Colliers Wood & Singlegate

(11 Posts)
alexisj Thu 17-Dec-15 12:18:09

Hi all,

Looking to move to southwest to be closer to family and for my DS to start school in 4 years' time, so your help and advice is greatly appreciated!

Been looking around, and a 3+ bedroom house with good non-religious primaries and transport links that fits our budget is, well, really not that many. Can't afford the million pound houses near Wimbledon Chase, Dundonald, or Merton Park, and there are some Ofsted good schools with top exam results such as Hollymount or Burlington that I'm not too sure whether to go for or not...

Then Singlegate at Colliers Wood came to attention. The downside is that there seems to be very mixed views not only about the local area being tiring and unsafe (remember driving past Tooting high street once and it does make you wonder.. on the other hand you do hear about Colliers Wood being up and coming?), and the new head that turned the school around being an aparatchik and only knew her way around the system etc.

I'd really love to get some most recent feedback from local mums on Colliers Wood and Singlegate primary school if possible at all... What are the local residents like these days, and how is the school in other aspects such as sports, music, inclusiveness and destinations, and are your children enjoying it?


LocalEditorMerton Thu 17-Dec-15 12:58:57

Hi alexisj

Thank you for posting this query. I have asked the question on our FB page too, and hope that you will soon either get direct feedback on this talk thread, and/or that there will be FB comments by our local Mumsnetters that can be copied and pasted on here.



LupitaWoods Thu 17-Dec-15 18:50:25

I have lived in colliers Wood, having moved here from Wimbledon, for 17 years. All i can say is I Love it. The sense of community is great, and everyone is very friendly. It is going through a lot of changes with the tower finally being developed, and the library also being upgraded. All these things mean it will be a lot more vibrant place to live. I know most of my neighbours and we do socialise a lot with each other,something that never happened when I lived in Wimbledon. As far as Singlegate is concerned, my children don't go there, but I have heard it is a very good school. Garfield is also good and only 10 minutes walk away. Hopefully someone else will be able to give you feedback on Singlegate, but as far as living here, it is really great

kathshannon2004 Thu 17-Dec-15 23:10:46

Hello we have all had concerns when our kids have been young. Where ever you choose to go will suit your personal desires and aspirations.

Colliers Wood is an incredible place to live and the Singlegate does us proud as a family. Mrs Bull is excellent and works hard to make a positive impact on our children's lives. Calling her names is not cool. Live where heart makes you happy. Colliers wood makes many people happy. X

LocalEditorMerton Fri 18-Dec-15 07:55:06

(from FB quoting local resident): "Colliers wood is a lovely community and has a village feel. There is the Making Colliers Wood Happy organisation that encourages community cohesion. The tower is being redeveloped and the old library has been knocked down to make way for a 3 storey state of the art new one. There are well kept parks and good transport links and amenities. There is Single gate school, Garfield, Merton Abbey, Sellingcourt. Colliers Wood is definitely up & coming as is Tooting now."

alexisj Sat 19-Dec-15 10:40:48

thanks a lot for the very helpful replies, kathshannon2004 and LupitaWoods! very grateful for your input...
kathshannon2004, do you know where do Singlegate pupils go next mainly please?

alexisj Sat 19-Dec-15 10:44:36

and thank you Kate for helping post this on fb! much appreciated

LocalEditorMerton Sat 19-Dec-15 13:55:18

In my own experience as a parent (although not a Singlegate one), the schools that DCs from any of the Merton primaries move on to can vary markedly year on year, depending on the year group (some parent groups may be more aspirational than others, some year groups are more talented than others). But it's more about the children and their parents I would say than the schools they attend per se.

For example when my DC1 went to secondary school, his year group (very bright) dispersed to 15 different secondaries (all state, but including the Sutton grammars, Greenshaw and Graveney 'selective streams', some further afield ones, and of course Ricards and Rutlish) - all chosen by parents for their DCs (with extra work done to gain access to selective ones by the parents not the school!). It's also not unheard of for children to move from the state to the private sector for secondary schooling.

So, if you've already got your 'eye on the prize' in terms of desired secondary schools, it's more a personal journey for you and your children in terms of how you work to that educational outcome, if that makes sense? Not quite like sending them to a prep school with a view to getting them into X, Y or Z public senior school, with the expectation that the prep will work to that end.

And be aware that even the OFSTED 'outstanding' schools' reputations (and standing in the local community) can change significantly (even in a matter of years), particularly if the SMT changes, and/or under a new Headteacher.

Good luck!

HaydonWomble Mon 21-Dec-15 17:15:43

When our DC1 was heading towards school-age, we looked at Singlegate (this is before Mrs Bull's time), and were totally put off by our initial contact (one of the admin staff) who was rude to put it mildly. So we voted with our feet and steered clear, in favour of one of the other localish schools mentioned upthread. Within a couple of years of this experience (when I think the school had a 'satisfactory' OFSTED rating), Mrs Bull had arrived at Singlegate, and totally turned the school around (together with a great group of governors), gaining an OFSTED 'outstanding' into the bargain. Just proving how quickly a school's fortunes can change for the better (but equally for worse).

It may be worth considering what impact (if any but it could be considerable) the nearby, new 'Brown & Root Tower' development may have on demand for school places at Singlegate (with it being by far the closest primary). I'm not sure they're going to be marketed as family flats but it's entirely likely that there will be some families living there. Perhaps worth checking with Merton Council?

Oh and I agree with LocalEditorMerton - I think the secondary schools the children move on to is much more about family aspirations (and the academic/sporting etc...inclination of the children, and the support they get with extra studying at home) than the perceived quality of the primaries they attend. Although of course aspirant parents/families are more likely to choose the primaries they consider will serve their children best academically.

I think many of the good and outstanding schools in Merton are what you make of them.

BUT it's never a good idea to choose a school solely on the basis of its OFSTED rating, and even its reputation. What is the right school for one child (and their parents), may not suit another child with different needs, equally well. Many local families love Singlegate but it's not for others who choose to send their kids further afield.

alexisj Sat 26-Dec-15 22:24:37

thats so interesting HaydonWomble, thanks for sharing! have to say I'm slightly more confused than before though:-p

i totally agree one good school for one child might not be the same for another. can you share some insights on how you managed to find a good !match for your DC please? do you literally have to go visit every single one?

HaydonWomble Sun 27-Dec-15 21:23:15

Think you really need to visit all the ones you're interested in, particularly if you've not had any contact with primary schools since your own school days. You do need to get a real feel for them as part of informed decision-making.

There's an awful lot of crossing of paths on the school run in Mitcham/Colliers Wood/South Wimbledon/Wimbledon (and elsewhere in the borough, as is also the case in most parts of London) - and you have to ask yourself why so many families don't just choose their local school. What suits one family won't suit another.

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