Leeds school (north leeds)(8 Posts)
My young one has been given a place at Allerton CoE, I've rejected this as it was not on our application list (and the Offsted report is very worrying).
Our initial preferances were Meanwood CoE or Adel Primary but we've not been given a place in these due to them being oversubscribed.
We've now been added to the following waiting lists:
St Urbans (LS6 4QE)
Alwoodley Primary School (LS17)
Carr Manor Primary (LS17 5DJ)
Wigton Moor (LS17 8RU)
Has anyone got any experiance of Allerton CofE or in fact any of the ones we have listed. We apprechiate your thoughts.
I don't want to sound pompous but our daughter, who is in nursery is "operating" at a level that is well above the other children. She's just turned 4, she can read books to Y1 level, she can perform maths again at Y1 level. The nursery get her to read books to the class while they observe. The nursery feel she is a "gifted child, that impresses in all scenarios" - their words not mine.
I'm really worried that the Allerton school would not allow her to reach her potential. I'm going to appeal on these grounds, but I expect to get nowhere, given that it's a subjective matter.
The reason for none placement was the 30 class size limit, so this will not be overturned
Has anyone got comments on how to proceed with Leeds Education.
Please don't assume that clever children won't be challenged in schools where the average ability on entry is low. In fact children such as your daughter would stand out more in such a school and may well get far more attention as a result. The main things to consider are how good the school is pastorally, how robust is it's bullying policy, and how well is challenging behaviour managed.
Alwoodley is OK but too big (and the LEA want it to go to 3 form entry) - my daughter went there, St Urbans leads into Cardinal Heenan where the behaviour is appalling, Carr Manor is a school with unhappy staff so you can guarantee the children will be under pressure and I don't know Wigton Moor.
The problem is two-fold; you see the label 'outstanding' and think that describes a school when it only describes the admin and adherence to Ofsted rules. Then you look at the area and say' clever, middle class, white, children go there and do well'.
My children are both exceptionally able.
The first school my son went to was an outstanding primary in Headingley (now closed). He was shut in a cupboard by the senco who thought he was rude when in fact she should have recognised undiagnosed autism (masked by his academic ability)!
The next school was inner-city, small, mainly muslim and absolutely fantastic with no uniform and a family atmosphere in which both my children thrived. Unfortunately it too closed.
My son then went to Allerton High (again outstanding)where he entered at level 9 in maths and left 3 years later at level 7 having been bullied mercilessly by staff as well as kids. He was seriously ill when he left with mental problems and was suicidal. He hasn't had a full time education since because there is nowhere outside mainstream where he can be taught at the level he needs. He has done his A-levels through the home and hospital teaching service where he is totally happy and is off to University next year.
My daughter went to Alwoodley which was OK and some of the staff were great but the head is no good and I wouldn't rate it now and it was just too big for her to really build her confidence.
She is now at City of Leeds School where she is once more thriving - she has just sat several GCSEs early (Y10) and has an A* in at least 2 of them (Maths is one). Her experience there has been wonderful; she entered with very low confidence because of what happened to my son and the impact of his problems at home and was cared for so well that she is now student of the year every year, performs in the City wide youth Steel band and choir, goes to Art College on a Saturday because her artwork was so good the school made a special arrangement for her to get into the saturday club........
My advice is this:
don't look for the obvious, go into the school and smell the atmosphere and ask yourself if your child will be happy there. A happy child thrives and learns.
happyhev thanks for you comments, you make some valid points but I'm not too sure how to you would notice a robust bullying policy. Problem is I don't know any parents/children in any of these schools.
zemanski, again thanks for your comments, and I apprechiate your thoughts about ofsted, but I'm guessing that the scoring system used is transparent, if so it's a good sign that a school can adapt itself and achieve good results.
As for your comment about "Then you look at the area and say' clever, middle class, white, children go there and do well'", sorry but your far from the truth here, as none of these attributes are important. All we want is a good school that opens a childs potential.
As for your final advice, I think your spot on.
out of interest are there any other school realted web sites I can use to gather more "unoffical" information?
you can ask for a copy at any school.
If they um and ah over it, or say they can't provide it, or say there's no bullying at the school then run a mile.
if the bullying policy includes the phrase 'no blame' avoid at all costs
Being a primary teacher I know ofsted from the inside and it is not at all transparent. Ofsted works to the government's instructions and currently that means largely dismissing a lot of what I see as educationally essential and concentrating on a very limited view of what education is about.
The schools my children have thrived in have been the ones that value music and arts and have a family atmosphere - they only tend to manage to get satisfactory/good overall.
When I read an ofsted report I look at pastoral care and SEN provision. If they are good/excellent then I will consider a school regardless of any other ofsted statistics - both are indicators of how well a school cares for it's pupils, the rest is mostly just stats.
But mostly I go on instinct and for that there is no other option but to go on an ordinary school day and watch the kids playing and working and seeing how the teachers support them.
I prefer to see the odd spirited child being encouraged rather than squashed and love to see real creativity of thought and action.
Some of the best schools I know of for that are currently Thorner, Little London and Brudenell (all of which have moved on from the National Curriculum in recent years to develop their own curriculum base), but things change over time and tomorrow it might be Harehills and Talbot.
Hi Alanalan how did your little one get on at allerton c of e? We have just put an offer on a house in alwoodley and although alwoodley primary is the closest school, looks like we wouldn't have got in on closest school grounds this year. Looks like allerton c of e would be the school she would get in. Hope that she had a positive experience anyway.
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