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Maidenhead primary schools

(51 Posts)
oneluke Sat 27-Feb-10 20:46:08

We are looking to move to Maidenhead but our daughter is due to start school in September and we have missed the deadline for applications. Aargh!

I have spoken to the Council and it appears that she is likely to get put in a school which nobody else wants to go to but will have the opportunity to move to our preferred school if a space becomes available.

Does anyone have any experience of this?

We are totally new to the area and are looking at a house in North Maidenhead near Furze Platt and also looking at the Littlewick Green/Burchetts Green area. Really don't know which is a better area so any guidance would be fantastic!

Also, in case state schools are a total write off, any info on the independents would also be useful!

jeanjeannie Sun 28-Feb-10 10:58:36

Can't help with Buschetts Green but I do know Furze Platt as MIL lives there and DP grew up there (Secondary only though)

From what i gather - the sought after schools are faith and I don't know what their criteria are for entrance. Here in Bucks they are strict but it maybe different there. I have friends with DC at St Pirans and Claire's court independents...all are really happy at both. The other plus side of Furze platt is that you have the options of going in for the 11+ if you want and then going to Bucks (free transport!) grammars! HTH

gremlindolphin Sun 28-Feb-10 22:02:06

Don't know Burchetts Green area but I think Furze Platt is fine and the Cookham Schools are good esp Cookham Dean and Holy Trinity.

Independents are fine as mentioned St Pirans, Clare's Court and Herries.

littleducks Sun 28-Feb-10 22:12:18

Tbh schooling in Maidenhead is really messed up this year, this Sept will be the first year they admit rising fives, up until now it was children after their 5 birthday with a 3 stage intake (sept/jan/easter).

New classrooms and blocks are being built, and nobody is certain that they will get a place at the school they want

Im anxiously waiting for my letter!

Tbh most of the schools are good, Oldfields Primary prob has the bestt reputation but a crazily small catchmennt as the are a one class intake. Lowbrook and St Marys have good reps too, and i personallly really liked Alwyn.

The independents are very good St Pirans and Claires Court.

I think Littlewick Green is the better area but is more rural/isolated dependant on your perspective you could still walk to town from Furze Platt.

MollieO Wed 03-Mar-10 23:33:14

Highfield (girls only) is very good. Quite a few people I know send their girls to Highfield and boys to Ridgeway (Claires Court) rather than choosing The College (Claires Court girls school).

St Pirans (co ed) is good if your dd is academic or sporty. Less good if she needs extra help.

Herries is nice but very very small meaning small classes and difficulty of socialisation (6 in a class).

Furze Platt infant is good, less so as you get to junior and senior level.

Burchetts Green is good but only goes to 7. Same with Alwyn (you have to apply to get to the next school - Courthouse or All Saints and no guarantee of getting a place).

You have to be north of the A4 to be in current catchment for some Bucks grammar schools - Cookham is in catchment for Sir William Borlase (co-ed) and Beaconsfield High (girls). No bus service provided by Bucks CC(free or otherwise) if you are out of county.

james7777777 Mon 12-Jul-10 14:39:51

Hi,

I need some help!

Our son is due to start primary school in a year or so. We live near the river area in Maidenhead and our catchment schools are st lukes, ellington and st mary's.

St marys is good but you have to be catholic. St lukes and ellingon look terrible!

anyone got any advice? perhaps schools we may have a hope of getting into without moving!

littleducks Mon 12-Jul-10 14:47:39

I live in a similar area.

You dont have to be catholic for st marys,i dont think, many of our neighbours kids go there, but i dont know for sure as we didnt consider it due to the church connection

I have had a terrible time with schools and am leaving the area as dd has been offered Ellington

Oldfield is excellent and some of the cookham schools are good

I may be bitter but i would consider moving, we decided not to and are really regretting the decision, we are not going to move to a different county to get a school place for dd for sept as we cant afford private

james7777777 Mon 12-Jul-10 15:09:52

Wow...thats not good.

can I ask what schools you applied for? Ellington does look really bad. to qoute the ofsted report - 9 out of 10 pupils speak english as a second language with a high number of learning difficulties.

