Hackney move help

(25 Posts)
fuxsake Mon 12-Jul-21 21:14:27

Hi everyone, apologies if this is in the wrong section…
I am anticipating a move to the Hackney area from another part of London and am in need of some advice please. I’m a solo parent, child is 5. I work in arts and am freelance so work is flexible. I currently live in a suburb of London and am bored out of my whits -not to mention feeling quite isolated! Son is at a great school, however I desire more of a community to raise him in. I know Hackney well enough, spend time there frequently but it’s a big area with even bigger variation. I’m not hell bent on an “outstanding” school for him, rather somewhere innovative which will nurture him as an individual as well as expose him to a diverse and creative community.

If there wasn’t such a need to be living pretty much on top of a school to get in due to catchment etc I’d just move us and research the school once I’m in the area, but as it’s not I’m forced to work things the other way around.

Any recommendations or suggestions of welcoming creative communities in the area would be much appreciated.

Thank you!

OP’s posts: |
Yellowmellow71 Tue 13-Jul-21 08:30:43

Reception catchments are tiny, but after reception places come up in upper years because the area is so transient.

But still, you do need to be very close to the school you like.

Which schools are on your list?

Hackney’s big and changes a lot according to area in it. But it is full of great communities.

fuxsake Tue 13-Jul-21 09:54:57

@yellowmellow71 thank you for your reply!

This is precisely my point; Hackney is big and incredibly varied, which is why I'm asking for some advice on areas to look in.

My son will be going into year 1 (potentially mid-year) so he may have to stay at his current school for a while after we move. I am hopefully it will be a positive transition, but aware is may not be so easy. I would rather move to a place I'm happy in with the choice of a couple decent schools around us and see where places come up.

I know London and I'm no stranger to the area, but its these little communities that attract me as I am feeling very isolated at the moment and the whole pandemic situation has really pushed the extremities.

I have no schools in mind -I know no names. For me, the community comes first before school labels. I have worked in London schools for 12+ years, I know "outstanding" is a great mask for a lot of things.

If you have any insider info, please do share! x

OP’s posts: |
MaizeBlouse Tue 13-Jul-21 09:59:07

I cant help directly with recommendations as I live in SE London but could you join a 'Hackney Mums' fb group.. there will be one! I don't use fb any.kre except to look on my local mum image for insider info.
I'd suggest to join a group and search 'schools' and see what comes up as I'm sure people have discussed the pros and cons of schools and areas. Or even post on there asking the same question as you have here.

fuxsake Tue 13-Jul-21 10:14:16

@MaizeBlouse -I don't do FB either haha. Will have to join I guess as I'm sure you're right about the groups.

I thought mumsnet would be a good first port of call.. I've never actually posted on here before!

Thank you for your reply, and if anyone else can contribute whilst this thread is still open, it will be much appreciated. x

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SimonJT Tue 13-Jul-21 10:19:43

Catchments are tiny, my son goes to a brilliant school, but he is a priority pupil so I didn’t have to worry so much about catchment. The primary schools I looked round were all nice and I would have been happy to send my son to any of them.

We live in Shoreditch, we love it and its very family friendly, nice parks and always something to do, lots of those things are free as well.

Stoke Newington is very nice and has some really good primary schools, again a family friendly area without being boring.

fuxsake Tue 13-Jul-21 10:46:20

Thank you Simon! I have a friend in Bethnal Green so am in the area (and parks etc) often! This is good to know.

Would you mind name dropping a few of the schools so I can have a look at property nearby?

Catchment is a pain across London unfortunately. I managed to get my son into his current school as I was staff there at the time. Might try my luck with the same route if we can’t move on the doorstep -however, it would be nice to actually walk to and from school! ☺️

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SimonJT Tue 13-Jul-21 12:26:51

I liked

Hoxton garden primary
Virginia primary
Sebright
Hackney New primary
London fields primary

I really liked globe primary but it was a bit too far to walk and in the opposite direction to work, if the location was better for me it would have been my first choice.

