Guildford Move(23 Posts)
We are planning a move to Guildford in next 6 months and I would be very grateful for any mumsnet wisdom about primary schools in the area... GU1 is our postcode... I imagine we will get what we are given but would love any other info that might help us make good decisions....
Focus on the secondary school if you are planning to stay around that long
That is a very good point. Would love info on secondary schools too - primarily state ones...
It's a nice area in general and schools are good..even the least favoured ones aren't terrible if you look at the national picture. Traffic is a bit stressful though. Do you know which schools are closest to you
no, not as yet... we will probably rent first to get a feel for the area, so we can try pretty much anywhere!
What age/current year are your DC? The struggle may well be to get a school place at all... in which case you may want to rent nearish the school you're going to end up at!
Well, County, George Abbot and St Peters (catholic) all get very good results and are well regarded locally. Kings College and Christ's College (cofe) don't get the same results and people are less keen to go to them. I don't know how deserved the reputations are as Kings works in partnership with George Abbot and even share teachers etc...so I think they probably teach very well but just get a harder intake.
In September it will be Reception and Year 3...I imagine you are right - but don't we have to have a Guildford address before we even apply for schools? Or have I dreamt that?
I'd try to make sure that I was near to one of the bigger ones (90+ intake) to ensure I got a place as it became available. There is lots of movement over the summer so you should get something.
Good bigger schools are Holy Trinity (Junior) and then sibling priority for Pewley Down, Boxgrove (primary) and Queen Eleanor (Junior) and St Nics (small) or Onslow (big) for the little one.
Sandfield is tiny and you have to be on the doorstep but a lovely little primary. Burpham might be a 90 intake too but not sure.
Catchment for all of those would feed into County or George Abbot too.
My son is at George Abbot, we are very happy with it. The catchment area for GA is wider than it used to be due to a new school opening about five miles away (bit complicated). St Peters is good but you really need to be Catholic, Guildford County is Good too and Christs is much improved (but wouldn't be my choice). Having a child in year three will help because some good schools have spaces in older year groups and then your reception child would have sibling priority (but as a late applicant). All the schools above are good - not sure if Boxgrove was on the list but it's good, lots of ds' friends came from there. The ones to avoid, from the top of my head (but which would probably have available places), are Guildford Grove and Weyfield. When you are closer to moving ask Surrey cc to give you a list of schools with year three places, and then we can let you know !!
PS, yes, I believe you will need an address first, it's a good idea to rent (although a hassle to move twice), then you can get an idea of area and schools - traffic can be a pain and it depends where you need to get to. For the train station then it's not so bad as either the main station, London Road or Worplesdon are all available, but if you plan to commute by car then there are better/worse areas.
Or you could go slightly the other side and look at the Merrow schools too.
So - it looks like Queen Eleanor's C of E is going to be the nearest school... is that a good thing? The last OFSTED report was 2013, so it is difficult to know quite how good the school is. Any thoughts?
Sorry - only just stumbled on your thread - hope I am not too late to be of help. Yes it is a very good state junior school (Yr 3-Yr 6) - I have many mummy friends whose children attend the school and are very happy there. Children then usually go on to Guildford County which is also well-regarded. You have chosen the location of your house wisely - is GU2 postcode though, no?
I think there may be limited choice for primary as it will depend on what spaces the schools have. As an earlier post said, I would focus on the secondary and move into that catchment when you can. Another vote for George Abbot here, with main feeder primaries Burpham, Bushy Hill and Boxgrove. Burpham has just been Ofsted inspected with report due very soon, to give you very recent info. But it's not GU1.
Thank you so much both... as it happens the house we were looking at fell through, so we are back to looking! Pardon my ignorance but what is the difference between GU1 and GU2? It might well be that we need to rent now, in the first instance, which might make being near to a good school more easy. Which postcode would be preferable? Have to say that the more research I have done, the more it seems that pretty much all the state schools in Guildford are of a good quality....?
In terms of buying, I would be influenced by which of the secondary schools I ultimately want my children to attend. Second what smilingsarahb, girlsinthegarden and helenwilson have said re all of the schools. George Abbot and County are both very well-regarded - as is the catholic St Peter's. All 3 schools support bright children well. County is a smaller school than George Abbot (GA). Therefore, if you feel that your children may be overwhelmed by a large cohort (as many as 200 per year, I believe, but others please step in to correct me if necessary), you may prefer County. I think that County is also upping its status to a specialist music academy but will also be guided by others on that. Then work backwards to rent in catchment for the primary/ junior schools that feed your desired secondary. Boxgrove is a highly regarded primary school i.e. reception thru to Yr 6 from where children tend to go on to GA. Therefore this may well be more convenient for you rather than juggling both infant and junior schools with different pick up times. I have friends who have to juggle St Nic's Infant and Holy Trinity or Onslow Infants/ St Nics and Queen Eleanor's competing pick ups which, I gather, can be problematic at times. What you want to avoid is buying in an area away from where your children are at junior school so as to be well positioned for a different secondary. This is because none of you DCs' friends from junior school will then live within catchment for your choice of secondary school so your DCs will have to start secondary school without any of their friends. I know of at least one family where a girl may be leaving her secondary school at the end of Yr 7 simply because she hasn't yet found a friendship group as all of her junior school friends are at a different local secondary school. Also DO NOT listen to estate agents on catchment areas but double check with the schools themselves and use the Surrey CC website - it looks different since I last used it but I think that this is the link www.surreycc.gov.uk/schools-and-learning/schools/school-admissions/about-find-a-school/find-a-school Good luck!
Also re postcodes not sure that either postcode is particularly preferable. GU1 has the Chantries, Charlotteville and Pewley Down which are all very desirable due to being in the Pewley Down/ Holy Trinity catchment areas, I believe, but pl check! Boxgrove is also GU1. GU2 has the St Catherine's/ Guildown, Wodeland Avenue, Onslow Village and Flower Walk areas down by the river and these are within the St Nics and Queen Eleanor's catchment. The closer to the river you are in GU2 the greater chance you have of a successful Holy Trinity application (although get closer to Shalford and you will be offered Tillingbourne Junior School (which I know less about)). You really need to walk around and get a feel for what style of house you prefer and visit the schools to determine which you favour. Both postcodes have areas that are within easy walking distance of the High Street and the mainline station. London Road station is in GU1.
I don't really understand the obsession with the GU1 or GU2 postcode... they're nice areas but check out the other areas too. It's not London in that respect.
You were all so helpful. We have now bought a house in Gu2, moments from the station and definitely near Guildford County, but still early days for that, my kids are 5 and 7. Sandfields has offered us places for both kids pending our exchange letter due any day, Queen Eleanor/ St Nicholas are the other closest school and they are full... but given our location we would be pretty high on the waiting list. What is the word on the mumsnet street about Sandfields? I went and visited and was impressed... but I would be glad of any local knowledge....
It's a lovely little school and I'm surprised you got offered two spaces. It will be a pain to do the school run there because of parking. Have you tried Onslow Infants for a place? I'd be trying to hold out for Queen Eleanor's if you're that side of the station. There might be movement at Christmas.
Also the traffic to Sandfield will be pretty bad. Guildford was named one of the most congested towns and you'll be going through to worst part. You could walk though.
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