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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:22 am 
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When we were considering which grammar school DS wanted to go to before he took the test (used as an incentive for him to pass), he had his heart set on Dane Court as he has friends who left his primary last year and chose there. Also two of the other children on the close chose there last year so he will know others there.

However when we went to see Chatham House he (and myself and the dear wife) were very impressed. DS has a talent for maths and felt the specialism would suit him.

When we went to see Dane Court, the tour (and our impression) could not have been more different to that of Chatham House. It was chaotic, impersonal and uninspiring. The new buildings are nice (why no aircon?) but the winding staircases and traditional furniture at Chatham House has real charm and character.

Also the teachers at Chatham House gave you the impression they really cared for the children.

Before we commit, what are others thoughts on the choice in East Kent?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:43 pm 
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I really know what you mean having seen both schools this week. Thought they both had excellent pastoral care, particularly in Y7. I found Dane Ct a bit clinical and bit too wow and felt CH felt like a "proper" school if that makes sense. However the facilities and the options at Dane Ct are amazing. For me it boils down to which one DS wd prob feel happier at and for us that wd be CH as a bit smaller - but still a bit concerned about single sex lessons until the hormones kick in and then they're in with the girls!! We don't live in Thanet so for us there prob be 3rd/4th on the list :?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:05 pm 
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I have the same problem. For me the biggest problem with Dane Court were those large plenary rooms where they have 2 classes and screens to divide them. I questioned a few teachers and they admitted cross-over noise was a problem, one also added that they had no choice, if they wanted the BFF money for new buildings they had to have the large double rooms.

The other thing - maybe I'm old fashioned - is that DC has no morning registration. Pupils scan their pass against a machine to register they are in school (though interestingly, our guides said there is no need to scan yourself out if you leave at lunchtime etc)


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:32 pm 
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Dazza - you mention the comment made about the registration/id cards, our year 7 guide said you pay your friend to register you in the morning.

I think they were trying to sell the cards as an innovative idea. Personally I think the school is so impersonal they (pupils and staff) need them so they know who they are talking to.

I went to a London comp with 2000 pupils and there were people in my year group whose names I didn't know at the end of sixth form!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:24 am 
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We live in the east Kent black hole for Grammar schools which is Herne Bay, so looked at 4 grammars, Langton Boys, Barton Court, Chatham House and Dane Court, and 4 high schools.

When we pulled into the car park at Dane Court school my son said "Oh I thought this was a shopping centre” I think that says it all, it certainly felt the least like a grammar school and the most like a high school out of all the schools we visited, some of the younger children seemed to be mucking about in lessons a lot more than I would expect at a grammar and the teacher didn’t seem to take control.

Really didn’t like the pass system and the no form period at beginning of the day, we have seen the open plan class rooms in other schools, they look so chaotic, can’t see how they can work.

So Dane Court wasn’t for us, so probably going for Chatham house as we all really loved it and we are unlikely to get into Langton boys due to their catchment area being so small, and really don't think the stress with going through an appeal is worth it, especially as our son really loved Chatham House and said this is the school he wants to go to, it certainly had a more homely and rugged feel.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:49 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:58 pm
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It's good to hear other's thoughts - thanks.

There are only a few days left to alter the online form and we're getting a bit anxious about making a decision which will affect our DS for at least the next eight years. :|

We have neighbours who's DC seem to like and are pleased with Dane Court so we are worried we might be making a gut feeling decision putting Chatham House first on the SCAF.

Are there any parents out there who's DC attend Dane Court who can give a balanced view?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:22 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:43 am
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The closing date for online applications has been extended it is 23:59 on Friday 4th November.

Hope this helps, with half term etc.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:07 am 
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Thanks Bigchill - wasn't aware of the extension. I'll try to let as many non-forum members I know about this (or I ought to encourage them to join :P)


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:58 pm
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The extension does not appear on the KCC website. 4th November appears to be for "final closing date for exceptional late applications"?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:48 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:53 am
Posts: 40
Location: kent
http://ola.kent.gov.uk/kccadmissions/prefs.php

Just found it here...not a special announcement about it, just the date changed to 4th Nov for applications...


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