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Moving to Bristol - help with primary schools! ��

(14 Posts)
KRW30 Wed 23-Sep-15 10:49:16

Hi there, would really appreciate some advice from any Bristol dwellers. I'm moving to Bristol from London with my husband and two girls (3yrs and 6 months) in January. Don't know the city at all! We're hoping to move to St. Andrews/Bishopston areas (if we can afford it...) and trying to learn about primary schools. The three I've been told about are Bishop Road, Ashley Down and Sefton park, but it's really hard to find out info about them online (apart from Ofsted). We are hoping for a school that prioritises pastoral care, outdoors and creativity alongside attainment (less bothered Tbh) but guess we're not in a position to be picky. Does anyone have any experience, knowledge or preference for these schools? Is Bishop Road's big size a problem? Do you need to live on Sefton park road to get in? I've heard horror stories about bristol kids being bussed out of town to failing primaries due to oversubscribed schools but hoping that is either out of date or scare-mongering...
Would really appreciate any tips or pointers! Thank you x

Marmitelover55 Wed 23-Sep-15 19:17:30

We were very happy with sefton park - both DC have left now. They get good results but I think do more creative and outdoors stuff than Bishop Road - don't know so much about Ashley down. This may be idle gossip but I've heard that Bishop Road appears to be more of an exam factory - good results though. Bishopston/st Andrews are fab places to live (Gloucester Road, park etc) but you need to consider secondary as well as primary. The popular ones are very oversubscribed.

Marmitelover55 Wed 23-Sep-15 19:18:46

Ps I think that the opening of the annexe of Ashley down school at the cricket ground site, means that it is easier to get into sefton park than if was.

catslife Thu 24-Sep-15 09:55:49

There are reviews of primary schools for this area on the Bishopston mum website
As you have 2 girls you may also wish to consider the Dolphin school which is relatively new and is linked to Colston Girls School.
Is your 3 year old going to be 4 before the end of August? If so you will need to apply for a primary place soon. The good news is that local schools are good in this area.
BTW the primary children being bussed out of the city is scare-mongering. Yes there is more pressure on school places now but there have been new places created by the annexe at Brunel Fields and at the Dolphin school which has helped enormously in recent years.

Marmitelover55 Thu 24-Sep-15 17:33:34

There is also the new Fairlawn school on the old Fairfield site. It is also part of the Colston's girls' school (CGS) trust and has only just opened.

My understanding is that girls in the Dolphin school were automatically given a place at CGS, but I think this was only for the first year or two.

OneofTHOSEWomen Tue 29-Sep-15 15:02:11

A lot of the stuff on mumsnet about Bristol schools is out of date. Lots of schools in north and south Bristol have expanded recently.

StandoutMop Wed 30-Sep-15 21:46:40

I have DC at Bishop Road and know people with DC at Sefton Park, Dolphin and Ashley Down (Brunel Fields).

I love Bishop Road, my DC are very happy there and I would not call it an exam factory but it doesn't have a lot of outside space.

Dolphin do Forest school which you may like, although as pp suggested attendance no longer guarantees you a place at Colston Girls senior school. Is small at moment as not all years there and has build going on and some year groups are at Fairlawn temporarily.

Sefton park and Brunel fields both very popular with parents I know there. Not sure about how they fit your criteria though.

If you move to Montpellier side of St Andrews, sefton park, dolphin and fairlawn are all realistic I think. Plus Colstons primary is near and recently expanded.

Basically lots of choice, I think 240 reception spaces have been created locally in last 5 years.

Grassy08 Thu 14-Jul-16 16:13:06

I've just moved into the Westbury Park area from London and have found out my first choice of schools close to me are all oversubscribed. I'm new to Bristol, and applied to Westbury Park Primary, Bishop Road and Henleaze but don't know any other schools. I have a little boy who needs a year 2 place and a girl who needs a year 4 place in September. I'm worried that I've made the wrong decision in moving now! Are there any other schools that might be near me? I live on Linden Road.

lifeistooshort Thu 14-Jul-16 16:17:15

Are you catholic? There is St Bonaventure

catslife Thu 14-Jul-16 17:09:09

Try looking at St Ursula's E-Act academy on Brecon Rd - that's not far from you. Another alternative is to look at the Horfield area e.g. Horfield primary.
If you phone Bristol LEA with your address details they should be able to tell you which schools have places for these year groups.
Try not to worry too much there will be a place somewhere and most primary schools in that area are good.

mouldycheesefan Fri 15-Jul-16 10:09:18

Speak to the council and find out where has spaces for the age groups you need. I would try to do this before term ends so that you can visit the allocated school. You can go on waiting lists for the schools you want. The three you mention are known for being oversubscribed despite expansion at bishop road but places may come up. What school have you been offered?

Grassy08 Tue 19-Jul-16 21:55:18

I've been offered St Michael on the Mount and St George, and possibly Badocks wood Primary. All these are about an hour's walk from where I live. I've applied to St Ursula and Elmlea and Henleaze so that's 6 schools in the immediate area that I've applied to but have been told they're over subscribed and that I'll be on a list. I don't drive so really want to be able to walk the kids to school, and feel a bit weird about moving into an area but not really being able to meet other parents in the area because the only schools available aren't near to where I'll be living. I don't know what to do. I didn't like the look of St Michaels or St George - they've not got good Ofsted Reports and they're not close to us. Ive been told one of my kids is 2nd on a waiting list the other 4th in line for the same school - its pretty much like that for all of the schools around the area I've applied to. Has anyone had this before?

catslife Wed 20-Jul-16 10:50:34

Do you mean St George's C of E on Brandon Hill? That school should be OK, but a few years ago there were plans to close the school and I think this could have affected results, staffing and morale for a few years. I do know people who have sent their dcs there who have been happy.
That's close to a good bus route. If you walk up to the Downs there is a choice of buses, you then get off at College Green There is also the 8/9 bus that goes via Redland and the number 2 from near Waitrose. If you don't drive, I would ask if there is help with transport costs.
There is a primary school place shortage in Bristol and unfortunately you have moved into an area where even families who have made on-time applications for reception children don't always obtain places at their closest schools. You can stay on the waiting lists as places do come up. Once one child has obtained a place the other would probably be moved up to the top so there is hope that eventually your dcs could be at a more local school.

mouldycheesefan Thu 21-Jul-16 17:12:28

It's normal for Bristol especially that area. 2nd on waiting list is a good position to be in. See if you can get on waiting lists for other nearer schools as well. Have you visited the schools you have been offered? You may have to take one as a temporary measure. Is st Michaels in the mount the one by st Michaels hill? I think a lot of international kids whose parents teach at the university go there if so, I think it's a nice community.

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