Does anyone have any inside information on these villages and their primary schools south/west of Cambridge?
Barton Comberton Great and Little Shelfords Stapleford Great and Little Abingtons
We're thinking of moving to the area and I would be really interested to hear the pros and cons.
A few things I'd love to know: Does it feel like living in a village, or more like an extension of Cambridge? How easy is it to pop into town? What's the village like socially? What's the school like? What's it like for kids going to very small village schools with mixed-year classes? (And what are the staff-related past problems mysteriously referred to in the Shelford Ofsted report??) Are there many activities locally for kids, especially drama, judo, swimming? How about stuff like pilates for grown-ups?
(Would also be interested to hear about any other nearby villages I haven't mentioned above.)
I know a little about the Abingtons (I don't live there). The villages seem quite sociable/community minded. The primary school has around 100 pupils so you will get mixed year classes (but I've lived in several parts of England during my DCs primary education and all their schools whether small or large had mixed year classes). I can't report on school as it currently is as my DCs are much older. At 11 virtually all go on to Linton Village College. Most of the out of school activities would be outside the village - e.g swimming at Haverhill or Sawston and other activities in Linton. (There's an outdoor pool at the school used by the pupils in the summer term and school holidays). There's an after school club and I think there are cubs and a youth club. There are Yoga and Keep Fit classes for adults in the village and more at Linton and Hildersham. From my experience of living outside Cambridge, it is good until your children are older teenagers, when they want to be in the town not the villages. And, yes, living in a village is not like living in say Chesterton, Cambridge is quite a distance away and each village has a life of its own.