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Secondary schools in Newark (Notts, not NJ, alas)

(32 Posts)
Nonicknamesleft Thu 13-Jan-11 21:22:57

Does anyone have any experience of schools in Newark? We are contemplating a move there in the next year, but have been alarmed to see the apparent quality of secondary state education there. There are lots of good primaries but absolutely all the secondaries do really badly with Ofsted, which is weirdly inconsistent, but offputting nevertheless.

At the moment we live in Surrey, so have no anecdotal experience or local knowledge we can access. What are Newark parents doing for a decent state education? Are things not as bad as they seem or are kids somehow being winkled in to better schools in neighbouring towns and villages?

Any advice/info gratefully received.

Talkinpeace Thu 13-Jan-11 22:10:17

Notts probably has better schools than NJ

SpannerPants Fri 14-Jan-11 20:40:49

I went to a comprehensive near Newark called Tuxford - I left about 10yrs ago but it was pretty good then (and I wasn't anything special but got into medical school).

There's also the Minster school in Southwell which isn't too far away from Newark.

I don't know much about the secondary schools in Newark itself but they never had a great reputation when I was living in the area.

onimolap Fri 14-Jan-11 20:43:18

Do you have to be in Nottimghamshire?

Newark is near the Lincolnshire border, and that county's grammar schools.

thirtysomething Fri 14-Jan-11 20:48:52

Comprehensives in Newark are pretty dire to be honest - results and discipline poor; there generally seems to be a low level of aspiration though of course there will always be exceptions.

As others have said, Southwell Minster school is very highly regarded (but v. oversubscribed). Lincolnshire schools are good and there are two grammar schools (one boys' one girls') in Grantham for which you need to pass the 11+ - however it seems far less competitive than elsewhere in the UK and few children are tutored to pass it.

Nonicknamesleft Fri 14-Jan-11 20:52:12

Thanks for the post. You are clearly very clever indeed if you got into medical school, so that's a recommendation in itself.

We found Tuxford school through our-long distance research and it appears to be brilliant, but - paradoxically - the primary there looks dismal. Can I ask, did you live in Newark or Tuxford? Did other pupils there come from as far as Newark? And do you know if people can get into the Minster from as far away as Newark? There doesn't seem much for sale in Southwell, and what there is is out of our price range.

It's a difficult one. We are leaving Surrey for family and financial reasons, but our limited experience of schools here has made things easy so far - our eldest is in reception and all the schools locally are good. There's just one ropey but fast improving comp, and plenty of good alternatives, so we're been ruined somewhat.

virgiltracey Fri 14-Jan-11 20:52:17

Definitely Minster but you need to be in the catchment area and house prices are therefore higher. Southwell is lovely though.

Nonicknamesleft Fri 14-Jan-11 21:14:10

I was replying to Spanner (obvs) but thanks for all the points that came meantime and since. Notts itself isn't necessarily vital, ie Lincs is also a possibility. We'd just like to be on the near side to Nottingham itself, so Newark seemed a good mid-point between Nottingham and Lincoln, AND it's affordable, AND it seems quite nice.

I'm baffled tbh. How can there be so many good primaries and all those shite secondaries? What happens to Newark school children at the age of 11?

PixieOnaLeaf Fri 14-Jan-11 21:21:35

Message withdrawn

Nonicknamesleft Fri 14-Jan-11 21:24:39

Can I be cheeky and solicit further advice? I don't know how local people are, but there is some really useful food for thought eg whether to consider Lincoln more strongly for grammars. We'd slightly put Lincoln out of the running because it was a bit further from Nottingham than is ideal.

Are there any areas in Nottingham that you might recommend? We need v affordable property but don't want to live anywhere too grim, and we really want to find good schools. Independent education is not a possibility, unless our children are all incredibly clever and win scholarships, which seems statistically unlikely.

I am very familiar with Arnold/Mapperley/Woodthorpe, and know West Bridgford a bit. DH ruling out last of these as he is paranoid about flooding.

Nonicknamesleft Fri 14-Jan-11 21:30:32

Thanks Pixie, v useful. We wondered if Magnus or another local might improve in time (they often do, it seems). So can you get into a Lincs grammar school living in Newark?

Minster worth a look, then. As it happens, we do attend church so maybe they would consider us. I have occasionally enjoyed little fantasies of one of my DCs being a chorister at the Minster, although they will probably repay this by loathing music.

onimolap Fri 14-Jan-11 21:32:04

Try looking in Grantham - there is a train service to Nottingham, and it's also a straightforward car journey along the A52. Property prices are quite low, there are 2 grammar schools and even if you miss out on those, the most of the comprehensives are ok (particularly Walton Girls if you have DDs).

