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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:19 pm
Posts: 13
Hi, we've recently moved to Ashford. I think Norton Knatchbull is our nearest grammar school. I have searched through the Kent pages on here but cannot find very much on what kind of school it is. Is it good pastorally? It seems to be very good at languages. Does it have good music facilities? My DS is musical and NOT sporty. Is there a heavy focus on sport at this school?

Can anyone also tell me which other grammar schools children from Ashford tend to go to? Do they go to any of the Canterbury grammars, for example, via the train?

Any light anyone can throw will be really appreciated :)


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:44 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:23 pm
Posts: 514
Hi Henrico

Welcome to the forum.

I know of some boys from Ashford that go The Harvey in Folkestone. I don't know about whether any go to Canterbury schools - whether they would get in on catchment even.

I can't help much regarding NKS as my son's appeal to go there 3 years ago was unsuccesful :(.

However, hopefully T12ACY may be along later and she may well be able to help regarding NKS and The Harvey.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:58 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:29 pm
Posts: 778
Location: East Kent
I suspect you'd be well out of catchment for Barton Court in Canterbury, however, Simon Langton Boys has gone semi super selective this year with a cut off score of 385 I think. So they don't have a catchment as such


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:56 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:19 pm
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Thanks Twinkles and U400JB9 for replying.

Twinkles, I'm sorry to hear about your DS's appeal. Where did your DS go finally, if you don't mind me asking?

I've just looked at the Harvey School website. They seem to administer their own test, as well as take children who take the Kent Test. Does that mean the school might take you in if you've passed their tests, even if you fluffed the Kent Test for some reason? I just thought it might be a second crack at the whip, spreading the risk, rather than everything hinging on that one Kent test?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:12 pm
Posts: 800
Location: Kent
Hi Henrico,

I have boys at both NKS and The Harvey. NKS has been though some changes over more recent years with the new HT being appointed. I have made no secret of my dissatisfaction of her at times, however as things have settled down my opinion has changed.

DS1 & DS2 both went to NKS and did very well, we had little cause for complaint and with regards to pastoral care can only comment on one issue. DS1 started year 7 and went from 'top dog' to 'average Joe' and found the transition quite hard. He came home on a couple of occasions 'sick' but in reality was just upset. The school were brilliant and supported him through that time. DS1 left deciding not to take the Uni route, which wasn't what the school wanted, to take up an apprenticeship with a firm of Accountants. DS2 has recently attended Cambridge for an Interview to study English. He wasn't successful, we pretty much knew he wouldn't get in, it's sooooo competitive but he will be going to Uni in September. Anyway the point here is they did very well. I would recommend the school. They have really good sport opportunities if you want them. DS1 was Team Captain of the Football team and took part in loads of other sports, but DS2 was hopeless and was regularly told he wasn't as good as DS1. Don't take that the wrong way, it was said in jest and accepted with good humor. After all DS2 is outstanding at English Lit but DS1 never picked up a book unless it was to move it LOL

DS3 is now at the Harvey having failed the Kent Test and we failed at appeal for NKS. Harvey don't do their own test for admission to year 7, it may be you saw they test for casual admissions but all the GS's now do this. Harvey are always very heavily under subscribed, last year they had over half their PAN unfilled on allocations day. DS3 is very happy, so much so that there are now spaces at NKS in his year group but he doesn't want to go there. I think not having to follow his brothers has actually been a good thing as there are less expectations on him. The Harvey have had very good exam results, especially when you consider they do take quite a number of boys who failed the KT and got in on appeal so considered less able. This school is also subject to a bit of snobbery in my view. Parents from that area send their DS's to Canterbury or Ashford (also Dover who do their own entrance exam) and I have to say I have no idea why when this school is actually very good. It may be still stigma from a previous HT who left the school in a bit of a mess, but there has been a different HT for quite some time and he is now retiring with the post being filled by the Deputy I think. Not had any problems at this school either and would recommend quite happily.

The only thing I would add is that you get a feel for school's and I know some don't like both of the above for a number of reasons. Check out the league tables if you want to know how they 'perform' exam results wise too.

If you have any other questions feel free to pm me :)


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:25 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:19 pm
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I've copied below the thing I read about the test The Harvey mentioned, (which is from its proposed admissions arrangements for 2014, a link to which is on the front page of its website (bottom right-ish)). I think what confused me is that in (b) below it mentions the Kent Test separately, as if there were two means of being tested for the school.

As you say, T12ACY, I don't understand the snobbish factor. When I've looked at the FT Secondary school league tables for 2012, the Harvey has 30% getting A* at A level; Norton Knatchbull has 35% getting A* at A level; so not a lot in it and it must vary for both schools year-to-year.

