Found out we must move in two months, considering wimbledon - stressed about making decision! HELP!

(22 Posts)
Mamabear12 Tue 25-Feb-14 07:33:13

We just found we must move in two months! Not ideal, as we are leaving the country next week for four months! So its up to my husband to find a place. However, we are debating on whether to move to wimbledon or not. We have two young kids (2 year old and 4 month old). Our daughter loves her montessori nursery here, great parks, great gym w creche, great drop in center for kids - basically place to take the kids to play with other kids), gamabados near by. Basically, everything you could ever want to help entertain your kids if you are a stay at home mom!

However, we would like more space, heard good this about wimbledon and there is the norwegian school there we would like our daughter to go to for one year (father is norwegian). Plus schools are better in wimbledon.

Please reasure me there are plenty good reasons to move there w two young kids - is it difficult to get into nursery? good drop in centers? gym w creche? a lot of parks? I dont know the area really.

Willemdefoeismine Tue 25-Feb-14 14:52:06

Hi Mamabear12

My DCs are much much older than yours but have grown up in Merton and I can safely say that I don't think we've ever run out of things to do and places to visit.

Not sure about nursery provision although I can say that there's a goodly number of them in Wimbledon and indeed elsewhere in Merton.

School-wise there's very many sought-after state primaries in Wimbledon itself (Holy Trinity, Wimbledon Park, Bishop Gilpin, Merton Park and Dundonald to name some of the most popular) and Singlegate in Colliers Wood has an 'outstanding' Ofsted. The private school provision at pre and prep level) seems to be excellent too, although I have no direct experience.

Merton is a borough full of green open spaces - Wimbledon Common, Morden Hall Park, Morden Park, Cannizaro Park, Mitcham Common, Figges Marsh, South Park Gardens, Wandle Park and many others to numerous to list!

Lots of children-friendly cafes and eateries. Local theatres including the Polka Children's Theatre - loads going on - and very easy to get into London too. And from Wimbledon Town Centre, much of the borough is actually quite accessible on foot if you like walking!

It is close enough to London to still feel as if you are in London but far enough out to have that more chillaxed Surrey vibe :-)

Mamabear12 Tue 25-Feb-14 20:45:59

Thanks for responding :-) That makes me feel better. I just wish I had more time to research and view properties before flying to the States. Not ideal that it will all be left up to my husband while me and the kids are away!

I think we are leaning more towards Wimbledon, as it seems there are better schools and we can get more space. I just hope we can get our daughter into a good school when the time comes.

Willemdefoeismine Wed 26-Feb-14 07:39:32

I would strongly suggest Mamabear12, that wherever you move to in Merton, you really thoroughly do your research on catchment areas for the really sought-after schools, as some of them are tiny - Dundonald being one (if you have a search on Local Talk you will see there's a thread relating to it and the huge uproar there's been about (quite rightly) expanding it). www.merton.gov.uk website in the admissions section for primaries will give you an idea of how over-subscribed some of them are and the 'catchment area' in terms of distance.

It's an exercise in military precision for sure but worth it!

Feel free to ask any more questions and hopefully some other local Mumsnetters will help me answer any further queries you may have!

Good luck!

clara4444 Wed 26-Feb-14 20:57:39

I second everything willem has said - it's a brilliant place if you have young children - mine are 4 and 16 months. Having just said that we are about to move to the country but I will really miss it here. There is so much to do - amazing outdoor spaces but plenty of indoor activities too. I feel v lucky to have things like the Polka theatre on my doorstep and the wonderful South Park Gardens. My four year old is v depressed we are leaving! And after many years in central London before this, I have found it very friendly. And also agree on catchment areas as some of them are very very tight.
if you want to PM me re any specific areas that your husband is looking at then do - if that helps at all. Or if you tell us rough budget we could probably tell you best areas to look? SW19 is pretty diverse property-wise.

