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If you live in Highfield or near Uni in Southampton, where do you send your kids to secondary?

(14 Posts)
posybunchof Sat 10-Aug-13 13:23:07

Just curious to know really. It seems such a sought after middle class area with some great primaries but doesn't appear to have such a popular catchment secondary school... (so I gather on here anyway)

Do you try Upper Shirley or Bitterne instead? How easy is it to cross the boundaries? Do you commute to Mountbatten? (Go private?!)

Any advice appreciated as a move on the cards...

posybunchof Sat 10-Aug-13 13:30:10

PS I don't know anything about the catchment school really, just genuinely curious as going from competitive outstanding primary to unpopular-sounding secondary doesn't seem to add up... so some people must explore other options? (and curious to know what they are).

Talkinpeace Sat 10-Aug-13 17:52:33

Ah yes, Cantell. Lots of the faculty send their kids there. It is really two schools in one. Faculty and estate ....
And it goes up and down as the cohorts change.

On the other hand, people do bust a gut to get to other schools.
Upper Shirley is getting pretty good results nowadays.
Bitterne park has the 6th form
Lots of Girls go to St Annes
Mountbatten : sadly you've missed out on that one now that Abbotswood has been built.
Thornden - not sure how much out of catchment they still take.
Some go for Kings Winchester ....

Private : KES, Gregg, St Marys : a fair few do but only at around national average rate.

Ilovegeorgeclooney Sat 10-Aug-13 19:43:41

St Anne's for girls or St George's for boys, although St G is now co-ed. Bittern is excellent but Mountbatten is good data wise but parents don't seem that happy with it.

ratqueen Sat 10-Aug-13 22:34:57

Thanks v much (it's the OP, have just NC'd!). That's interesting about Cantell. As a Soton newbie I have been a bit baffled at how rated that area is to live in, cf how rated the school is, as usually those go hand in hand.

St Anne's and St George's are catholic only tho, right? DC and I are baptised catholic but not practising (and not intending to be).

From what I gather, Thornden is strictly catchment only now.

Do kids from the centre catchment tend to get into Bitterne/Upper Shirley then?

And is it true there might be a new school built in the centre of Soton in the future?

Talkinpeace Sat 10-Aug-13 22:42:26

St Anne's is about as strictly catholic as I am ( atheist ).
All my Pagan friends have sent their kids there, as do many of the Sikhs, Chinese and Hindus.
St Georges has gone co-ed to fill itself back up .....

At the moment kids from as far down as Ocean Village go to Cantell or Upper Shirley or over the bridge to Woolston shock
But yes, there will be a new Secondary (to replace the one that was sold for flats in the 80's) in the next couple of years, probably in St Mary's.

Thornden's results mean that it gets to pick and chose!
Mountbatten and Romsey have historically taken 100 per year each from Southampton (including my kids) but the new houses in the Romsey area are putting a stop to that.

Southampton has huge numbers of Poles, but everything I've seen implies that they will be really really good for the schools - the oldest kids hit year 7 this September
as Southampton's results have been suppressed by the cross border traffic to the Hampshire schools.

How old are your DCs?

ratqueen Sun 11-Aug-13 15:37:15

Er, preschool!!! So it's a few years off, but we are thinking of a (long-term) move in a few years, and DH keen on that area so I am doing the research smile

I am laughing at your definition of how catholic St Anne's is! That's a possibility then. Although I like the idea of local school, so hopefully those clever poles and reduced Hants traffic will improve things as you predict.

Thanks for all your help, it's good to get an inside perspective as despite living here for 18 months I am still pretty clueless.

Talkinpeace Sun 11-Aug-13 15:46:53

I can absolutely genuinely say to you : relax.

My catchment school (an Oasis) will still be dire in ten years time, all else may have changed.

Are you or your DH working at the Uni?
Just because the gossip inside there is a belter.

Seriously, enjoy the junior schools - they are generally fab - and by the time you hit it, a former Uni friend of mine who has "influence" may have flicked the switch to make your life easy for the secondary schools.

In the mean time, the Bassett and Highfield NCT group coffee mornings are still going in some shape or form I'm sure - they were my lifeline

ratqueen Sun 11-Aug-13 16:21:45

Thanks talkinpeace, I will check out the coffee mornings. I am definitely lacking insider Soton gossip! We don't work at the uni but I am hoping to find an admin role there when I get made redundant early next year.

Am intrigued about your friend with influence!! I will watch this space smile

TeenAndTween Mon 12-Aug-13 18:55:02

talkinpeace may have better insider knowledge than mine, but I am not sure that the intake to Romsey secondaries have been too much affected yet by the new Abbotswood development. Will probably change before OPs child gets to secondary age though!

Talkinpeace Mon 12-Aug-13 18:57:37

It will be as of this September : Abbotswood is fully up and running (and horrible) and by the time OP's kids get there many of the other sites will also be built - then again they might have seen sense and moved some of the catchment boundaries!

LittenTree Sun 18-Aug-13 16:28:58

Just for the record:

Thornden doesn't 'pick and choose'! It's just that you absolutely have to live in catchment to get in.

The OP could move, should they choose to in the intervening period, so it remains an option!

Just sayin'...

vj32 Mon 19-Aug-13 10:30:27

No chance of getting into Thornden or Bitterne Park from Highfield.

I went to meet some pupils in Cantell and they sat me on a landing at the top of a tower. Fab view over Southampton. For an entire lesson the male teacher in the class room next door was shouting. Pretty impressive stamina to keep it up that long but didn't give me a good impression of the school. Look at their A-Cs and also their NEET figures to see how they are doing now though as that was quite a while ago.

Upper Shirley has been doing well but has a new head who is making lots of changes, this could be good or bad, its too early to tell. USH is still about 2/3 boys as well incase that makes a difference to you. They are really good for sport despite lack of facilities.

I agree unlikely to get into Mountbatten by the time your DCs need it, there is more building planned in the catchment which will probably be up by then if your DCs are only in pre-school. (One at least of Whitenap development or North Baddesley/Hoe Lane is going to be built.)

If you have the money, King Edwards would be an option, although I don't think its a good idea unless you have the money to keep up with the lifestyle as well as the school fees.

I would personally move into the Mountbatten or Bitterne Park Catchments when DCs are bigger. You could move to Thornden catchment but the nice bits are much more expensive because you pay such a premium for Thornden catchment rather than Toynbee.

Erebus Mon 19-Aug-13 19:17:43

My DCs go to Thornden. I have no idea what sort of ££ the OP has but you can buy a 3 bedroom detached in a nice (!!) estate for £240k. <define nice>.. Whitenap would be a fair bit cheaper, but Mountbatten is a very good school, imho. Really, one could do a hell of a lot worse. I know a lot of DC and parents there and what I hear impresses me. There is a bit of a fear that the Head's successes will be more widely recognised, and therefore they might be temped elsewhere, but isn't that the fear of any good school? I mean, why, oh why, is Toynbee so much, well, worse than either Mountbatten or Thornden? Especially Mountbatten, where the catchment is 'normal', rather than naice MC, like Thornden's? I don't understand that.

I gather KES is very good but it's 'mass education' for clever, sporty, motivated, assertive DCs. Which deffo isn't mine!

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