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Primary schools in Denmark Hill?

(23 Posts)
Pacita Sat 29-May-10 09:47:59

I was wondering if any mumsnetters around Camberwell/Denmark hill/East Dulwich could give me some tips.

DP and I live in a flat in north london, but when DS came along, we decided we needed to move somewhere bigger, and with some outside space. We have been looking for ages at various areas, and we have finally put an offer on a house in Denmark Hill, which has been accepted.

Everything has moved really quickly, and we could well be moving in the next two months. My DS is 20 months, so I need to be thinking about putting him down for primary.

What are schools like in the area, and are they very oversuscribed? We would be based in Champion Hill.

Many thanks for any thoughts!

Pacita Sat 29-May-10 10:54:17


Pacita Sat 29-May-10 18:41:43


legalalien Sat 29-May-10 18:48:01

schools in East Dulwich are fairly oversubscribed. I don't have much (any) in depth knowledge, but suggest you have a look at the school allocation thread at east dulwich forum and consider posting your own thread once you've had a chance to digest it. The EDF is generally a very good source of info about local issues, businesses etc etc.

Pacita Sat 29-May-10 20:52:46

Thanks legalalien, comments much appreciated

cnaik Sat 29-May-10 20:55:00

Do you mean private schools? You can't put your name down for a state primary school when your child is 20months old. You will either be Lambeth or Southwark and the applications for a state primary school place will be open from roughly the December before the September that your child will start school. A lot can change in a school in that time so I wouldnt be too anxious just yet; You could set your heart on a school that has a dip in fortunes or dismiss one that has a stellar rise by the time your DC will be starting. You are close to Dog Kennel Hill school which has slipped in the ofsted but highly regarded by parents of children who attend (possibly a better measure) Lyndhurst; good reputation and recently expanded. Private schools; The Villa in Camberwell is a great private nursery where children can stay on until end of Key Stage 1, lots of good privates around Herne Hill and Dulwich. You will need to consider putting name down for those. Agree with legalalien EDF is a great source of info. Welcome to South London!

Pacita Sun 30-May-10 21:31:32

cnaik, thanks a lot for the info and the welcome to south london. We are really excited about it.

And I meant state schools, actually, but I suppose we'll look at private ones too (although not sure we'll be able to afford those, particularly after the move).

Is there a similar site to EDF for Denmark Hill or Camberwell?

cnaik Sun 30-May-10 21:41:21

Yes there is a camberwell forum but I'm not so familiar with it and suspect it is less familycentric. Don't worry you will soon find a crowd of mums who will steer you in various directions. There are a lot of young families in the area and competition for places at the schools that are perceived to be the best is very strong. However because of that people have had to spread themselves more thinly and hopefully that will lead to a rise or at least a levelling in standards throughout. He'll be fine. However you had better start looking for a nursery pronto - can be even harder to find and perhaps more pressing for you?! Certainly Southwark has a list of providers. Good luck.

Vallhala Mon 31-May-10 00:20:49

St Saviours in Herne Hill Road, SE24, has a good reputation. My mum is a volunteer for a local children's group in the area and several of the children there attend St Saviours, which mums still praise, just as my own did 40 years ago when I went there.

Pacita Mon 31-May-10 10:58:07

Thanks, ladies.

Truth is, I'm not so concerned about nurseries because (and I am grateful for our good fortune) there is a creche in my partner's place of work.

cnaik, yes, I also think that meeting parents in the area once we move will be the best steer. It's just that it's inevitable to find additional things to worry about when one is already horribly stressed about moving!

LadyWellian Wed 02-Jun-10 14:19:19

We've recently moved out of East Dulwich (guess where to!) but our experience was definitely that you could put your dc's name down at quite a young age - I did it when dd was 2-ish after someone told me I ought to get on with it. DD was at a private nursery so we declined the offer of a place at the school nursery but it meant we were 'in the system'. I'm sure you could leave it until the December before and I dare say you don't get an advantage in doing it early, but it's one less thing to worry about. I've heard good things about Dog Kennel Hill. DD went to a holiday scheme there and it had a nice atmosphere. And don't get too hung up on Ofsteds - dd is at Goodrich, which hasn't been better than 'satisfactory' in its last two, but is a lovely school with a great atmosphere and continues to be oversubscribed because many people value these things more than Ofsted reports.

Gubbins Wed 02-Jun-10 18:09:23

Welcome to the area, Pacita. I'm over the side of E. Dulwich (Mine are at Goodrich, too.)

