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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:11 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:25 pm
Posts: 8
My friend's DD got a place in Highworth but they don't live in Kent. They don't know much about the school.

Although they have accepted the place and still hoping to get something in London or else they have to move to kent.

Any views about the school will be appreciated.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:34 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:36 pm
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Location: East Kent
My dd goes to the school and loves it!

What sort of things do you want to know? In the shortish time DD has been there we have found the pastoral care to be fantastic. The workload at the start of year 7 was very intense but that quickly settled down to a reasonable and manageable amount of homework. In year 7 they assess their maths and they are streamed for this subject - although the set they are put in can change depending on results of termly (or it might be half termly?) maths test.

Languages - they study French, German and Spanish in year 7 - they spend 2 half terms on each language, then they get to choose which 2 they want to continue to study into year 8 and beyond.

They have verticle mentor groups at the school, they spend 25 mins in their mentor groups a day. This seems to work quite well in that the younger ones get to know some of the older girls in the school.

Anything else you can think of asking and I will try and help!

Dottie


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:40 pm 
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Thanks for the information dottie1974.

I think the distance to school from where they live is a big problem and moving is the only option they have.
But if it is a very good school then moving is worth it.

If they need any other information, I will ask them to contact you again,


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:18 pm 
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Oh dear Im sorry I have a different opinion to the poster above although my daughter hasbt actually schooled there, just looked round. We moved to Ashford with the intention of sending her there. We picked a house within walking distance and everything was going well until we viewed it. This is my third child so I have already done my share of trawling grammar schools and we all absolutely hated the place ! The atmosphere was horrible - I didnt see anyone smile - not even the head as he gave his speech staring at the floor. there was no oomph to anything. The only positive comment I can make is that the sports department were very dedicated !
As for the languages - I said to the head of languages that I didnt like the idea of them doing three languages in a year and she said she totally agreed with me , said she hated the system but she didnt have a say in the matter and did as she was told ! The girl taking us round kept taking us past the same classroom because she was lost - she couldnt answer any questions at all . I so wanted to love it there but I hated it. I didnt voice my opinions to my daughter I merely asked what she thought as we left and her words were " Please dont send me there, its horrible".

I think the fact that they are undersuscribed this year for the first time in years I believe and still have places speaks volumes that I wasnt the only one feeling this way. Im sorry I cant agree with the above poster and whilst it suits her daughter I just know it wouldnt suit mine.

My advice to your friend is to think very carefully before leaping.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:19 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:49 pm
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2011 places offered on allocation day was 7 shy of the PAN, and certainly for the 2010 entry the school was again under subscribed by a fair few (over 30 I think). It is all about personal preference and locally many are very happy with the school. You would only know if it's suitable for your DD by taking a look and talking to a number of people.

We have found that a school can have popularity dips for a number of reasons, not all negative for your own situation :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:46 am 
I know nothing about the school but would want to visit a few times before I decided anything. I went to various open evenings for schools near me, and also made a point of visiting during normal school hours.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:37 pm 
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I wasnt looking last year but find it even more worrying if it was undersubscribed last year too.

At the end of the day it comes down to what you think your child will be happy in and I knew that Highworth just wasnt that place. Alot of the kids at Highworth dont bother visiting other grammar schools because they want the location. In my daughters year about 8 or so passed and we were the only ones that looked at every grammar school in the area and beyond. Its an important decision and can only really be made by visiting and getting a feel for the place.

Suzanne, the best thing your friend can do is go and take a look for herself - she may well feel its the best place ever. Some of it depends on the child.

Willow, Im sorry if my opinions upset you but they are just that - my opinions !


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:56 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:49 pm
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Oh I wasn't upset by anyone's opinion :lol:

Highworth has had recent rises in PAN which may also account for why there have been spaces of late. I have no personal experience of the school as have not had a child attend it, so my advice can only be general - which is, view it. Not only on open day, when there are lessons going on. If you have time loiter in the area before / after school (although not in dark glasses or in a weird way!) and ask around. You WILL get a feel for it, and if it's not for your DD then give up the place if you don't want it (but not until you have a suitable alternative).

Good luck :D


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:56 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:25 pm
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Thanks a lot guys for the replies and information or your views about the school.
I completely agree with you that you should go and see the school on different occasions and get a feel about it.
My friend will be visiting the school soon.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:02 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:12 pm
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I can promise you that Highworth was oversubscribed last year, about 10 girls from Tenterden juniors, who had all passed the Kent test went to appeal.
As I understand it, the pan has been raised this year following the conversion to academy. The head has always been clear that the school was able to take more girls than the previous LEA PAN.
I don't have a daughter, but a son at NKS, so we have regular links with Highworth and of course a lot of friends there. It is extremely well thought of school, has excellent results and I have never heard a bad word said about it from either parents or their children.


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