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New Ashmole Primary School, Southgate

(73 Posts)
JSpen Wed 16-Dec-15 22:47:24

I was just wondering if anyone was considering the new Ashmole Primary school opening in Southgate (North London) in 2016 for their child. Any thoughts on the proposal, pros / cons?

ag123 Wed 16-Dec-15 22:53:32

Yes I went to the talk, did you?
Pros/ definitely the priority for the secondary school; use of expertise of specialist teachers from the secondary, possibly also facilities; large grounds
Cons- That it is a new venture, they have none of the infrastructure- extra curricular stuff in place therefore; they will
be in temporary classrooms for the first year; I was really not convinced by their choice of headteacher
What are your opinions?

JSpen Thu 17-Dec-15 08:53:48

Hi, thanks for your thoughts. Yes I went to the talk and was impressed by the proposal. I agree some of the benefits are appealing - brand new school, acres of space, links with secondary school teaching/facilities/priority entry. Given the reputation of the secondary school and the exec headteacher I don't think it will fail and they will want to strive to make it outstanding.

However I share some of your concerns, and I had the same thoughts about the headteacher, although reading his ofsted report of his current school he seems to have made a positive impact, and I would imagine the exec head at Ashmole would put someone in that post with a track record/that he believes will be successful as it's his reputation at the end of the day. My other concern would be that our children would be the first year and not have any older children there, and would it lack that sense of school community. Also being new there is no history to go by, teachers to meet etc. However as first year parents I think we would be able to have a good influence on the school and our children will hopefully get a lot of focus.

My main reason for asking is that we are trying to decide between Ashmole and Walker (based on the hope that we might be offered both given Ashmole is a seperate application this year.) I have concerns about Walker and tempted to opt for Ashmole if we do get a place, so appreciate other parents perspectives.

ag123 Thu 17-Dec-15 17:09:00

Out of interest what are your concerns about Walker?

JSpen Thu 17-Dec-15 19:45:49

Walker is a nice school but it is far too small and cramped for the number of children that go there and lacks on facilities. Classrooms are small, children have their breakout groups in the corridors, the outside space is small. No green space. The school hall is too small. No library, no ICT room etc. A new headteacher joined a year ago and so many teachers (10+) have left since then which concerns me. I've heard of friction between parents and staff and headteacher from a couple of people. There are some positives but my general gut instinct is not great. Historically parents have done everything they can to get in there but I think it will be less popular this year and even more so with Ashmole opening. Are you also considering Walker/do you have similar concerns?

ag123 Thu 17-Dec-15 21:27:55

I'm actually closer to Bowes and always thought I'd be really fixated with trying to get into Walker but I have also started to increasingly hear people not being entirely positive about it so I think I'm fine with the fact my chances are basically zero. I still hold out a hope I might get in to Ashmole because of it being a new school and that word hasn't got out yet but I think that's probably unlikely as well. What's your experience? Is everyone you know talking about Ashmole?!

JSpen Thu 17-Dec-15 21:39:04

Bowes has a great reputation so that's good you have that as an option. Bowes Southgate Green is an option for us and although it's on a temporary site I was actually quite impressed and will probably put it high up the list. It's the uncertainty re the future that's annoying. I keep trying to chase them for an update as heard there was a council meeting the other evening.

It's hard to know with Ashmole but I do think people from far and wide will apply because a) they may have a chance with there being no siblings and b) it's not one of your 6 so there is nothing to lose. However I don't think everyone offered a place initially will accept because some are likely to get offered their no.1 or 2 on their council application and others will not take the risk. So if you don't get a place in the first round of offers its worth staying on the list and I think there will be a lot of movement.

sunshine7981 Tue 05-Jan-16 21:04:56

I wouldn't go with walker. Know someone with children there and change of head has had a massive impact. Many experienced staff members have left.

littlebull Mon 08-Feb-16 17:23:31

I've heard Walker hasn't been the same since arrival of the new headteacher.
I'll be interested to see how Ashmole fares when it opens, we'll be applying for a 2017 admission, so Walker and Ashmole are the two closest schools.

