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North Bridge House in Canonbury - any views?

(19 Posts)
ConfusedInNorthLondon Sat 12-Jan-19 19:26:23

Hi all,

My DS had an admissions test/ interview at North Brige House Canonbury today. Any parents with kids there? It's very local to us so it would be great for him to go there, but we don't have any inside info.

Any views would be much appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
Notcontent Sun 13-Jan-19 19:26:47

I know someone who is very happy with it. I think it is rather small (so a small pool from which to find friends) but good. I think it all depends on what other options you have, including what state options you have...

ConfusedInNorthLondon Sun 13-Jan-19 20:27:04

Thanks Notcontent. It's good to hear that. Unfortunately our state options are not good at all, and we are still waiting to hear from a couple of 11+ exams for selective independents, but North Bridge House would be by far the easiest as it's just around the corner from our house, so I'm quite tempted (if he gets offered a place there, that is).

Anyone else? Thoughts?

OP’s posts: |
Notcontent Sun 13-Jan-19 22:35:51

Going by your location I can see why you are not tempted by the state options...

EdgyMcNervous Mon 14-Jan-19 07:36:30

We live near you and looked around Northbridge for DD who is in year 6 but decided not to apply in the end and have opted for a state school. I do know at least one family v happy at Northbridge though. I thought it looked v friendly with lovely small classes etc but, as others have said, a small pool and with resource limitations in some respects.

I'd also agree with notcontent that there are some v good state options nearby.

Feel free to PM me if you want to know more about any of the above smile

EdgyMcNervous Mon 14-Jan-19 07:46:31

Sorry totally misread notcontent's message. I guess I disagree then about the local state options (have a number of friends whose DC are thriving in, for example, Mary Mags). Anyway, presumably you have filled in your CAF form and are just looking at private schools at this stage so best of luck with the applications process!

Notcontent Mon 14-Jan-19 08:25:41

Yes, Mary Mags is a very good state option for those lucky enough to get a place but it now has a pretty small catchment area and the other nearby choices are really not great.

EdgyMcNervous Mon 14-Jan-19 09:10:15

What are your thoughts on Central Foundation School for Boys Notcontent? Can't comment really because no direct experience (no DS so didn't even look around) but I've heard positive feedback from current parents (and through a teacher). I do see that the local options are more limited for boys in general though. I'm not all that keen on HGS from what I've seen though many would disagree…

Hothouseorflophouse Mon 14-Jan-19 10:30:34

I presume OP doesn't have a governors' place at Mags or would be considering that. If they're near Northbridge they're probably near HGS. Such a shame that it's going through a bad patch although I do know kids who've done really well there and enjoyed it.

I have heard mixed things about Northbridge. Some like its small size and more mixed ability. Someone else said it got the tricky kids that have been managed out of other schools and there was nowhere to hide from them.

I don't know which independents you've applied for (City, UCS, Highgate?), but if it's any of the obvious ones I think they're worth the journey, if he gets a place.

Also second PP re. Central - even if you're out of catchment there's such a shake up post offers day you'd probably be able to get a place. But I guess your CAF is in.

Notcontent Mon 14-Jan-19 19:18:04

I have a girl so don’t know much about Central Foundation!

Agree with previous poster that it’s a great pity HGS is going through a rough patch.

ConfusedInNorthLondon Mon 14-Jan-19 22:47:46

Dear all,

Thanks so much to everyone for the replies. We are indeed quite near HGS and COLAI. Those are our two closest schools.

DS did the governors' test at Mary Mags but did not come high enough for us to really hope he will be offered a place (although he is within the first 100 so never say never).

In terms of independents we have applied for the three selective schools (UCS, City and Highgate) and also Forest, Northbridge and the French school in Bloomsbury Jeannine Manuel (we have a link to France in the family, but no French nationality). DS is in top sets at his local state (a very good one) but sadly so far has not had any interview offers for independents (we tutored only for 4 months, due to living elsewhere until last summer - complicated work situation) - clearly not enough.

