Ruth

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  • in reply to: Meet new friends #11454

    Ruth
    Member

    Hi Angela
    Yes the Farnham Mummies FB page is great. Whereabouts are you in Lower Bourne? Lots of people hang out at the play area on Bourne Green. What nursery is your son going to as sure you will meet people that way too? Also have you been to the toddler group at St Thomas’s on a Monday morning? My son has just started school and I have a 3 y/o daughter who is in nursery most days.
    It is a fab place to live with a young family (I grew up in Farnham and came back so cannot be that bad!)
    Ruth

    in reply to: Good areas of woking and guildford #11452

    Ruth
    Member

    Hi Sherrie
    As you say you are planning a family at some point you might want to look at the data on Surrey County Council website re: primary school admissions to see whether houses you are looking at are within close proximity to schools.
    For Woking: http://new.surreycc.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/7536/Woking-Allocation-of-reception-school-places-in-Surrey-for-September-2014-V4.pdf

    For Guildford:
    http://new.surreycc.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/7544/Guildford-Allocation-of-reception-school-places-in-Surrey-for-September-2014-V4.pdf

    Things can change a lot in 5 years so there is never a guarantee but perhaps worth bearing in mind.

    Good luck!
    Ruth


    Ruth
    Member

    Hi there
    I think you should visit Edgeborough and Barfield. I don’t think one is necessarily snootier than the other – they just have a different feel which you will get when you visit. I have friends who currently/recently have sent their children to both schools and been happy. Traffic in Farnham in the mornings is a nightmare so accessibility should be a consideration. Other options – if you are South then Frensham Heights, St Edmund’s at Hindhead and The Royal School Junior School on outskirts of Hindhead are worth a look. Also St Nicholas’s on the way to Fleet but you will probably need to cross town.
    Re: infant schools, I would check the South Farnham website and St Andrew’s as they are currently consulting on proposed changes to their admissions policies for 2015 entry tp Reception. South Farnham want to introduce a distance to either site for entry at 4+. they tried to do this for 2014 entry but it was overruled by the Schools Adjudicator so there is no guarantee it will be agreed for 2015 but it does mean things are up in the air a bit. I understand there will be an extra class at the infants in 2015. For what it is worth, I visited all the infant/primaries in the Autumn as my son starts schools this Sept and my daughter in 2015 and I think they all have their pluses/minuses. In some ways the schools that are under closer supervision from Ofsted seemed to be doing more exciting and innovative things in teaching and learning (which I have seen from being a governor at an infant school in another town which went from Special Measures to Good in 12 months). Some of the little infant schools had a lovely feel but lack the facilities/resources of the bigger schools. Farnham is a lovely town. I grew up here, went away as an 18 year old to uni did the London thing then came back before we had children. Hope your move goes smoothly and I would just go visit some of the schools to see what you think.
    Ruth

    in reply to: Senior Schools – Fleet, Farnborough, Hook, Farnham #6692

    Ruth
    Member

    Hi Inge
    Just to add a few more independent schools to the mix – a lot of boys from Farnham/Farnboro/Fleet go to RGS Guildford which is a very academically selective private school. They fill the train up at Farnham in the morning and I know they come from further afield too.
    In Farnham there is also Frensham Heights. In Reading, Leighton Park, The Oratory and Reading Blue Coat. Reading Boys, mentioned by Richard is actually a state grammar school so entry is selective dependent on performance in the 11+. There is also Sherfield School, a relatively new independent school close to the M3 Junction at Hook. Another predominantly boarding school besides Wellington is Bradfield. These are 13+ schools. So yes lots to choose from and many do offer transport which can be very handy in the morning but less so in the afternoon if your child is heavily involved in extra-curricular activities. I grew up in Farnham and my brother and I went to senior school in Guildford and the ‘Mums Taxi’ Richard refers to was much used then as I am sure it is by kids now! For social life as well as after school/weekend sports/music/drama etc etc!!!
    Good luck with your search. My advice (I work with and have visited lots of schools) is go and visit as many as you can. If you find one you and your children love, it might be worth the distance.
    Ruth

