Secondary schools in Guildford and surrounding areas

(23 Posts)
windowsonthemind Wed 26-Jan-11 11:19:34

I have posted this in 'secondary education' but then wondered if this would be a better place.

We are moving to this area later this year and are completely new to the Home Counties. We will be working in central Guildford and have two DSs - 10 and 6yrs.

I have decided that maybe the easiest way to find an area in which to live is to choose a good secondary school and work backwards from there in terms of infant/junior school/house/local area etc.

So I have read good Ofsted reports for Guildford County School, Rodborough and Weydon. Does anyone have experience of these schools or of any others in these areas?

BTW, our DSs are sports mad, seem to be doing great academically and love arty things, so we're wanting a school that is a good all-rounder?? We are also totally new to secondary school issues so in need of guidance really!

windowsonthemind Wed 26-Jan-11 11:21:48

Sorry, I know there is another thread about secondary schools in Godalming but that seems to be about private and state. We can only consider state schools.

FluffyHamster Wed 26-Jan-11 11:52:17

We have friends with kids at George Abbott and The County - both seem happy. I think the infant/junior school they went to was Pewley Down? They all seem to get good results...

If there were any negatives, one of my friends was a bit hmm about her DD's friends at GA, but that could be the same at any school!

windowsonthemind Wed 26-Jan-11 12:01:56

Thanks fluffy - I forgot about George Abbott but it's Ofsted report is fantastic. I had been thinking of the A3/Godalming side of Guildford but of course we could head in the other direction. Not sure we could afford a house in catchment area of GA though as they all look massive and very expensive!

In what way hmm about GS friends?

FluffyHamster Wed 26-Jan-11 12:07:05

I think she felt they were just a bit of a bad influence, but I'm not quite sure in what way.

I suspect it was drinking/smoking etc (hopefully not drugs, but I'm led to believe this is much more prevalent in ALL secondary level schools these days - state and private sad )

That said, her kids are lovely and the eldest did well academically at GA and is now at a good UNi smile

FluffyHamster Wed 26-Jan-11 12:08:28

Could you not go further the other way?

The Ashcombe school in Dorking is meant to be good?
(And area is slightly less expensive)

FluffyHamster Wed 26-Jan-11 12:10:34

OH, and ST. Nick's is the other good primary in Guildford I think l

(Another friend is a Governor there I think?)

windowsonthemind Wed 26-Jan-11 12:45:19

Many thanks for your messages fluffy.

I hadn't thought of broadening out our search area but will look into Dorking. I fancy being near/walking distance to a town, so was thinking living in Guildford would be ideal. But also Godalming and Farnham look lovely areas.

I would like to be on easy train route to Guildford if we are not within the town itself, so maybe Dorking?, will look into it a bit more. Thanks

SparkleSoiree Wed 26-Jan-11 12:51:47

DS18 went to Guildford County. We did not have a good experience there in any way at all.

Neice goes to GA and loves it. My sister went there when we were younger and she loved it.

Pewley Infant and Shalford Infant are nice schools too.

DD1 at Busbridge Junior and loves it. Busbridge Infant will be first choice next year for DD2.

SparkleSoiree Wed 26-Jan-11 12:52:28

Busbridge schools are in Godalming, sorry.

windowsonthemind Wed 26-Jan-11 12:55:18

Thanks sparkle. I'm happy with the choice of infant and primary as there do seem to be lots of good schools at that level. But secondary is harder.

Why was Guildford County a problem? Where will you look to send your DDs when they reach that age?

Busbridge schools look great, but I can't see where they feed into - Rodborough maybe?

exhaustednurse Wed 26-Jan-11 13:31:22

We are in a similar position.

To be honest, to live in the catchment of GA you need £££ if you want a reasonable sized property. 4 beds go for £500,00 upwards.

We are moving out of Guildford as the only area we can afford to buy a larger house is in the Kings College catchment which does not get great reports.

We are considering the Camberley area as Tomlinscote School is excellent.

SparkleSoiree Wed 26-Jan-11 13:36:48

I do agree that the quality of secondary schools in the area is lacking compared to infant and junior schools. That may explain why GA is so very popular. People from way outside the catchment are applying to get into GA as it has more facilities and a very good level of exam passes compared to others in the area.

At GC DS was struggling with studies and could not get extra support then he was dropped right into the bottom set. That resulted in 2 stressful years of school meetings with no success and DS eventually refusing to attend for a short time. He eventually failed all of his GSCEs.

Local secondary schools to Busbridge Junior are Broadwater and Rodborough. We moved DS from Broadwater to GC 18 months after he started due to nasty bullying. (You can see how we have failed DS with his education to date.) sad

DD1 will go to either Rodborough or George Abbott depending on the Gods who decide! We have looked at private schools in the area as DD attended private previously but as good as they are we have decided to keep her with either her current set of friends going into Rodborough or her cousin at GA.

