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 Post subject: Moving to Maidstone
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:33 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:49 pm
Posts: 261
Hi

My family and I are moving to Maidstone from Swindon. I've done a lot of research online but I still need some help and advice please. I have 2 girls, year 5 and a year 3 and a boy who will be in Reception next september.

A thousand years ago, I studied at a girls' school in London. It wasn't a grammar school. I had such a brilliant and happy time there and I think, along with my peers, really benefited from the environment in terms of confidence, experience and drive. I would like my girls to have access to a similar environment so I am very interested in the girls' schools in Maidstone for them.

My year 5 daughter is in the G and T grouping for literacy and science and ICT. She seems to enjoy studying and learning and being good at it. But, up until a few months ago had never heard of a grammar school, so I can't be one of the parents that say that it's my child that wants to do it beacause she has no frame of reference for it except that daddy went to a grammar school and mummy went to a girls' school :?

I'm looking for places to rent near- ish (approx 2 miles) the schools and stations. not having that much luck, so I would like to know if someone is able to tell me how far out the schools would go for catchment/applicants. I've looked through the the Kent secondary schools booklet and rang the schools themselves, but I haven't been very successful.

husband will be working in London and I don't mind being a taxi service for a while for primaries until dwindling finances require me to work (qualified secondary school maths teacher)

Please help as we'll be looking at places later this week.

and sorry to carry on for so long


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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Maidstone
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:28 pm
Posts: 2439
Welcome to Maidstone! There are alot of good schools in Maidstone, and some not so good!

Both girls grammars have good reputation. Invicta is considered more academic, whist Maidstone Girls Gramr School (MGGS) is more all rounded. Both schools rely on scores. Ie passing the Kent Test (ie 11 plus exam).

In year 5, alot Of children heve tutoring or home coaching to help get them through the 11 +. I don't mean to scare you by saying this. If you haven't seen non verbal reasoning (non verbal reasoning) or verbal reasoning ( vr) it can be quite scary. Also, the maths level is above what the schools teach.

Please pm me for info about areas, schools etc and I see if I can help.


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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Maidstone
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:38 pm
Posts: 2083
Location: Maidstone
For girls grammar school as long as you live in Maidstone you should be fine to get into any of them. The only secondary school that seem to have been a bit more popular with a cut off of about a mile was Valley Park. Other than that, I really don't know of any other secondary school that local parents wanted and didn't get into because of distance. The grape vine even had it that all who appealed for Valley Park got in through appeal.

Have you found a primary yet? I suppose its the ones with places that you need. There are some nice villages around maidstone too that have good school. Allington, Roseacre, St Johns, East Farleigh etc are some good ones in Maidstone. There are loads others good ones too like Loose, Madginford etc. Most of the primary schools here are ok (depending on what you want) with the exception of a few where there are stories about parent's fighting each other at school gates which tend to be in the big Maidstone Estates. Most Primary school here don't prepare 11+ so its down to you and the primary schools with exceptional 11+ pass rate here tends to be in the nicer and more prosperous parts of Maidstone like Bearsted. Most primary schools here are ok and do what they say on the tin with just a few exceptions which you have probably sussed already.

For in year primary admission I don't think where you live matter much for most schools, its to do with places and there is one particular school that most people who are just arriving seem to be getting if there are in central maidstone. Everything is now centrally done by KCC. Call the schools you like and find which ones have places. I know 2 families with kids in diff schools because when they arrived they couldn't get all of them in their chosen school. They are still waiting a year+ on.

Connection into London are really trick depending on where you Hubby wants to get to. The only direct connection is into Victoria, there used to be commuter London Bridge but that was axed a year or so go. Currently they are experimenting with a fast train to St Pancras and take up by commuters has been rather slow as it is outside the city and very expensive too. Chances are it will be axed soon.

Quite a few people now either drive to some nearby areas to catch a train or bus. For Canary Wharf there is a coach (Kings Ferry) that leaves from Blue Bell Hill and takes an hour.

Good luck in finding a place. If you want to know more about specific areas you can send me a pm.

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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Maidstone
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:41 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:23 pm
Posts: 6
Hello :P

I am in Maidstone and my five children attend a selection of both HS, Grammars and local primary.

Please PM me if you would like any advice, although the above advice has been excellent.

Clare


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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Maidstone
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:19 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:49 pm
Posts: 261
thanks everyone above for the great advice and support - I had a longer message typed but I have lost it. hubby is looking around Maidstone right now. likes a place in Loose, shown somewhere in Paddock Wood - but it's a different scheme.

I called Archbishop Courtenay before they have places but I will wait until I see where we are living and then call more locally. I'll help my dauhter myself so not really expecting much fro the primary school like that.

hubby may have to drive elsewhere - I was sort of counting on high speed service :oops: didn't prioritise his reqs very much


my main worry was ending up choosing somewhere to live that was too far for the grammars and you've eally helped there.

we are renting for a couple of years before we see which way the wind blows us again. hopefully it will blow some of our clutter right away.

thanks again - hungry kids to feed and entertain now


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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Maidstone
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:38 pm
Posts: 2083
Location: Maidstone
I have send you a pm Penguin.

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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Maidstone
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:55 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:49 pm
Posts: 261
thanks Sherry D


following the mad search yesterday - my hubby found one place that he liked in Loose. It was the first house he looked at so he progressively thought that the rest of the day was a waste of his time as his notes on the houses showed by describing the smells in stark detail.

needless to say, I and my research, were blamed.

Any way

could anyone please tell me the likelihood of my daughter (subject to passing) being able to get in Invicta or MGGS if we live 1.6 and 2.1 miles away respectively.
Does anyone know of any applicants that have lived comparably far away (which sounds really near to me) that have been successful?

sorry about specificity of question but it's the difference between living in a lovely place for the next couple of years where I can imagine the kids and us being really happy and a dingy dump where depression may lurk.


for those that are following this progress and maybe concerned about my hubby, the house was pretty good for his travel plans as well.

good luck to all of you in your own quests


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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Maidstone
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 9:26 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Maidstone
Hi Penguin,

Both schools draw from a fairly wide catchment area and so your daughter would be comfortable within reach at that distance. I have known girls from Borough Green go to MGGS and Lenham go to Invicta - a lot further out than Loose.

:D


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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Maidstone
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:28 pm
Posts: 2439
You should be fine for both girls grammars in Loose.


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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Maidstone
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:32 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:55 pm
Posts: 7
Well lets hope so because we have just applied for Invicta and we live in Ashford ( local grammar is horrible). MGGS told me this year that everyone that put it as their first choice last year got it irrespective of their location.

Fingers crossed !

PS Good Luck with the move x


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