Will be keeping an eye on this thread.

JSpen Thu 11-Feb-16 22:26:02

I think the future of both schools (particularly Ashmole) will be a lot clearer when it comes round to your application for next year. They are my 2 closest schools also and if we get offered both in April we are going to really struggle to decide given the current state / uncertainty of both!

tkband3 Thu 11-Feb-16 22:33:17

I have quite a few friends with children who went through Walker under the previous head and who have younger children still there - there is a lot of unhappiness amongst parents with the new head and as a PP said, lots of staff have left. It is worth saying though, that the previous head had been there for a very long time, so any new head would have wanted to shake things up a bit and changes are rarely welcomed by people who were comfortable under the old regime.

If you're applying for a 2017 place, please take a look at West Grove. It is a fantastic school, which is vastly underrated in the local community - the teaching and the pastoral support are both really good, the facilities are fantastic...loads of outdoor space and bright, airy, large classrooms.

ag123 Sat 13-Feb-16 11:11:34

Did you get the email saying they had 170 applications for the 60 places?

JSpen Sat 13-Feb-16 17:55:41

Yes there were, did you go to the meeting on Tuesday? They said people applied as far as Edgware!

ag123 Sat 13-Feb-16 19:23:29

No way! Edgware! Well no I decided after getting that email that I would probably be number 169 on the list being 1.4 miles away and so we'd stand no chance whatsoever, but maybe not!

JSpen Sat 13-Feb-16 23:46:31

It's hard to know how far it will go out this first year. Some schools e.g. Walker get over 400 applications for 60 places of which roughly half go to siblings and they go out approx 0.3. So if you take that into account and the fact there are no siblings and also every applicant will most likely also get another offer from 1 or their 6 and so not all first 60 offers may accept, I think it could therefore go further than expected. But who knows...

Lost2010 Tue 19-Apr-16 13:00:03

Hello, given that the school admissions results were out yesterday I thought I might check how everyone did.

We live close to Walker but didn't get in. Have been offered West Grove.

Would love to hear from others too.


ag123 Tue 19-Apr-16 13:11:53

I know someone who lives under 0.4 that didn't get in to Walker. 79tg on the waiting list for Ashmole! Ha! Was West Grove one of your choices?

Lost2010 Tue 19-Apr-16 13:57:06

Hello, yes it was number 3 on our list. After Walker and St Monica's (which wouldn't have got anyway). How did they find out about the waiting list? When I called Ashmole this morning they said wait for the letter. We didn't get that either as we are in the near Fox Lane which is touch and go for both secondary and Primary schools

ag123 Tue 19-Apr-16 14:17:22

Sorry I didn't explain that properly, I am 79th on waiting list for Ashmole but I live well over a mile away. I rang after I received the letter and asked how far down the waiting list I was.

Lost2010 Tue 19-Apr-16 15:19:10

Hello thank you for getting back to me. We are 38 for Ashmole. Can get through to Enfield council!

ag123 Tue 19-Apr-16 16:11:09

Have you looked at your offer letter? They give you a break down of your position on waiting lists further up your order of preference...

JSpen Tue 19-Apr-16 16:25:38

Hoping the Ashmole letter is waiting for me at home this evening but heard it only went out 0.5 and we are 0.7 so unlikely to get it and would prob decline anyway. We got St Monica's which is the school we wanted and did not expect to get, it went out over 3 miles this year! We were 0.8. We are closer to Walker at 0.3 but wanted St M so relieved and happy. Hope everyone else is happy with their offers!

Lost2010 Tue 19-Apr-16 16:34:44

Hi, no I am at work, haven't seen the letters yet.
Fingers crossed. Someone did say West Grove is a good school and recent reports on Walker aren't encouraging though they have another head teacher now.

JSpen Tue 19-Apr-16 16:38:35

I think Walker will hopefully improve now so you could stay on the waiting list as some people who accept Ashmole may decline Walker.

ag123 Tue 19-Apr-16 17:13:59

What distance do you live Lost2010? I know a couple of people who applied, their distance from the school and their number on the waiting list so could compare for you if you like?

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