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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Hello,

          does any body know of any good primary schools in the area? Our daughter is starting in September and its proving daunting and stressful as still unsure and the deadline is Jan 15th!. I have checked schools in the Borough and all OFSTED reports but was just hoping for any advice.

Also any cheaper independent schools may be worth a look.

We are on the ladder.

Thanks so much fr any information.

Cheers.

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At the risk of cutting off a potentially entertaining thread. Click on "All discussions" above, type "schools" into the search bar and take a look at the interesting ones. Good luck.

We're in the same boat! Just moved to the area and planning to enrol for Reception in September. So far have put South Harringay, Chestnuts and North Harringay down, in that order, as they are the nearest. South Harringay sounds good but any more info greatly appreciated.

My 2 children go to Chestnuts and they love it - as do I. I know a few children that go to South Harringay which is also great.

Check the council's leaflet on applying for schools to see maximum distances, although these do change each year depending on number of siblings. I know Chestnuts was really over subscribed last Sept (due to a huge amount of siblings) and you had to be no more than 0.2 miles away. 

I definitely wouldn't rely only on OFSTED reports. I would say go and visit as many as possible, talk to parents (maybe by contacting someone on the PSA/PTA) already there. I am on the PSA at Chestnuts and you can email me here or via the Chestnuts webiste, I'm happy to answer questions/help if I can.

I would say you get a great feel for the school this way, you'll know which one you think you and your child will be most comfortable with. The questions I would ask are things like their settling in policy, the structure of the day, school meals, uniform.

The other thing I would do if your children aren't at a nursery or pre-school which has links with the school you get offered, is to try to find some other parents with children starting and do some play dates before they start school. I think having a few friends (or at least others they know) is a great help to settling in.

My daughter settled in amazingly well at Chestnuts because of the settling in policy and most of her friends from Woodlands Children's Centre went with her.  I was the one that was upset and needed lots of support ;o)  

Hi thanks for the tip on the play dates ahead of starting school! My son is going in September and there is a lot of uncertainty on where all his nursery friends will end up so it's a good idea to plan ahead a bit. 

I would second the advice to do a search as we've discussed this at length before. The three schools mentioned above are the most popular from what I can tell (particularly SH and Chestnuts although I've heard good things about NH from parents of children who go there). I have also heard the Catholic school near West Green Road is very good but they are quite strict with their entry policy as far as I can tell... But yes, please do read previous threads as it's actually a bit complicated. 

I would recommend you take a tour of all the schools you are interested in as finding a suitable school for your child is a very personal thing and it is very difficult to tell whether a school is right for your child by looking at OFSTED reports.  I sit on the Board of Governors at North Harringay Primary School and have two girls there.  Feel free to contact me if you want to ask questions.  Good luck.

If last year is anything to go by then depending on where you live on the ladder you will get the school nearest to you no matter what order you go for.....

Our son is in reception at SH and bar a few bugging issues, we really love the school and its a great place, we are only 1 road away from there and it wasn't our first choice but we knew due to location that was the school we would get....no problems for us.....I looked at Chestnuts and NH also and was impressed with them both too.........personally I think as long as your child has a happy and supportive home life then any of the schools will work out great for you. 

Good Luck

Exactly, isn't it a myth that you get to choose your school? Places are allocated on proximity (apart from a few factors such as being in care/special needs served only by that school - or faith schools which have their own rules).

As a result, you'll likely get the school you are closest to unless you fall into one of the unfortunate "black holes" in which you live too far away from all your local primary schools to be offered a place at any of them.

So I wouldn't spend too much time examining Ofsted reports or worrying which one your child will be compatible with - if you take a particular shine to a school that is not your closest, then be prepared to accept that you probably won't get in. (that's not to say you shouldn't bother visiting them- you should, it's the only way to get much of an impression of them and it helps to have more than one school to see for comparative purposes)

I seem to recall there were some parents posting on here before from Stroud Green who didn't get a place at any local school (they were in one of the black holes) and were offered places only in schools miles away which is not ideal for small children. 

You can find countless newspaper stories about the recent baby boom and the failure of most London boroughs to prepare enough primary schools places for them.

Not sure there are any private primary schools in the immediate neighbourhood- probably have to look toward Crouch End or Islington.

Please don't be daunted or stressed. London schools are a success story,though this is little recognised or acknowledged.

You've been given great advice. As chair of governors at Seven Sisters, I'd like to welcome people to our brand new website: http://www.sevensistersprimary.co.uk/

The school is just the other side of Chestnuts Park, not near Seven Sisters Station. The new headteacher started today.  People disappointed by not getting in to Chestnuts, might well want to meet her and have a look around.

I think you are right. But there is some degree of choice - for example I live in the Gardens, and as explained before I am among those whose son may not get into the 2 closest schools (Chestnuts and South Harringay). So at that point, choosing the order in which I put the schools beyond choice 1 and 2 (the closest which I mentioned) becomes crucial.

The problem with visiting them, is that there are so many to see (North Harringay, West Green, Downhills, Seven Sisters, Woodberry Down in Hackney, and then at least 3 religious ones assuming there is any kind of chance of entering) - particularly for some of us who are too busy to see more than 1 or 2 (my reason is having a small baby). Incidentally all these schools are quite far for us, compared to the local ones we should really be getting into - in terms of the pressure it will create on our family to walk there and back twice everyday, which is quite depressing in itself.

Hence the usefulness of some degree of online discussion and diplomatic sharing of experiences/impressions. Not ideal, of course, but better than "choosing/randomly selecting" in complete darkness which is how the school application process feels at the moment. 

Both my sons went to West Green which would not in all honesty have been my first choice. It was convenient for my childminder. That makes me seem negligent and lazy. 

If I had my time again would I change this decision? Yes, probably, and I think I could have been a bit more assertive with the childminder, who adored them both and would have toddled a little bit further with them, had I insisted. What would I do if I were making the decision today? I'd go for Downhills or Seven Sisters. I live in Clinton Road.

My sons went on to Park View. One got a first class honours degree from a Russell group university last year and the other is doing A levels at Woodhouse. They weren't home tutored and we gave less help than most parents because we were teachers ourselves and too bogged down with marking. Honestly. Negligent and lazy too. And both kids wouldn't listen to us if we wanted to help, so we left it to their schools. Believe me, this was a leap of faith when our older son went to a fresh start school.

Have faith.  Your child will settle and you will end up supporting your school.

Our children are very happy at North Harringay and have made lovely friends.

The school has some unique extra curricular facilities and activities including a roof garden and greenhouse, used by all year groups for growing vegetables.It actively promotes cycling, and has a dedicated cycle training professional on site one day a week,  it is also the only primary school in Haringey to have a bicycle racing team (they compete in the Hackney schools cycle racing league). Also, the boys cricket team had the opportunity to play at Lord's cricket ground last summer - more info here.

The PSA (Parent Staff Association) is very active and in the last three years has raised more than £10,000 for the school.

I would be more than happy to chat to anyone who would like a parents perspective on North Harringay.

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