I didn’t like
St Monica Roman Catholic primary
St John the Baptist
Queensbridge primary

Yellowmellow71 Tue 13-Jul-21 14:03:19

I live in Stoke newington and my kids go to an outstanding school there and lots of their friends go to the another outstanding. (The two I’m talking about are Grazebrook and William Patten.)

Children at both seem happy! But I liked the non outstanding schools I saw in the area a lot too - Betty Layward, Grasmere (one form entry).

There’s also Jubilee that’s outstanding, on the way towards Stamford Hill.

Stoke Newington is a great area, but is changing and becoming so expensive that now the new parents moving in tend to be finance people or lawyers - make sense, of course, as it costs so much - but there seems to be less of the creative community it was once known for that you’re after.

I wonder about Hackney Wick? I really like it. Seems to be a bit more vibey than Stoke Newington now?

Clapton (although I don’t know any outstanding primaries - but Rushmore and Milfield are good schools) is also great.

MojoMoon Tue 13-Jul-21 19:41:29

I'd avoid Stamford Hill because the parking is a nightmare (no CPZ) and the traffic is often dreadful.

Otherwise - pretty much all of the rest of Hackney meets your criteria. Every man, woman and their dog is a creative, it seems. I seem to be the only person who is not.

Stoke Newington - lots of families, but a long way from a tube station (there is an overground service to Liverpool Street).

London Fields: also only on overground, good cycle routes through it into town and other neighbourhoods. Lido. Expensive houses and council estates side by side. Park can be a bit of a hotspot for home counties teenagers and Australians to be drunk and annoying in during the summer.

De Beauvoir - more mixed than it initially looks, grand Georgian houses but also a big council estate. Excellent cycle routes.

Victoria Park: lots of families, quite posh in places but miles from any useful station. Traffic dreadful. Cycle routes actually quite poor when the park closes at dusk. Great park obvs.

Clapton: relatively affordable compared to London Fields, De Beauvoir, Vicky Park I guess. Can be quite a trek to public transport especially if you are near the canal. But the canal is nice. Good parks - Millfields, Springfield etc.

MojoMoon Tue 13-Jul-21 19:44:20

Hackney Wick maybe - it's all new build flats but still holds on a vibe. Not sure what your secondary school options are like over that side. Still some Nightlife there so can be quite buzzy (and noisy in places) Lots of building work continues. Easy hop into Olympic Park.

HelenHywater Tue 13-Jul-21 19:48:12

My experience is that primary schools are less important than secondary. If you're likely to be buying and staying put for a few years, I'd go for the catchment of a good secondary. fwiw my children know children who go to Mossbourne and are adamant that that it's one to avoid!

Yellowmellow71 Tue 13-Jul-21 20:28:53

My experience is that primary schools are less important than secondary. If you're likely to be buying and staying put for a few years, I'd go for the catchment of a good secondary. fwiw my children know children who go to Mossbourne and are adamant that that it's one to avoid!

Lots of the parents at my child’s school are already talking about moving out of the area (Stoke newington) for secondary.

Those with girls who are staying are itching for Clapton Girls and worried they’re a bit far for it. Stoke Newington secondary seems to be what others who are staying are happy enough with.

HelenHywater Tue 13-Jul-21 21:15:39

yes secondary schools are much better in Camden I think - my children are there and there are alot of children who travel from Hackney and Stokey.

TaylorsSwimShorts Tue 13-Jul-21 21:37:49

Sebright school is right on Haggerston park and a lovely little school, also worth looking at Columbia primary school, which is actually a Tower Hamlets school but just off of Hackney rd, has a nice feel to it, no uniform, lots of creative type parents, always things going on in Jesus Green and Ravenscroft park after school in the summer.

TaylorsSwimShorts Tue 13-Jul-21 21:39:39

I'd also avoid Queensbridge primary...worst school I've ever dealt with shock

fuxsake Tue 13-Jul-21 22:24:41

Oh my goodness everyone, this is brilliant! Thank you!

@SimonJT, thank you for the list -exactly what I was looking for! Will make my way through those...

