Advice on primary schools in Reigate & Redhill pls!(87 Posts)
We live in London at the moment but have bought a house in Redhill/Merstham (Watercolour development). We are looking to move only in spring next year due to existing work commitments but are mindful that we have to apply for a place in reception for my son who turns 4 in April by mid January. I have been told by Surrey County Council that we have to be resident at our house in Redhill at the time of application. I wondered if this is correct (I'm seeking written confirmation from Surrey County Council at the moment)? We can prove that we own the house in Redhill.
Also, I wondered if anyone has any views on these schools - Merstham Primary, Furzefield and St Matthews CofE. Merstham has a good Ofsted report but is oversubscribed and I think we may be just outside the nearest school distance as per last year's Published Allocation Numbers. Furzefield and St Matthew's Ofsted ratings are only satisfactory, but the inspections were carried out a while back, so I wondered if anyone has a view on them?
The last thing is, does anyone live in the Watercolour development in Redhill and if so, which school do your kids go to?
Hi, my 21month daughter goes to Royal Earlswood nursery, she is very happy there.
Thanks browndog, that's really helpful. Did you use a nursery in the area? Also, are you living near the school, i.e. is it your nearest and were you worried about not getting in because of distance?
Hi WorrisomeHeart. My twins are at Earlswood infants, and they are very happy there. I think it is a lovely school, and everyone is very friendly and approachable.
Hi Gracelimsh, thanks for updating this thread - we're contemplating a move to Earlswood so this has been really helpful. I don't know the area at all - are there any details you could give on Redhill and what it's like? We're looking at Earlswood infants initially. Thanks!
Hi Whistleforit, not sure if you have moved yet, but in case you haven't, here's an update on the schools front, from my perspective! After living here for 1.5 years, I think that probably the best local school is Holmesdale Infant School in Reigate. But you do have to live near the school and Reigate is expensive! I think you could possibly get into Wray Common Primary School, which I gather is good too, and I think you could get in if you live in the right part of Redhill (less expensive than Reigate). It all boils down (mainly) to scrutinising the school admission stats for the previous year (available on the Surrey county council website) to see how many reception places there are and what the furthest distance was from school that got a place. Of course it is trickier if you need an "in year" place and not a reception place as that will depend on whether there are any movements in the relevant year group. There is also a new school, which has only opened this year, called Lime Tree school, which was set up mainly to cater for children living on the Watercolour estate and surrounding area. They are an academy and are currently being run from a school in Reigate, with plans to move to Merstham once the school has been built there. Hope this helps!
P.S. We moved from Tower Hamlets as well!
Hello - this thread is so brilliant, am keen for the latest. Also thinking about move from London to Reigate/Redhill. Having read it - assuming nothing could be worse that flippin Tower Hamlets - am now terrified about schools as DD1 (almost 4) starts in London in two weeks so would have to join an established class. Dd2 is 18 months and third due Jan 2014. Any update on advice on where to look first? Really keen not to go private with three of the buggers to pay for.
Hi MandaMilner, thanks, but I've found a brilliant cleaner. Micklefield is great, my ds settled very quickly and is happy there. Have you got a place yet?
hello. Don't know if you're still looking but I have a brill cleaner who I can recommend, she lives near watercolour too. Trust her with the house, children etc. Also looked at Micklefield this morning and think we're going there, st Matthews is our local and heard horror stories about it! Even in the national press.
dentist in high street Godstone is great, i pay 47 pounds for every visit and the girls there are fab plus its got the cleanest windows in town.
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P.S. Headfairy, one of my neighbours has recommended her cleaner. She will be cleaning for me on Fri, so I will let you know if she's any good!
Hi Headfairy, many thanks for your kind offer. My other ds is 2. If your nanny wouldn't mind, I know our nanny, Camelia (who's Romanian) would love to meet some other nannies in the area. Thanks again!
Hi Gracelimsh... I'll certainly ask her. She's Polish but her English is excellent. She doesn't drive at the moment so she's limited a bit in where he can get to.
Apart from your ds, how old is/are your other dc/s? I've got a two year old dd, and our nanny also has a 2 year old dd she brings to work with her. They could always meet at one of the play groups our nanny goes to with the girls while ds is at nursery. She usually goes to one on Monday mornings (not sure where that one is, I'll double check with her) and one on Friday mornings 9-10 at St Johns Primary school. She only works Monday, Thursday and Fridays for us.
Let me know what you think and I'll mention it to her.
Thanks for all the helpful suggestions, ladies. Will definitely get our nanny to check them out.
