Saffron Walden County high and Newport Grammar catchment areas?

(6 Posts)
stump Mon 25-Jul-11 07:36:05

Am currently contemplating a house move and our eldest is about to start primary school so am thinking way ahead of myself. Does anyone know the catchment areas for these two schools? At the moment we are definitely in Newport catchment but not sure about county high. Is county high much better then newport and does anyone have any views on either school not just in terms of academic reputation but the overall view of the school?

stump Wed 27-Jul-11 10:12:53


KatieSaffronWalden Wed 27-Jul-11 17:31:54

Hi there - I am incredibly biased being a teacher at County High but it genuinely is a better school (the results are better as is the ofsted report). I think parents and the kids would be in agreement. We get a lot of Newport students coming to our 6th Form saying that it is much much better. There are loads of opportunities for the kids, theres a farm, amazing sporting facilities and its really innovative in terms of teaching. However on the downside it is a massive school, the teachers do know the students they teach but its simply too big to know all the kids. Saying that it has a nice atmosphere, the kids seem to get on and as its so big there are far fewer cliques etc... I absolutely love working there and think the kids are just fantastic, they are bright, engaged and seemingly love being in school...!

Re catchment, I do teach lots of students who live outside catchment (Hatfield Heath, Dunmow, Clavering) and their parents got them in, I don't know how but there are quite a few. County High has changed to an academy this year so they might change the catchment area or expand the school. I don't know but it may change in the coming years. Also Newport may improve, it used to be an amazing school...

Apologies for the essay....but I hope that helps

stump Wed 27-Jul-11 18:24:21

Hi Thanks so much for your reply. Its great to hear your views. Its a tricky situation as I actually really want to stay in the location we are in now so in theory we wouldn't be in catchment for county high although as you say you do have some students from Clavering etc... Our eldest is still very little (starting primary in september) so I would feel a bit naive making the decision now in a way. My own experience where I went to a great comprehensive (the best in our area when I was a kid) then the year after I left the head retired and it all went downhill, suggests that it would be a bit silly to make the decision now - a lot can change in 7 years!!Equally both DH and I feel very strongly that secondary education is so important and we would really want both our children to go to the best school they can. I particularly am keen that is in the state system whereas he would be more willing I think to consider private finances permitting.
The size of county high is a negative for me bbut as you say it does have its positives too....anyway am thinking aloud now.
Thanks again for your views.....any others out there?

breatheslowly Wed 27-Jul-11 23:09:06

It really depends on what you are after. I find County High a bit big. The 6th form is great and the size really adds to what can be offered. But up to GCSE I just think it is too big (think 300ish per year) and would be concerned that my child would get lost (not physically). I always liked the sound of Newport and would very happily send my DD there when the time comes. I would be a bit more cautious about County High, but think about moving there for 6th form. If you are considering private then bear in mind that getting to one in Cambridge/Stortford can be a pain from the SW area and I wouldn't consider Friends at all.

MandJane Sun 28-Aug-11 09:07:35

I live out of catchment for Newport but my dd got in for this September as well as a few others from our village. My neighbours daughter has been going to Newport for 2 years and they sing its praises. I actually chose Newport over County High because CH is such a big school, I didn't want my dd going to such a large school. I wanted a school with smaller class sizes where teachers can get to know the pupils. As I say my dd starts this September but I have been very pleased with my interactions with them so far.

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