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Islington Arts and Media School

(27 Posts)
Busybee21 Wed 24-Aug-11 20:58:36

My husband and I are currently looking at schools that my DD (currently going into year 6) could go to. The school nearest to us is Islington Arts and Media school, which I have heard mixed reviews about. Has anyone had any experience of this school or know anyone who has?

crazynanna Wed 24-Aug-11 21:06:44

I have just moved very near to this school,and I too hear mixed reviews.
Not sure where you live,but have you tried Highgate Wood(Haringay/Islington border)?

Busybee21 Wed 24-Aug-11 21:15:32

Highgate wood is over a mile away from our house, with IAM only 0.1 miles away. All other schools are at least 0.5 miles further away that IAM as well.

crazynanna Wed 24-Aug-11 21:21:52

Is a mile out of their catchment? I know children who leave at the N4 end of the main road of IAM who go to HWS.

Busybee21 Wed 24-Aug-11 21:24:53

I haven't checked the catchment area yet as I wouldn't be in a position to be able to take her to school and I think 11 is too young to be walking to school alone. I probably sound paranoid saying this!

crazynanna Wed 24-Aug-11 21:28:31

There's 2 buses around here that go to HWS (Crouch End),and my dd was getting the bus from yr7 (going into yr 9). If you want my honest opinion,I would try for HWS and start doing dummy journey runs (if successful),and no,you are just a mum,not para x

onceagain Fri 26-Aug-11 09:23:09

Interesting that you have heard mixed reviews about IAMS, tbh I have only ever heard negative things. The teachers and assistants at my dd's primary (which is not far from IAMS) have stopped short of saying "dont send your kids there" but have dropped extremely heavy hints that its one to avoid.

From some of the stories I've heard, I'd be more worried about my dd going to the toilet alone at IAMS than walking to school alone.

I would go for HWS, its getting better and better and the catchment is already starting to shrink and you might not get in in a few years (something to consider if you have younger dc).

Good luck, the secondary transfer process is a real nightmare isn't it.

Kestryn Sun 28-Aug-11 22:25:26

Really? sad

We live on the Hackney/Islington border and we found IAMS on the web last night, we were really impressed by their website and newsletters thought it sounded perfect for DD. It sounded like they'd made a really great recovery from being in special measures.

Maybe we need to rethink.

onceagain Thu 15-Sep-11 16:01:02

mmm, ime schools that have been in special measures often have impressive websites, its part of the process of turning around their reputations.

Have a look at the school itself, see the sorts of kids and how they behave.
Ask for copies of their results without the btec equivalents included. Look at their ebacc results (for all the citicisms ebacc does give an indication of how the school view traditional subjects and whether they encourage their pupils to study languages and humanities etc).

IAMS still way below HWS in my opinion.

CrispyHedgehog Thu 15-Sep-11 16:09:17

I'll post properly later but unless it's changed a helluva lot in the last five years please please don't send your daughter there.

Will tell you my son's experience of the school when I get home.

crazynanna Thu 15-Sep-11 16:15:00

I live quite close to IAMS (recently moved there),but DD doesn't go there. I found it interesting that my (lovely) neighbour,having lived ther for 25 years,was really quite relieved when she first saw DD in her school uniform. "Oh",she said "she doesn't go there then?" pointing to the school. When I said no,she said "oh well done!". So,that was her impression of the school,but to be fair,I don't think she has had any DCs that went there.

EmpressOfTheVampireSkulls Thu 06-Oct-11 20:47:06

Well, we went to an open evening at IAMS and DP took DD to an open morning.
From everything we've gathered they HAVE changed a helluva lot in the last five years and said so openly (both staff and older pupils). We were genuinely really impressed. The kids who showed us round were articulate and bubbling over with enthusiasm, both they and the teachers engaged with DD... she can't wait to go.

CrispyHedgehog, if there's anything I really need to know, please PM me.

onceagain Fri 07-Oct-11 09:21:08

That sound positive Empress, but what you really need is to hear from parents at the school. I have been to a couple of very impressive open days for schools that would be the "last resort" choice - if I didn't know parents with older dc at the school I would have been quite fooled with the show they put on.

