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Primary schools near Woodstock, Kidlington, Charlbury, Bicester area

(19 Posts)
2busyboys Tue 02-Dec-14 20:50:04

Dear Mumsneters, we're thinking of relocating out of London to an area near Bicester (for commuting purposes) and wondered if anyone has any advice on schools. We're considering it as an alternate to private in London - hoping for a nice environment and decent education without paying for it (the holy grail!) so the areas around Woodstock, Charlbury etc... seem nice. Any advice on the best schools, catchments etc... gratefully received!

lostintoys Wed 03-Dec-14 13:35:07

Woodstock school is very good but very over-subscribed, also it's an expensive area. Charlbury school I've heard mixed reviews about, and it's also over-subscribed. Long Hanborough has cheaper housing, station to Oxford and London, and a well-thought of school.

Pelicangiraffe Wed 03-Dec-14 21:46:46

What secondary school do you want DC to attend? Can you work backwards, so choose the secondary school and then look at its feeder primary schools.

Woodstock would be bottom of my list personally.

Jellified Wed 03-Dec-14 22:20:39

Why would Woodstock be bottom of your list Pelican?

Chalalala Thu 04-Dec-14 09:16:26

also thinking of moving to the area - so, any thoughts about the secondary schools? From what I've heard the good ones are in Oxford and around Abingdon, which is not what I need... (need to be north of Oxford, like the OP)

Jellified Thu 04-Dec-14 15:37:13

Bartholomew in Eynsham was given outstanding OFSTED. Have children at Marlborough and it's been ok for them. Depends on what you want really. Didn't really look into other schools as it's our local one.
Woodstock primary school has expanded in the last couple of years so there are more places available than before.

Pelicangiraffe Thu 04-Dec-14 19:12:37

Where are you commuting from and to?

Bartholomew's 100%.

Malmsbury is also outstanding but in the wrong location

teacherwith2kids Thu 04-Dec-14 20:07:18

Steeple Aston school (Dr Radcliffe's) used to be very well regarded - info a few years out of date, though.

Secondary schools in that area a bit 'up in the air' though - traditionally Dr Radcliffe's fed into the Warriner [Bloxham], while anyone living even a bit further West went to Chipping Norton. However, the new Free School at Lower Heyford has become the closest school for a number of villages in that area so is the only one where buses are free under new proposals. There is a really odd situation where, for some villages, the catchment school is no longer covered by free buses - don't know whether that was resolved or whether it was kept as a way of keeping the free school numbers up.

Definitely agree with the pioster who said start with the secondary amnd work backwards - there are a good number of great village primaries, but the secondaries are much more patchy. To make it trickier, catchment shapes are idiosyncratic, and the furture bus scenarios seem to have ridden rouigh-shod over everything.

2busyboys Wed 17-Dec-14 21:20:04

Wow, only just checked back on here (didn't get any alerts - is this possible to set up??) but thanks for all the replies!

We haven't looked into secondary but sounds like a good plan to do it that way round. Thanks Pelicangiraffe. Would be commuting to Marylebone. So probably Bicester or the new Water Eaton Parkway.

SmallSchoolPrimaryTeacher Fri 19-Dec-14 17:11:32

Have you looked at the train line and worked backwards from the stations, if you get my drift? Do you want a small village school (eg 15 intake per year with two year groups in each class) or are you after larger semi-town or town schools (intake of 30 or 45)? Once you have set your parameters you can narrow it down. The other thing to bear in mind is that Ofsted outstanding schools do not necessarily provide the type of pastoral care that many parents want (and some people relocating from the cities have in their minds as the rural idyll), so decide on what is important for you. Do you want the very high academic standards for all children at whatever cost, or is the nurturing, supportive ethos where all children are valued more important? I'm not denying it is possible to get both, but it is not automatic. Personally, I enjoy teaching in a small village school where all the staff know all the children, and everybody is equally valued, and but some can find that stifling. I'd suggest visiting (if you can) or having a phone chat with the headteachers (although that's not particularly helpful on the last day of term!) Good luck.

