Primary Schools in Cheltenham?(5 Posts)
I know this topic must get so old for some, but I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. We are moving to Cheltenham about 2 months. Looking for primary schools that feed into good secondaries. (Currently thinking Bournside or Balcarras.) I'm trying not to be too picky, but looking at my specific children's needs. Seems like the schools that would really fit them best (based on my research) are oversubscribed AND there is little to no housing available in their vicinities. Posting to see if there might be a school I'm missing. My favorites are: Leckhampton CoE, Naunton Park, Charlton Kings Infant/Junior. My big hang-up is that while some other schools seem like solid choices (i.e., Lakeside, Warden Hill) their weakest parts are exactly what my oldest son needs to be strong (i.e., math). He is a crazy math wiz, so I just can't put him somewhere that does not have a strong math program. Someone please tell me that there is some miracle school I'm missing!! (For the record, my boys are 7 and 9). We are heading over in early June to find a house and are really hoping to coordinate its location with a great school choice.
The first thing I would say is that primary schools here don't really 'feed into' secondaries. They simply have similar catchment areas so tend to end up with a big overlap of children. Going to a particular primary doesn't give you priority for secondaries here - except for a few faith schools. There is also the option of sitting the 11+ and going to one of the grammar schools (free state schools, but selective). Pates and then there are some in Gloucester.
Also, primary schools here don't tend to have 'maths programmes' as such. Some may have stronger and weaker SATs results in a given area, but it's not really much of an indication of the teaching - you could have a school where a teacher loves maths and really pushes it and your son gets that teacher. I would look at OFSTED reports and see which talk postively about stretching able pupils.
Leckhampton, Nauton Park and Charlton Kings are the well known good schools in Cheltenham. That said, I'm not sure that there is as much difference as people sometimes make out. You have to live right on top of all those schools to get in, and they are pricey areas. Warden Hill, Greatfield Park, Lakeside (which after a tough few years is on the up), Benhall/St Marks and St James' are all my side of town and I would be happy to send my child to any of them.
Also, bear in mind that as you will be doing 'in year admissions' (i.e not starting at the start of the first year) you may not necessarily get a place at your most local school, even if you live on the doorstep. It's a question of where has a place free when you move.
If you have general questions, this board is a bit slow. The primary schools, education board is much faster moving. You might even get more traffic on Cheltenham-specific schools questions there.
Hope that helps a bit.
You might want to think about schools outside Cheltenham - in the villages - there are likely to be some good village schools and there are some excellent secondaries in the rural areas.
Birthskills, please could you name a couple of the villages you mention?
I don't know how good these schools are or which secondary's catchment area they are in but there are primaries in Andoversford, Winchcombe, Toddington. The Glos County Council website should give you a complete list.
Further afield I can recommend St James' & Ebrington Primary (ours went to Ebrington).
Hope this helps.
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