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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:49 pm 
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Maidstone/tonbridge/tw area

Started viewing all the schools this week. Seen hayesbrook, mascalls next week. Just wondered what your thoughts were? Thanks :D


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:52 pm 
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Bennett memorial Church of England school


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:21 pm 
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My oldest liked Cornwallis too.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 5:34 am 
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Different schools have different catchments, so this will influence where you will end up.

In Maidstone, Valley has been seen as the most popular non-Gs, and consequently has a very tight catchment area, although does have a limited amount of scholarship places for arty people.

Cornwallis is a marmite school. Some people love it, and their children are excelling, others are not so keen on it. Cornwallis does an entrance exam, so is not catchment, and takes a random selection from each ability banding so they have a cross section of pupils, and can plan their resources in advance.

When choosing school, visit them and see what feels right. Dc2 and his best friend went to different school, that suit their characters ( academic v more relaxed approach). Also consider factors such as travel to school. Distance isn't such a factor, but public transport. Ie, someone who has a direct bus route maybe able to travel further than someone who lives in deepest darkest Kent, but is not on a bus route.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 12:56 pm 
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From what I hear Hayesbrook has had lots of changes recently and is struggling at the moment. friends do not seem as happy as in previous years when it has been a solid choice for a non Grammar.
Hugh Christie is a mixed school so if your DS would flourish in that environment then its worth a look - although it often gets bad press.
Skinners Kent Academy in TW's is booming and now over subscribed - a real achievement for a new school. It has amazing facilities and has had a lot of money thrown at it. Again, a mixed school.
Don't know anything about Hadlow Free (?) school. Think its called Hadlow rural school except it exists and has expanded. They have links with Hadlow college and the original brief was to use the outdoor environment.
Yes Bennett, but they are strict about church attendance. Need to be going for at least 3 years to a Christian church. They get great results and the pastoral care is outstanding.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:14 am 
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St Gregorys (Catholic), Wrotham School and Knole Academy depending on where you are as your brief covers quite a few miles!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:10 pm 
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Our son has done really well at Hugh Christie and is making excellent progress. He is really happy at the school and the other students seem really friendly! The leadership is stable and seems ambitions to make the school even better. They have an EBACC stream for the most able that seems to be having a real impact. The new uniform also looks great. Certainly worth a visit!


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:51 pm 
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Trinity Free School, Sevenoaks: although only operational one year, it has made an excellent start, by all accounts, and the sponsor churches and management team are reportedly hugely ambitious for it. Unlike some of the other schools recommended in this thread, it has a strongly academic focus.

The expected move next year from Riverhead to approved but yet-to-be built facilities at the old Wildernesse site off the A25 towards Seal may suit you if coming from Maidstone/Tonbridge.

Have a look at the threads on Trinity and about Planning for the shared grammar annexe and Trinity sites. Trinity also has open mornings and evenings coming up.

Oversubscription may be a problem, depending on your distance from Sevenoaks, but it would be worth investigating.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 3:10 pm 
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I think it is unfair to describe the schools in this thread as not having an academic focus. I am aware of children who attend many of these schools and they are all sitting a rigorous GCSE academic programme; in many cases identical to their peers in the Grammar schools. These schools have examples of able children having achieved very well at both GCSE and A level and an Ofsted inspection that informs parents achievement is good or better. I don't believe Trinity is yet in this position.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 3:51 pm 
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Trinity will not be in this position because as yet it does not have a year group who are studying GCSE' s. However, having said that I haven't heard a bad thing about the school and on local comment it would seem to be going from strength to strength.


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