TwoSpoonsofSugar Thu 27-Feb-14 09:28:17

Agree with the posters above. Wimbledon is a fantastic place to live if you have kids. There's so much to do as mentioned above. Re gym with creche, Wimbledon Leisure Centre (which also has a spa) on Latimer Road has a creche as well as baby and toddler swim classes in a heated pool.

Also strongly agree with the posters above who advised researching catchment areas first as the best schools are heavily over subscribed and the catchment areas are super tight. Most are also faith schools so you should also research entry requirements beforehand unless you intend to rely on getting an 'open' space.

Good luck with the move. Feel free to PM me if you have any specific queries I can help with!

Mamabear12 Fri 28-Feb-14 08:57:46

Thanks all. Where can I find out the catchment are for schools? In particular st Mary's? Where I live, our church has a parish map...showing exactly where the parish ends. The st winefred church just gives a description, so is not 100% clear. We will def make sure we are near at least one good school. We are looking for a 3 bedroom or 4 bedroom and price range is up to 2,650. I will def post what area we are looking at to confirm they r in the correct catchment area. So frustrating bc I did all this research for fulham and very involved w our church here! Now we have to move and I'm leaving to the US next week for four months! Arghh. I don't even have time to look at nurseries for my two year old. But I guess it doesn't matter until we actually confirm location where we live. Do u know if there is a long wait list for nursery? We are interested to send her to Montessori school until she is 3. She currently goes to Montessori and loves it. I'm a stay at home mom, so not the end of the world if she doesn't get in right away. But obviously I want a place for her ASAP when we return bc she loves going.

Mamabear12 Fri 28-Feb-14 09:00:53

Also, I am interested in sending my danger to in order: st Mary's (we r catholic and know the three year drill - go to mass and volunteer for church readings, handle crèche rota and volunteer at crèche), wimbledon chase and dundonald. Are there any other outstanding schools I should look at? Do the church of England schools have strict requirements like catholic schools?

LocalEditorMerton Fri 28-Feb-14 10:42:00

Hi Mamabear12

The Admissions Team at Merton Council are the ones to contact directly, should you have specific queries (admissions@merton.gov.uk)

This will also help you although of course it applies to this year specifically: http://www.merton.gov.uk/learning/schools/changingschool/admissions/school-applications-and-transfers/4820_merton_primary_admissions_2014_-_final.pdf

Also note that getting a Nursery place in nursery doesn't automatically guarantee a Reception place.

Good luck!

Mamabear12 Fri 28-Feb-14 12:40:35

Thanks a lot local editor!

LocalEditorMerton Fri 28-Feb-14 13:18:21

:-)

VictoryGirl Fri 28-Feb-14 17:58:11

My DD is in St Mary's and loving it. We are thrilled with the school.

The head is wonderful and happy to show you around so worth making contact.

Do post where you are considering. There are children from all over Wimbldon including Wimbledon Park, Merton Park etc

Mamabear12 Fri 28-Feb-14 22:39:45

Our number one choice is st Mary's as we are catholic and I went to catholic school up until I was 18. I'm from the US though, and it seems more strict here. We currently volunteer at our church in fulham area and I hope to do the same when we move to a different church. I just hope we move to the correct area to get into st Mary's and if not there another outstanding school. Will keep you all updated on where we are looking. Thanks so much for you help. I really appreciate it!

VictoryGirl Sat 01-Mar-14 08:39:29

You may well be ok, particularly if you can get a letter from priest in Fulham attesting to your involvement in the parish there. Good luck.

Willemdefoeismine Sat 01-Mar-14 09:50:11

I think for the faith schools the priest/vicar's role is key to getting into a good one whether it's at primary or secondary level.

