Help it's a schools headache....gosf, coast, Chester le street??

(14 Posts)
mummyistheword Tue 31-May-11 00:11:12

Here's the thing.... I'm sahm, dp works in Chester le street. We currently live in gateshead but local schools not brilliant and we can afford to move nearer a much better school so I want to in order to do very best for dcs. But where?
1. Chester le street, good schs, near work, lots house for money, no where near as much going on as option two and three for pre schoolers/school age!
2. Gosforth.....good schs although not sure three tier system and so soon having them at diff schools ie first and middle, dd1 now 3.4 and dd2 is nearly 1, commute for dp, garden???
3. Coast....heart wants go there but.....pricey near best primary....unless go catholic, good catholic secondary sch though and commute for dp through tunnel though new one opens this yr I think. But worrying move as only a couple options for primary we like....
I have thought about this too long, we both have, dp and I and my head is going to explode, I suppose spoiled for choice but any outside input welcome! Which would you choose? Feels as though we are choosing lifestyles! Eg the Chester one is where head says move to but seems the staid option although we would have spare money and a bigger house and maybe even need only one car! A simpler beach though!

harecare Tue 31-May-11 00:26:41

We looked around 3 different areas before choosing. We had a Saturday at each area looking at houses we liked before deciding on the right area for us. Gosforth is great, but expensive, I thought all the schools at the coast are good? Have you considered Whickham? Good schools and nice area. I don't really know Chester Le Street well.

ThisIsMyLogIn Tue 31-May-11 22:21:50

I would be
1. Coast - exc schools, open space, lifestyle, little indie shops, Whitley Bay just recently reported as the friendliest town in NE (71% can name 4 or more neighbours compared with 8% in Ncle!!). (What is the 'best primary' you have in mind? Priory? Marine Park?)
2. Gosforth - exc schools, 3 tier system as on coast, plenty pretty streets to choose from, nice indie shops. Big Yummy Mummy network and close to Ncle!
3. Chester-le -Street - ? Mmm. Not somewhere you really go is it? Other than cheter park. Park View is decent school but the Durham ones much better I think

mummyistheword Wed 01-Jun-11 20:57:20

Thanks for replies, x hi thisismy, the primaries I had in mind were the ones mentioned, mainly priory actually, do you know if that's really good? Ofsted is but hard to just go on an ofsted, will visit the school this autumn on their open morns. Also getting a house near enough to that school for best chance get in will be harder than is gosforth I think, thanks again, also for secondaries am I right in thinking st Thomas more? Any suggestions? X

ThisIsMyLogIn Thu 02-Jun-11 20:19:06

Yes Priory is v. good and small. Old victorian building not great! Quite a formal education there I hear. King Edwards on the edge on Tynemouth in shields isn't nearly as good apparently. Of couse there is always Kings too!

All Tynemouth, Cullercoats, W.bay primaries are excellent and you normally have to live on catchment to get into the best ones. There are about 6 to choose from in W.Bay and I have never heard a bad word about any. The parents seem to love the 3 tier system.

If Tynemouth - the Priory will feed into Marden High or John Spence (11-16 so must go to Tyne Met college for A Levels). Thomas More has always good option if you are Catholic but will have a much more varied intake.

Whitley Bay High & 6th form has the best reputation on the coast. Monkseaton High almost on special measures.

littlecityblue Fri 03-Jun-11 16:27:44

Low Fell schools are good & lots of lovely houses here. I suppose you'll already know that as you live in Gateshead, but it really is a fab place to be smile

DamselInDisarray Fri 03-Jun-11 16:45:46

We moved to gosforth for the schools and are very happy. DS1 loves his school and the three tier system is actually great. They are integrated into being at secondary more gradually than the 2 tier system.

We looked at Whitley bay but decided that we couldn't live there, even though we'd have got a bigger house etc. We also looked at low fell, but while the primaries are excellent, we were much less convinced about the secondary options.

mummyistheword Fri 03-Jun-11 23:08:50

Thanks for the info! The girls are catholic so st Thomas more at coast a def option for secondary, kings is there indeed and we are considering it for when they are older but Its so much money for two and if we had a third we would have to win the lotto! I like the idea of the three tier system for gosforth option in regards to when they are little and nit having bigger children around, bigger campus etc but the logistics of having them at diff places worries me, I hate traffic stress and would prefer a walk to school until secondary age really, we have zero family here so no help with pick ups etc and dp busy work in Chester so it would be muggins here! How does it work for you damsel? Can you walk the school run? Will you have to drive for middle sch etc? Hmmmmm, thanks again mums!

