Local Talk

St Albans primary schools - Need advice!

(8 Posts)
Karinweight Thu 25-Apr-13 00:39:11

We are moving from Seattle to St. Albans in July. It's not clear that we'll get one of the schools we want, as we don't yet have an address. But after looking at the application numbers we noticed that Garden Fields was the ONLY school to see a drop in applicants. Can anyone give me some ideas (offline) as to why this is? We really liked the grounds, teachers and head teacher at Garden Fields.

Also, any opinions of the public St. Albans schools, and why you feel that way, would be immensely helpful. Our number one priority for our Reception Year age child is that he be having fun, love learning, and have a lot of outside space to play. We aren't as worried about academic rigor at this point.

Thanks so much! Karin

metoomum Fri 26-Apr-13 19:20:12

Nearly all the state primary schools in St Albans are good if not outstanding. I don't speocifically know Garden Fields but I do know friends with children at many schools; Killigrew, Aboyne Lodge, Fleetville, St Peters, Mandeville, Cunningham Hill and Betnards Heath and all are happy.

St Albans is a lovely place to bring up children, safe, good schools and it has just been named the 5 th happiest place in the UK. Just get your name on waiting lists. Places do come up in year at many schools.

Good luck!

Whyareallthenamestaken Fri 26-Apr-13 21:54:46

The new Alban City school opened this year in the town centre, not too far away from Garden Fields. Could explain the stats?

albanite Mon 29-Apr-13 13:47:45

I think that in the spring of 2012, Garden Fields was inspected by OFSTED and their rating fell from Good to Satisfactory. (This was very, very soon after OFSTED started using their new criteria to assess schools and Garden Fields would have been one of the first to be assessed this new way.) That might partly explain the drop in applications? I personally have no experience of the school, however.

Wickedgirl Mon 29-Apr-13 19:48:57

One of my friends pulled her child out of a local primary and put them into garden fields. She is really happy with her choice and her children are very happy there

honeywebb Thu 09-May-13 11:56:32

I know plenty of people with good things to say about Margaret Wix. Think people who look round it would be surprised. If you don't get Garden Fields Karinweight it would be worth considering.

UnusualUsername Mon 20-May-13 13:38:09

We moved to St Albans from London, and after much researching and school visits, we opted for Garden Fields as number 1 choice for our sporty and academic boy. We were incredibly lucky to get a place. The school is fantastic and our son couldn't be happier.
I cannot understand how Ofsted gave such a lame review of this fantastic school. The head teacher is really driven and dynamic, and this ambition permeates all aspects of the school.
Personally I would recommend that you go with your gut feeling after visiting a school, I'm certainly glad I did.

biblicalnames Mon 20-May-13 18:28:57

I had heard (completely word of mouth, can't tell if it's true!) that one reason for the downgrading was a technical one, to do with site security, and a reason why that gate off the field onto the main road has been changed now.

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