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Teddington / Twickenham - raising a child and primary schools

(30 Posts)
Lottothink Sun 11-Jun-17 08:31:22

We absolutely loved Teddington and Twickenham is nice too. I wanted to know your views on living and raising children in both areas. Which one do you prefer ? Cons pros . I know that latter has better links to the city as we both will be commuting but we don't want to make the decision on that basis.

what are best state and private primary school options? how is the community ?

Many thanks

Nyborg Sun 11-Jun-17 09:08:15

Teddington is a little more villagey (and a little more pleased with itself, I'd say) but other than that, I don't think there's much to choose between them apart from the transport links, as you note. Both have some really lovely communities of parents.

If you're buying a house, you'll find your money goes much further in west Twickenham or north of the A316 but the distance from Twickenham station is the trade off.

Almost all of the primary schools are good - Stanley in Teddington had an unexpectedly weak Ofsted recently but the parents I know of children there now are adamant that they're happy with it, and think the report isn't a fair reflection of their children's experience.

If you're using the state sector, you will need to spend some time looking closely at catchment areas; there are a few black holes for primary school if you're not careful. Maps for catchment of state schools are on the council's website, but you may need to contact faith schools to ask for more details if that's your preference.

twick13 Sun 11-Jun-17 14:30:50

Both are really nice places for toddlers and primary school age. Lots going on, good schools, very family orientated.
Most secondaries are ok. Other than Waldegrave maybe not as good ax they should be, lots of low level disruption. Good enough gcse results but the probably should be fantastic. Lots of teen influences good and bad. Not limited in any shape or form to state schools. So lots of sports clubs but also lots of parties, alcohol and weed

Lottothink Sun 11-Jun-17 19:52:00

Thank you both . What about Collis School in Teddington which now has a bigger catchment . It is a very big school . I might ask around a bit . Interesting regarding teenage influence . Is it in particular in that area ? I thought it would be one of the safest areas ?! we are moving out of Dulwich area and I never heard of it but I must admit I don't know secondary school mums around here . do you know how we can find out the leavers destinations of state primary if not on their website ?

Is there a state and private school division of community ?

Icimoi Sun 11-Jun-17 19:57:09

I really rate Chase Bridge - I recommend you look at it. It's the other side of the A316, but still pretty close to the station, and that does make house prices a bit lower if you want to live nearby.

TW123 Sun 11-Jun-17 20:03:49

Strawberry Hill gives you the benefit of walking distance to both Teddington & Twickenham smile

Teddington for the shops, M&S Food, Cote, Carluccio's etc...
Twickenham for the fast train to Waterloo

win win

448teatime Sun 11-Jun-17 20:29:36

Re destination schools, the primary schools feed into the local secondary schools, the allocation is made according to your postcode unless your dc passes a grammar exam or you have a church school option, i.e. RIchard Reynolds catholic college. If you want private feedback you will have to speak to local parents, or visit the secondary schools, Hampton Boys School take 1/2 the intake from the state sector at 11 but if u look the school bus route map on their website you will see how enormous the catchment is. If you post in the Education / Secondary Education thread re leaver destinations of Twickenham/Teddington primaries you will get a response.

Lottothink Sun 11-Jun-17 23:17:29

good tip thank you Teatime

Lottothink Sun 11-Jun-17 23:19:47

thank you all . very helpful ..

TW123 Mon 12-Jun-17 09:19:37

re the high proportion of teenagers smoking, drinking etc... this could be down to the very low % of ethnic minorities.

i have young teens (13,14) and none of these issues [yet].

Teddyking1 Mon 12-Jun-17 21:23:03

All the primary schools in Teddington have good reputations .
Collis is large but all the schools now have an intake of 90 per year except sacred heart which has 30.
Collis despite is size is very kind and nurturing .Great facilities and space .
You need to visit the schools and see for yourself .
The school does not publish leavers destinations . If you want private secondary you will have to tutor . However most of the private prep kids also tutored outside of school also .Do to the competition for places.

Lottothink Mon 12-Jun-17 22:58:45

Thank you Teddyking - they are now doing visits with september intake but they will be able to give us a tour if we contact them by mid september . In the meantime, I am very curious as to how they maintain outstanding rating in that size. also I am looking at SAT results and it seems only 68% of the children are at expected national level and 10% over achievers. If it is an outstanding school isnt 68% a bit low ? I do not know how to interpret these results actually as writing seems to be below average for example and dont know if we should worry about that.

we loved to live in Teddington so we hope we can get the schooling right there .