We are thinking of maybe applying for schools in cookham or cox green but it's such a gamble if you dont get in.

Maybe Ill just become Catholic....

James

littleducks Mon 12-Jul-10 15:34:51

I didnt mind that aspect so much it was when i went to the school and stood outside all the (tiny primary school) kids were coming out swearing and talking about being in gangs and beating other kids up hmm

I applied for furze platt/oldfield/alwyn

Have been offered larchfield and ellington

I could wait it out, i know for definite there are people with places whos kids will be going to claires court but i got so angry at the appeal process (my application wasnt properly processed but i still didnt win as i didnt discover this till alwyn appeal and couldnt go back and reappeal furze platt at this stage) that dh has got a new job and we are all relocating

Friend of dds at preschool family rented a house right near oldfield for application timeschale and has now moved back to family home in another part of town as she has an oldfield place

taffetacatski Mon 12-Jul-10 16:01:44

I (partly) grew up and went to school in Maidenhead, many moons ago grin

The primaries I went to:

- Braywick ( no longer exists )
- Oldfield ( where my Mum was a teacher )
- Highfield ( was a PNEU school in those days )

All were excellent schools. Highfield is private or independent or whatever its called these days, and really was a very good school indeed, I have very fond memories of it. The teachers in those days were outstanding.

Houses near Oldfeild are very expensive - and actually don't guarantee you a place if you have more than one child. My friend had a house on the same road as Oldfield and couldn't get her 3 boys in when they relocated from the West Country - there wasn't space.

mumtoabeautifulbabyboy Mon 12-Jul-10 16:12:00

St Edmund Campion Catholic School and Oldfield are the two state primary schools with outstanding Ofsted reports. Many of the other prmaries in the area have good or good with outstanding features.

The Ofsted site may be a good place to start if you are new to the area.

I know that most will let you visit if you ring the school secretary. This can be a better way to get a 'feel' for a school.

Good luck x

james7777777 Mon 12-Jul-10 16:54:19

Message withdrawn

james7777777 Mon 12-Jul-10 18:55:54

sorry appears free speech no longer exists in our country so my previous post was deleted. Shame on you mumsnet....if we cant discuss the REAL reasons for our poor schools then we cant solve them

clam Mon 12-Jul-10 19:01:58

Shame on you, james!
There are many, many reasons that some schools in this country are failing, but not necessarily for the reasons you were implying - no, stating as fact.

james7777777 Mon 12-Jul-10 20:07:55

OK. but you have to agree it is unfair that my wife and I both work, pay 40% tax which supports schools and benefits.

Then when it comes to children going to school those same people I support and pay for get exactly the same choices I do and infact where I am an even better choice.

People who work and pay tax should get preference over the work shy and feckless.

taffetacatski Mon 12-Jul-10 20:24:26

I didn't see the deleted message but can imagine what it said. My mother lives in Maidenhead and raised myself and my sister in a totally non racist way, much more so than was the norm at the time.

I was very shocked when she visited recently and launched into a tirade about what was happening with the ethnic communities in Maidenhead, with particular reference to schools. I am not in a position to comment as I no longer live there, but my point in this post is that IME, for my mother of all people to comment on it, there is something skewed and unusual happening there now.

clam Mon 12-Jul-10 21:58:36

Doesn't excuse the unpleasant phrase you used, james. Which had nothing to do with disproportionaate taxes and the workshy and feckless.

james7777777 Mon 12-Jul-10 22:26:24

???? what unpleasnt phrase?

anyway thanks to all for the help. Im going to rent a house in the best catchment area to pretend i live there. cant wait to spend 1000 a month for an empty house....

MollieO Mon 12-Jul-10 22:41:33

Both St Marys and St Edmund Campion have strict guidelines for applications. If you are not already a practising Catholic then you won't have a chance of getting your ds in to either.

