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Kentish town / Tufnell Park / Dartmouth Park / Camden Town

(38 Posts)
Trondheim Tue 01-Jul-14 12:30:02

We are planning to move to one of the above places very soon and I am hoping someone here will be able to advise on schools. Have been reading previous threads on the areas too.

Dartmouth park is nice as near the heath but seems to be a black hole for schools so we’d have to live either south for Eleanor Palmer or north for Brookfield. We’re quite laid back as parents though so EP might be too intense? And I know we’d have to live very close indeed.

Kentish Town: Torriano seems good? Other side of KT road, how are Carlton, Rhyl and Gospel Oak schools?

Camden Town: Have to go faith, I think?

If I want to get DD into a faith school I need to start going to church next January. (2 years’ attendance seems standard?) Hard to pick the right church to start attending when I don’t know which school we’ll be nearest to. All the faith schools in these areas are pretty good though, right?

Secondaries: Not much choice - William Ellis and Parliament hill seem good. Would love Camden Girls if we can get in.
If we were in Camden itself, CHS for DD but if we have a boy next how are Regent and Haverstock? Or the UCL academy?

I hate all this so much! Thank you for any insight you can give. Also other information about the areas for babies/toddlers would be welcome please!

frogs Tue 01-Jul-14 12:48:46

Dartmouth Park/Tufnell park is a lovely area, laid-back and near the Heath. Kentish Town is a bit scruffier, and Camden Town, well, is Camden. You either love it or you'd be really irritated by constantly tripping over drunk teenage tourists.

Dartmouth Park is Brookfield catchment, no? Maybe unless you lived in the very south near Acland Burghley, but I'd have thought even those bits would be in the Brookfield catchment. Hargrave Park is the other obvious choice for that area, or St John Upper Holloway, which I don't think requires heavy-duty churchgoing.

Torriano is generally well-regarded.

EP you need to live more-or-less in the playground, and it does seem to attract parents who want a school that is academically pushy and full of other m/c parents.

For secondaries, WE, PH and Acland Burghley are all well-regarded, though AB has had a tough time recently, losing a head and being taken to the cleaners by Ofsted. But everyone I know with kids there is very positive and supportive of the school. You can tell which streets are in the Camden Girls area by the hike of several hundred thou on the house prices. I know several people who are in the CG area who have sent girls to PHS instead, make of that what you will.

Trondheim Wed 02-Jul-14 20:30:25

Thank you frogs that's really helpful. I hadn't even looked as far north as Brookfield primary. Is it going to be hard to get into if we live closer to Chetwynd Rd than Highgate cemetery? I'm so worried we'll not be close enough for anything and get offered somewhere the other end of the borough.

We used to live in Camden and I loved it, but it was intimidating when I was pregnant as I was really sick and drunk teenagers are drunk teenagers. Don't know if I'd like it with a double buggy, even on Arlington Rd, maybe I'm just desperately trying to recapture my youth. At the expense of DC schooling.

What's the focal point of Tufnell park/kentish town? I don't really know it at all, went for a walk round and it seemed to be just streets and streets of (lovely, quiet) houses. Are there parks and playgrounds apart from the Heath?

Whereabouts are you, if you don't mind my asking?

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Wed 02-Jul-14 20:39:03

I love Kentish Town high street. A proper useful high street unlike Hampstead / Primrose Hill / Belsize Park. Plus MNHQ is in Kentish

Can't comment on primaries over there but I am <ahem> very well geographically placed to comment on UCL Academy and so far it seems to be turning out very well indeed.

frogs Wed 02-Jul-14 20:52:44

Chetwynd road would be in the Brookfield catchment, I'd have thought. It's a big school, and popular but not ridiculously so. Camden council have a little widget on their website where you can measure the distance from a given address to various schools, and then compare that to the admissions cut-off distances in the schools booklet.

