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Good state schools in Bristol - Primary and Secondary

(16 Posts)
Rainydaze Sun 09-Jan-11 20:45:13

DP and I are planning to move to Bristol with DD, who's 2.5.

However, the state schools (primary and secondary) all seem to have poor Ofsted reports, which I find amazing. Many independent schools seem to be succeeding though, for some reason.

Are there any good primaries and secondaries in Bristol, that you can recommend. We're going to base the move around the schools.

I doubt that we could afford independent school fees.

Thanks very much.

Oh, by the way, I am totally ignorant to the geography of Bristol, so apologies if I'm a bit slow! blush

MoonUnitAlpha Sun 09-Jan-11 20:50:34

Good state secondaries - you probably want to look at Cotham and Redland Green. Colston's Girls School is an independent school that has become an academy, so no fees. They're all quite central.

Primaries - the good ones have tiny catchment areas, sometimes as little as 300m. Plus there has been a real shortage of reception places in the last couple of years with lots of children being offered schools miles away, or not getting places at all. I've heard good things about St. Werburghs though, but you have to live next door to get a place!

sarah293 Sun 09-Jan-11 20:53:25

Message withdrawn

Rainydaze Sun 09-Jan-11 20:53:39

Thanks very much for that, MoonUnitAlpha. Eeek, I didn't realise that about the primaries. We need to get going with this move, otherwise we'll be too late putting her name down for school.

Rainydaze Sun 09-Jan-11 20:55:54

Thanks Riven. We need t be central-ish for work, but obviously need to prioritise the school.

I was amazed at the apparent standard of the state schools in Bristol. It seems really odd. I wonder why so many are doing poorly.

RhinestoneCowgirl Sun 09-Jan-11 21:00:49

My DS has just started in reception, we are in St George, which is east of the city centre. We are v happy with his school, our local state primary, but secondary schools are more of a worry. It's unlikely that we will be able to afford private. Generally primaries are ok, unless you are in a particularly deprived area.

crazymum53 Mon 10-Jan-11 08:55:08

There are schools in Bristol with outstanding OFSTED reports at both primary and secondary level. However the test results for Bristol are distorted by a few schools in very deprived areas. Bristol schools are improving though and most secondary schools now have new buildings. There are also several faith schools in Bristol which have a good reputation St Mary Redcliffe (C of E) and St Bedes (Catholic) are both rated outstanding by OFSTED. However it is thought by many that the faith schools and independent schools cream off the best pupils and that this lowers results across the Bristol LEA.
Although I understand that schools is a high priority you also need to look at housing - house prices in Bristol have increased dramatically over the past few years and rents can be high in Clifton/Cotham/Redland due to the large number of students.

QueenofWhatever Mon 10-Jan-11 12:54:33

Not sure where you are looking as DD's primary is rated outstanding by Ofsted.

Also Ofsted is only one measure of a school and quite a lot of the reports are a few years old now. Bristol schools are (finally) improving rapidly. However there is a real shortage of primary places which will lead to a shortage of secondary places in the next few years.

Rainydaze Tue 11-Jan-11 20:35:10

Thanks all for all of your posts. It's really interesting.

It seems as though good secondaries are Colston's Girls' and Cotham schools.

Do you know how I can find out which are their feeder primaries, please? Perhaps I should just call them tomorrow.

I'm doing it all backwards: find a secondary, then identify the primary, then find somewhere to live (if possible) in the catchment area!

Thanks again everyone. I really appreciate your advice.

Rainydaze Tue 11-Jan-11 20:47:39

Actually, I'll call the LEA to find out tomorrow. I think that's the sensible thing to do!

Thanks again, all.

exexpat Tue 11-Jan-11 21:09:36

There aren't really feeder primaries as such - just areas of priority, but the boundaries aren't fixed. For Cotham, you need to live reasonably close (a mile or so) within the defined area, for some other schools, like Redland Green, a lot of people technically living in the priority area still don't get in - you need to live as close as possible, preferably within about 500m.

Colston's doesn't have a priority area - it draws from the whole of Bristol and the surrounding area, and entry is effectively by lottery (apart from 10 per cent of places assigned for linguistic aptitude). So there's no point in living close to get into that one.

exexpat Tue 11-Jan-11 23:10:09

Just noticed how young your DD is - really there is no point in looking at secondaries yet, it will be eight or nine years before she will be going to secondary, and a hell of a lot can change in a school in that time. In the past three or four years in Bristol, two independent schools have turned into academies, with another in the process, several failing comprehensives have been renamed and relaunched as academies, half of them have been rebuilt.... You could also have moved house several times before then.

So I'd just look at living as close as possible to a good primary - there are plenty of officially 'outstanding' or 'good' primaries in Bristol, it is only at secondary level (currently) that decent school options become very limited.

castleonthehill Wed 12-Jan-11 12:03:18

We live just over the border in south Gloucestershire. Downend, staple hill, magestfield. It doesn't take long to get into central Bristol. It has good links to the Bristol bath cycle path. Not that far to parkway train station either.

Schools here are good and plenty to choose from. We had five to choose from 4 of which we stood a good chance of getting into.
I do think it is a bit early to look at secondary as your child is so young but we have 2 really close and then 3 academies one of which is colstan girls which we could go for. so lots of choice also house prices are cheaper here.

Just thought I would give you a different choice.

crazymum53 Thu 13-Jan-11 11:12:15

I would say your main priority is finding an outstanding primary school - most of the primary schools in Clifton and Cotham would come into this category.
Results at Cotham secondary school have been consistently good over many years but the current GCSE results for Colstons Girls school are for an independent school intake and you will need to wait a few years to see how an academy intake (which reflects the full academic range) affects these. There are also plans for several new schools in Bristol. The former St Ursulas private school may either become an all-age school (primary and secondary) or the first primary academy in Bristol. A decision on this is due soon. There are also plans by some groups to set up a new "free" secondary school in North Bristol so this may be an additional option but it really is too early to tell.

Rainydaze Thu 13-Jan-11 20:24:01

Thanks very much everyone. This is all incredibly helpful!

I appreciate that it's probably too soon to be looking at secondaries, but I'm a worrier and a long-term worry it too much for me to resist! grin

I seems as though there's a lot in the pipeline for Bristol secondary schools, so I'll keep an eye on schools' websites etc.

Thanks again everyone. I really appreciate your advice and wisdom.

MargaretGraceBondfield Thu 13-Jan-11 20:30:29

Outstanding primary is not hard to find in Bristol.

Henleaze
Westbury
All Bishopston(average house a little smaller than Cotham/Redland and so 3 bed £320k) schools, Bishop Road, St. Bonaventure, Sefton, Ashley Down,
Horfield has a good one too, again even cheaper.
Clifton, Christchurch and St Johns,
Redland SS Peter and Paul

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