Local Talk

Is there somewhere nice to live not too far from the train station and with a good primary school?

(37 Posts)
FGM Sat 23-Oct-10 09:19:06

We are waiting on a job offer that could mean a move to Bath. DH will need to commute to Swindon therefore we'd need to be in easy distance of Bath train station.

And my DD1 is due to start school next September- the applications need to be in by January!

I'm having a small panic about finding the right place to live...

Malkuth Sat 23-Oct-10 09:26:59

Widcombe is very nice and the primary school is good. Are you looking to rent or buy? Neither are cheap but that's Bath all over. The good areas are very pricey.
Rental properties and properties for sale.

Malkuth Sat 23-Oct-10 09:40:58

Sorry that sounded a bit negative. Because of the lack of a ring road Bath is a bugger at rush hour and Widcombe is at the back of the train station so you can walk to the train very quickly. However Bath is pretty small so other areas to look at would be Bathwick, Bear Flat, Walcot or even Claverton Down and Combe Down. It depends how long your husband is prepared to travel to get to the station really.

FGM Sat 23-Oct-10 09:47:42

Thanks Malkuth, I'll look Widcombe and its school up. Is there are good sense of community around there?

I'll be coming from Cambridge which is terribly expensive for property given it's proximity to London and it's general niceness.

We'd have to sell here before buying in Bath so we may rent first- thanks for the links.

BUT the main worry for me is getting into a good school catchment for the DDs- applications open in just over a week's time shock. So I do want to get it right- renting or buying in the right place with the necessary access to train line.

I've heard that Bathwick is good too???

FGM Sat 23-Oct-10 09:52:30

Another thing is- we cycle everywhere. Cambridge is very flat and it's usually quicker to go by bike than car within the city. And we are very well served with cycle lanes. So DH could bike to the station...

But is distant memory serves me right- I seem to remember that Bath is hilly???

SO DH could cycle to the station, but we went to reduce his commute time as much as possible since he'll be going to Swindon...

The schools are still my main concern

<sorry to bombard you with questions>

Malkuth Sat 23-Oct-10 12:04:33

Bath is hilly. If he cycles look at Newbridge Road area as it's a flat run from there. Newbridge primary has a good reputation.

Combe Down and Claverton Down are up hills and actually not sure what school serves Claverton Down. Buses into town good though as there is the University at one end and Wessex water at the other.

Oldfield Park is a good area with a villagey feel as it has a high street (Moorland Road) with good shops. Catchment schools are Moorlands, which has varied a lot over the years, and South Twerton(actually it might not be called that anymore). Probably worth checking out their Ofsted reports but don't forget to take them with a pinch of salt!

Personally I would avoid much of Odd Down and Southdown as I have lived in both pre-kids and am not a huge fan. Southdown Infants and Juniors and St Martin's Garden schools don't always look great on paper but are very good for kids with additional needs.

Malkuth Sat 23-Oct-10 12:10:22

Sorry missed a load of stuff! Yes Bathwick is good. Both Bathwick and Widcombe can be a bit cliquey but having kids at school should help overcome that. If you have come from Cambridge you might not be as shocked by house prices either wink

B&NES award places based on where you live when you apply for places not where you are living at term start. Deadline is sometime in January so you have a while. Actually you have been able to apply online since 1st Sept but they don't allocate until after the deadline.

MogTheForgetfulCat Wed 27-Oct-10 21:47:24

Don't want to be doomy, but if you are talking about Bathwick being good as a school (Bathwick St Mary) as well as somewhere to live - it is, but have heard from a number of sources that it's insanely competitive to get into, and heavily based on church attendance over a number of years. You'd probably be better off in Widcombe, which is really lovely and has a great school. Also not one of the hilly bits grin, and close to town, station etc.

Would Bathampton be the nearest school for Claverton Down? Friend's DS has just started in reception there, she is v happy with it, and it has Ofsted outstanding rating. Bathampton generally nice, can cycle to station along the canal.

TurnipLantern Wed 27-Oct-10 21:57:58

Claverton Down does not feed directly into any school, so I wouldn't recommend that. You'd expect it to feed into Bathampton but that's too full. Bathwick and Widcombe are also too full with people nearer by, leaving Combe Down the best choice for most but no guaranteed place if you are by the uni rather than by Wessex Water.

Virtually no chance of getting into Bathwick. Bathampton you would have to be very close. Good community in Widcombe. If you live in the nearest part of Bear Flat (nice community) to the station Widcombe is probably OK but not definite. There's quite a variety of accommodation near the school and good for the station, but access to both and town pushes up prices!

Agree Newbridge very popular. I think it has increased in size this year to accommodate numbers.

FGM Fri 29-Oct-10 07:42:24

Thanks for the warning about Bathwick (St Mary's). I don't want to get into some awful competitive church-going fight for a school place. And since I don't go to church regularly then I'm out. Also if it's such a tiny tight little school my liberal Aussie highly-academic family may be like a fish out of water.

