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(10 Posts)
wishtobuyadog Mon 17-Aug-15 13:02:18

Hello. I would appreciate whatever your information, advise or opinion about Sidcup.

Originally I was looking for a good comprehensive secondary schools just in case my DC doesn't pass 11+.
After some consideration, I decided to focus on Bullers Wood area but properties we saw didn't give us any.

Then I found one in Sidcup. South side of Sidcup station.
We went to see the property yesterday and we all liked it.

We have absolutely NO idea about Sidcup, no friends, no relatives live around the area so could you tell me your honest opinion on this please.

Is this area safe to live?
I found two articles about murder case in Sidcup. One is 2008 near the station and one is June this year.

School wise, do you think this is wise move?
If my DC didn't pass Bexley entrance exam, which school will be the choice? Is the school good?

I'm focusing on Secondary School at the moment but my DCs are still in primary school.
Are primary schools good?

I didn't know where to start to find this area so I just came here to ask mums opinion.

Thank you.

LL0015 Mon 17-Aug-15 13:16:04

It's lovely here. Very safe. Very.
Yes we had sad news and a death of the Harry Potter actor a long time ago. And a more recent one of a teen next door in Bexley. But sad things happen everywhere. And they were sad not bad. There's a difference.

Schools are good. Primaries are full though so not sure what you'd get. But even our bad schools are good.
Secondary is good.
You need to look them up as they are are all academies now and have different criteria.
Hurstmere boys. Excellent
Chislehurst Girls (Beaverwood). Not for me but apparently good.
Cleve Park mixed. Mixed reviews but that's your dead cert Sidcup secondary.
Some now going to Crown Woods.
Might get in to Blackfen Girls excellent school.
Others Coopers, Eltham Hill, Kemnal tech, there are Cathlic schools in Bexleyheath.

Grammar schools are all excellent and there is a bun fight for them with tutoring everywhere. Depends on your children. Some pass Kent 11+ and get coach to Wilmington or Dartford Grammar. And some pass Bromley and go to St Olaves and Newstead Woods. Not so many tho.

Compared to leafy rural suburbs and counties, do remember we are still a London Borough. It's busy and reasonably multi cultured. But it's Kent and not inner London. So actually it's still rather white and middle/working class.

Where are you now?

wishtobuyadog Mon 17-Aug-15 16:04:04

LL0015 - Thank you very much for your prompt reply!

It's very hard to decide especially we don't know the area at all.
However the area near the property we saw yesterday was very pleasant and we were very surprised in good way.

We are looking for a property within a catchment of Bullers Wood but after we saw the property in Sidcup, it is hard to beat.

We are in Purley.
Purley is very nice area to live but schools are tricky one.
I have two girls so either Wallington High School (Grammar School) or local comprehensive school which is OK.
I don't hear good things about Wallington High so I'm reluctant to consider the school is in our option.
Local comprehensive is OK but I prefer something more.

There are very good catholic schools but we are not catholic so we can't pass their admission criteria.

My DC1 has been in a top set since Reception. She's doing well but she is not competitive at all.
She is also laid-back so I don't know whether she can cope with Grammar school environment.

Property VS School.

I thought I would go for School. That is the reason we decided to move but after we saw the property, it's hard to decide.

Thank you very much for your information!!!

merlottime Mon 17-Aug-15 18:20:26

Personally I would prefer Purley to Sidcup any day of the week. Not sure what is putting you off Wallington HSG but if it's the super competitiveness and/or all girls, then Riddlesdown and Woodcote are very good alternatives. Or go private - lots of options - with the money you would save from not moving. I don't know the schools in Sidcup so can't comment. Good luck with whatever you decide.

wishtobuyadog Mon 17-Aug-15 19:59:14

merlottime - Thank you very much for your comment.

I personally haven't visited Wallington High but I only hear negative comment on this school from various people so I'm not sure.
I should check it out by myself but 'There is no smoke without fire'.

Private isn't our option.
Sending two children to Private Secondary school is very expensive.
I think moving house is cheaper than two children in Private for 7 years (£5K per term X 2 kids X 7 years = £210K).
Also I wouldn't want my DCs to feel poor among those children from wealthy family back ground.

Is Woodcote good?
I'm planning to see the school in September actually.

Again thank you very much for your comment!

PettsWoodParadise Mon 17-Aug-15 20:45:02

I don't know Sidcup well but live a few miles away so know some of the schools through various connections. Personally I would avoid Chislehurst school, it changed its name for a reason, also Coopers.

LL0015 Mon 17-Aug-15 21:40:16

It's been said that Kent 11+ is easier than Bexley. And Bexley is easier than Bromley. And none are as competitive as Croydon area.

Bexley test got a lot harder in last two years. Kent got harder too but not so much. Apparently.
It's just my opinion but the always were clever kids seem to pass Bexley. The usually mostly in the top group but are being tutored weekly tend to fail Bexley but pass Kent. And so far, they get into Wilmington Grammar on distance. But we have the same rising birth rate as London so not sure how long for.

I dont think Sidcup will disappoint you. The mixed Comp you would def get a place at school got a Good on Ofsted in Jan Cleeve Park. Rising standards. Grammar Sixth form is available to hard working kids who may not have got grammar at 11.

I would say you may struggle for an easy local Primary and would prob have to appeal. What year now? This year 4 in Sept is notoriously full with no spaces. But of course folks move etc.

LL0015 Mon 17-Aug-15 21:51:38

Sidcup has a Waitrose now. Mumsnet perfection. Boris invested a lot of money recently primarily to do with needing a blue seat. It is very blue. It's full of nearly deads and newly weds.
Also commuter links, whilst good may not be as great as Purley. So depends where in London anyone needs to get to.
If you feel so inclined, PM me a
Link to the house you're looking at wink nosy

merlottime Mon 17-Aug-15 22:35:14

We have gone down the private route for various reasons, but if this had not been an option then I would have been very happy with Woodcote. Good GCSE results, a new athletics track -we know lots of people who are very happy with it, and others who are frustrated they didn't get in.

My knowledge of Sidcup is only based on visiting my Grandparents, and is a few years out of date now.

wishtobuyadog Tue 18-Aug-15 13:18:13

PettsWoodParadise - Thank you so much for your info.
When I had a look at Wiki, it says the school used to be called 'Beaverwood School for girl' but now 'Chislehurst School for Girl'.
I didn't take notice at the time but after your comment, I looked into it and I'm shocked.
Now I can see why a lot of mothers wouldn't recommend the school.

LL0015 - Thank you again for your comment.
I actually heard a few times that 11+ in Bromley is easier than Sutton (Nonsuch, Sutton Grammar, Wilsons, Wallington County and Wallington High).
In fact some of my friend's children didn't pass these schools but they did in Bromley.
No matter what borough, I still think 11+ is hard to pass so they are clearly bright children.

My DH needs to get to London Bridge or Lewisham to take DLR.
As long as he gets these two stations in a reasonable time, he will be fine.
The property we went to see isn't on the market yet. Apparently some Estate Agent sells property before it comes on the market.

merlottime - Thank you for your message.
I wish we could go for Private then it would be much easier. There isn't any catchment area involved.
Two children in Private will be a stretch for us so it's not our option.
I'm looking forward to Woodcote open day/evening.

Thank you all!

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