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Moving to Aberdeen: good primary schools?

(42 Posts)
SallyfromSA Tue 15-May-12 10:27:43


Strong chance my husband will be taking up a job in Aberdeen within the next 6 months. We will be coming from Australia (tho' he was born there and mother-in-law in Portlethen.)

My son turned 4 in April and I'll need to sort out schooling.

Which to do first: find good school and move into that area or are all the state schools generally of a good standard?

Any tips on decent affordable areas within 45 mins drive of the city? I wouldn't mind being in the countryside.

Can't wait!

Any input would be fab. Thanks.

wrathomum Tue 15-May-12 20:57:28

Cults, Peterculter or Maryculter are lovely.
Good luck.

DonnaLid Mon 21-May-12 14:56:02

Hi Sally,

Airyhall primary school is excellet and it is from P1-P7 children. Local areas for this school would be Airyhall, Northcote, Mannofield, Hazelhead, Cults - all are lovely smile

JayelleBee Wed 23-May-12 23:22:14

Just be aware that it is a myth that Mile End Primary school is a good school. It is a lovely new school but other than that very poor.

deste Wed 06-Jun-12 20:32:39

Your son won't go to school this year, he has to be 4 before the last day of February. He will go 2013.

FrauGrau Sun 01-Jul-12 11:22:34

Your child MAY go to school in 2013 if he is 4 before end of Feb 2013; he MUST go to school in 2014 if he is 5 before end of Feb 2014. If in doubt, keep him out - you cannot request a repeat year for children at state schools in Scotland, so any decision to put him in full-time education is irreversible. My advice would be send him to the nursery class of the the school you intend to admit him to. He can spend 2 years settling in, in a much less formal (part-time) environment and you can be sure he is ready for formal schooling AFTER his fifth birthday. The trend for sending children to school before 5 is much more prevalent in England than in Scotland. Most European countries start formal schooling at 6 or even 7.

SallyfromSA Sat 28-Jul-12 03:17:30

Thanks for all the helpful replies. Fraugrau, great advice. I feel much more relaxed about it now. We will be over in September for 3 weeks holiday, although we will be based in Perthshire but will make a few trips up to Aberdeenshire. My husband will be seeing people re. job so hopefully we can finally button down a timeframe for when the move will happen.

At this rate I'm thinking December. (Will be a good introduction to winter!) Will it be an issue if he needs to start nursery after Xmas?

We will be renting initially and I really am looking forward to getting involved in a nice friendly community where we can watch my son can make lifelong friends with local children.

I have found here that people are quite closed and don't really just stop for idle chit chat/invite you into their homes. It has made it feel like SUCH hard work getting to know people and even after 4 years I feel like an outsider despite my best efforts. I really am hoping for a change. I want to embrace local life and all local customs etc. and make new friendships just even for a laugh and a chat...

Oh, and I hear such wonderful things about the schooling there esp for little ones which will be fantastic for my boy too.

Thanks for all your contributions above, ladies. I just can't wait for this to all become reality.

SallyfromSA Sat 28-Jul-12 03:20:59

PS: I left out the bit that I was actually born in Cape Town, South Africa where I met my hubby and then we moved to Australia where my son was born.

Ashvis Tue 31-Jul-12 07:31:11

Hi Sally, shouldn't be an issue with your son starting after Christmas, schools here are pretty relaxed about that. When you visit Aberdeen it could be worth contacting the schools in the areas you are interested in. The head teachers will probably be very happy for you to visit so you can see for yourself which schools you like best. If you're there when the school comes out you'd be able to have a wee chat with some of the parents at the gates too. To be honest, I'm hoping to move house soon and will be visiting schools in the areas I like even though my lo is only 8 months old! (some of them in mile end area too shock)

SallyfromSA Tue 31-Jul-12 12:04:29

Thanks Ashvis. Well done to you for starting early! Perhaps contact JayelleBee to find out why she doesn't rate Mile End?

deste Tue 31-Jul-12 22:20:26

Your son won't start school till next summer.

SallyfromSA Tue 31-Jul-12 23:12:38

Thanks, deste.
Quick question: if he goes to a Nursery attached to a primary school (for example) just a couple of hours per day, what are the options for a mum who needs to work a few hours on the afternoon?
A childminder?

deste Thu 02-Aug-12 21:31:34

I think it would be a childminder. I know Mile End has an after school club but that is when they are at school. If you could get him there, there are plenty of private nurseries.

JollyHockeyStick Thu 02-Aug-12 21:38:02

Sally, if you're looking to live outside Aberdeen, Inverurie and Insch are nice.

Also be aware in Scotland that the school allocations policy is very different to England's. Most children go to the school that they live in the catchment area for. Secondary probably more important than primary. If you're going to live in the city, highest achieving Secondaries are Cults, Aberdeen Grammar and Harlaw, and you really need to live in the catchment to get a place in any of these schools.

Ashvis Sun 05-Aug-12 15:38:17

Sally, most of the private nurseries would take your child to a school nursery and pick them up afterwards.

I have a friend who teaches at Mile End who raves about the place. I'd be very happy if she taught my son. When I asked, she said that when she has kids she would send them there. Having taught with her, I trust her judgement.

Another friend's children both went to Skene Square. She and the children loved it. The kids are both very bright and were well challenged. It's another school I'm keeping in mind for my boy. Heard lots of good things about Ashley Road as well.

deste Sun 05-Aug-12 18:53:00

I work from Mile End school three times a week and would have no hesitation sending a child there.

SallyfromSA Mon 06-Aug-12 02:22:58

Thanks ladies, great to have word of mouth recommendations and advice to go on!

DappyHays Mon 06-Aug-12 15:15:34

Check the Ofsted report for Mile End, and other schools you are interested in.

SallyfromSA Tue 07-Aug-12 12:56:59

Thanks Dappyhays, been looking at the Scottish equivalent to Ofsted (?) ie "hmi" reports. Altho' some seem to have been done quite some time ago.

DappyHays Tue 07-Aug-12 15:08:45

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

SallyfromSA Wed 08-Aug-12 03:13:28

Good grief, DappyHays, those stories could keep a mother awake with worry at night.
I'm probably going to wait until we get over there then and go to the schools in the areas we'll hone in on to stay in. Best to meet the teacher, get a gut feel and then come over HERE to the forum and find out the lowdown!!!!!
I'm thinking we won't end up being too central just looking at property prices? More likely to be a bit further out of city centre but no more than a 45 min commute I guess. Anyone got kids at Banchory schools. I guess Torphins a bit far. Don't want to be too isolated, tho. Need good neighbours & families with yound kids.
Any school reviews welcome in the meantime!

DappyHays Wed 08-Aug-12 23:06:03

There maybe are good stories, almost definitely. Only I haven't heard any.

Torphins is a lovely wee village. Friends of mine who are there, love it. They moved from Aberdeen city centre when their kids were little. My cousins moved to Banchory about a year or so ago and like it a lot. Westhill is bustling these days, they even have a Marks and Spencer!

deste Thu 09-Aug-12 17:28:40

Banchory has an excellent secondary school with good results.

noni1711 Mon 13-Aug-12 09:58:30

Kemnay Primary is a great school

StoneAge Thu 15-Nov-12 19:57:27

No I would definately avoid Kemnay Primary School. You always need to look at the Academy these schools feed in to so anything for Cults Academy, Banchory or Alford are all good. I have moved away from Kemnay Primary catchment. Lots of building but not great schools and Kintore and Kinellar are overflowing. Westhill Academy also gets good reports although no school uniform and things which is not for me personally. If you are on Deeside/North Deeside route and opt to go private there are good bus links with the city.

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