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Muswell Hill Mums - Rhodes Avenue V Muswell Hill Primary

(23 Posts)
Crouchendmumoftwo Tue 24-May-16 22:29:19

Hello Muswell Hill mums,

I would love to know your thoughts about a couple of issues.
We are moving to Muswell Hill this summer from Crouch End. We love our current kids primary but I feel it will be best to put them on local waiting lists and to move them to make more local friends and to meet their cohorts in their secondary schools and there would be less travel in the mornings. They are in a small, liberal cosy school currently.
We would be in the catchment for Rhodes and for Muswell Hill with the main catchment being Rhodes.
I have a very sporty and very bright academic 7 year old boy and an arty eccentric younger girl. What is the difference between the two schools? Which would be best for them. Do the both feed into Fortismere and APS? Thanks a million for any feedback.

HeynowHannah Tue 24-May-16 23:46:20

Neither school is a "feeder school" to APS or Fortismere. Both these secondary schools select on catchment area. If your new house is in the Rhodes catchment area then it's probably not in the Fortismere catchment. I would double check the Fortismere catchment before you commit to a purchace.

Are you currently in Weston Park? Just a guess.

SchnitzelVonKrumm Tue 24-May-16 23:53:11

Like Hannah says, you're unlikely to get into Fortismere if you live in Rhodes Avenue catchment, and be aware that APS admissions distance has been shrinking fast. Personally when I looked around the schools I preferred MHP to Rhodes (but liked another school even more, which is where my DC go) but both have excellent reputations locally.

Crouchendmumoftwo Wed 25-May-16 00:31:35

Thanks for your feedback. It's in catchment for both secondary schools. Yes they are at Weston Park. Thanks.

Coffeeismycupoftea Wed 25-May-16 09:46:19

Why not just stay in Crouch End and go to Highgate Woods? I think anyone moving from Crouch End to Muswell Hill is admitting that they want to ease into elasticated slacks and sit down with a nice cup of tea. For ever.

Disclaimer, I live in neither area, but to me Crouch End is soooo much nicer.

Crouchendmumoftwo Wed 25-May-16 10:20:11

Ha ha Coffeeismycupoftea,

I would love to stay in Crouch End but we can't find anywhere! We have to move and the nearest place we like and is in our budget is there! I know exactly what you mean but it just can't be done. Luckily its really near to Crouch End so we will can still hang out there.

Cleo1303 Wed 25-May-16 12:06:50

I'm not a MH mum but did some work there last year and met someone whose DC was going to Fortismere from Tetherdown Primary. I know nothing about Tetherdown!

HeynowHannah Wed 25-May-16 12:59:12

But Coffeeismycupoftea they are moving to Muswell Hill for their kids. If they were moving for themselves no doubt they would be moving to Islington, Shoreditch, Hoxton, Brixton etc etc . . . .

Coffeeismycupoftea Wed 25-May-16 15:02:00

Cos Crouch End is the Bronx, Heynow - it's a lovely place for kids.

But anyway apologies CrouchEndMumoftwo to have rubbed salt in the wound of you moving, I thought you were one of the many families who leave a perfectly nice house in Crouch End for Muswell Hill just for the Fortismere factor. Always seems a shame when HW seems a pretty good school.

Crouchendmumoftwo Wed 25-May-16 16:57:32

No that is not me. I just want to know what the differences are between Rhodes Ave school and Muswell Hill Primary as I will put them down on the waiting lists. I will go and see the schools as well but for now I wanted some overall information that I can't glean from the websites. Thanks.

bluecarpet Wed 25-May-16 20:13:52

From what I hear both have the same issue as the Crouch End schools have in that most pupils are tutored from year 3-4 for grammar or private.

Crouchendmumoftwo Wed 25-May-16 20:56:32

Yes I hear lots of kids are tutored in North London, Im just after some feedback on the two schools I have mentioned - thanks!

MonsterDeCookie Wed 25-May-16 21:49:16

Have you taken the tours. RA has much better facilities but a fairly marmite new head. MHP has a more liberal feel and it's tough to find anyone with a bad word to say about it. Do be aware that the catchment will only shrink for MHP with all the new building going on around it so I'd move well inside the last distance offered - basically on the doorstep! The in zone in between MHP and RA tends to be a black hole where lots of parents don't get either.

WhattodoSue Thu 26-May-16 08:36:26

Can't comment on the schools, but if you are on the edge of the standard catchment for both you may get neither because everytime someone moves in closer they will go above you on the waiting list. I would have thought moving to the doorstep of your favourite school was the best bet.

SchnitzelVonKrumm Thu 26-May-16 09:26:30

Actually yes, if it's secondary schools you're concerned about I would pick one and move next to it - IIRC the catchment for Fortismere was unusually wide this year but there are some bulge years with lots of siblings coming up. Primary-wise it's hard to go wrong in MH.

Crouchendmumoftwo Thu 26-May-16 15:00:16

Thanks, checked the wait lists and I think we will be driving to our current school until they leave for secondary! As I said we are moving as we have to move and our first choice was Crouch End but we couldnt find anywhere. Things could be worse though!

MonsterDeCookie Thu 26-May-16 18:36:49

Have you tried the drive down that dreaded hill at school run time? It can 20 minutes just to get down the hill. It might be worth a dry run before you commit to a house in MH.

Crouchendmumoftwo Thu 26-May-16 21:45:01

We don't have any option - Ill just have to leave earlier : (

Paperm0ver Thu 26-May-16 22:17:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

flatsearch8 Mon 01-Aug-16 16:50:31

Dear mums,

My husband and I are considering moving to Muswell Hill area from St Johns Wood because of good primary school options. (We're considering Rhodes Ave and Muswell Hill).

