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Bedford primary schools - Castle Lower, Rushmoor, St Andrew's, Priory

(9 Posts)
Mrsdp123 Thu 14-Feb-13 16:24:46

So we currently have our child in an excellent London state primary school but we are about to uproot him to move to Bedford where from what I can gather from phoning a few schools there are no spaces in reception in schools in walking distance to the Castle Area!
I am obviously hoping a few people up sticks and leave in the next few months and if so does anyone have any information about Castle Lower School or Priory Lower School which seem to be the closest 2. My son is currently at a C of E VA school but there don't seem to be any of those in Bedford!!
If we can't get him in anywhere we are going to have to live on beans and put him into a private school which I had hoped to avoid until he was older. So Rushmoor and St Andrew's are the two we are looking at as being closest.
Any information good or bad gratefully received!

spotty26 Thu 14-Feb-13 20:24:52

We are hoping to do the same as you! From London to Bedford imminently! I am no help on the schools sorry but just thought I would say hi.

MissPB Thu 14-Feb-13 21:01:46

does it have to be in the castle area? It might be worth looking at some of the villages in the area too - oakley, sharnbrook, bromham, biddenham?

Ednaobrien Thu 14-Feb-13 21:28:30

Castle Lower is very over subscribed and I assume it would have a long waiting list. I think it would be the only school in bedford where being in catchment is no guarantee. I don't know much about priory but not in the best location. Don't know anyone at Rushmoor or St Andrews but know people who use St Andrew nursery which is always recommended. What about pilgrim per prep that has a great rep, or you could try Hills Lower or Hazeldene Lower school (not too far from castle area) my dcs go to one of these schools and we love it.

For a CofE you need to go to a village lots of lovely ones in north beds as Misspb mentioned.

raggybo Thu 14-Feb-13 22:28:45

How old is your DS? My son goes to Pilgrims and it is great but only goes to Y2. Rushmoor and St Andrews are non selective independents, Rushmoor traditionally being for boys and St Andrews for girls (although I think both now take both sexes up to a certain age).

Have you look at St James Lower in Biddenham? It's a traditional CofE school and about 1 mile from the town centre?

Mrsdp123 Fri 15-Feb-13 11:53:57

Thanks all. Until last week we were going to live in a village and had also been looking at Ampthill but we have now decided that we prefer a town centre with things to walk to. In fact we had never been to Bedord before last week! - never let it be said we don't do things on a whim! So in a week we have put in an offer and had it accepted and are now on the move. Obviously it would have been easier if we moved last year when my son was just about to start reception -but I like a challenge!
Yes all the decent state schools are full (the ones with the ofsteds I liked were Hazlemere, Castle Lower, Putnoe and Priory) and I guess our option is to keep on a waiting list and look at private in the meantime. I was hoping to avoid it this early on as it will mean between nursery and school we'll be looking at a fair whack on top of moving and doubling our mortgage...St Andrew's takes boys until they are 9 or 11 (I can't remember) but it is closer than Rushmoor, and I am all for anything that is easy at that time in the morning. We are going to lose our network of friends to share school and nursery runs with so my occasional lie ins are going to be a thing of the past!
Thanks all and keep an eye out for me leaning over the garden gate with my wine in hand!

MissPB Fri 15-Feb-13 16:57:36

Welcome to Bedford! There is loads going on, you just have to do a little digging to find it.

Do a google search for the Bedford Clanger newspaper or look out for it in local cafes - that will give you a good insight to a lot of things/shops that are available.

And the play park at Russell Park is great (I assume you will go there if you are living in the Castle area).

Mrsdp123 Tue 19-Feb-13 22:45:07

Yes we went to Russell Park yesterday and had a wander around Castle Road scouring the adverts in the windows and i've gathered some info on nurseries as well, so we are nearly there. More importantly I've noted that the Embankment pub does half price prosecco on a Thursday night so i am more than happy!

alixari Thu 09-May-13 17:35:29

Hi Mrsdp123, how did the school search going on? Have you decided on anything yet?
My son currently attends St. Andrew's nursery. It is excellent excellent excellent! They have asked us to stay on for reception year but it will be £700 per month, so we are not so sure.

Anyway, our catchment school is Castle lower but he was not offered. Other school we applied for is Priory, he was not offered a place either. But Priory's class size is less than 30 so I can appeal against the refusal. So appeal it is. Hearing will be between June and September.

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