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 Post subject: HELP
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:18 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:34 am
Posts: 271
Location: S East
Hello
Looking for some views on the behaviour / work ethic / discipline of the pupils at Sevenoaks School. We live outside the county.

I realise that for many of you on this thread the focus is more a GS place (and I wish you the best for what must be a nail-biting, stomach-churning, carpet-wearing time).

However given your geographical proximity, I thought you might either have some knowledge of the school, or some useful hearsay via friends, neighbours, relatives etc.
Would be much appreciated.

I tried the independent schools thread but it deals primarily with London schools.

We have visited the school, but I am looking for what you don't find in the brochure. :twisted:

Many thanks

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:48 am
Posts: 44
We live in Sevenoaks and a lot of our friends send their children to Sevenoaks School. We have friends who have won major and minor scholarships to the school so we have a good idea what they are looking for.

Academically - very, very strong. On most measures one of the best schools in the country. The school does the IB which means that it suits all rounders rather than specialists. But it does well in things like the maths olympiad so specialists aren't held back. School has some of the highest marks in the world for the IB so its useful for children going onto universities in the States or other countries.

Outlook - the school is not a traditional public school. I would describe it as more liberal with a small 'l' than schools like, for example, Tonbridge. This suits children who like to explore, question, test the boundaries etc but may not suit a child who needs the lines drawn more clearly.

The school is very international in outlook so local families who have come from abroad, are bilingual, or are from mixed backgrounds love it. The international boarding centres are big. Some forms are taught in French so families who speak French at home are very keen on the school. A teacher told me how many countries the children came from, I can't remember the figure but it was dozens.

Behaviour - very good. The children are happy, polite and confident. But the 'independent' outlook that is part of the DNA of the school can produce challenging behaviour in the teenage years.

The school is pretty outlooking and integrated with the community so it doesn't tend to produce those shy, tongue tied boys that other produce schools can turn out.

The school really likes to be inclusive. Voluntary service is big in the school. The school works hard to take children in from primary schools and the state sector. Children with one handicap or another have attended the school and I heard yesterday that they had been given funds to take in children with spina bifida.

The type of child the school suits. Academic and self-confident. A child who needs support in the confidence front might not do as well there as another public school. Music orientated and artistic children do well there. The school is not one of the best in sports like rugby and cricket so a very sporty boy might be better off in somewhere like Tonbridge. Does very well though in sports like sailing. Girls sports are very good.

The children are worked very, very hard and they can be exhausted by the transition from primary to Sevenoaks so a child is going to need to be physically pretty robust.

Does that help?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:17 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 1:08 pm
Posts: 134
Location: Westerham, Kent
Hi FirstTime Buyer

Sevenoaks School had an excellent reputation locally. It is considered the ‘super selective’ of the independent schools and usually first choice for the very bright children. I know a few children who go there (day pupils only) and they are all very happy, although they do work them quite hard (they go in on a Saturday which put my daughter off!)

I do not know if your DC has taken the entry exam yet, but it is apparently quite tough. There are two children in my daughters’ class who this year, both passed the 11+ with close to full marks and they have still only made it onto the waiting list. There has never to my knowledge, been any local scandal about the school or the behaviour of its pupils. If your child is very bright, enjoys hard work and you can afford it, then I do not think you can go far wrong with this school.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:36 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:34 am
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Location: S East
Jimmyjack
That was very detailed, and I appreciate the time you took.
Thanks very much.

It sounds very positive but rather exhausting! :)

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 5:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:48 am
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FirstTimeBuyer wrote:
It sounds very positive but rather exhausting! :)


That's about the sum total of it. But I think, like any good school, they make a big effort to make sure that the children they take in will suit the school. And the children seem to enjoy themselves which, at the end of the day, what it is all about.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 5:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:34 am
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Location: S East
Thanks Westerham Mum
Sounds reassuring on the work and discipline front, and daunting on the admissions hurdles.
DS has not run the gauntlet yet, but I have copy past exams, and they are not for the faint-hearted.

Some work ahead...... :roll:

Thanks again

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 3:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 8:24 am
Posts: 96
I know the school well and JimmyMack has summarised its ethos and strengths/weaknesses very accurately.

Having spoken to a few teachers there recently, I know that the standard of candidates at age 11 this year was much higher than last year, and there was no reduction in the number of applications, despite the economic climate. I'm told that they could have taken double the number of candidates as last year while keeping the same entry standard. They haven't been affected by the credit crunch yet, whereas some other private secondary schools from the second tier have seen a noticeable drop in applications.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 5:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:34 am
Posts: 271
Location: S East
Tired-Dad
Thank you for info (I think :shock: )
DS1 not looking at this year but next, however unlikely to change too much. I remember thinking being voted Sunday Times School of the Year in 2007 was likely to be a curse for existing prospective parents.

Hope everything works out for your DS re Judd.

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