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 Post subject: Judd or Skinners
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:40 am 
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Dear all

I'm very undecided between Judd and Skinners. We love them both. My son has done really well in the 11+. Skinners has informed already about their cut off points for next year's entry and my son is in according to that. Judd has not published it, but looking at last year's entry, he'd be in too. We live 5 min walk from Judd so it makes sense to just try for Judd. The issue is he really likes Skinners. He likes them both but our guide at Skinners was such an amazing year 7 lad that we were all sold. We also like Judd. My boy loves sciences and the new labs in Judd are amazing. We also need good pastoral care as due to family circumstances he's need some support from his primary school and might need some in the future.

Things that worry me:
Bus journey to Skinners: I've heard that the buses from Tonbridge get really full and they sometimes do not stop. I've also been told of some unkind behaviour in the buses, especially to the younger years, by older students (maybe from other schools as it seems Skinners older look after the younger) and general public. Also the time spent in the journey could be spent doing work at home or in after school clubs). It will be a fair chunk of time after 7 years and this worries me as he grows up and homework increases).

Pastoral support. When I mentioned our circumstances to one of the Deputy Head at Skinners, he mentioned Maths clinic as support? Which is great, but I was referring to a different kind of pastoral support. Had anyone needed pastoral support from Skinners or Judd? I've heard the new Senco at Judd is amazing.

Disciple: in the open evening at Judd, I thought the new head was a bit "intense". Although my son is very academic, I also want him to enjoy the process and the love for his learning. I don't want him to be overly pressured or feel he has to achieve out of fear of being kicked out in the Sixth Form.

Bullying and how it's dealt with. I've heard that one of the schools (won't say which) has an underlying issue with bullying. Has anyone experienced this and how it had been dealt with?

Sports other than rugby. My son is more a cricket boy. Would this be a problem?

Music opportunities in both. Although he has never played music, I'm keen on him having a go at some instruments. Which offers the best opportunities? Are they extra curriculum or are they in the syllabus?

Spanish: none of them offer it. Do they have clubs they can attend?

Food. What is the quality of the food in the canteen? Variety, healthy stuff? Price?

I think that's about it. I would really appreciate your comments.


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 Post subject: Re: Judd or Skinners
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:35 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:45 pm
Posts: 58
Xanauk wrote:
Dear all

I'm very undecided between Judd and Skinners. We love them both. My son has done really well in the 11+. Skinners has informed already about their cut off points for next year's entry and my son is in according to that. Judd has not published it, but looking at last year's entry, he'd be in too. We live 5 min walk from Judd so it makes sense to just try for Judd. The issue is he really likes Skinners. He likes them both but our guide at Skinners was such an amazing year 7 lad that we were all sold. We also like Judd. My boy loves sciences and the new labs in Judd are amazing. We also need good pastoral care as due to family circumstances he's need some support from his primary school and might need some in the future.

Things that worry me:
Bus journey to Skinners: I've heard that the buses from Tonbridge get really full and they sometimes do not stop. I've also been told of some unkind behaviour in the buses, especially to the younger years, by older students (maybe from other schools as it seems Skinners older look after the younger) and general public. Also the time spent in the journey could be spent doing work at home or in after school clubs). It will be a fair chunk of time after 7 years and this worries me as he grows up and homework increases).

Pastoral support. When I mentioned our circumstances to one of the Deputy Head at Skinners, he mentioned Maths clinic as support? Which is great, but I was referring to a different kind of pastoral support. Had anyone needed pastoral support from Skinners or Judd? I've heard the new Senco at Judd is amazing.

Disciple: in the open evening at Judd, I thought the new head was a bit "intense". Although my son is very academic, I also want him to enjoy the process and the love for his learning. I don't want him to be overly pressured or feel he has to achieve out of fear of being kicked out in the Sixth Form.

Bullying and how it's dealt with. I've heard that one of the schools (won't say which) has an underlying issue with bullying. Has anyone experienced this and how it had been dealt with?

Sports other than rugby. My son is more a cricket boy. Would this be a problem?

Music opportunities in both. Although he has never played music, I'm keen on him having a go at some instruments. Which offers the best opportunities? Are they extra curriculum or are they in the syllabus?

Spanish: none of them offer it. Do they have clubs they can attend?

Food. What is the quality of the food in the canteen? Variety, healthy stuff? Price?

I think that's about it. I would really appreciate your comments.


I have a son in year 9 at Skinners and I cannot rate it highly enough. Having said that his friends at Judd are equally happy.

My son is a cricketer and Skinners play more cricket than Judd. If your son is in the A team for cricket he will have one after school cricket training per week in the summer term and 2 matches per week. On of those matches will be during school time (instead of doing games) and one will be a Saturday morning. If he only makes the B team they generally have one match a week and the training session. Winter nets training starts after Christmas for anyone who wants to play. Cricket is definitely the main sport in the summer and the number 2 sport after rugby. My son doesn't like rugby so during games he plays hockey instead. He'd never played hockey before starting Skinners but they say cricketers make good hockey players as they have the hand, ball, stick, eye coordination. He now plays for the school hockey team and loves it.

I've not heard of any bullying at Skinners, of course that doesn't mean it's not happening. The closest I've heard of bullying is a boy who is socially awkward (I don't know him but sounds like he could be on the autistic spectrum). He wasn't happy in his class or making friends so he has moved into another class, he was given the choice of which class to move into. I believe he is much happier now.

