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Nice primary in Bexley?

(73 Posts)
chocolatemartini Mon 02-Jun-14 21:59:48

Looking to move to Bexley area (so far looked at new Eltham/ Sidcup/ Bexleyheath). Looking for a happy primary school where the children really enjoy school. Results also matter to us as we'd be aiming for grammar schools for secondary but wouldn't want to tutor them out of school for the bexley tests.

So far we like the look of Dulverton, Days Lane, Crook Log, Danson. Any others we should look at? I love the forest school they have at Crook Log.

HeleneCixous Wed 04-Jun-14 14:57:44

Birkbeck is also well-thought-of. The news that Longlands "requires improvement" has caused big kerfuffle hereabouts!

No Bexley primary offers in-school support for the 11 plus other than provision to sit it at your local primary.

And as I am sure you have realised, parts of New Eltham are not in catchment for Dulverton (although ultimately NE is so close to Bexley GS and Chis and Sid that every year that I know of, any child in the LB Greenwich bit of New Eltham has got into a Bexley grammar provided they passed the 11 plus)

Trojanhouse Wed 04-Jun-14 15:00:51

Dulverton has a good reputation

AllabouttheE Wed 04-Jun-14 22:50:38

Bexley are changing admission but not sure when to as crow flies. This will hugely impact dulverton as it sits on railway line.
Last I heard, parents were leaving birkbeck in droves.

Bottom line is all Sidcup schools are good schools.
House prices are probably the best indicator of good schools.
Days lane is sought after
Bexley c of e is now 4 form entry
But check admission criteria and be warned catchments are shrinking as London moves out.

AllabouttheE Wed 04-Jun-14 22:52:10

Oh, just to add longlands has forest school starting in sept. They have brand new facilities and a new head.

chocolatemartini Fri 06-Jun-14 16:27:04

Oh thanks for the replies. Still looking at new Eltham but will check out everything mentioned... Does anyone know if there is any likelihood the grammar school admissions policy will be changed to prioritise Bexley kids? I read something online saying there was a campaign to do that, like in dartford. Would be annoying to be just on the wrong side of a borough boundary, assuming the dcs pass the 11+.

Also, couldn't make out how much distance is a factor in grammar school allocations. Any experiences of how this works in practice?


HeleneCixous Fri 06-Jun-14 17:19:21

Because of the Greenwich judgment Bexley are not legally allowed to favour LB Bexley residents over other nearby children who also pass the 11 plus, chocolatemartini, so I think it is unlikely that any of the Bexley grammars will radically change their admissions policies.
And the Dartford Grammar School policy has changed in two ways - yes, it extends its preferred catchment area to a couple of other postcodes in New Barn and Longfield...but they are also moving to six-form entry and reducing the number of places reserved by postcode overall.
WRT to the Bexley grammar admissions catchment, until the change in the 11 plus this year, you could pretty much predict that Bexley GS had a catchment area of 1.5 miles (and shrinking annually), whereas Chis & Sid and Townley took from up to 7 miles away. I am afraid I don't know about BETHS but I think it fell between the two extremes.
Everyone I know in New Eltham whose child passed the new Bexley test got a place at their first choice grammar, including people who live much further away than usual. I know of someone living in Petts Wood who got offered a place at BGS this year, a huge change from recent years.

chocolatemartini Fri 06-Jun-14 21:11:40

Ah thanks Helene I won't worry about DA vs SE9 postcodes then. Although there's so little on the market at the moment I doubt we'll be able to be that picky.

Didn't know the 11+ had changed, will google...

VelvetSpoon Fri 06-Jun-14 21:21:18

Birkbeck has always been over-rated, and it's continued Oustanding Ofsted rating is a bit of a mystery. No child to my knowledge has ever passed the 11+ from there without a LOT of private tutoring, and the school is very biased in favour of SAHP/PTA mum types.

In Sidcup, Holy Trinity/Days Lane are both much better, nicer, schools.

chocolatemartini Sat 07-Jun-14 07:59:09

Another school we noticed was mead road infants- small, gorgeous setting, impeccable ofsted, but where do they go for junior school? Can't see any of the other local primaries having 30 extra places for year 3s? Do they go private?

chocolatemartini Sat 07-Jun-14 08:00:28

Velvet thanks, I had seen Days Lane and it looks like a happy place. Will check out Holy Trinity.

