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Secondary Schools in Lewisham area - any recommendations?

(24 Posts)
SarfEast1cated Sat 30-Apr-16 18:50:08

HI there, we are looking to buy in Crofton Park area or Catford and would love some personal recommendations for secondary schools in the area. My DD is quite a bookish sort, but I don't really want her to go to an exam factory. Just somewhere lovely and supportive where she can learn a varied curriculum and be happy.
I have pretty good info about Prendergast and Haberdashers and we can't afford to live near them anyway! Please tell me your experiences as Ofsted reports don't give the full picture.

TaIkinPeace Sun 01-May-16 16:30:00


SarfEast1cated Sun 01-May-16 17:23:50

Talk is that a nickname for a school?

TaIkinPeace Sun 01-May-16 17:26:01

St Dunstans :-)

SarfEast1cated Sun 01-May-16 19:01:19

Doh! sorry Talk I didn't get that.
St D's looks like a lovely school but we can't afford private!
I was under the impression that private schools were pretty high pressure though?

Lindor Sun 01-May-16 19:03:26

look at schools in the Bromley/Beckenham area. They are commutable and tend to be better

SarfEast1cated Sun 01-May-16 19:05:43

Although we would be able to buy in a cheaper area if we didn't need to worry about catchment area

nancy75 Sun 01-May-16 19:11:55

Bromley Beckenham schools have small catchments, you have got no chance from Crofton park

SarfEast1cated Sun 01-May-16 19:25:09

I've heard good things about Sydenham girls... will check the catchment for their...

SarfEast1cated Sun 01-May-16 19:25:37


BeckyWithTheMediocreHair Sun 01-May-16 20:15:37

There are three Prendergasts. In crofton park you'd certainly be able to get her into Prendergast Ladywell Fields but I would approach with caution. You're probably too far away from Prendergast Vale as it's only four form entry. You could try for Prendergast Hilly Fields.

SarfEast1cated Sun 01-May-16 20:47:27

Yes Becky I have been thinking about PHF for a long time, its exactly the same as the school I went to, but you have to live within half a mile of the school to get in there, and the houses we can afford in that area would be really small. PLF does have a bit of a bad rep which is a shame, because houses near there, although hardly cheap, and more reasonable. I have lots of friends who live in CP and I wonder where their children will go in 3 yrs time. Sydenham Girls and Forest Hill Boys I guess?
They all look so big though, with 4 form entry for PHF and what must be 8 for Sydenham. I got very excited looking at Sydenham Girls website until I saw I was actually looking at the private school of a similar name!

ApocalypseSlough Sun 01-May-16 20:55:48

Both Sydenham girls GDST and St Dunstans have good bursary schemes and are v good, not hot house schools. Sydenham Girls, the one you were looking for when you found the GDST one is also very good.

NynaevesSister Sun 01-May-16 22:01:59

Sydenham High School is the private school.

Sydenham School is the state school.

Both are girl's schools.

Sydenham School shares a sixth form with Forest Hill School (boys).

I know five families local to me whose daughters go to Sydenham School and they speak highly of it. The school has a specialism of science and maths I think. Forest Hill had a specialism of performing arts. I was impressed that it had two classes doing dance at GCSE level.

In Crystal Palace (I leave nearish there) Kingsdale and Harris City Crystal Palace are usually the top two choices. After that Norwood School and Harris South Norwood/Upper Norwood (it is one school with a complicated intake). Sydenham is popular for girls but FHS not so much at all for boys. I think that's because it is a single sex school and not seen as so desirable. I absolutely loved it though, and I haven't found a parent with a child there who has had anything bad to say.

Cunties Mon 02-May-16 23:36:33

I'm looking to move to lewisham and also need school advice! It's near to addey Stanhope and prendergast vale. Any of your kids go here? My son is year 9. Thanks!