A friend's DD transferred from a normal primary to St Mary's in Year 5. She had been baptised and had first communion only recently but because they had quite a high profile in the Church she got in without any problems. However for secondary school it wasn't quite so easy as they slipped rather in their church attendance. She was on a waiting list for Ursuline and quite far down (about 50th) until she took an extenuating circumstances plea to the priest and then miraculously got bumped up the waiting list (and got a place before the start of the new academic year)!

clara4444 Sat 01-Mar-14 20:40:15

hi mamabear - we live around the corner from St Mary's although my son goes to pelham (which we have been really happy with - although that's irrelevant if you want a Catholic school.) I think you can easily find something in budget and close to St Mary's. This www.rightmove.co.uk/property-to-rent/property-29234295.html is probably about 150m from St Mary's - very close to town, very close to nurseries (my DS went to Nurture nursery and we were really happy with it). This house is actually a few doors up from my old house and it's such a brilliantly convenient area. I am sure there's also a Montessori nursery on Kingston Rd but don't know what it's called. My friend's little boy just started at Willows nursery and she is really so pleased with it - it sounds amazing. That's more over towards Dundonald though.

clara4444 Sat 01-Mar-14 20:41:48

also when I was first researching schools there was a good document on the Merton council site with all the schools and how close the catchment is and how many children get in - gives you a good idea of how close you need to be. Although maybe with the faith schools the criteria are different anyway. I'll try and find it.

Mamabear12 Sun 02-Mar-14 00:39:04

Many thanks Clara for being so helpful smile I already asked to view that property and will take a look Monday and check out a few others. Will let you know how it goes. We are getting more positive about moving to Wimbledon as we (mainly me lol) do our research.

Cross fingers we find a great place in great location close to schools.

Willemdefoeismine Sun 02-Mar-14 08:52:26

I think the other great thing about Wimbledon is that it's got a 'town vibe' rather than just being another London suburb.

As I previously said, you can just about walk to most other parts of the borough (if you have the walking boots and the energy with little ones!) which makes it feel more town-like too...

And there really is so much going on - if you have time, before you go to the US, try popping into Wimbledon Library when one of the Parent-Baby events is in full-swing! You will be swept away by the local uptake for such events :-)

Sounds as if you've got the ball rolling very quickly - with upcoming viewings etc.....Good for you!

Good luck!

Mamabear12 Sun 02-Mar-14 11:36:20

Willemdefoeismine - thanks for the tip about the baby library event. Will have to check out when we return, as we leave weds and are so busy with packing for four month trip AND now bc we got dropped this bomb of moving last minute, I have to try and pack as much as I can before I leave for a house move and view properties so my husband doesn't have too much to do on his own. Not good timing for us at all! But I think it's for the best, as we probably wouldn't have moved and after looking I see we can get more space, better quality property etc. plus Wimbledon has great schools smile

Btw what were the extenuating circumstances that got ur friends daughter bumped up??

Willemdefoeismine Sun 02-Mar-14 16:05:23

Something to do with family bereavement I believe. I do think, from what I've been told by friends-with-faith, that you do have to massively play up to your parish priest/vicar. Once she'd had the chat with him (after Offers Day), he wrote another letter and she zoomed up the waiting list...

There's not just one baby event in Wimbledon Library, methinks there's one nearly every day! It seems to me that every time I go in there to change the DCs' library books, I can't get anywhere near the children's section for the 50 or so buggies - good for mummies with babies/toddlers though wink

Anyway we can give you more tips once your time in the USA is almost up and you need to start planning for a new life in Wimbledon smile.

In the meantime we're here if you need any more advice/tips etc...

And good luck with your coming week - sounds incredibly hectic and stressful with two little ones...

Senderipity Mon 03-Mar-14 21:47:47

Just thought I'd add a comment to reassure you. The catchment area for st Mary's is much bigger than most of the popular faith schools in the area, because they deliberately don't have a 'siblings first' policy - ie even if your first child is in, subsequent children don't automatically get a place (you still need to meet the mass attendance + distance criteria) plus they are expanding to 2 form entry. The whole south Wimbledon area pretty much guarantees you a place (I have the map with boundaries the head teacher gave me) as long as you have the priest's reference which it sounds like you would get, no problem. It's a lovely school and getting more popular!
Nurture nursery on Pelham rd, very close to St Marys, has places available just now and seems very nice - I know lots of parents who are very happy with it. There's also a nursery directly opposite st marys due to open at Easter called banana moon (I think!).
Good luck with the property search & move.

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