Primary schools in tunbridge wells

(12 Posts)
Twerking9to5 Tue 19-Apr-16 16:23:37

We're moving to tunbridge wells in a few months and I'm just checking out primary school options. We'll be in the St. John's area and the schools we'd be closest too as far as I can see are

St barnabas
St Augustine's
St. John's

Also really interested in the new skinners primary on the Knights wood estate but imagine we wouldn't have a chance in hell of getting in there as families living on the estate take priority.

The Mead is a possible option also

Any insider opinions on these schools would be so gratefully received!!

bingandflop Tue 19-Apr-16 17:29:07

Hi! What year group is your child going into? All of those are decent enough schools. Re the skinners, you might be surprised as its not tried and tested so some people might be wary. If its an in year transfer you might have to take wherever is available though as all 3 of the schools mentioned are likely to be over subscribed (perhaps more so in younger year groups)

Twerking9to5 Tue 19-Apr-16 19:27:45

Thanks for replying! It'll be reception and actually not til 2018 so I know lots can change in that time. But we need to get a grip on whether we'll go down the state or independent route.

Panicmode1 Tue 19-Apr-16 19:31:53

If you are going to be in the St John's area, driving to and from the Skinners primary school will be erm....challenging at rush hour/school run time...traffic is diabolical in TW!! That said, I have friends who are extremely happy with the school (so far!)

St Augustine's is catholic although takes some non catholic children. They do split year groups so Reception is on its own, but then they do split year groups with a pure Yr1 class and then the older ones in a Y1/Y2 etc. It's a good school with a very strong pastoral record and my oldest child loved reception there. (We moved him for various reasons but it is a good school). If you aren't at all religious though, it could be challenging so bear that in mind. It is a lovely community school although as it is one of the only catholic schools in the area, it does take from a wide area so your children's friends may not be as local as if you get into St John's or St Barnabas.

St Barnabas used to be one of the schools that people avoided but it is now a really good school with fabulous staff and everyone I know with children there is extremely happy.

St John's is a big school; we have been broadly happy with it, but I would say that it is in a state of flux at the moment - there have been a lot of staff leaving recently, and their results have not been as good as they have been historically....that said, because it is a big school there are a huge number of clubs and after school activities and the grounds mean that they can have a lot of learning outdoors.

I don't know what has happened with the primary allocations this week because I haven't got any preschool age children any more but be VERY careful of EAs telling you that you are 'in catchment for X'. There is no such thing and we are on what used to be a 'banker' of a road for St John's, but we are now in a 'black hole' for schools and would probably be allocated Southborough, even though we would have to walk past St Augustine's and St John's to get there...madness! And if you are close enough to get into St John's, you probably wouldn't be close enough for St Barnabas and vice versa.

Jeremysfavouriteaunt Tue 19-Apr-16 19:38:33

panic is right about the traffic, it is incredibly bad around Twells, it probably looks like nothing on a map but will take you a very long time in rush hour. Is there any particular reason for the Mead over Rosehill etc?

Panicmode1 Tue 19-Apr-16 19:39:58

Probably have spaces - isn't Rose Hill full for the next three years?!

bingandflop Tue 19-Apr-16 19:59:14

Do you know what road you are moving to? That'll give us quite a good idea of what schools you might be looking at realistically. I have an acquaintance with a child at the mead who seems happy with it

Twerking9to5 Tue 19-Apr-16 20:49:40

Ohhhh I just typed a big reply and it didn't post angry

Thanks so so much for all this incredibly helpful info. As I say, I know things can still change by the time DS goes to school but it's great to have some initial pointers.

bing likely to be Stephen's Road, although the buying process has been mega stressful (that's a whole other thread!)

panic thank you! I phoned Skinner's today and they said the very same thing about catchment. I was asking whether we'd even have a chance and was told there's no such thing as catchment and no way of telling whether we'd get in or not. However, as several have pointed out, traffic will indeed be a nightmare. We looked at the houses at Knight's Wood but it didn't really gel. The pull of the school is quite enticing though!

Jeremy I've heard good things about the Mead and it's relatively reasonable fee wise. I will look at other options though (Holmewood House I believe has mega fees, so that's already out!)

TBH the thought of funding two kids through school makes me feel a bit sick so if we are in with a chance of securing places at a happy, thriving state school I'd be chuffed!

Just hard because the decision is out of your hands isn't it. Trying not to overthink it all but failing blush

Panicmode1 Tue 19-Apr-16 21:16:35

If you are at the St Luke's end of Stephens Road, that's ok for St John's but if you are further up from the junction with Hopwood/upper Dunstan Rd it gets less certain....

Panicmode1 Tue 19-Apr-16 21:20:50

Oh and several of DS1s friends at Skinners went to The Mead and were very happy there. It's a lovely school. We turned down a scholarship at Holmewood for DS1 (wasn't right for him) and would have probably gone for Rose Hill or The Mead if we hadn't then ended up with too many children to put four through prep grin

Jeremysfavouriteaunt Tue 19-Apr-16 21:22:21

I have one at skinners too panic, fabulous school isn't it?

Panicmode1 Tue 19-Apr-16 21:34:54

Brilliant, I can't say a bad word about it! Am hoping DD is as happy at TWGGS as DS1 is at Skinners when she goes in Sept.

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