We are moving from Kent to be nearer work - fuck me it's expensive though. We would be looking at a 3 bedroom conversion flat.

mrdemmy Tue 03-May-16 09:05:35

Hey , I just wanted to let you know most schools in lewisham are very very poor rates from ofsted .My daughter was in y6 when she lived to read books and do homework.She went to addeys and Stanhope and omg has she changed ,always trying to impress everybody and live up to people's expectations in the school .i wish I had never put her in that schoolsad

NynaevesSister Tue 03-May-16 09:54:40

Both Sydenham and Forest Hill schools seem to be pretty good though mrdemmy? The Ofstead for FHS was good with outstanding features, and the results are pretty good too. I've spoken to lots of parents with children at both and none of them have anything bad to say.

sydenhamhiller Tue 03-May-16 10:47:01

We live in Upper Sydenham/ Crystal Palace/ Forest Hill where all the borders seem to meet. We're in the borough of Southwark, but 1 child goes to local state primary in Lewisham, a mere 10 minute walk away.

At that school, of the 60 Y6 children leaving in DC1's year last year, 12 went Sydenham School (girls state) and 18 went to Forest Hill. (This year's Y6, anecdotally, an even larger proportion.) The next largest group was 7 going to Kingsdale. From my son's peers who went to these schools, they are having a great time, and are very happy. The schools are very popular: at the Open Day at Sydenham in September, the SMT were saying that people are increasingly choosing it as their first choice.

They have both stopped admissions based on banding though: purely on distance now. As they are both 8 form entry, that's still a wide area, but worth having a look at a map/ furthest distance of admissions.

BeckyWithTheMediocreHair Tue 03-May-16 14:27:03

Cunties I used to know PV very well but my knowledge is a few years out of date. I know A&S well by reputation.

A&S has a reputation locally as a small, fairly nurturing school which is particularly good with children with SEN, and is therefore particularly popular with parents of those children.

The current headteacher of PV is leaving at the end of the year having seen the first cohort through to the end of year 11, so I would reserve judgement until his successor (who has been appointed) is in place in September.

Neither is as academic as Haberdashers Hatcham or Prendergast Hilly Fields, for example. Both have very small sites. PV has some excellent facilities, being a newer build.

Depending on where you are, Deptford Green is nearby but that has also had a rough few years. It look quite a while to get out of special measures.

Addey’s is probably the more stable of the two schools right now and is solidly 'good' in Ofsted terms but if you’re transferring in year 9 this may all be academic - I believe that both were oversubscribed in 2013-14 and you will be restricted to where there are places.

BeckyWithTheMediocreHair Tue 03-May-16 14:29:54

One more thing - all of the Prendergasts offer guaranteed transfer to the (very good) Prendergast sixth form based at the original Prendergast in Hilly Fields, as long as the student meets the requirements for their chosen course.

SarfEast1cated Tue 03-May-16 18:56:34

Thanks everyone!

Re this SydenhamHiller

They have both stopped admissions based on banding though: purely on distance now. As they are both 8 form entry, that's still a wide area, but worth having a look at a map/ furthest distance of admissions.

I wonder how this would change things - I thought the band system seemed quite fair, at least you got a good spread of abilities... 8 form entry seems huge! I knew everyone in my school (3 form entry) but I guess that doesn't really happen now.

I am really pleased to hear the Sydenham girls is so good, takes the pressure off of us living withing half a mile of Prendergast school!

I wonder where the Hither Greeners and the Corbett Estatians send their kids, Conisborough College?

It's so hard finding a house you can afford near a nice school!

Cunties Tue 03-May-16 19:36:43

Thanks smile

BeckyWithTheMediocreHair Tue 03-May-16 20:09:24

I wonder where the Hither Greeners and the Corbett Estatians send their kids, Conisborough College?

Or Trinity, if they don't mind an overtly religious ethos.

mrdemmy Wed 04-May-16 06:33:48

Yes they are very good ,my nephew goes to forest Hill and enjoys it very much and the ofsted reports are very good

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