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Primary Schools in Croydon

(19 Posts)
wantsthebest Mon 22-Nov-10 10:02:27

Hi - i have a 2 year old daughter and am not sure which primary schools in our area woudl be good - i knwo Cumnor has started a girls school in Purley - but i am by east croydon - i also heard Old Palace si going downhill - i am concerned that there arent any good ones aroudn - i did look at Park hill too so thats an option - i want my daughter to be in a girls only school when she is 12 etc - befoer than not so bothered. I want good facilities - so have croydon high on teh list....if you can siggest any others....that woudl be great. As you can see - happy to go to comp primary and junior but needs to be good education where they then get places in good schools after - are there any grammar schools nearby - or anythg else anyone can suggest?

Ladymuck Tue 23-Nov-10 09:21:38

There are no grammar schools in Croydon, but girls go to Wallington Girls in Sutton and Newstead Woods in Bromley. Both are "superselective" grammar schools. Several children each year go to the grammar schools from Park Hill, though typically these children will also have had private tuition from Year 4 or 5.

Rather than trying to plan the entire educational route for a 2 year old I would start by looking at what is around you and taking it one step at a time, especially as you might move at some point over the next few years.

Looking at state options, Park Hill is considered to be one of the more "academic" primary schools. It does give quite a lot of homework from early on. St Peters in South Croydon also has excellent results. Despite its name it is not a church school. If moving were an option then most Croydon parents favour the Sanderstead schools (Ridgeway, Gresham, Atwood), unless they have the Catholic option in Purley.

To say that Old Palace is going downhill is possibly an exaggeration. However both Old Palace and Croydon High have had challenges in holding onto their best girls in 6th form for various reasons, but that is some way off. Also neither school will prepare your daughter for the 11+ exams as they will want her to go through to their own senior school. You would still have to tutor if you wanted a different school then.

Oakwood (a catholic school) and St Davids in Purley both prepare for 11+ and are both co-ed. Both seem to be good schools with happy pupils, also slightly cheaper than the girls-only alternatives (though I don't know the fees for the Cumnor House school yet). And obviously Cumnor has taken over the former Lodge school. I suspect that they will give quite a lot of attention to the school as they look to make their reputation, and obviously it is the academic results which count.

You want "good facilities". Can you be more specific about what you're looking for? Obviously a junior school attached to a senior school would have these (and of course Old Palace junior is on the former Croham Hurst senior school site, so has amazing facilities for a primary school).

In terms of getting into senior schools it is much harder to get into one of the grammar schools at 11 than it is to get into Old Palace or Croydon High. Typically it is considered that if you can get into a grammar school then you would be scholarship material at one of the independent schools.

Go look at the schools, get a feel for the head. There isn't one school out there which is the "best", you need to consider which one will be best for your child, which is only something that you can work out as your child develops more.

wantsthebest Tue 23-Nov-10 12:11:47

Thanks Ladymuck. I heard Wallington is very difficult to get into iesp. if not in catchment area - moving is not really an option just yet - maybe in a few years - but we will always be in this south area....purley/croydon etc. when i mean facilities - i mean access to sports facilities and also opportunities for kids - such as lots of language s to choose from, diiferent subjects, musical instruments etc - i feel only teh independent schools offer them which is not fair on teh state school kids....its all very exeppnsive and if i were to have another child nots ure i could afford to put them both through private.

gabid Tue 23-Nov-10 12:22:44

Don't know how much use my post is to you, but I did a teaching practice in Wallington Boys Grammer about 10 years ago and did some supply teaching in Croydon Secondary schools. Things may have changed but on the whole I would look towards Wallington, Sutton etc - a bit out of Corydon. Although, there was one very nice school in Croydon, can't remember the name though.

Ladymuck Tue 23-Nov-10 13:25:35

There is no catchment for Wallington Girls, which is what makes it so difficult to get into. Girls from all over south London and Surrey can apply.