zeeboo Fri 19-Dec-14 17:27:44

If you live in Bicester you won't have a prayer of getting a primary school place at a school in Woodstock or anywhere else. Pretty much all Oxfordshire schools are full or oversubscribed.
Charlbury has gone up massively in recent years and Chippy isn't q bad secondary school.
Witney is further out but has two excellent secondary schools and only 3 of the primaries are ones I'd avoid, the rest are all excellent.
Eynsham primary is pretty poor and Bartholomew isn't as good as it was. I think the Witney schools both rank more highly.
Chadlington Primary is very good, also Chippy catchment and and Kingham Primary is very highly thought of.

Bazza2 Fri 19-Dec-14 17:39:30

I can't access any ofsted reports on my phone but the new train line will be running through Islip to London, and there are lots of lovely villages around that area, with local primaries.

OxonConfusedDotCom Tue 23-Dec-14 21:29:13

Islip area lovely! No idea re primary schools though. Definitely work back from secondary (but of course can all change). Currently best regarded are Bartholomew, Mathew Arnold, Cheney Sch. Heard ok reports about Woodstock. Others v mixed, in some cases worryingly so. People bus kids over to Cotswold Sch also.

TooSpotty Mon 29-Dec-14 11:18:26

Much needed thread for me, thanks, OP.

Owing to non-ideal circumstances we are faced with moving next year with a child starting YR in September, ie missing the normal application deadline for primaries. We plan to move to the Headington/Botley area or surrounding villages. Will we have any chance whatsoever of getting a school place for her as a (very) late application - will probably move in the summer? She's not 5 till May so we could delay the start till Easter if that might make a difference, but she's pretty ready for school so that would be the less good option.

It's all really annoying as she will get into my dream primary where we currently live thanks to a brilliantly timed bulge class, but sadly we have no choice but to move.

skylark2 Mon 29-Dec-14 21:35:50

Headington and Botley are different sides of Oxford - they are not the same area by any stretch of the imagination. There will be zero kids who live in one and go to a state school in the other (there will be kids who live in Botley and go to a private school in Headington). There will also be zero kids who live in either and go to a state school in the area the OP was asking about.

Like the OP was recommended, you might want to identify a secondary school first. This is just too vague - you're talking about all villages in a 20 mile radius centred on a city.

I wasn't impressed with Woodstock (it's our catchment school) so ours went private.

TooSpotty Mon 29-Dec-14 23:15:34

Sorry, was typing on my phone. I should have said Headington OR Botley - we know the city quite well. Sorry to annoy you, Skylark. My train of thought was that we'd also considered Woodstock but people have been talking about schools across Oxfordshire on here.

We are very open on schools and area - there's not much on the market so need to find appropriate houses and then work out if the schools are workable. We also have a secondary aged pupil but gather it may be easier to find him a place than it will the Year R child. I'll leave the thread as I've obviously posted in error.

2busyboys Sun 04-Jan-15 22:24:39

Thanks again for all your replies. Really appreciate your time.

2busyboys Sun 04-Jan-15 22:25:12

SmallSchoolPrimaryTeacher - we're definitely keen on somewhere that is academically strong but the well being of the boys is the priority. We want them to have a rounded, supportive upbringing, with as much opportunity as possible to fuel whatever there strengths and interests are as individuals. In terms of train lines, after further research we want to be close to the new station near kidlington (Water Eaton Parkway) due to open in the summer. With this in mind, we heard Combe was supposed to be good. Anyone have any idea of catchment?

2busyboys Sun 04-Jan-15 22:36:44

OxonConfusedDotCom - Did you mean worrying reports about Woodstock, as in Marlborough? Also I heard cherwell was supposed to be top for secondary?
skylark2 - Can I also ask why you didn't like Woodstock and did you mane Marlborough or primary?

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