DamselInDisarray Sat 04-Jun-11 14:00:53

The catholic schools in gosforth are on the 2 tier system (feeding to sacred heart for girls I think); the 3 tier schools are not faith affiliated.

By and large, the middle school kids tend to walk (or scoot or cycle, or even get the bus/metro) to and from school on their own. DS1 walks home on his own. We usually drop him off nearer the school on our way to nursery with DS2 in the morning, but he's quite happy getting himself home on his own. If you're worried about your older DD walking to school on her own, you could try for schools that are close together. Archibald first school is round the corner from gosforth junior high and Gosforth park first school isn't too far from gosforth east middle school (and the walk doesn't involve any major roads). I think some parents are a bit concerned that brunton park first school feeds to the junior high (which had been in special measures until it was taken over by the high school management team, and now is very good), rather than the much closer GEMS. Kids from the eastern part of brunton park go to gosforth park and them GEMS, but I think it affects the newer houses/Great Park.

If it matters to you, gosforth central middle school is the only one with a tie. All the rest, including the high school (now academy) have polo shirts and sweatshirts for uniform. The high school and the junior high school became academies this year. I don't know if this will matter to you or not (as far as I can tell it makes no difference for us).

FrecklesAreOut Sat 04-Jun-11 14:26:58

Gosforth High isn't as good at Whitley High - I have taught in both.
Think you have to be in Catholic feeder for Thomas More (ie, star of the sea or the one in Cullercoats).

Valley Gardens Middle on the coast is brilliant with lovely catchemnt. Middle school kids all tend to walk to school safely there.

alegre Wed 08-Jun-11 11:11:48

We moved to Whitley Bay from London 3 years ago and we've not regretted it - lovely area, excellent schools. However, it seems to be getting harder to get into some schools unless you're bang in the catchment area. Children here tend to walk to school

Our concern with Tynemouth, apart from houses being expensive in comparison, was that secondary schools aren't that great. The Catholic St Thomas More is good but I would have thought it would be better if children went through the feeder primary schools.

You need to consider if your dp is prepared to do the tunnel every day. There are people who live in Whitley Bay and area who do it every day but it's not enjoyable. The queuing to get into the tunnel can add quite a lot to a daily commute. At the moment, only one tunnel is open and the situation isn't better than it was before. Still, it's thought that both tunnels will be open around Dec this year so hopefully it will be a lot better commute once that's done. You've probably already considered it but toll charges will soon add up - currently £2.40/day without a permit or 2.16 with tunnel permit.
I 'did' the tunnel for a while and then thought I wouldn't consider work that side of the river - too much hassle for me.

Like harecare suggested, have you considered Whickham? Or Ryton? We briefly considered those areas and Gosforth but then decided on the coast.

FrecklesAreOut Wed 08-Jun-11 21:03:14

Agree with above - Marden High & John Spence aren't great if you are Tynemouth end.

mummyistheword Sun 31-Jul-11 00:02:15

Thanks everyone......thought better of the tunnel in the end and we are heading to jesmond. Realised also had to consider myself and our family time, dp can get to work quicker than from gosforth great park or tynemouth, fab school and nice area with plenty going on, as we have no family help day to day will be nice to be somewhere vibrant and where I can still easily meet up and go to friends houses with the children, realised that quite important to me as take for granted in current location very near friends so coast would be too far and too much of a change.....decided change house and slighty change location but keep everything else the same! Eg activities and friends still acssesible for me and the dd's, and dp! Fingers crossed, ummmmed and ahhhhed so long finally jumped in both feet and see what happens!

alegre Tue 02-Aug-11 08:09:56

That's great, glad to see you've made a decision. It's really difficult isn't it? Jesmond is a lovely area with loads going on.
Thanks for letting us know. Good luck! x

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