There are a couple of threads about this but they are quite old and so I thought it would be better to start a new one.
We are relocating to Chandlers Ford soon and I am going to view 3 houses next week but they are all in the Toynbee catchment. And my step-mum keeps saying that we need to be in the Thornden catchment (though DC will be in one of their feeder schools). So long with everything else I'm weighing up, I'm now beginning to ponder the secondary school issue. DD is only in y3 now but that still means that in 2 years' time we need to be living in the right place for the best school for her.
She is on the g&t register so I think she'll do well in her GCSEs whatever school she goes to, but the difference will be her attitude to learning and whether she learns to work hard or gets away with just coasting along.
Having read the other threads I like the look of Kings School a bit more than Thornden as I think it might suit DD a bit better. She's really good at languages so I like the idea of a language college, (which then also makes Mountbatten School a contender) and I like the streaming. It looks like there would be a high chance of getting into Kings living in CF, so I'm wondering how important it actually would be to be in the Thornden catchment?
My daughter goes to Thornden School (yr 7) and is g and t. We relocated here from Southampton and I am very pleased with Thornden. As far as I can see there is a strong emphasis on valuing each child and developing life skills. The main advantage for my daughter is that she works in a classroom where there is no disruption at all, not even low level, behaviour is exemplary, so she can concentrate and the teachers are free to teach.
Thornden = 5 star
Thanks Rushdmum. I'm glad to hear you're pleased with it. I was concerned that the lack of streaming might not neccessarily be a good thing for DD though I realise research about this (ie the benefits of streaming) is inconclusive and obviously works well at Thornden.
I noticed that last year only 2 children got into Thornden from a linked school (and lived out of catchment). Whereas Kings School admitted 81 out of catchment altogether. I guess if it becomes more important nearer the time to get into Thornden, we can always move.
Change your house search area and only look at Thornden catchment. There are houses of all prices in the right area.
Last year every child in our primary got into Thornden even if they lived outside catchment and I'm sure I remember the head of Thornden saying that so far every year,every child in a feeder school had been offered a place. Problem is, this is not set in stone and I have heard that "they" (not sure who exactly)are planning to build around 600 new houses in Ampfield (Thornden catchment) so going to a feeder school might not be a way to guarantee a place a few years down the line.
The lack of streaming has not affected my DD in any negatve way. I think it says a lot about the school, it has a lovely ethos.
Fortunately we are only renting so we can be flexible about moving in the future if we have to. There's nothing available at the moment on Knightwood Park in the Thornden catchment though there are various on Knightwood/ Valley Park in Toynbee catchment - which is what we're going to view.
I'm just wondering whether to hold off for something in the Thornden catchment, though anything that fits that bill is usually let the same day it's advertised. I think it might be easier to be quicker off the mark when I'm actually living there.
I am going down tomorrow anyway and am really excited. I am taking DC to have a look round Knightwood School and St Francis too. I hope they like one of them.
Which primary was that Rushdmum? Ds is at a linked school but we're not in Thornden catchment, so are considering moving as well.
I spoke to Knightwood School and they said all children there that want to go to Thornden get in, but they seemed to think that the Knightwood & Thornden catchments were the same. I know that this isn't the case.
However the HT at St Francis said that the new head at Toynbee was really good and that by the time DD is looking for a secondary school it'll probably be just as good as Thornden. But seeing as I chose Knightwood over St Francis for DC, I don't know how much weight I would give his view.
Hi, the school I'm talking about is Knightwood
It is a feeder school and all the pupils who chose Thornden got in. It is just a bit of a risk to take, as in, will the situation be the same in a few years time?
Can a new head change Toynbee to make it as good a school as Thornden? I'd be very surprised. The catchment is different.
I'd go for kings then you may have a better chance of getting into peter symonds which is ranked as one of the best 6th forms in the country. Also rather biased as I went there some 25+ years ago
I would take what the HT at St Francis says with a pinch of salt, has he actually worked with the man?
I would not send my child to Toynbee if you paid me whilst that man is in charge. My prediction, is that he will not be there long and will leave it in a worse state internally than when he arrived.
chicaquapa- are you still around? Did you find a house in Thornden catchment in the end?
