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Waldegrave (Twickenham) vs. the Green School (Isleworth)?

(57 Posts)
Strix Sun 27-Oct-13 15:50:23

DD is perfectly capable of high academic performance. But given the choice would prefer to avoid it for an easy life. She is very good at math, and does pretty well in other subjects -- when and if the spirit moves her.

We are debating (flip flopping actually) whether to put Waldegrave (which we probably live too far to get into) or The Green School first on the Richmond borough CAF.

Any views / suggestions / experience?

Also, I fear (perhaps irrationally) that we could miss the green school by not putting it first.

DD Prefers Waldegrave for the sole reason that most of her friends will go there. Nothing else really matters to her.

celiamolestrangler Thu 31-Oct-13 08:05:29

It seems to be the most popular school in Hounslow though - 1.2 miles cut-off, 362 first preference applications. Beats all the Richmond schools for popularity. Maybe that's why Twickenham Academy is undersubscribed, if it's in between Heathland and Orleans Park?

Timetorelax Thu 31-Oct-13 08:31:28

Celiamolestrangler, its more than that. This is London, where there are so many children that any school will full so long as its judged to be at least good. TA has a history of underperformance. The council gave up on trying to improve it themselves and instead turned it into an academy with a innovative swedish style curriculum. They did the same to nearby Hampton Academy too. The jury is still out on whether the transformation has been successful, which is why TA's upcoming Ofsted is crucial. If its judged to be good then it will soon fill. If not, then those who have other options will use them, and those who don't will resentfully put up with it. Fingers crossed, it will go the right way.

celiamolestrangler Thu 31-Oct-13 08:48:12

The school itself has changed quite radically, yes, but application numbers seem to be exactly the same as they always were, probably coming from the same primary schools. Not sure why they took 'Whitton' out of the name if they didn't really change the admissions criteria, unless they wanted pupils from Twickenham to go there.

I don't think the Hampton Academy Ofsted report was that bad, by the way - it says some good things - but it might struggle to attract pupils from Hounslow if Ofsted rating determines choices, because all schools there are good/outstanding (six of them were undersubscribed in 2013 though so I suspect there are other factors).

Timetorelax Thu 31-Oct-13 08:56:08

Of course there will be some people who like the TA approach, and their new buildings, enough to choose them whatever the Ofsted judgement. If there are enough of those to fill it then great; the decision to transform it will be justified.

Equally, there will be people who don't like the curriculum, even if the school is judged outstanding.

Whether TA will ever be socially selective enough to satisfy Strix is another matter!

celiamolestrangler Thu 31-Oct-13 09:20:51

There's been another Ofsted monitoring inspection for HA - there seems to be a lot going on, lots of new teachers, action plans, external consultants, etc. Quite impressive really. It wouldn't surprise me if the same thing was happening at TA.

corlan Thu 31-Oct-13 09:57:45

Whether TA will ever be socially selective enough to satisfy Strix is another matter!

I hear there are plans to bulldoze the council estates on the A316 and build a gated community thlwink

Shootingatpigeons Thu 31-Oct-13 10:56:36

I wonder if strix has ever caught the R70? That would knock Waldegrave, the Mall, Hampton Academy, Hampton and LEH off the list, especially LEH, have you seen the hemlines? grin

Actually celia the buzz coming out of Hampton Academy has been positive for some time, popular head etc which made the poor OFSTED all the more of a shock, and as I said before it was partly failing the considerable challenge of motivating white girls from the traveller site to attend school and do well but negative comments were made about the approach and not surprisingly since it hasn't been tried in the UK before, it is basically an experiment and one that many existing teachers were hmm about . The Head at TA is more like Marmite and can switch parents off. It will be interesting to see what OFSTED make of Twickenham Academy. We would know if the Head had not very quickly sent them packing when they tried to visit as the building works overran earlier this year.

however the admissions statistics have turned around. From numbers that would have seen it close it is almost full, quite a lot from Hounslow, who might start applying to Feltham again now it's results are improving and with the Mo effect but still, pressure on places is such that as time says some parents just have to put up with it, whether they like it or not. With this Council depending on your postcode and faith you have many choices, or none, in fact at primary level (and with the pupil bulge possibly senior too in the not too far distant future) you may not even get a place at all.

