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Oaklands school in Loughton, Essex

(29 Posts)
Sparkle848 Thu 12-Dec-13 12:46:53

Hi everybody
I would be grateful for the low down on this school as I'm considering sending our daughter there. And also what the parent scene is generally like in Loughton as we will most likely move there

Thanks is advance

Scrummummy Mon 23-Dec-13 20:48:54

hi I don't know Oakland's but there are quite a lot of good schools in the area. you have Bancroft's Forest Chigwell Avon House Snaresbrook. Do you want a single sex school? how old is your Dd?

squiby2004 Sun 29-Dec-13 17:16:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Scrummummy Mon 30-Dec-13 12:03:16

hi what secondary schools are you looking at?

squiby2004 Mon 30-Dec-13 23:40:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Scrummummy Tue 31-Dec-13 15:31:12

I don't like the look of Chigwell either. we are hoping for Bancroft's or Forest. though my dh in his ideal little world would prefer City of London girls. but our dd1 is only in y3 and dd2 in F2 so we have a while. the state schools round here are shocking. if we need to go state we'll have to go JCoSS. Can I ask if you work in London? as we hope to move in the next few years and if we would love to live somewhere nice but commutable.

squiby2004 Tue 31-Dec-13 15:40:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sparkle848 Wed 01-Jan-14 00:54:56

Thank you so much for your responses. We would move from canary wharf to Loughton but we haven't started to look at properties yet - well not actively anyway. My husband is self employed and we need to live close within a reasonable travelling distance of canary wharf. It's a great area and everything is on your doorstep for children but it's mostly apartment living albeit with great facilities - gym/ spa concierge etc so not much space as in a garden etc. it is 45mins into bond st from Loughton and 30mins to canary wharf so great for commenting etc.

We like the idea of Loughton as it's close to Epping forest and all the outdoor activities you can do. We would choose a property close to the tube station and the town centre. I'm keen on Oaklands for our 2 year old and we will go to the open day in March. We are decided on private schooling so after oaklands she would go to either forest or Bancroft but we are not interested in highly pressurised hothouse environments so from the information on this thread I'm less sure about ban crofts now. We are a British/asian family so we like that oaklands/ban crofts/forest have a third of black/asian children and teach mandarin etc.

Overall my concerns are that it might not be the right area for us because of the aforementioned towie chav elements. I would be interested to know if there are other families from canary wharf who move out to Loughton and if the professional families who live in Loughton are mostly financial professionals who work in the city and canary wharf. What the mix is like of professional backgrounds in the area. We are looking for prep/private schools in the suburbs and are not interested in city of london school for girls or other city based schools.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts
Thank you

squiby2004 Wed 01-Jan-14 10:32:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Scrummummy Wed 01-Jan-14 14:16:02

my DDs are at Avon house prep which is a lovely school in woodford. its is a feeder for Bancroft's. they love it. teachers are vv good. it is a very mixed school a lot of indian / Asian pupils. in my dd1s class there are probably about 1/3 white British rest black/ mixed British Asian and eastern European. there are 24 in dd1s year and there are 16 in dd2s year. Dd 2 started in the term of her 4 birthday. they do start there at 3 as long as they are dry.

Sparkle848 Thu 02-Jan-14 21:34:39

Thank you I will look into this. Do you have any thoughts on bancrofts ? Especially considering the previous comments that some teenagers end up under CAMHS because of pressure - is that more likely as a result of individual families and the pressure they put on children rather than the school culture itself even though I would think they have high expectations

missinglalaland Fri 03-Jan-14 19:38:29

We went to look at Bancrofts. We live in the area and hear these rumours all the time. Our children go to a local state primary. Based on what I hear, what I've seen and the families with children actually there that I know, I would say that the pressure probably lies more with individual families than the school. I think parents attracted to the school in the first place are ambitious and focussed. Most of the time this is probably fine, but in a few cases the dear children can't meet parental expectations and it all falls apart. I think Bancrofts is a symptom, not a cause.

As for local prep schools, Loyola is the best academically, but it's boys only. Woodford prep and St Aubyns have good reputations. I don't know anyone with academic aspirations sending their dc to Oaklands, but I don't know many people sending their dc to Oaklands in the first place.

As for neighbourhoods in the area, Buckhurst Hill and the Monkhams and Knighton Estates in Woodford Green are considered more " genteel," than Loughton or Chigwell which get more bad press for being new money, etc. I think this distinction only means something to locals. Everyone else just sees all of West Essex as a great big hot TOWIE mess, lol.

As for race, deep intake of breath here, it is mostly white British. Although, if you dig a little deeper a LOT of people here have Greek grandparents or a Jewish granny, etc. maybe that's why people seem generally friendly to new comers. There are Black and Asian families here who seem to be completely part of the community. A few families each year from our state primary send their children to one of the three local private high schools, Forest, Chigwell or Bancrofts. They do so expecting their white children to be in a minority, albeit a large minority! I am unaware of any official stats, but this is the local presumption. TBH, I haven't given it too much thought because I'm not too concerned about the races my kids are mixing with, values matter more. I think if I choose a school, I will probably be self selecting into a group of parents who share a lot of similar concerns to me and values. However I am white, I can see how if you are from a minority group you would be concerned about making sure your child doesn't end up feeling like a token.

Sparkle848 Sat 04-Jan-14 22:28:08

Ok it looks like we are most interested in Avon House and I'd like to live close by preferably walking distance or a short bus ride at most but definitely a genteel area over a new money area. We will be looking for 5 bedroom detached properties with a good size garden, double garage close to a tube line. Any advice on particular developments or streets to consider would be really helpful. Thank you so much for your help

Sparkle848 Sat 04-Jan-14 22:45:45

I,d also like to know the entry age at Avon House - is it age 3 only or can they start at 4 or 5.

