State Schools in/around Winchster(19 Posts)
Hi there. I have year 5 and year 3 boys. We are currently living overseas but it's not working out so we're looking at returning to the UK, probably in June/July.
We only moved here (South East Asia) last June so am exhausted at the prospect of schools/housing research and decisions again already.
We would either like to be in Winchester or a village very nearby. We have missed the boat in terms of admissions, obviously, so it would need to be somewhere with spaces for my boys (going into years 6 and 4 from September).
If anyone can please give me something to start my research from I would very very much appreciate it.
If you can afford to buy a house within 5 miles of Winchester you will not find a dud state school - primary or secondary, let alone 6th form.
Seriously, I live to the south of Winchester and its the coolest area I know for relaxed education choices as there is also no selection : if you are in catchment they will try to squeeze you in!
Thanks so much. That is great to know. But are there not waiting lists? We are probably not even going to be renting a place there until June time so am worried we won't get in anywhere. Can you give me names of any schools?
The reason we are leaving where we are is because school is not working out for my 7 year old here and we are out of options. So this is a huge issue to get right.
The waiting lists are based on the standard criteria : distance from school and siblings being the main ones.
If you move in next door to the school, you are at the top of the list!
Best bet will be to contact Hampshire County council - who are a really efficient, effective LEA and they will be able to tell you which schools have places
and if you can afford to live in the area, this school has places in most year groups
and it feeds into Thornden (the top performing comp in the country!)
Just bear in mind that Hampshire will only hold a school place for 4 weeks, so don't get your heart set on a school that has places for both your DC until you're ready to move back. I'd suggest finding the school that will take them both, then renting a house for 6 months with a view to moving nearer the school when your lease is up. It will be hard to get both ducks lined up at the same time and it sounds like the school is your priority.
If you want names of schools, I can give you a few in Chandlers Ford. St Francis is an 'outstanding' school and they had a Y3 place when I phoned them for DS a few months ago. If I could turn back time I'd have sent DC there. I have heard good things about it from parents there. Hiltingbury is an 'outstanding' school but won't have any places in Y4 in September as that's the entry year for the junior school and you'll have missed the admission round. Scantabout is an 'outstanding' school (I think) but is one form entry so two places would be a longshot and houses to rent don't come up very often around there. Parents there can't speak highly enough of it. Knightwood is a 'good' school but DS (y3) isn't having a very good year there. DD (y6) hasn't done great there either, academically, but has enjoyed the school. I don't know anything about the other schools, though I think that just leaves Fryern in Chandlers Ford.
All these feed into Thornden, where you would have to be in catchment to get in. The application deadline for a Y7 place is end of October so you'll need to bear that in mind for your current Y5 DS.
Hope that's helpful.
Perins is (possibly) ropey compared with Thornden, Westgate, Kings and the like.
Most London/ Kent mums would chew off an arm for a school that did as well as Perins with no entrance exams and nice clear (big) catchment.
Thanks so much everyone. This is really really helpful!
My DSs went to Knightwood, one into Y6, one into Y4 a couple of years ago. Six schools 'feed' Thornden, (the local comp), several pretty much exclusively, some less so, including St Francis. Most of the DC there are catchmented to a less well-performing secondary than Thornden.
In terms of last years KS2 SATS results, if they matter to you, their order was:
St Francis Church of England Primary School points 31.2
Knightwood Primary School 31
Scantabout Primary School 30.7
Otterbourne Church of England Primary School 30.3
Hiltingbury Junior School 396 29.7
Merdon Junior School 28.8
Not much in it, is there?
It may be of no consequence to you (it isn't to everyone) that only a handful of DC in a class are heading to a particular school but it mattered to us which is why we chose KW over St Francis, and we didn't really want a church school.
I'd say all 6 schools are 'a safe pair of hands'. All could be accused of being a tiny bit pedestrian in their approach, tbh. No one is really 'better' than the other. I'd say individual 'opinions' would tend to be based on a better or less serendipitous fit between a particular DC and his/her teacher in a given year than than an 'ethos' mismatch.
Thornden is a good school though don't be fooled by their assertion that they don't stream as they do!- mainly via exam course trajectory. The 'less able' just don't sit the exams they might not do brilliantly at. It might possibly be said that a less academic DC might be better served in say Mountbatten in Romsey, a very good school, nearby (and one without such a fierce catchment!) with a more diverse catchment and a greater choice of GCSE (IMHO). Th is very white and very MC. It gets great results, but then so it should, given its intake!
Kings in Winchester feels just like a grammar school but can be gotten into from a distance away; Westgate is considered a bit more liberal arts, is a good school but you have to be in catchment for it; Henry Beaufort is 'good' by national standards but considered the weakest in Winchester.
As stated, Perins in Alresford is highly regarded. Personally I think it stands up very well against Th and Kings!
Avoid the Eastleigh schools (sorry!) apart from Thornden.
Henry Beaufort may be considered weaker but it did get 'outstanding' in its last ofsted... Tansie, for the sake of argument, do you know if a child could get into Kings if they live in HB catchment?
Well, I know of one personally, Top, from South Wonston primary.
Thanks for that. Certainly lots to think about. Having enjoyed the buzz of Singapore we quite fancy living in the City centre. We've visited Winchester a few times (used to live just over the Surrey border) and we really like it. So I'm also looking at schools in the City.
For the older years there may be primary places in any year. Even the (IMO) overrated honeypots can have spaces in ks2, as some DCs are whipped out to private sector.
As it stands, if you live in the city centre you'd get a space at any of the three secondaries in the city. Catchments are shrinking, though, and the first big bulge year is the current year 3 children, with each subsequent year growing.
Don't worry about raw SATS: they only vary according to social mix of intake, and all the city's primaries do well by their children. A sharp kid will do well in any of them.
One of these (westgate I think) is from Sep 2014 converting to an all through school ages 4 - 18, there was something in the press about it recently - may well open up spaces that are not currently on the hants web listing.
South of Winchester, you have the villages of romsey, whiteparish, hursley, awbridge. There are more....all have excellent primaries and all feed into excellent secondaries.
Salisbury is good for schools as well and has the grammar.
Perins ropey? Yeah, right, in that it was graded Outstanding in it's last Ofsted inspection, in that it's results are either on a par or better than the other Winchester secondaries.
In sport, the boys u15 rugby won the RFU Hampshire cup in February (and the Hampshire schools RFU 7's in March), and for their last big school production Perins won an award.
So, yeah.... ropey.
Salisbury doesn't have any good boys secondaries other than the GS!
And I was surprised where Perins was called 'ropey' upthread! Whilst I personally wouldn't judge a school on its rugby team particularly, I think it's a good all-round comp, 'up there' with Kings and Thornden.
I was just trying to illustrate Perins all-roundedness, academics, sport and arts Erebus
I'm being mean : Perins beats many, many schools into a cocked hat : it just does not have the chinless PR of the others
trust me folks
I'd LOVE to have Perins as my catchment, rather than what I do have (Oasis)
You are a lucky person. enjoy your choices
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