Timetorelax Thu 31-Oct-13 11:06:45

By the way Artic, you'll be very pleased to heat that Twyford is one of the most socially selective schools in the country so your daughter should be fine there! smile.

celiamolestrangler Thu 31-Oct-13 11:08:07

Choice isn't the problem - otherwise people in Twickenham would have complained about the link system a lot earlier - it's unequal choice. The people living in the estates next to the A316 will probably carry on going to Twickenham Academy because it's the nearest school. Ironically it could do with more of those pupils who do have a choice.

I don't blame Strix for making a choice though! It's a brave parent who would take a risk no one else seemed to be taking.

Timetorelax Thu 31-Oct-13 11:08:18

Strix I mean, not Artic. And hear, not heat. . Darn predictive text.

Shootingatpigeons Thu 31-Oct-13 11:23:48

celia I live in the centre of Twickenham and I wouldn't, and didn't have a choice. There is a black hole of primary provision already and the Waldegrave catchment stops half way along Heath Road and the Council are saying the OP catchment will creep back to the railway bridge and nearer in. The Council set the catchment for Turing just by the green because they know it is an emerging black hole. People don't complain because it doesn't become an issue for them until a few months before they apply, cue letters to their Councillors, who claim there was an unforeseen surge in applications, as there has been for decades hmm MP and the Richmond and Twickenham Times and then if they can afford it they move or go private. That is what happened when we were first not offered a school place 15 years ago and it is still happening now. The letters were in the RTT in recent weeks....... This borough has more parents going private at 11 than the average for the ten most affluent boroughs in London, and it isn't one of them.

celiamolestrangler Thu 31-Oct-13 12:13:14

Apologies to Strix for going off topic but if your DCs hadn't gone to a link school yet you lived on the doorstep, no, you wouldn't have had a choice in Twickenham. Or if you lived nearer to Whitton but went to Trafalgar rather than Archdeacon you wouldn't have got into Orleans either. That was a peculiar problem with Richmond. And if you had lived in Strawberry Hill but had a boy you wouldn't have got into Waldegrave. If you lived in Ham 10 years you only had the option of one school that needed a shot in the arm (if you couldn't get into Christ's).

So now at least some of that is fairer at secondary, and schools have all got better anyway. And boys in Strawberry Hill will be able to go to Turing House if it gets a site nearby. If the Green boys' school opens that will be three new science engineering schools in three years if you count Kingston too.

Shootingatpigeons Thu 31-Oct-13 12:44:01

Celia and the number of pupils coming out of borough primaries is going to increase by nearly a fifth in the next four years and it all starts this year. It is relevant to OP because she may think she has a choice but she probably hasn't because the catchments are going to carry on shrinking, even at the less popular school. Removing the links just rearranged the pieces, and improving schools means people who would have moved or gone private become one of the 1000 making the popular schools with 200 places their first preference last year .

Shootingatpigeons Thu 31-Oct-13 12:57:11

And the pupil bulge in Hounslow is twice as big, 40% more pupils by 2017.

Strix Thu 31-Oct-13 14:12:10

I don't mind the thread drifting from the original topic. However, I do object to the "socially acceptable" comments. And, I am indeed familiar with the R70, and a wide variety of other busses in the area.

I am seeking academic rigour, which is nothing to do with social selection.

My comments about TA kids refer to their evident low academic achievement, not to mention their very disrespectful behaviour as the swear at their mates from one end of the bus to the other.

Let's talk league tables. TA children simply do not perform. That's a show stopper for me.

Strix Thu 31-Oct-13 14:25:29

I would also like to point out there are no links and no catchments. In fact, catchments are illegal. But, there is distance. This of course results high house prices near good schools, and that results in good school places for rich kids.

Timetorelax Thu 31-Oct-13 14:37:09

Sorry Strix, just teasing. You need to choose the schools that feel right for your child. She would probably do just as well at TA as anywhere else but if you don't feel positive about it then she'll pick up on that. Hope you'll go and look round at some point though, if only to reassure yourself that its on the way up. They had their best ever GCSE results this year.

Shootingatpigeons Thu 31-Oct-13 15:20:15

I am sorry strix I too had my tongue in cheek but also was partly serious, the behaviour on the R70 is pretty bad, and it isn't just the Waldegrave girls and Hampton Academy pupils.