I am looking for an area with a good sense of community- I like to contribute and get stuck in so will look at Widcombe.

My DH has suggested finding out about a private school- King Edward School. Since we don't actually live in Bath at the moment and are at the mercy of the admissions clerk... Does anyone have any knowledge of this school?

Thanks for posts- please keep them coming!

TurnipLantern Fri 29-Oct-10 08:11:25

I think you'll find highly educated liberals in most of Bath so I wouldn't worry about that!

I haven't heard of any problems getting into private schools. I would just contact them from the website. If you live in widcombe your local private (prep and pre-prep) school is the paragon.

Malkuth Fri 29-Oct-10 09:27:31

If you are looking at private there are also Prior Park and Monkton Combe. Prior Park is sort of midway between Widcombe and Combe Down. I have a feeling that Monkton Combe's infants bit is actually in Combe Down so easy to get to from Claverton Down.

TurnipLantern Fri 29-Oct-10 10:31:20

Paragon is the junior school of Prior Park, just down the hill from it in Widcombe.

Monkton's pre-prep and prep are indeed in Combe Down. Class sizes in the pre-prep are very small, maybe less than ten, which is not ideal.

traceybath Fri 29-Oct-10 10:39:33

You'd be able to get into the private schools fairly easily - don't think there's too much of a waiting list for any of them at the moment.

The paragon would be good location as fairly central. King Edwards pre-prep is in Weston and Royal High and Kingswood are Lansdown - both areas walkable to town but more of a trek than Widcombe.

FGM Fri 29-Oct-10 21:29:43

Thanks for the responses; does any one have any experience/ opinions on the private schools mentioned?

To be honest we're treating private education as a last resort- particularly as our DDs are so young. I would much rather the girls attend a good community-based primary in a nice area, which is close enough to the station for DH's train commute.

I am, however, starting to get really worried as applications to primary schools open in 3 days time and it sounds like some of the nice state schools are more exclusive and tougher to get into than a private school.

And with the property market being rather flat we may never find a nice place.

Perhaps I needs reassurance that it'll be OK. This is the first time I'll have applied to a school for any of my DDs and I'm scared of adversely affecting their futures- I mean it's until they're 11 years old.

TurnipLantern Fri 29-Oct-10 22:55:21

State applications are not dealt with until they close. There's no benefit in applying early - although obviously I stuffed my own applications in as soon as I could. But honestly, nothing gets dealt with until the closing date.

I would try very hard to rent somewhere very close to Widcombe infants. It's a lovely school and Widcombe is a great community. If you message me your address I'll send you this week's property pages for you to contact the local rental agencies.

traceybath Sat 30-Oct-10 13:02:13

My DS is at Kingswood and we're very happy with it. Also hear good things about KES, Royal High and Paragon.

Rental market is good and there's a lot of property for sale as market so stagnant.

Have forgotten where your DH is commuting to but you could think of a village and then him commuting from Chippenham perhaps.

FGM Sat 30-Oct-10 13:02:18

Thanks TurnipLantern- much appreciated.

traceybath Sat 30-Oct-10 13:03:34

Just checked and its swindon he'll be commuting too - in that case it could be worth you looking at Marshfield. Nice village school, good sized village, community and 10 mins drive to chippenham train station which is about 10 mins to Swindon.

FGM Sat 30-Oct-10 13:08:55

Thanks Tracey, I'll look up the other schools you mentioned.
DH would be working in Swindon. We live in Cambridge at the moment and I'm very much at home in the city <albeit small>.
I'm really not sure if a smaller town or village would suit me. In all honesty I have no idea of Chippenham or Swindon so I could be terribly misjudging these places. Do elucidate me!

FGM Sat 30-Oct-10 13:09:52

cross- posts-
will continue to search- but must go now and toddler-wrangle...

Malkuth Sat 30-Oct-10 13:10:57

Marshfield is lovely but check which secondary it feeds into. It used to be St Mark's which is C of E, 11-16 and frankly not great! Not sure if that has changed as I seem to remember talk of it combining with St Gregory's, the Catholic 11-16 school on the other side of Bath.

Although the secondary system in Bath is about to change anyway with Culverhay closing and Oldfield going co-ed. Or that was what was happening last I heard!

HowAnnoying Sat 30-Oct-10 13:23:01

admissions website

You can apply online now for reception places in Bath. THe closing date is 15th January. There is no advantage to applying now or on 14th January. They will all be assessed after the closing date. You can also go and change your choices right up until the closing date if you change your minds.

My DS1 is starting reception in September, I am applying to St Johns a catholic school. My nearest school is Moorlands, but I will not be applying there, their Junior School is on Special Measures and they are increasing the numbers for 2011 reception from 60 to 90. I think it's pretty awful to do that to a school that is allready struggling, but it's a Tory council in Bath so they don't really give a shit.

