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Tuesday 13 March 2007 1.36pm
Hi everyone,
I have just registered and I already have a question for you all. My son next year will finish his primary school, I would love for someone to give some advice on good secondary school in the area.....Thank you Manuela
Tuesday 13 March 2007 4.58pm
Hi Manuela

What Borough are you living in?

In Southwark the best (boys and coed) schools seem to be Haberdashers Askes in Newcross, (though this is actually iin Lewisham), Bacon College in Surrey Quays, London Nautical and City Academy, I am sure other people will be able to list more. There are some Catholic boys schools that I have not mentioned as I am not catholic and so did not look at them. Be prepared though because unless you live fairly close to the school in question (or have a connection with the sea for the London Nautical) your chances of getting in to (any of) the school(s) of your choice, at first try seems quite slim. I am going through secondary school transfer at the moment with my eldest daughter and we were not offered a place at any of our 5 choices. You can contact the education authority in any borough you like and ask them to send you the schools booklet which will give you the names and addresses of all the schools in that borough and list their open days. Your Headmistress or class teacher might also have information about good schools.

Best of luck

Tuesday 13 March 2007 5.46pm
Cateness' list seems pretty complete.

Advice we were given included visiting as many schools as possible at the start of Year 5 so that you can consider options before panic sets in.

Some of the better highly sought-after state schools are in the Good Schools Guide. If your child is up to a shot at a selective school (and if you live near Waterloo schools like Tiffin Boys in Kingston, or Wallington Grammer are not impossible, nor is Graveney in Tooting -where about 50 places are offered on ability) you do need to consider coaching in exam technique. It seems pretty universal. My son did not have any and he was phased by a tyope of question he had not seen before and did not know that it is worth guessing answers to questions which you have not completed. We had not wanted to make a fuss and had not liked the idea, yet he was not that many marks off a place, and coaching might just have given him the edge.

It is a war zone. Lambeth apparently has 2000 who were not awarded a place in one of their five choices. And these are kids who have applied to state schools, so there are even more who have already decided not to bother to try. So consider an interest in sailing, religion, or whatever.....And do your homework as early as possible.

One perhaps forgotten option for musical kids are the choir schools, but for slightly younger kids.
Wednesday 14 March 2007 6.23am
manuela by now you should have heard about the place your son has for next year from what i hear the situation in southwark and lambeth is pretty dire with large numbers of pupils not able to find places
Friday 16 March 2007 9.32pm
Thank you all for your help, I live 10 minutes from the Nautical but I am not so sure it is such a great school I have noticed the teaching staff change very often! Next year my son will be in year 6 when do I start applying? By the way we are catholics and he is now in a catholic school in clapham common.....far away but an exellent school (we used to live in that area). Bye now
Friday 16 March 2007 10.53pm
Prepare to allow your self plenty of time in sept when the secondary schools hold their open days. Application dates vary but will probably be around late Oct. So that first half term that your son is in year 6 is when it all happens.
Being a catholic you have a slightly wider choice. Worth looking at are St.Michaels in Bermondsey (mixed). St.Thomas the apostle peckham (boys) and Sacred heart Camberwell (mixed). Outside the borough is St.Thomas More off sloane square (mixed) in Kensington and Chelsea, where the mini jacs go. I like it because its a relatively small school with around 650 pupils. There is also Salesians Battersea (Boys) or if they are very academic you could consider The Oratory. As is true with the better performing schools in the borough they are all over subscribed so you will need a good supporting letter from your priest. With Catholic schools distance to the school is not as important.
Saturday 17 March 2007 6.36am
Jac is right.
In addition it is worth looking at school websites. You fill in a form provided by the borough - see your Council website, where you choose 5 schools. (Though as Cateness has discovered, choice often lies with the schools not with the parents.) This needs to be completed about mid-way through the autumn term.

However some schools require separate applications alongside this. I assume this might include Catholic schools who will want to prioritise church goers.

You must get both forms in by the correct date. We were even advised to send one form in by recorded delivery in order to have proof in case the application was mislaid.

Different schools suit different children, and you should look at Ofsted and other reports. Your child's Headteacher will also have a good idea of possible schools. As might your priest.

Getting an idea of schools you might be interested in prior to the Open Day is a good idea. For example if you have friends with secondary aged children you might ask if you can tag along to a school event, like a summer fete. When it comes to the Open Day you will then find that some schools live up to expectations and others dont. And that you child has his own views.
Saturday 17 March 2007 7.19pm
Ok it is all very clear. I had a look at the Nautical web site........interesting and very close to where I live. If anyone out there has got informations about any secondary schools in Waterloo area please let me know. Ciao Manuela

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