Oldfield is so over subscribed that not even everyone in catchment gets in.

Furze Platt you need to live in catchment to get in.

Holy Trinity in Cookham is popular with Maidenhead riverside parents. Whether you get in depends on number of applications. The year above ds was a boom year and not even legitimate church goers got a place (had to be in catchment). The following year everyone who put it as their first choice got in.

Of course there are private options as mentioned earlier in this thread.

You can contact RBWM Admissions and get a list of number of applicants for each school and acceptances and what was the lowest criteria accepted.

I missed james' comment but I can imagine what it said. Not all failing schools are the result of being populated by children of 'workshy' parents. Cookham Rise was in Ofsted special measures 6 years ago. Nothing to do with the parents but everything to do with a totally incompetent head.

clam Mon 12-Jul-10 23:17:40

Well, I'd hazard a guess that it'd be the phrase that MNHQ chose to delete - on racist grounds (not workshy).

mumtoabeautifulbabyboy Tue 13-Jul-10 14:06:51

You could try Woodlands Park Primary. They are not oversubscribed but they have a new head and are a really improving school in the area.

mumtoabeautifulbabyboy Tue 13-Jul-10 14:10:45

*oversubscribed

Nassy Wed 14-Jul-10 15:48:30

Just out of interest my son has turned 3 so I am also hunting out schools. Maidenhead's admission policy is already irritating me in its inflexibility and lack of choice. I feel that bright children in particular are being let down badly by the Maidenhead council (as they risk being taken to the worst schools unless their parents are rich enough to afford expensive house prices or private education).

I'd also like to see an end to faith schools.
They mean there is even less choice for most children.

Having said that, I personally don't think it is worth paying $$$$ for a more expensive house to get into Oldfield primary. I think for secondary education there is more at stake and unless money is no object (in which case private primary education would be a more likely option) then I think it makes more sense to save up for a few years of private secondary education.

Just my opinion though. Just wish there was more choice.

MollieO Wed 14-Jul-10 18:39:53

As you will see earlier in this thread living in the Oldfield catchment is no guarantee to getting a place at the school.

The view amongst friends of mine was to educate privately at primary age on the basis that if children don't develop a love of learning in primary school it is too late by the time they reach secondary age. Of course primary age private education is substantially cheaper than secondary, which may be another factor.

Many people also choose private in the hope that it gives them a boost for 11+ although afaik none of the private schools in Maidenhead actually teach for 11+.

embles76 Sun 18-Jul-10 20:32:09

Hi everyone - this thread is very interesting as we will be moving to Maidenhead from Italy (where we have been for the past three years) this August. The timing for us is terrible, since my son who will be 5 in November, should be starting school in September, whereas if we had stayed in Italy he would not be starting until next September. We have found a house to rent in the Oldfield catchment area (pretty much right next to the school!) - partly because of the school but mostly because it was the right house for us - although I'm not sure if he will actually end up going there as ultimately we are looking to buy and this is a pretty expensive area of Maidenhead to buy in. Anyhow, obviously we have missed the admissions process and don't have much of a chance of getting into Oldfield, but I really don't want him to end up going to Ellington or St. Luke's which I have heard are not very good at all (and read ofsted reports) and are probably what we would be offered. So, I will consider a private school for a yr, but also am considering homeschooling - am not sure it's all so stressful. We were also thinking Windsor although I don't think the school situation is any better there, and the right house just happened to come up in Maidenhead.

I did hear from a friend that this year the council completely messed up the admissions process and oversubscribed the first/primary schools so that could be the reason for what is happening to some people. On the other hand sometimes if you wait it out you do get into the school you want as people change their minds/move etc.

TBH I'm finding this a minefield and we're not even there yet, and when I spoke to the council they were completely unhelpful. Now at least we have an address we should be able to apply and get on the waiting list. Fingers crossed!

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