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Williamwood or Mearns Castle? #Dilemma 😭😭

(43 Posts)
curiousbenjammin193 Wed 14-Sep-16 23:02:44

Hello mums! Pleased to be here I am new so.. I am terrible with introductions πŸ˜‚

I actually needed some advice and help

I will be moving to East Kilbride by the end of this month... I started research in secondary schools and couldn't take me eyes off of Williamwood High School and Mearns Castle High school.

I need to know

a) Which school is better?

b) Can we do entrance exams in the middle of the session? Or they will give us a specified time if they do for how long?

C) What is the system of entrance exams (generally in Scotland)? can you send me some links for the curriculum

d) My daughter is in Year 8 does that mean she is in S1 or S2?

e) what is the take on religon in these two schools?

Last but not the least: How is East Kilbride as a place and how are people? What is their opinion on religon?

Please mums understand my situation.. I tried searching but didn't get much details and I am not satisfied with my research please reply ASAP! Don't forget to send me a message if you want to explain more stuff to me

With due regards smile

lalaland1985 Wed 14-Sep-16 23:08:46

East Kilbride is in south Lanarkshire. Neither mearns castle or Williamwood are in the catchment area. They are both in East Renfrewshire. They are both excellent schools in high demand.

Missanneshirley Wed 14-Sep-16 23:10:35

You should maybe try posting this in the "scotsnet" section - you'll probably get a better response from locals there!

FannyTrollopes Wed 14-Sep-16 23:22:10

Hello, welcome to Mumsnet.

You might be better asking MNHQ to move this thread to Scotsnet, as that's where the Scottish folk hang out and there are a lot of people from this neck of the woods there.

Firstly, East Kilbride isn't in the catchment area of either school. East Kilbride is in South Lanarkshire council area, but Williamwood and Mearns Castle schools are in East Renfrewshire.

In Scotland, you go to your local school, it's not like the English school system. Is that where you're moving from? Placing requests into either school would be unlikely. Have you already lined up a house to move to? If not, you might want to move to East Ren rather than EK, if funds allow (East Ren is expensive, mainly because of the schools).

East Kilbride is OK, has good and bad bits.

Religion - big mixture of religions and non-religious people.

MintChocAddict Wed 14-Sep-16 23:28:13

What lala said

In Scotland pupils generally go to school in the catchment area and your catchment in EK will be a South Lanarkshire secondary school not an East Renfrewshire one like Mearns or Williamwood.

You could try a placing request but as East Ren school places are heavily sought after you would possibly be unsuccessful.

a) the two schools are fairly similar in terms of exam results

b) no entrance exams. If you live in the catchment and there's a space you're in. If there isn't a space in the catchment the council is obligated to offer you a space in another local school in the same council area.

c) see SQA website for exam system. The curriculum for excellence is what Scottish school follow.

d) no idea - the school year runs from birthdays with oldest in year being March born and youngest February born although there will be exceptions as Jan/Feb parents often defer starting school.

e) Both these schools are non denominational so all and any religions can go, however they will have Christian assemblies but also provide prayer rooms for Muslim children and make adjustments for Ramadan etc. Pupils are also taught about other religions/festivals etc.
The other main type of school in Scotland is Roman Catholic with an exception being a Jewish Primary which feeds into Mearns Castle.

Can't comment on living in EK or the people but it's a large new town with loads of roundabouts, a country park and a large shopping centre with cinema etc.

Hope that helps!

MintChocAddict Wed 14-Sep-16 23:29:23

X posts with fanny
There's a sentence I never thought I'd type wink

FannyTrollopes Wed 14-Sep-16 23:41:38

Can't comment on EK or the people but it's a large new town with loads of roundabouts

Aye, LOADS of roundabouts. I get dizzy just thinking about driving in East Kilbride.

Roundabouts and tax inspectors.

MintChocAddict Wed 14-Sep-16 23:46:32


Thissameearth Wed 14-Sep-16 23:59:24

Hello I went to one, my friend to the other. We didn't do entrance exams, as others say, it's based on catchment area and your address. Objectively good schools in terms of exam results but had a lot of drugs, fights and bullying at our time. Maybe just schools in general? 😬

From (poss unfair) east Ren perspective EK was seen as overall "a bit rough". wouldn't be on my list of places to live, but am not in Glas anymore, my view is not up to date and am sure there are worse places anyway. It's 30-40 min train from town (Glasgow city centre). it has a large shopping centre, and HMRC and DFiD have large offices there. Loads and loads of housing estates radiating outwards.

If I was in Glasgow I would opt for east ren or south side (shawlands etc) to live and to commute to EK for work if that's the reason for going there.

Thissameearth Thu 15-Sep-16 00:05:33

Oh yeah religion - it was ostensibly secular but main assembly had Christian minister take it, and church visits Easter and Christmas. there was a sizeable amount of Jewish pupils (east ren and partic giffnock is/was large Jewish hub) and a few opted out of these. May well be diff now.

prettybird Thu 15-Sep-16 00:51:59

At ds' (non-denominational) school (Glasgow Southside), I'm not sure there's anything even as religious as that nowadays! wink

Ds gets an assembly once a week but it's mainly for communication to the year group - nothing overtly religious. Given the number of Muslim, Sikh, Jewish and Hindu pupils alongside the Christian and atheist pupils, the type of religious observance such as it is is relatively balanced. The Catholic schools (denominational) schools I think have more obviously religious elements to their assemblies. Holyrood and Lourdes (Glasgow Southside), St Ninians (East Ren) and Trinity High a School (South Lanarkshire) are the Catholic schools that I can think of locally; they tend to have a wider catchment than the non-denom schools.

