Up to date o Haverstock and Acland Burghley(38 Posts)
Hi all, been searching for some info about both schools but only came across an old thread from 09.
I'm fairly new to area and don't know much about the schools. These two are nearer than ds2 current school and have spaces for his year group. Ds3 will follow him in September.
Acland Burghley has been through a lot of disruption over the past couple of years - change of headteacher, critical Ofsted report, difficulty appointing a new head. But they have now appointed a new head, and it was run in the interim by a team from Parliament Hill which is a great school, so I would assume things are on the up.
All the people I know with kids at the school are strongly supportive, fwiw. It has a strong liberal ethos, and people choose it for that reason. It won't be to everybody's taste, but it's definitely not a sink school, so go and have a look!
Don't know anything about Haverstock, I'm afraid - wrong side of the heath for us.
I'll have a look at their opening days.
I think haverstock is next week.
You might have missed the open days, as the deadline for Y7 transfer must be coming up soon.
But I'm sure they must show parents around at other times too, esp if you're applying for an in-year place. Do feedback here with your impressions, as there was a definitely lack of info on local schools when we were doing secondary transfer last year.
I so want to know the answer to this too. If you find out anything, let me know!
Yes no134, I missed the open day for AB but Hstock is this week. Will feedback.
Will do Anononooo.
I'm considering moving son from Highbury Grove to Acland Burghley, everyone thinks I'm mad so would like any updates!
Current Acland Burghley parents are happy with the new regime, as far as I've heard. But that's only off the grapevine, there don't seem to be any actual AB parents on MN...
Papermover, which primary is your daughter at? If you'd get into Acland Burghley (which is still a work in progress) you'd get Parli as well, I'd have thought?
PHS and WE (for girls and boys respectively) seem to be the current favoured options for m/c families locally (at least for those who don't want to go the selective route). We are very very happy with PHS.
I'd love to know more too. AB and PHS are tops of our list.
Hmm, I'm now trying to work out whereabouts you are that Haverstock or AB are your possible mixed secondary schools... [sleuth]
AFAIK last year (which is the year we were doing transfer for my youngest) both Haverstock and AB were not oversubscribed, so distance criteria didn't apply anyway. Tbh I can't imagine Acland Burghley ever becoming so popular that it will have a micro-catchment in the manner of F'mere or CSG. The local m/c primary schools always have a sizeable tranche of families heading for selective/semi-selective/private, and some people will always find AB too urban for their tastes.
Conversely I don't think it will turn into a disaster zone because it has a good following of vocal families who are strongly supportive of the school - even atm it's not seen as one to avoid, though obviously the disruption with interim head etc has made people wary. I haven't heard any feedback about the new head, aside from the recent rather public Damien Lewis incident, which was possibly a lapse of judgment. There is a demand locally from families who are strongly committed to comprehensives, who want the trad Acland Burghley liberal ethos, no uniform etc, but don't want to move to Muswell Hill. When there was a cut-off for AB before the recent shenanigans, it was never less than about 0.7 of a mile - I imagine it will be a good few years before it gets back to that. All the local popular primaries send dc to AB (Y, TP, Torr, EP, Brookfield, GO etc) - unless you're at a school on the very edge of the area or a faith primary, I'm sure there will be other dc from your dd's school going there.
Ah, Holloway. Yes. I can imagine the looks you are getting.
It is very weird how two schools so close to each other can have such different demographics, but nonetheless that is how it is. I have no idea whether the only reason that m/c parents don't send their dc to Holloway is for the circular reason that no other m/c parents use it, but there it is. Some parents probably choose it because they don't like the Acland Burghley liberal vibe, but other than that it's a mystery. It has historically had dismal results, really dismal, and was originally a boys' school with a very tough reputation, so maybe that lingers? And there's the name, which can't help.
AT the bottom end, the intake is probably no tougher than any other comprehensive, but I think they don't have the tranche of confident high-achievers from professional families that the traditionally more sought-after local schools have. Whether they can turn that around eventually is anybody's guess, it def hasn't happened yet.