    in reply to: Location in farnham #6665

    Ruth
    Member

    Nutshell Lane is nice – very close to the park. I lived quite close to there when I was aged 8-18. I went to Weybourne/William Cobbett and think I’ve turned out OK!!! St Polys is the Catholic school serving all Farnham and it feeds into All Hallows – look at the admissions criteria as I know from friends at my children’s nursery who have just started there that you had to be regular worshippers and children baptised etc so make sure you have letters of support from the church where you are now. Folly Hill isn’t your nearest infants school so whether you got a place would be dependent on distance and demand this year. I thought it fed mostly into Hale Juniors not William Cobbett….. To be honest, having lived in both North and South there are “dodgy” pockets in other parts of Farnham. And…. unless you send your kids to private secondary school or are Catholic they all end up in either Heath End (North Farnham) or Weydon (South Farnham) at 11 years old. When are you hoping to be here? The admissions process is in full swing at the moment and as I said the deadline has passed so you will be making a late or in-year application. Places are allocated in mid-April so you will have an idea then of which schools still have places and hopefully one of the ones you prefer will do!
    Good luck with the move!
    Ruth

    in reply to: Location in farnham #6646

    Ruth
    Member

    Hi Beatriz
    Will you be looking for a place for September 2014? If so, because the applications deadline has now passed, you will most likely be allocated a place at the nearest school with a space. There is only one Catholic primary – St Polycarps which is actually close to the station in South Farnham so I’m not sure which schools you were referring to? Maybe Church of England ones? In the centre of town, St Andrew’s currently serves those roads to the south of the Park for which it is the nearest school, in fact you are unlikely to get a place unless it is your nearest school, but this is currently under consultation for 2015 entry as it is seeking to introduce a catchment area. I think all the other schools in the Centre/North of Farnham give priority to those children for whom it is the nearest school and last year Weybourne and St Andrews only had places for people in this category. The others: Potters Gate, Hale and Folly Hill it was all about distance lived from the school so I would check and see how far you will be from each and then if you go onto Surrey County Council website in the admissions section you’ll find lots of useful info including the distances you needed to live to get a place in 2013 http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/learning/schools/school-admissions. Ofsted reports are useful but to be honest (I am a governor of a school that has undergone a period of improvement and I have just been through the process of applying for a place in Reception for 2014 in Farnham for my son and I went to primary school in North Farnham) reports are out of date quite quickly especially if schools are placed in the Requires Improvement/Satisfactory measure or Special Measuers as they will be having frequent visits from the Local Authority to help improve standards and most schools do improve within 18 months but this is not updated by Ofsted on their website. Often a new headteacher is also brought in who is experienced in improving schools. You could look at the Key Stage 2 results on the Department for Education website too to get an idea of how many children are reaching the required level when they leave (an indeed those going beyond this). Nothing can replace a visit which as you acknowledge makes it harder for you. None of the schools in Farnham are bad but to be honest moving into the area mid-year you may well have limited options to start with but will need to get on the waiting list of schools you prefer or that are closer to home. In terms of the area near the Park – there is a lot to be said for being closer to town, the park is great and you definitely get a lot more for your money. I enjoyed growing up in Weybourne/Hale and if my husband and I hadn’t needed to be near the station for work, we would have probably bought over that side too!
    Hope that helps!
    Ruth

