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Schools in and around Cardiff

(24 Posts)
sanityisamyth Mon 04-Mar-19 08:30:08

Hello all. I'm starting at Cardiff University in September. I have a 5 year old who's currently in reception at a prep school. Please can you recommend me (or warn me off!) any primary schools around Cardiff.

I will have my car with me so can drive so about 10 mile radius from city centre? He will be going into year 1.

Need to narrow down my search from the 70 schools on the list so far!! I can't look for a house to rent until I have a school place secured for him and starting to panic!! Thanks smile

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sanityisamyth Mon 04-Mar-19 13:36:39

Bump? Anyone? Please!

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Babysharkdododont Mon 04-Mar-19 13:37:56

That's quote broad OP! State or private? Welsh / religious / neither?

ballsdeep Mon 04-Mar-19 13:44:51

10 miles is a long way to travel in Cardiff City traffic each morning!

ItsAllGone19 Mon 04-Mar-19 14:03:18

Cardiff operates on catchments unless you're angling for one of the private schools so you need to secure a premise to live in before they'll consider an application for you.

There's a schools in Wales guide www.walesonline.co.uk/news/education/school-colour-codes-2018-wales-14228089 that shows how the school is performing against a broad range of criteria. There are also the Estyn (Welsh Ofsted) reports you can read through. I'm guessing if your son is in a private prep that you'll be going for English medium schools.

As your son is a year 1 starter it might be worth starting with the council and asking which schools actually have spaces in September. Then narrow your list down from there. There are religious schools and private schools too who would need to be contacted individually.

Honestly I'd start with where you can afford/want to live and work outwards from that point otherwise you're trying to figure out too many variables.

Shookethtothecore Mon 04-Mar-19 14:07:05

What catchment are you? It’s very difficult to get into a school that isn’t in your catchment. Also, like pp said traffic around Cardiff that time of day is brutal. You need a rough area

sanityisamyth Mon 04-Mar-19 14:26:30

Thanks for the replies. I thought I said state primary in the OP but must have been in my head! I'll be on absolutely no money at all. I won't qualify for any sort of religious persuasion school and he doesn't know a word of Welsh so an English speaking non-denomination state school would be perfect!

I don't have a catchment at all - I am going to (hopefully) sort a house in the catchment of the school once I've found the right one. I'm going to visit some over the next few weeks, but I just want a heads up of ones to try for and ones to avoid if anyone knows any!

Thanks smile

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sanityisamyth Mon 04-Mar-19 14:28:45

Thanks for the link @ItsAllGone19 - will have a look smile

I've already downloaded all 70 reports for the schools that I've found so I think I've crossed some off the list, but the others feel like putting a pin in the map and saying "that's the one!" It's a nightmare!

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sanityisamyth Mon 04-Mar-19 14:32:54

These are the ones that I thought were worth looking at but I can't see all of them!



Are there any that aren't worth a visit?

Have I crossed any off the list that are definitely worth a visit?

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sanityisamyth Mon 04-Mar-19 14:34:49

Helpful. The screenshot didn't load . . .

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Shookethtothecore Mon 04-Mar-19 14:36:27

You won’t be able to apply for the school until you are in your property. It is very competitive as schools are hit and miss. What campus do you need to be by for uni? Would you be doing drop offs and pick ups or would you need wrap around care aswell

sanityisamyth Mon 04-Mar-19 14:41:57

No I know that @Shookethtothecore but I don't want to move to an area that has a poor primary school so I just want a heads up of the ones to avoid really. I can then e-mail the council to see which ones of the schools that have survived my cull have got some spaces and then narrow the search down further.

I am going to be doing pharmacy so will be at CF10 3NB. The closer the better really to save travelling and traffic etc but my budget is really low and the cheaper accommodation is further out from the city centre (from what I've researched but if any one knows any nice, cheap areas to rent as well that'd be good!)

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sanityisamyth Mon 04-Mar-19 14:42:52

I think I'll be doing all pick ups/drop offs but an after school club of some description would be very helpful as I'm not sure yet what my timetable would look like. Uni said they can be flexible though which is good smile

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ItsAllGone19 Mon 04-Mar-19 14:43:57

@sanityisamyth then definitely work from the areas you can afford to live in and a list of schools with spaces in.

My children are in the Welsh stream so I don't pay much attention to what English stream schools are up to...but my friend sends her children to Whitchurch Primary and speaks very highly of them.

As nice areas go, you can't go far wrong with Rhiwbina, Heath, Whitchurch, Roath, Creigiau, Thornhill, Lisvane, Llandaf, St Fagans, Radyr, Pontcanna.

Best of luck with the school and accomodation search.

sanityisamyth Mon 04-Mar-19 14:48:48

Perfect @ItsAllGone19 - that's brilliant!! I literally feel like I could stick a pin in a map blindfolded at the moment but just a rough idea of where to look/not look is really helpful. Thank you x

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CottonSock Mon 04-Mar-19 14:51:51

Has the school provided a list of schools with space, or do you need to give them a post code first?

sanityisamyth Mon 04-Mar-19 15:00:58

Hi @CottonSock I need to give them a list first. I tried doing it that way around! It would make life much easier otherwise! X

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CottonSock Tue 05-Mar-19 12:33:10

The nicest places to live in Cardiff are expensive and have oversubscribed primary schools! Which campus are you at?
Roath / pen Y lan is a nice area and you might get in at Albany primary or Roath park. There is a new school at howardian too. I can only advise on the part of the city I know. Mine go to Welsh school as secondary provision is not good! Primary less of an issue, but don't set your sights on one with a waiting list (likely Marlborough, lakeside, Rhydypenau). Near the hospital i am aware that the English medium schools are less well regarded than the Welsh mynydd bychan). Albany primary gets good reports, is very ethnically diverse and not much outside space, but they use the local parks a lot as I see them.
As mentioned, howardian is brand new so may have more space before and is already well regarded.

WYP2018 Tue 05-Mar-19 20:33:10

OP, If pharmacy is still where is used to be you’ll be right by Cathays train station, it might be an idea to look further out and catch the train in to lectures? Bryn Deri, Radyr, Tongwynlais are all good schools and near to the train line. Much quicker than driving. They could well be pretty full though.

sanityisamyth Wed 06-Mar-19 12:34:00

Thanks @CottonSock Howardian looks nice - I noticed it didn't have a report so assumed it was new. Will ask about spaces there.

Yes @WYP2018 Pharmacy is by Cathays station - I hadn't really thought of going in by train. That's a good idea smile Thank you!

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CottonSock Wed 06-Mar-19 12:50:47

Howardian has a new purpose built site and I'm told is a very relaxed / outdoor learning type of school with an experienced head. Good luck!

CottonSock Wed 06-Mar-19 13:04:18

Is advise not living in Cathays. It's very student focused and the primary is not supposed to be great.
Trains can be tricky though. Depends if you can avoid rush hour. Hopefully will improve now there is a new contract (not yet).
Bryn deri and radyr and both nice as I know people who go there.
Whitchurch is another lovely place to live, and there is a few schools.

sanityisamyth Wed 06-Mar-19 14:41:09

Thanks @CottonSock that's really helpful. I'd heard that Cathays is mainly where the students live. The flats around there look a bit grotty (expected I suppose) so definitely not thinking of living there. The schools didn't seem great either according to their reports.

Whitchurch sounds good though - will keep researching! X

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ItsAllGone19 Wed 06-Mar-19 20:19:59

Llandaf train station is one stop from Cathays on the railway line and is on the edge of Whithchurch. Hope you get something sorted.

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