Moving to Reading - please help me get enthusiastic about Reading life!

(34 Posts)
saskipops Wed 22-Apr-09 21:42:36

I'm relocating to Reading and was slightly worried when a chance encounter with a Reading based mum left me with the distinct impression that there is little for young kids (2&4yrs) to do by way of activities eg sports, music, drama. To make things worse she dismissed all the local secondary schools to the North of the city, (where we are likely to be based) as "hmmm adequate".
Please help instill me with some optimism and enthusiasm for our move to Reading - what delights await us, beyond shopping at the Oracle?!

Many thanks

PS We aren't yet commited to living in N Reading - so if you agree with her comments and think we should be considering a move somewhere else with decent access to Reading/Slough/Windsor your thoughts also welcome!

dumbelina Wed 19-Sep-12 17:15:38

My DS is at Aldryngton and loves it. It is a lovely school with a one and a half class intake (45 children), so after foundation, y1 and y2 are mixed, and so on up the school. It recently had an outstanding ofsted and has a really nice community feeling. I can't comment on Radstock other than it is a bigger school, but still has a good reputation. How old are your children? It is worth bearing in mind that both these schools are oversubscribed and so you would be unlikely to get an older child into either school.

aditi Wed 19-Sep-12 08:11:45

Thanks for sharing all the infromation about Wokingham and Reading areas.

Need help in deciding between Aldryngton and Radstock Primary School.

Moving to rental property in Aldryngton catchment will cost us £6000 more as compared to property in Radstock catchment.

Is it worth to spend this amount? DH can afford easily, but I am just thinking if it is really worth?


saskipops Sat 09-May-09 21:44:45

thanks again all!
now we just have the small matter of finding a house......

galaxymummy Tue 05-May-09 19:25:13

I am a south of the river earley person and like it however I have friends in caversham who are very happy so I would suggest whichever is likely to give you the easiest commute.
There ar tons of kids activities yoga music football rugby pottery singing a place for good info is the popular reading nct under 5 guide or ring childrens information centre,be happy wherever you end up

Docbunches Tue 05-May-09 19:22:10

Yep, both begin with B !

LongDroopyBoobyLady Tue 05-May-09 17:11:31

If Alex's and Michael's surnames both begin with B then DD knows who your DS is!

How exciting, and yes wave at parents' evening and if I remember I'll get DD to point out your DS (I have a terrible memory).

Sorry for the thread hijack.

Docbunches Tue 05-May-09 16:48:43

DS also in Drake but his tutor group is 9LK, or affectionately known as Leftover Kids. He thinks he knows your DD and says she's possibly in the same tutor group and/or classes as two of his best friends (Alex and Michael)?

Anyway, gone way off topic now - will shut up I promise!

PS - next time we're at a parents' evening, I'll get DS to point out H (that's if you happen to be there at the same time as us) and I'll say Hello. smile

LongDroopyBoobyLady Tue 05-May-09 16:00:47

DD is also in the E's (Drake).

DD's initials are HL and she says she thinks she knows your DS but isn't too sure - she doesn't think he is in her tutor group. I guess it's such a big school that their paths might not cross often despite being in the same half of the year!

Yes, what a very small world!

Docbunches Tue 05-May-09 15:46:40

Yes, DS is in Y9 too. He's in the 'E's (as opposed to the 'M's). Like your DD, he's just chosen options - which I noticed you had posted on another thread in Education, hence realising that we're in the same neck of the woods.

Small world, eh? smile

My DS's initials are, coincidentally, DB and he is quite small with red auburn hair, but very quiet/shy so your DD may not really be aware of him.

LongDroopyBoobyLady Tue 05-May-09 14:38:30

DB my DD is in Yr9, how about yours?

Docbunches Tue 05-May-09 11:40:29

As usual I've come late to this thread but, wow... can't believe so many mumsnetters live in the Reading area!

I live in Earley and my sister and parents live in Caversham. My nephew goes to Micklands and is doing really well (he got L3s in KS1 Sats last year, so it can't be that bad). I'd have a look at Micklands, you may be pleasantly surprised, for example, lots of green space that Caversham Primary doesn't have. Also, it has to improve because more parents will be forced to send DCs there when the more popular schools are full to bursting. My nephew is set to go to Highdown in a few years, which is definitely on the up, I would say.

I love Earley - we may not have the lovely shops, pubs, etc like Caversham, but there are plenty of other things going for it.

Maiden Erlegh is fab as already mentioned and best primaries in Earley are Aldryngton and Radstock (results-wise at least).

