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Slightly cheeky question for Croydon parents - what secondary school are you hoping for?

(23 Posts)
Lacuna Thu 19-Jan-12 10:02:26

That's it, really!

Ds is in Year 4 at one of the Sanderstead primaries. The vexed question of secondary transfer is just starting to rear its head at pick-up and drop-off (although most people are pretending not to care wink)

I know I'm being a bit nosey but I'd love to know where you're sending (or hoping to send) your dcs, and why?

Ladymuck Thu 19-Jan-12 10:39:36

We're opting for an independent school.

But if I had to choose Croydon state, then Archbishop Tennisons would be top of my list - they've done well with bright, average and struggling children that I know. Warlingham would be on the list. Felt Riddlesdown was too big despite collegiate system, but I think you need to look at it to see whether it is right for you. The Harris Academies have impressive inspections, but I've known Harris Academy Purley for too long in its Hayling Manor days! But in a year or two it may be very different. St Andrew's worth looking at, but it is small.

It is definitely worth looking round in Year 5 as the open days are all very close together at the start of the year, and it is exhausting if you leave it until Year 6. If you have a strong preference then you won't be the first Croydon parent to move your child in Year 5/6 in order to maximise their chances of getting into your first choice school.

SomekindofSpanish Thu 19-Jan-12 10:45:27

Didn't Harris Academy Purley very recently receive Outstanding status?

I live in Sutton borough, but I agree with LM's first choice - Archbishop Tennison.

It's a small secondary (90 intake) and Dnephew goes there.

I also thought that Riddlesdown was too big (went with DSis when she was looking at the schools).

Lacuna Thu 19-Jan-12 10:53:44

I know Tenison's is a v good school but we are (definitely) not C of E and I'm not prepared to pretend to be!

Riddlesdown is the most obvious choice (ds is in a feeder primary) but unfortunately ds's father is dead set against it. He won't even discuss it. It is big (and tbh it wouldn't be my first choice even if ds's father wasn't being such a twonk about it) but it would be nice to have it as a fallback. Ds is used to being in a v small school though - I would worry about him at Riddlesdown.

Hadn't really thought about Harris Purley tbh. Definitely worth a look.

Warlingham is definitely an option.

Independent would only be possible with massive amounts of financial assistance! I know the Whitgift foundation is pretty generous (my brother went there) but it's taking a bit of a chance.

It just feels like a nightmare. Anyone done the whole Wilson's/Wally Boys bunfight?

Ladymuck Thu 19-Jan-12 11:14:16

If you live near then 10% of ABT places go on distance rather than faith. Obv if your child is doing well at school academically then you'd be mad not to consider the grammars (St Olave's too depending on where you live), but I don't think that you can tutor an average kid to pass them. No harm in sitting them, but there is a lot of competition.

Stoney666 Mon 17-Sep-12 09:48:54

Riddlesdown is a fantastic school with amazing facilities. You really should look round it before making your mind up!

Tenisons is c of e and huge church involvement is necessary. The academic side is poor with teachers never staying very long. Sixth form is much better.

No nothing about warlingham but hear good things.

downtomylastcigarette Mon 17-Sep-12 13:41:32

Look at Harris Purley but ask some searching questions and expect them to try and bullshit you. How Harris get their outstanding Ofsteds is a mystery to me. I think it is a matter of paying very close attention to what will make Ofsted tick the boxes, rather than thinking hard about what will make the school better.

AngryFeet Mon 17-Sep-12 13:43:41

Warlingham or Riddlesdown. DC are at Ridgeway so not a feeder for anywhere but we are moving next year so will base our move on those two secondaries. Croydon does not have a great choice sadly unless you can afford independant or are religious.

downtomylastcigarette Mon 17-Sep-12 14:13:37

Croydon is actually getting worse. Of the schools I looked at when my kids were in year 6 (6 years ago) several have since either gone down the plug hole or become faith schools. I am not sure how I would choose if I had to now.

AngelEyes46 Mon 17-Sep-12 21:09:31

As people have said, you do tend to get a feel for a school. I looked last year at quite a few: ABT - not enough open space; St Andrew's - loved the feel; Harris - didn't feel the children engaged; Riddlesdown - not enough character; Warlingham - liked the facilities but didn't get the right vibe; Coloma - fantastic facilities and overall good feel; St Phils (Sutton) - the same as Coloma but more character to the building and open space. In the end went for St Phils. OP has said not religious so taking that into account, Warlingham or Riddlesdown. OP should also look at grammar. I did look at Wally girls but didn't go for as classrooms too small and not enough sport.

sandyballs Tue 18-Sep-12 10:04:05

What about Woodcote High or is that too far at the edge of the borough?

SmellOfBurntWiggle Tue 18-Sep-12 13:24:51

ooh so glad I've found this thread as DD in year 5, doing the open eves at the moment (had to choose between Harris Crystal palace and ABTen yester - agree with you AngelEyes re lack of space) and mind in a whirl.

As far as I know Woodcote is v desirable but also v v over-sbuscribed (website says Coulsdon, Woodcote, Purley).

