does anyone out there have children at IAMS? (north london query)

(5 Posts)
bluepapermonkey Sat 26-Jan-13 20:42:20

for various reasons we are looking ahead to secondary schools in our area. ' everyone' seems to agree the best are highgate wood, aps and fortismere.

no- one seems to have a good word about IAMS yet their ofsted is going up, website is strong and parents have posted on mumsnet saying open eves are impressive.

and yet, the advice is always ' avoid' - and no-one ever seems to know anyone with a child there.

can anyone throw some light on this? does your child go there? do you teach there? do you know anyone at the school? please help me cut through the reputation with your experience!

i dont want to move. i am rooting for iams. am i foolish?

bluepapermonkey Mon 28-Jan-13 20:04:17

Bump.

There must be someone out there. . .

yearof2013 Wed 30-Jan-13 15:18:25

bumping for you.
I live in islington but I have had the same experience, never met anyone who sent their kids to IAMS and never heard a good word about it.
Perhaps if you post again with "islington schools" in the heading you might get more responses. I know there are quite a few islington parents on mumsnet as I've read loads of posts over the months.

What about mary magdalene, is that an option for you? I heard better things about that school.

bluepapermonkey Wed 30-Jan-13 21:58:07

thanks for the bump - and the advice.

spent the day schlepping round walthamstow. great girls school, tight catchment and not a lot of family sized houses in our price range.

what with space and schools i am starting to despair!

Voffy Wed 04-Dec-13 11:19:18

I've only started using MN recently and just stumbled on this post. Anyway, to respond (bit late...sorry!). My son goes to IAMS and is very happy there (I'm happy too!). He's doing really well academically, and is doing lots of extracurricular activities too. I researched the school long and hard and the interesting thing was that the people who were negative about the school had opinions totally based on rumour and gossip. None had kids at the school, they had never visited and most didn't even know anyone attending the school. It's interesting that they felt brave enough to voice such strong (and frankly unhelpful) feelings :-).

Anyway, I visited the school, spoke to other families and kids at the school as well as teachers, and the people in the know were all so positive. The school is working unbelievably hard to change this mis-match between the great stuff they're doing at IAMS with the negative impression people have of them 'on the street'.

Anyway, the school is doing really well and it's well on its way to being outstanding. The head and leadership team are very strong and extremely ambitious. They have some wonderful programmes in place to support and nurture bright and talented kids as well as doing great things to raise standards amongst the kids that arrive and are struggling.

Of course, it's a London comprehensive school. So part of the education my son is getting is about the diversity of people living in our neighbourhood. The school is not without its faults and problems. But I have friends with kids in a whole range of different schools all over London and I hear the same stories and problems in all of them.

Islington Arts and Media is going places. We're setting up a strong PTA this year to help. Go and visit the school and try to listen to what you feel is right and not be swayed too much by uninformed chit-chat. You might also want to organise a "Meet the Parents" event. This is a new initiative set up by Madeleine Holt where primary schools can invite parents and kids from nearby secondary schools to ask questions about what they schools are really like. It's a really good way of bypassing the hype and fear. And fun too!

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