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Is it worth trying for a place at Redland Green School?

(200 Posts)
Brainwracked Wed 22-Sep-10 13:42:08

We are moving to the Bristol area and can't decide between Redland Green and Backwell Schools. Is it worth makig the effort to get our DD into Redland Green? We would have to pay through the nose to rent a house within 700 metres of the school and although we would love to live there, chances are we wouldn't get a place at the school anyway since we won't be moving until March or April. I think Backwell School is good for performing arts, which is DD's main interest, but we worry about becoming isolated in a small community and having to commute a lot to Bristol. Can anyone share experience of this?

ArghMyEyesMyEyes Wed 22-Sep-10 13:47:12

If you're applying for a place after the school year has started you might be lucky, as there's always a couple of kids who hate it and end up moving elsewhere after the first term or so, and most parents on the waiting list won't be keen to move their kids once they've settled elsewhere.

You'd still have to live in the catchment area though, I would have thought.

It is a very popular school, but it's probably worth noting that it doesn't have a track record as it's not been open long enough. I think it's mostly popular because it's a very nice white middle class intake, and however much people like to argue that they don't have prejudices, they often do when it comes to schools.

bratnav Wed 22-Sep-10 13:48:44

If you want performing arts and want to be in Bristol you would be better at Cotham. RG is a nightmare to get into.

ArghMyEyesMyEyes Wed 22-Sep-10 13:50:34

Yes, I think your best bet for getting a place at RG is to actually live in the cleaner's cupboard.

Brainwracked Wed 22-Sep-10 15:45:55

Thank you all for your comments. We appreciate Bratnav's suggestion that Cotham is better for performing arts, but I've heard that the school's catchment includes some rougher ethnic parts with a drug problem. We agree with Argh's comment about families preferring Redland Green because of the white middle class bias, which probably tilds us racist although we're not, but we'd like to know if there is a problem of this sort at Cotham. Does anybody think its worth living in Backwell as an alternative?

ArghMyEyesMyEyes Wed 22-Sep-10 15:48:59

Oh no, how dreadful to have rougher ethnic pupils in with your precious children.

Wish I hadn't bothered now. hmm

sarah293 Wed 22-Sep-10 16:02:28

Message withdrawn

ArghMyEyesMyEyes Wed 22-Sep-10 16:02:55

Oh, and sorry to disillusion you, but Cotham and Redland Green have at least as much of a drug problem as any of the other schools, more so even, because the kids have more money to spend on them.

I know this as I have a teenager who has friends from both schools, as well as many friends from her ethnically diverse inner city school.

sarah293 Wed 22-Sep-10 16:05:43

Message withdrawn

ArghMyEyesMyEyes Wed 22-Sep-10 16:07:02

yeah, they hand them out with the milk and cookies at breaktime at those posh schools! grin

MoonUnitAlpha Wed 22-Sep-10 16:11:32

Maybe Bristol isn't the right city for you if you don't like ethnics? Do us all a favour and stay where you are.

sarah293 Wed 22-Sep-10 16:14:33

Message withdrawn

ArghMyEyesMyEyes Wed 22-Sep-10 16:15:25

Yes, yes, you're unlikely to find many ethnics in backwell unless they got lost on their way to the crack house.

ArghMyEyesMyEyes Wed 22-Sep-10 16:17:20

Although, having said that - I think in Backwell there is a chinese takeaway that is run by actual chinese people, so perhaps not.

I wouldn't risk it if I were you, brainwracked.

Brainwracked Wed 22-Sep-10 16:18:42

Of course you all are right about drugs at all schools, and Cotham is obviously a popular school and brilliant in performing arts. However, I have read a few threads about Cotham that give me pause, such as not supporting kids enough to achieve their potential, so although some do well others tend to get left behind, and a few families have moved their kids to other schools. What do you think is behind this?

sarah293 Wed 22-Sep-10 16:19:43

Message withdrawn

MoonUnitAlpha Wed 22-Sep-10 16:23:58

Your problem with Cotham wasn't about not supporting kids, it was that there were too many drug taking ethnics hmm

Brainwracked Wed 22-Sep-10 16:31:55

I apologise for offending you with the ehtnic comment, which was second-hand information anyway, but I admit I was warned off Cotham as an option because of several negative comments. It is also a heavily oversubscribed school, so I expect we would have the same problem getting a place there. Everyone says it's a nightmare with Redland Green but I haven't read comments about the difficulty of getting into Cotham. Would we also have to live within half a mile of the school to get a place, I wonder?

ArghMyEyesMyEyes Wed 22-Sep-10 16:33:28

I suspect you're now going to have to wait until someone comes along who isn't offended by your comments before you get an answer.

crazymum53 Wed 22-Sep-10 16:36:45

Both Cotham school and Fairfield school have performing arts college status whereas Redland specialises in Science.
Although it may be possible to rent a property in Redland or Cotham you need to bear in mind that these areas are close to the university which makes rents higher you may find that you have student neighbours!
My nearest school Oasis Academy (John Williams) at Hengrove also specialises in performing arts. Low ethnic but high number of working class kids - or do you have a problem with that too ?
Chew Valley school in BANES also specialises in the performing arts. Would say that Chew Valley is more of a community whereas Backwell is very much a commuter village.

bratnav Wed 22-Sep-10 16:52:28

FFS, who the hell do you think you are, I am bloody furious. Go and live in the Highlands, very few nasty 'ethnic' people there. I am beyond livid. Never ever ask for advice on this board again unless you want me to repost your comments on every thread. I suggest you beg MNHQ to remove this thread ASAP.

Brainwracked Wed 22-Sep-10 16:59:37

Thankfully crazymum did not take offense at my comment, although she was not involved at the time. As other parents do, I check the academic results of schools and I was not impressed with those of the Oasis Academy, but thank you for the suggestion. Chew Valley is a good school, but since we need to come to Bristol frequently it would be too far away.

I agree that Backwell is a commuter village, although we would in fact be commuters. Nailsea would perhaps have more community but although the comprehensive has new facilities the last Ofsted was pretty negative about the school, so I don't really have a way of judging its academic level (as indeed is the case of Redland Green.

By the way, I wouldn't have thought that bratnav was such a tiger, but please understand that I don't yet live in Bristol and only have second-hand information to go on.

MoonUnitAlpha Wed 22-Sep-10 17:02:33

The problem isn't where you got your information, it's that you seem to have a bit of a racist streak.

bratnav Wed 22-Sep-10 17:23:55

I'm not a tiger, I'm lovely. It's only when people make rasist/homophobic comments that I reserve my right to be cross. Please go away.

crazymum53 Thu 23-Sep-10 14:10:51

My friend moved from Southville to Backwell and her 2 boys have done well at the school getting 4 Science A levels each so no idea what its like for Arts subjects. However she does spend a lot of time going to Bristol and back for work and teenage taxi service.

It sounds to me as if you would fit into an outlying area better than central Bristol. Other schools you may wish to consider are St. Katherines in Pill, Clevedon school and schools in South Glos such as Winterbourne and the Ridings. I hope you find somewhere that suits your child.

I didn't think you would want Oasis academy - neither do I and that's my nearest school! Am trying hard to find 3 better schools to put on my application form.
Personally I would be overjoyed if there was a school as good as Cotham locally but sadly I live too far away to be considered!

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