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Kittyfok's questions re: schooling in Reading & eligibility for a school place

Kittyfok's questions re: schooling in Reading & eligibility for a school place

Old Apr 13th 2019, 9:37 am
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Default Re: How many days can we leave the uk with Spouse Visa?

Originally Posted by Kittyfok View Post
We haven’t been to Reading before, but will visit it this summer. Apart from Central Reading, any other places would you recommend for living with family and with good schools around?

It really depends on various factors. Why have you chosen Reading, presumably because of a job? Whereabouts is that job, if you were to live outside Reading and commute? You may like Reading, it's just not a nice town IMO and I'm a complete country girl so would never live in a town. I live just a few miles from central Reading but very rurally. I love the fact that most days I don't see another living creature other than deer or guinea fowl in the garden, but we can be in central London in 40 minutes. Most areas around Reading are very good for families, it will really depend on what suits you and where in Reading you'll need to get to for work. The best thing to do is plan at least a week here and drive around. You won't be able to visit schools in the summer unfortunately, but you can at least narrow down areas.

Originally Posted by Kittyfok View Post
I found that Kendrick is a very good school, it must be very competitive. You mentioned it works differently, can you let me know more?
It is VERY competitive (something like 1000 girls sit the exam each year for 96 places). It and also won't suit every girl. My daughter took the exam and passed, but decided it wasn't for her. It's a high pressure school so only suitable if your child is very driven, confident and academic. It's also single sex, which again my daughter wasn't keen on. I'd doubt your daughter would pass the Kendrick exam if she's not been educated in a British system, but if you did want to try for it then the exam is early September and the only open days are fairly soon IIRC, so you'd need to plan a quick trip over to see it. You'd also need to move earlier, as you have to be living in catchment in August to be eligible for a place.

HTH.

Last edited by christmasoompa; Apr 13th 2019 at 9:43 am.
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Old Apr 13th 2019, 10:03 am
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Default Re: How many days can we leave the uk with Spouse Visa?

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post

It really depends on various factors. Why have you chosen Reading, presumably because of a job? Whereabouts is that job, if you were to live outside Reading and commute? You may like Reading, it's just not a nice town IMO and I'm a complete country girl so would never live in a town. I live just a few miles from central Reading but very rurally. I love the fact that most days I don't see another living creature other than deer or guinea fowl in the garden, but we can be in central London in 40 minutes. Most areas around Reading are very good for families, it will really depend on what suits you and where in Reading you'll need to get to for work. The best thing to do is plan at least a week here and drive around. You won't be able to visit schools in the summer unfortunately, but you can at least narrow down areas.



It is VERY competitive (something like 1000 girls sit the exam each year for 96 places). It and also won't suit every girl. My daughter took the exam and passed, but decided it wasn't for her. It's a high pressure school so only suitable if your child is very driven, confident and academic. It's also single sex, which again my daughter wasn't keen on. I'd doubt your daughter would pass the Kendrick exam if she's not been educated in a British system, but if you did want to try for it then the exam is early September and the only open days are fairly soon IIRC, so you'd need to plan a quick trip over to see it. You'd also need to move earlier, as you have to be living in catchment in August to be eligible for a place.

HTH.
It’s so nice of you! Thanks again for your advice and information!

We chose Reading because my friends recommended that it’s a vibrant place and close to London, and with good schools. Will surely travel around in summer to explore more!!

Actually, we’re interested in Green Park Village, does it belong to Central Reading? Do you know about that place?

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Old Apr 13th 2019, 10:40 am
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Default Re: How many days can we leave the uk with Spouse Visa?

Originally Posted by Kittyfok View Post
Actually, we’re interested in Green Park Village, does it belong to Central Reading? Do you know about that place?
It's on the outskirts of Reading, it's not somewhere I would choose to live tbh. Green Park itself is a commercial area, so tons of offices, a Costco, various warehouses, and Green Park Village is a new housing estate on the edge of that. There's not much else around there, and I'd be concerned about the M4 being so close and noise from that, although I don't know that you'd hear it for sure. Again, you'd just really have to have a walk around there and see what the traffic noise is like and what the community feel is like, but for me if I was going to be out of town then I'd rather be in a proper village with a community feel rather than somewhere on the edge of a bunch of offices.

I'd also look in to what secondary school you'd be in catchment for; I'd assume there that it may be John Madejski Academy, which doesn't have a great reputation. You can see from the link above that it didn't fill up with people choosing it, but instead it was filled with pupils who chose other schools but didn't get it, so got JMA as a default. That would tell me that it's not good enough personally, if many people aren't wanting to go there in the first place. So do double check catchment areas very carefully in case you get a dud!

