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Muswell Hill primary schools - opinions please!

(2 Posts)
MarianneM Fri 25-Mar-11 19:21:44

About to move into the area, would appreciate honest opinions from those in in the know.

I am aware of five "outstanding" primary schools in Muswell Hill: Teatherdown, Muswell Hill Primary, Rhodes Avenue, Coldfall and St James C of E. Would be happy to send my two DDs (2.10 and 1.2 next Sept) to any of these but I understand they are all hard to get into, so we are looking to rent a flat near one of them (can't afford to buy). It looks unlikely that we will find a flat near enough Teatherdown or Muswell Hill Primary as they seem to be in the more expensive parts of MH, so we are thinking probably Coldfall as it is in a more affordable area and has a larger "catchment".

But as we are also churchgoers we are considering St James's School. Does anyone have experiences of that? Again we are unlikely to be able to live very close to it, but I think I understood that distance would not be a key factor. I sent them an email asking a few questions about their admissions policy (having read it online beforehand) and got a slightly terse and uninformative response. Also, anyone with children there, does St James Church play a big part in the life of the school? The style of worship is very different (happy clappy) to that of our church but the school is the only C of E school in the area I think. No offense meant for anyone who may go St James Church.

Any information would be welcome.

pinkalish Mon 22-Aug-11 14:31:53

We have just gone through this process for our DS. I looked at most of the ones that you mentioned. St James' is very sweet but small (only one-form entry). This year I think they had 28 siblings out of 30 places which means that only 2 people got in on religious grounds (so I'm guessing they needed to live very close to the school also).

Coldfall is much bigger (three forms), with an impressive head and outstanding ofsted. Tetherdown is in the middle in terms of size (two forms) and the head is very warm and friendly. It also ranked 19th out of all primary schools nationwide and has been rated outstanding on ofsted for many years. We chose Tetherdown and our DS starts there in September.

The geographical catchment area of all these schools is small (Coldfall catchment shrank dramatically this year and many of my friends did not get places when they would have done the year before). Haringey council will tell you the exact size, and if you give them the postcode of the houses you're considering they'll tell you your chances of getting in based on this year's intake (don't believe estate agents who will lie/don't know to get a buyor/rentor). If you're interested in Tetherdown, we have to vacate our rental house (definitely in catchment for the school) October 1st. For more info please email me.

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