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Which secondary school?

(17 Posts)
WhenTheDragonsCame Sat 15-Aug-15 16:01:06


We are moving house and the DC need to change school. DD1 is going into year 9 and I have a choice of 3 local schools that are within a reasonable distance but I am not sure which way to go.

School 1 is an academy which is 1.2 miles from our new house. Their last 2 Ofsted reports have shown that they are inadequate in all areas so I think I have ruled this out.

School 2 is called an arts college and 1.4 miles from the new house. The Ofsted is good and the GCSE options look like they might suit her but it is single sex and when I mentioned it her reply was "noooooooo" so I don't think she is keen

School 3 doesn't seem to have an Ofsted report available. It is mixed sex and also looks like it has some good GCSE options. However it is 3.1 miles away and it looks like it will take about 45 minutes to get there on at least one bus, which DD is not keen on either.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

CloserToFiftyThanTwenty Sat 15-Aug-15 16:09:46

Why doesn't school 3 have an ofsted report available? Have they changed name (eg become an academy) so the last report was in a different name?

In any case, you ought to go and visit them (Ofsted only goes so far), and think about the options they offer for GCSEs, given DD is going into Yr 9.

I wouldn't force DD to attend a single sex school against her wishes, but I would ask that she goes and sees it first before ruling it out.

WhenTheDragonsCame Sat 15-Aug-15 20:02:16

Looking on Google it seems that school 3 had a bad Ofsted in 2012 under a different name, they became an academy, but I can't find anything since. I do know the school has been mentioned on here and the parent was very happy with their child being there.

The problem is we are moving next week so I won't have long to find somewhere and I also have 2 DDs requiring primary school places. I will contact the schools and see if I can look around on the first day and hopefully start her soon after.

I have explained the options to DD1 about going to an all girls school close by or a mixed further away and she first asked if I could drop her to school and when I said I couldn't as I would be leaving too early she said she would go to the closest, her laziness overruled her desire to be around boys.

YeOldeTrout Sat 15-Aug-15 20:08:43

Impossible to cycle to School 3? That's only an hour to walk, too, but about the time DC need to go to get to their schools 9 miles away.

WhenTheDragonsCame Sat 15-Aug-15 20:17:57

She does have a bike so I can suggest it to her. Thank you.

EvilTwins Sat 15-Aug-15 21:09:36

Have you visited any of the schools? How far are you moving? What area are you talking about? Perhaps some MNers could offer experience?

WhenTheDragonsCame Sat 15-Aug-15 22:29:11

No I haven't been able to look around unfortunately as I wasn't offered the house until they broke up from school for the holidays. I am moving about 2.5 hours drive away from where I am at the moment.

The new area is Gloucester and I will be in the city centre. School 1 is Gloucester academy, school 2 is Barnwood Arts college and school 3 is Beaufort co-operative academy.

Really would appreciate any advice given.

EvilTwins Sat 15-Aug-15 23:30:27

I know all three schools. I would avoid GA, think Barnwood is OK if you're alright with single sex (which you're not) and am ambivalent about Beaufort. The lack of OFSTED is because it's newly academised.

Have you considered Millbrook Academy? It got RI at its last OFSTED but recently got a new Head and is definitely on the up.

EvilTwins Sat 15-Aug-15 23:31:24

PM if you would rather.

WhenTheDragonsCame Sun 16-Aug-15 00:14:13

Thank you. I thought the fact GA had 2 inadequate inspections in a row was not a good sign.

I am not so bothered about the single sex (it might stop her changing her "boyfriend" every 5 minutes) but she isn't overly keen.

Millbrook Academy is also 3.5 miles from the house so will have to look at how easy it is to get to. As much as I would love her to be more active she really isn't and would hate walking that distance.

The other options seem to be St Peters catholic high school and Churchdown school. What are they like?

Thank you by the way, I am getting myself into a bit a confusion over it all.

EvilTwins Sun 16-Aug-15 09:27:28

St Peters is a decent school and Churchdown is OK. Churchdown (the village) also has Chosen Hill School which is generally deemed better than Churchdown School. It would be worth your while looking at bus routes - I know that the number 10 would get her to Barnwood and to Millbrook. I think the 97/98 goes to Churchdown. Not sure about St Peters.

EvilTwins Sun 16-Aug-15 09:32:19

What's she like? What sort of things is she into? Chosen Hill is seen as pretty academic, as is St Peters. Millbrook is really good for drama, art and sport. Barnwood has a strong music dept. I know teachers at all of them except Churchdown School.

Lancelottie Sun 16-Aug-15 11:49:18

Why does the bus take 45 minutes to go 3.1 miles? (presumably the 3.1 miles is as the crow flies or something, not the actual bus route, so there might be a much shorter way.)

Our nearest secondary is over 3 miles away, and DS went to one 17 miles away, so I'm probably not quite sympathising with her grumble about distance.

WhenTheDragonsCame Sun 16-Aug-15 15:39:24

She is not academic, she isn't reaching her targets that were based on her year 6 SATs. Her reports all say she is polite and has good manners but she does struggle with the work. A school with good pastoral care would be best I think.

St Peter's would possibly be within walking distance of the house, I am considering the primary school for my younger DDs.

She is not arty or really into drama but she does have keyboard lessons and wants to learn the guitar.

The reason the journey is long is because it includes walking to the bus stop and then to the school.

Thank you for the replies.

WhenTheDragonsCame Sun 16-Aug-15 21:58:48

Well I mentioned the music department at Branwood and she is totally sold. I will contact a few before they go back and try to get a few viewings.

Thank you.

EvilTwins Sun 16-Aug-15 22:17:27

Most should have someone in who can talk to you and show you and DD round. It might be a good plan to take DD and get a feel for the schools before you make a decision.

WhenTheDragonsCame Mon 17-Aug-15 19:38:51

Thank you EvilTwins for all of your help.

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