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Bath schools with sport and academic focus

(11 Posts)
muminsydney Wed 01-Jun-11 07:10:10

We are looking to move back to the UK from Sydney easter next year and would LOVE some advice on schools around bath.

DS1 will start high school sept 2012. He is good at sport and this is the main focus of his week. If he's playing sport then school goes smoothly so it is important for us to find somewhere that has great sporting facilities and teams as well as academic achievement. We've heard a lot of bad press over the last few years about schools in the UK dropping their sports curriculum - is this so?

DD will be in year 3 primary. Is it true that we need to put down our top 5 schools and will receive an allocation - I am really just trying to get my head around the system? Very different here as if you live in the area the school MUST take you - even if you turn up on their doorstep without warning! Also concerned that we need a utility bill before they will even consider our applications - this just isnt practical as I'm planning now in advance with the hope that schools will be sorted by the time we return.

DS2 will be 3 by then. What are his options and do we get any government funding towards his daycare?

Any help and advice gratefully received - we are looking to live outside of the city centre - within 10 miles or so - obviously this will be influenced by schooling options!

Bonsoir Wed 01-Jun-11 07:13:17

You need MrsCampbellBlack - she knows everything there is to know about Bath lifestyle!

muminsydney Wed 01-Jun-11 07:25:04

Thanks Bonsoir - how do I get in touch with her - sorry but new to MN!

Bonsoir Wed 01-Jun-11 07:27:56

You can do a search ("advanced search" button at top right of screen) and see if she is around on a thread or send her a private message.

MrsCampbellBlack Wed 01-Jun-11 08:33:35

Hi Muminsydney.

Are you thinking state or private schools? The private schools in and around bath are very good in my opinion for sport - Kingswood and King Edwards are both excellent.

State wise I'm not so sure to be honest but Beechen Cliff boys school has a good reputation.

As an aside Bath university has an excellent sports department and runs many clubs/activities for school age children.

For your 3 year old you will get some funding for his nursery/pre-school place - I think its for up to 6 sessions a week and is a capped amount so it wouldn't cover the fees at a private pre-school but would certainly go towards them.

I think the senior schools in Chippenham are well regarded if you were thinking of moving to that area.

Thing is 10 mile radius is quite big and will mean you'll fall within different authorities.

If I were you I'd try phoning up some of the schools - and seeing what you need to do regarding applications - I'd start with Beechen Cliff in Bath for senior if you're going state or the 2 private schools I mentioned if you're going down that route.

crazymum53 Thu 02-Jun-11 09:54:40

For both secondary and primary schools for Bath you get 3 choices of school.
The main difficulty you will have is that the deadline for secondary school applications for Sept 2012 will be end in October 2011. For primary the deadline is Jan 2012.
Most of the state secondary schools in Bath are undersubscribed at the moment but the main decision will be whether you want co-ed or single sex. Beechen Cliff is all boys. Oldfield school has a good academic reputation and is starting to admit boys for the first time in Sept 2012. The best co-ed school is Ralph Allen but this tends to be oversubscribed. Wellsway school is Keynsham is also very good academically and well within your 10 mile radius.

jgbmum Thu 02-Jun-11 10:11:15

If you were looking at North Wilts (in your 10 mile radius) then for secondary schools try Sheldon school which has the villages around Chippenham as its catcment, or Malmesbury school again it has quite a wide catchment, so living west of the town would still keep you in your 10 mile zone. Altenatively, St Lawrence in Bradford on Avon has a good reputation and is a short train ride from Bath.

But none of these will be of any help if you want to live in Bath, or are looking at independent schools!

crazymum53 Thu 02-Jun-11 11:27:36

The 3 choices of school are for state schools and you apply to your LEA. For independent schools you apply directly to the school.
You also need to double check birth dates as school years in Australia may not correspond if your child has a birthday between September and December. To start secondary school in September 2012 your child will need to have a birth date between 1/9/2000 and 31/8/2001.

muminsydney Fri 03-Jun-11 00:51:26

Thanks all for your help - great to have some experienced insights! I am trying to narrow it all down & as ever there's such a lot to consider ahead of us. All a bit nerve racking! All comments gratefully received!

Great to hear that Oldfield is starting to accept boys as we want co-ed. I had also discovered Wellsway but the catchment seems quite limited due to its popularity.

Will keep on researching!

crazymum53 Sat 04-Jun-11 09:27:02

If you would like to live in a more rural local you may like the Chew Valley area which is within 10 miles of both Bath and Bristol. The local school is Chew Valley school seems to have very good sporting facilities but less academic than Oldfield. Currently Oldfield accepts quite a high proportion of pupils from outside Bath - at least 30%. Am not sure how taking boys in Y7 will affect this though.

muminsydney Mon 06-Jun-11 06:12:43

Thanks crazymum! I'm looking for a place with a few acres which is why my radius is so big so keeping my eyes open and all options open for schools. Thx for help!

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