FWIW, I wouldn't consider Toynbee, either. I have a friend whose middle-of-the-road DS goes there and he says that half the time, he can't hear his teachers over the din the other DCs are making!
Last year 2 of DS1's classmates at Knightwood didn't get into Thornden as they were out of catchment. One's gone private, the other to Mountbatten in Romsey. DS2 (Y5, KW) has a couple of o.o.c friends, one of whom's family is moving 'in' and the other is investigating Kings. His sibling was transferred out of Toynbee and into Hampshire Collegiate (private), she was losing out so badly, educationally!
As for Peter Symonds, the vast majority of uni-heading Thornden DCs go there. Your chances of getting in are no different by being at Kings.
Hello erebus, I am still here. [waves]
I'm in Toynbee catchment at the moment but fairly relaxed about it as DD is only in Y4 so I still have 18 months to decide where to go and I'm sure we'll have moved by then. I'm still mulling over Thornden/Kings. The latter is slightly in the lead but only because that frees us up to move to Winchester in the future and I'm a bit and bored already of the Thornden hype.
My dad has also offered to send DC private (I think he thinks it's making it easier!!), so also mulling over St Swithuns/King Edward/Hampshire Collegiate alongside the state schools. So much choice! I'd really like DD to go co-ed, which rules out SS which is probably the best one academically (and DD may have a chance of getting into!)
SS - Hmmm. Two friends have pulled their DDs out of there due to the anorexia / mental bullying attitude.
HCS - coming up academically but still quite yah
KES - excellent academically but little breadth
Thornden - yup, a friend commented that they have the oddest version of 'comp' admissions she's ever seen.
Westgate / Kings - ideal if you plan to move into Winchester and then and easy feed into PS
Romsey & Mountbatten are both blazer / tie comps and feed into PS or BP.
Thanks Talkin. What do you mean by 'still quite yah'? Do you think Kings has more breadth than KES or about the same? I'm torn as DD will probably do well wherever she goes, so I'm less concerned with GCSE results. It's the other stuff that I'm becoming more interested in. She's not sporty or musical though, just strong academically so I don't know what I'm looking for really. Just not an exam factory, but somewhere that places value on other things as well eg making a good all-rounder.
HCS has arisen out of the merger of Atherley and Grove with Embley
as a bigger school it has started to compete academically rather than socially.
for the people who live waterside its a no brainer but for those of us who live in / near catchments there are options
and interestingly, DH just did a day at a private school in Kent, full of grammar school failures, and BOY did it show...
Why go private when you can get into an excellent state school? Seriously only consider it if along side fees you can afford to pay for all the other stuff that comes with it - expensive uniform, trips, and expectations.
Do not even consider Toynbee. Was awful ten years ago when my brother was there, and friend who worked for the new head said she would not want to work for him again under any circumstances, and she will not be sending her child there. So I would seriously have to be convinced that this improvement will happen.
For Thornden and Kings - unfortunately you are going to have to move into the catchment to be sure of a place. They have both been way above surrounding schools for years - parents have been moving into catchment for years, pushing up house prices.
Was going to start a new thread but this one is about a similar issue... My daughter's in year one at Fryern, which is a feeder school to Toynbee. If we moved at some point in the next three or four years to the catchment area for Thornden, would merely living in the catchment area supersede the fact that she's not in the right feeder school? Or does catchment area trump feeder school as a consideration? If anyone's got any general experience, or experience specific to Thornden, I'd very much appreciate advice.
Currently living in Thornden catchment suffices; a small number of children attending feeders (e.g. Knightwood) but living out of catchment also usually get in, but this may change over the next few years. Quite a few children living in Hiltingbury go to Thornden from private primaries.
I don't know if this will help, but we live in Thornden catchment and moved our v bright son out of Thornden to Toynbee in Yr 8. He is now in Yr10, predicted all As and thriving in every respect. Before you dismiss Toynbee, I would urge you to take a visit and judge for yourself. CF has TWO good schools. Both will provide a good academic education but only one puts an equal emphasis on the personal development of its pupils and encourages them to be socially responsible and kind to each other. I wish you all the best.
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