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St Christopher's Letchworth Junior School

(18 Posts)
Alljasmine Thu 11-Jun-15 14:48:43


I'm thinking of moving to Letchworth Found a lovely house in a pretty part of town, offering far more house for my money than I could find in Hitchin (which would be my ideal location). We are considering St Christophers due to Kingshott being oversubscribed and being too late / out of catchment for state reception place.

The move is now dependent on a reception place in a good school. St Chris's reviews are so mixed. (Very marmite.) Local people who sent their children years ago were really pleased with it. However an earlier MN poster said her neighbour's child failed his GCSEs at St Chris last summer so they pulled him out. If this is true, it's really worrying (though we don't know the full circumstances).

I understand the junior school is much better???

Pls can anyone who has or knows a DC currently at St Chris's juniors let me know their experience of the school and if their DC is thriving there. Really keen to move back to Herts, but need to secure a good school first...

Alternatively, can anyone suggest a good alternative...?

Many thanks

NearAndFar Thu 11-Jun-15 14:53:07

How old are your DC? And what would your catchment school be, if you had applied within normal time frames?

I live in Letchworth and have only ever heard good things about St Chris for primary, so will be considering it for ours when the time comes. Would be inclined to move to state secondary, but that's just personal choice/finances!

Rainbow44 Fri 12-Jun-15 05:41:49

Hi there, we live in letchworth and have lived here for about 8 years.. Just gone through looking round infant / primaries and secured a place for our lo at a primary school in hitchin. We live on the north side of the town. We really love living here but when it comes to our local primaries we were not too impressed.

Based on personal opinion and what I know, I would advise the following schools as alternatives to St Chris

Norton St Nicholas primary ( whose catchment is very tight ) this is a c of e school. My lo went to nursery there and it was great. Very impressed with the school, but the religious aspect makes it more difficult to get a reception place. ( you need to worship at a church in norton parish twice a month for 3 years ) or live very very close.

Lordship farm primary school has a great reputation and is on south side of town.

I'm not sure about St Chris so can't comment. It sounds lovely. Not sure if you have a girl or boy, but if you have a little girl then St Francis school in letchworth has an excellent reputation. ( all girls school ).

We really like living in letchworth..I have made some lovely friends and there is plenty for families to do here.

Good luck

Milco Fri 19-Jun-15 20:56:43

Hi AllJasmine

I have two DCs at St Chris - they are 7 and 5 and are both very happy there. I think a lot depends on what type of school you are looking for. St Chris is very nurturing, friendly, creative and fairly informal. This suits many people (particularly at Junior School level) but not everyone perhaps.

This suited my DS (the older one) down to the ground - we chose the school at reception for him - and he loves it there. It is bringing him on academically hugely but at a pace which is encouraging his natural love of learning. My fear was (and still is really) that in a school which was a bit more pushy he would be put off.

My DD is there mainly I suppose because they and we are keen for them to be together, and because we really like the school - they are quite different as children but she is equally happy and thriving. I think that she is getting rounder education than she would do at e.g. St Francis, and stands a better chance of developing all her talents/sides to her personality, if that makes sense.

We will keep an open mind about the senior school because we are a long way off still. We have a number of friends with children in the senior school who are very happy, and are hugely impressed by much of what we see there. But every child is different and by the time they are senior school age their views about how they want to learn, whether they want a mixed environment etc will come into play. For what its worth my son says he never wants to leave St Chris (I don't think my DD has thought this far ahead!)

Re the person who was going to/failed their GCSEs. I don't think any school can guarantee that your child will pass their GCSEs/ A levels/ achieve certain results/whatever. Some children I think do need serious pressure put on them by their schools to work hard and do well, and perhaps that child would be better off at another school. But many many children do extremely well in their exams at St Chris, as I understand it with a greater degree of self-motivation rather than external pressure.

Hope that helps. There are other good schools in Letchworth - state sector too. A lot depends, as I'm sure you know anyway, on where you live and how the schools with spaces suit your particular DC. Happy to answer any other questions you might have.

Do come to Letchworth though, it's lovely smile

Sunflowerhelly Thu 25-Jun-15 10:02:38

Hello! We're in the same position - moving to either Hitchin or Letchworth in summer. We have a place at Kingshott which we're really happy about as I think it suits our daughter - do they have no places left now? We were told this at first but then someone must have left as a place came up. As alternatives we looked round St Francis and St Chris. I liked the early years at St Chris but was a bit unsure as things progressed up the school - please bear in mind this is just a snapshot from an open day! St Francis I also liked but I found it a bit old fashioned. But I think that would have been our second choice after Kingshott.

StrawberriesInTheSun Sat 27-Jun-15 20:20:07

For state primary norton st nick is a no goer because even if you are a c of e attendee elsewhere for the last few years this doesn't count. It has to be attendance at the linked church. They were fully subscribed for reception this year and have a massive waiting list. Lordship which is also good is also totally fun.

If you tried kingshott a while back as a pp said I would try again now. My friend just rejected a place there for her DS as they got the state place they wanted for him so there must be movement all the time.

There are lots of vacancies in excellent village state primary schools around Letchworth and Hitchin. Have a look at whitwell village (school is st pauls walden) - they had reception places left recently and we loved it when we went round.

StrawberriesInTheSun Sat 27-Jun-15 20:21:54

Rainbow44 Sun 28-Jun-15 07:41:09


I have checked the rules for Norton St Nicholas school in Letchworth ( scrupulously).. And it is possible to worship elsewhere at another c of e church but then you have to ensure you move in to Norton parish ( and be clear of its boundaries ) then keep worshipping at the local parish church ( St George's or St Nicholas ) . You then need to get a letter from your previous priest and a letter from the priest at Norton not easy but it can be done. If you do this you must live/ move in to the parish of Norton otherwise this rule does not apply to you. It must be a total of 3 years and twice a month on average at both churches combined.