@Yellowmellow71, likewise! I was in Hackney Wick on Sunday mooching about. I do like the feel of the area, but as I had no clue about schools I felt a bit lost.

I'm really not a fan of Stokie and would rather avoid. Various reasons. Tries a bit too hard for me I think.

@MojoMoon your post really made me laugh -great to hear your opinion on it all! I guess with these parts of the East End you tend to take the rough with the smooth. I'm moving from the suburbs remember and bored whitless. Yes, I will suffer the drunken annoyances and rubbish all over the place but I'm hoping the creative atmosphere and interesting vibe will make up for that. Please don't tell me the grass isn't greener, I'm enjoying this _

RE: secondary schools I'm not even going there for now!!

@TaylorsSwimShorts, Seabright sounds great, will definitely looking into that smile

Thank you all for your input and encouragement!!

OP’s posts: |
fuxsake Tue 13-Jul-21 22:35:23

Sorry @TaylorsSwimShorts -Colombia, not Seabright! -Although both work a look.

OP’s posts: |
fuxsake Tue 13-Jul-21 22:38:09

I've realised no one has mentioned Bow -although not "Hackney" it's on the cusp and property is so much cheaper, yet Hackney Wick, Vikky Park etc are all close by.

Any thoughts?

I saw a couple of outstanding schools on Rightmove when I was looking, one memorably named Stephen Hawkins academy.

OP’s posts: |
TuesdayRuby Tue 13-Jul-21 22:40:22

Hackney Wick is a lovely area now right in the middle of two amazing parks - Victoria Park and the Olympic Park. Mossbourne Riverside school is a new build next to the Olympic stadium and on the canal. Always looked lovely when I was jogging past!

Yellowmellow71 Wed 14-Jul-21 08:23:10

Yes Hackney Wick also has the Chobham Academy nearby too, that’s outstanding. I don’t know anything about it though! Anyone?

I often go for a swim in the Aquatics Centre and I see loads of families. I have no idea where they live (I travel to get there, they could too!) but it gives the impression of being really family friendly around there anyway!

It’s in a great position being a hop away from Victoria Park (although I’m not sure the best route on foot as the “hop” is over the A12), and the Olympic Park.

MojoMoon Wed 14-Jul-21 08:29:37

Stephen Hawkins school is a special school for children with severe disabilities.

Surprised so many negative comments on secondary schools - Hackney has quite a high number of good and outstanding schools. They are socially mixed of course - you can get some small middle class dominated primary schools but secondaries are much bigger obviously and so will always be much more mixed (and I would say that is Good Thing). But results are generally pretty good across the schools.
I know people (middle class, creatives etc) with kids at Haggerston and Shoreditch Park and they all seem happy. Hackney New School (secondary) appears to have struggled with regular management changes and poor Ofsted but may be back on track a bit more now perhaps.

Bow will be much nicer when they put in place some proposed changes to the roads to stop the awful rat running traffic through narrow residential streets. I'd say that was its biggest downside at the moment. Otherwise, yes close to Vicky Park, bit cheaper and fewer chic restaurants/delis/shops selling artisan spoons but if you do need that, it's a short walk or cycle to Vicky Park for that. Not so familiar with the schools over there - friends have kids at Malmesbury primary and happy. Good secondary option for a girl (central foundation) not sure what the nearest boys would be. But if you were on the north side of Bow, you would probably be closer to Hackney secondaries anyway

MoChridhe Wed 14-Jul-21 08:51:23

I love the Roman Road,(streets off roman road) area of Bow. It has a community feel and close to Victoria Park and Hackney.

Girlmumma2005 Thu 25-Nov-21 16:34:23

@SimonJT just out of curiosity what was it about St Monica’s that you didn’t like?
I’m having loads of problems with them now and would like to know what it was that turned you off the school?
Thanks

earsup Thu 25-Nov-21 18:28:54

I grew up in hackney wick and still have family there....its quite souless now...so many flats....no shops....i wouldnt choose to live there.

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