EmpressOfTheVampireSkulls Fri 07-Oct-11 12:17:09

That's a good point onceagain - I'll start asking around. Thanks.

canvasbag Tue 11-Oct-11 17:41:46

Seconded, Empress - really impressive open day. Ofsted this last summer rated the school 'good with outstanding features' (same as Fortismere in Muswell Hill, btw), gcse results as good as Highgate Wood, better than both in terms of value-added, hugely committed staff, fantastic kids, real warmth to the atmosphere, plus new buildings in process of going up that are transforming the school. In my experience it takes years for this kind of reputation among parents whose kids don't go there to catch up with where a school actually is - and it can be brilliant to get in 'early', as it were, and be there as the momentum that's building up begins to pay off. Until everyone else works it out, you also benefit from smaller class sizes.

Obviously it sounds as though CrispyH's son had a bad time - not trying to pre-empt that - but a lot can change in five years...

And a mile is too far to get a place at Highgate Wood these days, unless you hang on for a waiting list place once term has started.

EmpressOfTheVampireSkulls Tue 11-Oct-11 17:50:11

We love the sound of the small class sizes, canvasbag!

onceagain Wed 12-Oct-11 22:16:54

I'll say it again - find some parents who can give you first hand input (and I don't mean Y7 parents but those who have been there at least a year, preferably more).
I'm not trying to put the school down, I suspect it really has improved. St Aloyisus did it and is now the top school in the area, so there's no reason that IAMS cant.
However, if it were such a miraculous recovery why are more local parents and teachers not talking about it? I agree it takes a lot longer for a schools reputation to catch up with improved performance so hopefully my cautions are unfounded but if it were me I would investigate every angle to the school before I put it near the top of my preferred school lists.

baerSimon Mon 28-May-12 14:33:28

...and did you end up sending your child there? We are now looking.. and wondering if it's a good school....

Moominmammacat Mon 28-May-12 15:10:51

Dame Alice Owen's in Potters Bar takes some Islington children, on exam, I think ...

IsabelleGoutines Wed 27-Nov-13 21:57:00

For all those wondering about IAMS, school of Islington. My son is going there. I find the school to be not just excellent but absolutely fantastic. The head of the school is fuelled with unparalleled insights which make a school tick. She surrounds herself with a dedicated, passionate and highly experienced team. The school did GOOD in their last offstead report this October 2013, which is a new system of examination. They have a well balanced curriculum of academic that includes some arts. My son is very happy there, he is motivated in his learning and feels not only safe, but also cared for... Important for all new year 7!!

Voffy Wed 04-Dec-13 11:34:19

I'm a parent at IAMS. All I can say is that the school is great. It suffers from negative chit-chat mainly from people who don't have kids there and have never visited the school. Sigh. I really recommend visiting and talking to parents who are at the school and know it well. The head and leadership team are inspirational. They are determined to get the school to Outstanding and are well on the way. Bright kids do very well there and get lots of support academically. They also push leadership skills and try to get children to be involved in a variety of programmes to help them develop confidence and maturity. The new buildings mean they have state of art science, IT and sports facilities. It's got a lovely family feel as it's quite a small school, which I particularly like. It's not perfect but I have yet to hear of a school that is!!

There is a lot of fear and anxiety around schools for many parents. And the transfer to secondary can be particularly stressful. But I would advise parents to choose people to speak to who can make informed comment on schools (ie know the particular school in some way). Otherwise it's just the same old rumours that get passed around. I have lots of good things to say about the school and I know it very well :-).

smee Wed 04-Dec-13 11:37:33

Yes wading in to support too. I have friends with kids there and they're very up about it. smile

tethersend Wed 04-Dec-13 12:59:03

Voffy, why have you bumped very old threads about Islington Arts and Media school just to wax lyrical about how great it is?

A cynic might assume that you were a member of the 'inspirational' <guffaw> school staff cack-handedly attempting to advertise the place by posing as a parent hmm

Voffy Wed 04-Dec-13 13:57:46

A cynic might indeed! But then a cynic might assume pretty much anything they fancied ;-).

I'm a new parent at the school and am feeling a little evangelical (!). I suppose I want to get some of my personal positive feelings about the school visible. The general view is so contrary to my experience. So I thought I'd add my tuppence, even on a very old thread! Maybe I should start a new one....? I'm not a great forum/mn user so a bit inexperienced....

tethersend Wed 04-Dec-13 14:01:23

If you'd bumped just one, I'd give you the benefit of the doubt. But there seems to be at least four old threads you've bumped. Four.

So, really, name change and pay for advertising.

And please do report me for troll hunting smile

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