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Moving to Godalming, Surrey - advice re schools

(11 Posts)
orange2014 Wed 02-Aug-17 20:20:17

DH and I have just exchanged on a place in the Godalming area. We're planning to move in spring 2018 and I thought I'd ask a few questions here re schools etc. as am finding it a bit overwhelming! We have a young toddler and a preschooler - who will start Reception in Sept 2018 so the hunt for a local school in the Surrey lottery is on. Qs for you locals...any advice / ideas / opinions much appreciated.

- For infant schools, we've been looking at Bramley CoE, Busbridge Infants, St Mary's CoE, Milford Infants and Wonersh & Shamley Green. I work in education and am well aware that Ofsted can pick on a minor issue to hinder an Outstanding rating - I'm more interested in the school communities and the whole-child education. Any thoughts or opinions on these schools? I can only put 4 schools down.

- Is the order of the 4 schools you apply for in Surrey very important? Or do they just take the 4 and apply for you? I'm just a little worried that we will end up with DS1 in say, Aldro when DS2 is in Bramley - or vice versa with St Mary's in Shackleford and then Longacre! Perhaps I'm overthinking this.

- Prep schools - we really like the look and feel of Aldro and Longacre. Are we too late to register though, given that DS1 is already 3? (We're currently in Central London and registrations closed for 3 prep schools by the time DD1 was 6 weeks old.) Any thoughts on either school? Likelihood of getting in? Waitlist length?

- Finally, for those of you who have moved to Surrey - Godalming area in particular - what were the best events/places you went to, to make friends? I'm so looking forward to this move (grass for the kids to play on!) but I just hope we make friends quickly - all of us, not just the kids!

TIA for any responses and sorry for the long post! smile

t1mum3 Wed 02-Aug-17 21:40:13

Longacre starts from nursery so have you considered placing your children there from the off, rather than in state?

Evalina Thu 03-Aug-17 21:06:27

Welcome! We are very lucky to have great state and private schools in this area, and no need to register much in advance. Decide your prep school then work out which infant schools make sense. Some of them have very tight catchments though so it will really depend on where exactly you are living as to whether you will get a place.

Aldro is lovely and well worth a visit. In DS's year quite a few joined from Puttenham Infants so you might want to take a look at that too depending on where you are..

ChristianGreysAnatomy Fri 04-Aug-17 14:52:37

Hi, welcome!
I think a lot will depend on where your new house is. You won't get into busb ibf unless you live in Busbridge, frankly. But if one dc gets in the other should too as long as the older is still there when you apply.
But although it's nothing like London the traffic can be bad in the peak times so consider your school run carefully.
Def put the school you most want first but be realistic about how likely you are to get in. You can check online how far away the furthest children live for each state schools.

SparkleSoiree Fri 04-Aug-17 22:00:15

Godalming is a very social place for all of the family. In the summer they have music in the park by the river on Sunday afternoons. There is a Town Day every year, a fete, market days on certain weekends, the Christmas lights switch on at the Pepperpot, plenty of local churches that run parent and toddler groups, NCT meets, a number of Rainbow, Brownies, Guide groups and Scout groups. There are plenty of choice of sports teams for children to join and there are plenty of people who provide school holiday events for children, i.e. local artists, the canoeing club and lawn tennis.

There really is so much to do in Godalming from visiting the Arboretum to going off for a day in a narrow boat from the boathouse. When you visit Godalming next check out the notice board in Costas for lots of info on local events, the Godalming Town Council website and the Parish of Godalming website for key events through the year.

I don't know if it's still done but when we moved there in 2005 new residents received a pack through the door within the first couple of weeks with lots of vital information about the local area, which we found really useful. Hopefully you will receive that too.

Good luck with your move!

BizzyFizzy Fri 04-Aug-17 22:16:27

You won't have any trouble getting a place at Aldro.

Bin85 Sun 06-Aug-17 09:22:45

catchment areas are very tight,Busbridge Infants is very popular.message me if you wish

mummytime Sun 06-Aug-17 09:43:44

If you are going to send them to prep school then which Secondaries are you thinking of? Because to be honest if you are in catchment you would be hard pressed to beat Rodborough - I know lots of parents who have gone from Prep schools to Rodborough, but personally as there are some very good State Primaries I personally would probably save my money and just go State all the way through (with spare money for Tutors/Sports).
The order is crucial, but to have best chance you need to be in your house by January when applications are made.

BizzyFizzy Sun 06-Aug-17 15:05:56

Aldro boys mostly go onto boarding schools for senior. The main day school is RGS, but also places like KEWS and Churchers.

Minipimer Sun 17-Sep-17 21:59:08

Hello Orange2014. It's a lovely area and there is loads going on for kids in Godalming, Farnham and Guildford. It'll probably be a bit of a culture shock, but in a good way! FB is probably best (Godalming Parents, Children's Activities in Godalming etc.). The app 'Hoop' includes us too now.

I hope the house purchase goes through smoothly. Two years ago, we moved in July and got our chosen school place in September. It can be done, but it's a bit stressful!

ilovedaffodils Mon 23-Oct-17 19:01:44

Hope it's not too late to add some thoughts...

Wonersh & Shamley Green is very popular and it is the only primary school in that area (other village schools are infant schools that then feed into a large junior school) - you are very unlikely to get a place if you don't live in the village. I know of people who have been on the waiting list as a result for several years and have not got a place.

I have 2 children at Longacre, I don't believe it is too late to register and there shouldn't be a waiting list. We have a new head joining in January so it should be an exciting time for the school. Historically the school has a good track record of academic and pastoral provision, and a good preparation process for senior schools. My two are very happy, settled and are doing well academically.

As other's have said - prepare yourself for the school run, it's very busy around here at peak times!!

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