And I was talking about catchments in the sense of the boundary beyond which you will not get in on distance. For Waldegrave that moved a little further away last year because there was a decrease in the number coming out of schools but it was a little misleading for those applying this year since more will be coming out of Year 6 than ever before, 146 more, the equivalent of a new school. Next year it is likely that you will need to be quite a bit closer to get in, especially bearing in mind that the local catchment is only for 85% of the places. This year people got in from Cross Deep, in previous years there were refusals in Sherland. There may be million pound houses in Twickenham but it won't get you a place at Waldegrave. The acceptances were not far over the A316 last year anyway, highly unlikely it will stretch that far this year. However it is worth a choice. And if you will do anything but go to Twickenham Academy then it won't be a risk not putting it down. A few people came unstuck last year not putting Hampton Academy because they assumed they could put down 5 aspirational choices and there would be places there anyway, and then found themselves with no choice but St RR which not everyone was happy about.

I have every sympathy, I would not have wanted my DDs to go to Twickenham Academy either but that is because I think they would be bored out of their minds by the approach and I find the Head arrogant and worry he would not be flexible enough to adapt the approach to the needs of the pupils, something the Head at Hampton has been more willing to do (and it earned her some of the more positive comments in the OFSTED). I also think it is pretty disgraceful that parents depending on their postcode can have a chance of a place in an academic sixth form offering 17 subjects, or one that as Twickenham Academy will be doing, offer a limited range of academic A levels with for instance no languages at all (with all the implications that has for the incentive to study them and the teaching further down the school) .

celiamolestrangler Thu 31-Oct-13 15:53:09

No links any more, which still got decided on distance but (at least for Richmond borough pupils near Orleans) whether you went to a Church of England primary. It was never logical when there was a CofE secondaries elsewhere.

Strix your choices look good. I would need to see some evidence at Twickenham too.

On the sixth forms - 'parents depending on their postcode can have a chance of a place in an academic sixth form offering 17 subjects' - I think the only sixth form which will be non-selective is Grey Court. You could be at a disadvantage if you don't get a school for Y7 that pushes you to get the grades you need but Ofsted is certainly cracking the whip on 'high attainers'. But the sixth forms will have much wider catchments than KS3-4. I got shown round Orleans Park and there are a lot still keen on Strodes.

Shootingatpigeons Thu 31-Oct-13 16:07:22

celia at Teddington at least they anticipate more demand than they have places and selecting on distance (though I assume there will be some requirement to have achieved a respectable grade at GCSE in the subjects you want to study) if you are stuck with a place at TA you will be unlikely to have the opportunity to go to one of the academic sixth forms in the Waldegrave/OP/Teddington partnership, so it is a choice privileged to some postcodes.

Shootingatpigeons Thu 31-Oct-13 16:10:09

Sorry I should have been more explicit, Teddington anticipate more demand than they have places amongst existing pupils and they will select on distance. They have presumably consulted with pupils and parents before putting out that message and causing concern to existing parents and pupils.

Strix Fri 01-Nov-13 09:39:34

Thanks all for your comments. This thread has helped me consider our options. I'm very glad my job is complete, and we shall now just have to wait and see what happens on March 1st.

I think we will most likely end up at The Green School, and I will be quite happy with that.

If it all goes terribly wrong and I don't get any of the schools on our list (and TA is not the only school I would be unhappy about), I will surely be back here with a new thread.

But, for now, I shall rest... :-)

Thanks again.

amidaiwish Fri 01-Nov-13 15:41:42

Good luck, roll on march 1st!
Out of interest would you not have put down St RR?

Strix Mon 04-Nov-13 15:40:48

No, I did not put Sir RR down. We aren't Catholic, and therefore wouldn't get in. Ironically we live very close to good Catholic primary in Whitton, and so a lot of our neighbors will probably go to Sir RR.

Shootingatpigeons Mon 04-Nov-13 17:24:37

strix St RR will give priority only to Catholics if it is oversubscribed. It was far from oversubscribed last year, and still has a few spaces for Year 7. Only 67 Catholics made it first preference and only 75 (half) of the places were taken by children from borough Catholic primaries, 23 non Catholics who made it a preference were offered places and 23 non Catholics who did not make it a preference at all were allocated places. Catholics are still getting places at out of borough Catholic secondary's like Gumley, Gunnersbury, Oratory etc. and the diocese say this will continue to be the case for four more years. So whilst some Catholics may have been deterred from applying by Judicial Reviews etc it seems as if the draw of existing established schools will continue to allow non Catholics to successfully apply for places there. Perhaps more of a chance of getting a place there than Waldegrave although you can never be sure how these things will go.

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