Last edited by christmasoompa; Apr 13th 2019 at 11:20 am.
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Old Apr 13th 2019, 10:53 am
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Default Re: Kittyfok's questions re: schooling in Reading & eligibility for a school pla

Reading is better than it was when I was growing up nearby. It has a nice new train station and Crossrail will whisk you directly to central London when it’s completed. The Oracle shopping centre is also above average. The countryside surrounding it is some of the loveliest in the country and you don’t have to drive more than ten minutes to find thatched cottages, Norman churches and country pubs with log fires and Sunday roasts.

It will obviously depend on your needs, preferences and budget but in an ideal world I’d move to one of the pretty villages surrounding Reading and travel into town when needed. There will be many excellent independent schools to choose from if that’s what you’re interested in.
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Old Apr 13th 2019, 11:17 am
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Default Re: Kittyfok's questions re: schooling in Reading & eligibility for a school pla

Originally Posted by BritInParis View Post
It will obviously depend on your needs, preferences and budget but in an ideal world I’d move to one of the pretty villages surrounding Reading and travel into town when needed.
+1. And if you choose the right village outside Reading, you can be in London even quicker - Twyford is only approx 25 minutes on a fast train already (and is on the Crossrail line).

For shopping, I'd choose Bracknell over Reading. The Oracle in Reading is ok, but a lot of the big shops i.e. John Lewis, M&S etc are not there, so you do have to walk around quite a bit. Bracknell is a brand new shopping centre and has everything in one place with much more choice so that's usually where I go when I shop now (which is very rare, as I HATE shopping!).

Independent schools aren't necessarily needed here if you choose the right area, where I live it's regularly voted one of the best places in the country for schools. We did look at private schools for my daughter, but in all honesty couldn't see what they would give us over the 'normal' secondary school we decided on. Here's a previous post from me about my children's school - Education better in UK?

P.S. Have edited my post above about Green Park Village re: schooling, just in case you miss it.

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Old Apr 14th 2019, 3:55 am
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Default Re: Kittyfok's questions re: schooling in Reading & eligibility for a school pla

christmasoompa and BritInParis, you two are amazing! Thanks so much for your comments and information. In fact, I’ve been to UK only once and then decided to migrate here with the family, and we haven’t even found a job yet. It’s a big decision for us!

We used to be living in a very busy city which we think is too hectic for us, so we’re looking for places which will be more relaxed but at the same time can access to shops and restaurant easily. I’m not sure if we can adapt if it’s completely the other extreme which we can’t see a living creature most of the days. =p

UK is so big and we don’t know the place well, so it would be a great help if you can name more of the nice countrysides surrounding Reading (like Bracknell, Twyford) and the names of the good schools around so that I can do more research.

I know I can check the Ofsted report for good schools, but I think the rating alone may not be the whole picture, so it would be great if I can hear more local wisdom from you.

Thanks a million in advance!
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Old Apr 14th 2019, 3:57 am
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Default Re: Kittyfok's questions re: schooling in Reading & eligibility for a school pla

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
P.S. Have edited my post above about Green Park Village re: schooling, just in case you miss it.
Do you mean that there’s another thread? Where can I find it? Thanks!
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Old Apr 14th 2019, 11:40 am
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Default Re: Kittyfok's questions re: schooling in Reading & eligibility for a school pla

Originally Posted by Kittyfok View Post
We used to be living in a very busy city which we think is too hectic for us, so we’re looking for places which will be more relaxed but at the same time can access to shops and restaurant easily. I’m not sure if we can adapt if it’s completely the other extreme which we can’t see a living creature most of the days. =p

UK is so big and we don’t know the place well, so it would be a great help if you can name more of the nice countrysides surrounding Reading (like Bracknell, Twyford) and the names of the good schools around so that I can do more research.

Bracknell isn't nice! I said it was good for shopping, but I certainly wouldn't live there. Twyford is lovely though. It's hard to suggest areas without knowing more about what you want - do the shops/restaurants need to be in walking distance, or a short drive? What sort of housing budget and what sort of property? Any other requirements i.e. countryside or town, walking distance to a station, any other amenities you may want, etc, etc. It's also hard as I'm not sure why you've chosen Reading, what were you looking for that you thought it had? If you can share your reasons for choosing Reading, it may be that other (nicer) towns may fit the brief in a similar area i.e. Windsor, Farnham, etc.

