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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 7:51 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 6:29 pm
Posts: 35
Hi everyone,

in a nutshell i live in hertfordshire but dream of a life by the sea, and ideally want to move my family there next summer when my eldest finishes y6. i'd like my DDs to go to a GS as i think the higher pace of work would suit them, and to be cheekily honest i don't want to pay for a selective private school locally!

my husband works in london but thanks to the hi-speed train he would now consider commuting from canterbury or broadstairs 3 days a week, with 1 night spent in london, 1 day working from home. so i just need to find the right school along the train line to convince him to move to the sea!!

i plan to register for the kent test in june as an OOC applicant. my Y5 DD is level 5c in numeracy and level 4b in literacy (i'm mighty thankful that the kent test doesn't have a marked literacy paper!) so i'm hoping that her maths will be good enough to get her a pass, with a few practice papers under her belt between now and then. she has done two sets of papers so far, and passed all but one of the NVR ones where she was 5% short. does anyone think i should get a tutor for a couple of months, or are we looking okay? my Y3 DD is g&t for both subjects, so i reckon she should pass the 11+ without too much stress on her shoulders.

my DDs ideally want to go to a mixed school. we visited the chatham & clarendon in march but unfortunately none of us liked it. SO disappointing!!! however it's hard to look past the shabby portacabins, cramped corridors, lack of sports hall etc, though they are hoping to do more building/renovations work again this summer... and what they did last summer was truly impressive, so i haven't ruled it out yet. in fact i have booked to go for visits at c&c, dane court and barton court at the end of june. has anyone out there got views on these three? or whether there is another school we should also be looking at? it's so hard not having the word on the street and just relying on school websites. am particularly concerned about the urban campus aspect of c&c - doesn't this waste a lot of time between lessons getting between buildings?

also, can anyone help as to which order of schools i should fill out the form in october as an OOC? i get the impression that c&c is VERY likely to have spare places... so maybe i'm okay putting them last place if they aren't my favourite? dane court is always oversubscribed so would need to be resident in thanet THIS summer for them, otherwise only very slim chance on appeal. barton court had 19 spare places as of 1st march this year, but was oversubscribed previous years...why is that?? also, wondering whether to put my local herts non-selective school as 1st place (it's way oversubscribed) as a fallback option if we decide to stay in herts after all. but i guess that would jeopordise our chance of getting a place at barton court or dane court!

it's all very confusing, but i'm desperate to make the dream happen!!


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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 11:06 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 1:35 pm
Posts: 290
Location: kent
Barton Court has had a lot of changes following a change of headteacher. Some have been good, but others very unpopular. My son is reasonably happy there, and doing well, (luckily he is quite low maintenance) although I know of others who feel the emphasis is now very heavily on academic achievement, and other positive qualities of the school have been lost along the way.

The parental grapevine reaches far and wide, and it is possible that the 'unsettled transitional period' during which there have been a number of unhappy pupils and parents (and possibly staff, as lots seem to have left) has had an effect on peoples CAF choices.

Another possibility is a fall in numbers transferring to secondary? No idea if this is the case or not myself.

Either way , I'm afraid I have no experience of the other schools you asked about, but would strongly suggest a visit
during a normal school day if you can. As you said, the glossy websites don't really give you a feel for a school.

Good luck with your decision


Just my humble opinion really


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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 11:36 am 
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Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 6:29 pm
Posts: 35
thanks jingle : i've now done some further research...

on sat 30th june barton court are running an activity morning 9-1pm for Y5s so i have booked my DD onto that. if she loves it we will go to the official y5 open morning on the following wednesday and/or a private tour... when staff&pupils are less likely to be on their best behaviour!!

the ex-invicta head is obviously keen to promote the school to y5s! she had a reputation for accelerated learning at invicta in maidstone so perhaps she is bringing that style to barton court? shame if it becomes just a hot-house and a bit worrying about staff turnover. please keep me posted as to whether you think playground grumbles are settling down. apart from the change to 1hr lessons which i'm fine about, where there any other unpopular changes? and what were the positive qualities that have been lost?


