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Primary school applications approaching

(12 Posts)
NewbyCambs Sun 01-Oct-17 19:28:23

Hello, so the time for primary school applications is approaching and I was hoping to get some insight into our three school choices for next year, we're looking at St Albans, Morley and Queen Emma (and will go to the open days for all). However we are pretty new to the area and don't know a huge amount about any of the schools so it would be really useful to hear from people who already know/have children at the school and could share their thoughts? Or if you want to use this thread as a general 'primary school 2018 chat, where we can share insight on any of the Cambridge primary schools or the application process etc, i'm sure that would be helpful too

grumpysquash3 Mon 02-Oct-17 07:40:39

Those schools aren't all that near each other. Where do you live?

NewbyCambs Mon 02-Oct-17 08:41:23

We live off Hills Road so our 'catchment' school is Morley, and therefore Queen Emma as there catchment is determined by children who live within the catchment for Morley and Ridgefield and we are Catholics so St Albans would be another option

glorious Mon 02-Oct-17 10:59:23

I think you might be me last year! I will PM you.

mastertomsmum Mon 02-Oct-17 13:35:53

Heard good things about all 3 schools. Ridgefield also on the up, I believe.

One thing I did hear about St Albans was that the afterschool club was (this time last year) fully subscribed. I wonder if they have now sorted this out as - regardless of whether run by an outside company or not - supply should meet demand. Especially since there will be children coming into Cambridge from a fair distance to attend the school.

Morley and St Albans both lack large outdoor spaces. I'm not sure I would regard this as a problem as my son's primary did not have any playing fields and was just fine. They will probably use a local park. I understand that the Council charges schools for 'hire' of local parks. Very mean that.

Queen Emma is quite new and we know some of the first cohort who have just left.

The follow on school is St Bedes. The catchment secondary for Morely is Coleridge and for Queen Emma it's Netherhall.

CanadianCanoe Mon 02-Oct-17 14:17:03

mastertomsmum Queen Emma is quite new, but the first cohort have not yet left confused?!! Also your statement about secondary schools is not quite right, since catchments are based on home address rather than which primary school you are at. Going to Queen Emma doesn't necessarily mean you'd go to Netherhall (for example). A church-going Catholic could apply to St Bede's from any primary school.

Have heard great things about Queen Emma. Don't really know anyone at Morley or St Albans. St Albans could potentially be a bit of a pain to get to? If you are Hills Road way then Queen Emma is not terribly close either, but potentially easier to travel to/from?

NewbyCambs Mon 02-Oct-17 14:37:39

Yes, Queen Emma would probably be the most tricky to get to, I work in Cambridge and go via St Albans so that would be fine!

mastertomsmum Thu 05-Oct-17 14:27:24


You are right about Queen Emma - I was mixing up my Queens and my neighbours kids. It's the Queen Edith's ones we know.

When I said that the follow on school for St Alban's is St Bede's that is correct. St Alban's doesn't have a catchment but as a Catholic school behind the main Catholic church in Cambridge, St Bede's is the main school that acts as a follow on.

As St Bede's doesn't have a catchment but is a joint Catholic and C of E foundation/refoundation (ie wasn't always also C of E), any regular churchgoer for both these denominations has a good chance of getting a place.

My son has just started at St Bede's. There are more children from St Alban's than any other single source. They will have had to get their priest to declare that they attend mass 'weekly' to get a place this year. Same for us (CofE). This is the first year when proximity to the school was a lesser criteria. Also, several friends who are Anglican but not C of E didn't get an offer and several 'occasional' attenders of Catholic mass didn't either.

The catchment secondary for Morely is Coleridge and for Queen Emma it's Netherhall. If ones catchment school isn't Netherhall but one attends Queen Emma then it's a less automatic route, goes without saying. I should say that this year Netherhall was undersubscribed and almost as many children from our primary (St Philip's) when to Netherhall as went to Coleridge (our catchment school)

JumpJockey Sun 08-Oct-17 16:57:57

I have two children at St Alban's and they're very happy there. It's a bugger to get to by car so would def recommend cycling from Hills Road if not close enough to walk. The after school club just had a big influx of reception children last year which may have taken up a lot of spaces. They also do half sessions til 4.30 as well as full sessions to 6pm, in case that's useful to you. Happy to try answering any questions about it!

Outside spaces afe two biggish playgrounds and a small foresty bit with trees and den building etc - manages to feel much less as if you're in the middle of the city. For sports they sometimes use Parkers Piece and sometimes the Leys fields, otherwise it's in the playgrounds.

BluebellGal Sun 08-Oct-17 22:14:05

All 3 are good schools. I’m sure you’d be happy with any of them. You need to look around and get a feel for them. Also consider convenience - which is really important day to day - and how important the Catholic aspect is.

Morley has always been a school that sort of encourages creativity and free thinking. Queen Emma which shares a SLT with Queen Edith is much more traditional- emphasis on good behaviour and discipline - and the core academic subjects (eg maths). St Albans has a larger catchment, it’s a lovely school and has the catholic ethos and ties to OLEM

Queen Emma is very new and so has the best facilities. Morley and St Albans both in old buildings with little outdoor space as has been said.

If I were you living where you do, I would opt for Morley but only because I’m not wanting a catholic school.

Good luck with your decision.

BluebellGal Sun 08-Oct-17 22:15:13

Btw these are just my impressions of knowing families that have been to all three schools over the years - I only know Queen Edith in depth

BluebellGal Sun 08-Oct-17 22:19:12

Personally I’m deciding between Queen Emma, Spinney and Ridgefield.

Spinney as I understand has a lovely community field and Ridgefield has excellent teaching and adds a lot of value to pupils (their intake is the most disadvantaged)

Difficult decision. I plan to base it on a ‘feeling’ when I have visited all 3 schools

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