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Bath Secondary schools Help

(13 Posts)
lisec Sat 04-Aug-18 13:58:58

Hello , I'm new to mumsnet and am hoping some of you lovely people in Bath and the surrounding areas can give me some much needed advice. We're relocating to Bath at the moment for work and for a better healthier lifestyle ( I've recently been diagnosed with MS and really want to live in a smaller , friendlier city ) . We love Bath but are really confused about which secondary school to choose for our daughter who's ten this year. I know the catchments for the popular schools are getting smaller and smaller at the moment. We had a look around Hayesfield Girls which we were impressed by but I've no experience of an all girls school and was worried there might be bullying . She's quite shy and sensitive and has had a few problems with a group of girls at her primary school so I was worried about more of the same happening . Also when I looked at the Ofsted it mentioned bullying quite a few times . We also had a look at Ralph Allen which seemed great on the open day and Oldfield school. Has anybody had experience of any of these schools and can give me some advice of which would be best for a more artistic sensitive child. Ofsted can only give so much information and there's nothing as good as the advice of other parents ! We've nearly sold our house so will be renting for now. Thanks !

OP’s posts: |
errorofjudgement Mon 06-Aug-18 08:41:23

We live fairly locally but not in Bath itself, DD has met some Hayesfield girls at an extra-curricula activity and they seemed very nice, a bit cliquey but that could be because they knew each other. The facilities at the school are very good.

lisec Mon 06-Aug-18 09:39:50

Thanks errorofjudgement we were definitely impressed by the look of the school and the two girls that showed us around were v friendly . Just don’t know about single sex schools there are advantages and disadvantages I suppose . Are there other schools just outside Bath that are popular ?

OP’s posts: |
errorofjudgement Mon 06-Aug-18 09:53:52

We’re in Wiltshire, locally the schools that are good, in a line north to south, Malmesbury, v pretty tiny town (more of a large village), great community spirit.
Sheldon in Chippenham, larger town, bit of a dormitory/commuter town.
St Lawrence in Bradford, similar feel to Malmesbury, but has train station so 15 mins to central Bath. Friends DD started there last year and they have been really impressed, their DD is v artistic.
St Augustines in Trowbridge, Catholic school, strongest academically. Trowbridge also has train, Bath 20 mins away. It’s the county town, not v pretty but good for teenagers eg modern cinema and restaurants.

lisec Mon 06-Aug-18 10:04:54

Thanks for all that info it’s v helpful ! We’ve been to Bradford on Avon a few times and liked the feel I’ll have a look at St Lawrence website . Also not as expensive as Bath

OP’s posts: |
errorofjudgement Mon 06-Aug-18 10:16:34

Oh good smile
If you like Bradford it’s devinitely worth looking at Malmesbury, and also Corsham - though you might want to look at the school in Corsham, I don’t know anything about it I’m afraid.
Re Hayesfield, there was a thread recently about Beechen Cliff (the corresponding boys school), which you might want to look at. I would be concerned about the relationship between the 2 schools going forwards, also a lot of the BC parents will also have daughters at Hayesfield, so I would read about the parents attitudes to the incidents at BC.

lisec Mon 06-Aug-18 11:02:15

I guess it’s to do with the racist incident , the schools attitude to it and then the ofsted ? I kind of know some of what’s gone on but I’ll have a longer read through the link , thanks ! I think with Hayesfied I was very impressed but had a gut feeling that the aptmosphere somehow didn’t feel right ( hard to explain as like I said the girls seemed friendly ) there was a lot of talk by the head about the exact qualities that a Hayesfield Girl has and I was concerned that they don’t nurture those that may be more quirky or individual . Also quite a few mentions on ofsted re bullying and how it’s dealt with . Most other ofsted reports don’t mention it at all . Bit of a red flag maybe ... so hard to tell when we don’t currrntly love there and I’d be very happy to be told I was wrong about it ! Thanks again

OP’s posts: |
Rudi44 Tue 07-Aug-18 07:11:01

My daughter has a lot of friends at Hayesfield, a mixture of very sporty girls and more arty quirky types. We had considered Hayesfield ourselves and I was very impressed with it. From the girls there we haven’t heard of any bullying but am aware it does go on in every school

Rudi44 Tue 07-Aug-18 07:13:24

The other option which is cheaper than both Bradford and Bath is Keynsham and look at Wellsway School - mixed and very popular

MrsMoastyToasty Tue 07-Aug-18 07:23:00

I second looking at Keynsham. The two secondary schools are Wellsway and Broadlands.
If you're looking for somewhere to live it's a bit cheaper than Bath and is only a 10 minute train journey away. It's also 10 minutes by train into Bristol.

lisec Tue 07-Aug-18 20:12:31

Thanks for all that great advice smile I was getting so stressed today with the relocation etc and trying to manage the difficult catchment areas / house hunting etc it can get overwhelming It’s good to hear that Hayesfield may still be an option then we were very impressed too but it was a v brief visit . Ralph Allen is our other preferred option but obviously we would have to live in Combe Down or very close by . I’m definitely going to check out Keynsham now online I’m hoping it might offer an easier option and yes be much cheaper ! Thanks

OP’s posts: |
samlovesdilys Fri 10-Aug-18 20:52:56

Can I suggest you definitely look Chippenham way as well - both Hardenhuish and Sheldon have excellent (if somewhat different) reputations.
Ofsted reports are a good starting place (as are league tables) but often give a skewed view in my experience. More interesting is often how they respond to them, things like joining MAT and changes in leadership (or lack of...) good luck!!

dumpthegrump Sun 12-Aug-18 11:20:45

My DS started at Ralph Allen last Sept and took some time to settle as he has ADHD but his year tutor has been very supportive and this has been very much appreciated by us. Whichever school your child ends up in there will always be compromises and for my son and many that go there it is the distance to travel which is over 4 miles away. We weren't in the catchment zone for our first choice, which was Beechen Cliff. However, give the racist incident there and the way it has been dealt with makes me think it was a blessing in disguise. I am sure RA is far better for my son and those children needing more
support with SEN.

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