historically not as strong as Brooklands.

Not sure you'd get a reception place at Christchurch that late in the day either? You'd be better off aiming for one of the larger schools. I don't know Meridian or Millenium, - but John Ball in Blackheath Village is quite big?

Have you spoken to any of the prep schools? In your shoes, I'd be phoning them now. There are a number to choose from - if you have 2 DDs then Blackheath High might be a good option? Pointers also sometimes have last minute spots - am not so sure the other ones would, but a phone call can't hurt?

meijin31 Tue 15-Mar-16 10:47:27

Well now the DH has thrown a curveball my way. Apparently his colleagues are recommending Putney? That's in the SW! What do you mums think? SE or SW? His office is in Temple.
As for Kidbrooke Village I contacted the sales office but they said the phase they are selling is only completing in Q3/Q4 this year.
I will be there in April and will be visiting the schools then.
Have also heard good things about John Ball.
Pointers looks good too. As it's an independent school I suppose there won't be any catchment area requirements?

fleurdelacourt Tue 15-Mar-16 10:57:38

no catchment limitations for independents.

Putney is lovely - but more expensive! Clapham also good for young families....

Any number of good spots which would work for you - Greenwich is possibly less urban than some of the other choices - and is an easy commute to Canary Wharf. But Temple is only a tube stop away from Charing Cross- so that's easily accessible from SE London as well.

Putney you'd already be on the tube - so the journey to work would be quicker...

Sounds like you need to plan your April trip quite carefully!

meijin31 Tue 15-Mar-16 12:39:58

Thanks fleurdelacourt!
I kinda think it'll come down to the schools we like and we will shortlist our location from there smile Its all about the DC these days isn't it!

sw15mum Tue 15-Mar-16 19:16:41

Putney is lovely- same strategy with the schools in that a year 4 place would probably be quite easy and then you'd get a sibling priority for the reception DD. a few private schools around too which are all pretty good.

meijin31 Sun 17-Apr-16 03:22:31

Hi there, we just came back from a short trip to London, what lucky weather we had! It was sunny almost every day! So, it looks like we will likely be staying at one of the new builds in Greenwich Peninsula, possibly in the Roper building if anyone knows where that is smile

We walked past the Millennium school which looks absolutely gorgeous but I'm guessing its already oversubscribed so I will be contacting the Borough on Monday to enquire but in the meantime also looking at independent school options for perhaps a year or two whilst we find our footing. I've contacted the Steiner school as well as Brooklands Prep and Pointer school. Hoping one of them will have a space, I guess I will just go with any school that can offer us a space at this stage.

So, question - does anyone live in that part of Greenwich? How is it like being so near to the O2? And is it generally a safe area say if we were walking home with the kids at night?

Cheers again for all the help!

Moving15 Sun 17-Apr-16 03:50:51

Greenwich millennium village is nice and safe and the school is lovely. There are pretty open spaces for you to enjoy with the children and the links to public transport are excellent with the jubilee line on your doorstep and river buses and Street buses into the Charlton retail buses or Greenwich easy to find and frequent.
It's a bit of an island in the sense that it doesn't really join up with other neighbourhoods but upcoming further development wil improve that as they fill in the gaps. There are a growing number of little shops for convenience.
When there is something big on at the O2 the roads and the jubilee line do get very busy. The o2 is well managed. Also when the blackwall tunnel has problems you can't get in or out of the area until congestion eases up a bit which can take several hours. This could present a problem if you were planning to do anything but walk to and from the station or the Steiner school.

Good luck with your relocation!

Moving15 Sun 17-Apr-16 03:51:37

Sorry typo * Charlton retail estates

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