Tufnell park centre is really the playing fields off camp dale road, where there's a cafes, a playground and budgens etc, and a farmers market on Saturdays. also fortess road is going all upmarket, with a posh butcher and new fishmonger etc. But not in a hampsteady way! There's a nice community feel. The posh school in TP is yerbury, but lots of people really rate Tufnell park primary.

hashtagwhatever Wed 02-Jul-14 20:56:32

Kentish town C of E is within the catchment of lower tuffnel park. Burghley road/lady Somerset

Trondheim Wed 02-Jul-14 20:57:45

Hearts I would love one of those ex council houses near UCL academy (quickswood etc). If the academy's good maybe I can talk DH into it. Which primary did you get?

KT high street does have a poundstretcher. It's my kind of high street. Is there anything proper in tufnell park or do you have to go up to Archway?

I really like where we are now sad

Quangle Wed 02-Jul-14 20:58:44

Yes I think Brookfield would cover Chetwynd. V nice school I think.

hashtagwhatever Wed 02-Jul-14 20:59:33

Ps my nephews attended kentish town c of e and have never been church once beforehand.

Trondheim Wed 02-Jul-14 21:26:52

Thanks that measuring thing is really helpful. Need to get the full postcodes of all the houses we look at then! You can get about halfway down Chetwynd and still get into EP it looks like. She said, boringly.

Just now found the cut-off distances page in the admissions booklet. I'm getting smart enough to apply for a school myself.

Trondheim Wed 02-Jul-14 21:27:38

Oh really hashtag, was that a while ago though as they seem really oversubscribed nowadays?

Quangle thank you.

Trondheim Wed 02-Jul-14 21:30:03

I think I'll simply have to write to the council and explain that this is my PFB and then they'll just give us a place wherever we want.

frogs Wed 02-Jul-14 21:35:44

Surely you wouldn't get into Eleanor Palmer from Chetwynd Rd? The catchment is about 200m. Brookfield, yes. EP you need to live in a tent in the playground, or possibly in one of the streets immediately next to the school. You'd also get into Hargrave Park from there, I'd have thought, or possibly even Tufnell Park primary.

KT does have a poundstretcher! And a lovely Lebanese supermarket. But the houses in the side streets are quite small and expensive for what they are, because of the Camden Girls catchment thingy. Lady margaret Rd is nice, though, with bigger houses.

If you want the poundstretcher vibe, then you need to go to Archway or KT. But if you have small children and are not massively constrained by finances, then personally I'd go for Dartmouth Park - the pull of being near the Heath would swing it for me. And there's a lovely nursery on York Rise, if you can cope with it being opposite the world's most chi-chi and overpriced deli, as frequented by Ed Miliband.

sj73 Wed 02-Jul-14 21:44:37

We looked at a house in Chetwynd road (the middle part) last year and it wasn't quite within the catchment for Brookfield. It would have been v risky. It was slightly out of catchment for gospel oak too so is a but of a black hole.

Have you considered Whitehall Park? In catchment for a new primary free school plus other options if you are in the right part of it.

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Wed 02-Jul-14 22:35:22

Holy Trinity C of E on Finchley Road, a friends kids are now there and they love it. Also Primrose Hill primary, and if you are willing to do the church thing, St Paul's C of E is attached to (well, across the street from) St Mary the Virgin Primrose Hill, which is on King Henry's Road so very close indeed to Quickswood. I hear it's very good too.

hashtagwhatever Wed 02-Jul-14 23:07:47

tron it was last year.

As said Eleanor palmer is a tricky one a friend of mine dc wasn't able to get a place out of catchment because she lived on the wrong side of burghley road, had she been on the other side she would have been fine.

Primrose hill is a nice school my dd1 attended reception there untill we moved house.

lostintoys Thu 03-Jul-14 19:08:19

Holy Trinity and St Silas in Hartland Road is very sought after, if you want to be right in Camden. It would mean going to church though. I've also heard good things about Rhyl recently. That part of Kentish Town West has got Talacre Park and the sports centre, with lots of great things for babies and toddlers, and still has a bit of a Poundstretcher vibe, although changing a bit now.

