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Moving to West Yorkshire..... help with Bootham

(14 Posts)
arjoyrin Mon 06-Jun-16 16:59:33

Hello I am a Paediatrician and a father of 2 boys. Presently in Cardiff but moving to West Yorkshire..... Hospitals in and around Leeds.
My older son will be in Year 5 from this Sep and younger in Reception. I was looking for schools there and Bootham seemed a nice one to be in.
Can you please help me with the following queries as I will be new to the area.
1. Is Bootham a good choice from academics perspective?
2. Because I have to start in Year 5 .... is it a smooth transition between the Primary and Secondary? Is there any chance of him not getting in the Bootham Secondary from Bootham primary.?
3. Most important of all ...... which areas do I look for housing then. I even have to put my youngest in a good primary at Reception but don't want or rather cannot afford for him to be in Bootham. So rather have him in a good state primary. So a housing to give good access to a local state primary and access to Bootham but good for families .....
I don't know whether I made sense but hoping to find an answer from the replies...
Many thanks

harragirl Mon 06-Jun-16 19:53:32

Are you set on Bootham? Friend of mine just removed hers from there and sent to state school in York.

What about south Harrogate for living? V close to Leeds for hospitals - I know several docs from LGI and St James living in south Harrogate. Also excellent state schools - primary and secondary, most Outstanding on Ofsted. Or live in Harrogate with state primary and look at Leeds Grammar (independent, not an actual grammar) for secondary which is Harrogate side of Leeds.

arjoyrin Tue 07-Jun-16 02:12:16

Hello Harragirl.
Thanks for the input.
No actually not fixed with Bootham but a good school. The place where I will stay will depend on schools.
I am looking at all sorts starting from Otley Horsforth Roundway All Woodley and what else. But good schools are oversubscribed and mid term admission now is so impossible. That's why I am looking for Independent schools for a chance of entry.
Any suggestions?

iseenodust Tue 07-Jun-16 08:26:59

You have two boys. I just want to highlight Bootham does not offer as much sport/variety as many of the other independents. The school DS attends plays St Olaves in York regularly and there seems to be a good atmosphere there. More sport does not mean less focus on the academics !

harragirl Tue 07-Jun-16 08:41:27

Hi again. I've heard good things of St Olaves too. There is Ashville in Harrogate but possibly better for sports than academics. Leeds Grammar highly academic and very sporty - I'm not sure what the junior version is called. Woodhouse Grove on outskirts of Leeds/Bradford is excellent I believe - the junior school is Bronte House I think. All those are private.

When are you moving? State school places may appear in September as people won't take up their offered places. I would very strongly recommend Pannal (Leeds side of Harrogate, big village school) or Oatlands (also Harrogate). Both are fantastic primaries. My son goes to St John Fishers for secondary which is RC. St Aidans is C of E - both outstanding Ofsted. Harrogate Grammar also outstanding (not an actual grammar). I would be tempted to look at those in September for year 7 entry In 2017.

Obviously I'm massively biased, but I would look seriously at Harrogate for living as it is a very easy run to Leeds and such a lovely place to live.

stubiff Tue 07-Jun-16 13:24:42

harragirl, if you don't mind me asking - why did your friend remove theirs from Bootham.

For me Bootham offers a variety of sport - what it may lack in some years is the quality of the teams/individuals. St Olaves/Peters has rowing if your children are into that.

Bootham is a Quaker school so, for me, has a more 'family' ethos.

Agree with the Harrogate options - may be an easier commute depending where you will be in Leeds.

stubiff Tue 07-Jun-16 13:55:11

OP, to answer some of the questions.

Bootham has good results at GCSE/A-levels, but not quite as good as St Peters, although not much in it. For me, the decision would be based on the suitability for your child.

The transition from Junior to Senior school is decided by the Junior Head.
The Junior pupils do not have to take the same tests/interview that external pupils do when entering the Senior school directly.
Having said that the Junior Head would take academic ability into account when advising if a pupil is suitable to move up.

CooeeOnlyMe Tue 07-Jun-16 14:21:12

Hi Op. Where are you likely to be working? As if you are working in Leeds and living in, say Alwoodley then York schools would be very difficult unless you intend for your children to board?

Also, are you definitely looking at an 'all-through' school? If your eldest is going into Year 5 an independent primary might work for two years and give you time to work out which secondary would be most suitable. If you are considering North Leeds then I would recommend Moorlands School. They feed into all the local state and independents so you wouldn't be 'tied' for want of a better word.

arjoyrin Tue 07-Jun-16 14:21:13

Thank you all for your support. I am just constantly looking in at Primary schools and actually calling them up for possible school places. It seems very unfortunate that almost all of them are full. I have managed to book in Taster days next week for Woodhouse grove and Leeds Grammar. I am very much certain of giving my older son in Year 5 to either of them or if not then in Bootham.
But for my younger son starting Reception I am trying to find a community school nearby so that it doesnt stretch the budget. Finding it very very hard.
Can you all please suggest good less crime family areas near Woodhouse Grove and Leeds Grammar so that I can continue looking for Primaries.
Many thanks

CooeeOnlyMe Tue 07-Jun-16 14:22:54

Cross post. Try looking at Bramhope, that's lovely and would be doable for either WG or GSAL.

arjoyrin Tue 07-Jun-16 14:37:19

I am absolutely not fussed about being in Leeds. I can and am willing to travel even an hour each way everyday if that settles us in a nice place with good schools. So any updates?

CooeeOnlyMe Tue 07-Jun-16 16:46:13

Ok an hour each way would not allow you to be in York and commute to Leeds or vice versa. My DS did the entrance exams for St Olaves in Jan and it took us 80 minutes to get there from North Leeds. And we set off a 7am

I think part of the problem here is there are too many variables. In your shoes I would forget Bootham. Let your DS do the taster days next week, if you choose one of those schools great, then you can work out a reception place and area based on which school you've chosen.

laceoles Tue 07-Jun-16 19:58:55

To answer your original question, speaking as someone who has had two boys go all the way through Bootham from Junior to Senior...

1. Is Bootham a good choice from academics perspective?
Both my boys, who were not academically brilliant by any means, did very well at the school, made many friends, increased their confidence (especially the younger one), and generally loved their time there. The school itself I would heartily recommend. The Quaker ethos really shines through when you visit the school. Students care for each other, care about the world in which they live and are just really nice people to be about, not self opinionated or arrogant.

Is it a smooth transition between the Primary and Secondary? Is there any chance of him not getting in the Bootham Secondary from Bootham primary?
Although the two sites are not next to each other, the Junior site is a wonderful environment, and of course they can share the same facilities as the older kids use, so they get used to going to the Senior school as they get older, and are often taught by the same teachers. By the time they come to change, they are already well adapted to the bigger school and so it all tends to happen naturally.

They don't have to sit entrance exams (I don't think) as their teachers already know their capabilities, so I don't think that acceptance is an issue.

I can only speak from personal experience, but I would tell anyone what a wonderful, caring school it really is, and my two boys would probably tell you of the lasting friendships they've made.

stubiff Wed 08-Jun-16 17:13:57

OP, if you, yourself, are not doing the school runs then you could live in York and commute to Leeds.
Options on the south/west side are doable within the hour.
Primary options could be Bishopthorpe (Archbishop of York's), Naburn, Rufforth or Poppleton Ousebank. Latter two are easiest for dropping at Bootham Jnr.

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