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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:35 pm 
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First of all, let me a say a big thank you to all the contributors here. I read this site avidly while DS was preparing for 11+, though never felt I had enough to say to get around to registering.

DS pass handsomely, which is great, and we're looking at our options in Ramsgate. Would be interested to know what others local to the area are thinking.

He's very able in science and maths, and we like the idea of Chatham House with science and maths specialisms, despite the uncertainties about the site and the federation (which do concern us). It just has an indefinable "vibe" that feels right to us. Academic, but also nurturing and unpretentious. We not really big A* chasers - we just wanted DS to be able to spend his formative years in a positive environment meeting other kids interested in similar things to him.

It's also very close to our house, and he could walk there.

We visited Manwoods, which was also very good. But it didn't say anything particularly to us that would justify the bus trip and lack of connection with home.

Went to Dane Court tonight, and I must admit both my wife and myself didn't like it nearly as much. (I went to last year's open evening there as well, and felt the same way). Much bigger and more impersonal. They've got shiny new buildings and all, but the kids themselves didn't impress me nearly so much. I could well imagine our boy just getting a bit lost there.

Only thing is he's favouring Dane Court because a number of people from his primary are going there. So we'll need to talk him out of it, if we really decide otherwise.

In principle we favour a mixed-sex school, so that's a mark against Chatham House and for Dane Court (or Manwoods). OTOH with the Ramsgate federation, the boys' and girls' schools will be on the same site and sharing non-core classes. So maybe not such a difference.

Any other Thanetians here?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:05 pm 
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Yurgen wrote:
Any other Thanetians here?


That'll be a no then. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
doesn;t look like it yurgen,but you never know!

welcome to the forum

I have no experience of the 'fannit' schools but have heard good things about manwoods, on the other hand i from a social point of view it helps if school friends etc live nearby

hope you get some replies , but gut feeling (both yours and your child's) has a lot to be said for it, different schools appeal to different people.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:33 pm 
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Location: East Kent
I don`t live in" Fannit", but I work there and have many colleagues with boys at Chatham House and they all love it. I have never heard anything bad about it.

I have many friends, and my kids friends who are at Roger Manwood. If we had been slightly closer to RM we might have opted for that over Langton.

I have not heard anything bad about Dane Court, but always get the impression it is considered the `poor relation` to Chatham House.

I`m actually off work for 2 weeks now or I would grill my mates at work. :D

Having met children from Chatham House at work, usually with rugby injuries, then I can only say they seem very mature and polite, and they seem to have a good raport with the teachers who bring them .

If I was chosing, and had a boy :shock: , I would err towards Chatham House.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:36 pm 
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Location: Ramsgate
Chatham House is very well regarded, I would have sent my DS there if he had passed a couple of years ago. Dane Court wouldn't have suited, the thought of taking 2 MFL for GCSE would have filled him with horror. The Academy proposal for Chatham House and Clarendon House is interesting. Most girls locally seem to prefer Dane Court and Clarendon House has seen falling numbers recently as a result. There is a suggestion that as an academy there may be some flexibility in admitting girls who haven't passed Kent Test to keep up the numbers at Clarendon House. Could be helpful if you have a younger DD who may not pass, both DC may be able to go to the same school. Not sure when the parent consultation ends for the Academy status, could be worth looking into.

Ramsgate is quite a stretch for Sir Roger Manwood catchment, agree that the journey wouldn't be justified if Chatham House is on your doorstep.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:45 pm 
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Location: East Kent
Manwoods catchment comes out as far as Wingham and Wickhambreaux, so I guess Ramsgate isn`t much further. But I agree with the social issue, which is why we went to Canterbury rather than Sandwich.
Having said that DD has friends who live half an hours drive away now anyway


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:50 pm 
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U400JB9 wrote:
Having met children from Chatham House at work, usually with rugby injuries, then I can only say they seem very mature and polite, and they seem to have a good raport with the teachers who bring them.


That came over very strongly at the open day, and is backed up by someone we know who works there. And it seems to come from something very deep. You don't get the impression that the kids have just learnt to be polite and put on the show, you feel like they behave that way because that's the kind of people they really ARE - and because they're so engaged with the school process that they naturally want to do what they can to support it.

It was noticeable by contrast that at Dane Court most of the children kept to themselves or just pushed past adults, and didn't have that same mature, engaged way of talking to you. The one who led our group was nice and interesting, but I dunno, it just didn't feel the same.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:55 pm 
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Ramsgate Mum wrote:
The Academy proposal for Chatham House and Clarendon House is interesting. Most girls locally seem to prefer Dane Court and Clarendon House has seen falling numbers recently as a result. There is a suggestion that as an academy there may be some flexibility in admitting girls who haven't passed Kent Test to keep up the numbers at Clarendon House.


From the headteacher's comments, it seems to be the other way around. Clarendon already admits a very large number of girls on appeal, compared to most grammar schools, because that's the only way it can keep numbers up. Chatham by contrast has been (slightly) oversubscribed on 11+ passes. At the moment, with separate admissions controlled by the LEA, they can't do anything about that. Once they are an academy and can control their own admissions, they will be able to just take fewer girls and make up the numbers with more boys.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:59 pm 
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U400JB9 wrote:
Manwoods catchment comes out as far as Wingham and Wickhambreaux, so I guess Ramsgate isn`t much further.


I actually emailed Manwoods to get an idea of recent distances, and last year we wouldn't have got in, but the year before we would have.

I think the bus trip would be pretty easy, but something about DS being able to walk to school in 10 minutes for the next seven years is just really appealling, from both a logistical and a social point of view.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:20 pm 
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Location: East Kent
the joy of just pointing a grunting half-asleep teenager at the bus stop, instead if having to ferry him around has to be experienced to really appreciate it!


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