LDBL - I'm sure your DD and my DS must vaguely know each other (poss both in same year at same school?).

herbgarden Thu 30-Apr-09 20:21:53

I moved from London to Caversham 3 years ago. We had our ds who is now nearly 3 and then a DD. Personally I love living in Caversham - I was brought up not that far away but have family living near and lived in London for years and years (and was terrified about leaving !!) - The primary schools here are supposedly good and I second what others say about the secondary. With regard to toddlers, there is loads of stuff going on and you'll never be short of playgroups and other music type of activities. The Rivermead just down the hill has toddler sessions for softplay, Little Kickers for boys, swimming lessons and is very popular with local mums. There are tons of drop in playgroups where you can meet other mums. We've also got a costa coffee, a new bistro restaurant place and waitrose and butchers so you don't need to go into town to get your "local" shopping. I work in town and get a bus to work - I leave around 7.30 and can be in town by 7.50. There is no denying that the traffic in Reading is often dreadful but DH works off the M4 and if you leave by 7.30 you are fine. Get too near 8am and you are getting into busy territory.

School thing is always difficult. Be warned that the maiden earleigh catchment area is so popular it is reflected in house prices. A friend of mine recently bought a very nice house where there were 20 odd people after it and it went over the asking price (in this economic climate too) - it's in the catchment.

We have friends who lived in Wokingham for 3-4 years. They liked it but got fed up with it and have moved to Farnham now. I'm not sure there's much in it to be honest unless the school situation suits you better?

Honestly though, I was sceptical but it is sooo conveniently placed. We still have lots of London friends who we easily see, family in London, family down on the South Coast and friends in the west country. Nowhere takes long to get to as you can always get to a motorway pretty quickly and you're off. I still pop into London in an evening to meet friends for dinner (yes, train fare expensive but at least I can do it if I need/want to).....

lobsters Thu 30-Apr-09 20:01:54

if you need to be in Windsor for 8, leave Caversham at 7, or poss 7.15 and you'll be fine. I used to drive from Caversham to the station and so long as I left the house by 7.30 I would be fine. Although the Windsor bit might be busy by then, but that applies wherever you live in Reading.

Getting into the middle of Reading from any side of it can be a pain, the one thing I found is that at times buses can be quicker than cars, and if DH doesn't have parking at work then it'll definitely be a lot cheaper

saskipops Mon 27-Apr-09 20:58:24

ohhh I feel more school research coming on. but if everything is going to change in catchment areas perhaps I should be just focus on primaries and leave the secondary stress for another decade!

thank you all for your invaluable help and advice and should we actually get near finding a home in the area I'm afraid I'll be back in touch for more advice! So probably 2012 given the state of the current housing market.

LongDroopyBoobyLady Mon 27-Apr-09 20:23:34

Earley's rush hour starts at about 7.30 but there is the Waterloo line at Earley station (and the car park is only £1 for the day although it is full up very early!)

Maiden Erlegh is a great school and has been for the last 25 years although the 2008 KS3 SATs were a little disappointing. But with the closing of Ryeish Green in 2011 (I think it's 2011 but might be 2010) I think there will be a big shake up in catchment areas.

The Holt is a great state girls' school in Wokingham and Forest (boys' school) in Winnersh is good.

To be honest I think you are pretty spoiled for secondary schools in the Wokingham borough but there's a big difference in primary schools.

saskipops Mon 27-Apr-09 20:15:33

thanks for the warning! The DH will be doing the commuting (and only east twice a week, the rest into central Reading) and I'll be the one spending 99% of my time in the area we live so its balancing travel with a family friendly neighbourhood!

Picante Mon 27-Apr-09 20:05:03

Yep MrsJ is right (I rarely say that, she's my sister), you want to be looking at Earley / University area. I'll show you around!

MrsJamin Mon 27-Apr-09 19:20:11

I can't imagine choosing to live in Caversham if you drive to work needing the m4 eastbound, to be honest. rush hour in reading starts pretty early and lasts for ages.

saskipops Mon 27-Apr-09 19:14:31

urgh rush hour - what time does it start? the one blessing of early start to work (8am windsor or central reading) but 5.30/6 finish means that possibly you can miss the worstbut maybe I'm being optimistic hmm

MrsJamin Mon 27-Apr-09 18:59:45

woodley is not that nice, picante, it's so suburban it makes me crazy. caversham is nice, posher than earley but you need to think about the commute if you need to get to the m4 heading east - town can get crazy traffic at rush hour, and if you look at a map you can see how large an area is north of reading and the fact that there are only 2 bridges joining it to the rest of reading - quite a bottleneck! I have no ideas about schools as DS is only 1 and we live in (pretty rough) West Reading.

Picante Mon 27-Apr-09 18:51:23

Winnersh is nice, as is Woodley.

saskipops Mon 27-Apr-09 18:47:01

damn - I'll try harder next time wink

RustyBear Mon 27-Apr-09 18:40:51

Don't worry - I don't get offended that easily!


saskipops Mon 27-Apr-09 18:33:50

dear rusty bear - our postings crossed. I do hope you are not offended by my pony count comments!

saskipops Mon 27-Apr-09 18:27:01

ohh not tooo posh I hope. We were also looking at wokingham - which has fab schools and people are very complimentary about life there - but does have quite a high pony count from what I gather!

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