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Secondary School North London

(15 Posts)
Voffy Wed 27-Nov-13 22:20:16

Just wanted to chip on on this (only just joined mumsnet!) in case anyone stumbles on the thread searching for info on Islington Arts and Media. My son goes there and he absolutely loves it. A friend's son and daughter go there and they love it too. All are doing really well. It's a great school - lovely teachers, highly ambitious and inspirational leadership team, wonderful new building with great facilities. Not sure what you decided to do in the end but anyone thinking of IAMS should definitely go have a look around.

wagon Thu 11-Oct-12 21:56:05

Really appreciate all your feedback. I have been round all the schools. I went round Islington Arts and Media and thought the teachers were so switched on but there is building work at the moment and will continue for the next couple of years which I think can be disruptive.
Also AndrewD the head at HG went into value added score in great detail and it seems they are well over 1000 now.
We are looking at Mary Magdalene's next week as our neighbours are really pleased with it so when it's done and dusted I will be relieved.

nkf Thu 11-Oct-12 19:34:52

CSG is fabulous. I would love to live near enough to send my daughter there.

AndrewD Thu 11-Oct-12 19:30:27

Nothing beats going to the schools and meeting students and teachers, but there are some things to be learned from the stats. I would take a close look at the cohort information for each school and try to match the best to your child. For example H.G. seems to do really well for low-middle attainers arriving from primary school, but has a small intake of high attainers that don't get the same value add (below 1000 is not great). They are hoping to get more high attainers in, but with a comprehensive open intake and being 4 times oversubscribed, it's a lottery each year. A bright kid might be stuck with 185 not so well motivated kids in their year - or maybe 15 similar kids? Who knows?

joanofarchitrave Thu 11-Oct-12 18:38:42

I know someone with a child at CSG and if there's a downside they haven't found it yet.

ladydayblues Thu 11-Oct-12 18:36:26

I know a parent who turned down a place at CSG because the building was tired! The teaching quality is far more important and at CSG considering the diversity of student abilities the girls do very well.

The music is outstanding for a state school with many opportunities, bands orchestras and a dedicated music room. However if your child is quite muicsally advanced, Year 7 can be a bit of "treading water". Just get involved in other things. All my kids were grade 5 at the start so they just got involved with gymnastics and other sporty things. Two of my girls are now professional musicians having gone on to Conservatoires.

The Art is also another CSG showcase and manages to attract some of the best teachers.

wagon Thu 11-Oct-12 17:51:52

Thanks so much guys. Highbury Grove facilities are unbelievable but it feels too huge. We looked round Parliament Hill and were really struck by the nice atmosphere and how much the teachers seemed to connect with the kids.
Dd has her next audition stage for CSG music scholarship on Sunday. The CSG buliding is a bit tired - although I know that's no reflection of the teaching standard! Dame ALice Owen - which I only found out about last week had their entrance exam on 25th September so exactly when we were supposed to apply, I'm not sure. smile

alejandro Thu 11-Oct-12 17:47:17

That's interesting. We are quite a long way away from secondary headache (for DD1 at least), but I always assumed CSG was a Camden Square affair, and that was about it. Last I checked, all the bands were sub half-mile.

ladydayblues Thu 11-Oct-12 16:09:20

alejandro Actually no. Its more complicated than that with the banding quotas, but there are a few Islington girls there. Plus of course there are the precious music places that are available to those that live anywhere. Its worth a try at the very least.

Moominmammacat Thu 11-Oct-12 16:05:03

Would you qualify for an Islington place at Dame Alice Owen's?

alejandro Thu 11-Oct-12 15:25:32

Isn't the downside with CSG simply that you have to live in one of the five houses next to the school?

MsAverage Thu 11-Oct-12 13:58:00

Highbury Grove lives in a wonderful building, although a single look at their results will tell you everything. Highbury Fileds, quite close to it, does substantially better. Is university a must in your family? Not all the schools there have 6th form. CSG is definitely a school to get into.

stopcallingmefrank Thu 11-Oct-12 13:36:38

My dd goes to Parliament Hill and is very happy there. If you went to one of the open mornings, she may have showed you around. Camden seems to be more highly regarded by the chattering classes, but IMO Parliament Hill is just as good.

ladydayblues Thu 11-Oct-12 13:15:39

I cannot recommend CSG highly enough. My 3 girls attended and did very well academically and socially. I cannot think of any particular downsides except that I recommend participating in school activities as much as possible. It has a wide and varied social intake but the 6 form is certainly dominated by former private school pupils. There is a new head but she has been at the school for several years so there is continum. If you can get in there take the place immediately.

wagon Thu 11-Oct-12 10:57:48

dd starts secondary next September. We are in Islington/Camden borders. We have looked at loads but does anyone know of any downsides to Camden School for girls? We really like Parliament Hill too and Highbury Grove looks amazing. Any pointers would be really helpful.

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