Schools!!!! Heeelllp!!!

(8 Posts)
Sarazinha Wed 12-Feb-14 11:43:41

Dear all,
I am moving from Scotland to Hertfordshire as the company where my husbands works is relocating. I have a 6 and a 4 year old in need of school places.... From what I understand by speaking to the council, in year entries are based on school places being available. As we are looking this weekend for houses to rent in Hitchin and Letchworth, I would appreciate some feedback for Oughton, Purwell, Strathmore (Hitchin), Icknield, Northfields and Stonehill (Letchworth). Besides being restricted by house availability for rent, we are also restricted to places with good train links to London, so that my commuting is not too bad... Feedback will be much appreciated as I suspect that maybe these school have available places because they are not so good. Although for some of them the ofstead report is good (oughton). Stressing out with worry... Help please! Thanks.

olivemegmog Thu 13-Feb-14 07:26:39

Hiya, I recently asked the same question about icknield, stonehill and northfields in letchworth. Its quite a long thread and I had quite a bit of feedback on these schools. Icknield and northfields both have good ofsted reports and I think stonehill is improving. Stonehill has a 30 child intake, northfields 60 and icknield 90. Although in icknield the reception children are in classrooms of 30. It is an area where school places are in demand I think - that's not necessarily a reflection on how good the schools are but generally hertfordshire schools are oversubscribed. The feedback I have had has been good for all 3 schools. I would say from the feedback and my impression when looking around, that northfields would be my choice. It seems like a really nice school..

Sarazinha Thu 13-Feb-14 12:13:18

Thank you so much for your feedback olivemegmog! More relaxed about those schools now. I am flying tonight with DH and my two minions to visit the areas for the first time, try to rent a house and visit the schools that agreed in letting us do a visit.... All very stressful as we are restricted to the areas were houses are available to rent this weekend... We are also finding that most of the schools we contacted are not very helpful or understanding at all. Most of the phone conversations are tense and we end up feeling like invaders that are daring to move into the area.... Not the best experiences so far.. Lets hope that this weekend will be a better experience. Thanks again, really appreciate it!

olivemegmog Thu 13-Feb-14 12:34:16

No problem..sorry I can't help with the schools you mentioned in hitchin. Maybe someone else can help you there. What I have noticed is that whilst ofsted reports are helpful, when you visit a school I think you know pretty quickly which one will suit your children. I think hitchin and letchworth are both friendly areas....I hope your experiences improve and it works out for you.

hertofdarkness Thu 13-Feb-14 19:54:00

The schools you mention in Hitchin are all OK. They aren't the most popular hence they have spaces. Oughtonhead has a great site and significant investment. Strathmore is infants only and has spacious grounds. Purwell is on the Letchworth side of Hitchin. I think they all have things to recommend them but I have heard nice things about Purwell recently.

Purwell is on the other side of Hitchin to the other schools you mention so if you like it I would try to live on that side of town.

Azzurro Thu 20-Feb-14 09:42:55

olivemegmog would you mind to share when you posted this thread you just mentioned? I am interested in the same schools and would really appreciate reading all the comments. Thanks

Rainbow44 Thu 20-Feb-14 14:20:48

Hi azurro...have had problems with my email and have now had to change my name to rainbow44 from olivemegmog. ( long story ) if you go on local talk and scroll down, it comes up with the title ' infant / junior schools letchworth'. I have had some comments about schools in letchworth on the north side. It has really helped me when making decisions about schools this side of letchworth. Essentially all the comments about these schools are quite good really. I have had a little look around all of them but mainly nursery and reception. Have a look through the thread and some mums did come back with comments who have children at these schools...I have found them really useful but I would also advise visiting any school you are interested in.

HibernatingWhenICan Thu 06-Mar-14 18:28:42

Hi there,
sorry can't help with your main question as I'm at the other end of Herts, just a couple of points to reassure you (hopefully!)

First, so far as I'm aware schools deal with in-year applications themselves (i.e. not via council). So even if on paper they don't have places they might consider you.

Second, we ourselves have just moved DS from a private nursery to a school nursery. It's a Catholic school, not as popular as the town's other Catholic school but well subscribed none the less. AND the intake's only 30 so I wouldn't imagine they have many places! Anyway. In nursery, 3 other kids have joined since January. One of those has 2 older brothers and they've all moved! So even if none of the other new nursery kids have older siblings, that's still 6 places taken that I know of.

Also, generally, nurseries aren't as well subscribed as the main school due to parents' work commitments, so while you may have to fight to place your 6-y.o., your younger one shouldn't be a problem.

Agree with olive, Ofsted reports are often no help at all. Our school's rated good, the other catholic is outstanding, yet our school would beat them hands down. Our nearest (non-cath) school's outstanding but it's a cesspit!

So go for it, the most you'll lose is a few applications turned down.

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