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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!


I am thinking about the Park View for my childrens high school. It is my closer school. 

Do you know if it is the good school that is safe? I have see the performance score in The Standard newspaper and it give me two messages. P8 score is negative! Does this mean the children do not learn well? Do they go then to good college and university? Is there hard discipline for the kids?

The school say I must come to open day to see but will this show what the school is really true?

It looks good and have nice building. The childrens look happy at the front of the Park View.

Please tell me if it is good for your children. Are there problems from the gangs?

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It’s rated as ‘Good’ by Ofsted. I wouldn’t consider anything but an ‘Outstanding’ rated or a good private school when it comes to my family.

So you would consider sending your child to Fortismere?

It would be in my shortlist.

I would say it's very important to go and visit the school, looking at results and Ofsted will not tell you what the school is actually like. At the open evenings they do put on a bit of a show so I would go to a day time visit as well if you can, this will give you a better idea of what the normal school day is like. I would also highly recommend going to a few other schools open evenings so you can compare them. These start early-ish in September, I think all the dates are usually listed on the council's website.

I know a few children who go to Park View, they really like it and are going well.

We went to one of the open days last year and came away really impressed by the school. It had such a nice, friendly atmosphere - far much more engaging and cheery than certain other schools in the area we visited. The staff are also clearly working tirelessly to improve results.

I have two children at PV, one in year 10 and one in year 7. They are both doing well. PV is particularly strong if your child is into performing arts (music, dance or drama), the art department is also very good and there are lots of extra-curricular opportunities. Academically, my children are set and achieve realistic targets for their abilities. There's pretty much something going on for to suit kids of every temperament. There's also an excellent library (something I found missing from some local schools).

I've found the staff, who are lovely, to be responsive and quick to address the (inevitable) problems that children of that age have. I should add that I was a teacher in state secondary schools for 20 years in big cities and so am aware of the issues that non-selective schools that serve a local community have and I find that they handle these very well. 

I'm assuming this is the first secondary transition that you're dealing with? It can seem a bit daunting and you want to do the best for them. Ultimately you know your own child best and I second the advice to visit the school during the open mornings to get a feel for the place and to enable your child to get a feel for it. They have to spend five years there so its important that they like the atmosphere and feel comfortable. Both my children (a boy and a girl) settled quickly and found their niche. I'm sure your child will do the same wherever you send them but remember you may not get your first choice so its important to be positive about all your choices so that they feel confident when they move up. 

Most teachers find OFSTED unfit for purpose. They will have spent probably one day in a school to produce a judgement, sometimes leaving it for four or five years between inspections. Would you trust anyone to spend a day in your business and then judge it to the whole community for the next five years? Also, “outstanding” schools tend to be obsessed with processes, which stifle teacher creativity and suppress individuality. If you are going to look at results, look at five years at least as cohorts can be strong or weak and last year might be a good cohort or a weak one. But most importantly speak to the teachers, parents and go to an open day. We went to Park View’s recent open day and we’re really impressed with the teachers energy and commitment to their students. It felt like a great place to be and the teachers seemed truly dedicated. Very few people in the area can afford private schools, or afford the tutoring required to get their child into grammar/selective schools but largely the schools in London are great, with really good outcomes for dedicated children who work hard. We have Park View, Heartlands and Hornsey School for girls and they are all great schools, so we’re pretty lucky. Any school that can provide a good service despite our current government’s insane cuts to school budgets and teacher’s salaries should be applauded. 

It's that time. Has anyone had any recent experiences? 

I'm particularly interested in whether children with academic potential are nurtured and pushed to achieve. Does the school have high expectations for the children? Where do they go for 6th form? 

General concensus seems to be that the focus is on lifting kids up to average attainment. More academically able kids seem to go elsewhere in order to reach their potential. The trick seems to be to buy in a catchment area for APS, Fortismere or even Highgate Wood. Alternatively quite a few families rent in the catchment area temporarily and move back once they secure a place. You should check out the rules about whether this also guarantees a sibling place so you don't have to do it again later if you have smaller kids. 

A girl did well a cuple years ago and went on too universite

Was in the papers good work

Good question about 6th form - something I wished I had known a few years ago was that the whole system opens up after GCSE and the kids do get choice about where they. If they want to go somewhere more traditionally academic - or more arty, or vocational they can.  

Thanks for the responses. It looks like she'll have a choice between Highgate Wood and Park View. I've heard that PV focuses on those needing help and that the more able are not pushed further than a certain level. HW is a bit of a shlep however I've heard that the predominance of middle class families with higher expectations and more influence mean the baseline for success is a bit higher. Seems to be pros and cons with each. Drugs and gangs are also a worry.

Grateful for any recent views from parents at either school. Thanks



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