In terms of sport & music etc, there is a huge variety of clubs within the borough, so whilst some of these schools have impressive facilities, there are plenty of opportunities for all. I have children at 2 private schools in the borough, and at both schools children belong to outside gym clubs, football, rugby, swimming clubs, and do stagecoach, theatre club, dance lessons etc. If anything it can get a bit uber-competitive very early on, as the children in say the A team at school for sports all go to outside clubs too, so everyone feels that they have to do the outside clubs to give their chilren the best chance at sport in the school.

If money isn't endless, the Park Hill plus tuition will get you into an indie senior school (which can be expensive). Save your money for then. (Assuming that you do live in the catchment for Park Hill of course?)

wantsthebest Tue 23-Nov-10 13:35:21

i will check that - i think that i am in park hills catchment area. my concern was that someone said if i didnt get my daughter into croydon high nursery it will be difficult for her to go into junior and then into the senior school.....so i was worried if i left it too late ie/if she didnt get into the grammar school and then didnt get into the inde schools, i'd be stuck.
which schools are your children at?

Ladymuck Tue 23-Nov-10 17:48:36

Don't want to disclose too publicly, but I have boys rather than girls! I think that your friend is scaremongering. If anything the arrival of Cumnor House for Girls has meant that there are more spaces in Croydon High than previously. Whilst entry into the junior school is "selective", it is not necessarily competitive. Of course the school would like to indicate that you must join at nursery, but they obviously prefer to be full.

That said there is wide variation in yeargroups. Current reception year is a low intake for almost all private schools in the area for some reason, whereas Year 5 and Year 3 are bumper years for all private schools, whereas Year 4 is another low year. When it comes to Year 7 all 3 Whitgift foundation schools take about 50% of pupils from state sector, and Croydon High does similarly if it can (they were one class short in Year 7 this year).

meera21 Wed 24-Nov-10 11:33:23

Hello I have a 2 yr old son and thinking of school options in and around croydon area. If i can find a good state school happy to send him there but i too only have park hill on the list..st peters is one i didnt think of so will take a look at that too...what do you think of primary schools in shirley? are they any good? i am also keeping private school as an option - any opinions of elmhurst, royal russell?

wantsthebest Wed 24-Nov-10 12:38:43

HI Meera..I guess Ladymuck has moere experience here - but my freind's son went to Cumnor and is now just started at whitgift - and they were very happy with that.

Wannabeahousewife Fri 25-Nov-11 11:42:25

new to this - will people still be looking 1 year after last post? Anyway, my DD will be starting reception in 2012 and I'm torn between the fantastic Ridgeway and Atwood primaries (which I live between and therefore have a reasonable chance of getting into) and sending her to Croydon High. It would be a squeeze financially, but possible. I like the thought of her being in a class of 15, and not having to worry about transfer when she's 11, but I know I'm lucky to be local to two fantastic primaries (three including Gresham, but I wasn't drawn to it as much) with amazing facilities. Gut feeling hasn't helped - I can imagine her at any of them! So, anyone out there got any thoughts? Particularly about getting into Croydon High/Old Palace from Ridgeway/Atwood, or the advantage of independent primary education?

notavoicelikeShirleyBasseys Tue 07-Feb-12 11:52:49

Wannabe if you're lucky enough to live near "two fantastic primaries" then IMO you're luckier than most parents who use private schooling to avoid poorly performing state schools. I would get your DD into one of these "fantastic" schools and tutor privately higher up the years - seems sensible?.

Wish I was that lucky. OTOH, not sure your reasons why you're even considering an independent primary education if you can imagine your DD getting on fine at the local state?? Of course it's a bit more 'posh' to say you're schooling privately though you may not be concerned with this aspect, but private education may not prove that more beneficial than if your DD attended an excellent state primary as the years wear on. Always a good idea I think to target a preferred senior school from early on and then work towards that, from say 7+. Good luck.

beyoglu Mon 01-Oct-12 13:41:21

I wonder if anyone's still around who's already commented on this thread? We've got 5 month old twin girls (I know, I know, it seems slightly ridiculous to be thinking about this already) and we're living in central Croydon at the moment but considering moving so as to get them into a decent primary and possibly then secondary school (we may move abroad at some point back to my OH's home country).