TW123 Tue 13-Jun-17 08:14:30

last year's SATS papers / results were ridiculous
only 43% of children nationally met expected standard iirc

wait and see if this year's are any better.

a high achiever is nearly ready for GCSE the way these papers/expectations are going

Lottothink Tue 13-Jun-17 08:55:42

Morning . If you arr aiming for Tiffin and/or want to keep your options for private would these results does not mean much then? I heard that private schools have their own exams and if you get extra tutoring for these it seems like it is a different paper anyway. i.e. your child might not do very well on SAT but can still do well lets say for Hampton . is this possible?

TW123 Tue 13-Jun-17 09:36:38


The tests are very different, but to be bright enough for Tiffin/Hampton you would also do very well on the SATS.

But doing well on the SATS doesn't mean you'd definitely get into Tiffin/Hampton if that makes sense.

twick13 Tue 13-Jun-17 09:59:23

Schools like Tiffin only about one in ten who sit it get in but from some schools only one in 10 do the test. The year mu son did it 12 out of 60 took it and 1 got in. Those that passed Hampton and LEH were in top third and those that passed Halliford and St Catherine's middle third. However all the indies have got more competitive since then.
Sadly tutoring is quite the norm both in state and independent preps.
Certainly don't move into the area to get a grammar school place.

FrustratedofTW1 Tue 13-Jun-17 10:21:22

I am not sure what teatime is getting at but it may be the link system which was stopped three or so years ago. Entrance to the state Senior Schools, apart from St Richard Reynolds and the foundation places at Christ's which have faith related criteria, are purely on distance from the school gate (apart from looked after and statemented children and any sibling policy). There are no formal catchments so that distance is purely driven by demand, which is intense for the outstanding comprehensives, Orleans, Waldegrave and Teddington. Turing not yet had an OFSTED but popular too. They do however provide allocation maps from the previous year which are a guide. Demand is increasing but the new school at Egerton Road should alleviate that in the near future. I have never heard of any of the state schools having a grammar test as a basis for the admissions criteria in this borough, perhaps the tests to determine ESL status but this would not be an admissions criteria? The fact that 30% from this borough go private for secondary education (and many move away) is partly the result of the pressure on good state places, it is not just affluence.

The situation with regard to entry to Primary Schools was even more intense in both Twickenham and Teddington, even given the expansion of existing schools which had reached the limit of feasibility. Two new Free Schools have come online and more in the pipeline so hopefully parents are no longer at risk of finding themselves allocated only a school that is inaccessible or without a place allocated until, in one year, Christmas. Part of the problem is the number of primary schools with faith related admissions criteria, so sitting in pews has been a common way to avoid the stress. The schools in Twickenham and Teddington are very successful and the Council has long had a strategy of blaming the problem on parents moving into the area to access the schools and it suited them to deter parents by demand exceeding supply. It therefore requires a bit of strategic planning in terms of what roads you move to be sure of accessing the best schools.

Entry to Tiffin is very competitive, over 2000 applicants and you have to score in the top 3% on measures of verbal and non verbal ability. Tests in English and Maths have now been added. There are endless threads on Tiffin and tutoring including whether you would want your child to go there in the first place given the tutoring culture. For the selective private schools the admissions process is more rounded with examinations designed to measure the pupil's potential, as well as interviews and references. In general the more selective the more they will be looking for intellectual ability (not crammed knowledge). Tutors will tell you that tutoring is essential for entry to both and many anxious parents have been engaged in an arms race starting earlier and earlier with greater intensity but bright children can and do get into these schools without it, though working with your child at home to fill the gaps in the Year 6 curriculum that has not been covered yet and prepare them for examination conditions on top of all the usual stuff you would do to stimulate your child to think and read is probably a minimum. There are more private school options for girls than boys.

I do think this is one of the most stressful parts of London in terms of state school entry and I have friends in South and South East London who are shocked by what parents have been put through. Hopefully as I say the new schools coming on stream on this side of the river will improve things.

Lottothink Tue 13-Jun-17 10:56:21

Hi . If you do not want that stress at year 5 and 6 and you want your child to be able to try selective independent schools or Tiffin - given that they have ability- do you think - if you can afford it - go to one of those prep schools . I like kew ones for example as they are a bit more state like and happy schools ?

