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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 9:14 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:07 am
Posts: 37
Hi
We live in Kent but in the Bromley borough and are considering moving further into Kent, towards Sevenoaks or Tonbridge. My preferred school would be the Weald of Kent for my two daughters but I am not sure what the options are if they don't pass the eleven plus? I also have a 4 year old son so would need to consider primary schools for him and both grammar and comps for the future. I am really torn as the primary school my children currently attend is outstanding and as it is a large school they have brilliant facilities so I am reluctant to have to change them to a new school. However the secondary options near me are not ideal as I am not in the catchment for the best comps if we don't get a grammar and grammar places are becoming harder to get as we are OOC.
Can anyone advise on possible secondary schools for both girls and boys (single sex or mixed)?
Thank you!


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 12:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:24 pm
Posts: 631
Location: Petts Wood, Bromley, Kent
I hope someone comes along and gives advice about the Kent options but we were in a similar position to you. We decided to stay put and have not regretted it. DD got good results for the Bexley grammars as well as Newstead (and Kent). We are within distance for the Bexley grammars and it is a common misconception that as we are not in Bexley you have to be in the top 180 score, you don't, you just need a pass and then be in distance, some come out as far as 8 miles but appreciate it changes every year so no guarantee. Some comprehensives like Darrick Wood are amazing but if not in catchment then the ones that were traditionally less popular like Coopers are improving and have a grammar stream for those that narrowly miss out on a grammar place - it is suffering from having had a bad reputation for many years but I know parents who are very happy there and it is usually better than the Secondary moderns of Kent where 30% of the top ability are creamed off into the grammars.


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 12:50 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:19 pm
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Hi Mayfair and welcome to Kent, hopefully I can give you some information for the Sevenoaks side of the question.

Firstly the primary options. Sevenoaks is lucky to have an abundance of really good primary schools, there are a couple which are church schools so their entry criteria is obviously different but entry to the others is catchment based, therefore, it really would depend on where you chose to live. I'm sorry I don't know much about the Tonbridge primary schools but I'm sure somebody will be able to help you soon.

You've identified your preferred secondary school, which is great, and as you probably know WOK is soon to open a Sevenoaks Annex to run alongside the main site in Tonbridge (there is a whole thread on this in the Kent section). On the grammar side there is also Tonbridge Grammar and Tunbridge Wells Girls Grammar.

There are lots of non-selective options. Sevenoaks itself has Trinity and Knole Academy. Both are mixed but Trinity is a church school with some non-faith places so it would be worth reading their admissions criteria. Both schools are new-builds , in fact Trinity is still being built, with good facilities. A huge number of children travel by bus or train from Sevenoaks to Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells - please don't be put off by this!
There are two mixed church schools (Bennett Memorial and St Gregory's) and they do offer some non-faith places, plus a girls' school called Hillview - again you will need to look at the admissions criteria. There are two other mixed schools (Hugh Christie and Mascalls) but Sevenoaks children don't seem to go to them so if they are on your radar you will need to consider where you live.

For boys the secondary options are obviously the mixed schools mentioned above plus Hayesbrook a non selective school in Tonbridge. On the selective side there's Judd (Tonbridge) and The Skinners' School and Tunbridge Wells Boys Grammar in Tunbridge Wells. The first two are deemed as super-selective and the latter is an 11+ pass and catchment. Mind you if your son is currently only 4yo things could be very different in 7 years time!

Hopefully this gives you some schools to look into but please come back with any questions.

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Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad !


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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 1:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:07 am
Posts: 37
Thank you PettsWoodFiona for your reply. I hadn't thought of the fact that the comprehensives in Kent may not be as good as here due to the grammar schools taking the top children, so it's another thing for me to consider!
Thank you Doodles for your informative reply about Sevenoaks. We are not church goers so I will have a look at the admissions criteria for the various schools you mention.
Is there anyone from the Tonbridge area who could advise me on schools there?
Thank you


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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 11:02 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:57 pm
Posts: 280
Mayfair321, you mentioned on another thread that travelling from your current location to the WoK Annexe in Sevenoaks would involve two trains to Bat & Ball and then a walk/bus.

How close are you to Bromley South station? The stopping service direct to Bat & Ball takes less than half an hour from there and the line and Bat & Ball station itself are scheduled to be upgraded with more frequent trains and better station facilities. The walk up the hill to the Annexe-and-Trinity site takes 10-12 minutes.

If your DD started at WoK and you then decided to move to Sevenoaks, Trinity would be a non-selective option for your DS in the future. 50% of Trinity places are non-faith based, allocated on distance alone, but I don't know the catchment for 2016 - likely very short. The WoK Sixth Form is for girls and boys, but your DS would face a lengthier journey to a boys' grammar, unless the Sevenoaks Annexe expands to accommodate boys.

Bus services from this end of Sevenoaks, and from Seal , which is just the other side of the Annexe/Trinity, go direct to the Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge grammars. My DS starts Year 7 at TWGSB in September and will be catching the bus. The journey will take about 40-45 minutes.


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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 1:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:07 am
Posts: 37
Thanks for the info Chimera. I live in Petts Wood so if we got the WOK Tonbridge site I would drop my DD off at Orpington station as the train only takes 19 minutes from there. If we got the Sevenoaks site she would get a train from Petts Wood to Sevenoaks and have to change trains there to get to Bat & Ball, which I'd rather avoid her having to do. Unless they plan to put on buses from sevenoaks station to the school site, which I suppose might be the best option.
I hadn't realised there were direct trains from Bromley and Bickley to Bat & Ball! That will open up the school to children from that area who are limited in their grammar options.


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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 2:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:24 pm
Posts: 631
Location: Petts Wood, Bromley, Kent
You can hedge all bets for Kent and stay in Petts Wood (best place to live as you may guess from my name) and then move after results day but before the final address date. One of my daughter's friends did this, she passed Kent but not the other grammar tests and not high enough for an OOC score - they put their house on the market, rented close to one of the non super selective grammars by the cut off date second week of December and she will be attending a Kent grammar from September. They had to prove they'd cut ties with old house but it is all legitimate apparently. A bit extreme and a lot of changes at once, plus last term of primary involves a lot of travel. Not my preferred route but I put it down as the way some people do it. I know a good number from Petts Wood who are heading to Townley Grammar or Chis n Sid this year as well as Newstead.


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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 3:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:07 am
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Yes PettsWoodFiona I think we have decided to stay in Petts wood and hope for the best and then if necessary move after first offers have come out! We always thought we would move further out at some point so we are happy to do so if need be.


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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 5:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:24 pm
Posts: 631
Location: Petts Wood, Bromley, Kent
I will also clarify that Kent make allowances for this in their admissions timetable and admissons code. As I said above the steps the people I know did were all legitimate. None of it was false. It cost them a fortune in selling up and moving and a great lot of hassle. They are not planning on moving back or cheating the system in any way. If Kent didn't want this to happen they could change their processes, timetable and admissons.


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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 8:48 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:41 pm
Posts: 44
Go coaches run bus 431 from Orpington to Trinity School in Sevenoaks on school days. This may be useful for potential Sevenoaks site WOK parents.

The bus goes via Chelsfield, Green St.Green, Pratts bottom, Knockholt Station, Halstead, Knockholt, Dunton Green, Riverhead, Knole Academy and terminates at Trinity.

Full details of the route and timetable can be found on the Go coach website

http://www.go-coach.co.uk/


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