Schools - good and bad in Hastings/St Leonards

Questions and answers for those considering a move to the Hastings area.
Cupoftea
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2015 11:24 am

Schools - good and bad in Hastings/St Leonards

Postby Cupoftea » Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:14 pm

Hello. I'm another Londoner looking to move to Hastings/St Leonards. My daughter will be moving with me and she is three so is almost old enough for school. We are moving away from all our family so I'm really keen to get this move right. I'm trying to find out what the schools are like in the area and I was really hoping that someone could help? Which schools do your children go to and what are they like? What have you heard about different schools - good and bad? Thanks so much for your help. :D

Alibabs
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:51 pm

Re: Schools - good and bad in Hastings/St Leonards

Postby Alibabs » Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:43 am

Hi there,

I will be watching this thread with interest as we too are moving from London with a three year old. It seems that many people seem to ignore the Ofsted reports and schools that are a 3 get glowing reports locally. St Pauls appears to be the front runner from most people I've chatted to. Good luck with your move and let me know if you fancy a coffee one day!

Cupoftea
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2015 11:24 am

Re: Schools - good and bad in Hastings/St Leonards

Postby Cupoftea » Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:59 pm

Thanks. I hadn't spotted that trend but I had thought that the schools have changed quite dramatically over the past few years, with some that were thought of as good becoming bad and vice versus. Whereabouts are you thinking of moving to? I've heard St Leonards is up and coming and arty, crafty but near Ally Pally park is meant to be good. Whereabouts in London are you - perhaps we could meet up for a cuppa and compare battle plans! :D

RLP
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:36 pm

Re: Schools - good and bad in Hastings/St Leonards

Postby RLP » Thu Nov 05, 2015 5:56 pm

Hi. We moved down to Hastings/St Leonards about 4 years ago, attracted by all the great changes happening in town, but also with buying a larger property and starting a family in mind! We moved to the Alexandra Park area. Our eldest is now nearly 4 year old, and have just started the process of properly looking at the schools. We've short-listed quite a few to visit and have a look around on their open days. We visited the first one today, which is also the closest to us:

ARK BLACKLANDS PRIMARY - The grounds to the school were surprisingly large and spacious - including a large outdoor grass play area with trees/shrubs at the boundaries. The main bulk of the school building itself is a post-war construction with many extensions and additions, and not particularly beautiful architecturally. There was a slightly more interesting recent extension right at the entrance, from memory timber clad with an "eco-build" kind of look. During the presentation the principal also talked about many of the new expansion works currently underway - extensions to the main assembly hall area, (and possibly for new classroom space aswell?) Alot of this building work has already begun, and I believe more works are pipelined. The grounds and the interiors are all tidy and well-presented, and every room and hallway is full of children's artwork, achievements and educational posters etc. So a nice warm and lively feel, despite viewing on a rainy grey day!

From the presentation, the principal seems very ambitious and dedicated. She spoke with real pride about how much the school has completely turned around in the 2 years since she has taken over. The main core of this being driving up the academic standards and achievements of pupils from below the national average to now above the national average.

We saw all the kids in their classrooms and a few even spoke to us to describe what they were doing in their lessons - the kids all seemed nice and well behaved, (but then they would be on an open day!)

As this is the first school visit I don't have anything to compare to yet, (except for my own childhood primary school experience in London,) so I will add further info, comparisons and opinions as we go. But overall immediate impressions were fairly good.

Our other concerns for schooling are, who are the crowd of kids that our children will become friends with, and who are their parents; do we share similar outlooks on life, hopes and wishes for our children? I have written a couple of previous posts about my general excitement and enthusiasm for all the change happening in Hastings so I won't go on about it here. But we are continually amazed at the number of new people moving to the town. It really is an ongoing stream, and I would even say one that is building momentum. I would also say that most of the people moving down here appear to be at the youngish couple stage about to start a family or having just started a family, like us. (Unless they are just the ones that for obvious reasons we are meeting!) People who are aspirational, excited about the things happening in Hastings/St Leonards, often pro-actively getting stuck in to transforming it, and equally wanting their kids to do well at school and in life! All these parents will be sending their kids to local schools, in addition to an already very large population of equally enthusiastic "locals". Personally, I believe that parents are key to driving up school standards aswell! My point is that this is a town in an unbelievable state of change. This town will be a very different town in 5 years, and very different again in 10 years with the completion of the fast train (fingers crossed!)

