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Moving to Nottingham - any advice on primary schools and childcare in that area?

(37 Posts)
iloveshoesandbags Mon 01-Mar-10 21:57:01

hello everyone.

Well nearly 2 years into being a single parent and I'm living lincolnshire to move to Nottingham. Still being confirmed but want to get ahead of things and start looking for good schools.
I will be working in the strelley area of nottingham but would look to rent initially and wanted to plan that around the good schools catchment area.
I don't know where to start - any advice welcome.
I'm also working full time so will need either breakfast club/afterschool club or will need registered childminder.
Any advice mumsnetters?
Thank you x

BellaDonnaSecure Mon 01-Mar-10 22:03:43

First of all, welcome to Nottinghamshire!

I think that the best areas in the county are around Southwell, Lowdham and Burton Joyce - all three of the villages have local primary schools with breakfast and afterschool clubs and childminders/nurseries in the area.

iloveshoesandbags Mon 01-Mar-10 22:09:49

Thanks for that, I will look into those. Are they usually over-subscribed?
I'm quite excited - only had the interview today and had to leave home at 6.00am just to get there in time for the 8.30am start. Didn't expect to get it offered this afternoon so I'm in planning mode already!!!

heckythump Mon 01-Mar-10 22:17:10

If you want to move to Nottingham though, all of those are outside Nottingham, in Nottinghamshire, and on the opposite side (east) of Nottingham to Strelley (west). I live in one of them by the way. The commute to Strelley from any of them would take a fairly long time, especially Southwell and especially if you are dropping off at kids club times and joining the peak traffic. I'll have a think and come back to you with suggestions which may suit travel to Strelley better smile

iloveshoesandbags Mon 01-Mar-10 22:18:52

Thanks - just looking on multimap and trying to work out how bad traffic would be at peak times too.
I really want a good home/work life balance and want to give them the best start.
DD1 is 10.5 and DD2 is 3.5 - so quite an age gap and balance to be had!!
fun times x

BellaDonnaSecurity Mon 01-Mar-10 22:19:04

Well done on the job interview!

Depending on the age. Southwell has two infant schools - Lowes Wong Infants and Holy Trinity, and two junior schools, Lowes Wong Juniors and the Southwell Minster School Junior Department (which is for musically talented children). None of these schools are oversubscribed.

Lowdham has a primary school which is lovely, smaller than Lowes Wong and not oversubscribed.

I'm afraid I know little about Burton Joyce Primary.

iloveshoesandbags Mon 01-Mar-10 22:28:01

Thank you for your suggestions and also for the context. It's really useful getting information from people who actually live there.

heckythump Mon 01-Mar-10 22:39:42

Have a look on the Ofsted site Shoes... I have just had a look at a couple in Beeston and they perform at Grade 2 - "Good". The one in Lowdham has only just hoisted itself up from not being so good and now scores a number of "outstandings - but they are social, not educational. Something to take into account perhaps. Depends on what you are after.

Basically, the east side of Nottingham villages are well off, the west side spilling into Derbyshire not so affluent, so you would have to pick carefully. Beeston, Wollaton, all ok suburbs with some good areas, some not so good. West Bridgford (and surroundings), which is in Rushcliffe is a relatively easy commute up the A52 and more attached to the Nottingham connurbation (almost seamless in fact!). This is a known affluent area and I think schools are pretty good - have a look on Ofsted. It would offer a good balance of work/home life, relative to out here.

I'm not 100% but I am sure that all schools now have to offer before and after schools clubs - depends on subscription as to whether you would get a place or not.

heckythump Mon 01-Mar-10 22:43:34

Oh, forgot, Shoes - forget looking on multimap to try and work out how bad traffic is - just look at the area and think "bad!"

If you can find somewhere that means driving against the flow inwards then that = good. Anything east is not good for Strelley. End of. Wollaton, Beeston, and even West Bridgford will mean for at least a substantial part of your drive you will be against inbound flow = good thing.

iloveshoesandbags Mon 01-Mar-10 22:43:49

Thanks Heckythump!
I'll take your advice and have a good root around on Ofsted. I've loaded it tonight on my mac and also had a look at a brochure on nottingham schools but I know without advice from mn that I could be looking for weeks and not end up with the best. Nottingham is also a pretty big place and your advice sounds good.
I'll definitely give it some research.
How long does it take to change schools? Anyone know?
I've lived in Lincolnshire so long, never had to do this before and it's quite daunting.

heckythump Mon 01-Mar-10 22:51:43

How old are your kids Shoes? Is it primary you need? It theoretically doesn't take long - all ("all"!!!) you need to do is find a place and be accepted - the rest takes very little time - so you ARE right to be looking now.

If you want a chat off-board, let me know. I used to live in Lincolnshire too!

tootootired Mon 01-Mar-10 22:56:11

Strelley is actually out west of Nottingham and you don't want to cross the city - the traffic is terrible. I don't think it's got better since I lived there.

If you want surburbia, Wollaton and Bramcote are OK areas (1930's semis), but you could also go west into Derbyshire where there are a scattering of villages/small towns. It's all ex-mining area, some more gritty than others, but you may get better value for money and it's much quicker to get around as the roads are better. (DH reckons 20 minutes from Ripley to Strelley for example).

TBH if you lived as far as Southwell or Lowdham, in the same time you could be in the Derbyshire Dales or 30 miles up/down the M1.