And as mentioned earlier, I only know the schools my side (south east) of Reading, I've no idea what they're like in other areas, so really can't help with that.

Originally Posted by Kittyfok View Post
Do you mean that there’s another thread? Where can I find it? Thanks!
No, I just edited my post above - just mentioned it in case you didn't see my additional comments about the school catchment for Green Park Village.

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Old Apr 14th 2019, 12:41 pm
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Default Re: Kittyfok's questions re: schooling in Reading & eligibility for a school pla

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post

Bracknell isn't nice! I said it was good for shopping, but I certainly wouldn't live there. Twyford is lovely though. It's hard to suggest areas without knowing more about what you want - do the shops/restaurants need to be in walking distance, or a short drive? What sort of housing budget and what sort of property? Any other requirements i.e. countryside or town, walking distance to a station, any other amenities you may want, etc, etc. It's also hard as I'm not sure why you've chosen Reading, what were you looking for that you thought it had? If you can share your reasons for choosing Reading, it may be that other (nicer) towns may fit the brief in a similar area i.e. Windsor, Farnham, etc.

And as mentioned earlier, I only know the schools my side (south east) of Reading, I've no idea what they're like in other areas, so really can't help with that.
We chose Reading simply because my friend recommended it to us. Seems it’s not as busy and expensive as London, yet you can go to London within half an hour train, and most importantly, we heard that the schools in the area are good.

I’m looking at one of the popular schools you mentioned Bohunt, it looks very nice with good facilities. Any strategy to get into those schools? If we’re not in the feeder primary school, is it the only thing we can do is to find a house close to the school?

Many thanks!
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Old Apr 14th 2019, 4:44 pm
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Default Re: Kittyfok's questions re: schooling in Reading & eligibility for a school pla

Originally Posted by Kittyfok View Post
I’m looking at one of the popular schools you mentioned Bohunt, it looks very nice with good facilities. Any strategy to get into those schools? If we’re not in the feeder primary school, is it the only thing we can do is to find a house close to the school?

It is a fabulous school, was brand new 3 years ago so yes, very good facilities. But from what you've said it wouldn't suit you, you'd have to live within about a mile of it to be sure of getting in, and that would mean no restaurants and shops within walking distance other than one small village shop.

Not all schools have feeder schools (Bohunt doesn't for instance), but if not then yes, it's done on distance. Have you read the documents linked to above? They clearly set out the various categories for school admissions and explain it all, generally speaking you'll have children with special needs or children of staff first, then siblings in the catchment area, then children in the catchment area (closest first getting places), then all others.
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Old Apr 15th 2019, 11:48 pm
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Default Re: Kittyfok's questions re: schooling in Reading & eligibility for a school pla

Thanks christmasoompa! I’ll do more research. Thanks a lot!
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Old May 17th 2019, 6:27 pm
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Default Re: Kittyfok's questions re: schooling in Reading & eligibility for a school pla

After doing some research, we want to live near Bohunt School in order to get in. I am comparing Nightingale Field vs Kingsley Park. Any comment about the two development sites? Which developer is better, Crest Nicholson or Redrow? Many thanks!
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Old May 17th 2019, 7:27 pm
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Default Re: Kittyfok's questions re: schooling in Reading & eligibility for a school pla

Originally Posted by Kittyfok View Post
After doing some research, we want to live near Bohunt School in order to get in. I am comparing Nightingale Field vs Kingsley Park. Any comment about the two development sites? Which developer is better, Crest Nicholson or Redrow? Many thanks!

In an earlier post you said you had only visited the UK once before deciding to migrate there. You started off looking at Reading (because someone recommended it to you) and now you are looking at a school in Liphook, Hampshire.

Getting a job in the UK to support your family has not been mentioned at all, and most people would firstly be looking at where they would be able to work - unless you do not need to work in the UK ?

Commuting from Liphook to Reading (we all presumed you chose Reading due to a job offer) would entail a journey of an hour or more each way.

If no work offer in the UK. how do you intend to qualify for spouse and children visas?

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Old May 17th 2019, 7:31 pm
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Default Re: Kittyfok's questions re: schooling in Reading & eligibility for a school pla

We do have some savings to support. Will find job when we settle down.
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Old May 17th 2019, 7:46 pm
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Default Re: Kittyfok's questions re: schooling in Reading & eligibility for a school pla

Originally Posted by Kittyfok View Post
We do have some savings to support. Will find job when we settle down.
Keep in mind then that you will need substantial savings just to qualify for visas.
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