I will be back on here with my thoughts about all the schools as we visit them. We'd also be very keen to hear any of your thoughts so far aswell!

Alibabs
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:51 pm

Re: Schools - good and bad in Hastings/St Leonards

Postby Alibabs » Fri Nov 20, 2015 11:19 pm

Hi RLP,

Thanks so much for your thoughts on Ark Blacklands. This was one that I hadn't thought to look at due to it being an academy (not sure how I feel about them)! Will give a quick rundown of my thoughts on what I have seen:

Dudley Infants (didn't realise this was an academy!) - Shown around by PA to the executive head with no option to meet or speak to the head. This really put me off to be honest.

Sacred Heart - This was my favourite as the kids were all so incredibly bright, chatty and switched on. Sadly our daughter isn't baptised so no hope of getting in!

Castledown - Really loved this school - very creative ethos and has experienced a real turn around with teachers seeming very motivated, friendly and nurturing. The reception is brand new and really geared towards learning through play. This will be our first choice.

St Pauls - Lovely big school but didn't see anything on the open day that blew me away (apart from the BMX track!)

St Mary Star of the Sea - Teaching style seemed quite old fashioned, there wasn't anything that particularly jumped out about the school that made it special.

Really interested to hear your thoughts on the others you see!

letfo1n75
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2015 9:20 am

Re: Schools - good and bad in Hastings/St Leonards

Postby letfo1n75 » Thu Nov 26, 2015 9:39 am

Hi I moved here 2 years ago with husband and children from Crawley all family on Crawley do miss them but an 1 1/2 on train do travel to London alot too for daughter whose in a tv show thats on at the moment.

The best schools are christchurch c of e primary school,st pauls if your looking for primary but do teach alot of religious stuff but handy for me as 6 mins from my home. Im looking for good secondary school son in yr 5 but its quirky with quirky and artsy few bad faults but yes other places worse thasn hastings tv makes hasting seaside town looks bad too on benefits britain but not that bad here. cheaper houses,lots pf cafes,restaurants communicative, people arent reserved like most towns. But those are the good schools and lots of free activities for under 5's.

dragana
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 4:35 pm

Re: Schools - good and bad in Hastings/St Leonards

Postby dragana » Thu Feb 25, 2016 4:52 pm

Hi there to all on this topic of mooving to hastings/st lennards and schools! I am a single mum from London with a 4 year old, looking to move to a smaller town/cheaper but larger property as London is a bit difficult for housing with the current pricing,and get the more normal settled lifestyle with the benefit of having the seaside nearby.
I am also keen to find out as much about the town, living, schools,pros and cons of permanently living there(like reliability of local jobs, transport, medical facilities and other necessities) .I am a retailer and belive there should be enough jobs in shopping centres.Would love to link up with other 'expats' and hear directly about all that. Safety,crime,bad teenagers,tourisam,I mean all;)I live in Camden,Lonodn so we are used to music, mess and tourists but we dont have much family here anyway and are likely to be stuck with family obligations for the next 10 years so basicly could live anywhere well organised and have larger living space really.Appreciate all your responses;)Thanks

Viduka
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 7:51 pm

Re: Schools - good and bad in Hastings/St Leonards

Postby Viduka » Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:02 pm

Hi dragana
I see your name and I wonder are you from Croatia Serbia or Bosnia?

amstone
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:04 pm

Re: Schools - good and bad in Hastings/St Leonards

Postby amstone » Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:06 pm

Hello. I'm just wondering what high schools would Be Recomended If You Were Living In the blacklands Area. We are Hoping To Move Here In Next few Months With 2 Boys. One In Year 5 So High School time Will Be Arriving Just As We Settle In. Thank You


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