The town itself is OK, though has it's drawbacks - try reading The Grantham Journal for a flavour.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 14-Jan-11 21:40:55

Check your messages, as have sent you a long private message. One thing I've just though to add. Newark is out the catchment for Tuxford and from what I know you won't get a place. Tuxford has just extended its catchment to inc Collingham village - thats the nearest you can live to Newark and get into tuxford. I've heard good things about the primary in Collingham - I think its called John Boulter school.......something like that.

virgiltracey Fri 14-Jan-11 21:42:33

Unfortunately if you're looking at Nottingham state schools then you'd need to be looking at west bridgford at senior level. property prices are high. I'm not sure why your DH would be worried about flooding though? It doesn't particularly have a flooding problem.

Most of the other secondary schools in notts do not have a great reputation. Some very good independents though.

Lots of good primaries around in Nottingham(many of them church schools though).

VivaLeBeaver Fri 14-Jan-11 21:47:14

collingham primary

StanHouseMuir Fri 14-Jan-11 22:27:02

Agree with virgiltracey - no flooding problem in Woodthorpe or Mapperley as far as I'm aware, Mapperley is one of the highest places in nottingham. Also look at Gedling.

Where are you/DH going to be working?

Nonicknamesleft Fri 14-Jan-11 22:42:40

Hi StanHouse. I grew up just off Mapperley Plains so can categorically assure DH that flooding rare (but did happen once in my early childhood, funnily enough).

Anyway. Yup, Gedling a good one (though somewhat valley-ish.....). No one is working anywhere yet so that isn't a pressing thing. We are going because I've just been made redundant, we'll never be able to buy in the laughably expensive Surrey town where we live now, and it would be useful to be nearer to the bosom of my ageing family. We could look for work based on where we want to live, or vice versa. Everything up for grabs at this point, except the fact of our three DDs to whom we'd like to give a good state education (last sentence prob not good grammatically - my own Arnold school was execrable).

PixieOnaLeaf Fri 14-Jan-11 23:27:41

Message withdrawn

Clary Sat 15-Jan-11 01:41:03

No grammar schools in Lincoln itself AFAIK.

Grammar in Lincolnshire is more in South Lincs and you wouldn't want to live there. (It's where I come from btw so I'm not slagging off what I don't know! grin)

JMO obv.

Don't know much about Newark secondaries but agree the disparity does seem odd. Ofsted can be random tho - DS1's excellent comprehensive was recently rated "satisfactory".

marialuisa Sat 15-Jan-11 12:51:43

If you just need to be near Nottingham would you consider Derby? Some dire schools but some good ones with affordable housing in the catchment area?

Friends in notts itself say good things about Fernwood in Wollaton FWIW.

thirtysomething Sat 15-Jan-11 16:07:41

Primaries and secondaries in Mapperley/Arnold areas of Nottingham don't seem popular at all - everyone I know in those areas who can afford it sends their children to the independents (Nottingham High Schools - separate boys and girls - also Trent College - co-ed - and Hollygirt - all girls).

Schools in West Bridgford (both primary and secondary) are statistically and by reputation better on the whole, though some anomalies. Have never heard of any flooding probs escept if you live on the banks of the Trent and even then there are now superb flood defences. If you are interested in faith schools there are some good comps in other parts of Nottingham as well as an excellent Catholic secondary in WB (the Becket) and a rapidly improving C of E secondary (the Emmanuel school)

If you need any more advice on state schools in Nottingham you can message me.

Eamon Sun 23-Jan-11 09:53:56

I live in Newark with 2 children in primary sch, my wife is a teacher at one of the Secondary Schools. Eldest will go to secondary sch in Sep 2011. Newark has a broad range of socio-economic backgrounds with some fairly large council estates so bare this in mind when comparing league table results. That said both Magnus and Grove have had shaky Ofsteds lately, most recently The Grove but both are now improving. I would say Magnus is a year or so ahead in this process and its links with the Minster sch are probably beneficial too.

I would recommend looking at Farndon Village, the St Peters C of E Primary Sch there we are very pleased with and it is a feeder school for not only the Grove Sch but for Toothill Sch in Bingham (between Newark and Nottingham). Toothill is doing very well and is high up the league tables. There is a dedicated bus service for the children too. So when it comes time to choose Sec Sch at least you have the option of Toothill if the 2 Newark Schools have not improved to your satisfaction.

Northernlurker Sun 23-Jan-11 09:58:15

20 years ago when I had a friend living in Newark her parents got her and her sibling in to the grammar schools in Grantham. I believe the girls school - KGGS has gone through a rough patch though but is on the up again?

Eamon Sun 23-Jan-11 09:59:34

Some links for the above mentioned...

www.stpetersfarndon.com/index.asp
www.toothill.notts.sch.uk

mollie1968 Tue 25-Jan-11 21:42:15

How about Belvior High School Bottesford, south of Newark has had alot of funding and building and good ofstead last one was better than KGGS I think.This opens up the VAae of Belvior villages to live and easy access to the A52.......and rail links.

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