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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:32 pm 
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Have not been able to face taking dd to any schools so far. Need to wait for the result. Just scared. Just wondering which schools people have really enjoyed visiting? We are maidstone catchment but genuinely interested in other areas (as might others be)- what do schools do to create a 'wow' factor'? What do they do to depress? And can i visit after the dreaded date?!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:58 pm 
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Location: Maidstone
Do you mean grammar schools or all secondary? If you're asking about comprehensives then both Valley Park and Mapleston Noakes have impressed me with their facilities and relaxed air,while the only grammar I've visited (Oakwood Park) was less impressive with regards the school itself but had very self-assured,confident and bright pupils.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 8:01 pm 
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We went to Oakwood Park open evening a couple of weeks back. We were impressed with the general feel of the place, and the pupils who were polite and smartly dressed. All the teachers seemed enthusiastic and keen to show off their departments. Overall, a good impression.

Maidstone Grammer school open evening is a week tomorrow.

Just thought, are you interested in boys or girls schools? Forgot whether you mentioned this on your post.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 8:03 pm 
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Alos went to Cornwallis. Buildings were tatty but they're soon to be replaced. I felt it was ok and then went to Oakwood which was far better. Haven't been to the other two non-grammers above.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 8:47 pm 
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Have to admit to having a daughter! But son to go through this in 2 yrs time! So interested in all. I suppose I just wondering what makes the wow factor that I have been hoping for - but not seen as too scared!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 4:05 pm 
Well we are OOC so only looked at Judd & Skinners.
Judd has all the lovely buildings & facilities but the Skinners boys were more impressive to us. Of course DS wants Judd but Skinners keeps pulling me solely due to the boys. Also the Head's talk(Skinners) had my DS in tears (which is unsual) as he spoke directly to the boys at one point & told them they would come out as young men that their parents would be proud of - he is quite a showman I think & there were lighting effects (spotlight zooming in & out on his face etc) so it had quite a dramatic effect. In the end it was the music that swung it towards Judd for him.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:40 pm 
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Try not to be swayed by 'teachers talk'. Remember they are 'selling' their school and can talk the talk :wink:
Having said that, as an ex-Judd parent, I was always impressed by all the teachers at Judd (although a lot of them are very 'old school') and my son certainly did leave a very confident young man! :D


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 6:11 pm 
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I didn't go to the Skinners Open day this year, but I presume it was held in the new theatre. It is still a bit of a novelty. I think the lighting might have been done by 6th formers and so they were probably just having a bit of fun.

My boys go to Skinners and I can honestly say that the HT might be a bit of a showman, but he is not just talking the talk.

I have been to 4 of the open days and can say that what is shown and talked about on each of those evenings is a true representation of the school.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 7:24 pm 
SSM wrote:
....the HT might be a bit of a showman, but he is not just talking the talk.

I have been to 4 of the open days and can say that what is shown and talked about on each of those evenings is a true representation of the school.


He seemed very enthusiastic & I understand he is hands on in that he does take some classes as well. His talk was all without notes & as I say, very emotive.
In contrast the HT of Judds gave a very dry talk & DH & DS were not impressed. I think though that he had scheduled a talk every half hour throughout the evening & was trying to cram a lot of info (facts & figures) into the talk & so used notes & really rushed it.
Despite the schools always seeming to be compared, they felt quite different in atmosphere, but saying that, I would be very happy with either (pleeeease) - roll on Monday!!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 7:38 pm 
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I quite agree with the above about the Judd head (this opinion was from last year), he seemed very mechanical. My DS is now at Skinners and loving it. Judd was an attraction because of the facilities but Skinners has the X-Factor!


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