Hello! We are set to do a sabbatical for the 2018-2019 school year, with partner working at the Cavendish lab. Any recommendations for areas within pedestrian distance of Cavendish, in terms of quality primary schools (kids going into years 1 and 4). We have looked at Mayfield, Newnham Croft, and Arbury so far. Will likely have to fly over to see the lay of the land, but any insights are appreciated! As we are likely having to apply after the deadline, we will be in contact with schools and the city for openings - any anecdotal experience for families in our boat? Every year and school is different, but good to hear how it's gone for others. Excited to join you, and thanks!
For the years you are applying to there is no application deadline - but you cannot apply until you are a resident, or at least have a rental contract. I think you will be considered an in year applicant even if you are starting at the beginning of the school year.
Remember Cambridge is very bike friendly and cycling allows you to extend your search area - partner could cycle into work, leaving a shorter cycle or walk for you to take the children to school.
I can’t recommend schools but I think at this stage I would contact schools and see which ones currently have space in the years that you are aiming for. If all the target schools are currently full you will be hoping that pupils leave in the correct year group, which may not happen. The problem will be your youngest child as they will fall into a class that has a cap of 30. If a school is currently undersubscribed then you would hope it will still have spaces when you arrive. Of course it might be a less desirable school or location.
Aubrey school is great and has a fantastic head. We nearly sent our DC there even though we're not in catchment. In the end we decided to stick with a shorter journey to our local school, but I know more than one family who have gone for Arbury over closer options. Arbury as a neighbourhood is a genuinely very diverse area, there are people from all walks of life including academics from all over the world. Things have changed a lot even in the last ten years, let alone 20. Cambridge has become so expensive that it's inevitable -- many people had to make a choice between shipping out to a village or living somewhere which used to be considered the less glamorous side of town with the benefit of being able to cycle to work and the city centre.
Thank you! We received a very nice response from Mayfield school, and it mirrors what you suggest. Will apply through the city in May, which gives us some breathing room from the Jan 15 deadline. I took a look at the 'openings' doc, which lifts the veil! Good information.
We are very excited to join you in Cambridge, but of course there is some trepidation. Your responses and that from the school tell me this will be a good move and lifetime experience. Drop me a line if you ladies ever travel through Minneapolis or Winnipeg, hope I can pay your help forward with some good tips.
The great thing about Cambridge is that there will be lots of people in your situation and the schools are used to it - it’s also a really nice place with young children - don’t rule out Chesterton and schools there - Milton rd very well thought but there are others -
Yes, you won't be the only one! This year there are two children of visiting scholars in my DC's class, so although the school is oversubscribed, at least two places will come up next year, as both are here just for a year.
I wouldn’t worry too much about schools - my feeling is that all of them are pretty good and all will have quite a bit of turnover hence getting a place is pretty likely - I think the key will be finding somewhere to live which and then apply to the nearest schools!
Have you considered Huntingdon Road area? Or the new Eddington area - where you can rent at subsidised rates if you are working in the Uni, and can use the Cambridge University Primary School. It will be very easy to cycle through Storeys way then Astronomy to Cavendish Lab. The university operates a nursery in the West area just 1 minute walk from Cavendish.