Winchester - Moving in time for year 7 application...or waiting until daughter finishes year 6...(31 Posts)
We are planning a move to Winchester, but are unsure whether to move this year to be in place for October 2013 secondary applications ( daughter currently in year 5 so we'll be applying for September 2014 entry), or move in summer 2014 and cross our fingers that we get a place for her. Our plan in either instance would be to rent initially, while we look for our forever home in Winchester and sell our London house, so in theory we could find a place close to Westgate, Kings School or wherever. I probably slightly favour Westgate from my limited knowledge, partly because I like the look of the associated primary schools (my son is currently in year 2).
I know it probably makes more sense to move sooner rather than later, but my daughter (who is pretty resistant to the idea of moving) would so love to finish year 6 where she is now, so I am (weakly) wondering whether it would be possible to do that, and then hope to get in to a Winchester secondary on the waiting list. My son is currently in year 2, so we'd be doing an in-year application for him whatever happens, plus he is VERY easy going and keen on moving nearer to green open spaces.
Confused- how did the visit go?
Guinea - I grew upon Greenhill Rd, definitely a good choice!
Yes, I know how you feel, my kids reacted in the same way, and at certain times since we have been here, still do! I think it is a lot easier for her to make friends in a new primary ( and you too, I don't know any of my kids' new friends' parents really) than in a new HS, although the summer camp made it a bit easier, it is hard to start a school/new area without knowing a soul. In the end we had to move for job reasons, so there was no real choice. My daughter at 6th form college is very happy and is pleased we moved, despite the tears initially. My son seems settled and has adapted well, it takes time and alot of effort!
I'm ok on catchment areas, I think. I've got a lovely little map! No - my main problem is my daughter, who will "never make friends as good as the ones (she's) got now", and thinks we "don't care" about her, and basically dissolved into impressively dramatic tears for about half an hour this evening.
What can I say? The decision (to stay or go) isn't 100% made, but it will not turn on her friendships (though of course everyone's general happiness (or not) with a move would go into the decision making mix.)
Poor old sausage. She was being very dramatic, but I say that as someone who barely remembers the friends I had when I was nine, and she speaks as someone who does have a lovely group of friends and cannot conceive that she will ever find any as good elsewhere. The closest of them are actually moving away too but - although I was informed that it will be ok for us to move to either Brighton or Canada (!!!) - that apparently doesn't change anything...
It has probably changed somewhat from when I lived in Winchester but generally the catchment areas for the secondaries were as follows
Kings = Olivers Battery, Stanmore, St Cross, Highcliffe, Weeke, Teg Down, Kingsworthy
Westgate = Winnall, City Centre, Fulflood, Twyford, Abbott's Barton
Henry B = Harestock, Littleton, Crawley
Well at the moment we are renting near the Romsey Road. It is about 15 mins walk to Westgate and 20 mins walk to Peter Symonds. We hope to move next month, further down Greenhill Road, so even nearer to both of them. I really don't know about the catchment areas for the different primary schools, or what the criteria is for admissions re feeder primaries into HS ( we just looked at HS and 6th form college) - so you would def need to contact all the primaries for this and Hants CC for advice re renting etc.
- There is not a lot of choice here, it is a very expensive rental market, and we had to enter a kind of bidding process to get the house, not trying to be a cynic, just realistic, ideally, we would have been nearer to PS, but it is more convenient for my husband who needs to get out onto M3 for work.
( our house has just gone on rental pages of rightmove and landlord has increased the rent by £150 pcm. I guess it depends what you are used to, but it is unbelievable to us!) If you want any more info, do PM me, I am happy to try and help where I can, but you might want others to give their advice about primaries to help you make your decision.
Which area do you live in guineapiglet? Was it the same area where you were renting?
Hi again - you have been busy.
It would certainly be worth ringing round the HS and ask their respective admissions teams for their best advice re looking round, we managed it with a couple of the schools, Westgate is literally next to Western. ( and Kings only just up the road a bit. HBeaufort is a bit further out) - it would be possible to do all the HS quite easily,( In a drive round to see the areas) others would be able to advise about other primary schools to consider ( neighbours of ours send their kids to Sparsholt Primary, and St Bedes is very well thought of). As I said before you will get an impression of the layout and location, but still better to come during term time to get the full on picture. I imagine with the primary school expansion, property around HS is going to get even more expensive than it is now which is not a happy thought
I've just spent a morning talking to some VERY helpful ladies at various Winchester primaries, particularly Western. The lady there gave me loads of useful info, and offered to show us round when we are down in Winchester over half term. We hope to see a couple of others, if possible. I think I now have got my head around the whats, wheres and whens. Phew!