If anyone can give some insight as to how Avon House compares to Snaresbrook prep that would be most welcome too as we plan to take a tour of both.

Thank you !

missinglalaland Mon 06-Jan-14 08:09:16

I don't know much about Avon House. I know some children who went to Snaresbrook prep and did very well. One got a 50% scholarship at Forest School.

Neighbourhoods around Wanstead and Snaresbrook are nice and much closer to the city for commuting. IMO

FreddieStarrAteMyHamster Tue 07-Jan-14 10:54:30

I don't recognise Loughton from these posts. It's quite a nice commuter town, a bit overcrowded (aren't they all) but there are nice areas such as the conservation area near the forest. I haven't seen much of a Towie element, most people are perfectly normal. I don't think hardly any of the Towie people live there anyway. I think the area is far nicer than Buckhurst Hill and Woodford, which seem a bit like large housing estates with no real centre.

I think the state primaries are as good than the preps around here. If your child is bright save your money for secondary and uni. Children can easily get into Bancrofts from a state primary in this area if they are academically able. My daughter will apply to go there from a state primary and her teacher feels she won't need any tuition to pass their tests. She does her set homework and that is all. I think pressure and nervous breakdowns in children is usually from mad obsessed parents rather than schools to be honest.

SamO1984 Mon 13-Jan-14 16:04:41

I am not sure if you have settled on Avon House, I live in Loughton (I moved here from East London because I wanted my daughter to go to a better school). We are Catholic so our children go to the local Catholic School, but the other primary schools in the area are very good.

Staples Road in particular is a fantastic school, outstanding OFSTED and I have many friends with children there who love it. You literally have to live on the doorstep to get in there though. It is just off Loughton High Road.

As for TOWIE I have lived here for three years and never seen these people either, I know some have shops on Loughton High Road, I don't think any of them have done a day's work in them.

Sparkle848 Fri 07-Mar-14 17:55:11

Thanks for the tip I will look at Staples

So far we have visited Forest, avon house and Snarebrook and our preference would be in this order.

I have gone off the small prep school idea as our daughter is very confident and social and would cope well with larger class sizes. I also realised I'm not the sort of mum who wants to ferry my kids around to lots of activities at the weekend. So I would prefer a school that offers lots of after school clubs so the children can do fun and interesting things at the end of the day. A the weekend she will probably learn hindi and do something with her daddy.

I have also realised that having lots of facilities onsite is better and for this reason I really like St Aubyns in Woodford Green. They have a performing arts centre on site and I hear they are strong on the arts etc - is this true?

Also, I can't find much on mumsnet about this school - does anyone know much about it? They have 55 children at nursery all in one big diverse space - anyone know what the rationale behind this is? We are going to see it next week so I guess I will see for myself but I'd like to hear other parents views.

There is a lot said about woodford green prep and I wasn't that interested in it anyway but it sounds like it isn't as good as it used to be. We are not pushy/ hyper/tiger parents and I think of myself as a slow parent overall with a 'less is more' approach. The impression I get is that woodford green has a lot more pushy parents and I know you get all types of parents everywhere I'd like to choose a school where we as parents will also meet like minded parents as it can get a bit lonely otherwise.

We are due to visit st Aubyns soon so I'd be interested to hear what parents have to say as this is probably going to be our 1st choice then forest then avon house

I'm kicking myself for not having out our daughter name down on waiting list before - I'm just doing this now but the 55 kids in the nursery put me off before. Now I don't mind because of the performing arts facilities and my daughter is very confident at the nursery she is now. They already have over 100 applicants for these 55 places - I guess some will filter out to other schools. If anyone has any insights on this or what the are looking for at interview that would be most helpful
Thanks very much smilesmile

mummy2MP Sat 08-Mar-14 13:27:24

Hello, we've got an offer for Loyola prep school (nursery) any views on the school??

Sparkle848 Tue 11-Mar-14 17:15:52

Sorry don't know anything about that one

Thinkingtoread Mon 26-May-14 23:30:15

hi mummy2MP my son also got an offer from Loyola for reception u knw anything abt the school yet

wintertimeisfun Wed 28-May-14 11:04:25

sparkle dd starts chigwell (yr7) in september, infact we were there yesterday having her fitting for her uniform. FAB' school, good all rounder as opposed to bancrofts which is hot house city. fwiw despite chigwell being associated as being 'chav new money central' the overall vibe at chigwell is very middle class, good cultural mix (alot of asian kids) with a few chavy types thrown in grin. i have lived in the area for years, love it warts n' all.

Sparkle848 Mon 11-Aug-14 16:44:39

We are really interested in Avon House now because it's such a nice small school and our daughter can take the 7+ for st aubyns if that's appropriate at that time. I know there are 30 kids at nursery but can you tell me what the numbers are like at reception and onwards please.
Thank you

MoRaw Wed 05-Nov-14 22:41:03

Hi Everyone

We are interested in Loyola and Avon House for our son. Any advice?

Sparkle/Mummy2MP/Thinkingtoread from your comments you are/were similarly interested in these schools. Appreciate any insights you may have.

Fionka Fri 20-Mar-15 19:15:16

I would not choose Avon.Big classes, lack of real help from teachers, kids are praised easily but only when you get marks you see what things really are. Connection with Bancrofts is just rumours. smile
Yes, teachers are lovely, but... some of them are really enthusiastic about what they teach, some let your kid down.

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