Moorlands Junior might improve as they have changed headteachers, but I'm not going to test it out!

I think Widcombe might be a church school BTW.

I can personally recommend Newbridge as my DS1 goes there and loves it - we live a few doors down from it and it's a great area to live in.

In fact, the house next door to me is for sale

tis nice than mine inside though envy

MogTheForgetfulCat Sun 31-Oct-10 21:26:19

Widcombe is a church school, but know plenty of kids who got in easily whose parents don't attend church at all, so don't think it's like Bathwick or St Stephen's in that regard.

I went to KES, but only secondary from 15 (when we moved to Bath), and loved it. Have friends who have sent children to the pre-prep and thought it was great. Don't have any other info/views though. Do remember that people in my year at KES came from all over Somerset/Wilts, though, so if you're after community involvement etc and your DDs meeting and becoming friends with local children, I would imagine you'd be better off with a good loca school. Think the BANES website should have stats on it to let you know how far away from the school the furthest entrant in Reception this year was living - that should give you an idea of how close to the school it would be advisable to live in order to get a place.

jinglingsal Thu 04-Nov-10 14:57:27

Widcombe had a massively improved OFSTED report a few weeks ago - now classed as excellent.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Thu 04-Nov-10 15:56:25

I don't think any of Bath's primaries are bad tbh. Several are rated Excellent by Ofsted. I seriously wouldn't lose out on a dream house because I wasn't 100% about the nearest primary, basically. Or at least not in Bath.

IMO Bath primaries are all quite different from each other - including the "Excellents" - so do take this into account. Batheaston Primary and St Stephens are like chalk and cheese for example. You really do need to visit them.

WRT Marshfield (and other villages to the East), it's in Wilts. St Marks is a consideration for secondary but there are also v.good schools in Chippenham and Corsham. If you're years away from thinking about secondaries though I wouldn't base any homebuying decisions on it - as Malkuth says they're all set to change.

aliceeve2 Wed 13-Jul-11 13:22:42

This thread is a little old but I am in a similar position moving from London to Bath in November. We're not constrained by commutability but similarly would love to be near a good primary without church going requirements (DS starts a year in September) with a good community close to amenities. Friends live in Weston and rave about WASPs but it is a bit of a hilly trek from the town centre and not very bike friendly. We'll be renting to start so the catchment area is probably the most important issue right now.
Any thoughts very welcomely received.
Alice

Mammalia Thu 28-Jun-12 19:04:40

aliceeve2 - where did you decide was a good area? I am in a similar position to you, from london etc.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Fri 06-Jul-12 15:01:04

grin @ "hilly" alice. Bath is hills basically! I don't think you can avoid them.

Have a look at Bathampton - you can cycle in and out of town along the canal from there. It has a primary (which I think is CofE but no church attendence requirement iirc - you'll have to check B&NES website though). Someone else mentioned it upthread.

The route from Weston or Newbridge would actually be pretty OK - as Malkuth says.

Mammalia Tue 10-Jul-12 10:20:05

Thanks JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar! And Malkuth indeed had some good advice!

I am surprised you can cycle from Weston/Newbridge to the University of Bath since it is on a hill, do you go along the river? Also why did you decide to avoid Odd Down and Southdown, Malkuth, because they are far away?

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Tue 10-Jul-12 10:28:47

Good grief I wouldn't want to cycle up to the Uni! People do (Olympic athletes probably) but they're far fitter than I grin

If you were Newbridge way you could get the bus (there's a service aimed at students and staff that runs from bath Spa University College to Bath Uni).

Zazacat Tue 17-Jul-12 17:06:08

Widcombe is much closer to Uni than Weston etc, although still a hill to get up! The Infants and Juniors are separate schools, and the Infants isn't a church school. The criteria changed recently for the Juniors (which IS a church school) so now once you're in the Infants, you pretty much automatically get a place in the juniors.

We love it here, close to town and the canal and countryside, and good community feel, but does make it rather pricey!

Zazacat Tue 17-Jul-12 17:09:56

Ooops lost track of who asked what there! Widcombe is a flat quick walk to center, only a hill if you need to get to uni etc!

Tigerbath Thu 08-Nov-12 22:32:52

We are planning to move to bath in the summer, we have three Ds 's 12 10 and 7. One will go to bryanston and we need to find schools for the younger two. I am looking for a slightly quirky small ish school close to bath . We are planning to look at monkton coombe and prior park at the moment. Any help with this would be great. Thought we would live up to ten miles from bath but don't really think this would work anymore I think I would feel a little isolated. Now thinking max 3 miles away from bath. Help. Please.

Tigerbath Thu 08-Nov-12 22:46:14

Oops sorry everyone meant to post new thread will post it again

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