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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:26 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:59 am
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Hello!

I am new to this forum and hoping for some feedback from parents who are familiar with primary schools in the Sutton area. I currently have 3-year old and 1-year old boys. We are about to move to Sutton and, based on the distance checker on the Council website, will very likely be in the catchment area for both Bandon Hill school sites. Does anyone have information about the new Wood Field site? Are teaching and all-round care as good as for the Meadow Field? The 2015 joint OFSTED report for Bandon Hill looks good but of course, no Y6 results yet for Wood Field. I'd be grateful for any input.

Thank you!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 1:45 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2015 10:56 pm
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I'm very familiar with both schools. Teachers across both sites are in most cases excellent. There's some movement each year (when BHWF recruits an additional 4 teachers to teach the next form up IYSWIM) and staff do move across, typically from MF to WF. The current head at WF is the ex-head of KS1 at MF, for example. Mrs Ramsey is a great executive head, knows nearly every child by name, and is regularly seen in the playground at home time - as are all of the senior teachers.

If you live within 300m of MF on the WF side you'd probably qualify on distance for both schools - WF has a 4 form intake so the distance goes out much further, the school is also not fully operational yet - can't remember if year 2 or 3 are its oldest group atm.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 2:46 pm 
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Thank you. Quite reassuring given that my boy is now due to start at WF in September. We currently live less than 100m from MF but are planning to move to Carshalton next year so had WF on a higher priority. Hopefully we will not regret not opting for MF! Thanks again for your feedback, much appreciated.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:42 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:53 pm
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Hi NomDePlume,

I am in the exact same position you were one year ago. I wanted to find out how are you finding Bandon Hill WF, do you have any regrets in not choosing MF?

My concerns with WF is that size of the intake being 120 per year so wondering if they can maintain a high teaching standard and ensure everyone is looked after during playtime/lunchtime.

I would be grateful to know of your experience.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:02 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:59 am
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Hello ashbob,

Based on my experience so far, Wood Field is an excellent school with high-quality teaching, high standard of care and human/material resources that match its size. Communication is good, the PSA seems very active and the overall school atmosphere is pleasant. I did not visit MF (and I only visited WF after my son was already accepted there - long story!) but one WF parent who visited both sites told me that WF facilities are much better than MF. (If you’ve already seen both schools, you will know more than me on this!) In my opinion, one key advantage to WF being a 4-form school is the potential for more refined/optimal streaming: for phonics for example, Reception children are divided into 4 fluid groups based on current ability. (Parents are never told which group their child currently belongs to). I would assume that streaming at MF is limited to 2 groups.

When it comes to school size, perhaps the most important consideration is the child’s personality. My boy is quite sociable and loves having a lot of friends. For him, WF is a great fit and the transition to secondary school should be easy. I haven’t seen any child who seems unhappy at WF but some pupils might thrive better in smaller structures. I can think of 2 other advantages of MF over WF: 1/ the catchment area is so small that most school friends must live within 10 mins’ walk of each other 2/ I can’t see school-related congestion around MF at drop-off and pick-up times. On the other hand, WF can get very busy and parking is difficult to say the least. (And the situation is likely to get worse as Years 4, 5 and 6 gradually get added.)

One other consideration is that the (fantastic!) Executive Head for the 3 Bandon Hill schools is retiring at the end of this year. I trust that the expansion of WF will continue to be successful but of course no-one truly knows what the impact of her departure will be. All in all, I still think that choosing WF over MF was a risk but a very reasonable one. And one that was worth it for us because of our personal circumstances. In some respects, I suppose even MF -or any school- would have been a risk! It will be a few more years before I can tell for sure if we were right to choose WF.

Good luck with whatever you decide.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:53 pm
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Thank you ever so much NomDePlume for getting back so quick. Your reply was really really helpful and in common with what other parents have been saying about the school. I am sad to hear that the excellent head teacher is leaving but hoping her replacement would be able to fill her shoes.

The open days for both school seem to get booked up super quick and I have yet to visit them in person :shock: but taking everything into consideration, I think WF over MF will also be the right choice for us.

Once again, thanks for your sharing experience .


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