    in reply to: Any advice on living in Farnham or Epsom? #6029

    Ruth
    Member

    Hi Caroline
    I grew up in Farnham then left did the uni/London/marriage thing and then moved back 5 years ago as my husband in particular was fed up with city life and we were hoping to have kids etc. I am self-employed so wanted to be near my parents for help if we did have little ones. I love it here but can get why you might have heard some of the negative stuff. There are lots of us down to earth folk – locals and relocaters – and there is lots to do in terms of activities etc taht are not horribly oversubscribed and there are places in pre-schools etc. Primary school places are a big issue. My son will start school in Sept 2014 and my daughter in 2015 so am doing the rounds of the schools now – haven’t been to Pilgrim’s Way yet so cannot comment direct but I understand a lot has been invested in the school. Happy to go into more details once I have visited them all in a couple of months if you do decide to head out this way. My husband commutes to Euston every day – been lots of disruption on route recently but on whole it is fairly reliable but is long but you do get a seat at Farnham – just! I commute to SE London one day a week. Main issue for us was childcare in the morning as only 1 nursery (north side of town – opp to station) opens before 7.30 and the main commuter train is 7.28!! So we have to use my mother or friends have had to have nannies etc. My children love their pre-school and we have made lots of friends through NCT/activities/nurseries etc. For that money to be close to station you might have to compromise on something like we did (garden for us) but if you did head over towards Weydon/Pilgrim’s Way you would get more for your money but may be more limited on schools.

    I know very little about Epsom – sorry – but if you want to ask me anything else about Farnham please do message me and I’d be happy to help!
    Ruth

    in reply to: Guildford, godalming or haselmere? #5829

    Ruth
    Member

    Hi Caroline
    I’m another Farnham person but we also looked at Haslemere and Godalming and like Lucy liked all places equally but I grew up in Farnham and my parents are still here so that was deciding factor for us as they help with childcare etc. I went to school in Guildford though and the advantage there is definitely the quicker/more frequent trains up to town. I think you are right you need to come and get a feel for each place – Guildford is quite a lot bigger than Haslemere and Godalming. With regards to schools there are great schools in all the towns but for some you need to live pretty close – on this webpage you can see the distances you needed to live to get into Reception classes in Surrey state schools for 2012 and 2013 http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/learning/schools/school-admissions/reception-allocation-of-school-places-offered-in-surrey
    and if you know the postcode of houses you are looking at and enter them here you can find out exact distances to all the schools: http://findaschool.surreycc.gov.uk/. Good luck in your search!
    Ruth

    in reply to: Where to go in Surrey #5463

    Ruth
    Member

    Hi Lucy – I got your PM and replied but maybe that didn’t go? Yes you are really close – we are right at the end of Bourne Grove as it becomes a track up to Lodge Hill Rd. My email is ruth.thorogate@yahoo.co.uk in case you cannot see the PM.

    in reply to: Where to go in Surrey #5449

    Ruth
    Member

    Hi Lucy!
    Glad to hear you made it to Lower Bourne (am guessing you are the same Lucy that posted about nursery schools on a different thread??) and that you are enjoying it! Re: schools – there is a rumour of an extra class at the village school from next year but not definite yet. Whereabouts are you? We are near the Spotted Cow (if you’ve made it there yet – lovely pub garden) and about 5 mins walk from the Green. If you fancy meeting up anytime let me know – my two are 3.5 and 2.

    in reply to: Schools in Farnham #5386

    Ruth
    Member

    Hi Joanne
    My son is going to start school in Sept 2014 too. I grew up in Farnham and we live in Lower Bourne and although within distance required to get into SF Infant this/previous years – not sure we will next year so have been looking at other schools for our other preferences. Lots of the mums at my son’s pre-school have gone for Frensham infants this year which then gives you choice of SF/Waverley Abbey at 7+ at the moment, similarly Tilford and Churt. All lovely villages – in fact we would have preferred to live in one of those but needed to be near station for work. I know people whose children didn’t get into SF but who are at Potters Gate and really like it. As Jane said all the schools in Farnham seem to be good or getting better but it is all about distance for Weydon although they are expanding from 2015 so by the time our children are at 11+ it will be a bigger school. We have friends in Bentley and Crondall where the schools are 5-11 and highly rated but you must live in catchment for Hampshire schools to have a good chance of getting in. Similarly Rowledge which is a Hampshire run school. Sorry I cannot give you personal experience with schools but good luck with the move – happy to help if you need advice on nurseries etc when you do decide where to rent and maybe meet you on the “open day” circuit in the autumn!