Do you think Westgate and the other secondaries would mind showing us round, if someone is there? My daughter is in year 5, so won't be applying until October and obviously we will attend all the open days around then. However the secondary school we like best will partly determine where we end up renting/buying, so I feel we hould look at them earlier.
Watch out for the catchment reorganisations coming Winchester's way! Don't know if this will affect you, but they are making Westgate into a 4-16 school which will impact on Western primary, next door; they are putting, allegedly, a Free School in as the primary in the new 2000 house estate at Barton Park/Farm (?); and people living within sight of St Faiths primary have had to send DC to South Wonston primary.
Do consider Perins at Alresford, or Thornden at Chandlers Ford, too!
River Park Leisure centre have most of the things your son does and there is another tennis club on Bereweeke Avenue. I guest looking at school clubs is a good way forward.
My son has group tennis lessons at our local tennis club, but daughter not keen. He'd also like to do karate. They both have swimming lessons. My daughter used to do stagecoach and ballet, but neither were really her thing, though she loves drama club at school, I think she felt that stagecoach was a bit too pushy. Apart from piano lessons, she does nothing outside school, but does drama, strictly ballroom, and steel pans at after school clubs at school. She'd love an art club, or a craft club. She's the arty crafty one (like me) and my son's the sporty one (like my husband)!
Confused - although I prefer Westgate (Biased i went there!) I would def take the time to see all three schools in Winchester if possible as suggested. All three schools have excellent reputations and all quite different in their styles as it were.
Are there any clubs your DD is in in London? Could you look with here whilst you are here at what is avaliable to show her there is life outside London! If she is involved in Guiding there are many units in Winchester (I help run one of them!) there are also dancing clubs (at river park and one called the florian school of dance, stage coach, a tennis club, the list is endless!).
You have been so helpful - thank you!
Yes - we made appointments with the Head of year at all the schools we looked at, and were given personal tours round on a couple of sites, although you get to see the buildings and campus facilities etc, it really is not the same as when the school is open. Westgate has several open days, so definitely worth signing up to one which suits, am sure the other HS do, (Henry Beaufort and Kings) - worth finding out when they all are so you can organise a 'tour'. We did take the kids out of school for a couple of days ( as it was a 500 mile round trip!) in order to see the school/college in term time, plus you get to meet all the relevant staff and your kids can see how the school feels. The admissions staff at Westgate were really helpful to us, as we were travelling from so far away, which was much appreciated. If you are nearer, and can get down for a morning or afternoon, I would do that.
Did you have to book to look around the school buildings at half term, or were you able to turn up and just wander around?
Hi again! We had this problem, you really do need to see the schools in action so to speak to get the idea of what it is like on a normal day, but we had a look round during hols just to get an idea of facilities and location and then booked appointments during term time. _ginger is local to area so her advice is brilliant and lovely to have recommendation about school....
By the way, I am presuming that it will not be possible to visit schools at half-term. Am I wrong about that? Obviously even if they could show us round, it would only be the site/ buildings that we got to see.
My cunning plan, when we come to visit over half-term, is to pretend that I would prefer to live somewhere other than Winchester (even further from her friends!) As she always says the opposite of whatever opinion i express, she should LOVE Winchester.
By the way, my daughter's wishes are not dictating whether, when or where we move! But it will be a hell of a lot more comfortable if she is onboard.
That's what I have been thinking. I know she feels like she'll miss her friends terribly, but I am worried about her not having the time to make new ones before moving to secondary.
Definitely don't listen to her about finishing yr 6. I moved very late in yr 6 and it made it very hard to meet people- was an awful first year of secondary much better to have a whole year to make friends
Winchester is about the furthest commute (to London) my husband could cope with, though I don't know about Alresford. Is it commutable?
Winchester has been chosen less for schools (thought they will be a factor in where we choose to live within it). More for a combo of vaguely feasible commute/ close to grandparents/ I know two people who live there!
If you are coming this way in half term come and have a look at Alresford. We have great infant and junior schools (on the same site) and a terrific secondary (Perins) which rivals the Winchester schools.
no problem, If you have a car there is also a Tesco in Winnall, Sainsburys in Badger Farm (small one in town) and Waitrose in Weeke if you want to pick up snacks etc.
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