Moving To Bristol Help With Schools & Areas(7 Posts)
Hi I'm new to Mumsnet and would love some help!
I'm moving to Bristol from Bournemouth with my partner whose job has moved there and my 9 year old daughter. We hope to move either in the easter hols or summer hols depending on how quickly we find a home. I need help with finding out about nice areas with easy access to schools, jobs, shops etc...
We are looking at Cotham/Redland/Clifton area - as my partner will be working in Cltfton and I need to find some work locally.
My daughter is also in year 5 so I have to apply for a secondary school in September/October, so I need to be near a state secondary in walking distance if possible as I don't drive! I walk a mile to school at the moment, so that would probably be the most I could manage as I also hope to try for a baby this year too! (fingers crossed)
We live in a lovely 3 bed house with lots of outside space and near a gorgeous beach so am very sad to leave! I visited Bristol just before the new year and it all seems quite expensive compared to here? We are after a house preferably, but there seems to be alot of converted houses/flats?
Any help would me greatly appreciated and hopefully I can meet some friends when I move too!
If it is essential to have a secondary school within walking distance that rules out Clifton which only has private secondary schools. The secondary schools are Redland Green and Cotham and I would suggest that you look at the Bristol city website for further information about catchment areas for these schools (you may be able to download the current admissions handbook) as you need to live close by to get a place. There are also 2 possible academies Colston Girls and the Cathedral school which have a lottery system for entry and are very oversubscribed.
These areas are also popular with university students and this affects rental prices.
Cotham is the catchment school for most of Clifton - I know lots of people in Clifton/Cliftonwood whose DCs have got in, when they live well over a mile away from the school, so that shouldn't be an issue. The Clifton primary schools (Christ Church and St Johns) usually have plenty of spare places in years 5 and 6 as so many children switch to the private schools in the run-up to secondary - I've known people get mid-year places when they live several miles away.
But finding affordable family-size houses in Clifton would be more of a problem... I rented there temporarily and paid £1,400 a month for a small mews house - there wasn't much choice in the area. Most of the larger houses are student properties, but there are lots of 2-bed converted flats around.
You're more likely to find a house in Redland, Westbury Park, Bishopston etc - nice areas to live in, and mainly close enough to get in to Redland Green or Cotham schools. The Redland Green intake area is much smaller than Cotham though, so don't believe everything estate agents tell you, and check on the council website where the furthest successful applications came from - it is a pretty small area. Westbury Park primary also loses quite a few pupils to private schools in KS2 so there is a reasonable chance of getting a place.
Last year you had to live about 750m from Redland Green - well within its official catchment, Cotham's goes much further out. We are very happy with both Westbury Park Primary -have year 6 child there, and Redland Green - year 10 child there, RGS had Good. Cotham has just had an outstanding Ofsted. But Redland, Cotham and Westbury Park flats/houses do not have large gardens and parking is at a premium - mainly on-street. However, they do have lots of parks and are close to the Downs which makes up for the lack of garden space. If you need to go further out, for space and cost reasons, then look at the other state schools, they are not as bad as their reputation suggests. We liked the Orchard school alot when we looked this year, and another friend liked Fairfield. They are improving schools. And all state secondaries are in new buildings (except Colston Girls and Cathedral.
Is your husband able to commute to work ? If you would still like to live by the sea you could consider Clevedon or Portishead which are by the seaside and within easy commuting distance of Clifton.
I would consider Kingsdown, Cotham and Redland if you want to get into Cotham and living practically on the school grounds if you want to get into Redland Green!! My boys are at SS Peter and Paul, lots of dcs go on to Cotham. Again due to the many medics and academics who send their children there there are often spaces and a great mix of children.
Houses in Redland and Cotham tend to be large and expensive, smaller houses can be found but if you rent a large one it's likely to be cold!
Thanks so much for all your replies, they have been a great help!!!
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