I feel so anxious about the whole 11+ thing, especially having spent a good deal of the afternoon reading the appeals threads :oops: :shock: .

Quote:
Policy for Admission of Students in September 2014
Eligibility for consideration
These arrangements require that, in order to be eligible for consideration for admission to the
school at age 11, would-be students must either:
(a) attain satisfactory scoring across tests taken at The Harvey Grammar School. The tests
used will be Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning Tests and tests set to address the National
Curriculum Key Stage 2 targets in English and Mathematics. The minimum scoring for entry
will be that which will reasonably predict that at the end of Year 11 the candidate will attain
qualifications sufficient to embark on Sixth Form studies at the school, given the curriculum
through the school with its particular spread of subjects, time allocation to them and style of
delivery. It is anticipated that this level will correspond approximately with that which would be
attained or exceeded by 25% of the age group nationally. Arrangements to take the tests will
be announced by the governing body in the local press and also advertised on the school’s
website. Application to take the test should be made on the school’s application form which is
available from the school and should be returned to the school.
or (b) be selected for grammar school education by the Kent Age 11 assessment administered
through the Local Authority coordinated scheme.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:05 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:12 pm
Posts: 800
Location: Kent
This is a change to the entry process for September 2014, so hadn't been aware of this yet. I am not in the least surprised as the school have to try and fill the spaces. In this area of Kent there isn't the pressure on places there is elsewhere and I do believe if there are spaces free which can be filled with suitably able boys they needed to do something to address this. It is a good school with more and more travelling from Ashford every year in our experience. Not sure if that will change this year with NKS taking an extra form group though! This extra test just matches Dover GS for Boys which also experienced similar issues with filling spaces in the past.

If you are thinking of entry in 2014 I would register for the Harvey test if this school is a serious consideration, not forgetting the Kent Testing is under review too!

Don't know where in Ashford you are but there are also clubs which cover Maths, for example, if you do feel strongly about offering additional support for your DS. The primary our boys attended were quite anti any coaching but some are a bit more open about what goes on locally. Maybe a bit of research at the school gate too? (although the mums aren't always that willing to 'share' that kind of detail!) I have to say we did very limited practice and by the time DS3 went through the testing, things had moved on and it was only afterwards our eyes were opened :shock:


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:36 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:28 am
Posts: 77
Hi, my DS is at Knatch and is really doing very well, he is one of those very frustrating children that tries to get away with the minimum effort and always manages to just achieve what is expected of him but Knatch does not let him slack and are constantly dragging the best out of him :roll:
They have just had a good Ofsted which isn't easy with the changes to the inspection so that says alot.
On parents evening the teachers always seem to know the children well.
He has also have some fab holidays including France, America and later this year is going to Spain. Great life expriences are as important as a great education.
It isn't very easy to get in on appeal and when we first went to the school the head made it clear that they will very soon pick out the children that have been tutored to get through the 11+ (luckily we didn't)
My son doesn't have a sporty bone in his bone and this is not a problem for him there.
Good luck in your decision, knowledge of the schools makes it easier to get the right one for your child. Every child is different as is every school :D


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:19 pm
Posts: 13
Hair bear bunch wrote:
Hi, my DS is at Knatch and is really doing very well, he is one of those very frustrating children that tries to get away with the minimum effort and always manages to just achieve what is expected of him but Knatch does not let him slack and are constantly dragging the best out of him :roll:
They have just had a good Ofsted which isn't easy with the changes to the inspection so that says alot.
On parents evening the teachers always seem to know the children well.
He has also have some fab holidays including France, America and later this year is going to Spain. Great life expriences are as important as a great education.
It isn't very easy to get in on appeal and when we first went to the school the head made it clear that they will very soon pick out the children that have been tutored to get through the 11+ (luckily we didn't)
My son doesn't have a sporty bone in his bone and this is not a problem for him there.
Good luck in your decision, knowledge of the schools makes it easier to get the right one for your child. Every child is different as is every school :D


Thank you Hair Bear Bunch, that's another really helpful, positive insight. I love the sound of a school that has good pastoral care, as T12ACY highlighted, but also makes sure it's pupils are stretched. And the holidays sound great!! My DS isn't the slightest bit sporty either, but he does love music. He plays a couple of jazz instruments and longs to be in a jazz band. Does Norton Knatchbull have a good music department?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:11 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:53 am
Posts: 40
Location: kent
Hello, I know a few people whose children go to the Knatchbull. It is a very good school.
The music department is outstanding! They have an excellent reputation. If your son is a Jazz musician, it really is the school for him....
Best wishes,
Observer


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