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Advice on moving to Reading

(38 Posts)
maggie84 Sun 23-Apr-17 19:18:14

We r planning to move to Reading...seen a few properties near Reading West station. I have not much idea about this location and not heard many positive reviews for Reading West(is it a rough/chavy area?). If anyone is living in reading west or nearby....could u please advise on how ur experience has been? Does it have a good community feel? How r the schools around? My DD is entering reception in sep and DS is in year 3 currently. We have liked a property which is around All Saints junior school and Oxford Community school.Any idea regarding these primary schools?

sunnysouthend Mon 24-Apr-17 13:16:23

Reading has changed hugely in recent years - and become a much nicer place than it used to be. I don't know that area personally but I do know several young families who have moved to the Oxford Road area. The schools linked both look nice - I would be more worried about secondary as central Reading does have some bad secondary schools that I would avoid at all costs (personally).

Do you know the area? If it's new to you is there any way you can visit to get more of a feel for the area?

In general Reading had some great advantages - proximity to London, the river and walks along it, beautiful countryside surrounding it, the Oracle is super handy for shopping and the centre is pleasant to mooch around I find, Forbury gardens are lovely.

What is your budget and what do you need for it?

maggie84 Mon 24-Apr-17 19:35:32

Thanks for ur reply. Can u tell me which r the secondary schools to avoid ?

Avioleta Mon 24-Apr-17 19:37:51

Avoid John Madjeski Academy like the plague. Very challenging catchment, consistently low results, in and out of special measures.

Avioleta Mon 24-Apr-17 19:40:01

Little Heath has a good reputation locally (although as I recall the last Ofsted wasn't great), Maiden Earley is good and popular. Bulmershe is better than the alternative (JMA).

AbbieRuin Mon 24-Apr-17 19:50:47

I live in that area, and it can be rough, but I really like it - you've got the swimming pool, parks/playgrounds, 24 hour shops, close to town, bus routes, etc. I wouldn't live further out in the suburbs.

The primary schools you mention are good. I wouldn't count JMA as central Reading and it wouldn't be the obvious choice from this area. The only secondaries in central Reading are the grammars, imo. The Wren school might go well. You've got Blessed Hugh Faringdon and Prospect nearby, then Denefield and Little Heath (which seem to take it in turns to go up and down, lol), plus you're near enough to town to travel east for school if you want. (Mine does.)

dietstartsmonday Mon 24-Apr-17 19:59:41

I live in the outskirts near to little heath and tbh I wouldn't live in the Reading west area if you paid me.
It's not where I would want my kids growing up it can be very rough in places. I would not want them out in local area there as teenagers
I would suggest tilehurst, calcot or even early or lower early if you don't mind being further out.

What do you want from the area you live in?

slattedblind Mon 24-Apr-17 20:09:17

I would avoid Prospect... you will need to consider catchments as obviously the good ones have smaller areas in which children can get a place.

As pp said - what do you want/need from and area? Is there a reason you are considering Reading West as opposed to Tilehurst/Calcot/Earley? I think housing costs are similar across all those areas. Are you going to be buying or renting?

maggie84 Mon 24-Apr-17 21:20:21

Thanks everyone for all your responses.
The main reason to shift to Reading is we want to try for the Reading Grammar School for my DS. But since its the only one grammar school there, I also wanted to now about the remaining secondary schools ( but looks like other than Maiden Earlegh no other schools have good reputation ) .

We are looking for 3 bed properties around 400K to 425K and would like to stay in family friendly place.

Pearlmum1 Mon 24-Apr-17 21:28:39

I grew up in Reading and have now moved to Devon..would never move back to Reading. I'm not sure if it was just my school that mainly put me off because I would never let my children grow up there. There were about 5 pregnant girls in year 9, drugs everywhere, I got bullied horrendously and that was mainly the norm. I was under a lot of pressure to take drugs, smoke, shoplift etc. I saw a stabbing there, teacher beaten up..all sorts, a terrifying time! If it helps this was Theale Green School. Times have changed a lot though so it might be different. It was fairly known that West Reading was quite a rough area. Some lovely houses there but a lot of crime, prostitutes, drug, some gangs.
I think the nicer areas were a drive away..look at Henley, Marlow, Hiring,

Kahlua4me Mon 24-Apr-17 21:31:03

We live in Wokingham and love it. Bit further out than you were looking but possibly better for all of you. Plenty of space for dc and safe too.

Dc are doing well and thriving at school. Schools here are all good and it would be possible for DS to go to reading boys from here.