I am trying to understand if by choosing state route in primary we are choosing state whatever available for secondary by default ? plus is that mean we would put our child through more stressful times with less chance to get an offer compare to private primary ?

in that case we cannot live in Teddington - which is a nicer place to raise a child in my opinion and maybe. but would it worth it in the long run? state and teddington : we would have more resources for extra clubs and be able to work less to give more time to our child .

very difficult decision.

we are coming from SE near Dulwich. except very difficult to get in private secondary alleyns and dulwich college and couple more not bad ones you dont have good secondary state . plus dulwich ia a pocket but Teddigton and around is a bigger area with many choices .

Teddyking1 Tue 13-Jun-17 22:14:46

I think that by year 3/4 you will have a much clearer picture of your child's ability and hence will know whether or not superselective grammar/selective independent is a viable option .
Now it is about finishing school where you think your child will be happy and thrive .
Collis has huge grounds great for boys to run around in . Could fit another school on the field ! Infants also being completely rebuilt (not started yet).

You will need to tutor regardless of whether your child is in state or private as competition is as fierce here as it is in south London .

Teddington is a fantastic place to bring up a young family .
Best of luck with your search

FrustratedofTW1 Wed 14-Jun-17 14:22:48

Teddy That is rubbish. If your child is at any of the good local private schools you do not need to tutor and if you do you are succumbing to parental angst not the actually requirements of the secondary schools. They will tell you that they want the children who show intellectual ability in the exams, mental dexterity, creativity, lateral thinking, things you cannot tutor for, and the more selective schools are pretty good at framing the questions to identify that. The private school teachers pull their hair out at the stress these children get put through.

FrustratedofTW1 Wed 14-Jun-17 14:24:10

By the way the 7+ entry system is breaking down. Several schools have already gone all through and it is only matter of time before LEH etc follow.

TW123 Wed 14-Jun-17 14:40:11

FrustratedofTW1 do you mean the 11+ system is breaking down?

Lottothink how old are your dcs?

If pre-school or even Reception or yr1 you really cannot choose their (independent or grammar) secondary school at this time. You just have no idea how academic they are going to be.

FWIW if your child is bright, inquisitive etc they can get into the selective secondaries (KGS, LEH, Surbiton, Hampton) from a state school. You only get one shot so most do tutor to cross the t's and get access to practice papers etc. Some schools - KGS, Hampton have a 10+ exam a year early which is a great reality check. Some get in from state schools without tutoring.

If you know you definitely want private secondary and not state then honestly i would just go for a prep school from the start. it's an easier more planned route. The intensive SATS work of yr5 & yr6 in the state primaries is really of little use to the independent school exams.

FrustratedofTW1 Wed 14-Jun-17 14:40:32

By the way I would agree that competition especially for boys is if anything more fierce here than in South East London. The requirements for getting into Dulwich for instance (which I know well) would I say be on a par with the less competitive schools here like Reeds. You would need to be brighter to get into Hampton, and brighter still for the likes of Kings or St Paul's with Kingston Grammar being somewhere between Reeds and Hampton (though some get into Hampton that don't KGS none of it is hard and fast obviously)

FrustratedofTW1 Wed 14-Jun-17 14:44:23

No I mean the Preps that take / took at 7. Jack and Jill to 7 then Newlands at 7 used to be a well trodden route but now both go through. LEH, Kings Wimbledon and Collett Court / St Paul's still select at 7 but many parents do not want to put their children through selection so young (mind some are not beyond tutoring at 3 shock ) so I wonder how long they will go on with that system......

Lottothink Thu 03-Aug-17 09:12:26

Hi all on this thread

You were very helpful. We are thinking to move to Teddington now and still prefer the private route (prep ) to start our child from Kindergarten when he is 3. I started a new thread asking for views on living in Teddington but also I have been trying to get some insight about Newland House School with no luck.

the reports are great about this school and very little out there in terms of parent views. We will see it in the new school year but it would be great to have some views on it from existing/former parents. We want to live near the shops and not far from the station but also a bit close to the school. Therefore, Newland ticks many boxes - it is co-ed and does not come across very religious either.

I hope maybe you have some thoughts on specifically Newland House School.


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