Independent schools in Tunbridge Wells?(26 Posts)
We're thinking about moving to TW and are interested in independent schools for our DS, aged 4. I've looked at various school websites, but could anyone here steer me a bit? We'll obviously go to open days and visit the ones we like but just for now, can anyone give me a heads up on the main differences between say: Rose Hill, Mead, Holmewood House? In terms of culture, academic results, whether it's a friendly/pushy/hard to get into etc etc? For what it's worth, I'd rather DS went somewhere small-ish, friendly with decent outside space. Warm, approachable teachers rather than ones driven purely by the academic side of things.
Thanks very much for any insight.
Have you looked at Fosse Bank School in Hildenborough? I know some people from TW who use the lanes to get here. It is such a lovely school and all of the things you say you're after. So friendly and not pushy at all and yet still gets the results. My children are so happy there.
I haven't heard great things about Holmewood-apparently quite a hot house and lots of pushy parents. I've heard that Rose Hill is always oversubscribed with lots of HH pupils sitting on the waiting list!
Ditto what Eves says re HH and Rose Hill.
Have you looked at schoolsatsomerhill (really great school) and hilden grange in Tonbridge? SAS very easy to get to from t wells.
Thanks everyone, that's a real help. It's so hard!! I'll definitely look at SAS and Hilden Grange, I'm not familiar with those two so will be good to explore new options. I haven't heard good things about HH either, but Rose Hill seems to get decent reports. Is there anyone who knows the Mead School?
Rose Hill is a lovely school, I have not direct experience of HH but have heard similar things through friends.
The Mead does not have a great reputation but that could be just local snobbery.
I did not like Fosse Bank, dd did trial days there. HG , I pulled my son out of there and would not go back unless the head moved on.
Somerhill schools are good- have close family there. Hilden Oaks is a very nurturing school on the same road as HG but completely different ethos. This is Co-Ed now until 11.
You can PM if you want me to be more specific.
Rose Hill and the Schools at Somerhill are the ones that friends of mine use and like.
If you want to move further out, the schools around Cranbrook (Marlborough House, St Ronan's, Dulwich Prep) are very popular.
Hi everyone, thank you for your replies. Tough, can I ask why you didn't like Fosse school? I've been looking at the website and thinking it looks lovely If you don't mind me asking, I'd be v interested why it didn't work for you.
Have you looked at Beechwood Sacred Heart? It's a really lovely little school, the grounds are beautiful and the teachers are lovely. My brother is dyslexic and wasn't particularly academic and they were amazing for him, however I was academic and they were also great for me. Definitely worth a look I think. If I still lived in TWells then I'd send my son in a heartbeat!
Just on a ferry ginger on way home. Will pm you tomorrow.
Would also highly recommend Fosse Bank in Hildenborough. Fantastic school- move for our children (we have moved to Kent part way through their junior school education) has been painfree and have been so impressed with how much progress our children have made there. They literally skip into school each day- they couldn't love the school more. Teaching is very good and aimed at your child's abilities (wherever that is on the spectrum) and not just what the class norm is. I am surprised to hear someone didn't like a taster day there. The school doesn't come across as pushy but the teachers are fantastic at working with the children as individuals and so bringing out the best in each child. Lovely building in beautiful grounds- so there is lots of outside space. Very friendly- since it is a small school they know everyone at the school (teachers and pupils) which has been lovely to watch. I cannot recommend it highly enough! I've not heard great things about HH or HG. Have friends at Somerhill who like it but have said it is very pushy (particularly for boys).
We are ever so happy with Fosse Bank. They have Open Days coming up on 16/5, 8/6 and 15/6 ... we first visited on an Open a Day and were shown round by Year 6 pupils who were confident, polite, engaging and everything you hope your child will turn out to be! We chose it, because we thought if we could go back to school, that is where we would have wanted to go. Good Luck with the search and happy to PM if you would like.
Like you we are just moving house from London to TWells and I've done heaps of research into schools. We've been to see Hilden Grange, Somerhill, Hilden Oaks, Sevenoaks and St Michaels and to be quite honest I didn't feel quite at home. I've read good things about Fosse..... they seem to be all over various types of children's needs to teach and teaching to each child's requirements. We've booked a taster day for our children at Fosse, so will update when they've done it. Am thinking this might be our way to go as the older children that showed us round were very capable and surprisingly approachable for their age. Think they must be doing a lot right there to make children so together?
