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Choosing a secondary school

(17 Posts)
Rosiepooh75 Wed 08-Feb-17 21:40:44

Hi all!
We're relocating to Cambridge and need to register my oldest to secondary school.
We have narrowed down the list to the following three:
Impington Village College
Bottisham Village College
Sawston Village College

Any information about these schools, pros and cons, extra-curricular activities, etc will really help us determine priorities.

Thanks!

JennyWren1234 Wed 08-Feb-17 23:10:40

Rosie where will you be living? Those three schools are different sides of the city. - ah, maybe you are looking for a school and will then base yourself nearby. I know that Bottisham (not sure about the others) are usually oversubscribed, so it might be an idea to check with the LA if there are spaces in the year/s you need.

I don't know much about Impington except that it has a 6th form which does IB (and possibly A levels too - I'm not sure).

Bottisham is planning to increase to 10 form entry so 1,500 pupils in the next few years with major building work to accommodate. It is part of a multi-acadamy trust with Sawston and two other local schools. Doesn't have 6th form.

I don't really know much about Sawston.

JennyWren1234 Wed 08-Feb-17 23:17:46

Thought I recognised your name. Just had a look at your other thread. Based on where you are going to need to get to for work, I would say you probably would want to cross Impington off of your list unless you want a long commute.

Rosiepooh75 Thu 09-Feb-17 06:38:34

@JennyWren1234 Hi :-) Yes, it's still me trying to quickly figure things out.
My main priority is a good school for the kids. I verified primary schools in the same catchments are also good.

We will hopefully be able to know in late March which of these actually has space, and this may leave us with only one choice. We will look to rent in the catchment we can register to school in.

I just wanted to know more about these schools before committing to living and commuting from either catchment :-)

As much as I don't love the commute, I would undertake it if necessary.

jaynebxl Thu 09-Feb-17 07:21:51

Impington was named by the telegraph as one of the best schools in the country a few months ago! It had amazing exam results last year (possibly best state school reaukts in Cambs) and has a new dynamic head who is very popular.

Tingalingle Thu 09-Feb-17 09:44:43

Search the local threads, use the school websites and any Facebook pages?
Here's Sawston's extracurriculars page

and here's the one for Bottisham.

The immediate difference, from a parental point of view, is that Bottisham seems to run a lot of after-school activities till 5:15 - which might be great if you want somewhere for a yr 7 to go; maybe less so if they then can't get home!

Sawston does have afterschool activities, but also has a lot of them at lunchtime, as many pupils have just one bus home and have to be on it.

The thing is, most of us can only advise on the one (or maybe two) schools our children have attended. Could you phone them both/all, and ask what they would do to help a late starter integrate with their year?

Rosiepooh75 Thu 09-Feb-17 10:00:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Rosiepooh75 Thu 09-Feb-17 10:03:08

@Tingalingle Thanks!

After-school activities are actually a really good consideration!
I have tried researching online and have checked each school's Offsted results, but I trust parents over "dry" data :-)

I will be visiting the schools when we arrive and finding out about integration and other areas of interest.

Tingalingle Thu 09-Feb-17 10:03:59

Year 7 = first year of secondary (sorry, forgot that might not be clear if you aren't in the UK). It can be an awkward age for not-quite-childcare, if you aren't happy for them to be home alone for some hours in the evening.

Rosiepooh75 Thu 09-Feb-17 13:11:09

@Tingalingle LOL figured out my mistake a minute after I clicked "post" but there is no option to delete a post here!

My son is very mature and responsible, so I am not worried about him being home alone, it will only be for a couple of hours (good time to get his homework done) :-)

GirtonGirl Sat 04-Mar-17 13:39:11

I looked at Impington for entry to year 7 in September 2017 and was really impressed.

The head teacher (who was very impressive, I second the comments above) promised to find a place for every child living in catchment who wanted to go there. So you may find that they could take your son even if they are officially full. Catchment is Histon, Impington, Milton, Girton and Oakington.

I think all 3 are good schools, but don't know much about the other 2.

Good luck!

Peggetty Sat 04-Mar-17 21:23:40

A friend was very impressed (as was her child) when looking round Sawston earlier this year.

Rosiepooh75 Sun 05-Mar-17 09:47:35

@GirtonGirl that is amazing! That means we can focus on renting in that catchment (this was out first choice!) and not fear my eldest not getting a place at the school. I also have a nursery that has an opening for my youngest in the same area, but was afraid to commit to it because the school will determine where we live.
I really appreciate this comment. It will take a lot of stress off the move!

@Peggetty thank you! This seems to be the consensus :-)

GirtonGirl Tue 07-Mar-17 22:27:11

Do double check with the school though. The head definitely said it, and other friends confirmed they heard it too at the time.
But I would hate for you to be told no when you had committed to a house etc.

jaynebxl Wed 08-Mar-17 00:37:42

Yes do check on current spaces as allocations came out by letter last week already and I think people have 10 days to respond before places are then passed on.

Rosiepooh75 Wed 08-Mar-17 09:22:14

Thank you! I will check with the school directly and hopefully they will repeat this commitment. This will enable us to plan and make arrangements no vs. only after we arrive.
Thank you so much!

mastertomsmum Wed 15-Mar-17 14:31:54

All of those 3 are good schools. Sawston isn't popular with everyone but we know someone who did her teacher training there and raved about how good it was.

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