Go for it. I have 2 DS's at ABS, they're happy, have a great group of friends, and are doing really well. Both my children say their teachers are all good, and they're just lovely people. There aren't all that many girls, but those that are there (apparently) make very good academic progress.
Holloway is, for whatever reason, has the image of a 70s throwback of an Islington comprehensive. You know, every middle-class parent's nightmare. Speaking of 70s throwbacks, it was the school Jeremy Corbyn had the argument with his wife over (child went to QEB).
The name is terrible! Like being called Wormwood Srubs Academy. I think it was originally called Camden School for Boys.
Apparently, it's really quite nice though. Various parents from my kids' primary looked round and really liked it. They put it high on their Caf form. And then when they actually got allocated it, scrambled madly round for alternatives...
Ultimately the children who did go from the primary were all from that demographic known to perform least well (poor white boys). It also ends up with all the kids who are swiftly excluded from our local academy. No clever immigrant kids, no middle classes etc. I agree with Agony Beetle, I don't know how you'd turn it around. A name change would help...
OK - so ABS is what I am hoping for in the allocation. or PGS - except like Paper0mover I really don't like single-sex and nor does my DD. We may be too far from both of them - unless last year's unpopularity of ABS continues. What do you all think - should I be preparing for the local pit of doom, which was the only inner London school to appear on the govt's recent list of shame (re GSCE results). Noone from DD's primary is going to go to any of these schools. They all fight for Marylebone, CSG, Grey Coats, or move out to Muswell Hill or go private.
Coffee - I think the Corbyn school was actually Highbury Grove, which had a similar terrible, terrible reputation back in the 90s and early 00s. That too was originally an all-boys' school that went co-ed, but unlike HOlloway has managed to turn itself around - combination of inspirational head, fabby new building (although Holloway has new buildings also) and then the collaboration with Lloyd Webber and the music focus. It is definitely now seen as a desirable option, I know people who have chosen it over church schools and over Stokey etc.
BUT, if you look at the detail of the DFE performance data for HG, they are broadly similar to Holloway, both in terms of the demographics of the intake (70% ever-6 FSM), similar proportions of low/middle/high attainers, and in terms of results (40-ish% 5A*-C inc Eng and Maths). And yet HG is considered acceptable by m/c parents, adn yet Holloway really isn't. It's a mystery. Having said that, it would be interesting to look at the spread of results within that broad statistic, since that crude statistic doesn't differentiate between dc getting 5 C grades and those getting 10 A*s. HG def has a high-achieving cohort at the top end, with significant numbers coming out with 8, 9, 10 A* grades, and AB does as well. Wd be interesting to see if that is true at Holloway, though my guess would be notsomuch.
Obv I don't believe everything I read in the papers but I think it was Holloway
(not correcting you, btw, just sharing as I think you share my interest in the nuances of North London schools!).
HG's results are a bit shocking given the enthusiasm and support they're receiving. As you say, v similar results to Holloway. And I do know kids at HG who are on track for a string of top grades and maybe that is what is lacking in Holloway. I think HG was just clever in deliberately targetting a committed group of local parents and the media (Latin, Lloyd Webber, Tatler etc). Aggressive streaming too. HG also blame the results of the last two years on the cohort, they were y7s when the building work was going on. I think they're banking on much better results coming up.
In theory Holloway could do the same. They've got Yerbury and TP primaries right by them.
Hello Paper, not totally sure, you'd really need to talk to ask the girls themselves about their experience - there are always lots of female students at the ABS autumn open days. I've helped out at school events alongside students, and the girls are always great. There are so many girls-only options in the area that all the girls at AB have made a choice to be there, including some who've moved after starting at single-sex schools and say that they are happier at AB. I've heard from other parents that there's a lot of solidarity between the girls - there aren't so many of them, so they tend to treat each other well. It helps that the performing arts are strong - everybody does dance and drama for the first years with lots of extra clubs and opportunities to be part of shows, and the girls' groups really shine.
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