Tonbridge schools versus Cranbrook(11 Posts)
We're looking at moving to Kent but the whole grammar thing is an unknown entity to us and I can't work out what to do with the DC, ie. if we get DC1 sorted, where do the other 2 go? I know Cranbrook has had a bashing on here recently but what schools do the children come from for Y9? If we aren't going to go for Cranbrook would basing ourselves in Tonbridge be a better bet? And then what primary schools would we want to be near?
a Y7 musically talented (probably scholarship material) DD, academically solid.
Y4 - bit floaty DD, currently at selective prep and doing ok, not outstanding. Possibly good at art and ok at sport (makes top teams but not naturally sporty). Think she will come into her own, 16ish. Enjoys the hands on, multi-sensory type teaching. Would not do well under pressure.
Y2 - DS. Bright and possibly unchallenged in state - maths and phonics, phonics and maths with some RE. Inquiring mind, possibly performing arts type.
I live in the Cranbrook catchment area. You say your eldest DD is musically talented so it may be relevant that Cranbrook no longer offer GCSE Music. They have also dropped some other non academic subjects at GCSE such as DT and PE and all children have to take all three sciences.
Whilst Cranbrook has its critics there are also many people who are very happy with it. I think children need to be self motivated to succeed at Cranbrook.
If your eldest is in year 7 I am not sure how entry to the Tonbridge grammar schools would work as they start at year 7, unlike Cranbrook. Prep schools for entry to Cranbrook, and also in their catchment area so sending lots of children each year are Dulwich Prep, Marlborough House and St Ronans.
We used to live in Kent and have friends with DC at Cranbrook. Kent is complicated because of the grammars. And the most important thing to consider before you move is that it is not great if your DC do not pass the Kent test as the existence of the grammars means that the comprehensives are not comprehensive. Even if your DC pass the Kent test, it does not guarantee a place unless you live in the catchment area for a particular school. There are "super selectives" with wide or non existent catchments, but these are much harder to get into.
Cranbrook is a special case in that it currently admits all students at Y9 on the basis of exam (and catchment area for day students). This has made it largely the preserve of the private preps - Dulwich, Marlborough House, etc. But this is changing. From 2017 onwards there will be an 11+ entry based on the Kent test, (30 in the first instance but gradually increasing so that eventually the Y9 entry will be mainly boarding with only c20 day places). This will shake up the local 11 -13 prep market as parents are going to want their DC to be prepared for 11+ entry.
Your oldest DC could probably get in at 13+ via one of the preps - but you need to watch the catchment as it is getting smaller. It will be more difficult for your younger children.
Thanks both. No GCSE music? How ridiculous. That's Cranbrook ruled out then.
It sounds like such a headache and I hate idea of some of them not being together because of stricter entrance requirements across the age gap.
Back to the drawing board.
Maybe have a think about canterbury? The langton boys (amazing school, has its own star centre, does joint research with NASA) takes in a few extra pupils in year 9 (not sure how many - call them). Very good all round incl drama, sport, etc.
DD options would be barton court if she passed 11+, not a hothouse, nice kids (langton girls is the school for the more 'robust'). Or, if funds allow, kent college canterbury (possibly an option for all kids). Very reasonable fees and a lovely school. My DC do not go there but i know many children there. Yr4 girls group there are fabulous. Just lovely, friendly, sporty girls and that year i think is standout in terms of the girls group. Yr7 boys group is the usual mixed bunch.
You can join grammar schools after year 7.
What about Tonbridge Girls school (TOGs) in Tonbridge?
I agree, consider the Maidstone schools. Invicta is considered the more academic of the girls schools, and MGGS the more pastoral one.
You might like to look at Ashford a School. It's got excellent music and sport with a prep school to the west of Ashford and senior school near the high-speed train service to London.
Thinking of making the move to Cranbrook. Does anyone have info on the local Cranbrook primary school - is it really as dire as people make out? All other local schools are full!
It may be a bit late, but commenting in case useful MrsMammaM. I have 2 children at Cranbrook Primary. We moved here 2 years ago and they are doing really well. Eldest in Yr 6 just passed 11+ with really good score and hoping to go to Cranbrook in Yr7. (5 children in class passed 11+). We are hoping same for youngest. Teachers there are absolutely fantastic, and although the school was in some trouble a few years ago, it has clearly turned around. Just have to take a look around the school to see what a great environment it is, or if you want to get views from other parents in the area, put a message out on Cranbrook Chat FB page.
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