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 Post subject: Tonbridge v T Wells
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:41 pm 
Having read thread re TW Boys grammar, wondered if anyone could shed light on differences between TWGS and TOGS. Would consider either school for my child, but under impression that TOGS superior academically. Does anyone have any personal experience of either school, if so, why did you choose it and would you make same decision again now your daughter is at the school? I have to make the decision soon for my child, who will obviously visit both, but would be interested to hear positives/negatives for either. Many thanks


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 Post subject: Tonbridge v T Wells
PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:38 pm 
The main difference is the entry criteria. TWGGS selects on catchment area, so it really depends on whether you live close enough. (although I believe they are going to have more govenors' places in future). We didn't even look at TWGGS because we live too far away, and my daughter would not have got in no matter what her score was. Also, TWIGGS is slightly smaller. TOGS has a reputation for being very strong academically, and selects by ranked scores. Having said that, because the Weald of Kent is getting very popular, the entry requirement for TOGS seems to have dropped in recent years. I think you just had to pass the 11+ to get in last year, which makes for a more relaxed environment. Because it is a technical school they do loads of art and design, which my daughter loves. She is really happy at TOGS, though a number of her friends are at TWIGS (and Weald of Kent), and are also very happy. You should just go along and see which your daughter warms to!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:15 am 
I agree with Rebecca. We are in much the same position. TWGGS does now have a limited number of "governors places", awarded in 11+ rank order, for children IN CATCHMENT (ie in the Kent 11+ areas) but who would otherwise be too far away to get a place. We didn't apply for one because it would have meant changing trains and just too long a commute. We did apply to TOGS although we are slightly closer to the Maidstone schools.

I notice that TWGGS has been outperforming TOGS recently, on at least some criteria, and they don't have the potential disruption of major rebuilding hanging over them like TOGS. However both seem to be good schools full of happy kids so why not visit and see which your daughter prefers? I'd have a look at Weald of Kent too if I you live near enough. My daughter liked it but lives too far away to have much chance of a place.

Traditionally, because of the different admissions criteria, TOGS has had the most able intake of the three schools and has had the best academic results. Having a very able child this was a big positive for us. However, as Rebecca said, I fear that this may no longer be the case thanks to a combination of falling birthrates and the increasing popularity of Weald of Kent. The recent, apparently wider ability intake groups have to take their public exams so standards are hard to judge.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 4:41 pm 
Thanks to Rebecca and guest for your responses. We are actually out of catchment for TWGGS and are not in Kent, so the only school we could apply to (without moving) is TOGS. However, we would consider a move if we felt it was worth it and we have other children following on behind our eldest. It is really interesting to hear what you say about Weald of Kent growing in popularity, is that purely because of improved facilities? I hadn't taken on board the disruptiont that the building programme would mean, I guess that when it is completed it might incresase its popularity again. I am slightly surprised that parents would be so swayed by bricks/mortar.

I have already looked at TWGGS and TOGS and my gut feel was for TWGGS as slightly better choice for my child, but feel TOGS has a lot more to offer in terms of choices, but I am going to take my child to all open days to try and get a feel for her preferences, thanks again for your input.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 5:43 pm 
Hello guest222
If you have younger daughters do bear in mind the new admissions code. It looks as if grammars that select on rank order (eg TOGS) will no longer be able to give priority to siblings whilst those who assign places on the basis of distance from home (eg Weald of Kent) will.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 8:29 pm 
hello guest

your last post was intriguing, can you expand on the idea that siblings may not get priority as I do have a second daughter a year behind the eldest.

thanks!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:11 pm 
Hello guest222
The new Schools Admissions Code 2007 is downloadable from the dfes site; www.dfes.gov.uk/sacode . The relevent section seems to be section 2.68
Enjoy!


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 Post subject: Tonbridge v T Wells
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 2:04 pm 
Your're right that people shouldn't be swayed by bricks and mortar - it doesn't make the slightest difference to my daughter. She liked all the schools when we looked at them but in the end we chose TOGS over Weald of Kent because when we had a close look at their results, the English and Maths GCSE grades were much better. (That may of course, have just been because of a particularly academic intake that year!). I wouldn't move house over the choice of schools are they are all pretty similar, although one thing I forgot to metion is that TOGS is the only one which does the IB.
Good luck


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