Headfairy, if it's not too bizarre a request, would your nanny mind meeting up with ours as our nanny doesn't know anyone here and is used to meeting up with other nannies and mums when we were in London. The poor girl is looking for her own flat and in the meantime is living with us during the week! I think she is going a bit stir crazy with no adult conversations during the day!
I don't know any other church toddler groups as haven't been and don't know anyone who goes to them. There should be quite a lot of good ones about. The free publication "Grapevine" (and there are a few others that are similar) give listings alongside local ads and stuff. The local libraries should have plenty of copies. (thanks for the compliment though, headfairy )
There is a lovely toddler group at Reigate park church on a Thursday morning, starts at 9.30.
Thank you, you too. I'm afraid I can't better Kipper's knowledge of toddler groups. My nanny takes my dd to one in Redhill Baptist church every monday morning and to the playgroup session (one hour only) at St John's nursery every Friday. I tend to not go to playgroups myself because I organise other stuff for us to do on my days off. But I do know there are loads around... Can't help you with school run either as at that time of day I'm on the other side of Redhill common
Really pleased for you, Headfairy! Hope it goes well!
Hello all, we got St John's, our first choice, so I'm very happy. I took a real risk in putting it down as last year we wouldn't have got in, but they announced the bulge class officially about four weeks ago and that is what swung it for us.
Thanks, Kipper and Tiger! All very useful information!
Glad you got your second choice, Dawnpreview!
Happy Housewarming then! Hope you are enjoying the area. Toddler groups - St Josephs (the Catholic church on Ladbroke Road, Redhill) has one most Monday mornings according to school term times which is the cheapest I know £1 (could have gone up but shouldn't be much) which also gets the parent a cup of tea/coffee. You don't have to be attending the church to go. Lots of toys laid out - boisterous but interesting. Volunteer mums who do the nursery rhymes very sweet and enthusiastic. Only problem is that to get info - like they might not open one week if someone is away or something - you either have to attend every single week and get someone's phone number (someone in charge) as it's not published online or in the church office.
There are toddler groups run by Micklefield on Tue, Wed, Thur (you can get the info online and ring the school office to check on cancellations) afternoons which are £2. Hawthorns School has theirs Mon and Thur afternoon and is either £2.50 or £3 (can't remember). The school ones have a bit more laid on - eg painting, sometimes playdough or a sand tray or water tray (M always lays out their water tray), maybe a craft with glitter or something. M doesn't do nursery rhymes, but Hawthorns do at the end, but M will have some activity on so it can last the whole session - 90 minutes if I remember rightly, for both. Prices might have changed this year, just ring their school offices. I suppose if she brings her to either school Mon to Thur, that gives her something to do every day apart from Fri (Redhill library used to have rhyme time on Fri morning, not sure if that is still on). Merstham library also has a rhyme time like Redhill (just check online or visit the library to ask). - I think Redhill might have two a week. If you ring the library, they tend to divert you to a central helpline who do not actually know. I think those are the best for her age. There's a story time at Reigate's Priory Park (in the cafe) - I forget which day - I've never been but someone else did and said it was not bad.
For the school run, you should really park along Somers Road and walk down; Wray Common can get v jammed and busy, so it isn't really safe (it's also quite far for a child to walk if it rains!). I was just suggesting that if there was a jam maybe stopping at one of the side roads like Raglan Road might be ok, before you reach the part where Reigate Hill joins the suburban traffic. But on a normal day, you should be able to stop on/near Somers Road. For the actual parking/drop off you might be best to ask the school or other parents, as some schools have rules about this.
Yes, we are happy with Micklefield and will just have to work harder to pay the fees. Thanks for the tip re BBC Surrey. Do you think it's easier to park on the Wray Common side and cross the road to Micklefield or to park on the Micklefield side?
Also, do you know of any good toddler groups in the area? We have discovered Heaven in Nutfield, thanks to another Mumsnetter and attended the rhyme time at Reigate library on Tues, but would like to find some other groups to go to. Our nanny will take my 2 year old since I work full time. We don't know any other families in the area, so still trying to find out feet! We only moved in on Sat!
Sorry, don't know any good cleaners - one or two companies do it as a team, may be worth trying that. So that you always get someone even if one person is off sick. Forgot the name, but they should be online.
Gracelimsh - not surprised, to be honest, but I guess you are happy with your choice of private? PS make sure you have your radio turned on to BBC Surrey for the traffic news - sometimes the stretch between Wray Common and Reigate Hill gets jammed as a result of some accident on the M25 coming in that direction.....so you'll need to know some alternative routes. (If you are near enough you could actually park somewhere and walk though. Print out a big copy of the street map or google maps for the car...)
Ladies, we got into Furzefield, as expected, so will decline the place and go private. What about everyone else?
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