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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:07 pm 
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Anyone been to one recently? Matthew Tate, headteacher, has been touring some of the West Kent primaries talking about the 7oaks Christian School due to open this September.

What does he say about it? What are the facts, unknowns, possibilities etc?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:39 pm 
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Hi

He hasn't been to our school yet but because we have made an application for a place (nothing to loose) we had a brief one 2 one meeting with Matthew Tate this evening.
It seems that a temp 2 year location has been secured for the school (they're keeping the exact location under wraps until Feb) whilst the permanent site is being prepared.
He stressed the promise & expectation (from just about everyone,the government & himself included) that the school will be judged as 'Outstanding' within the 1st 2 years.
There seemed to be a steady flow of parents coming through the door & genuine interest in the school.
Of course one parent hit the nail on the head when she said that lots of Yr 5 parents are very interested in the school (soon to be called Trinity School),its just down to us Yr 6 parents to make the 'leap of Faith' if we dare"! : :P

Will let you know if I hear anything else


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:02 pm 
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Ah thank you. What do you mean by a steady flow of parents through the door? What door was that?

I'm guessing that the temporary location could be Dorton House and that the final location is sharing the old Wildernesse site with the grammar annexe .... maybe he could head up both schools on one site - that would solve a mystery or two.

Would you take the leap of faith?

How can they promise outstanding? How will they fund all the facilities needed for a secondary education for just one year group, and particularly at a temporary location?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:13 pm 
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I have heard on good authority that the now closed Seal fire station will be the temporary home for the Christian School. The building itself is small enough to fit in two classrooms but there is room out the back in the car park for at least four mobile classrooms and if they are planning something like the Knole Academy Pod they could go double storey. This would fit the pattern with all the other free schools that have opened up around the country in redundant old public buildings.

Dorton House is being turned into an old people's home and detached houses and is being sold off to the highest bidder so that can't be the site. Furthermore it is not a public building (unlike the fire station) because it is owned by a charity and not a council.

I also understand that a site share of the Wildernesse site with the grammar school is unlikely. This is because KCC are planning to use the whole site for the grammar school because it is likely to have to expand into a much larger school as population pressure on West Kent Schools increases over the next few decades.

The fire station would be a great site because it is conveniently located right on the A25, there is ample parking in the Seal village car park next to it, and across the car park is the large village playing field which I would imagine they would be able to use for games.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:30 pm 
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Ah that makes sense. The dorton house rumour puzzled me. What do you think the long term site might be for the Christian school then?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:01 am 
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Their website says they are very interested in one site at the moment, but details are being kept confidential.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:20 pm 
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It's only a thought but assuming that the site that interests them is not presently a school they would have to apply for change of use (or something along those lines) through the councils local planning department . This is probably available online to the public....Could be that they are awaiting the outcome of an application? They are holding a meeting at my nieces school this week..will let you know how it goes!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:57 pm 
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Hiya,sorry couldn't get on here for a while.

Each family had a 10 minute meeting with Matthew Tate at the Hope Church offices in Sevenoaks. His evening appointments on our particular evening were full & all parents seemed to be turning up turning up for their allocated session. We liked him (even my husband thought he was OK & he's extremely hard to please).

We will be appealing for a GS place for our DD in March but if we don't succeed we may well make 'the leap' depending on how well things are coming together for Trinity. I would really like to see the school succeed regardless of whether our DD goes there or not but they have an awful lot to get organised before September :|

Our DD is of course very excited about the possibility of starting at a brand new school but as parents we have to be more practical. They have absolutely no history good or bad and that's massive. That said though,they are under enormous pressure to do well & with only 120 pupils to teach in their 1st year the school is definitely worth considering (in our opinion).

Theres an enrichment day for all the registered children on 9th Feb so hopefully we'll have more information then. Will let you know how it goes....


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:11 pm 
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My understanding is that the Christian School does not have a long term site at present and is holding on for the Wildernesse site in the unlikely event that the grammar school project does not go ahead. The confidential site that they are referring to on their website is the Seal fire station which they haven't announced yet because it has not yet been agreed with the council, or notified to the local residents.

The Christian School's catchment area remains centred on the Wildernesse site because that site remains as their long term aim and the Seal fire station is nearby.

My fear is that the senior people at Kent County Council have invested too much political capital in the grammar school project to let it fail, and consequently it will go ahead because political careers are at stake. This means that unfortunately the Christian School will need to look elsewhere for a permanent site. I hope that their current lack of progress on the site does not cause too many parents to decide to go elsewhere, particularly in the vital first year of intake, and in view of the sixty extra grammar school places which were announced last week.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:31 pm 
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Hi all,
I met with the head on jan 30. We tried very hard to get the planned site for the school out of him ... But apart from him offering to tell my sons current head the location, he certainly didnt give too much away to us. I know the temp location is in riverhead, near to tesco. And apparently the final location in 2 years time will be roughly a 15 min walk away from the wilderness school, and share the same postcode as the church (cant remember the name) in mill cresent. We are still hoping for march 1st to bring us happy news of a place at TWGBS .. But will be strongly considering the trinity school if not offered a place. There is so many good points to a brand new school, especially one that will only have 120 pupils in total for the first year. But i do worry about teething problems too, and what effect that could have on the pupils. Its difficult. for me, i feel that i need to be sure that this new school is going to have the ability and stability, to teach and guide him on the same level as a grammar school can offer. Im proud of my son, He has earnt his place in grammer off his own back ... And i really don't want to let him down by making the wrong choice :|


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