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Muswell Hill primary schools

(22 Posts)
muswelldaddy Tue 08-Aug-17 10:27:55

Apologies I know there are lots and lots of historic posts around this subject but many are quite out of date.

How do the central Muswell Hill primary schools compare currently?

This is what I have pieced together but may not be correct:

· Tetherdown - lovely community school, small catchment of upmarket residential homes which carry a big premium. Was Ofsted ‘excellent’ is now ‘good’ but still very well regarded. Went from one form to two form entry a few years ago. Some criticism about lack of marking and reliance on local families tutoring children? Perhaps the least diverse and most affluent?

· Muswell Hill Primary - liberal and relaxed style of teaching, nurturing environment – which seems to lead on the whole to happy children and good results. A little more diverse than Tetherdown? Buildings and facilities 40 year old prefabs but are receiving some basic updating.

· Coldfall – more structured and demanding around homework etc. Great modern facilities and position next to woods. Similar diversity to Muswell Hill?

· St James C of E – admission criteria includes worship at the church. The church is quite a modern style of worship. Religious aspect is central to school’s ethos. Single form entry. Similar facilities to MHP? Typically over-subscribed albeit under-subscribed at National Offer Day 2017.

· Our Lady of Muswell – under-subscribed in recent years. Good modern facilities. Many children come from further afield. Religious aspect important but less emphasis than St James as lots of children attending are not necessarily Catholic?

Would really appreciate any comments, corrections or further information.

Thank you

Otterspotter Tue 08-Aug-17 19:58:18

I wouldn't feel confident to comment on the nuances you are asking about but just thought I'd mention there is an active Facebook group called 'Muswell Hill Mums and Dads' that you might get a lot more traffic from, if you're happy not to stay anonymous that is.

wheredoesallthetimego Tue 08-Aug-17 22:17:57

yes - Tetherdown downgraded because said to not push bright kids and relied on outside tutoring. Friend of mine has kids there and says that everyone has a tutor from year 4 and many have two tutors. they tutor for private, grammar and to get into the top set at Fortismere.

muswelldaddy Wed 09-Aug-17 15:25:33

Thanks guys - appreciate the responses

SchnitzelVonKrumm Thu 10-Aug-17 11:06:20

I've only got experience of one but I'd say what you've written is broadly what I've heard. Don't forget there's Rhodes Avenue as well. But the catchments are so small now you may not have a choice.

muswelldaddy Thu 10-Aug-17 11:24:16

Hi there - thanks for the reply.
Noted on catchment areas. We are in MHP catchment now but may move to Tetherdown catchment. So part of the above is to get a sense of which is better between MHP and Tetherdown.
Rhodes is a great school but we're unlikely to be near that if we do move.

SchnitzelVonKrumm Thu 10-Aug-17 11:36:10

Go and visit them all, they have quite distinct atmospheres. I really liked Coldfall and MHP, wasn't keen on Tetherdown or Rhodes Ave but obviously others take a different view!

muswelldaddy Thu 10-Aug-17 11:55:49

That's very interesting - you are right we must visit. Can't until mid Sept now though due to the school holidays.

What was the difference in atmospheres (sorry to take up your time)...?

SchnitzelVonKrumm Thu 10-Aug-17 14:21:18

I have DM'd you!

latte1966 Thu 31-Aug-17 10:45:47

My children went to Tetherdown so I've been a parent there for the last 11 years or so....I'd agree with what you've written!

Lots of tutoring does go on with a view to sitting the 11+....the majority of children still go to Fortismere though, 60% upwards,....and yes, parents use tutors to get good sets there, that's definitely true.

Tetherdown is a good school, not perfect by any means...criticised by Ofsted just a few years ago for not challenging the brighter children and that's still the case.....also still not known to be great if a child has special needs, I've heard other local schools are much more supportive....children leave every year for this reason.

My personal view is that if was choosing again I'd be as likely to go for MHP as I would Tetherdown....Tetherdown used to be the top school and the be all and end certainly isn't these days.

muswelldaddy Fri 01-Sep-17 23:42:16

Thank you Latte1966

We are currently in the catchment for MHP and whilst I had thought we should consider a move to be closer to Tetherdown it seems that may be the wrong thing given all the positivity around MHP

We're looking forward to visiting all the schools over the coming months and getting a feel.

