My son and I are relocating from Northumberland to Glasgow to live with my partner who's from Lanarkshire.
My partner currently lives in the Lanarkshire countryside, but we are going to move to the city because I don't drive and I'm a therapist which requires me to see clients at home.
My son is 10 and has attended excellent schools in Northumberland, but he hasn't found any of them easy (even though they have both been Ofsted 100 rated) because he's very sensitive and has had trouble with being bullied.
I've read some horror stories about Glasgow schools and I'd be very grateful if any of you could debunk some of these myths!
I've been looking at Jordanhill which looks fabulous but is apparently tough to get in to, does anyone have any idea what the catchment area is like? Is it far from the city centre? Do I have a hope of getting him in there?
Any advice on Glasgow Schools and general relocation tips very welcome!
I'd think about somewhere on the outskirts - Bearsden, Lenzie etc. Glasgow secondary schools get an unfair press; most of them have a lot of children with real issues - poverty, asylum seekers etc - and while they're not the best academically, they do provide a nurturing, caring environment on the whole, and in my experience, the teachers are excellent and committed.
Jordanhill is to the west of the city centre, and those that go, seem to like it. The catchment area is small, and it may already be full for your son's age group.
Ds has now gone in to S2 at Shawlands. I have been incredibly impressed with its ethos and the way that they expect the best from their kids.
It was a placing request (only 5 minutes extra walk from his "catchment" secondary school) - and the depute head at his primary school actually recommended that there "would be more kids like him" at Shawlands than at Bellahouston. Maybe unfair on Bellahouston - but the impression is that he'd have needed to be a "tougher" kid at Bella.
I'm very impressed with the head teacher and the exam results at Shawlands are on a par with Hyndland (apparently they alternate with Hyndland for the best state school results in Glasgow Jordanhill doesn't count as it's not part of Glasgow City Council ). This is despite having an extremely broad demographic which ranges from the high flats at the Gorbals and other deprived areas to the leafy suburbs of Pollokshields and Newlands.
It's also an SRU funded School of Rugby, if your ds would like to do something sporting. This is not about being good at rugby - many of the kids only start when they go into S1 and they play "Emerging Schools Rugby" (which is a cut down version of full rugby, concentrating on passing and without the full scrums) initially (Shawlands won the Glasgow School Tropyh last year for the S1/S2s). It's also about nutrition, fitness and values - all of which fit in well with the ethos of the Curriculum for Excellence which Scottish schools now follow.
I know that the head takes issues of bullying very seriously. The transition/S1 depute head is lovely and would be more than happy to let you have a look around the school. We visited in when ds was in P6, ie about the age of your kid now. Dh and I went first and then we arranged for ds to visit - and also took along a couple of oother kids who were also planning on doing placing requests. To date, all placing requests have been accepted.
There are lovely houses in the vicinity - if you'd like to know more, PM me. Don't know what your budget is (or whether you are wanting to rent or buy) but this house is close to us (in Bella's catchment but actually even closer to Shawlands than us ). It's a brilliant quiet street like one from another century . This one is definitely in Shawlands' catchment at c. half the price.
....to give an idea of academic aspirations, ds is in the top set for English (they set for both English and Maths early in S1). The English teacher is scary (even though I am good at English the product of an English teacher for a mother ) but wants to stretch this class because she thinks they are capable of it.
At the end of last year, she gave them tests that ds struggled with. Turned out that (as I had suspected) she had given them National 4/Foundation level Standard grade tests - and this year has them working to National 5 (which is the English equivalent of GCSEs, normally done in S4) . He is currently reading Kidnapped and complaining bitterly about the size of the text and the amount of time "reading 4 chapters" involved hell mend him - but nevertheless still seems to be enjoying the subject.
He is also in the top set for Maths and likewise appears to be being stretched.
If your son is 10 then he wont be going to High school in Scotland for a while, do you know that? Are you just planning ahead?
Schools in Scotland have a fixed catchment and if you live in the catchment then you are entitled to a place in the school. You can apply to a place outside your catchment and if there is space available then you will get it. If there are more applicants than spaces available then it is scored based on things such as special needs, siblings etc. What your husband does for a living is completely irrelevant if you are looking at state schools - it may have some bearing on private maybe.
I suggest that you look at some of the schools recommended - look at their catchment and decide if you want to/can afford to live there and take it from there.
Depending on his birthdate, your son could have 1 or 2 years still to go at primary though - the cut of date in Scotland is 1 March and we do 7 years of primary. Youngest children currently just gone to high school will be age 11 and will all be 12 by end February 2014.
This may be useful in terms of the academics, although it isn't all about that - kids can get bullied anywhere but if you want less "rough" element then you will be looking for schools that have a low level of free school meals. Although I have to say that my son was bullied at primary school and it wasn't the so called "rough" kids that were involved.
Ds' primary school had a very high level of FSMs and of EAL (English as an Additional Language) yet had very good results. The school came down hard on bullying (like soontobeslendergirl's ds, ds also had a couple of incidents of bullying, ironically enough from a so-called friend who came from a similar middle-class background) and dealt with it really well.
Just as a quick message to prettybird - sorry for using your thread Your info about the reading book jogged my memory. My son has no set reading text yet, I asked him and they haven't had any allocated reading presumably this is standard for them and given their academic results, I guess I have to trust that they know what they are doing! When I was S1/S2 at high school a few ahem, 35!! years ago, we did Shakespeare amongst other books (merchant of Venice I think) in S1!!
see, now you are worrying me even more! You know where my son goes to school, and they had better results than Jordanhill last year - from what I am told they have improved on last years results though not sure how that compares with other schools yet.........so how do they do that if he doesn't even have a specified reading text? They do 5 periods of English a week- 1 of which is for reading but they take their own books - he is probably reading less than he ever has and is tending to take in a Manga book from what I can see.
As long as they are encouraging them to be enthusiastic about English, they'll be fine in the long run .
My worry was that ds' class was being pushed so hard so quickly because the teacher was so excited by the potential of this particular cohort that she would forget that they also need to be inspired to love English.
But I've questioned ds and he still seems to be enjoying English. I'd like him to do more free reading, but I suppose I should be grateful that I have a boy who free reads at all (he is currently reading the 2nd Hunger Games book), given that he spends so much time cycling or playing rugby.
At one point No1 son was getting through 3 or 4 full novels a week! He read the first 3 Harry Potters by the start of P3. I had a big clear out of all the older books that I thought he was well past and attempted to give them away, but it seems to have triggered of a fest of re-reading the books for his "youth" so he has just re-read through all the skulduggery pleasants, Artemis Fowls and the Gone books - but he isn't reading much new stuff and the constant demands for new books has dried up. - oTher than new Manga books which he talks his brother into getting and then just reads them after him
Ds was never that fast and doesn't like me telling him I used to read 4 library books a week . Skulduggery Pleasant was a great success and followed on from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books . Refuses to read HP yet as he's seen the movies . I'll maybe suggest Artemis Fowl once he's finished the Hunger Games trilogy.
yeah, we've done the hunger games, knots and crosses, Alex Rider, Chaos Walking, Tunnels series, H.I.V.E. etc etc etc. Skulduggery No8 just came out last week if you are interested.
I dind't let them watch any of the Harry Potter movies until they had read the books - i'm cruel like that Ditto Hunger Games He read The Universe versus Alex Woods on holiday and seemed to enjoy it though i found it dragged a bit in the middle and I wasn't entirely sure about the subject matter, but hey ho ;)