So, two questions: first, all the primary schools I've looked at say on their websites that they abide by Croydon council's admission criteria i.e. children in care etc have priority - and basically the only admission criterion you have any control over is the distance one. Is that really true? Does anyone have experience to the contrary?

Second question is, where would you recommend? I'm keen to avoid any areas where there's one brilliant school and one awful one, in case the girls are unlucky (or especially if one's lucky and one not!) so areas where all the schools are decent are what we're looking for.

AngelEyes46 Mon 01-Oct-12 22:49:14

Beyog - answer to question 1 - yes, generally (unless you are looking at faith and then that takes precedent).

Answer to question 2 - there are a lot of good primary schools. The south tends to be better: Atwood, Gresham in Sanderstead; Chipstead Valley in Coulsdon; St Peter's is good and so is Park Hill. In the North though, The Whitehorse's are good and Gonville. Which are your closest schools?

beyoglu Tue 02-Oct-12 10:43:29

Angel, that's good to know, thanks!

We're at the dodgy end of Addiscombe/Central Croydon so the closest schools are Woodside, ARK Oval (Ecclesbourne?) and Davidson Primary. They're all 2/3 on the Ofsted reports. I think we've pretty much decided that we'll have to move so at the moment I'm thinking Sanderstead because most of the schools round there are decent. Except maybe Purley Oaks which had a bit of trouble and now has a new headteacher?

Ladymuck Tue 02-Oct-12 11:12:54

The intake for Purley Oaks is an odd one, as most local families will aim for Ridgeway or St Peters or Christchurch/Regina Coelis if faith is an option. Purley Oaks is usually undersubscribed and therefore takes children who aren't close enough to get into one of the others, or applied late etc. This dynamic makes it very difficult for it to "compete" with the other schools, and it is hard to see how even a new head will change the intake issue to be honest.

That said there is a huge squeeze on primary schools places across Croydon. Most schools have been asked to take on bulge classes, and this has a knock-on effect in subsequent years. If the current Year 1 say has 60 children rather than 30 then there will probably be double the number of siblings applying (And I note that you don't comment on sibling priority, but in practice this will be key - you can live next door to the school but if 30 siblings apply for 30 places then your first born won't get in).

The Sanderstead schools are good as there are 3 good schools rather than the usual pattern of 1 good, 1 ok and 1 to be avoided. There is currently a slight oddity in that Gresham and Atwood are "feeder primaries" for Riddlesdown whilst Ridgeway isn't. Lots of children end up moving school in year 5 as parents position themselves for secondary school.

At the point we looked at this, we felt that the Sanderstead house prices reflected the nature of the schools.

beyoglu Tue 02-Oct-12 12:05:04

Thanks Ladymuck, that all makes a lot of sense.

Yep I've noticed the prices in Sanderstead are a bit painful... still, like you say, there's no school to really be avoided (Purley Oaks maybe but as a last resort it's sure better than the ones around us here!) and my other half has just got a promotion so I think we may be sizing up its leafy streets some time soon...

CHOOGIRL Tue 02-Oct-12 13:49:31

Sanderstead is good. As is Shirley (South Side) which isn't a million miles from you if you are in Addiscombe also Hayes. A friend of mine is trying to move, however, and has found that there are no properties (price range/requirements) available for her to buy!

Snesha Fri 05-Oct-12 22:10:33

Hi Wannabe: We are currently planning to move to the catchment area of Ridgeway Primary school or Atwood, can you please suggest which area should we look to rent/buy property so that we can try for a place in one of these schools? Thanks Snesha

Snesha Fri 05-Oct-12 22:11:51

Hi Wannabe: I meant any road in particular would help a lot. thanks Snesha

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