Our article on primary school admissions sets out the application process and advises on the best ways to build a thorough understanding of your preferred schools.
Village primaries in this area can empty out as you get further up – a small intake at reception can end up being tiny by the time you get to years 4, 5 and 6. You’ll find some of these schools mix year groups where they don’t have the numbers to justify separate classes – not necessarily a problem in a well-run school but it does somewhat limit your child’s friendship pool. Look out for partnership primaries that get priority admissions to the local comprehensive.
Primary schools near Abingdon
More Witney-way, Brize Norton Primary School takes the prize for best SATS results; a quarter of its families are involved with the RAF (though the rest are also de facto experts in chinooks). Towards Faringdon, Buckland Church of England Primary School is very popular, with long-standing leadership and fewer children leaving for local preps. Commutable to Oxford, Cumnor Church of England Primary School has a catchment that wiggles up around the nature reserve and to Cumnor Hill – last year you had to be within two miles, even in catchment (ducklings on the reservoir would’ve been in by a quack…). In this area of Oxfordshire, you should be reading our Oxford and North Oxfordshire Area Guide, too, because you’re touching distance from the Cotswolds and the city itself.
Primary schools near Henley and Wallingford
Brightwell-cum-Sotwell Church of England Primary School is lovely and relatively big, with an entry of 30, though it loses a few to Moulsford Prep and other local preps from year 3. Ewelme CofE Primary School is a long-standing favourite (you’ll need to be in the village or an ‘active member’ of the parish); lots look at Watlington Primary School, too - be aware that not everyone in catchment gets in.
Primary schools near Stadhampton
Locals love Marsh Baldon Church of England Primary School, and many use it as a pre-prep. Pupils at Great Milton Church of England Primary School get great SATS results and have found recent success at national dance competitions; you can expect an offer from anywhere in the Miltons and Haseleys. Garsington Church of England Primary School is reassuringly over-subscribed, sitting in the heart of a pretty village; if you live there, you’ll be safely in Wheatley Park’s catchment. Cross the motorway to Long Crendon Primary School, where our reviewer found, ‘staggering commitment to outdoor learning’, ‘engaging’ teaching and a ‘values-driven’ community; see our Bucks Area Guide for more details.
State schools for children with special educational needs in South Oxfordshire
Most children with special needs in Oxfordshire attend a mainstream primary, secondary or academy school. Some mainstream schools have specialist resource bases for particular areas of need. For example, children of primary age with an EHCP and a diagnosis of communication and interaction needs are supported in Copper Class at St Andrew’s School, Chinnor, while Lord Williams's School, Thame, and Fitzharry’s School, Abingdon, support similar pupils at secondary age.
John Watson School, in Wheatley, is a community special school for children aged two to 19 with severe, complex, or profound learning difficulties. Kingfisher School in Abingdon and Fitzwaryn School in Wantage are both special schools for children from nursery to 19 who have a range of complex learning needs, including autism.