Local Talk

Moving to Reading and looking for advice on location

(13 Posts)
homelesshedgehog Thu 26-Feb-09 13:32:52

Hi - I posted this on the 'nurseries' thread and then found you lovely ladies down here. Would be v grateful for any responses....
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We're thinking of moving to Reading, but I'm feeling a little overawed by the size of the place when it comes to looking at houses, schools, nurseries etc. Is there anyone here who knows the area and might be able to give me some quick pointers? I head out on the A4 East, and DH would be going North, so one of us is probably going to have a bad start to the day fighting our way across town!

We've seen houses listed in Caversham, and in Earley (Erlegh? Are these the same place?) and in the area between the town centre and the university that look okay, but pricey. What about Woodley? Property seems a bit cheaper there? But by that stage we're almost at Charvil and Twyford - are these worth a thought?

Schools? We have a pre-schooler, so no immediate panic on secondary ed, but everyone seems very excited by 'Maiden Erlegh catchment'. Is there something we should know about other schools in the area?!

Nurseries? Any recommendations? LO will need somewhere for a couple of years, and with a bit of luck we'll need a nursery sometime in the future (IYKWIM!). This is probably more urgent than secondary schools.

Thanks for any advice you can give!

HensMum Thu 26-Feb-09 13:50:00

If you can, get hold of the Guardian magazine from last Sat. They "reviewed" Reading and mentionned lots of good schools.
I live in West Reading and love it. It's slightly rough around the edges but handy for town, some nice parks, good shops (a massive Tesco and Waitrose as well as nice independant shops). DS's nursery is round the corner and there's a Montisori one nearby that has a very good reputation. There are also three primaries in easy reach but we haven't got the stage of looking at Ofsted reports yet.
Not sure if it's the best area for the A4 as I don't drive and have no sense of direction blush
I used to live in Lower Earley and hated it. It's basically a massive housing estate and has no character.
Caversham has Caversham Primary which has a very good reputation. It's also handy for town and has a good range of shops, restaurants etc but is pricey because of this.

Hope that helps a bit!

RustyBear Thu 26-Feb-09 16:06:32

Caversham is north of Reading & Earley/Lower Earley south. Earley is the older village, now pretty much part of Reading, & Lower Earley is the newer bit, mostly built around 30-odd years ago.

I think the Erlegh spelling is only used for Maiden Erlegh school - it is a good one, but I would have thought its catchment would be a bit far south & west for you. (It's actually in Wokingham by the way, not Reading)see map- it's the one right under the word Earley.
Catchment areas around Reading are likely to be changing anyway, as Ryeish Green School, which was in Wokingham, but took a lot of children from Reading,is in the process of closing and I'm not sure where the children who would have gone there now go to. Wokingham are supposed to be building a new school, but that will probably be further south.

Twyford would be pretty good for you I think, as it's east of Reading, and it's also on the Paddington line, but if your DH is going due North or North West of Reading it might be more difficult. If he was going somewhere like Henley or Marlow it would be OK. It's a nice little town, with a good Waitrose - Woodley is nice too.

The problem is if one of you needs to be north of the river & the other south, you can only cross in the centre of Reading, or at Sonning or Henley, both of which are bottlenecks. (They keep talking about another river crossing but they were talking about it when we moved here over 17 years ago and it hasn't materialised yet)

I'm in Wokingham which is lovely but probably too far south for your needs.

NoBiggy Thu 26-Feb-09 16:09:04

HensMum, is the Montessori one you're thinking of in a road with a Scottish name?

If so, my brothers are your neighbours!

HensMum Thu 26-Feb-09 16:12:11

Yes, NoBiggy, that's the one!

galaxymummy Thu 26-Feb-09 16:37:50

Hi homeless I live in Earley
My local secondary is Maiden erlegh
there is a local montessori nursery
easy to travel to a4 east and cross north over sonning bridge
if you want a chat go to my website
www.havingtwins.co.uk where you will find my work e mail and mobile no
But only if you wish happy mumsnetting

Milliways Thu 26-Feb-09 16:53:37

I live in Tilehurst and work in Earley!

Secondary schools in Reading vary tremendously. Maiden Erlegh is very sought after, as is Little Heath in Tilehurst (Outstanding Ofsted and v.good results). Other schools are on special measures!

I can tell you about some of the Tilehurst Nurseries, and I have a friend who is a Nanny who may have some knowledge on others.