If you're on Champion Hill you are probably very close to Dog Kennel Hill School, which is supposed to be very good. Bessemer grange is also nearby. It was failing school, but has turned itself around and is really on the up. At the moment it has nicely small class sizes as subscriptions obviously lag behind improvements in the school, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was one of the more desired schools in the area by the time you will be applying for your son.

If you are planning on state education then there is no advantage to putting your son's name down early for a school. You make your application in the Autumn/Winter before your child is due to start and the places are all allocated by the council at that point. Nurseries attached to schools deal with their own applications though and for that it may be worth expressing your interest at this stage.

Pacita Fri 04-Jun-10 14:51:23

thanks to all for your pearls of wisdom! I feel I'll be better prepared when I move already.

thecatatemygymsuit Fri 04-Jun-10 15:00:52

I think Lyndhurst Primary (on Grove Lane so v near you) is also supposed to be good, as is St John's & St Clements in Goose Green and Dog Kennel Hill. Goodrich is v favoured but that's the other side of east Dulwich.
I'm hoping dd will go to one of these!

cnaik Fri 04-Jun-10 21:11:09

I'm afraid that the catchment for Goodrich is only about 400metres and likely to be smaller in the next couple of years as they took a bulge last year so will have more siblings to contend with. St John's catchment is even smaller as over 50% of places are faith places. On Champion Hill the most obvious places are Lyndhurst, DKH, Bessemer Grange or Goose Green (the latter two being less popular but on the up)Given that there are so many childen in the area people are being forced to look at the less obvious options with the result that the intakes are becoming more local and more demographically mixed - to the advantage of parents schools and community imo

lostinfrance Mon 21-Jun-10 23:42:05

Message withdrawn

mpops Thu 19-Nov-15 11:34:32

Hi! May I revive this zombie thread please?

My daughter starts at reception in September 2016. Been to see 7 schools (I'm schooled out, I tell you!) and the more I see the less I can decide what it is I'm after. This is my list of favourites with distance next to it

Bessemer (0.38 miles)
Lyndhurst (0.62 miles)
Dulwich Village Infants (0.78 miles)

I've also been to see Jessop, Crawford Dog Kennel Hill and Judith Kerr

What do you know about these schools? Any experiences yourselves or through friends? I'm a bit stuck because I'd like to put down 6 choices to avoid being allocated a place at a school I haven't been to, but I don't know what to do about the four schools I'm not sure about. None of them are terrible or anything but I didn't warm up to them as much as the three top ones. WWYD?

Alonglongway Thu 19-Nov-15 11:45:11

Mine went to Lyndhurst and a lot of the neighbours' kids go there. lovely happy little school. I haven't visited since the building work is complete but I know they were all very excited about it

mpops Thu 19-Nov-15 11:52:03

Thanks Alonglongway. I really liked Lyndhurst from my visit. Wonderful atmosphere. But I don't think we're close enough, sadly. Still, I think I should put it down!

Lisa216 Thu 19-Nov-15 20:02:48

Hi. Mine goes to DKH, which was our first choice (we also live near enough to have got a place at Bessemer and Jessops). We are very happy with DKH - both with the academic standard and the wide range of other activities on offer. The school also has quite a personal feel, which I think the 2 form entry helps with. The teachers are visible in the playground every day which makes it easy to have a word with them and the new headmaster has also been proactive in getting to know children and parents. There is a great parents' association which organises some lovely events for the children throughout the year. Please feel free to message me if you would like any further info.

Uberaddict Thu 19-Nov-15 23:17:31

Crawford. Utterly extraordinary school. The hidden gem of Camberwell. It had a bad reputation and was truly terrible 5 years ago but was taken over by gypsy hill federation in 2010 and is absolutely incredible. It's results, leadership teaching and extra curriculum are second to none. Parental engagement incredible (inviting all parents once a week into class to read, posting pictures via a secure app so parents can share learning journey). It's well organised too. It's big and like many schools is building.. So scruffy at moment. It doesn't have the image that others have but I know a lot of parents disillusioned with DKH and a bit meh about Lyndhurst. My DD is at reception and it was best decision we ever made

Uberaddict Thu 19-Nov-15 23:20:01

By the way I think Bessemer is good and on the rise too.

mpops Fri 20-Nov-15 13:47:14

Thanks! Bessemer is our closest school (a nice 8-minute walk) but I liked both Crawford and DKH for different reasons.

Glad to hear the new head is good at DKH. He didn't give a good impression at the open day I attended and basically disappeared after 2 minutes of waffling. But he's been quick at responding to emails etc.

I was really impressed by Crawford. What a lovely, engaged school. They seem to take a very personal approach to learning, which I loved. Definitely going on my list.

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