    in reply to: St Albans / Harpenden or Guildford?? #4809

    Ruth
    Member

    Hi Diana, I live in Farnham about 10 miles from Guildford but I went to school in Guildford and er have friends who have just moved for work reasons from Farnham to Harpenden with two small children. They say Harpenden is a much better commute than that from Surrey particularly if you work in the City but that the green spaces of Surrey win hands down…. but in terms of lots of young families they say both areas are pretty similar. Re: schools as someone has said check catchment areas very carefully as they can be a matter of 300-500m or so – the Surrey & Herts council websites will give you details on distances you need to live to have a good chance of getting into schools. Good luck!

    in reply to: Nursery schools in Farnham #4272

    Ruth
    Member

    Hi Lucy – no worries please ask away if you have any questions!! None of the infant/primary schools here have nurseries attached to them – different to other areas I know. So they all feed into different schools although usually have groups of children going to each school so your child will not be going on alone…if that makes sense! Hope the move goes ok! R

    in reply to: Nursery schools in Farnham #4267

    Ruth
    Member

    Hi Lucy!
    We live in Lower Bourne – I have a 3.5 y/o and almost 23 month. There are three nursery/pre-schools in the village that do from age 2.5/3, term-time only morning or short day sessions. I looked and liked all of them and all are good in terms of ofsted etc. I think a lot will depend on where in the village you will be living and where has spaces. Woodlands just off the green was taken over by a small local chain a couple of years ago and has, I understand, really improved as a result (was under previous management when I looked). They do mornings and a couple of afternoons a week I think but last I heard has waiting lists but this can change! Bourne Nursery is in a hall on the Burnt Hill Rd side of the village which had a really nice feel, does some afternoons as well as mornings. Hall was a bit tatty but again this may have changed as was 2.5 years ago when I looked! Lollipop Tree is at the top of Vicarage Hill in the newly refurbished Bourne Hall. Part of a small chain of 3. My son goes here – I really liked the owner and previous manager when I was looking and it is walkable from my house but also en route to the nursery my daughter is at until she is old enough to go to Lollipop so convenience was a big factor. My son loves it – looks forward to going every day likes the fact they have a theme, colour, phonic, shape and number each week and always chooses what to take in for the show and tell table before he goes to bed! Staff great and parents friendly. To be honest as I said earlier I have heard good things about all of them, so I guess a lot will come down to location and spaces. Playgroups – there is one at the church in the Bourne (mother and toddler) and lots of classes – music, sports etc going on in and around the town. I do a lovely music class with my 23 month old. Happy to go into more detail and if you need any more info on the village,or would like to meet up when you move let me know and will give you my email address. Hope the move goes ok! Ruth


    Ruth
    Member

    Hi Lucy – some immediate thoughts about the schooling aspect of your question.
    Assuming the grammar school is selective, living on the doorstep won’t necessarily mean you get a place for all your children there, they will each need to pass the test so there is an element of uncertainly in this respect about will they get in etc. Most independent senior schools test at 11+ too but they take into account so many other things when offering places than grammars who rely on test results alone. You don’t say how old your children are or if you are thinking of going private at 11+ or before. Sibling discounts are unlikely to be more than 10% each for the 2nd-4th child. Independent schools tend to have a wider recruitment area so friends could be some distance away so I agree with the poster who mentioned having good public transport routes. I went to independent school in Guildford and my parents spent a lot of time ferrying me to parties across the whole of Surrey from Esher/ Leatherhead way to Haslemere. With state schools you might find more children within walking/short journeys. There are so many pros and cons with both sectors. It may be that the same grammar or independent school will not be right for all 4 of your children. If a child is happy then he/she is much more likely to thrive at school – whatever the type of school, so where do you think they would be happiest in the long-term? Happy to talk further if you think it would be useful.

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