Primary Schools

(11 Posts)
AngelsAndFairies Thu 27-Dec-12 12:41:42

I am quite confused. We have a little boy who will be four in a couple of months. We live halfway between Marston and Headington. Our closest school is New Marston Primary School, which is not that good. Our options are St.Nicholas' as the first choice. I do not really know what the next two options should be. Is St.Andrew's CofE school in Headington any good?

We are new to this place, and do not know a lot of people with primary-school going children. Independent schools are an option (with some budgeting), but I am told that we should have applied even before he was conceived for a place in any of those schools.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks

AngelsAndFairies Fri 28-Dec-12 12:35:20


I would be grateful if people can respond, even if only to say that they do/do not know much about the schools in the area; or if they have heard about friends' children's experiences etc.


akebia Fri 28-Dec-12 13:04:50

Hello AngelsandFairies,
I can't help very much with schools in your area. My friends children go to St Michaels and like the school very much. Its on the Marston Road. Is this near to you?
I'm sure i've heard good things about St Andrews. I think it's one of the very popular schools, but hopefully someone who knows more about Headington schools will come along.
Good luck with the search. I've just been through the choosing a school process and it's pretty stressful at the best of times, and must be extra hard for you being new to the area.

AngelsAndFairies Fri 28-Dec-12 15:45:08

Thanks akebia. Yes, St Michaels is quite close to us. In fact, closer than St Andrews. At least, I now have one more school to put down on the list!

Notnearlyoldenough Sat 29-Dec-12 10:55:29

My son used to go to the autism unit at St Nicholas, we don't live locally and he went on transport so I never felt that involved in the school but the the impression I got was good. I don't know about any of the other state primaries in the area I'm afraid but as far as independents go I think you will find that places will come up. I don't know much about the boys schools but there seem to plenty of them (not all have infants sections but I have known boys go to Headington / Oxford high and move at 7).

easty2 Tue 01-Jan-13 15:24:00

Hi, I have looked into primaries around Headington/Marston for my son.
The best three I found were St Andrews, St Michael's and Windmill, although Windmill is set to expand which could be problematic. All 3 have good Ofsted and decent attainment. St Andrews marginally better than the other two.
Basically you can only get into St Andrews from catchment which is very small as the intake is only 30 per year. I live one road outside it and expect not to get in. They didn't have space for siblings even in the past few years.
St Michael's is lovely, slightly less pressured to get in I think but has also only taken catchment in recent years as again it's a good school with only 30 intake a year.
Windmill is my 3rd choice but most likely the one we will get. It gets the same results as St Michael's but has a 60 per year intake and is likely to increase to 90 per year, which is why I am less keen. However this does mean you are much more likely to get in from out of catchment.
If I were you (!) I would not even bother with putting St Andrews down unless you are perhaps a few hundred meters outside catchment. I would put St Michaels as first choice, Windmill as second and New Marston as third to prevent you being without any place at all.
I think you would have good odds of Windmill especially if it expands.
Obviously go look at them all yourself and read the Ofsted and the entrance requirements/past entrance records etc. as well!
Hope that helps!

wobblingon Fri 11-Jan-13 20:58:03

As above ,if you are not in catchment, don't bother with St Andrews. Good but way over subscribed. Windmill is a good option, partly because it is almsot certainly taking 90 again this year (which is off putting in 1 respect, but will at least give you a good chance of a place, and partly because there are lots of good things about it (ds goes there, so we have experience!)
St Nick's is also quite good and I liked St Michael's, but they are only taking in catchment I think.
It's not entirely true that independents will not take you unless registered at birth. Rye st Anthony takes boys in pre prep age group (3 to 7) and I know people who have got in there at last minute. Chandlings also had spaces by yr 1 last year.
Another option might be the oxford free school, which has been set up to take over eventually from the european school and so does bilingual education. New last year ,don't know how well susbcribed it is ,but probably worth a look.

easty2 Sun 13-Jan-13 23:05:03

Wobblingon - just interested in how you have found Windmill. Is your DS in a 90 pupil yr group and is that ok? Are they good at spotting and helping sen and gifted and talented?

OP - I also just read about Tyndale School which is a free school opening this September. Still time to apply I think. There is a meet and greet on Saturday with the head etc. Might be worth a look for another option?

wobblingon Sat 19-Jan-13 17:34:11

Not in a 90 intake; but we know lots of children who are and generally it's ok. Lots of good things abt Windmill, but our main beef is about differentiating work by ability. There is more work needed on this, imo.

Pythonesque Tue 29-Jan-13 20:18:08

In terms of the independents, neither Headington nor Oxford High take boys in pre-prep any more. The Dragon (my personal dream school but never could have afforded it!) tends to have long lists from infancy. New College and Christchurch preps are smaller schools, with newer pre-prep departments; until recently you could register fairly late for New College and get places in pre-prep but it has "filled up" the last 2-3 years. They will take boys into reception from the term after they turn 4 rather than having to wait till September, by the way. I don't know about Christchurch numbers at all (they start from nursery by the way, which is mixed).

There is quite a lot of movement of families in and out of Oxford, so if you decide you are interested in an independent school you may get a place at a later stage.

Lolly747 Sat 16-Feb-13 16:40:03

Does anyone know how the primary schools are in Bicester? We're looking to move there & although there is a distinct preference for secondary schools, I've been told all of them are good!
I have checked out Ofsted etc but just curious what locals view is?

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