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Westgate school summer camp/Winchester

(11 Posts)
guineapiglet Fri 06-Jul-12 13:59:30

Hi - is there anyone out there whose son is starting at Westgate in September? - We are moving to Winchester over the summer hols and my son will be doing the Westgate summer camp - anyone out there in a similar situation, - he has no contacts there, so would be great for him to meet others. Do get in touch.

TalkinPeace2 Fri 06-Jul-12 18:14:50

Winchester is a lovely town.
Westgate is an excellent school.
Tell him to hang out at the Buttercross or in the Cathedral close - he'll soon meet people from the school !

ConfusedofHerneHill Fri 08-Feb-13 14:59:04

Hi guineapiglet
How did you find the process of getting him a place, and how has he settled in?
We are planning a move to Winchester, but are unsure whether to move this year to be in place for October 2013 secondary applications ( daughter currently in year 5 so we'll be applying for September 2014 entry), or move in summer 2014 and cross our fingers that we get a place for her. Our plan in either instance would be to rent initially, while we look for our forever house in Winchester, and sell our London home, so in theory we could find a place close to Westgate, and within catchment.
I know it probably makes more sense to move sooner rather than later, but she would so love to finish year 6 where she is now (Dulwich Hamlet), and I therefore wondering whether it would be possible to do it all next summer. My son is currently in year 2, so we'd be doing an in-year application for him whatever happens, plus he is VERY easy going.
When did you apply for your son?

ConfusedofHerneHill Fri 08-Feb-13 15:00:34

Sorry, by "next summer" I mean summer next year, 2014!

guineapiglet Fri 08-Feb-13 15:23:52

Hi there, thanks for message. I can only sympathise as I know how stressful forward planning can be! We are at the stage of coming out of renting and hopefully completing house move next month. Fingers crossed!

Lots of things are happening at Westgate, if that is yous school of choice, in Sept 2014 when it becomes a 4 -16 school, so I am not sure how this would impinge on admissions. We found Hants CC school admission team very helpful and I am sure they will give you lots of helpful advice. I know it is tough to uproot your children, but you might just find school admissions situation easier if you are applying for a place with your child in situ in a Winchester primary, so a move this summer, I mean. I know it is a very over subscribed and busy town schools wise, and with the changes at Westgate it might be more difficult to get into catchment ( we had to rent in catchment for 12 months before we moved, it has cost us an arm an a leg!). You need to have a Winchester address by the Halloween time of the preceeding year if that helps. - but I think you need up to date advice from the County Council before you proceed, as I don't know what the position is re primary school admissions ( my older child is at 6th form college).

All the HS in Winchester are very good, so it might be worth looking round at them - you also have to fulfill entry criteria ( my son did have family in the school so that helped a bit I think).

I think in hindsight, it would have been easier to move him so that he moved up to HS with a set of friends intact, rather than being alone. The summer camp was utterly brilliant for him as it gave him a chance to get to know people and the form bonded very well indeed. He was unsettled to start with, but it is a good, caring school, and he is slowly getting into it a bit more, and enjoying it.

Good luck - if you need any help or advice re areas, renting etc let me know, we have been here since July, so am slowly getting used to it!

<Tho' he, like me, would move back north in a heartbeat!!!>

ConfusedofHerneHill Fri 08-Feb-13 16:00:14

So did you rent in catchment in Winchester (and presumably pay council tax) while continuing to live in your old town and preparing for the move? I hadn't considered that. I just thought we would find somewhere to rent, apply to schools and just go for it. Do you have to show that you have been in situ for some months before you apply? I'm probably being very naive.

ConfusedofHerneHill Fri 08-Feb-13 18:42:04

Hi guineapig
I came across the thread from when you were looking for somewhere to rent (in March last year), and saw that you already had school places at that point. Would you mind me asking how you managed that, without a property? Do Hampshire CC give you a place on the understanding that you will find somewhere in catchment? Perplexed...

guineapiglet Fri 08-Feb-13 19:41:35

Long story - my husband changed jobs and was working down here for 18 months before we all moved, (my daughter was in year 10 and we couldnt move her,) so we stayed where we were whilst he worked down here.

We were able to use his 'flat' address in Winchester on our application to Hants CC but it was a very complex application procedure because effectively we had to give up on a school place in Cheshire ( can't simultaneously hold 2 places in 2 different counties - fair enough )- so we had to use Hants address for the Year 7 place. We thought we may have to go through on appeal, but actually Westgate increased its PAN last September, so we were very lucky ( and very grateful!!) I doubt we would have got an out of county place unless we had had the local address. You have to prove you are paying council tax etc as residents. This is all fair enough, but it is very hard on families having to move out of county for economic reasons, very stressful.

ConfusedofHerneHill Fri 08-Feb-13 19:48:23

Ah.. I thought Hampshire CC were just being slack. Rats!
Are you happy in Winchester? I'm worried about leaving my friends, but basically we want to be nearer to the grandparents as they get older, plus we want better access to countryside for cycling and walking than we have now.
Most of my friends here were made at the school gate when my daughter was in reception, but I guess when we move I'll have to be more creative - book clubs, tennis, acosting strangers in the street - that sort of thing!

guineapiglet Fri 08-Feb-13 19:54:16

It is a really lovely place, great shops and lots going on. Kids have settled in very well and seem content, but we do have reservations re property prices etc - it is very expensive and very congested!!! I guess my kids are older, so do not have the school gate connections any more which is hard, once they hit HS, parents are surplus to requirements! ( apart from being a taxi service!). It is a very nice area, attractive countryside and not far to coast. Could be a tad friendlier tho' - you will have to come and accost me!

ConfusedofHerneHill Fri 08-Feb-13 20:24:13

I will. I'm good at accosting.

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