North London (N1) - think I've applied to too many schools(115 Posts)
After DS was born, I applied to a bunch of schools (listed below) on the advice of friends with older children (as we may not get into them all). I am now trying to make sense of the list and come up with some order of preference.
I am also pregnant with DC2. If it is a girl then this may eliminate some of our list (boys only) as getting two kids to different schools at the same time sounds a nightmare.
The list is:
- Devonshire House (NW3) - to start Autumn 2015 (a year earlier than normal intake)
- Arnold House (NW8) - to start Autumn 2017 (a year later than normal intake)
- St Paul's Cathedral (EC4M) - to start Autumn 2016 (normal intake)
- The Children's House (N1) - to start Autumn 2016 (normal intake). We'll only get in here if DS gets into the nursery (which we have applied for). Also, it only goes to 7 so we would have to find another school from 7 to 11 or 13.
- Dallington (EC1V) - to start Spring 2015 (I think this is very early)
- Lyndhurst House (NW3) - to start September 2016 (normal intake)
- The Hall (NW3) - to start September 2017
- Charterhouse Square (EC1M) - to start September 2015. The names are put into a ballot and only the ones drawn get places.
- Hereward House (NW3) - to start Autumn 2016
- The Lyceum (EC2A) - to start September 2016
- Abercorn (NW8 I think but if they stay with the school it moves to NW1 at some point).
- St Anthony's Prep (NW3). This is Catholic but they take some non Catholics.
Oh god. This is an impossible list. I think ideally I'd like DS to start school at the normal intake (September 2016) as he is 5 in September 2016. I think kids go to school for long enough without starting early.
Perhaps one way I can filter this is to work out how long it will take us to get to each school and then eliminate the ones that have an insane journey.
I'm not terribly keen on uniforms. The only ones on this list without a uniform are the Children's House and Dallington.
For secondary schools, I'd like to aim for Highgate / City of London / UCS etc.
We also live right round the corner from William Tyndale (N1) which has no uniform, a normal intake year and is super popular. It may be that we end up going for that one.
If you have any thoughts on any of these schools, I would be really grateful to have them. Thanks!
A few people have contacted me to ask what preschool DS goes to (as they write references for all these schools). It's Beckett House, which I absolutely recommend.
We chose it partly because we wanted to be able to choose our morning / afternoon combination, rather than being required to put DS in for full time school earlier than necessary, and we loved the atmosphere.
My son will be sad to leave at the end of term but my daughter will stay on until it's time for her to start school.
Update: Well, it's been quite an experience. We ended up doing assessments at St Paul's Cathedral, The Hall, Arnold House, St Anthony's and Devonshire House.
We had offers from a couple of schools and opted for St Paul's Cathedral.
Thank you all very much for your help on this thread, I really appreciate it. I hope you don't mind me coming back to update.
CruCru we will be competing for a place at SPCS together! our eldest is due for assessment early Nov....
Tbh if he gets a place that may be our answer as it is a fab school and ticks a lot of our boxes. Just a shame we have to pay for it!
I'm meant to be speaking to a local mum re De Beauvoir primary school which is our nearest school (1 min walk). Though that would be a real punt as it's still in its infancy in terms of improvement.
4 (September birthday so he'll be starting next year). You should still be able to register for St Anthony's and Devonshire House.
I loved St Anthony's. Plus you don't have to pay to register, only when you have looked round the school and confirmed that you are still interested.
Thanks CruCru. We have been here over a year now but I am a West Londoner and haven't really got a local "network" yet. I will have a look at St Anthony's and Devonshire House (although realise I might be too late!).
Have you only just moved into North London, Ties?
We're also down for St Paul's Cathedral, St Anthony's and Devonshire House (deferred that one until reception).
We're still down for both. We'll do the assessments and the interviews and then come to a decision.
crucru what did you decide about Arnold House and The Hall? I don't know many
any people in North London so struggling to get views.
DS is down for both (although obviously may not get in to either).
