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Kew Riverside Primary - any views?

(18 Posts)
citymum1 Thu 04-Apr-13 12:32:51

I've been doing some research on primaries in the borough for my DD who starts school in Sep 2014. I was wondering if there were any mums on here who had any experience with or any views on Kew Riverside Primary? It seems to have gone down in Ofsted rating from Outstanding to Good last year. Any idea why this has happened (unfortunately the report doesn't really throw much light on this)? Has there been any improvement since the report was published suggesting that they may regain their Outstanding rating at some point? Would love to hear from any one who has any knowledge of the school.

DonsDrapers Fri 05-Apr-13 14:43:03

I don't have any inside knowledge about the school, but am aware of that they only have 1 intake of 30, so therefore the catchment is particularly small.

I imagine if they have got a 'good' rating rather than 'outstanding' it will put people off applying as so many other local schools have an 'outstanding'.

I'm also looking into schools locally for entry same year as your daughter. I think it's a minefield. Our closest is Darrell (also a 'good' moved up from 'satisfactory') but I have not heard anything positive about it from others.

We have 5 schools within 700m of us, but going on the latest admissions info (not this years), we would not get any of them on distance and we have no faith either, so it is a bit disheartening and I do wonder if I will end up going back to FT work to fund private.

I sometimes wonder what the point of Ofsted is as surely most parents would do whatever they can to get an 'outstanding' school.

Have you heard anything about the free school in Mortlake, opening Sept 13?

BayJay2 Fri 05-Apr-13 20:24:16

Hi citymum. Ofsted toughened up its inspection regime quite considerably last year and made it much harder for schools to get an Outstanding rating, so its worth looking at the dates of inspections, as well as their ratings, when comparing schools. Many schools that are currently rated as 'Outstanding' will be downgraded at their next inspection, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they have gone downhill.

Read Kew Riverside's own assessment of their rating change here.

Quote: "In giving their feedback the inspectors emphasised that their judgement does not represent a backwards step from the previous inspection undertaken in 2007. Since the new arrangements came into force this year, 101 primary schools have been inspected and of these, only 14 have been judged to be ‘Outstanding’, a reflection of the revised grading system."

citymum1 Mon 08-Apr-13 11:22:03

Thanks BayJay2. I was so determined to get DD into an "outstanding" school but I haven't done the rounds of the schools myself yet so I think I will possibly form my opinion when I've managed to see the schools myself. Would've loved to get into Sheen Mount but I think that might be a bit far fetched as we'd be nowhere in its minute catchment area (unless they continue with the bulge class going forward).

DonsDrapers, I have looked up the website of the new free school in Mortlake and it actually looks quite good. I suppose we'll have to wait and see how they get on with their Sept 2013 intake. Are you considering it?

Teddyking1 Mon 08-Apr-13 13:22:42

Marshgate is taking the bulge class for September 2013 entry
Vineyard is expanding to 3 form entry 90 kids for sept 2014 entry
Sheen mount will take bulge class again sept 2015

citymum1 Mon 08-Apr-13 15:09:10

Teddyking, where can I find information about which schools are taking bulge classes for Sept 2014? We don't really stand to benefit from The Vineyard expanding!

Teddyking1 Mon 08-Apr-13 18:52:32

The only other permanent expansion for 2014 is nelson which I did not mention as it is in witton

There is also a 90 place free school application for 2014 entry based on 2 sites 1 in twickenham 1 in north teddington subject to approval

The council have stated that they are at least 200 short for 2014 entry .
Can you move ?
Usually they add extra bulge class after the first round of offers have been made usually in may .they added east sheen primary and hampton infant for 2012 entry