Could anyone please advise what are the demographics like in the area in terms of nationalities and professions.

We are both non-Britons with intl business/finance backgrounds and worry if it's a predominantly English neighbourhood which may make it difficult for us to make local friends for ourselves and our child. (We happen to hang out with Russian, Spanish, Indian, Italians, Americans, Canadians here in St Johns Wood)

Please advise how do you believe foreign newcomers to the area are welcome.

(Our other option is moving to Chelsea/Kensington which is too urban for my taste but is certainly very intl and easy for commute to Mayfair & City for work)

Also, was it just our impression after a quick walk around or indeed MHP area is more pretty/upscale and the Broadway has many shops/pharmacies/cafes while Rhodes Primary vicinity has nothing but homes?

So, while Rhodes school is way better in terms of SAT results, MHP is better neighbourhood-wise?

Many thanks for your advice!

mumhmc Tue 20-Sep-16 14:20:40


I never post on here but thought I would this time, in case it's helpful!
We've lived in the area you talk about for 6 years. We moved from Stroud Green (near St Aidans, where I was at school as a kid). Just to stop the worrying about whether the area itself has a good vibe, it's brilliant! We've loved it here so much and found we've become part of the community so much more than we did in Stroud Green. I loved Stroud Green and Crouch End too - I'm just really saying that it's great here too! There is a lovely local community feel and lots and lots of young families too. People say hi in the street, that sort of thing, and you get to know pretty much everyone who is around at all during the week. We love closer to Ally Pally overground station, on Crescent Road, but that whole sort of triangle of roads from there over to Rhodes Ave has a great community, extending to the streets up towards Muswell Hill.

If you go for Rhodes catchment, you'd be right in the area I'm talking about, but you'd have to be very close (this year it was 0.27 miles, so even Clyde Road didn't get in at first). There is a lovely cafe there, called Owens, where you always see the same people, a few good crafty shops and delis, and the maid of muswell pub (which despite being a but shiny for my pub standards, has good beers and is very friendly, with lots of regular locals). Albert Road Recreation Ground is a great park, with a good cafe and lots of children's activities going on there. But most of it comes down to the fact that the area is friendly and feels slightly more laid back than Crouch End to me (although, as I say, I do like Crouch End a lot). So it's defo not downgrading! It's also good for transport as you can walk quickly to the Pic Line at Bounds Green from there, or the overground into Moorgate (you can nearly always actually get on the train at Ally Pally, and sometimes get a seat even, as the hordes at Hornsey have not yet got on).

Schools-wise, I hear very mixed views on Rhodes Avenue. Friends with kids there often speak of disliking it's exclusive feel, elitism and the fact that it really isn't multi-cultural in the London sense of the word. Some friends with kids who aren't white have decided to look elsewhere, which says something I think. You are expected to shell out a fair bit of cash at the outset on various bits and pieces, and donations, and so on. Fine if you can afford it. It's very much a school of the upper middle classes, generally, as far as I know. People move from all over London to get in and there is a lot of renting to get in going on. A house at the "right" end of Victoria Road would be up to around 300 grand more than the other end. And I've heard of significant snobbery among some parents. BUT a lot of my friends have had their kids go there and these parents really aren't the Rhodes cliche, so clearly it really is that - a cliche. You find what you're looking for, I think, to a certain degree. Kids I know there are happy, and the grounds are nice and away from the main road, next to a park, and as always it's down to parental preference in relation to what's important to you.

I've heard better things overall about Muswell Hill Primary - it seems to be known for it's liberal feel and I think is a bit more mixed and poss laid back. However, I know fewer parents with kids there, so I'm not sure.

I don't know what you like or what's important to you, but it might be worth looking at Bounds Green Primary too, if you do move to the Ally Pally area near Rhodes. Just to throw yet another "type" of school into the mix. This year the catchment expanded due to an extra class, so it went from 0.2 something to 0.48ish. Bounds Green does not have the Outstanding OFSTED label, but it's very very popular with parents for whom Rhodes just isn't right. Our older son has just started there and we already love it. The classes are a lot more mixed culturally and economically - much more of a reflection of London. The head is charismatic and hands on, and it has a great sort of buzz about it. It feels very laid back. No uniform, no rules on clothes or whatnot. But apparently has very good behaviour generally. We briefly considered moving closer to Rhodes but looking at Rhodes and then Bounds Green we realised that we as parents weren't cut out for Rhodes. Bounds Green was way more what we wanted for him - we wanted him to benefit from his local community mix. We've already met some fab parents there, too. Just an idea of something else to look at.

Hope this helps. It's so hard as it's all just other people's jumbled opinions! I'm sure you'll be happy with whatever you choose and find what's best about whichever you go for:-).


mumhmc Tue 20-Sep-16 14:25:52

ooh another thing. As someone else said, I think you do need to choose for definite and not try to move in between Rhodes and Muswell. I know several parents who live in between (around the Roseberry Road area and up that hill) who got into neither and were offered a place at Our Lady of Muswell. While Our Lady is meant to be a good school, it is a Catholic school, which the parents I knew weren't happy with (absolutely fair enough). All those families I know realised they'd have trouble early on and put their kid on the list for Norfolk House private in Muswell Hill as a safety net (and one they've ended up having to rely on). You defo have to be careful. Within 0.2 really! At least.

MMMWH Thu 24-Nov-16 14:22:37

Could anyone please advise re the level of pastoral care at RA (particularly in comparison to MHP or Coldfall)? Thank you.

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