La Fontaine Bromley or Harris Shortlands or others?

(30 Posts)
MotherofPirates Tue 13-Sep-16 15:27:36

Also posted on primary education but no response so hoping some locals might help me out! About to start visiting and applying for school for Rec 2017 and wondered if anyone had any direct experience of these two especially (as I think we might be in catchment) and they are both fairly new. Also any others that might be worth looking at - Valley is our nearest but the catchment is VERY small so needing to cast the net wider! Thanks!

Snapandcrackle Tue 13-Sep-16 17:49:14

Highfield? It's a lovely school

MotherofPirates Tue 13-Sep-16 18:06:00

Thanks, I think we might be out of catchment (was 0.4m last year!) but maybe I should take a look.

Snapandcrackle Tue 13-Sep-16 18:15:34

I think it was more than .5 for our intake. The other two don't really have much outdoor space.

Is la Fontaine taking over the old hpas site?

MotherofPirates Tue 13-Sep-16 18:22:23

It's moving to the Widmore Centre on Nightingale Lane? Don't know anything about the site - we've only recently moved to the area.

NightingaleMum Tue 13-Sep-16 18:52:54

The Widmore Centre, is right next door to Bickley Primary School, literally next door and St George's Primary School is a stone's throw away (2 mins walk). So the drop off / pick up each day will be busy to say the least.

MotherofPirates Tue 13-Sep-16 19:04:00

Oh pants, that doe not sound good! Thanks for that Nightingale

allyfe Tue 13-Sep-16 20:29:49

My children are at La Fontaine and we love it. We moved from a popular school that wasn't working for my oldest, and I think LFA is much better. 100% of the Y1's passed the phonics test. The year before the school had the highest pass rate in Bromley (below 100% but don't remember what). My children are really happy and the headteacher is fantastic. As you can tell, we are very happy with it. Feel free to PM me.

nancy75 Tue 13-Sep-16 21:12:15

My daughter has just left highfield, despite the ofsted I would not recommend it, the school is only interested in league tables and does not deal very well with problems. I know children that changed school due to serioys bullying that was not addressed by the school at all (think you are out of range of you are near valley anyway). I. The other direction I have friends with children at Parish on London lane, they speak very highly of the school.

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 13-Sep-16 21:25:41

A friend of mine has a child at Harris. They are very happy with it despite being very unsure when allocated it rwo uears ago. I rhink it has or is just about to move into its proper buildings, so it wont be at the old DSS buildings any.more.

NightingaleMum Wed 14-Sep-16 06:57:41

Harris Shortlands new site is a purpose built, new school. The actual site is small and although the building has made the best use of the site, there is limited outdoor space.

The road the school is in is very popular with commuters travelling from Shortlands as it is free parking. So if you can't walk, you might have to park some distance away for drop offs /pick up.

MotherofPirates Wed 14-Sep-16 09:00:59

Thanks very much everyone, most helpful. I would be able to walk to Harris so that's not a problem but would need to drive to La Fontaine. Allyfe thanks for the offer will pm you in a bit.

Patry Mon 03-Oct-16 20:17:01

I don't know when will LFA start measuring distance from the Widmore Centre but if they do would it be near enough?
Have you thought of Scott's Park too?

MotherofPirates Tue 04-Oct-16 15:35:59

Hmmm it's just impossible to tell with LFA. Scott's Park catchment seems to have shrunk dramatically last year whereas St Mark's (know nothing about) seems to have turned into most of Bromley and Beckenham?! I think I am looking at Valley, Harris Shortlands and LFA judging by the latest data...

mummie11 Mon 07-Nov-16 12:38:48


I am looking into Primary Schools and would like to ask for feedback regarding Harris academy..any really.. Are they demanding? Do they have what it takes to turn a school that requires improvement into an outstanding school?

Thank you!

Addictedtoflapjacks Tue 08-Nov-16 14:22:45

I have a daughter at LFA and I am very pleased with the school. As pointed out good schools with the phonics and they really stretch the children both academically and social.

From what I know the catchment based on the site it is now is just over 1 mile I believe give and take.

The new site will be on the same road of 2 other primary schools but I think it shouldn't be too much problem as at present we are in another schools temp building and that seems to work. Also school starts at 8:25 so before most primary schools starts and finishes at 3:30. It is definitely worth a look. LFA is an oversubscribed school even after only been open a few years. I know a few parents that never got a place.

I have friends who have kids at both Harris shortlands and beckenham which they are both happy with it.

I liked Harris shortlands and definitely would have been an option for me had we not be offered LFA.

Blessingcounters Sun 13-Nov-16 22:09:56

I am also looking at schools for reception next year. With St. George of Bickley, Bickley Primary and La Fontaine Academy being so close to each other, how do they compare? Anyone heard anything undesirable about any one of the three? Thanks.

Patry Thu 17-Nov-16 07:01:11

Is it a given tha La Fontaine will be at the Widmore Centre though? Because I understand they need to apply for planning permission which should involve analysing the risks caused by increased traffic in the area - not only the three schools but also a possible new secondary not far at all.
I don't know if the site is really secure TBH.

allyfe Thu 17-Nov-16 09:22:55

For all other prospective LFA sites traffic analysis was done before approval by Bromley. Also because the widmore centre was already an educational establishment there is no change of use which I believe makes planning more straightforward.

MotherofPirates Thu 17-Nov-16 09:41:41

I went to the LFA open day last week and I have to say I would be amazed if the school is ready by September. They are still at the selecting architects phase and have yet to decide whether they are keeping any of the old building or starting from scratch. Having been at a school where a fairly normal extension ran nearly a year over it just seems mad to think it could be ready in less than 10 months. For me this has ruled it out. Also, although I thought the Head was fantastic and a very inspirational person the approach was not for me (very academic reception, no phased entry, school sleepovers from year1) as I have a late Summer born and would like her to have a more play orientated YR.

Patry Thu 17-Nov-16 10:14:35

Allyfe I agree it was already an educational site. It was busier in the evenings though so traffic issues had nothing to do with the new proposal. So first I thought, like you, it should be fairly straight forward. However, knowing that the local residents aren't precisely in favour of the school, I would imagine there will be a lot of resistance- especially because of safety issues for children.
My gut feeling is the school will eventually open there but it will not be next year, neither the year after and it will need to make adjustments.

Addictedtoflapjacks Thu 17-Nov-16 20:51:28

From my opinion they have to move by next Sept as from my understanding there is no more spare rooms in its temporary building to accommodate another reception cohort.

MotherofPirates Thu 17-Nov-16 21:06:25

The Headmaster said they would stay at the main site (no idea where the classroom would be in the building) with the new reception group until the new site is ready so I guess he must have a contingency plan for this as, even in his extreme optimism, he admitted it might be a few weeks late in opening at the new site.

NightingaleMum Fri 18-Nov-16 06:53:20

I would also be amazed if LFA was in the Widmore site for September 2017. There is so much work to be done to make the building fit for purpose. I hope it is ready, it really sounds as if LFA needs the extra space.

BromleyMama Mon 28-Nov-16 10:59:27

LFA has a longer school day so traffic shouldn't be as much of an issue as parents will be dropping off and picking up at different times.
Having visited quite a few schools recently they are all so overcrowded that a new school is obviously desperately needed. I don't understand the opposition, especially from Bickley Primary.

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