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Living in sherwood - should I move for schools?

(6 Posts)
benetint Tue 14-Jun-11 14:24:15


I moved to Nottingham just before having DD but not having grown up here I still don't feel I know it that well!

We live in Sherwood at the moment and love the estate we live in, as well as the park, the local eateries, our neighbours and the proximity to the city centre. However I'm getting a bit concerned because all the mums I met on antenatal courses/baby groups etc are now moving out of Sherwood due to the schools. They haven't got a good word to say about the schools here (and most grew up in Nottingham) so they are moving to places like West Bridgford, Chilwell and Burton Joyce.

We live slap bang in between Haydn Road, Seely, Carrington and Claremont School (our catchment is Seely). I wondered if people had experience of any of these schools and if there is reason to move to another area? The only two mum friends staying in Sherwood are both sending their DC to private schools (one to Hollygirt, one to Iona).

Both moving and private education would be a real stretch financially but I would do it if it was worth it. Although I'm kind of hoping you'll come on and say these schools are all lovely and my friends are insane smile

Many thanks for your help

Hebrewlass Wed 15-Jun-11 16:27:58

Hi benetint , I don't live in sherwood , but have you checked out the primary school league tables in the sherwood area? Mothers do go a bit loopy about primary schools so I think your definetly right to do some research of your own rather than take them at them word. X

mycatthinksshesatiger Wed 15-Jun-11 16:40:42

I have heard nothing but good things about Haydn Road school. I think it gets a mixed OFSTED review but if you look at what actually goes on in the classroom they have some excellent teaching. Having had experience of two OFSTED "outstanding" schools over the other side of the river, I am now very, very cynical about OFSTED inspections. Both schools failed my children miserably, yet they continue to be well-regarded locally (mostly though by people who don't actually have children there!)

You need to visit the schools and get your own sense of how good they are for your child. IME one reason schools in WB etc do well in league tables is because a lot of the parents themselves are teachers, skewing the figures as they can really help their own children to improve whilst it looks like the school is outstanding, IYKWIM. At the schools my DC went to, I saw a lot of this. So my advice would be to look beyond the figures; see how interested the staff seem in all their pupils......

Hebrewlass Thu 16-Jun-11 09:11:02

Benetint, if you want your children to walk away from primary with a good basis in numeracy and literacy then you do need to look at the primary league tables ( I don't mean Ofsted although do check their website out in addition to all your other research as you will get a 'feel' for the school from their reports). The league tables will tell you whether the school is performing in helping their pupils attain good numeracy and literacy. The national average is 76% - Seely are well below this, they score 56%. Haydn primary have 76% - this is slightly more than the very well regarded Heyman school in West Bridgford. Just to give you an idea, there are at least 3 primary schools in Wb that score 90%+. But is that enough to move for? We moved from Sherwood to WB to be nearer better schools , because we wanted a feeder school that went into a good secondary. Maybe you need to also get an idea of your local secondary schools to help you in your decision ? We are completely happy with our school and the schools are very well regarded here by the parents . The reasons why the schools here do so well is due to many reasons and I think it's very misguided to say it's because there are a lot of teachers living here! Don't forget that schools differ too in the emphasis they place on not only academia but arts / sport etc .Our child would not have coped with one of the top performing schools because it is very rigid - we chose another that would help channel her arty side too. I think you have to be led by your instincts. If your family are happy in Sherwood and you are near Haydn school which is achieving well and which would be very convenient for you is up rooting the best thing for your family ?when we moved over to wb we had other reasons for moving and were at a cross roads in life. But it sounds as though you have a happy stable family life right now.

mycatthinksshesatiger Thu 16-Jun-11 19:54:00

Hebrewlass what I meant was that the OP should look at the demographics of the area in conjunction with her assessment of the school in order to work out to what extent the league table results are down to the school, and to what extent down to other factors combined.

IMHO and experience of school in WB, parental factors do influence children's achievement level and can make an average school look a bit better. For instance, my DC's school was poor at consolidating maths skills (recognised in inspection visits) but overall by key stage 1 and 2 tests the results looked very good. Why? Because most of the parents took matters into their own hands and helped their children with their maths. I have no idea how the level of parental involvement compares in schools elsewhere in the city, but I do think it adds a certain amount to a child's potential at doing well in the tests that contribute to the league tables. In my job I have witnessed a much higher level of interest/commitment and enthusiasm amongst teachers at some of the schools in the City of Nottingham which don't do so well in the league tables than I have ever seen at the school my DC attended. I do think demographics need to be taken into account when trying to unpick League tables, as high percentages of scores at Key stage 2 do not necessarily mean your child will be given every opportunity to reach his or her potential in that school. My children were both failed at an OFSTED outstanding school and have done much better elsewhere.

Ivytheterrible Thu 23-Jun-11 22:57:57

I'm also a sherwood mum and live between haydn and seely primary schools. Moving to wb is one thing but even if you are in catchment you may not get a place at your choice school due to the high demand for places. There are people that were in catchment for places this year that got refused and are having to go on wait lists or send children to the meadows etc.

Also you have to take into account the much higher costs of housing in wb which we have calculated would not be dissimilar to paying for a private secondary education depending on how many children you have.

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