Ah, I didn't know that MN164. I think part of the problem is that I haven't really been in schools since I left school so quite a lot has changed. I agree, it is really unusual to do Latin. WT is an extremely desirable school, I have put it at the top of my state school applications.
Yes, I think that is a nice way of putting it, 3times. Choosing a school is like choosing a path - I think what I find so difficult about it is that, no matter what we choose, we eliminate some of our future options.
Many primary schools offer Spanish not French so Secondary schools are used to starting a zero on French at 11.
More to the point, WT is a primary school doing Latin! That is unusual (stands to be corrected here). I would have loved mine to have done Latin early.
Thanks oldplastic and interesting too re french.
I'll check out gatehouse too.
Friends have their LOs in HNPS so will add to the application list and tap them up for info next year. I like the music focus though with any new school it's always a bit of a gamble making sure the teaching style and staff are the right fit.
Yes the other academy is Halley House, opened 2 weeks ago. Don't know anyone who sends their kids there but worth a look.
Driving myself mad trying to work out best path to go down! Appreciate comments
Littleone83: I have friends with (clever) kids at colvestone and no problems/they like it.
Gatehouse in Victoria park closer to you than spcs and has school bus. Parents race about it.
Interested to hear what you think about hackney new school primary....
Also that new academy or free school by arcola street that's just opened... Don't know its name...
Re French ... Some schools complaining hard to get sufficient secondary school teachers for French so shifting to Spanish in primary. Latin sounds even better.
ps OP though is a different school, Forest don't do French either. They only do Mandarin and then later German or Spanish. Perhaps French falling into decline...?
This has been v useful as we are in same boat. We live Hackney/Is border and in terrible catchment (only have De Beauvoir which is an improving school so not willing to let DS be a guinea pig while they bring it up to speed....)
DS currently in Rosemary Works nursery (which we love) and have paid deposit to secure primary (due to start Sept 2016). Concerns are they have hiked up prices massively and feel school doesn't warrant this plus numbers are very small. He's also due for assessment at SPCS though as in posts above, he's one of 70 applicants!
Will Tyn would be amazing but we are so far out of catchment. Any experience from ppl applying from out of catchment?? Also any experience of Colvestone/Holy Trinity/Hackney New School (Primary literally just opened last week but unsure of academy school vs trad state school).
Viewed Forest today which closes admin for 4+ 2016 on 29/09 - fab school but commute would be disaster so have to strike off sadly...
Really keen on SPCS (great ethos and all rounder) if DS gets through assessment but only concerns are outside space and impact commute would have on weekend/outside school play dates with buddies...
Update: so we've been back to see William Tyndale plus Lyndhurst House, The Hall, Hereward House, Arnold House and St Anthony's. I still really like WT but one thing interested / concerned me - from year 3 to year 6 they do Latin but don't offer French. Seems quite unusual - presumably the kids would study French at secondary so would this be a problem?
I phoned the Lyceum school to find out some information and had a few questions, the phone was answered by 'Daniel' who rudely hung up on me before I had finished saying he was very busy!!!!! We won't be going there!
Update: we're on the waiting list for Devonshire House. Need to respond by 19 March to confirm whether we want to stay on the waiting list.
Update: have been invited to the Hall's open evening in May. As it is at 6:45pm, I assume that children don't need to attend. Therefore, presumably that assessment would be at a separate thing.
Update: we just had our assessment at Devonshire House and - I'm not sure. I was all revved up to be interviewed by the Headmistress but she wasn't there and we all had a chat with the deputy head while the kids were assessed in a separate room (together, they were playing). It only took half an hour. DS came out in a good mood. I don't know what they did.
If we get in, I'll need to have a proper look round the school. Hadn't realised you didn't do this when you go to be assessed.
PS - CruCru - good on you for WT. Save the big decisions until 11.
N1 to NW3 in a car is nuts if you live anywhere near H&I overland to Finchley and Frognal, a 10 min regular reliable easy train ride.
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