Good luck in finding the right school! Feel free to PM me if I can help any further smile.

windowsonthemind Wed 26-Jan-11 15:37:54

Thanks so much sparkle that's really kind of you to suggest I can PM you.

Sounds really sad about your DS - I am sure it wasn't that you have failed him, as you will have made the choices that you felt were the right ones at every stage.

Sometimes there is no reason for this type of chain of events, you just have to accept this is the way it went. I hope he is OK.

Busbridge junior and infant and Rodborough all sound good. Do you live in Busbridge? there look to be some lovely houses there and it looks a great location for being near to Godalming and Guildford. Is it friendly?

windowsonthemind Wed 26-Jan-11 15:39:19

I would agree exhaustednurse about Kings - doesn't look great at all. I will look at Tomlinscote

Happymum22 Sun 30-Jan-11 14:10:25

For what I've heard living in Guildford area-

George abbot- fantastic but big, vvv extensive area though!

County- smaller and heard good things, know lots of leavers who have gone on to good universities and done really well. musical i believe. a lot better than kings/christs in guildford.

Christs- new building but heard it is like a prison designed so children can be seen at all times, lots of problems behaviour wise and general standards low.

kings- similar to christs but apparently (check though!) got better results than county. rough area.

Broadwater- know lots who have pulled their children out for bullying/general standards

Rodborough- meant to be good dont know much tthough but most go on to godalming college for A levels which had a fantastic reputation.

Friend lives in busbridge and loves it, great junior school and all go on to do well later on, community, especially is your church people (we arent but friends who live there are and hence they're v involved in community) friendly and small godalming is lovely a real country small town feel and 10-15 mins from guildford.

hope this helps.

cece Sun 30-Jan-11 14:23:43

I beleive Ripley is now in the catchment are for George Abbot.

Or have you looked at Burpham or Merrow?

heartsnflowers Fri 04-Feb-11 08:39:44

I know about Godalming--be very careful if you want Rodborough-its popular and catchment areas have changed in recent years

bouncepingpong Tue 19-Feb-13 11:04:15

I am in same position, moving down to south from Aberdeen, looking for secondary school for my daughter. Some one mentioned that in Kent there are good schools, but mostly are grammar school that need to take 11plus exam. My girl is afraid of any kind of test, not sure, we need this stress add on while moving and looking for places to live, with buying house....
I like Guildford, so now check all the school, anyone knows about Woking area, and schools in there?

Bekabeech Sun 24-Feb-13 09:29:19

If you are looking at Woking, are you Catholic? If not, you need to look at Woking High or Winston Churchill, you want to avoid Bishop David Brown (sorry, but the reputation is so toxic). Other towns have better schools.

Evalina Tue 26-Feb-13 14:10:25

Might be worth looking at Waverley Abbey in Tilford as a Junior School - children from there go onto Weydon, Rodborough and Guildford County amongst others. The school has priority into Weydon (along with others), and depending on where you live, you could be in the Rodborough catchment too.

Busbridge Junior is nice (I went there, and then onto Rodborough many years ago), but the challenge there is finding a property that would put you in the catchment for both Busbridge and Rodborough as both catchments are shrinking and there have been quite a few people living in Busbridge unable to get their children into Busbridge Junior or into Rodborough as a result.

Your best bet might be to rent to get your children into Junior School, and then move well into the catchment for your preferred secondary.

Dededum Fri 01-Mar-13 22:16:32

Son at GC (yr 7) and so far I have been super impressed with the school. Very good pastoral care, my son was a prime candidate for being bullied but the school has helped us navigate some tricky situations. Just become an academy. New head starting shortly, with good reputation.

GA - great reputation, lots of friends whose kids go there and are very happy. Very big and strong on rules and regulations. Suits some would not have suited DS1.

St Peters - have to be catholic or at least profess some faith. Again strong reputation and good pastoral care.

Good primary schools - Holy trinity Pewley down (4-11), Burpham, merrow, Boxgrove, st Nicholas. Not so sure about others further out through lack of experience.

jezbian Wed 23-Oct-13 14:41:01

Presently tormented about whether to send DS to Guildford County or George Abbott. His initial hunch was GA. However, we are closer to GC (under a mile away as opposed to a mile & a half from GA).

GC seems like more of a community where everyone seems to know everyone else, pupils seems motivated and there are less "fluffy" subjects such as textiles & photography. GA seems to have more sports facilities onsite & more options available for pupils. Be warned, this is all concluded from brief, personal exposure and I may well be entirely wrong.

Would very much like to hear informed opinions.

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