You are right..St Nicholas is massively over subscribed and if you don't attend church or having a sibling basically have to live on the school field. We live about a mile from Norton St Nicks and we had a nursery place for our lo last year but didn't get her a place in was not unexpected but still upset..they used to prioritise nursery children but don't anymore.

We got our lo a place in a hitchin school ( state primary ) so we are pleased..but I would advise anyone considering a place for their lo at Norton St Nicholas to read the rules thoroughly. A lot of mums did not get a reception place this year. I know about a third of the nursery class did not get into the school and it has been heartbreaking: (


So....lovely school but definitely read the rules and contact the school directly to find out where the furthest child was admitted. ( they don't publish their allocations like other state primaries ).

St. Paul's warden looks does St Ippolytes school..another nice state village primary. If you are prepared to travel then Pirton village school is nice too and often has places.

If money is not an issue then perhaps a private option would be best as possible have said St Christopher's appears to be a lovely school and most children do very well there. Perhaps it does seem to depend on how self motivated your child is and how much they need a push in the right direction as to what school you choose.

Good luck: )

Hitchin and Letchworth are both lovely areas to live in.

StrawberriesInTheSun Sun 28-Jun-15 08:42:51

Rainbow thank you very much for correcting me - good point that it's ok if you live in the parish and have the attendance elsewhere.

Sorry to hear about your dd doing nursery but then having to go elsewhere for reception. I believe there are at least 5 others in your position iirc.

I think op won't get in now if it's for this year, even if she lived next door to the school.

Rainbow44 Sun 28-Jun-15 08:57:10

10 nursery children didn't get a place this year : ((((

No chance for this year for reception..funny thing is that I know some mums who have had some problems with other local schools and moved their children to St Nicholas and got places for both children in higher age places must come up, probably through people moving I guess.

Sorry all jasmine I veared off point a bit as you were really asking about St Chris but there are other state options in Letchworth, but the good schools are very oversubscribed.. Like most towns I guess.

StrawberriesInTheSun Sun 28-Jun-15 09:16:43

Goodness Rainbow, that is almost half the nursery class shock

Rainbow44 Sun 28-Jun-15 09:28:07

Yes it is such a really feel part of the school too..I really liked the idea of lo going to the nursery then a smooth transition to reception.

A lot of what the nursery does is linked with the school and they buddy up with older children in the school too. The nursery class is wonderful and my lo did very well there. I can see why it is so popular. It would have been perfect for our lo but it wasn't meant to be..

I'm glad we got our 2nd choice school and I really like it so feel lucky in that sense but still a bit gutted. It's so awful not having control over where you child goes to school and a computer decides!

Gricksy Sat 28-Apr-18 17:20:31

I realise this thread is a few years old, but thought I would try anyway. I've just visited Kingshott and St Chris while looking for schools for my 2 daughters for when we relocate to the area this summer (from abroad). My daughters will be in years 3 and 5. Does anyone have any (new) advice on one school versus the other? I was impressed with both, but worry about the longer day at Kingshott and more academic pressure. I like St Chris but worry it won't be academic enough? I was also surprised that the children don't have specialist teachers for art or ICT in the junior school. Can anyone give any advice - particularly on children's progress in the upper junior years? It is hard to assess the junior school's achievements in regular subjects (Reading, writing, maths etc) as there are no stats to be guided by. I think my kids would love the school but want to make sure they will do well academically, as well as being happy there. I was very impressed with Kingshott too, but definitely worried about the extent of homework and longer days. We will be based in Letchworth. Thanks in advance!

Kpark2018 Mon 02-Jul-18 21:33:20

Hi our daughter is currently in year 5 at kingshott but we are actively looking to move her now - probably to st Chris. Happy to elaborate more but the school has changed significantly in recent times and it's no longer for us or our DD. Best of luck with the move!

Indybindy Sun 26-Aug-18 19:42:36

Just taken my child out of St Chris , the place is a sham

VeniceMadre Mon 24-Sep-18 11:38:49

IndyBindy - why did you take your child out? Why is it a Sham? We are considering moving to letchworth specifically for that school. Can anyone else give their experinces there? Thanks!

CoffeeCup100 Tue 16-Oct-18 10:08:07

We are looking to move our child out of St Chris as soon as possible. While it appears to be an informal, relaxed school which is what we wanted, it's actually just run sloppily and is very disorganised. It supposedly welcomes children with special needs but we've had a terrible experience with no SENCO support at all, poorly trained and supported staff and the communication has been very unprofessional and confusing. After 4 weeks we knew that we made a horribly wrong decision.

Pussycat77 Thu 13-Dec-18 18:44:42

I have children in the Senior School at St Chris but I also have friends with children in the Junior School. It's a fantastic school and some (both parents and children) don't realise how lucky they are.

Both of mine are very able academically and seem to have lots of friends at a similar level, although I am aware of a small number of children with SEN in their year groups (which I am very happy about - I didn't want them at a school where all the children have been "creamed off" the local talent and the school is obsessed with learning levels and exam results to the exclusion of all else, as so many are). My son has a friend with autism and another with dyslexia and both get support (socially and academically) and are treated by teachers and other children with absolute acceptance and respect.

One of my children is very good at sport and the humanities, the other working at a very high level in the sciences and maths. The small class sizes, attentive teachers and creative learning methods keep them engaged and interested, and homework levels make sense and are linked to lessons rather than being set for the sake of it. The campus is beautiful and creates a relaxed, calm atmosphere. Both love the school and are doing really well academically as well as having joined some great after-school clubs. It isn't perfect - it's a school! - but it's pretty close.

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