We are still waiting for UCS, Forest, Northbridge and he's got an interview (just a formality as is non-selective) at the French school, but we do need a bursary, at least a partial one.

So, as you can see, the options are limited and I am quite worried. It's quite a tricky situation we face, keeping me up at night.

Thanks for the thoughts! If anyone has any bright ideas, do let me know (am I missing anything? any other schools we should have applied for, or still can?)

It's good to be able to air one's worries. Makes waiting for results seem a to go faster. :-)

OP’s posts: |
Davros Mon 14-Jan-19 23:58:46

We've been very happy with NBH in hampstead and really like co-Ed and mixed ability. They also do some subjects that others don't, e.g. photography, and RE is not even taught, never mind mandatory. There have been no behaviour issues or problem kids imo

Hothouseorflophouse Tue 15-Jan-19 11:08:39

Confused I was there a few years ago with ds, it all seemed confusing and hopeless. I feel your anxiety.

Re. state schools. Post offers day, get on the waiting list for Central. You never know, there is so much movement.
Secondly top 100 at Mags is good and there are a lot of parents who sit the test and will not be taking a place (plus there are 21 this year). The ones who've nabbed the top spots will also be going for grammar and independent places. Again, there's a big shakedown post offers day. Also they have additional places in y9 which are absolutely there for the taking so if it doesn't work out, that's a fallback.

Re. privates. Personally I'd opt for Forest over Northbridge despite being a big fan of short journeys (if he gets offered both). I really liked Forest, but it's further from us than it is from you.

It can all seem a bit hopeless at this point but I can't tell you how much movement there is post offers day. DD got offered state choice number 5, then 3, then 2 and finally no.1 (the completely mad long shot we put down).

EdgyMcNervous Tue 15-Jan-19 12:56:38

Have DM’d you, OP. But would also second all that hothouse says above (except that I can’t comment about Forest because I know nothing about it!)

ConfusedInNorthLondon Thu 17-Jan-19 16:57:48

Hi all, thanks Hothouseorflophouse and EdgyMcNervous for your messages and for the advice. We've still not had any news from the remaining four private schools, so the excruciating wait continues.

In the meantime it's good to hear that there is a lot of movement post-offers day, as I have a feeling by March 1st we won't have an offer we're happy with.

I will post an update, once there is one. In the meantime, fingers crossed...

OP’s posts: |
Zinnia Thu 17-Jan-19 19:33:27

There is so much churn post offers day you would not believe. Don't forget pretty much every child going into the independent sector will also have applied to a sought-after state school "just in case" and even then - in the worst case - there are children who just don't turn up on the first day of autumn term because their patents have omitted to tell the school their DC is going elsewhere. (I did not believe that at first, but have now heard it from so many reliable sources I do!) I have been stressing about this a lot because we are very borderline, distance-wise, for the N London state secondary we want, and every single person I've spoken to in the school system says the same thing.

yokota Sat 19-Jan-19 00:38:55

I am pretty much in the same place as you, DS did not get the interview with Forest... we hope he gets NBH Canonbury as he enjoyed the intervew/exam process so much there with their friendly approach.

Also applied Central boys foundation. This year CBF offered the banding test prior to the national application deadline, so we knew the banding already. It is nice that DS got band 1, but band 1 offers shortest distance.... The banding test was multiple choice English only test (no Math).

Fingers crossed.

ConfusedInNorthLondon Sat 19-Jan-19 13:15:22

Hi yokota, seems like our boys may end up in the same class at NBH Canonbury. :-)

Mine also really liked the interview and the task at NBH and as it's spitting distance from our house, it would not be a bad option after all ( apart from the money, of course). He loved the little postcards from current pupils that they gave them at the end. It is a nice touch, I must admit (a bit tangential, I know).

BTW - no interview at Forest for us either, which frankly is not such a bad thing as it's so far away and it was always going to be tricky.

OP’s posts: |
Goodfellas1978 Sat 02-Mar-19 15:39:55

I have a daughter who has been accepted to NBH NW3

I am worried about the boy/girl ratio

Do you know how many in the year group? 80 kids roughly or 60 ? With approximately how many girls

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