Fosse Bank School is a fantastic school. We moved our three children there and they are extremely happy. I can only second what has been stated above... the school is by no means pushy but children are taught as individuals bringing out the best of each individual. We did taster days in quite a few of the other schools in the locality and Fosse Bank was by far the best we came across. Very happy to have my children there.
Just to counterbalance the comment about Somerhill being pushy for boys-absolutely not in our experience. We couldn't recommend it highly enough for all sorts of abilities, strengths and weaknesses. They do have a lot of leavers go onto Tonbridge School, but also a variety of other senior schools as well which aren't academic.
We too looked at all the schools, HG, Hoaks, SHill, RHill and chose Fosse Bank. We couldn't be happier and DSs couldn't be happier. Really good at treating each child as an individual. I like that it is a small school and that my DSs mix with all year levels which is great for their confidence. Academically, I can't imagine they could do better. Bonus that that I can park at the school and walk to hildenborough train station to catch the train to London for work! The little things matter!
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Our children have only recently moved to Fosse Bank and they have made so much progress academically. My youngest went up 3 reading levels in the first term he was there. My other child had low self esteem & confidence issues when they started there now we have a happy confident child. The school treat children as individuals as it is a small school the staff are able to give them much more attention and it is shown by the progress my children have made.
My child has been at Fosse Bank for 3 years and they have been 3 rewarding years. It is a small school but deliberately so, the classes are focused on the national curriculum but tailor the structure of the teaching to the child’s needs. The staff at the school are wonderful and are great teachers who know all the students names. There have been changes in the school but this is normal and been well managed. If you are looking for a small school that is focused towards developing your child and helping them achieve their academic potential then I highly recommend Fosse Bank.
I notice there have been a number of posts by Fosse Bank parents over the last month. All the posts seem to be since the governors held a meeting with current parents to discuss the school’s falling numbers and it’s financial position.
Prospective parents should consider a number of factors when looking at Fosse Bank School.
Firstly, the school’s financial situation. This info can be found on the Charity Commission website for free. It is important to choose an independant school which has sound finances.
Secondly, parents should ask themselves why so many children have left the school. No parent moves his or her child without reason.
Thirdly, at present the school is very small. There are only 2 children in year 4 and reception only has 3. Parents should question why in an area where most independent schools are full or nearly full Fosse has so many places.
Fourthly, prospective parents should question the educational, sporting and social value of being in a school environment where many activities will be limited by the small class sizes.
We moved our children from a local failing state school to Fosse Bank and there hasn't been a single day we've regretted doing it. The school is like a second family for our children and they cannot wait to go every morning. The staff there are amazing and cater for the individual needs of the children. All the children there are so polite and well nurtured. Some parents recently have panicked and scare mongered other parents into thinking there are problems at the school but most of the 'bad eggs' have now moved on and left a delightful atmosphere once again. I couldn't recommend the school more. Come see for yourselves
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There's obviously a real divide in opinion on Fosse Bank! I'm intrigued. Some rave reviews then others obviously feel very negative about it. Why? Completely understand if people don't want to share, but as a parent who's considering it for entry next year, I'd be interested to know more about the reasons for feeling anti. Is it the teaching? Ethos? Problems with bullying? And is that true about the numbers? Sounds like there's hardly anybody at the school but that can't be right surely??!!
Lots of local private schools aren't full to capacity, even some quite prestigious ones. I'm not sure if Fosse Bank is suffering any more or less than it's competitors.
This seemed a particular problem this year as some of the sevenoaks state primaries took on extra reception classes. I have friends who took their child out of a very good private school because there were spaces in an excellent primary school that previously they weren't in the catchment area.
Daisychain...very interesting point. I was reading this thread, thinking goodness, what a coincidence, so many parents at fosse bank on mumsnet! I think you may have hit the nail on the head.
I only went to fosse bank for swimming lessons for my eldest. It seemed run down and a bit unloved if I am honest. But I am acutely aware that that doesn't necessarily mean much when talking about private schools.
I am looking for feedback on Hilden Grange, Hilden Oaks and Granville in Sevenoaks, for my DD. Can anyone help? We were also looking at Rose Hill initially but got put off by their policy of starting from nursery rather than pre-prep. I really cannot see the point (other than financially for the school). I like the school but the nursery arrangement just isn't going to work for us, as you can't take your child there every day! I find it quite surprising but never mind.
I can see that Toughasoldboots hasn't had a good experience of Hilden Grange - may I ask why please?
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