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Good primary schools in North Wales

(16 Posts)
GeoKm Sat 10-Nov-12 09:29:35

Hello,
This is the first time I am posting and Would like to ask other Mums their thoughts on North Wales primary schools and good places to live.
I have recently accepted a job based in Llandudno. We currently live in Leicestershire. I would like some advice on which would be a good school for my children to go to. I have a 10 year old and 7 year old. Also good places to live would also be great. We are not sure if we will live in Llandudno.
I am looking forward to the job, but terrified of uprooting the family and moving so far away.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Flyonthewindscreen Sat 10-Nov-12 14:16:23

I am in Flintshire (although work sometimes in Llandudno) so don't have personal experience of Conwy schools (the borough that Llandudno is under). As I expect you have discovered, Welsh schools don't have league tables in the same way as English schools but there has been a recent table banding high schools 1-5 www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-16504199. The top scoring school in Conwy is Eirias High which is in Colwyn Bay, just up the road from Llandudno. Perhaps have a look at that and then work backwards to find out the feeder primary schools?

Flyonthewindscreen Sat 10-Nov-12 14:19:38

Something else to bear in mind, that part of the North Wales coast is vast majority English speaking, although all pupils learn Welsh as a second language, if you were looking at some of the more inland villages, the primary schools may be Welsh medium which may be a issue unless you are hoping for your DC to be Welsh/English bilingual of course.

GeoKm Sat 10-Nov-12 14:53:07

Hi Kamer,
Thank you so much for the advice. I have been going round in circles trying to find a table that has a list of schools and their rating! Thanks for the link. I have been looking at the areas around Llandudno, namely Conwy, Deganwy, Rhos on Sea and Penrhyn Bay. Just to make it easier for my journey to work. DH works in East Yorkshire, so even somewhere east of Llandudno, within a half hour commutable distance would be good.Where could you recommend in Flintshire?
Definately need a school where English is the first language. Anything to make the transition easier. I think the children will enjoy learning another language.

Flyonthewindscreen Sat 10-Nov-12 15:44:13

Half an hour east of Llandudno would take you into Denbighshire but the schools there are pretty bad to make a sweeping generalisation. They don't have a band 1 high school for example. If you are prepared to commute a bit further then you could look at Flintshire but will pm you about Flintshire schools as will out myself in RL otherwise.

lizziebach Sat 10-Nov-12 15:48:35

I think Denbighshire is better than that. Brynhyfryd might not be Band 1 but thats due to its commitment to allow pupils to enter exams if they want to not just if they think they will get the higher grades. In general Denbighshire scools are pretty good, but more Welsh than some so it depends how bilingual you want your children to be.

GeoKm Sat 10-Nov-12 19:00:56

Thank you both. I think English first then Welsh. It would fluster them to join a school where they can't understand the language and that would make things more difficult. There is so much to think about.

blackice Sat 10-Nov-12 20:47:57

have you considered LLanfairfechan? small village, equidistant between LLandudno and Bangor. about 7 miles from each I think

admission Sat 10-Nov-12 21:15:45

If your husband is going to be working in East Yorkshire then you need to be looking somewhere along the A55, which is the fast 2 lane dual carriage way leading onto the M56 for Manchester and beyond.
I know of people who commute from Chester to Llandudno on a daily basis, but we are talking about 75 minutes drive, which is far more than you wish to commute (and some days it can be far longer than that. Half an hour from Llandudno will get you as far as Denbighshire but probably not as far as Flintshire, so we probably talking from St Asaph and Bodelwyddan onwards as being in your commute range.
I inspect schools in Wales, so I am not going to make any suggestions on the open forum but would say to you that you do need to consider as much as anything the secondary school that one of your children will be attending in a year.
Personally I would not suggest living in rhos-on-sea or Old Colwyn with a young family because without seeming to be too rude, they have a very large population of OAPs. Apologies to all who live there.
To look at schools that are around you could go to the Estyn website (Ofsted in Wales), go to inspection reports and choose secondary schools in Conwy and in Denbighshire to look at the reports. There are not that many in reality. Look for reports that are after September 2010 as that was when the latest inspection regime stated and look for schools that are deemed good. Not necessarily still a sound recommendation but will give you an idea. Having thought through the problem of a secondary school you can do the same with primary schools in the area. Most LAs in Wales have an admission criteria which gives priority to what is the nearest school by distance, usually road distance, apart from siblings, so you need to be checking out distances from potential areas to live to the secondary school.
Please PM me if you want specific information on schools

PotteringAlong Sat 10-Nov-12 21:24:17

Not related to schools, but my family are from near Bangor and it is a most beautiful part of the world!

GeoKm Sun 11-Nov-12 12:27:58

Thank you. I will have a look at the estyn website and PM you admissions with choices if that is okay. I did have a look at Bangor PotteringAlong, but it increases DH commute, unless he gets a transfer to Wales.
Haven't looked at Llanfairfechan. Is there a good school there blackice?

PotteringAlong Sun 11-Nov-12 18:24:15

Llanfairfechan has a cafe on the seafront that forms a large part of my childhood memories! Irrelevant, but true!

blackice Sun 11-Nov-12 22:21:26

The primary school in Llanfairfechan is Pant y Rhedyn. Sadly my knowledge of it is very out of date although they have an inspection report on their website from 2008.

Takver Mon 12-Nov-12 10:30:28

FWIW I would treat the recent banding from 1-5 with an extremely heavy pinch of salt. Certainly round here (not north Wales, I'm afraid) there were some very odd placings based both on exam results and local info about the schools. I'd be inclined to find somewhere you'd like to live and then visit local schools & see what you think.

GeoKm Mon 12-Nov-12 11:48:50

We are going over soon to have a look around. I am beginning to feel rushed into making a decision, especially as we need to move by new year. Thanks for all the advice. Please keep it coming!

Flyonthewindscreen Tue 13-Nov-12 08:35:26

That's really interesting takver. The bandings here in Flintshire seemed as locals would expect, given schools' reputation and catchments. But agree nothing beats actually visiting a school during a normal school day.

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