HeleneCixous Sat 07-Jun-14 09:55:41

Holy Trinity is a C of E school so look at the admissions criteria carefully chocolatemartini. I think it does have some community places, but most of the children attend a local church (Christ Church, Holy Trinity, Holy Redeemer or All Saints New Eltham afaik)
Someone else said earlier - all of these schools are pretty good by national or local standards! Good luck with the property hunt chocolatemartini, I think that might be your big problem in all this brew

HeleneCixous Sat 07-Jun-14 09:56:43

A lot of children do go private from Mead Road, or they go up to Red Hill I think. Which is of course LB Bromley...

chocolatemartini Sun 08-Jun-14 07:57:32

Ah ok. Thanks for all the info. Dh says the fact Hélène Cixous is so knowledgable about New Eltham bodes well for the area grin

AllabouttheE Sun 08-Jun-14 17:58:08

Well just to keep the info flowing, Dulverton is the only Sidcup school you could feasibly get a place at living in New Eltham.
The other school there is a greenwich one called Wyeborn.

I think house prices are marginally less on the Greenwich side than Bexley. It's a funny area right on the point of three council boundaries.

HeleneCixous Sun 08-Jun-14 23:09:46

Wyborne is fine, it is better than it used to be (when ds was in the market for primary places). It is a rather cramped old Victorian site (nicely maintained though) compared to Dulverton's more modern premises and huge greenfield site.
A lot of LB Bexley schools are big chocolatemartini. Be prepared for primary schools that may be bigger than your old secondary!

chocolatemartini Tue 10-Jun-14 13:04:21

Ah thanks both, we're still looking at the Dulverton catchment as a first choice but will have to see what comes up when we've got an offer on our flat, still open to ideas. Yes green fields are quite important I think, though I taught in a school for a while that only had a playground and the kids were happy enough. We've been trying to decide whether to move now or wait till the autumn term till we can view some of the schools. As teachers we're both a bit picky, and we know how deceptive ofsteds and data can be.

Slightly off topic, does anyone know about the allotments behind Brooklands Ave? We saw a house (already stc now) which seemed to have the right to rent the allotment behind it, are they all like that?

peaz Tue 10-Jun-14 13:18:57

My son is in year 1 at Crook Log. The Forest school there is brilliant and the kids love it but they only use it for an hour a week (each class) so I wouldn't base any decision on that.

Ofsted visited recently but as a parent I'm not happy. My son has a speech delay which they haven't addressed (due to lack of funding) and I don't think they keep parents informed, don't want to put myself. There were also a few incidents involving parents fighting, although the head teacher finally stepped up and sorted it out.

But my son loves it, he has just started school dinners there (thank god!) and he has lots of friends. They are a highly mixed school in terms of ethnicity which I feel is a good thing.

chocolatemartini Tue 10-Jun-14 15:49:14

Hi peaz sorry to hear you aren't happy with Crook Log. I really liked the area when we looked around. Danson park is a big bonus. Parents fighting isn't a great sign though! I guess your son being happy there is the main thing, and hopefully the school will address your other concerns in time. Does the head seem good generally?

chocolatemartini Tue 10-Jun-14 16:49:15

Anyone got any personal knowledge of Danson Primary?

peaz Tue 10-Jun-14 19:48:26

The head is ok, a bit wishes washy and not very forthcoming but the deputy is nice and sure how old your kids are but head of early years is lovely.

AllabouttheE Tue 10-Jun-14 21:20:44

Re allotments
I believe the council hold a waiting list for the allotments for any resident. There are more allotments behind Longlands
School in the rec opposite the school field. The school themselves have an allotment for gardening club.

Just living on Brooklands doesn't mean you get an allotment. Pretty sure you will find allotment data on Bexley website.

AllabouttheE Tue 10-Jun-14 21:29:48

What entry year are you looking at OP?
I have a feeling this intake 2014 is very very high on siblings for the extraordinarily large intake of 2011. Catchments shrank across the whole town.

2013 intake was generally under subscribed in Sidcup!
Several schools Reception years are not full. Although this could be due to the now permanent bulge at Bexley C of E which would have pulled lots of children East across the borough (everyone avoids Royal Park which isn't as bad as it's Rep).

I have friends trying to buy in Sidcup and there is little new to the market despite agents leafleting weekly. Indeed one just today saying each house sale has 40 viewings and over 10 offers with prices beyond their belief.

AllabouttheE Tue 10-Jun-14 21:36:39

Me again. I don't want to out myself but a friend is a teacher and holds the opinion of Over My Dead Body regarding Dulverton.
I know they 'helped eliminate' an autistic child but of course I don't know the whole story and thirdly I also know someone recently removed their child due to the heads persistent failure to deal with bullying.

But I hold the opinion the grass is never greener.

chocolatemartini Wed 11-Jun-14 11:17:16

Oh dear. What schools would/ did your teacher friend favour over Dulverton if he/she had the choice?

Any in Bromley/ Bexley or South Greenwich could be possible for us logistically, with the obvious problem that there's so little on the market at the moment. It'll be helpful if we have a range of acceptable options rather than one small catchment to aim for.

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