Advice on State schools in Amersham and around please😊(17 Posts)
we have a 12 weeks old baby girl and live in London. Would like to move to somewhere greener, less polluted, less crowded, more peaceful, with nice community feel and in the catchment areas for good state education for our little girl starting with nursery, primary school and hopefully grammmar school afterwards. We are thinking somewhere in Chilterns. Maybe Amersham/Little Chalfont but would like to know more about the other surrounding areas as well. My husband would need to commute to work to Kings Cross area. I would really appreciate some recommendations for the areas and nurseries/schools in Chilterns and some insights into what it is like living in those areas. We are probably going to rent out our apartment in London and rent a 2-3 bedroom house/apartment for a start ourselves. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!😊Many thanks for your time in advance!
Obviously Amersham and Little Chalfont are popular due to excellent schools and a relatively easy commute to London. Chesham Bois is a lovely area near to Amersham so do not discount that. If you move early enough, you must ensure you are in catchment for great primary schools such as Chestnut Lane/Elangeni in Amersham, Chesham Bois and Little Chalfont schools. These are highly sought after and you must be in catchment. Places are limited. There is St Mary's C of E School in Old Amersham and many of villages have great schools such at Great Missenden and Little Kingshill. Most areas have a community which involves families but I really do not know about nurseries. You get coffee shops in Amersham and Old Amersham is a popular area for meeting up. Less so elsewhere but schools and nurseries facilitate making friends. There are many activities for children and you should be able to make friends this way too.
Hope this helps.
Thank you so much for your time and information!😊 We will need to visit the areas soon to have a feel of them. Do you live in Chilterns yourself? Which primary school would you go for from the ones you have mentioned, if you have to make that choice? I really wish it would be somewhere in a green area. Its so good to know that its family friendly everywhere around there😊. I think we will have to visit pretty soon and start making the moves, as I am getting anxious reading about those long waiting lists to nurseries and difficulties of getting into a prefered primary school...thanks a lot once again!😊Kristina
I do live in the Chilterns and know Gt Missenden and Wendover really well. If you don’t mind being further out these two places are popular. Be a bit concerned about HS2 but it’s not affected houses selling in Wendover which is very popular with parents. I am not sure about waiting lists at nurseries but there are nurseries so you would have to check them out.
The schools here are good and popular but if you live in Wendover or Gt M you are in catchment. There are villages such as The Lee they have infant schools and the one at The Lee feeds into Gt M School.
I don't live in Bucks but have a good friend there. Am I right in thinking all of Bucks is selective at secondary level? Something to consider.
I meant to add that Chestnut Lane and Lt Chalfont school are very sought after and excellent. Gt M also. The schools in Wendover are great and the Junior school has a new Head so has improved. Many parents in this area want the 11 plus so you will be with like minded parents. You could look at Holmer Green and I like Little Kingshill school too. I would start by looking at the catchment areas and admission criteria so you can position yourself for housing and transport.
Most of the villages and small towns have green nearby. Wendover has lots on the doorstep! As does The Lee. Come and have a look around.
The OP was wanting a grammar school - hopefully. The areas I have mentioned are catchment for Aylesbury or the DRC High Grammars. Chesham will give you an extra option of Chesham Grammar. Hawridge and Cholesbury is also very green! Lovely village school.
One thing to consider is that at secondary level, if your child doesn't get into grammar, because it is a fully selective area, have to go to the upper school (secondary modern) instead - these schools have the top 30% of ability missing so are not comprehensive and many are not terribly successful. Full grammar areas are great for those who make grammar but not so great for the majority (many of whom are also from affluent families who moved out of London). Realise it's a long way off, but worth considering.
People both move to Bucks for the Grammars, but also away to be ina Comprehensive area too.
In the Aylesbury Vale area you will find that only 16-20% go to the Grammars. It is more further south but many secondary moderns here have 30% plus of higher achieving children too. Bucks is a high achieving County. Look at the results for Waddesdon and John Colet and The Misbourne and see if you think they are not worth attending. Many well educated parents support them and have done for years. Ditto The Amersham School and The Chalfonts. I cannot think of a single person I know who moved to go to a comp and plenty of children do very well in Bucks secondary moderns if they just miss out on a Grammar place. However of course a grammar place isn’t nailed on so Berkhamsted or Tring may be worth a look too.
Thank you so very very much for your time and insights. As this is my first baby, this is the first time I have to worry about the schools etc. so your insights are vert
sent before finishing the sentence...your insights are very helpful to us. Loads to consider and see! Thank you and good night ladies😊
With all respect, your baby is 3 months old. Please don't buy a house for it's secondary school catchment because things change a lot in 11 years. Bucks may stop the 11+ system altogether, school's that were outstanding can fall from grace and ones that were rubbish can step up. Most secondary schools in Bucks are pretty good.
Definitely consider primary schools. Little Chalfont is an outstanding school, genuinely lovely though parking is an issue so you'd want to live close.
I'm sorry if I sounded rude about the upper schools.
I know Bucks is a high achieving county and some of the Uppers do well - but it is also reality that some struggle more, because of the grammars taking big chunks of the able - I guess more than 30% go the grammars in some areas, leaving less than 70% for the uppers.
The grammar system and knowing that Bucks has a full grammar system is simply something to be aware of when choosing to live there. And it's not just the system, but also the stress of 11+ and tutoring etc which goes on, which is something to consider. And of course it's a long way off when we are only talking about a baby, but if this family are planning their forever move, it's worth thinking about too - it's not like planning to move to be in catchment for a particular school (although the he grammars take in based on distance, once a pass mark is achieved) but realising the whole county is selective, not just certain schools, as in most other places with grammars still.
If OP is interested, there are lots of threads about Bucks 11+ on MN and it is clear that it isn't a system that works well for all.
Thank you once again to all of you for your time to respond to my questions! Do any of you live in Amersham? I just wonder, education aside, is it nice to live there? Do you prefer any other little villages or towns in Chilterns and if so, why? I have my heart set for somewhere in Chilterns as I really like the landscapes. I only visited few times and it looked to me very picturesque. I would like to live somewhere semi-urban, with some amenities nearby, like a leisure centre/ gym,few shops/cafes i.e not too isolated and somewhere with a nice community feel. Many thanks!
I am not actually in Amersham but I used to work there! My children didn’t go to school there but I do know the schools fairly well. Amersham has a leisure centre and everything you mention. Wendover has a pool and coffee shops. Good community for parents and I do know that! It’s a small town with lots going on.
Amersham is in two halves. Old and On The Hill (nearer the Station). Old Amersham is prettier and I do think either would give you a community but there are probably more families in Amersham on the Hill. The villages are nearly all attractive but cannot give you coffee shops, gyms and a semi urban feel. You do get a village feel and most of the village schools are excellent.
I do know that some people don’t like the 11 plus but plenty do and it really isn’t all angst and doom. Some parents heavily over invest in the 11 plus and are unrealistic. This is fairly common.
I used to work for Bucks LA and it was not unusual to have parents asking about catchment areas when they had a baby. Bucks will not relinquish Grammar schools. They will be here in 10 years. They will fight for them. So if you want to move, it’s a good place to go to.
Sorry for my delayed thank you for your time and insights. I much appreciate the information you have shared with me.
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