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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:09 pm 
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We're looking at the non-selective schools in West Kent (Maidstone/Tonbridge, etc). Anyone got any views on them? Hugh Christie seemed quite impressive on their open evening but their results don't seem good.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:37 am 
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Location: TW
I think what you have to bear in mind when looking at the non selective schools in TW and Tonbridge is they are to all intents and purposes secondary moderns in that the brightest children in the area are creamed off to the grammars. What you also have to bear in mind is that many middle class supportive parents either get tutoring/tutor child themselves to get them in to grammar or do the "God thing" to get them into the religious schools. The non selective schools therefore end up with all the children with non supportive parents and I think this can adversely affect results. I know someone with children at Sandown Court aka Tunbridge Wells High aka Skinners Kent Academy which is generally seen as the most undesirable school in TW. However becuase her children work hard and are fairly bright they have done really well as the school IDs those who are likely to achieve the five GSCEs and gives them every support to try to get their results up.

I only know of one family who go to Hugh Christie. Both children have SEN but they have done really well there and cannot speak highly enough of the pastoral care etc.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 6:48 am 
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Thanks for your reply. I was just comparing HC to the other non selective schools and their results don't seem as good. But there must be other supportive parents like me who gave their children some tutoring, etc (but not intensively like others) but whose child just didn't get the marks unfortunately? My child is bright but just needs a little pushing and will probably do well in a good non-selective school.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 11:26 am 
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When we moved to the UK my eldest was 14/15 yrs old. He had no choice but to go to the local comp. By that time though - it was already ingrained in him as to what type of a person he was. He was bright, he would've blown his way through the 11+ had he been here to do it. He would come home from school initially saying 'what a waste of time, no lessons get finished because the teacher never gets the chance to actually teach'. Well, he got to know his teachers, I got involved with the school and got to know his teachers. My son made it clear that he wanted to succeed and come out with great grades, and he wanted to work hard at it. He got all the support in the world from his teachers, was usually given an additional challenge and came out having done wonderful after A levels. The one area they did fail him, was in first year university he was diagnosed as dyspraxic......when speaking to one of his teachers last year and having been asked how my son was doing, I mentioned this to him. His comment? 'oh yeah, that's right'......when asked what he meant by that i was told that 'I couldn't say anything, as the school would've had to have taken steps, but we don't have the funding'. So......yes, a child can do very well at a comp if it's in their own nature to avoid the pitfalls, but I do think that without a statement, any extra needs that should be met just get overlooked.
I once had the headteacher say (at the comp) that they couldn't exclude certain students for their appalling behaviour, as the parents would likely 'sue for disallowing their child an education'. I warned him at that time to be very much more afraid of parents like me, as I could certainly sue them for disallowing my child a 'safe learning environment' due to tolerating some of the behaviours that they did from other students.
You know your child, you know if he would be misled by others, or would go with what he knows is right/wrong etc. I think that we all need to give our kids themselves some credit in choosing where they feel comfortable when we are looking around at the schools.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 2:38 pm 
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Go and see Hayesbrook! Had an Outstanding Ofsted and everyone i know that goes there really rates it! Great Head there.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:09 pm 
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I have heard good things about Hayesbrook too.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:39 am 
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Thanks for views on Hayesbrook. It is one we are considering but my son is not particularly sporty and there is quite a strong emphasis on sport there. But as you say their Ofsted and results are very good. Anyone any views on Maidstone schools?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:52 pm 
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I asked questions about Maidstone Grammer and Oakwood school. Please look further down the postings. Theres some useful comments made by people.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:07 am 
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I have a friend that teaches at HC and my understanding is that the teaching staff are very motivated and determined to provide a great education for all pupils. I understand all parents comments about the non selectives and the bullying/ teenage pregnancy concerns. All I can say is that my experience is that children who just missed the cut in the 11+ are going to be high fliers at a non selective.Top streamed with similar children and apart from group times less likely to come into contact with the less aspirational children. A huge plus point is that teachers will love teaching your bright child.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:19 pm 
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Thanks for your comments Tigger2. I hadn't event thought about teenage pregnancy!!! I certainly got the impression that the staff there were very caring and enthusiastic when I visited. I think you're right with your comments about bright children in non-selectives (I hope so!). Anyone any views on Maplesden Noakes?


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