Kora Mon 08-Apr-13 21:38:40

Hi city mum, first of all best of luck navigating school maze. Good news is that Richmond borough has some of the best state primaries in the country. I have a dd at Kew Riverside and, so far, she's very happy and progressing well. One can never be complacent, but Bayjay's ofsted info is correct, it's much harder to get outstanding now, so check dates of reports you read. My main tip, which I'm sure you'll be doing anyway, is that as well as reports there's no substitute for visiting and checking out teachers, kids and general air of the school and whether you think it would let your child flourish. Ethos can be quite different across the range of these schools. I know that for my dd, a small school which nurtures her self-confidence has really let her bloom (lots of school roles, clubs, strong emphasis on engagement in class and with other years) alongside solidly aspirational curriculum (pretty much of a muchness with the other schools round here). Friendly and quite diverse and international - the latter means some schoolfriends won't stay til the end, but that'd be the same at Kew Green Prep, and upside is lots of cultural influences. Of course it's not perfect but as long as she's smiling and learning, I'm happy. Have a look around a few places and see. Hope you find somewhere that suits!

citymum1 Tue 09-Apr-13 18:22:26

Thanks Kora, that's quite helpful. I think the one thing that concerned me was that it was rated 2 on safety of pupils when all other schools (the 'outstanding' as well as the 'good' ones in the vicinity) were rated 1. What do you feel about safety in the school?

Kora Tue 09-Apr-13 21:13:46

Safety can cover many things, but ofsted seem to combine it with behaviour, which seems good at the school so far. Compared with some other schools it's a very child-centred place, hence calling teachers by first names, having a 'junior leadership team' instead of simply a pupil council etc. And the new house system seems to have taken off too. But the teachers are in charge and there are certain things like having trained teaching assistants on playground duty rather than dinner ladies that I've always found reassuring as a balance to the 'freedom'. Also, as a small school hopefully it would be less likely for bullying etc to go unnoticed, as everyone gets to know each other. But I'd say that if you've got a concern about a particular aspect of safety you should feel welcome to raise it with the school and see what they say. Best of luck! I don't think school anxiety ever quite goes away, but we can take each step as it comes!

Kassie22 Wed 10-Apr-13 00:07:21

I have just moved to Richmond from Regents Park - new to area and ds due to start reception next year. My closest school is Darrell (not keen on this one). Does anyone have kids that go there to convince me otherwise?

Also is there a mum n child group anywhere that we can meet other families?

Teddyking1 Wed 10-Apr-13 20:10:03

Kassie 22
It would be wise to check admissions data from previous years so you will have a realistic understanding of which schools you are likely to be offered
Having been through this last is highly Likley you will be allocated a place at your closest school and as Darrel is undersubscribed this will be the reality .Especially if you are over 500m from other schools.
However you can pray to give you more options however most schools require at least 2 years of praying

Moving closer to preferred schools? That is what most people I know did.
Bloody nightmare

BayJay2 Wed 10-Apr-13 20:59:40

Hi Kassie. Welcome to Richmond. I can't answer your question about Darrell, but you might find these maps helpful, showing allocations for Sept 2012. April 17th is offer day for the 2013 applications, so keep an eye on the local Mumsnet threads for how things shape up. It'll be a while before updated allocation maps are published though, as there's always a lot of movement of waiting lists between April and September.

In case you weren't aware, there's a new primary opening in Mortlake this September: Thomson House.

Kassie22 Sat 13-Apr-13 22:20:49

Thank you for your replies. Very very useful.

AbsintheAndChips Sat 13-Apr-13 22:51:25

I have a child at Darell and am extremely happy with it. Please ask if there's anything in particular you would like to know. I think it's a really friendly and homely school and DD is both happy and doing well academically there.

I'm interested to know why you're not keen on Darell, too. Is it just the local gossip?

DonsDrapers Mon 15-Apr-13 11:08:37

I'm interested in the faith admissions to schools in the borough. Purely because I don't know a single mum in the area that regularly goes to church...

Is this a red herring and it is really a distance criteria ?

Any ideas ?

DonsDrapers Mon 15-Apr-13 12:52:58

Citymum - we have registered an interest in the Thomson house school. I think in principle it looks good smile

citymum1 Fri 19-Apr-13 10:16:57

Yes, we did to. It does look good in principle. Let's see if they do end up achieving the goals they've set out.

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