Nottingham is a great city to be near though, I still like to go there for the shops and its a great mix of town and country - well done on the new job!

iloveshoesandbags Mon 01-Mar-10 22:56:46

eldest DD is 10.5 and youngest is 3.5.
Pleased it doesn't take long. I think we'll be moving at Easter so not long to get sorted.
I think it's still primary I need but depends on the school and ages ranges there.
I'm quite happy to rent near the school so that we are in catchment and then I can commute into Nottingham.
I'm hoping that the before and after school clubs are available otherwise it will be childminder too.
I really want to be able to have more of a home life rather than just work life though so it's going to be a balancing act I think!!
Would like a chat off boards - but quite new to mumsnet so don't know how that works. x

iloveshoesandbags Mon 01-Mar-10 23:00:54

Oh I love shops tootootired (loving the name by the way) and am used to small villages but just want what probably everyone wants - a nice area to raise the girls and nice schools where they'll get a crack at a decent education.
Had thought in the past about private but I can't afford that on my own and not exactly convinced that they get anything in addition to a good state school, although may be wrong there.
Will look into your suggestions. Thank you

heckythump Mon 01-Mar-10 23:04:21

Exactly TooToo. Living out here is impractical for a single parent working in Strelley. It would be awful, and as you say much better off living in the Peaks!

Shoes - email me at s h a n c o at a n o t h e r dot c o m (omitting spaces and replacing ats and dots with the appropriate symbols) smile

If I don't reply, my delightful email provider (don't use people!) has spammed it or lost it, so post back here and I will think of another way to off-board this. smile

iloveshoesandbags Mon 01-Mar-10 23:05:49

Just thought I ought to add.... exDH lives in Lincs but may be moving to Sleaford to be with new partner sometime in near future - so need to consider travelling time for contact with DDs and also my family living in Lincs so need to consider travelling time there too.
For sake of eldest DD I want to make it as easy as possible for access to continue as long as it can (and while he is still interested)

heckythump Mon 01-Mar-10 23:10:35

Oh dear - well, this side would suit that situation better, but you have to think about the majority of the time. If you lived out here and worked in Strelley you would not see anything of your 3 year old. Plus, weekend travel, an extra 10 miles would take an extra 20 minutes at the weekend, but an hour and a half in peak traffic.

You need to consider yourself too, Shoes.

Clary Mon 01-Mar-10 23:17:16

iloveshoes I am in Derbyshire and it's not far to Lincs, nearer Nottignham even less far IYSWIM.

Nottingham is notorious for being a nightmare for commuting, so I agree with those who say, live on the right side.

Driving from Derby to Nott city centre takes 20 mins at some times of day, more than an hour at 8.30am tho.

I'd be very tempted to look at Woollaton or Bramcote. Don't know much about schools there tho.

Ilkeston in Derbys is a nearby town but not a very affluent area. Good house prices tho and certainly some very good schools. The Catholic school (if that's yr bag) in Ilk (St John Houghton) always gets good results and has a very on-the-case HT IIRC.

Heanor is another nearby town which is also not the most posh, but may offer what you want. Heanor Gate Science College is well rated, a lot of people from out of area choose to go there which is usually a good sign.

I'm talking secondaries here because of the age of yr older DD; I have always found primary education not such an issue (ie most primaries I have been in have made a good impression).

BelleDeChocolateFluffyBunny Mon 01-Mar-10 23:21:05

Derby's nice. Bottom of the peak district, our hospital is alot better (I'm biased as I work there, I'm also a patient at QMC), schools are not bad, plenty of activities for children at the weekends, shopping's good but not fantastic so it will help you save wink, lurvely Chatsworth house is not far.

iloveshoesandbags Mon 01-Mar-10 23:21:33

Thank you so much for your posts.

I'm more interested in the week-days being easier on the girls for schooling.
Access will probably be weekends for him, and if he moves then I'll still pop over to Lincs on a monthly basis to see my family and we can still skype etc.

Clary Mon 01-Mar-10 23:23:59

OP what are you doing in Strelley (nosy)

I don't really want to know, except that it's a tiny place! Are you actually in that bit right on the M1? In which case I would deffo have a look at Derbys, cheaper and nicer really!

BelleDeChocolateFluffyBunny Mon 01-Mar-10 23:25:05

The breakfast clubs here run from 7:30 and take your children to school for you, they collect them after school and are normally open until 6pm so there's plenty of time for travel. They also run from 7:30 until 6pm during the holidays, the club ds used to attend also covered teacher training days so it's pretty much all year childcare covered.

BelleDeChocolateFluffyBunny Mon 01-Mar-10 23:27:29

Hi clary smile

I don't know Nottingham very well, Ilkeston's an interesting place though, full of characters wink.

Clary Mon 01-Mar-10 23:36:46

Hello fluffy smile

Hmm yes I am not sure I would recommend Ilkeston tho I rather like it.

West Hallam or Morley are nice but a bit further flung for the OP's job...

iloveshoesandbags Mon 01-Mar-10 23:39:46

Strelley is close to where my new office will be - Social housing provider.
it's near Beechdale Road.
I will have a look at Derby too. I hope I find somewhere nice with places at schools.
I'm quite independent (luckily) but it's still a bit daunting when you want to find the best you can.
I'm going to have to leave for tonight because:
a) I have less than 10 minutes of battery life on laptop
b) arse has totally gone to sleep because I've been on this now for over a couple of hours!!!

Thanks everyone for your posts and I will be back on tomorrow to keep looking and will be searching madly!!!

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