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Secondary schools Islington/Camden/Haringey

(15 Posts)
ExiledinIslington Fri 04-Sep-20 20:17:51

After seeing the offer day cut offs for Highbury Fields which was always a safe bet for us I am a little concerned. We were just outside the cut off for Sept 2020 entry and DD starts secondary next year whereas previous years we were in cut off, the school isn't our first choice but always seems a good school.
Any feedback on Highbury Fields (I would assume a high waiting list place), Hornsey School for Girls, Islington Arts and Media School and Acland Burghley would be appreciated.
I visited all these schools last autumn, DD hasn't seen them all.
A place at Acland Burghley is unlikely but we need to look at order of preference. I quite liked the school and head but wasn't 100% sure if it's right for her. DD isn't overly girly nor a tomboy (hate that word but can't think of a better one). She is smart and can do very well but home learning over lockdown showed she does so much better in the classroom but needs the right teachers to give her a gentle push to teach her potential.

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LarkDescending Sat 05-Sep-20 00:23:59

Have you ruled out Highbury Grove in its new incarnation? HFS is now more popular than it was, after its stunning Ofsted, and locally thought of as a good option.

Hornsey Girls: friends there were happy with it until lockdown, at which point they said they needed to pay for tutoring because they were so disappointed by the school’s online provision.

Islington A&M is typically not oversubscribed and I have heard good things from people with children there - seems really on the up, with very committed staff.

LarkDescending Sat 05-Sep-20 00:26:21

Are these likely to be your main choices, or “safety net” options?

ExiledinIslington Sat 05-Sep-20 07:34:32

More safety net schools except HF. AMSI will be our 6th choice but trying to work out order of the others. HF is likely 3rd and we were just out of cut off on offer day this year which is why I'm suddenly worried as it was always a safe bet.
We have ruled out Highbury Grove. We visited another COLA school and hated it. Beacon High has also been ruled out!

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MoverOfPaper Sat 05-Sep-20 10:51:02

Have you got Parli on your list? Is that a feasible option?

ExiledinIslington Sat 05-Sep-20 11:07:01

Parli is definitely on the list! DD would have got a place on offer day in 2018 but not since so it would likely be waiting list dependent.

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LarkDescending Sat 05-Sep-20 11:42:32

So I guess your list is something like this:

1&2 Parli and CSG? not necessarily in that order
3 Highbury Fields
4 Hornsey Girls or AB
5 AB or Hornsey Girls

For the DD you describe it seems to me that putting Hornsey ahead of AB would be an entirely coherent strategy, even if received wisdom favours AB these days. Only you can know what felt right when you visited, though.

ExiledinIslington Sat 05-Sep-20 20:02:52

Yep that's pretty much how it looks (at the moment anyway). CSG is so unlikely but DD and DP really liked it.
I preferred the head at AB and some of the general stuff about the school to HSG but HSG looks better for her on paper. Unfortunately, I did that visit alone as we'd intended for DD to come along this year. Am hoping next year has a lower birth rate, less girls and more people going private!

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MoverOfPaper Sat 05-Sep-20 21:18:19

It must be a lower birth rate next year. This September’s Y7 were a big year when they entered reception and it didn’t surprise me that catchments shrunk fur the Y7 intake.

LarkDescending Sat 05-Sep-20 21:59:13

National birthrates obviously don’t tell the whole story (re the effects of regional variation, immigration, emigration etc) but here is a graph of them nevertheless:

ExiledinIslington Sat 05-Sep-20 22:04:20

Yes, quite a few primaries took in a bulge class for the current Y7 around here. I think the birth rate in this part of London may have dropped off sooner than the rest of the UK. The cut off for DD's primary is way bigger than it was and it's still a v popular school.
Anyway, any other feedback on these schools appreciated!

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TulipsAndLilacs Sun 06-Sep-20 17:00:38

If you were only just outside the cut off area on National Offer day this year you should be fine, as even if you didn't get an offer on National offer you should get in later when people drop out as they've been offered a place higher up their list or gone private.

ExiledinIslington Wed 16-Sep-20 21:09:36

Bumping my own thread here in case of any other feedback/experience with these schools.
I know there is usually a lot of waiting list movement after offer day but being cautious just in case!

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PipaJJ Wed 23-Sep-20 13:29:08

Hi @ExileinInslignton
Agree its definitely becoming more competitive.....
Have you thought of considering independent schools - some amazing scholarships around at the moment as International Market has dried up!

ExiledinIslington Wed 23-Sep-20 20:26:49

Not really interested in the independents.

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