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Best primary schools in Cambridge??

(95 Posts)
4cookies Thu 25-Feb-10 12:44:54

We'll be moving to Cambridge next fall and are trying to find out which primary schools are best. Any tips on the best areas to live in or schools for our children?

Thank you!

james79 Thu 25-Feb-10 20:06:19

Are you moving to Cambridge city centre or further out? St. Paul's Primary school off Hills Rd is fantastic, vibrant, diverse, fun to work at, excellent parent/teacher relationships, brilliant bright and buzzy children...miss it so much!I am completely biased of course as i used to teach there! smile

james79 Thu 25-Feb-10 20:08:12

Also, just to say that tehre is so much to do in Cambridge, always something going on, loads of parks and green spaces, thriving shopping centre, tons of lovely restaurants, river walks, museums and of course the colleges to wander... enjoy!grin

james79 Thu 25-Feb-10 20:08:36

sorry fot typos watching masterchef!

overmydeadbody Thu 25-Feb-10 20:08:36

james that's not what I heard of St. Pauls! At least not since they appointed the new head.

cazzybabs Thu 25-Feb-10 20:08:57

Morley has a good reputation as does Queen Ediths (although has a more diverse catchment area - well for Cambridge). Milton road also is well thought of.

james79 Thu 25-Feb-10 20:09:47

Really! tell me more...! I don't know the new head.

overmydeadbody Thu 25-Feb-10 20:11:41

well apparantly it has become very religious (and not in a good way, in a slightly scary way)

overmydeadbody Thu 25-Feb-10 20:13:22

The tihng about Cambridge is that most of the primary schools are good, with the exception of a handful.

The village schools also have very good reputations.

james79 Thu 25-Feb-10 20:14:39

Can you elaborate further? When i was there we used to do all the usual stuff, collective worship, assemblies, vicar would visit etc. nothing scary at all.

overmydeadbody Thu 25-Feb-10 20:26:50

Well james all I know is what a friend of mine who's dc go there has complained to me about, she just siad the new head was too ott on the whole religious side of things, and focussing on things like insisting all children bow their heads and say amen, emphasising what the parent thought where thw wrong bits of religion to focus on at the school, those sorts of things. And my friend also thought the new head and other staff weren't very approachable by the parents.

I only have second hand info to go on though, so I'd recommend the OP just visits the schools herself and makes her own mind up.

james79 Thu 25-Feb-10 20:33:23

What a shame for your friend, each head is so different in their approach. Ditto shame for her feeling staff unapproachable, all i can say is that i worked with the most brilliant and inspiring people but that was about four years ago.
Yep i agree, lots of visits and see what feels right for you and your children. smile

overmydeadbody Thu 25-Feb-10 20:40:19

yep the heads make such a difference don't they! The old head at my ds's school used to regularly reduce the parents to tears shock. Thankfully the new head is lovely!

james I will pass on your positive comments to my firend!

james79 Thu 25-Feb-10 20:49:59

How horrible! We are actually going to visit schools next week for our dd who is due to start next september. So scary how quickly they grow up and all you want is for them to be happy.
Please do pass on my experience to your friend but i know dynamics can change with staff changes. I was voted 'most approachable teacher' by parents when there was a school survey, i was very [embarrassed] and of course smile!

Sorry for slight hijack of your thread 4cookies! Good luck with your search!smile

overmydeadbody Thu 25-Feb-10 20:54:41

well james maybe it's because you're not there any more that my friend found the staff unapproachable! grin

Are you still in cambridge or looking elsewhere for schools for your DD? <nosy>

james79 Thu 25-Feb-10 20:59:03

Yep that's it!
No, sadly we don't live in Cambridge anymore, we're near Ely now so will be looking at our two local schools plus one a bit further away. Really looking forward to nosying around myself!

overmydeadbody Thu 25-Feb-10 21:02:22

Good luck, I quite enjoyed looking round different schools (I'm a teacher too) for a good old nosey.

I have no experience of the fenland schools round Ely...

4cookies Thu 25-Feb-10 21:51:38

Thank you all for your comments! We are moving to Cambridge from the States, so all the advice we can get is helpful and appreciated.

We'll keep in mind about the new head at St. Paul's, but will put it on our list of schools to visit.

We're planning on living in City Centre... Any other schools besides St. Paul, Morley, Queen Ediths that we should put on our list to visit?

James, since you are a teacher, do you know how I could get a copy of the specific curriculum for Year 1? Should I call a school directly? The US starts children in school a year later than in the UK, so we're having to prep our daughter to begin Year 1 rather than Reception. Overwhelming but we have plenty of time.

Runoutofideas Fri 26-Feb-10 07:48:32

If you are looking for a year 1 place it may be worth finding out how over-subscribed the schools are, as you may not necessarily be able to get into the one you like best. I would ring the education authority to see where the likely spaces are, then start your search from there. Good luck.

overmydeadbody Fri 26-Feb-10 21:15:13

4cookies have you checked out the Cambridge county council education website yet? All the info you need about primary schools in cambridge is there.

You have already missed the deadline for sept 2010 admissions, so you may not have much choice as to where your DD goes.

Cambridge have quite rigid boundaries on the catchments for their primary schools, the good ones in the city entre are heavily oversubscribed and you would have more chance of her getting a place at a big school like Milton Road, St. Pauls and St. Matthews then at a small school like Park Street (probably the most centrally located school and certainly the smallest one, I think it only has about 100 kids) but it is a very good school so worth checking out.

Cambridge is a wonderful place to bring up children, I wish you all the best with the move, you will love it here.

coolma Sat 27-Feb-10 11:55:09

My eldest, now 20, went to St Paul's and it was lovely then, have also heard it's not quite so good now. My son who's 10 is at Morley and we're hoping dd will go in September. It is good, in a slightly 'alternative' way I feel, but the new head is fabulous. Ones to avoid, for me personally are: Ridgefield, Shirley and possibly Abbey Meadows. That is just my experience of working with families who send their children there.

Babyonboardinthesticks Sat 27-Feb-10 14:32:25


BakewellTarts Sat 27-Feb-10 15:15:05

A close friend has her DD's at Ridgefield and has been very pleased with them...I think the school has changed a lot particularly since becoming part of the Parkside Federation.

james79 Sat 27-Feb-10 16:07:31

Sounds like your best bet would be to contact schools to arrange visits, pop along to their open days/summer fairs etc to get an overall feel, request a prospsectus, check out their websites that sort of thing and of course they should be able to give you a curriculum overview. All the best. smile

Babyonboardinthesticks Sat 27-Feb-10 18:13:09
which leads to the Perse which gets some of the best A level results in the country.

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