Melon2312 Sun 06-Jul-14 19:57:07

Hi, sorry to hijack thread but I currently live on k town/Camden borders, just a couple of streets away from holy trinity and st Silas. My ds isn't due to start school for another 2 years but I am really keen on that one in particular, but can't bring myself to do the going to church thing. Does anyone know if we'd stand any chance of getting in still??

Trondheim Mon 07-Jul-14 11:29:26

Melon, yes but you'd have to be really really close, 0.0933 miles was the furthest non-faith admission to HTSS in 2013. Hope you find jesus! I might see you there :/

Hashtag we'd like primrose hill school but the houses near there are way bigger than we can afford! <worlds smallest violin>

What do people do about nurseries? We're lucky enough here to be next door to an outstanding children's centre so I haven't had to look round any others. Is it waiting lists or catchments in Camden? There don't seem to be any children's centres around where we're looking so I guess waiting lists if you're private? Can't really afford a private one anyway so I guess I'd take her out for now and apply for the 15 free hours once she's 3? Would that be at a school?

Sj73 Where is whitehall park please?

I want to be near the heath (swimming/playgrounds) and DH wants to be near kentish town high street (inexplicable).

Trondheim Mon 07-Jul-14 11:36:06

Frogs thank you for sending that nursery. It looks a good location. I don't want to leave her current nursery sad Maybe I can take her on the bus and they won't notice..

frogs Mon 07-Jul-14 12:41:23

If you want proximity to Kentish Town and the Heath, then Dartmouth Park fits the bill best. There's also Highgate Newtown Community Centre which has after-school activities, and possibly also a nursery? But certainly community-type things going on there.

Whitehall Park is a little enclave of streets bounded by Archway Road to the west, Hornsey Lane to the north and St John's Way to the south. It is nice enough, but feels like a bit of a satellite of Crouch End, and doesn't really have a centre of its own. There's also a potential schools black hole issue, now that Ashmount has moved further west. It's a lot cheaper than Dartmouth Park, presumably because the houses are smaller and it's not near the Heath - though it is near Highgate Woods, which is also nice.

MrsSquirrel Mon 07-Jul-14 13:35:57

My dd went to Brookfield, though she is a scary teenager now at Parliament Hill. We lived on the Archway side of DP. Being a short walk from the Heath is one of the things I miss the most about the area.

There is a children's centre called Konstam, which is right next to Brookfield. There is also a nursery on the Holly Lodge Estate, on Oakshott Avenue off Swain's Lane, but that may be too far north for your DH.

Why is your DH so stuck on KT? In terms of house prices, you will undoubtedly get more bang for your buck in Archway than KT.

QueenAnneofAustriaSpain Mon 07-Jul-14 15:26:04

I know people on Chetwynd that didn't get into Gospel Oak or Brookfield last year so I think the black hole thing for the moment may be spot on, although we do have friends at GO who do live on that road.

Have you thought about the roads behind GO, such as Savernake/Courthope etc.

GO is an excellent school. I have a few DC at GO and for us it was important to find a school that would be able to cater for them all - music and sport are particular focus and it is a great mix of the local community.

Having the Heath next to the school is a massive bonus and if you have another LO on the school run it will be so easy just to pop to the playground/lido/ponds/paddling pool not to mention coffee grin

Secondary wise, we aren't there yet but I have started looking and William Ellis (should you have a boy later), Parli, LSU and AB all appear to be good schools at the moment and if you wanted grammar you always have the option of Henrietta Barnett.

Good luck.

QueenAnneofAustriaSpain Mon 07-Jul-14 15:28:01

Oh yes and nurseries, I can really recommend Gospel Oak Children's Centre (which is 9-3 free from the term after they are 3 and not just 15 hours). It doesn't look much, but it is honestly the warmest, loveliest nursery I have ever been in.

I have heard great things about Montpelier too, which I think is the York Rise nursery further up thread.

Feel free to PM me if you need anymore info.

nlondondad Mon 07-Jul-14 22:34:38

For Whitehall Park info this is a good link.


Satellite of Crouch End? Some may think so. Others, the more aspirant, think of themselves as a satellite of Highgate...

Me? I just think of anywhere I live as the centre of things.....

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