We're in Thornton Health so prob no chance for Warlingham and not Catholic so prob no chance for Coloma - Riddlesdown selective route looking good from over here.... a few from DD's school - Parish - have just been offered palces tehr a few days into term and are delighted!

AngelEyes46 Thu 20-Sep-12 23:06:55

Woodcote does have a small catchment and they also operate sibling priority which includes the 6th form. I thought Parish fed into St Andrew's which I really liked. Harris CP got 100% A-C's but I think they just don't sit the DCs that they think will not pass. I wanted a RC school but my next choice would have been St Andrew's. Another school that I knew that DCs went to this year was St Bede's. It's a big school and went to Reedham area this year.

SmellOfBurntWiggle Tue 02-Oct-12 20:29:16

Yes Parish Church school is feeder for St Andrews and I was v pleasantly surprised by its open eve the other day tho the head did open his talk with "We are a poor school" (he menat financially and went on to say that nowhere else would you find resources better-used...) which I think was true. Kids lovely and engaged and polite but but staff saying "we was" put me off a bit.

Was drooling at Riddlesdown's facilities although sitting in the main hall felt I was in a conference centre... till DD started wriggling round reaching under her seat and whispered it had scored 10 in the "blobs of old stuck chewing gum" test.

It was the state of the toilets that put her off Oasis Shirley Heights.. Like the Harris formerly known as Haling Manor, it's still shaking off its Ashburton history

Poundpup Tue 02-Oct-12 22:30:42

I think the worse point about Croydon Secondary schools, especially ones in the North of the borough is that the majority have become new academies that replaced the old schools. It is exceptionally hard to forget the rep of the previous school (even harder when pupils from the old school are still there) but you have to approach them as brand new schools with a whole new ethos.

Another point is to check the admission policies. Croydon Council doesn't supply previous intake distance, unfortunately sad but if you ask the admissions officers at the schools directly, they will give you a pretty good idea if you are close enough and believe me, you may be shocked at how small some of the catchment areas have become.

Generally, if you reside in the naughty North wink you are way out of catchment for the schools in the sexy south grin, aside from the schools that have partial selection e.g. academic or sports places.

But I like the 'chewing gum test' maybe that should be used as a tie-breaker!

hardboiled Tue 02-Oct-12 23:34:32

Hi Lacuna, yep, done the Wilson's thing and still waiting for news. hmm I think 1700 boys sat for it?

AngelEyes46 Wed 03-Oct-12 22:36:52

My nephew took the wilsons and wallington tests. At least he finds out before my sil has to complete the CAF form. It is unbelievable though how small some of the catchments are although Riddlesdown did go out some way for 2012 intake.

Everhopeful Sat 06-Oct-12 01:33:59

If you're close to the rail station, you could look outside the borough - there are schools in Westminster you can reach in less time than it takes to get to a Sutton school from you. DD and I hated Riddlesdown - facilities are fab, teachers all say the right things...but I looked around at the glassy-eyed kids, mostly chewing gum through head's talk and noticed how practically none of the girls had on more than a third of a skirt lengthways. Yuk sad. Something not right there for us and I don't know why, it should be great. Didn't take to Tenison's, though some of what they do there looks good, but it seemed very diffident. Harris Purley was great and Warlingham a pleasant surprise - I had thought I wouldn't like either of those as much as I did. Andrews felt wonderful, but I would worry about academics there a little. Wally Girls feels a bit pressured and not as kind as the others, but she wanted to do the test and we will see.

So many choices, all you can do is decide what your "ideal school" would look like for him and see as many as you think might fit the bill, rating them on the same criteria. Bit geeky, but it works grin

Stoney666 Sat 06-Oct-12 23:00:02

riddlesdown is a fab school the teachers keep constant contact with parents and the discipline is good. The pupils do well. If a child wants to learn it will and riddlesdown will back them all the way. Tenisons is different as its a faith based school and much much smaller. It doesn't have the facilities as is doesn't have the same funding. Can't really compare them as totally different. Warlingham takes from croydon, another fantastic schoolgrin

Everhopeful Sun 07-Oct-12 00:48:26

I didn't mean to upset you, Stoney - all I meant to say was that we didn't feel right at Riddlesdown, though what I saw was what I saw. I did say that it should have been great with all the facilities and everything else, but it just wasn't for us. Agree re Tenisons and Warlingham.

AngelEyes46 Sun 07-Oct-12 10:10:56

Agree - you get a feel for a school. In the end we went for a school which was slightly further out but gave me the right vibe when visiting in year 5 and 6. Now I look back and think all that stress but all for this year, once that form is in at the end of October, all done!

Everhopeful Mon 08-Oct-12 14:26:46

Thanks Angel - can't wait for all the dithering and deciding to be over and the ruddy form in! How did your DD cope with travelling (sounds like she travels)? Our current fave would be about 45mins door to door.

AngelEyes46 Mon 08-Oct-12 20:03:23

I take her in the morning and she comes home on her own steam at the end of the day. It takes her about an hour door to door.

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