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Nailsea vs Backwell school - views please

(12 Posts)
hamilton10 Mon 21-Jun-10 11:11:25

We are about to relocate to Nailsea/ Backwell area and need to decide where to live to get DD into the best secondary school.

Clearly from Ofsted/ SATs etc Backwell looks the best on paper but Nailsea has got great new buildings and housing is a lot easier there for us. Nailsea was undersubscribed last year which is a bit worrying for me.

So what's the difference in real life? Given the new buildings at Nailsea is this going to tempt more people in? Or is there an underlying problem that puts people off? Is it attractive to people from Bristol where there is a probelm with schools?

DD is very academically bright and also have a DS who will follow her - also very bright and good at sport.

Would appreciate advice from people who know the schools and local area.

Runoutofideas Mon 21-Jun-10 16:47:25

I'm from Bristol but don't know a huge amount about these schools. What I do know is that Backwell has always had a better reputation. People move house from my area in north Bristol to get their children into Backwell. I have never heard of anyone moving to get their child into Nailsea, but equally have never heard anything bad about it either....

Based on my limited knowledge, in your case I would plump for Backwell, but go and have a look around them and see what you think, in case I've got it horribly wrong!

hamilton10 Mon 21-Jun-10 17:30:14

Thanks for that - anyone else?

cairatom Wed 23-Jun-10 14:42:24

There isnt a huge amount of difference between the schools. Nailsea was under subscribed last year due to the large amount of building going on.

We chose to put or kids through Backwell School as thats where I went, but if we hadnt been able to get them in (we lived on the edge of the 2 school catchments)we wouldn't have been disappointed with them going to Nailsea either.

I cant say about Nailsea School as our kids didnt go there, but Backwell has pushed them both academically, and they have both done really well.

addictedishavingagirl Wed 23-Jun-10 15:02:52

as some one who went to backwell 6th form (but didnt get on there) and had friends at nailsea, i would say backwell is by far the better school. they have more opportunities for the students, better teachers and teaching methods. the head teacher is a lovley, lovley person and is always willing to help parents in anyway he can.

as i said, joined at the beginning of year 12 i came from ashton park school, and i didnt get on at backwell and left after year 12 exams, (went into the world of work) but the teachers were lovley and very supportive i couldnt fault them in their teaching methods or enthusiam at all. it was so much better than my previous school

my brother has also just completed his a levels there as well and he has nothing but hte highest of praise for the school

nailsea on the other hand is known in the area as a 'rough' school. but take that term very lightly, its not really rough when you compare it to other bristol schools!


hamilton10 Sun 27-Jun-10 23:39:56

Some useful info.

Cairatom - do many people in Nailsea choose to go to Backwell and do they get in? I looked at the figures and they do take quite a few from outside their catchment but not sure where they are coming from. Or do people in Nailsea want their kids to go to the local school with their mates from junior school?

Where we are from the choice issue is not really a choice as there is one good school and all the rest are not in the same league.

cairatom Sat 10-Jul-10 18:19:54

Sorry been on holiday, and just caught up with this. We managed to get out eldest in to Backwell while still living in Bristol, and our youngest while we were living in Nailsea (although sibling rule applied) If you give the LEA a ring they can tell you whether there is spaces for the schools for September.

My eldest was offered places at schools in Bristol that I had absolutely no intention of letting her go to, and rang up North Somerset about now, and had her place done, dusted and agreed within a 30 minute phone call. All I had to do was fax Bristol LEA and advise then that we were turning down the place (already having spoken to North Somerset and knew they had spaces) and that we wanted to put Backwell as first choice. We had all the paperwork through for Backwell within 3 days.

cairatom Sat 10-Jul-10 18:21:23

Oh and yes there is many kids that live in Nailsea that go to Backwell, and vice versa.

cairatom Sat 10-Jul-10 18:24:40

If you are looking at Backwell, I would suggest houses either in "The Perrings" or "Trendlewood Way" areas of Nailsea as they are within walking distance from school.

At the furthest points of those you are looking at about 2.5 miles from Backwell School, but this means you are not entitled to free school transport.

Musicteachingmum Wed 14-Jul-10 09:21:36

Hi! I live in Nailsea. Nailsea School certainly does not have a reputation for being 'rough'! Both schools are good schools. We will be choosing which of the two to send our son to, over the next 18 months.

Nailsea - has great new buildings, with excellent resources. Teachers are just as good as at Backwell. An improving academic reputation (although it was never bad!)

Backwell - Great for performing arts and other extra-curricular. Good academic reputation. But, some dodgy buildings - not the classrooms they take you round on the visit! For me, very specifically, music department is good in staffing and resources, but not well situated buildingwise. Were plans to rebuild various blocks, but probably shelved due to new government.

Having moved from London, I think we're incredibly lucky to have such a great choice, and will be making my choice on what is best for my son.

RinaandOllie Thu 27-Jan-11 23:35:29

Hi there, on the subject of Nailsea & Backwell schools, both are good. Our three kids all went to Backwell and did very well there, academically, and most importantly they were happy there and loved all the creative stuff and good science department. Nailsea/Backwell is a very pleasant living environment, everything's within walking or biking distance, and nice and safe and sociable for the kids. Our youngest is taking A levels this year, and then off to uni. It's been great here with a growing family, but now it's time to downsize, so our house (Bucklands Batch, Nailsea) is on the market with Parkers in Backwell. It's in the catchment of both Nailsea & Backwell comps, and a brilliant spacious family house.. if you're thinking of moving out this way!

Mynameis2243 Thu 25-Dec-14 21:54:17

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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