primary schools in mill road area

(53 Posts)
goldpony Sun 25-Apr-10 08:52:15

We'll be applying for primary schools next year and would be really pleased to hear of any personal experiences with the schools around Mill Rd.

goldpony Sun 25-Apr-10 19:32:53

Sorry should add, we're new to the city and still trying to decide where to rent. Mill Rd seems like a place with lots going on for children and parents too! It also seems a bit more affordable, so I'm hoping you think the schools are great too... Any insights welcome.

coolma Sun 25-Apr-10 20:57:38

St Matthews ( norfolk street) St philips (vinery Road) Ridgefield (Radegund Road) - I wouldn't send mine to any of those personally, but out of the three I guess St Matthews would be considered the 'best'.

*disclaimer - just my feelings about my children, please don't slate me!!

MamaChris Sun 25-Apr-10 21:00:06

So coolma, out of interest, where in the city would you recommend?

Octavia09 Mon 26-Apr-10 16:46:28

You should check the OFSTED reports for the school performance. As for the Radegund I would not say it is a good one.

SummerLightning Mon 26-Apr-10 16:57:12

Hi, no personal experience as my son is too young for school yet, but from what I have heard both St Philips and Ridgefield are not particularly good (ofsted reports back this up too). However, I have not spoken first hand to anyone with a child at these schools so this probably isn't particularly helpful!

I can confirm Mill Road area is a good place to live though, there is lots to do, lots of other parents around and easy to get into town.

Re good schools in town, I have heard Milton Road & Newnham are particularly good. But I think prices will reflect this, they are expensive areas!!

Octavia09 Mon 26-Apr-10 17:26:56

The Spinney, Newnham Croft, St. Pauls are considered as very good primary schools in Cambridge.

coolma Mon 26-Apr-10 17:37:46

Morley is where my son goes, and I am very happy with that - am very angry at the moment as myd has not ot a place there but somehwre esle AWFUl (don't want to say where) Really pissed off! St Pauls was good when my eldest dd (now 20) went, Park Street v popular!

coolma Mon 26-Apr-10 17:38:51

so angry my spelling went right out of the window I see!

cbmum Mon 26-Apr-10 22:26:59

Park Street, Newnham, Milton Road and St Pauls I'd say were the best but the catchment and intake for Park Street is tiny. St Matthews is ok. I'd personally avoid Ridgefield as not heard good things.

Octavia09 Mon 26-Apr-10 22:50:53

I have used this link before to see the rating of the school.

J ust type "cambridge" and search. There will be a list of very good primary schools in Cambridge one of which is the Milton Road. It is also good to read OFSTED reports. I hope they are not corrupt.

Atzan Mon 26-Apr-10 23:09:07

You might find my map useful. The schools are listed on the left in descending order according to their SAT scores averaged over the last four years. I've also included links to league table results and OFSTED reports. The catchment areas are accurate down to individual street level.

coolma Tue 27-Apr-10 08:58:45

Oh God that map and the league tables has just made me feel quite ill. I'm off to the home school board!

umf Tue 27-Apr-10 11:38:02

Have heard bad recent (but secondhand) things about Ridgefield, despite rumours of improvement.

My understanding is that until recently Mill Rd pushy middle class parents were able to get their children into state schools further away, but that the birthrate has increased so much that this is no longer possible.

We moved to the Spinney catchment area for this reason. Went to look round it and were absolutely horrified by the pressure put on the children for SATs. Only an impression from a visit, but looked way OTT.

I'd like a school which has good behaviour and a nice environment, but I'm not bothered about league table results. Seems like they go hand in hand, though.

Vallhala Tue 27-Apr-10 20:55:28

Park Street is fantastic. Small, great pastoral care, pro-active parents, very welcoming staff and families, excellent academic results. It's C/E but not terribly pushy, though it takes it's faith seriously, largely middle class without being exclusive, with a mix of nationalities thanks to it's city centre position and the fact that it has children from military and visiting academic family backgrounds. The head is very 'old school', the discipline gentle but highly effective and the children AND families well cared for and respected.

