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Varndean School, Brighton

(12 Posts)
ponymad9 Sun 01-Dec-13 15:41:44

Hello, have moved in to the area and it looks like we will be offered Varndean for my Year 7 girl. Anyone at the school already and/or know anything about it, please? Thank you :-)

derektheladyhamster Mon 02-Dec-13 14:10:19

I know several children who go there and are very happy. We have put it down as our first choice for our son to start there next Sept in yr 7.

oopsidasies Fri 09-May-14 14:19:40

I realise this is a bit out of date but just to say that I have had two kids at the school and they have both been really happy. Lovely friendship groups, some great extra-curricular stuff and DS left last year with really good GCSEs. Highly recommended.

ponymad9 Fri 29-Aug-14 16:16:34

Hi, not too late at all, sorry i missed this - we ended up moving abroad but will be back next summer so have to choose schools now by end of october argghhhh so thank you

RockinHippy Mon 01-Sep-14 17:41:37

A word if warning, if you are going to be living in the Varndean Stringer catchment area - put ONLY those 2 schools down on your firms, ignore the comments suggesting 3 choices - we got caught out putting 3 choices with only 2 schools in our catchment area - ended up getting none & allocated a bad school miles away instead - those in the know who just put those 2 schools down were eventually allocated one or the other. Though it is a lottery system here, so no real choice at all, you can cover yourself a bit by putting only schools in your catchment area


slightlyconfused85 Mon 01-Sep-14 20:31:27

Varndean has gone up and down a bit over the last few years. They in fact, only got 48% A*-C including English and Maths this year which puts them pretty much at the bottom of the list of B&H schools. As Rockin says, it's a lottery system here with very little choice so be very careful where you move to if you have a strong preference.

I am a teacher and I now work out of B&H in mid sussex, but I have taught supply at Varndean and found the behaviour to be sub-standard compared to other schools in the area. That said, I know a lot of children who have been very happy there.

RockinHippy Mon 01-Sep-14 21:47:48

I second slightlys view on behaviour there

We found it less than desirable too & this is born out by friends who had DCS there too - some now removed from there because of poorly dealt with bullying issues - we do know others who have been/ are happy there, but we found the general atmosphere far less respectful to staff than at other local schools - it wasn't on our preference oust as a result of this

ReadBall Tue 02-Sep-14 11:21:19

I am also from Brighton and have heard the same thing about behaviour at Varndean. Seems a bit strange when you think that Dorothy Stringer and Varndean have the same catchment area, but the cultures at the same school seem to be somewhat different.

I was very shocked to see that Varndean's exam results were down so much this year. 17 points lower than Dorothy Stringer, which puts Varndean on a par with BACA and Longhill shock. I suspect Varndean will struggle this year when doing their Open Days for new parents who will not be impressed.

fellowship33 Tue 03-Mar-15 14:11:37

Just found this oldish thread on Varndean. My dd has been allocated this school and I would be interested to know from parents what they think of it - I wasn't hugely impressed on the open day, tbh, but a couple of friends say their kids thrive there.

My dd is academic, loves drama, sociable ...

RockinHippy Wed 11-Mar-15 13:52:15


If I were you, with those interests, I would appeal for Stringer - you have nothing to lose by trying & our DD is now there & these are definitely strengths of the school, they are also fantastic in how well they deal with bulyng etc, which I believe from friends who have removed their own kids from there, is a weakness of Varndean.

That said, kids we know who started there last year are loving it & the school will no doubt strive to put right the poor results of last year, especially with Stringer next door doing so well.

derektheladyhamster Wed 11-Mar-15 17:27:57

My ds is in yr 7, He's enjoying it. Pastorial care is great (I know a yr 10 boy who was very ill last year and a girl who's Dad died who go there) The 4 schools within the schools works well. A lot of emphasis on English this year with a new Head of dept, who seems quite dynamic.

Mumtobandt Fri 06-Oct-17 16:08:20

I visited on an open morning today, I'm a teacher myself so looked at it from that perspective . Lessons seemed good , behaviour in lessons was good , kids seemed happy . Recent ofsted cited lots of improvements . The uniform however was awful and I really think you've got to get the little things right too . Lots of girls in very short skirts , boys in black jeans and all manner of shoes . Sends the wrong message . Uniform doesn't necessarily affect how they learn but it does set a standard which then makes other standards e.g. Behaviour better . They should be sorting this out but they're not . Best advice is to talk to people whose kids go there now

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