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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 1:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 1:35 pm
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Location: kent
Hi

I have sent you a PM (private message)
sorry its not that long, as I need to pop out shortly. I am happy to help more if I can


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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 2:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 6:29 pm
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thanks so much jingle for taking the trouble to write down your thoughts.... most helpful indeed.

my eldest DD sounds similar to your DS - a bit lazy and could do with the push. so not too troubled by your reply, but hear the warning notes of high pressure. guess it's mainly the contrast in style that people are adjusting to. i will take it a step at a time and see how she likes the activity morning first, and will compare it to the others. if barton court looking favourite then i will certainly take a look at SL girls as well.

however my honest lifestyle preference would be for broadstairs, if all schools equal, and not giving my DD as well as my poor husband a long commute! so the plan would be to move to canterbury if we go for a canterbury school and move to broadstairs if we go for c&c or dane court. anyone out there got any recent experiences of those two coastals?


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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 6:06 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:28 pm
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I don't know much about the area, except for we had a lovely afternoon at Joss Bay (beach near Broadstairs) on Saturday, passed Dane school which looked nice, and had a very quick shop at West Cross (?) shopping centre which is huge.


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 12:08 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:41 pm
Posts: 38
Hi Sunnysue

I am in the same boat as you it appears. We are OOC to and will be moving back to the Canterbury area next year. I was born and lived in Bexley and moved to Devon about 10 years ago. I will be registering my Year 5 DD this June too. So I have the same predicament about grammar schools (fingers crossed that she passes) and how to choose. I welcomed seeing other parents' views on the schools near and around Canterbury and if anyone else can advise that would be great.

We live in Devon ( :shock: ) so viewing the schools is going to have to be done at all once I fear! Can you view schools out of the normal open days? I am glad you posted something about Barton Court activity day as I had forgotten about that. Will have to try and make the long journey up there for that if I can get booked in.

On a different note -does anyone else worry about their DDs and DSs making new friends? Where I live currently is sooooo small (I mean tiny) that there are only a couple of secondary schools and all the kids from primary school age go to those schools and know each other for life and never move out of the area! Is the transition as scary as I am thinking??


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 12:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 6:29 pm
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hello palacebelle.

register online for the barton court day on sat 30th. i heard back the next day by email that i had a place.

then, (if you are considering ramsgate/broadstairs grammars), you are welcome to come along to the tours that i have set up with the admissions people at chatham & clarendon and dane court on monday 2nd july (9:30 and 2pm). they were fine about doing a "private" tour seeing as i was OOC, and great for me to have a look at 3 in one weekend.

my girls are really happy at their existing primary school so it will be tough for them to move away from friends and a small school they love. that is why ideally i would like to move next summer rather than this summer, as not only will my y5 DD then finish y6 at her existing primary (where people seem to scatter off in all directions for secondary) but i will only need to look for one y5 primary space rather than a y4 & a y6 if i move this summer (which would probably mean an unsatisfactory undersubscribed primary school unless we get very lucky).


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 12:58 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:41 pm
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sunnysue wrote:
hello palacebelle.

register online for the barton court day on sat 30th. i heard back the next day by email that i had a place.

then, (if you are considering ramsgate/broadstairs grammars), you are welcome to come along to the tours that i have set up with the admissions people at chatham & clarendon and dane court on monday 2nd july (9:30 and 2pm). they were fine about doing a "private" tour seeing as i was OOC, and great for me to have a look at 3 in one weekend.

my girls are really happy at their existing primary school so it will be tough for them to move away from friends and a small school they love. that is why ideally i would like to move next summer rather than this summer, as not only will my y5 DD then finish y6 at her existing primary (where people seem to scatter off in all directions for secondary) but i will only need to look for one y5 primary space rather than a y4 & a y6 if i move this summer (which would probably mean an unsatisfactory undersubscribed primary school unless we get very lucky).


Hi Sunnysue
Thanks for the quick reply. Thats exactly the same for me - dont want to move this summer because of the same reasons you have and its a great primary school shes attending at the moment.
I havent considered the Ramsgate / Broadstairs option as we have family near Canterbury / Dover area but thank you for the offer and if we look at those areas will definitely hold you to that.
Also I have sent you a PM.
Thanks again


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 1:53 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:18 am
Posts: 306
An important point to note is that you need a local address when you submit your CAF by 31 October of the year your child is in Yr 6 so you might have a problem with a move in the summer after Yr 6. KCC admissions team should be able to give you more advice.


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