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Cobham Free School

(67 Posts)
Janacek Mon 21-Oct-13 08:59:52

Looking at this school for my ds (senior dept). Wondered if anyone had any experience of the primary dept? DS is 11 and musical.

Janacek Wed 23-Oct-13 18:05:49


springrain Thu 24-Oct-13 00:42:06

Hi. Sorry but I don't have experience of school, but if you are interested you have nothing to lose in applying as you apply separately from the SCC application and so are not losing out on 1 of your choices.

Janacek Thu 24-Oct-13 08:59:34

Thank you Springrain. We have applied and hope to learn more about the school over the next few months. It looks perfect for ds from website but I am nervous having heard the negative reporting on Free Schools in the press.

titchy Thu 24-Oct-13 09:16:28

It'll probably be fine for a certain sort of child, assuming it gets its funding. Very small for a secondary though, so a limited curriculum choice at GCSE is inevitable. Likewise sports and extra curricular clubs.

holidaysrcoming Thu 24-Oct-13 09:40:05

My concern would be how they could afford to employ specialist teachers at secondary level just for one year group.

If their open days hadn't been so late, their funding agreed and the site announced more parents might have seen it as a choice for 2014. To me it requires a significant leap of faith but as springrain says, you can hold two offers and see how the FS is progressing.

titchy Thu 24-Oct-13 09:58:53

Agreed - I really can't see how they will be able to afford more than 10 teachers even when they have cohorts up to year 11. So presumably no specialist Science teaching at GCSE, only one language taught, no inter-school sport tournaments (only 35 boys or girls per year - will the same sporty kids be forced to be on every school sports team?), one DT teacher (to teach woodwork, resistant materials, textiles, cooking - good luck with that one!), one English teacher also teaching Drama, one PE teacher (for boys AND girls - how would that work?).

I suspect it will appeal to parents who think their kids need a bit more nurturing than most, and if they're prepared to sacrifice curriculum for that, then fine. But not for me - even with a ds who really didn't fit in at primary, going to secondary has been the making of him - so many more kids = more like him to be friends with!

mummytime Thu 24-Oct-13 10:12:44

Its only been open this year, so not that many parents around.
You do realise you apply for it in addition to your normal choices?

I am registered to visit on one of its open days, but for me it mainly a chance to be nosy. Although I think there is a need for a new secondary in that area, I do think maybe its too small.

Janacek Thu 24-Oct-13 13:44:50

All very interesting points thanks.The curriculum does concern me and I am going armed with questions at the open day. However, we are in Cobham and the music specialism is attractive to us and a long commute to one of the other main secondaries is not appealing...

titchy Thu 24-Oct-13 14:04:57

Think carefully about the music specialism. With 72 kids in the year, and 10% of them coming in as specialist musicians (the maximum they can select) that's only 7 kids. There are plenty of opportunities for music making in the area outside of school you know...

titchy Thu 24-Oct-13 14:07:03

What big long commute to the other secondaries? Half an hour max from Cobham to 3 Good secondaries....

Winterwardrobetime Thu 24-Oct-13 14:11:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Janacek Thu 24-Oct-13 15:20:51

Unlikely we will get Howard or Esher from the our side of Cobham. Winterwardrobetime, that is a good point that the partnership agreements may fall away and I will raise this again at open day. We are musicians ourselves and as such we can source music making outside of school however, it would be great to be at a school where music is well supported.

Janacek Thu 24-Oct-13 15:30:56

Please do continue with your concerns as I find these comments helpful and will def be bringing them up at open evening.

mummytime Thu 24-Oct-13 15:46:33

If music is really important to you have you looked at Guildford County? Very commutable by train, and you might have good grounds for appeal.

cottoncandy Thu 24-Oct-13 15:48:16

A friend of mine has a daughter in the primary and is very happy with it

Janacek Thu 24-Oct-13 16:25:50

Thank you mummytime. I rang admissions and we would be unlikely to get a place even on appeal, but good suggestion.

EES36 Tue 05-Nov-13 23:11:30

Hi Janacek
My two children are both in the CFS Primary School and we are so delighted with the School, its teaching standards and pastoral care. It's a lovely School with creative energetic vibe and the extra opportunites the children get are great. Chelsea Football Academy take the PE classes, they Swim at Yehudi Menuhin School and receive group tuition from their teachers.
The Headteacher is really inspiring and has a real passion for teaching, we felt totally happy with our choice when joining the School on opening. The Academic results are excellent and both children are benefitting from the wide Curriculum and the small classes.
My eldest son is in Year 4 and already has specialist teachers in French, Games, DT and Maths.
We are both confident that the Senior School will be a real success and I'm sure a great balance across all areas for the local children.
If your child is talented musically, I would happily recommend the School to you. Their long term funding is very secure and they have excellent relationships to continue building the School into the larger vision.
Everyone I know who is at the School is really happy and the children are thriving in all areas.
Lots of us moved from other Schools, taking a leap of faith. Lots moved from local Prep Schools as they believed in the Schools vision.
Its certainly proving over and over that its a really amazing School.
Hope this helps a little. Visit the School on a 1:1 and meet the Head, I'm she will answer your questions around the Music and other concerns as it's her area of expertise.
I am a teacher in the Private sector and have full faith in the School.

Janacek Wed 06-Nov-13 20:09:37

Thank you EES36 that is a lovely recommendation.

Banter Sun 10-Nov-13 08:33:04

With less than a year until it opens, there has been no announcement on the location, let alone an application for planning permission. The residents association is advising that the preferred site isn't even in Cobham but the other side of the A3 in Burhill (near Whitley). That would mean very little of Cobham would have priority in a school that is supposed to serve it's area. Hmmm.

titchy Sun 10-Nov-13 10:02:36

Ooh that's a school run I wouldn't fancy!

Janacek Mon 11-Nov-13 20:56:21

There is access from Portsmouth rd as American Community School has. It seems strange that there is obviously a lot of ill feeling about the Free school and I'm not sure why? Cobham needs a secondary and there is a shortage of places in Elmbridge. The music provision in the local secondaries is woeful so I say all the best to them!

titchy Mon 11-Nov-13 22:28:10

I agree Cobham could do with a secondary (it used to have one....), but actually Therfield doesn't tend to get oversubscribed and is easily accessible, so the need isn't THAT great. The big issue is it may not BE in Cobham!!!! Not sure what the ACS would say about using their road either.... Also not many people pick a school because of its music facilities - there is provision through the county music service and through community groups, and the relationship with YM could break down tomorrow.

Personally I wouldn't consider Cobham free for secondary simply because it is too small, and in a way that proves it isn't because there is a need otherwise it would be much larger.

Janacek Mon 11-Nov-13 23:21:22

There are other access roads onto Burhill estate. No not many people do opt for music provision, but we do! I work in music education in the area and local music provision in the community is poor. Why not embrace a school that s trying to do something about it?

titchy Tue 12-Nov-13 07:59:03

Good for you for doing something about music in the community! I wouldn't (didn't!) pick a school for music over an academically limited curriculum though, and I can't help but think with an intake of 74 the curriculum will be very limited.

Didn't know elvedon road went as far as burhill though!

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