Don't know anything about music or Spanish I'm afraid.

Food - Skinners have a system where different year groups go to lunch first on different days. If you are first or 2nd to lunch there is lots of choice and the food is good. On the days you are last they have often run out of the good stuff (according to my son) so he takes a packed lunch on the 2 days a week that his year group are last and 2nd to last. A main meal and pudding costs £2.30 There is a cooked meal every day, spag bol or curry or roast or burger and chips etc. They also have toasted paninis or sandwiches or jacket potatoes. Probably other stuff too, this is just the stuff I have heard my son talking about.

Feel free to ask any other questions, I'm happy to answer anything I can.


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 Post subject: Re: Judd or Skinners
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:44 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:45 pm
Posts: 58
Sorry should have also added:

Buses: Don't know about buses coming from Tonbridge as we don't come from that direction but my son sees the bus journey as down time chatting to his friends. The buses have never been an issue for us. I've not heard of older boys picking on younger ones but your son will soon learn some new vocabulary from older children on the buses! You just have to hope he doesn't repeat it at home!

Haven't really needed any extra pastoral care from Skinners but I know they have a councillor on site that some boys in my sons class see on a regular basis. I'd say they are very sensible at Skinners, they want the boys to have a life outside of academics and support lots of extra curricular activities. They are very much into developing the whole personality and not just looking for academic excellence.


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 Post subject: Re: Judd or Skinners
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:49 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 6:25 pm
Posts: 119
My son is year 10 at Skinners. Loves it so much. Needed some extra support in year 9 once I mentioned my concerns to School help Was put in place immediately. Great pastoral care so caring about their boys. Great group of boys, form and year group gets on really well. Never heard of any bullying to be honest. Not sure I would be keen on my child having a difficult journey to and from school. After a long day I know my son is keen to get home as quick as possible so consider this! I think Skinners turns out very polite kind kids. Don’t know much about Judd but they are both great schools and you are lucky to have this decision to make! #firstworldproblems


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 Post subject: Re: Judd or Skinners
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:40 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:56 am
Posts: 459
My Yr 7 son loves Skinners too: the older boys have been very nice to them and the food is good. We didn't expect him to enjoy rugby but he does and has played several matches against other schools.


Last edited by Sorrel on Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Judd or Skinners
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:35 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:05 am
Posts: 2
Thank you all so much. I am finding this quite emotional. Been to Skinners yesterday. Loved it. To Judd this morning. Loved it too! I suppose we will do the application (probably put Judd first as it is so close it seems silly not to) and Skinners after and will wait and see what we get. Whatever happens will be meant to be. Both schools are incredible and we are lucky to have such fantastic schools in the area.


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 Post subject: Re: Judd or Skinners
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:06 pm
Posts: 193
We needed pastoral support this last year and Judd have been outstanding.

I’m not sure what you mean by “disciple” re the HT. Our experience has been that Judd is all about the holistic approach and that it is absolutely not all about academic results.


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 Post subject: Re: Judd or Skinners
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:17 pm
Posts: 5
Could I just follow this thread and ask if anyone has any feedback from Judd?
We are now also struggling in these two schools, with distance wise I personally opt for Judd, but heard many good side of Skinners. So, really wanna know if any of you have DS in Judd, and how do they feel? Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Judd or Skinners
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:04 pm
Posts: 9
I have a son in Year 11 at Judd and have to say it’s a wonderful school.

My son isn’t at all sporty but tried lots of sports there. Cricket is an option in the summer term and they send a team abroad each year, I think it’s the Carribean.

Regarding music my son again wasn’t particularly musical but now plays an instrument. He doesn’t have lessons in school time although these are available and music is studied up to Year 9 as a compulsory subject and lessons are available. My son instead attends an after school club put on by the brilliant teachers there and us in a band with his friends. Each year there are events including Battle of the Bands which is amazing.

Pastoral care is first class. My son found it very difficult in Year 7 as he was the only boy there from his small primary. I contacted his form tutor and she was wonderful, by half term he had gone from wanting to leave to loving every minute and I’m glad to say he still does. As for bullying there is zero tolerance at Judd and the older boys look out for the younger ones.

What I know of the buses to Tonbridge the service is pretty poor and as you live you’ll be well aware of how dreadful traffic is. There are lots of extra curricular activities available at Judd and as you live so close I’d say definitely go for it. We live 10 miles away and despite the journey and the lack of buses (one an hour after 4.30pm) my son still voluntarily stays after school three days per week as he enjoys school so much.


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 Post subject: Re: Judd or Skinners
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:59 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:35 am
Posts: 132
I'm another Skinners' parent and haven't got a bad word to say about it - DS1 is in Y10 and it does seem to be a really great year group. He's not mentioned anything about bullying and actually I think that they are generally very kind to each other. (He said he went to see if a Y7 sitting on his own at lunch was ok the other day - probably gave the Y7 a heart attack :lol: , but the thought was there at least!)

I do think that the travelling is a big issue though - we are 2 minutes walk from Skinners and it's probably not such an issue in Y7 and 8, but once the homework starts ramping up, it's hard to continue with extracurricular activities outside of school if you have a long journey home and have a lot of homework. DS can be home about 5 minutes after the bell goes, do his homework and then still have time for his other interests in the evenings.

I have several friends with boys at Judd and they all rave about it too......

Good luck with the decision, and how lucky we are to have such amazing schools on our doorsteps!


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