Pearlmum1 Mon 24-Apr-17 21:33:43

Goring sorry posted too soon! Sorry this is mainly negative but there are other areas on the outskirts where you may feel safer, be a good place to bring up children. There were good, nice shops, restaurants, close to London. It's in the middle of everything so nowhere was ever too far. Lots to do. Good luck with your house hunting, there are some lovely places, I will try and think of more!

Pearlmum1 Mon 24-Apr-17 21:35:22

Like Kahlua said, Wokingham was always a nicer, a lot of my friends went to school there and they loved it.

Pearlmum1 Mon 24-Apr-17 21:41:05

If I could describe teenage life growing up in Reading I would say 'Kidulthood' watch that film and that's how I felt! I grew up in Calcot and if you are ever unfortunate enough to have to get a bus from Calcot to Reading town centre, you will see all the places you should avoid living in.

potatomama Mon 24-Apr-17 21:44:27

Winnersh is also a good option. Cheaper than Wokingham while between it and Reading.

slattedblind Mon 24-Apr-17 21:47:48

You could get a small 3 bed in Caversham for that money I think and then be in Highdown catchment. Primary schools north of river are all good or outstanding.

Kahlua4me Mon 24-Apr-17 21:57:13

There are houses in Wokingham that would meet your criteria, and in good areas too!

Flumpernickel Mon 24-Apr-17 22:02:33

I grew up in reading too pearl, thats hilarious! grin

smu06set Mon 24-Apr-17 22:07:43

If you have 400k and dont mind being further out from reading look at calcot, theale, much less problematic areas than reading west.
Theale Green is on its way up as a secondary now, and I second what another post said about avoiding john madjeski academy. Little heath always thought of as ok. The two primaries you mention i think have decent ofsteds but they have a very challenging catchment.

AbbieRuin Mon 24-Apr-17 22:28:02

Am loving the pearl-clutching here grin Not everyone wants to live in the (boring) suburbs. Some of us like being able to wander into town in less than ten minutes, be at the swimming pool in two minutes, not have to get on a bus or in a car to go anywhere, etc. My kids are teenagers and have managed to avoid becoming prostitutes or drug addicts, and they and their friends love that we're so close to town after a night out grin

Personally I like living in an interesting and diverse area - I work in Wokingham and would never live there!

OP, if you want to try for Reading school, you just need to be within about 15 miles. Boys come from all over, made fairly easy by Reading having good transport links.

AbbieRuin Mon 24-Apr-17 22:33:42

Our little road is a mixture of a few nice middle class families who have been here 10-20 years, a few older families who have been here even longer, and a lot of HMOs. Not usually any problems. My (possibly rather intimidating-looking) neighbour across the road called the police last summer when I left my car window open by mistake and he saw someone poking around in it at 3 am. You don't get that if all your neighbours are tucked up asleep like good respectable folk!

FennyBridges Mon 24-Apr-17 22:40:21

Wow. I taught at Theale Green for 6 years earlier this century. Had a lot of happy times!

Caversham :-) Stikl walking distance to town. I wouldn't personally live in Reading West BUT the curry restaurants are amazing. I lived south of The Oracle (as a young person) and I think north (so Caversham) or west - like Pangbourne or Tilehurst - would be lovely for family, with good train and bus links for town. Minutes on the train.

I live very rurally now. I miss Reading. I'd move there. But property I expect is expensive, and we can afford an amazing house here and probably not much there.

maggie84 Mon 24-Apr-17 23:34:46

Thanks a lot for all your replies, but I am left a bit confused now smile as most of the posts are negative towards Reading West.. Thinking of considering Caversham and Wokingham too now, although one of the main reasons i am looking for a property close to central Reading is DH travels to London ( Canary Wharf) for work and heard the traffic in early morning is bonkers and it does take a long time to reach mainline station from Caversham and Earley.

slattedblind Tue 25-Apr-17 06:45:37

Lower Caversham is cheaper for property and now there is a footbridge across the Thames that leads direct to the station. You can walk from lower Caversham to the station in 15mins or less if you walk briskly.
Even from east Caversham and the lower bits of Emmer Green you can walk to the station in 25mins and it's a lovely walk (I used to do it on a daily basis - i enjoyed the fresh air and head clearing after a day working in London). smile

Pearlmum1 Tue 25-Apr-17 08:45:52

Fennybridges (dying to know who you are! I started at Theale 20 years ago, left in 2002.) I think this was a stage in Theale Green (and it was a lot longer ago than I thought and probably totally invalid), a few awful things happened whilst I was there, it was a frightening experience from year 7 onwards.
I grew up in Calcot and went to Calcot Primary and that was lovely.

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