Thank you very much for replying, and particularly with something so positive.
Since I started this thread I have visited the school and had a thorough tour with the new(ish) head, Dr Addison. I was impressed with her, and did not see anything there to put me off the school. On the contrary, all the staff I met and snippets of lessons I watched seemed good. So I still remained "perplexed" as local parents of small children that I know seem to steer clear of the school if they possibly can, and produce real or imagined stories of parents fighting in the playground, frequent loud swearing of children coming out of school etc. It has always sounded a little far fetched to me, but being relatively new to Edenbridge from a large northern city I am never sure whether I should heed it as there is rarely "smoke without fire", or ignore it as a bit of small town exaggeration.
It is very useful to hear from you as a past and satisfied parent of the school. Dr Addison told me that in the last 11+ sitting 6 children ( I presume 10% of year 6) passed the 11+, and that these were the ones she thought would pass. She said one boy got 140 in all three papers.
I agree with you that a child of the right ability should pass the Kent 11+ (but who know if my children will be of that ability). But a really poor school may hamper a child's progress in literacy and numeracy to such a degree that they do not fulfil their potential. Also, I feel that the Kent 11+ maths paper requires pupils to cover KS2 material early, and a little more besides. This was my experience when helping my stepson prepare for the 2006 sitting ( he got 140 so perhaps he was "overprepared", I don't know).
I would like to know a little more about your overall experiences if you have the time. What do you think was good and bad about the Edenbridge experience for your children? Why do you think so many people try to avoid the school if they can? Did the six who passed last year have private tuition, or help at home from parents, or no preparation?
Sorry to ask so much, but I really want to use Edenbridge primary as it is my local school, and would make a pleasant walk from home for my two daughters. I will be filling the in CAF in January, and to get a place at Crockham Hill or Hever would most likely have to stay on the waiting lists until a place became available. If a place did become available before September 2008 and I took one at Hever or Crockham Hill I might always regret not having giving Edenbridge a chance.