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Which Muswell hill school? Coldfall, Tetherdown, St James or Highgate Primary

(18 Posts)
Mhschoolq Tue 29-Sep-20 12:24:54

I’m assuming that school tours are off - but need to find out!

In the absence of school tours, I’m a bit stuck. We’re moving to Muswell hill and renting so can find a place we love but also be led on schools. But the application deadline is January so we need to decide which part to live in soon!

I have narrowed down to these schools because of preferred location and flats that we like the look of from Rightmove.

What would you choose between Coldfall, Tetherdown, Highgate Primary and St James?

Looking for somewhere that is strong on emotional development and is a friendly community place. But will also be a nice community school.

I’m leaning towards Highgate Primary from what I’ve read, but worried that it will be a bit transient and not strong on community because of where it is? (Huge catchment etc)

I know other schools in MH are highly rated, but not quite the right part for us (such as Rhodes Avenue).

Any opinion would be SO appreciated! I feel quite blind going into this without being able to look around!

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Mhschoolq Tue 29-Sep-20 13:14:17


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Pl242 Tue 29-Sep-20 18:11:49

Don’t have direct experience but my niece went to St James’ and I used to live in the area. All those schools are well regarded. St James’ is a religious school which may or may not suit you, but a consideration. If you’re not religious and thinking of it worth a call to see if catchment has gone out to distance ie to people not religious. It used to be quite hard to get in without church attendance but not sure if that’s still the case.

I know people with children at now and previously at both Tetherdown and cold fall. Both highly rated schools. Cold fall is a bit bigger and has a more diverse intake than Tetherdown (as diverse as muswell hill gets that is).

I don’t know as much about Highgate. Re location - near loads of woodland/golf club and near v posh parts where people more inclined to go private - that’s why its catchment is bigger rather than any obvious “bad” reason. I’ve heard it’s got quite a specific outlook so may be a bit marmite to some.

Don’t give up on school tours. Know schools are thinking how they can do this - online and small tours after hours etc. So keep
In touch with schools and see what they say.

Ultimately choosing a school is a v personal choice re what feels right for your family. But all of these schools are good options.

Good luck.

Mhschoolq Tue 29-Sep-20 21:42:44

Thank you, Pl242 - that’s really helpful! I do like the idea of diversity, and we’re not especially religious, so that definitely makes me more interested in some than others.

That’s good to know about school tours! I will contact them all tomorrow. It’s so tricky to know which to go for!

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Mhschoolq Wed 30-Sep-20 07:29:36

Just bumping this again in case anyone else has any info!

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crystabel Wed 30-Sep-20 07:36:01

My kids go to Coldfall and are very happy there. The staff are great and it's a lovely parent community. I also know from friends that Muswell Hill Primary, Tetherdown and St James are also lovely schools. I don't know anyone at Highgate. We are lucky in MH for this choice. Good luck x

crystabel Wed 30-Sep-20 07:38:08

I should also mention Coldfall has an amazing amount of space with a playing field, MUGA, playgrounds and being right on the side of the woods is lovely. The reception classes look over the woods and all the kids do Forestry lessons throughout their time at school x

Gigglr Wed 30-Sep-20 07:40:58

Hands down Coldfall. It's a very well run school with a diverse intake. They have tons of outdoor space that no other school can match.

Mhschoolq Wed 30-Sep-20 07:57:52

Oh it sounds brilliant there!

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Mhschoolq Wed 30-Sep-20 08:01:18

Still keen to find out more about Highgate Primary if anyone has any experience. We would probably be crossing a busy road to get there - depending on where we moved, but likely to be the MH side, rather than Highgate side - which does make me pause. But the school website makes it look great!

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Gigglr Wed 30-Sep-20 17:03:52

Highgate primary is the one that always has places. It's not one people move for. It's the one that if people get they scramble for a private place.

Zinnia Wed 30-Sep-20 22:22:50

That's a bit harsh on Highgate - it's a good school with a good reputation hmm

I don't know the MH schools but have friends with DC at Highgate who love it so much the kids still go there even though the family have moved boroughs and have plenty of good schools near their new house. I do feel for you not being able to visit in person, but presume they are all doing virtual tours? You should be able to ask the Head what makes their school distinctive, what their ethos is.

Normally I'd say go for the school closest to your house if you can't decide, but I'd you're choosing house based on school that doesn't really help!

It's difficult asking on forums like this because everyone will tell you how great their DCs' school is. There are comings and goings in most London schools - that's London - so I wouldn't worry too much about transience, be guided by your gut and possibly by the best house/flat you can get and go with the nearest school to that. Good luck!

Mhschoolq Thu 01-Oct-20 08:28:49

Thank you, zinnia! That’s good advice and perhaps I’ll stop stressing too much about the specific school if they are all good!

And a relief to know Highgate isn’t bad! It had been a previous favourite after the website’s video!

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EachPeachPearSums Thu 01-Oct-20 08:39:51

We didn't choose Highgate because it was very crammed in even for London and had a very chaotic feel to it. Of you want more local opinions I'd join Muswell Hill Mums on Facebook and ask there.

Bouledeneige Thu 01-Oct-20 08:57:58

My DC went to Muswell Hill and it was great. All the MH primaries are great really though I always thought academically it was Muswell Hill, Tetherdown and St James that were the excellent ones. If you were buying a house I'd think about where you want to them to go to secondary as there are some dead zones where it's hard to get into Fortismere or APS (both really good schools).

AsCoolAsKimDeal Thu 01-Oct-20 09:02:12

Coldfall all the way. Fantastic school.

Mivemove Sat 10-Oct-20 23:55:12

I wouldn't go by 'all local primaries' are great. They are all so different. Some have more outdoor space, some don't. Some have forest school, some don't. Some do singing lessons, some don't. Some have crammed up classrooms, some more space. Some are better for special needs children, some are extremely inflexible.
Yes, all local primaries have good sat results. So if that is the only thing you are looking at, then all schools will be good. If not, then you need to see what will work for your child.

lu9months Mon 12-Oct-20 21:40:41

all my children have been happy and well supported at coldfall, love the school

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