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Calling all North Londoners, I really need some insider's schools gossip

(36 Posts)
frogs Wed 02-May-07 15:47:34

We've just moved to Tufnell Park.

Ds has been offered a place at St Joseph's catholic school on Highgate Hill -- does anyone have any info or gossip on this school?

And for dd2 I'm trying to find a school nursery place for September -- I know Yerbury is meant to be a desirable school, but also looking at Tufnell Park, Hargrave Park, Grafton, St Patrick's in Kentish Town.

Would really appreciate any insider info -- all schools seem lovely when you look round them, it's really hard to get a feel for what's actually going on.

slimmerjim Wed 02-May-07 17:46:10

Very tenuous and therefore probably not especially useful - I met a lady about 3 years ago at a former neighbour's Christmas "do" whose youngest was in year 3 or 4 at St.J's. Her older 2 went through the school too and she was v. happy with it.
Btw she seemed totally normal and there was no reason not to trust her judgment, but it really was a shortish chat.

slimmerjim Wed 02-May-07 17:48:47

Have also heard on the grapevine that the very local locals prefer Y to TPP as there is, in the words of one "less of a class divide". In other words if you're from any of the nearby estates your children will play with others from said estates/if from Victorian villa the parallel will apply.
But at Yerbury there is more out of school mixing, apparently.

bakedpotato Wed 02-May-07 17:56:57

St J's (Holy Joe's) is meant to be fine. I know, vaguely, two kids in reception -- don't know them well but their mums seem happy with it. I've seen the littlies on a nature walk in the local park.
Not very useful, sorry!

frogs Wed 02-May-07 19:41:33

These are all useful snippets, thanks!

I went to look round St Joseph's today, and liked it overall, but not ecstatically so. The head seemed like a penpusher rather than a teacher, with slightly ropey communication skills, at least on an adult to adult basis. And not many after-school activities or sports clubs on site. But there seemed to be a nice mix of kids, and the teacher of ds's potential class seemed on top of things, so I've provisionally accepted a place for him to start after half term.

We'll have to take a nursery place for dd2 where we can find it I fear, but at least we'll be in time to look at all the options for her Reception place. Any other info still gratefully received.

frogs Thu 03-May-07 10:43:41

Any daytime MNers with any info to share?

NKF Thu 03-May-07 13:43:34

For what it's worth - and I'm not sure I'd put much store by it - the gossip I know is that St Joseph's is sound but a little dull and Yerbury is a sell-a-kidney-to-secure-a-place sort of school.

frogs Thu 03-May-07 13:50:08

LOL at the idea of offering the head a backhander from proceeds of kidney sale!

'Sound but a little dull' is pretty much the deal with Catholic schools, but sadly Yerbury don't have any places in Y3 so I think ds will just have to cope.

But at least we can look around in time for dd2's reception place.

NKF Thu 03-May-07 13:56:15

Well, at least your kidneys are safe.

frogs Thu 03-May-07 13:57:37

Yes, I love my kids but there are limits...

suzywong Thu 03-May-07 13:59:15

St Joe's is over the road from The Old Crown, what more do you want, ffs?

bundle Thu 03-May-07 13:59:55

hi frogs

still alive after the move? phew!

I've heard nice things re: grafton but on their last ofsted it said their afterschool provision was v poor.

know nothing re: jo's but sounds like you're covered for that one.

frogs Thu 03-May-07 14:32:17

Yes, still alive, just. New house is very dysfunctional, though. It feels a bit like living in a very cheap B&B: naff decor, dodgy wiring, dubious cleanliness and that funny smell of damp mixed with a faint odour of gas and old carpet. Yum.

Schools thing currently giving me bit of a headache as ds is dead set against it but I'm blowed if I'm driving up and down the Holloway Road twice a day for the next few years. Does the N. London Catholic grapevine really not have an opinion on Holy Joes? The place is a massive building site atm, so quite hard to assess how it would feel under normal circs. Sadly they told me dd2 def. wouldn't get a place in the nursery as they've got 20 kids on the waiting list some of whom are siblings. So it all hinges on dd2 being able to get in somewhere that isn't a 30 minute drive away.


suzywong Thu 03-May-07 14:33:50


is the scary chicken still there?

frogs Thu 03-May-07 14:35:37

Scary chicken????

Ashmount slightly off our beat I think, we're near Tufnell Park tube. Am also trying Hargrave Park, which is quite near St J.

suzywong Thu 03-May-07 14:38:54

You know, there's a sculpture of a predatory rooster on the main gate of Ashmount

Tuffnel Park Tube you say what about the primary that feeds Henrietta Barnett, on <consults A-Z, it's been almost 3 years> Ravely Street oppostie that gastro pub?
or have you explored that option?

( I used to live in N6 and part of my heart is still there)

hoxtonchick Thu 03-May-07 14:41:45

hooray, you're back on line frogs. i am useless re schools knowledge, but we will come & visit soon .

bundle Thu 03-May-07 14:43:48

fraid i have no inside track on holy jo's but will inquire at tomorrow's tennis in highbury fields

frogs Thu 03-May-07 15:00:59

SW, you mean Eleanor Palmer? I think you have to live on the doorstep, but will give it a go.

suzywong Thu 03-May-07 15:01:39

Yes, that's the one

suzywong Thu 03-May-07 15:02:12

and I didnt' mean Henrietta barnet
I meant another one

Porpoise Thu 03-May-07 15:02:48

<hijack> tennis in highbury fields, bundle? we must live near each other...

bundle Thu 03-May-07 15:08:30

bakedpotato Thu 03-May-07 15:14:58

Look at Brookfield too, I know someone (as does Suzy) whose son goes there. She seems happy with it.
E Palmer got a good Ofsted last month.

suzywong Thu 03-May-07 15:15:54

I mean Acland Burghley, but that's actually in Camden

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