Local Talk

Secondary schools in Cambridge

(22 Posts)
tatty123 Mon 28-Jan-13 13:19:47

Thinking of moving to Cambridge with DD who is in year 9.

We live in a difference county at the moment and she goes to an excellent state school where 91% get '5 good GCSE's.'

I'm really keen to get her into a school that is equally good if I can. By which I mean good teaching and happy children. I don't want to jeopardise her GCSE results by moving.

I'm puzzled by some of the league table results for Cambridge. I would have thought that assuming some of the academics send their children to state school, this would bring standards and expectations up?

Have thought about Parkside and St Bede's.

Would welcome any advice please.

JennyWren1234 Mon 28-Jan-13 15:07:01

St Bede's is a faith school. You perhaps need to check the admissions criteria to see if you would be likely to get a place. AFAIK both St Bede's and Parkside are usually oversubscribed, so you might be best checking with Cambs County Council to see whether there are waiting lists for year 9 before you decide where to move to.

tatty123 Mon 28-Jan-13 17:40:26

Thanks Jenny Wren. Will try CCC. Welcome any other thoughts on good state schools. I really don't want to have to go private.

JimJamboree Tue 29-Jan-13 16:02:35

I just took a look and I see there's a big difference between the selective private schools and the state comprehensives in terms of league table results, and that that applies to some very well thought of comprehensives. My guess would be that the comprehensives are genuinely pretty comprehensive in terms of their intake.

I think ultimately you might be best off visiting the schools and seeing what you think.

tatty123 Tue 29-Jan-13 19:05:42

Thanks JimJamboree, maybe it is down to catchment areas, that the areas have a diverse intake in Cambridge. Where I live now, more affluent families are probably clustering around 'good' state schools.

MarronGlace Tue 29-Jan-13 21:58:55

Parkside has a very small catchment area and is a small secondary so would be difficult to get in if you're out of area.
Comberton Village College is allegedly the best secondary school in the area but out of city. It has a very large catchment area and there's something for all budgets in the villages to the west of Cambridge.
You know how you can find out about catchment areas? Go on http://www. tuckergardner.com (local estate agent) and search map by schools' catchment area. I think it's a brilliant tool!

orchardy Wed 30-Jan-13 14:52:07

Comberton and Swavesey (villages west of Cambridge) are generally thought to be the 'best' schools in terms of results. You won't see the likes of 91% A* - C anywhere because the state schools are properly comprehensive, but that doesn't mean able children don't thrive. Don't forget those A*-C percentages don't distinguish between kids who get five C's and those who get 10 A*s, so although a school may have a rating of more like 75% it could have lots of very bright children doing extremely well. In Cambridge itself, yes, lots of children of academics in Parkside and Chesterton, and some at Impington. I don't know other schools so well. If your daughter is doing well currently I'm sure she'll be fine in Cambridge.

mynameisnt Fri 01-Feb-13 17:09:03

Linton VC is very good. I wish we lived there so ds could go. I went there in the dim and distant past and loved it then - and now it's even better <gloom>

tatty123 Sat 02-Feb-13 18:06:25

Thanks all, those are great tips. If we had to go private (and I worked out a way of paying) I was thinking of Sancton Wood or the International School. Do any of you have any knowledge of those? I would far prefer to remain with state sector, but as dd is so anti the move at the mo, I need to keep all options open to ensure best outcome.

orchardy Sat 02-Feb-13 18:29:38

Don't really know about the private schools but I know friends of friends are happy with Sancton Wood. If your daughter would like single sex people also like St Mary's. Obviously the poshest ones are Perse Girls and the Leys. I don't think there is any need to go private in Cambridge, as state schools are decent and there are good 6th form options, but mine aren't old enough for secondary yet so there may be things I don't know...

orchardy Sat 02-Feb-13 18:31:29

Have a look at Chesterton Community College as well. It did as well as Parkside this year and has a very approachable and thoughtful head.

mynameisnt Sat 02-Feb-13 18:32:02

Perse is great - Certainly not ever so'posh' - expensive yes grin but the parents are a real mix.

MarronGlace Sat 02-Feb-13 19:24:56

We looked at Sacton Wood but it's a tiny school (only one class of 16 pupils per year group) and it's full. My children are on a waiting list an I'm constantly being told "there's no movement"...The admission secretary is constantly pushing me to go for the sister school, the International School, but as a school for mostly people who don't have English as their first language I won't even consider it.

JimJamboree Sat 02-Feb-13 21:01:38

Hi Tatty - I've dropped you a PM, up in your inbox at the top of the page!

JennyWren1234 Sun 03-Feb-13 14:05:21

Tatty - are you near enough to spend a day looking round the schools on your list? Did you find out from CCC where there are spaces, as I think that's really going to limit your options, even if you move into the catchment area for the school you want, you will need to wait for a place to become available. If you think private might be an option, definitely take a look at Perse Girls. We have found that there is a real mix of families there from the obviously rich to those who are saving every penny for school fees and everyone has been very welcoming.

Oots Tue 26-Feb-13 13:51:49

You could try St.Andrew's College in Cambridge. Many think it's just for international students but this is not the case. It is an independent school but may be less expensive than others. It offers GCSEs and students benefit from small classes. It's on Regent St and Station Road, so even if you live in a village it can be reached by public transport.

Manuela02 Sat 06-Dec-14 22:13:57

Can anyone advise which secondary school is best at the moment in Cambridge? Park side or St. Beds?

Tid1 Sun 07-Dec-14 08:57:57

Depends what you are looking for Manuela. Both are quite different. Faith vs non faith. Park side is known for its academic credentials, however recent results show that st bedes children performed better. St. Bedes has a much better pastoral system (non teaching year heads). If you look at ofsted I believe that st bedes is now the only 'outstanding' secondary in the city, park side having lost theirs recently. Best to go and visit both and get a feel for them

prsnbx Mon 08-Dec-14 14:33:22

Chesterton, obviously.

LocalEditorCambridge Wed 10-Dec-14 14:24:08

Secondary schools in Cambs rated good or oustanding are down -23% on 2013 & now at 56%

ranking 126 as a region.

I'm trying to find out more about how Cambridge schools are performing rather than the region's schools.

WilderRose Wed 10-Dec-14 16:16:13

NCA is one of the most improved secondary schools in the country.

www.northcambridgeacademy.org/

This was the old Manor school but is now run by CMAT and seems to be going from strength to strength. Also getting complete rebuild.
In my opinion, a school very much on the up...

niminypiminy Thu 11-Dec-14 11:05:32

People I know with children at Parkside aren't that keen on it. I think reputation is lagging behind reality there. I can imagine that North Cambridge Academy is improving -- if there is a dynamic new head there and an injection of cash things could change pretty quickly. My DCs have been through a primary school (Abbey Meadows) that is generally thought of as 'rough' but which has been outstandingly caring, and they have both done well. It's gone from inadequate to good in Ofsted terms. Reputation is often not a very good guide to a school, IMO.

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