Lower Earley has a whole range of housing from flats to large detached.

Woodley & Twyford are both worth a look - just depends on your commute etc. The Bus network is very good around here as well.

Just don't get me & Rusty started on the Grammar Schools grin

homelesshedgehog Thu 26-Feb-09 16:59:35

Thanks so much for all this helpful information.

I'm getting a better sense of geography as we look around at things online, although it does sound as though getting across Reading is a major project in itself!

I don't like seeing school catchments as the be all and end all, but everyone seems to, so I'm getting the bug. What a nightmare that half the area is in a different authority as well. I think Wokingham itself is just too far south for us, which is a shame. Maiden Erlegh school might be in a useful location though. I had a look at the map and panned out around Lower Earley too - take the point about it being a large estate. Looks like a small town in its own right!!

I have turnip crunching tendencies, so maybe living out of town in a smaller place would be better, although cash doesn't buy you much in Twyford. First step, decide on north or south I think, and then we can look more closely at precise locations. But having read your replies, and found the Guardian article, it sounds like there a lots of pleasant parts of Reading to think about.

Thanks for the website galaxymummy - might take you up on the offer of getting in touch if we're looking at your side of town.

Milliways Thu 26-Feb-09 17:13:06

I know what you mean about Catchments. We bought our last house when DD was 18m (she is now 18Yrs!). It was a lovely house, and Primary schools were fine, but then we discovered she was lined up for a sink school. I know a lot can change -& it did. They shut that school down & merged it with another. We moved less than a mile down the road and into a better catchment (& house). The boundaries are a nightmare. In Tilehurst you need to ensure you are in West Berks NOT Reading. In Caversham you could be in Oxfordshire etc.

Lowe Earley IS huge, but has like Estate's within Estates. It has a Sports Centre, Good Medical Practices and a huge Asda! We had our first house there.

Tilehurst is handy for M4 (I go Jcn 12-11 each day) and for getting out to Pangbourne & countryside quite quickly.

Caversham has the Thames (and the Rock Festival) but is soooo expensive!

I hope you get the chance to make lots of visits and drive around. Good luck with the decision making

Docbunches Sun 01-Mar-09 23:12:32

I live in Earley and love it! (Milliways, didn't realise you work in Earley?! we may know each other).

The most popular primary schools in Earley are Aldryngton and Radstock, which consistently get the best results. But there are plenty of others which are probably just as good.

Re Maiden Erlegh - it's a fab school. Last year's GCSE results were slightly down on previous years but they still managed to get the best Contextual Value Added scores (not entirely sure what it means, but definitely a good thing!) in Wokingham. It also received an 'Outstanding in all areas' in their most recent Ofsted report. If you have a DD, the Holt secondary is another very sought-after all-girls school in the Wokingham LEA - and there are loads of other good schools.

As Milliways says, Little Heath in Tilehurst is also very good indeed (I have a friend whose DCs did really well there).

My sister lives in Caversham and her DS is at Micklands primary - it's not one of the really popular schools, but she thinks very highly of it and her DS loves it there. The most desirable primaries in North Reading, eg, The Hill, Caversham Primary and Emmer Green, all have extremely tight catchment areas I believe.

Hope this helps - even if they are areas you are probably not going to move to, it's still worth having a bit of insider knowledge hopefully.

Good luck in your move!

aquashiv Wed 15-Apr-09 20:51:01

Hello we have recently moved to Earley which is incidently East of Reading not South and cant rate it highly enough. Its a leafy unpretentious place with excellent facilities. There is a train station that takes us to London and Reading in 5 mins and to get to North you can by pass the town by going throug Sonning on the A4.
Goodluck with your choice.

avnee Fri 17-Apr-09 15:06:12

I live in Charvil, great to be out of town as it were, good nurseries - eg, Inglewood (£62 a day though!) and Monkey Mates - about £45.

Primary scools good but as others suggested best ones get very full very quickly and you are not always gona get in.

House prices higher than L Early and Woodley.

Woodley is a good compromise if you want to be this side of town. Early a bit older than Woodley.

abitpearshaped Fri 17-Apr-09 17:02:10

try looking at some of the little villages surrounding Reading, they can be very rural, but quick to get into Reading or the motorway,e.g. Swallowfield, Farley Hill, Arborfield. Can smell a bit farmy sometimes though!

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