If you tell us what month your dd was born, we can work out which year she should be in. Year 8 more accurately equates to S1 in that Nat 5s (equivalent of GCSEs) are sat in S4. But it does depend on when their birthday is (although there is more flexibility in the Scottish system)

The other thing to consider is whether you are likely to move back to England as that might influence which year you want your dd to go into.

I agree with thissameearth - if you have a choice, I'd live in East Ren or (especially) Shawlands but I might be biased wink and commute to EK (if that's where you are going to be working). Shawlands Academy might still have a few places left in S1 and is an excellent school with lots of international connections.

BeJayKayven Thu 15-Sep-16 01:37:01

St Brides is on the 'wish' list for Catholic education in EK, equivelant of St Ninians in East Ren. Liam Fox is a valued previous pupil. If you prefer a non religious focussed education for your DC then there are a few good non denominational high schools e.g. Duncanrig. As all the pp have stated, you can't live in EK in South Lanarkshire and choose to attend a school in East Renfrewshire. Check out the local authority websites for education information.

prettybird Thu 15-Sep-16 09:18:36

Not sure Liam Fox being an alumnus is something to shout about wink

But it's a good school despite that anyway! smile

curiousbenjammin193 Thu 15-Sep-16 09:32:11

Hello mums thank you so much for all your replies I truly appreciate it. So there aren't any entrance exams? It depends on the area you live? Actually I agree with you all after researching I feel East Refrenshire is way better than EK. Can you tell me more about it?

Okay so my daughter is born in may 2002 she was supposed to be in year one but didn't get admission so she had to start all over again from prep she is supposed to be in year 9 but we kept her in year 8 just that it doesn't disturb her from the original routine.

I am glad to know it isn't that religious area. I hope people are kind and good enough 😁😁😁

Thanks for clearing most of my doubts... And for the sweet welcome πŸ˜„πŸ˜„ just need to clear some things about entrance exam system please evaluate

Actually over here my daughter studies in British curriculum it's quite easy like they teach her basic maths although English requires writing and reading and science is experimental just want to know will it be the same in Scotland?

Thank you once again and surely I will check on scotsnet

MintChocAddict Thu 15-Sep-16 10:44:15

Hi again,

There are no entrance exams for the schools you're considering. They are state schools, run by the local council (for the time being πŸ˜‰) and open to all who live in the catchment.

The only way you would sit an entrance exam is if you wanted to go into the private fee paying system and that's a whole other thread and different schools to consider.

Given you're daughters date of birth she would be at the older end of S3 currently I think.

Pupils in East Ren do a broad range of subjects during S1 and S2 and during S2 (S1 in St. Ninian's) they pick a smaller number of subjects (currently 8) to study from S3 onwards.

prettybird Thu 15-Sep-16 10:49:50

Just wrote a long reply and lost it sad

In summary, no selection exams at any state school anywhere in Scotland.

May 2002 means your dd will be at the old end of the year in S3 (National 5s sat at end of S4). Cut off date is March with ability to defer September to February (in practice, mostly Jan/Feb with a few Nov/Dec deferral --although I know of one October deferral for someone coming from overseas--) Not sure if the system is flexible enough to allow her to go back a year.

No British curriculum - in Scotland we don't do separate English Language and English Literature - we just do "English".

Science is split into constituent parts by S3 - Physics and/or Chemistry and/or Biology.

curiousbenjammin193 Thu 15-Sep-16 13:46:11

Thank you guys I feel more confident now... I hope it's a great place for settlementπŸ˜„πŸ˜„ love you guys

curiousbenjammin193 Fri 16-Sep-16 12:15:41

Hey girls smile

I had a question... Lets say I take a house and williamwood is 3 miles away will the local council accept it and give admission?

Please reply ASAP

With due regards..

prettybird Fri 16-Sep-16 12:25:55

It's not based on distance. It's based in whether you are in catchment or not. There is a defined map - not a circle around the school.

You can ring the council education department and they will be able to tell you.

prettybird Fri 16-Sep-16 12:27:58

Just to emphasise how much it is not based on distance, there is a secondary school in Glasgow where the janitor's house in the school grounds shock is not in its own catchment confused

prettybird Fri 16-Sep-16 12:32:50

...also, mid-session, even if you're in catchment, you still might not get into Williamwood if it is full (which is likely). You'd be at the top of the waiting list (barring cared-for kids or those with SEN who would jump to the top) but initially the council might place you somewhere else. However, if the other school were more than 3(?) miles away, the council would have to organise/pay for transport.

curiousbenjammin193 Fri 16-Sep-16 14:17:45

Does the same go for Mearns Castle? 😱😱😱

curiousbenjammin193 Fri 16-Sep-16 14:18:38

I didn't understand can you please explain what's a catchment area? 😳😳

dancemom Fri 16-Sep-16 14:31:54

Catchment area is the area of houses which automatically qualify for a place at each school. It's not an exact circle or a specific distance from the school so you would need to check online for address in that schools catchment area. You would find catchment areas on the councils website.

dancemom Fri 16-Sep-16 14:32:30

And yes that's the same for all state schools in Scotland.

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