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Ashmount Primary, Islington

(12 Posts)
famousmum Thu 22-May-08 17:20:29

My five year old daughter has been offered a place at this primary school in North Islington on the border with Haringey. I hear the school is rapidly improving with relatively good SATS and I really liked the Head, Mrs McGee. I know it has a high proportion of free school meals kids but don't know if that means anything. My husband is a doctor and he had free school meals all his school life.
Does anyone have kids there or know anything about the school from inside, as it were?

frogs Thu 22-May-08 17:31:05

Don't know the school first hand (though we are quite local to there) but I know it's not one of the schools considered 'desirable' by the Islington middle-class mums, but you may consider that a plus.

I'm guessing from the way you phrase your OP that it wasn't your first choice? Go and have a look, check out a couple of other local schools too and see how you feel about it then.

Turniphead1 Thu 22-May-08 18:00:50

Hi similar to frogs I know the school only by general reputation. My worry would be that since Coleridge expanded its intake to four classes a lot of more supported children (okay middle class - again this depends if you are as snobby as me...)THis may not matter to you of course. I had also thought I had heard that it was closing and reopening under another name - but maybe I have got this wrong?? Have you tried Coleridge? Bit further up the road but locally considered a lot better (if a bit yummy mummy)

Turniphead1 Thu 22-May-08 18:01:42

sorry realised didn't finish my sentence - lot of the middle class kids that might have gone to Ashmount go to Coleridge

nlondondad Thu 22-May-08 18:32:56

Both my children went through Ashmount.

My youngest is in their second year at Secondary School now. They both had a positive experience, although the school has actually improved since then. So as far as I can tell its moved from being OK with good bits, to being better than that.

For example:-

When my daughter was there it was a three form entry school ie took in 90 children a year. While my son was there it went down to two form entry which is a much nicer size in my view.

The experience a child has depends on the children they are with and their teachers. When my daughter was there most teachers were very good but there were a couple I wasnt so sure about. By the time my son finished all those "doubtful" ones had left, "encouraged" as far as I can tell by a new Head, Pana McGee, who came well recommended from Martin's School in Barnet.

Another thing about the school was its ethnic diversity - a huge range of ethnic origins, and that has stood my children in good stead.

I must say hat I only became aware that the school was not always rated as "desirable" by middle class mums after my daughter had been there a couple of years. And surprise was expressed that I did not have her in one of a couple of other schools, one of which was a church school. However both my children have ended up at secondary school with children who went to the other "desirable schools " It doesnt seem to have made any difference.

Health Warning

My experience as a parent ended two years ago so I really, really, would recommend that you go and see Ashmount for yourself.

happy2bmum Thu 22-May-08 19:51:36

I have three children at Ashmount and I am very happy with it. It is a very different school to the place it was 5/6 years ago. It is a very welcoming school and the children seem very happy. I know there used to be a huge problem with discipline but that is certainly not the case now, children are respectful to the teachers and each other and the atmosphere of learning is very impressive. Appearances and hearsay are not reliable - I have three very happy children who love going to school and who are really enjoying learning. My daughter will leave Yr 6 this summer with Level 5s and that is without a tutor!

spaghettihoops Thu 22-May-08 22:52:59

Long-time lurker, delurking for first time because finally have something to say that I feel passionate about!

Was in same situation two years ago - worried by whole prospect of DS starting school, liked what I'd seen of Ashmount tho unnerved by local perceptions of 'desirability'. Two years on, DS is really happy there. Hand on heart I can't see how he could have had better teaching and support. His class has really bonded as a group, at same time as teachers know them all incredibly well as individuals. (btw, for what it's worth, DH& i both teach at university level, and DS - early to say this, I know - looks like he'll prob be academically inclined - and he's getting stretched and supported every step of the way.)

Also btw school isn't closing and reopening - it's moving to a new building on a green site (Crouch Hill) - will stay put until new building ready (2010, they're saying).

Guess it comes down to what you feel is most important for yr DD - but I'd say yr impression of school, staff & kids is way more important than league tables or anything else.

Turniphead1 Fri 23-May-08 10:13:44

I think those two posts say a lot of very good things about Ashmount!! It sounds lovely.

famousmum Fri 23-May-08 11:46:29

Ashmount was my only choice since it's the closest to us and we hadn't got into 'which is best' notions. I'm very pleased to have the responses I've had and feel sure we'll send her there, not least of all because its community seems to reflect all the local area (we're new-ish to the area). From what I've seen Coleridge doesn't seem to reflect the area's mix and that makes me a bit uneasy - I suppose.
I'm really grateful for everyone's views, I'd still be interested to hear more!

Many thanks for now.

famousmum Tue 03-Jun-08 20:24:28

Thanks for all your input. Just seen that Ashmount are hosting an Early Years Learning evening with Dr Tanya Byron. That's quite impressive, isn't it? I've always thought she was rather good.

unpushyparent Wed 16-Jul-08 22:05:39

My 5 year old son is at Ashmount. I chose Ashmount over Coleridge because it just felt like a happier place. My son positively skips up the road to school, all his friends live nearby, he has a fantastic teacher and classroom assistant, and the children are a delight. I personally love the fact that you don't get the crocs and socks brigade at the school gates stressing about violin lessons, what level books their children are on and whether the teacher is up to the job. The school is a happy place for my child, he doesn't feel under pressure, he positively loves learning, and at 5 years old what more could you ask for?
PS And what is wrong with children on free school meals? Those parents love their kids just as much, and in fact many are more positive parents than some "middle class" parents I know. Snobbery is very damaging and not good for our kids' futures, where to be successful and balanced adults they have to learn to rub along with everyone.

ESPACE Mon 21-Jul-08 11:09:36

My 4 year old is starting this sept at Ashmount, and we have been agonising over it so thanks for all these comments. We had applied for Coleridge, St Aidens etc - but fall between catchment areas.
One thing I have found hugely impressive at AShmount is the PTA which seems to be run by a group of really dedicated parents (very middle class if that is what you want!) who really care about their school and improving it. That says a lot to me about where a school is going and its standing in the local community.

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