Schools in Cheltenham(5 Posts)
We are considering moving to Cheltenham, as we currently live in an area with very poor high schools (repeated news articles on how theu are failing). My daughter is only 5 but we want her to settle in to a primary school and then go on up with her friends. What do people think of Cheltenham? We are looking close to the station, Gloucester rd area. I've heard all the Cheltenham schools are excellent.
Out of the area you're looking at, but my daughter went to Bishops Cleeve Primary Academy and Cleeve School. They are both big schools but BCPA help the quieter child (like mind) integrate and that goes a long way at the start. She was very happy at both, Heads and teachers very approachable and she left with results far exceeding her parents. Cleeve School has always had a good reputation, but their recent Ofsted report wasn't so great - they've had a chance of teachers with new ideas and the Head is very focused on dealing with issues. Cleeve School works hard with the local primary schools to welcome the new Year 7s including meeting children at their own schools, one teacher came down to work with my DD in her maths group for a few weeks. They have a number of days and afternoons where the children go up to Cleeve to experience what it has to offer starting in Year 5.
With regards to what Bishops Cleeve has to offer, choice of primary schools, choice of playgrounds, excellent bus service, library, supermarkets, childrens clubs, takeaways and places to eat out locally. Your DD will easily meet lots of other children here and has the opportunity of lots of friends. I've made lots of friends as well as getting to know lots of local people.
I like Cheltenham, the schools are good and there's generally things to do throughout the year. (Check out "Cheltenham Rocks" for ideas).
So far this year we've been to various events at the festivals in town (many free) and saw the tour of Britain come through, as well as the more usual day to day things.
Regarding schools, be aware that you'll end up wherever has a place rather than necessarily your closest primary school, but the ones in the vicinity of the station are all fine.
Lots of kids try for the grammar, but as there's only 5 in Chelt/Glos as a whole it doesn't have as big an impact on the remaining schools as say the Kent system. Many parents in Charlton Kings opt to send their kids to Balcarras rather than the grammars in Gloucester as well to give you an idea.
There are lots of lovely primary schools in Cheltenham. My DTDs have just finished at Warden Hill, which they loved. We were lucky in that there were 4 really great schools close to where we live. You can't really go wrong in most areas of the town. My girls now go to the girls' High School in Gloucester, but they would have been equally as happy at Bournside or Chosen Hill, which are our closest secondaries.
I think if you were near the station, your closest primary would be Gloucester Road, so have a look at that one. Dunalley is also a fairly close, and also Holy Trinity and St John's.
The chances of getting a place mid year in any of the good primaries in the Cheltenham area is slim, even if you move into catchment. You are likely only to be offered places at the poorer primaries by the LA, as the better schools will be full. Secondary fantastic, either high achieving grammars or good comps. But you may need to be on a waiting list for a preferred primary, or look to the independent sector until child is 11
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