One thing that is for sure is that we're very lucky in Muswell Hill to have such great schools in general.

YellowFish32 Mon 04-Sep-17 06:34:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Vickster99 Mon 04-Sep-17 20:49:10

A slight tangent here but just wondering what the point of tutoring to get into top sets is?
Surely a top set is quite a fluid concept so if a child got there due to tutoring alone they would not stay there (unlike a grammar school for instance).
Is it really necessary to tutor for Fortismere top sets? Its definitely a school I'm considering for DD although would have to move to get in.

Otterspotter Mon 04-Sep-17 21:15:49

There is a very interesting thread called something like 'Fortismere disaster' on the Secondary education board that mentions this a little

muswelldaddy Tue 05-Sep-17 10:16:05

I don't know about Fortismere but at my school back in the day at the end of second year of secondary school you were put in sets for the 3 years to GCSEs. There wasn't really any movement between sets unless exceptional circumstances. The tops sets had the best teachers and as all clever kids together progressed faster than those in the bottoms sets. So making the cut to the top set at end of second year was a big deal

bibblebobblebubble Thu 07-Sep-17 21:46:06

Worth thinking about catchment areas for secondary as well as primary if you're moving. We are near APS and the catchment area has shrunk dramatically the past few years.

Ours are at Rhodes Avenue. I hear you may not be able to get close enough but catchment probably not that different in size to Tetherdown? Anyway we've been very happy indeed with it (oldest kid now yr 5). Lovely location by the park and school buildings. Great teachers on the whole. New head has settled in well. Definitely on the academic side but hasn't so far seemed overly pressured (e.g. there is actually less homework than I'd ideally like). There is a fair bit of tutoring in the older years for 11+ but certainly not all the kids. Not the most diverse school due to small catchment but not sure any worse than other MH primaries.

Spraoi Tue 12-Sep-17 19:44:11

Interested in views here also. We are in catchment of coldfall (neighbours kids go and seem very happy but have a lot of homework) our lady of Muswell (which is our closest), tetherdown some years and probably Eden on distance grounds. Will visit but unsure what one can tell about a school on a visit!

DH keen for Catholic education, I'm somewhat ambivalent about that!

timeisnotaline Tue 12-Sep-17 19:55:52

Derailing a bit to ask do most secondary schools run this 'sets' structure? ( I am a muswell hill parent, looking at our lady of muswell because they all seem good schools and we are catholic plus it's so much easier than being confident we are within catchment.)

l4beauty Tue 26-Sep-17 17:28:21

Hello everyone. We are moving to muswell hill next month and i can't decide between St james and tetherdown. Please help????

muswelldaddy Fri 29-Sep-17 10:13:51

Couple of immediate thoughts – will you definitely be in the Tetherdown catchment? Do you attend St James church? (whilst this year ST J was undersubscribed this is unusual and so you need to attend church as a minimum every 2 weeks for 18 months before the application deadline).

Both very good schools from what I can gather. St James is Ofsted Outstanding and 1 form entry. Tetherdown is 2 form and rated Good but very well regarded – some comments above.

I think the big difference will be that the faith element is at the core of St James’ and plays a big part of the day to day. The style of worship at St James is quite modern which provides a very nice and environment for children from CofE families albeit may not be for the traditionalist.

theDudesmummy Fri 01-Dec-17 16:01:36

We are having to move for various reasons, the house is in the catchment area of Tetherdown. It has five bedrooms, two bathrooms, rent £2950 pm. Because we are breaking our contract we are keen to try and find someone to move in, so if anyone would like more info please PM me. We are moving on 20 Dec, so you could be easily in before the closing date for applications for the school, which is 15 Jan.

hevans26 Tue 06-Nov-18 14:39:04


Again apologies to go over repeat ground but I wondered if anyone had up to date information on Muswell Hill Primary schools.

We are thinking of moving to MH and need to decide which area/school to prioritise. This would be for a reception 2019 start and a possible inter year move for our other child- currently in year one.

I've heard that Muswell Hill Primary is excellent - great results, friendly but new head- unknown quantity...

Coldfall- Great results, friendly community- very big- daunting for quite a shy child??

Tetherdown- I think that we have decided against this one- not outstanding, worst results in the area despite posh/tutored kids.

St James' Primary- again great results- not sure what the community is like and is it very religious?

Really appreciate any advice.
Many thanks in advance

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