29 January, 2020
As parents, we all want the best for our children, so we know that school catchments can play a huge part in the decision to rule a house in or out. We’ve produced a brief guide to the local primary and secondary schools that might help you with the decision-making process. Bear in mind, however, that in this area, we’re in the lucky position in this area to be blessed with so many ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ schools, so you can’t go too far wrong when buying in any part of Wokingham (or nearby Crowthorne).
We’re in the fortunate position that due to the wealth of great schools, there isn’t one particular ‘stand out’ option that gives rise to fierce competition for the catchment properties. Unlike with some areas of London and the South-East, you won’t find there’s a need for the tape-measure to come out as parents compete to get their child into the one high-achieving school!
Overview of schools in Wokingham
The Borough of Wokingham (which makes up a surprisingly large area) contains 75 primary schools and 23 secondary schools. These comprise a mix of maintained schools (those funded and controlled by the local education authority), academies (state-funded schools that operate independently from the LEA) and independent schools (private schools that are overseen by a board of governors or trustees). There are also several special schools for children with special educational needs.
We’ll mainly look on the state sector as it has the most impact on the popularity of areas and the corresponding property prices.
Primary Schools in Wokingham
At primary level, the SATs results for key stage 2 in Wokingham usually come in approximately 10% above the national average (65%) for reaching the expected levels of attainment for Maths, reading and writing – significantly higher than in neighbouring boroughs.
The primary schools that have been rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted (who assess effectiveness of leadership, quality of teaching, learning and assessment, personal development and outcomes for pupils) include Emmbrook Infant School, St. Pauls CofE Junior School, St. Teresa’s Catholic Academy, Walter Infant School and Wescott Infant School.
Evendons free school, also achieving an ‘outstanding’ ranking is the first STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) primary school in Wokingham. Being a free school, it is state funded but run a Governing Body and Evendons Primary School Trust.
The majority of the other primary schools in Wokingham are rated as ‘good’ by Ofsted.
In line with the recent expansion of the town, several new primary schools have been built, including Floreat Montague Park Primary, an academy school that comes as part of the new estate to the West of Wokingham, Wheatfield Primary School in Winnersh and The Floreat Silver Meadow Primary located a little further afield in Shinfield.
Windmill Primary School was also opened in 2013 in the popular Woosehill area to help ease the problems caused by the nearby primary schools being oversubscribed.
It’s not often you get the opportunity to place your child in a brand spanking new state school with the latest building design and facilities. As an added bonus, some of the newer schools will take a few years to be reach full capacity so children will enjoy plenty of space in the playground!
If you are interested in the private sector, schools to consider are Holme Grange located on Heathlands Road, Waverley Preparatory School (ranked as the best Prep School in Berkshire) and Reddam House in Bearwood that takes children from 3 months all the way to 18 years.
Crowthorne’s Primary Schools
There are many popular primary schools in and around the village of Crowthorne, several of which took on academy status in 2017 and 2018. These include Wildmoor Health School in nearby Bracknell, Oaklands Junior School and Hatch Ride Primary School – both members of the Corvus Learning Trust, and Saint Sebastian’s CofE Primary School, which is believed to have been originally founded way back in 1875.
Academic achievement at Wokingham’s secondary schools, far exceeds the national average. Looking at the 2019 GCSE results, 81.8% passed English with Grade 4 or higher (the equivalent of a C grade pass), compared to the national average of 61.8%. In maths, the average was 78.7% achieving Grade 4 or higher, compared to 59.6% nationally.
Most of the area’s secondary schools fall within Wokingham itself, such as mixed school St Crispin’s, which became a Circle Trust academy member in February 2018, and The Holt School, an Ofsted outstanding girls’ academy. Rated ‘good’ by Ofsted, The Emmbrook School is another mixed secondary that is also a specialist maths and computing college. Just up the road in Winnersh is The Forest School, a boys’ academy with a mixed sixth form.
The opening of the new Bohunt School in Aborfield in 2016 9 (with its unrivalled facilities and varied curriculum) has made a dramatic difference to parents in the local and Finchampstead areas who used to face the inconvenience of busing their children to secondary schools across the other side of town. Being rated ‘outstanding’ this year, has caused the popularity of this school to soar, with places being in more demand than ever.
The Edgebarrow School in Crowthorne is another sought after ‘outstanding’ secondary and six form college which is regularly oversubscribed.
A select few of the most academic pupils in the area, achieving high marks in the 11+ exam, will have the opportunity to apply to Reading Grammar School (for boys) or Kendrick School (the girl’s equivalent).
Local private secondary schools (both mixed) include the previously mentioned Reddam House in Bearwood and Luckley House, just off Finchampstead Road.
The link between house prices and the proximity of good schools is long-established. Research carried out by PWC in 2019, showed that house prices nearest the top performing state primary and secondary schools were 7% and 6% higher respectively. You could argue this premium is factored into property prices already in this area, as average prices are slightly higher than nearby Bracknell and Reading which have a more mixed-bag of local state schools.
As we have already alluded to, you can’t really go wrong with investing in a property anywhere in the Borough of Wokingham. Newly built schools on the more outlying areas of Wokingham mean that there is now access to fantastic schools in any part of the town.
Wokingham is always voted in the top 10 of most popular towns in the UK for families and access to great schools is always a key factor.
We would be happy to provide you with more advice on local schools or you can see on our website how each property we represent for sale or for rent fits into their catchment areas on an interactive map.