It also has the benefit of sometimes having mid-year spaces which if you're lucky you might obtain as an out of catchment family, owing to families moving on when they have finished their academic or military placements in the city.

Other than that, St Pauls, a larger C/E with good results. St Matthews is AFAIK considered good on results but has a few difficult children which some parents find offputting.

smeeglemum Tue 27-Apr-10 21:51:03

Atzan - can you tell me where you got your map from - is there one for further south (some of the villages south of Cambridge?)

Will be looking at schools next year for my dd and would be really useful!

goldpony Wed 28-Apr-10 20:05:56

Thanks everyone. So much to take on board. Atzan, your map is completely addictive! Really really useful, thanks. I'm quite gutted to hear of such unfavourable experiences with the mill road schools, as it seems like the best place for us in other ways.

Umf, i wonder if the fact middle class families in mill rd area are now having to use the local schools is having any effect on those schools? I guess this would be hard to gauge until a few years have passed.

Park st sounds lovely... tiny though, which suggests tricky to get a place. But VERY interesting to hear about mid year shifts.

If anyone has excellent advice regarding affordable, sociable places to live in Cambridge that are in the catchment area for good primary schools please feel free to let me know ;)

overmydeadbody Wed 28-Apr-10 20:12:55

goldpony Cambridge is a very small place, don't limit yourself to living in the 'mill road' area alone, as most of the city centre has a similar vibe and mill road is still close enough to most other city centre places that you could benefit from everything it has to offer without sacrificing your children to schools like St. Matthews or ridgefield.

Vallhala do you have DC at park street? When you say the head is very 'old school' what do you mean? I hear they got a new head last year, has she changed the school?

coolma Wed 28-Apr-10 20:45:06

We live a bit further out from Mill road, not too far from Addenbrookes and I find it a really good spot. Not far from town, but far enough out to have a bit more 'space'. I wouldn't say it's a super cheap area, but what our 3 bed house with massive gardens is worth, would get you a two bed on the street house off mill road! Sadly our catchment school is Ridgefield, but we got ds into Morley 5 years ago through the waiting list and are praying that dd will be accepted there - she's no. 2 on the list so should do! We were offered somewhere else (not Ridgefield) which is absolutley NOT going to happen!

Vallhala Wed 28-Apr-10 21:35:26

Ah, sorry overmydeadbody and goldpony. My DC did attend Park Street, but are teenagers now. They were under the old head, the formidable but fantastic Miss Betts. I'm afraid I have no idea who the current head is and wasn't aware that Miss Betts had left. All I can say is that I'll eat my hat if the Governors and parents have allowed Park Street to change much as a result!

umf Thu 29-Apr-10 10:58:39

goldpony you'd think it would affect the Mill Road schools, wouldn't you? I've had that discussion with friends in the area lately.

We couldn't afford to buy in the centre but I reckon if I were renting I would look there. If you have a university connection then the uni has quite a bit of central accomodation.

We live near Cherry Hinton Hall park (probably quite near Coolma [waves], but Spinney rather than Ridgefield catchment). It's nice here.

coolma Thu 29-Apr-10 15:11:49

It is nive isn't it? jolly nice!

coolma Thu 29-Apr-10 19:58:24

We're not far from cherry hinton hall either - feels like being in the middle of the country at times.

marmee Thu 29-Apr-10 20:33:40

goldpony - I've got two DCs at St Matthews (one of the Mill Rad-ish schoold mentioned above)and we're really happy with it. Lots of good teaching so far, close pastoral care, energetic vibe, nice kids. Can't speak to Ridgefield but, despite reputation, friends of mine at St Philips this year are feeling positive about it too. And both Philips and Matthews are community schools with a strong feeling of connection to Mill Rd/Romsey/Petersfield area. So if they're conisdered below par by Cambridge standards, then that should at least show that most primaries here are doing OK.

goldpony Fri 30-Apr-10 15:27:37

Thanks marmee, great to hear a first hand experience and a postive one too.

Will check out cherry hinton hall park area. Totally take your point OverMyDeadBody that Cambridge is a smallish and walkable place, good to remember that!

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