Advanced search

Top Independent Schools in KENT

(30 Posts)
tapas16880 Mon 20-Jul-15 11:33:18

For quite some time, I have been searching for top independent schools (one of the best in UK, appearing in top 20/30/40?) in and around KENT area (covering Bromley, Chislehurst, Orpington, Shortlands, Beckenham, Catford, Sydenham, blackheath etc). All I am getting are outstanding grammar schools and as always, the top schools appear to be GIRLS only!!

Please can someone suggest me some outstanding independent schools in this area. I am looking for those where age range is from 3-18 or 4-18 for my 1.5 years old Son. I am planning to finish off the admission forms for his admission in September 2017 (After age 3).

Any pointers will be appreciated.

TwelveLeggedWalk Mon 20-Jul-15 11:35:59

TwelveLeggedWalk Mon 20-Jul-15 11:36:49

Sorry, that's obviously secondary only. But co-ed and top flight.

Presumably they have feeder schools, I'd enquire about those.

TwelveLeggedWalk Mon 20-Jul-15 11:41:38

Presumably this is one of them... []

LIZS Mon 20-Jul-15 11:49:30

Agree don't look exclusively at 3-18 schools. Kids develop and change over time and it is often better to be forced to review for secondary rather than assume the default path will suit. So prep to 11 or 13 might be better. Sevenoaks for example has a feeder prep iirc, plus likes of St Michaels and the schools at Somerhill. For secondary you'd presumably be considering such as Kent College , Rochester Grammar and Tonbridge? A number of top schools do not appear in league tables for either SATS (as not all do them) or GCSE/a level/IB .

tapas16880 Mon 20-Jul-15 11:57:08

Thanks but from the research there are few things which is coming out:
1. Established in 1919
2. Not specifically focused around academics

Moreover, I am trying to find independent schools which are at the level of HABS, Kings College School, North London Collegiate School, Harrow School etc. I mean the top ones. Are there any in KENT that are in the same level are these? SEVENOAKS prep/junior/senior certainly doesnt feature in top 50. Also, it is till age 13. I want those that keeps pupils till the age of 18.

tapas16880 Mon 20-Jul-15 12:30:23

After compiling the 2014 list of top GCSE, top A level and top independent schools of UK, and filtering with those in and around KENT, I can only find 4 independent schools to be considered and 7OAKS doesn't at all appear in the list. The schools I am talking about are:

22Alleyn's School Dulwich
200St Dunstan's CollegeCatford
266Royal Russell SchoolCroydon
340Bishop Challoner SchoolBromley

The numbers above are individual ranks. Certainly Alleyn's school looks good. I have seen other posts where people talked about this school. I will look at for further info on this. Do all agree that when we talk about top flight independent schools (outstanding performances in all areas), only these 4 can come up in KENT (border of KENT, not going too much deeper towards TW or Ashford etc as we are planning to buy house around Bromley/Chislehurst/Orpington area).

Unfortunately 7OAKS doesn't appear at all in any of the feeders'/schools list. It is also pretty new (est. 1919) in comparison with other "ancient" top schools.

Any suggestions?

WorkingItOutAsIGo Mon 20-Jul-15 12:37:31

Seriously, your child is 1.5 and you are worrying about this? There is so much to let happen and develop with your DS and please take some advice from an experienced parent and relax a bit. Get the first steps right - nursery and primary - and then you will begin to gather the right information about where is the right school.

FWIW I suspect the reason Sevenoaks doesn't appear in a level lists might be because it's an IB school. Just be confident that Kent has a great set of both grammar and independent schools, and clever Kent children have been doing spectacularly well at them for years.

My friends with clever boys who want independent tend to choose Tonbridge or Sevenoaks depending on the child. But smart kids do well wherever they are. Hope that helps.

WorkingItOutAsIGo Mon 20-Jul-15 12:44:16

Also your comparison set from London is a bit weird - one grammar, one mixed, one top flight girls school and one less academic boys school (sorry Harrow!). Just remember London schools draw from a very large pool and their results reflect much more how selective they are able to be in intake as a result - of course the school makes some difference but not all differences are down to the school. You can see this by seeing how results vary year on year at the top ranked schools - the pupils are the varying factor not the school. This is why league tables should only be used as part of your assessment of where you might like to look to send your child.

LIZS Mon 20-Jul-15 14:07:08

You are clearly getting hung up over league tables. Many schools opt out so do not appear even though their results are stellar. Obvious names missing would be Whitgift and
Trinity, Dulwich et al. You can check out the ISI reports which is the equivalent of Ofsted for the independent sector, Good Schools guide, IAPS for prep schools for more info.

LIZS Mon 20-Jul-15 14:26:36

Royal Russell would not be considered "top" academically. If you are looking at top 200 that is only a selected 200 out of at least 250 schools nationally.

DarklingJane Mon 20-Jul-15 14:29:57

I agreed with Working and LIZ. My son's school (Winchester) doesn't appear in many league tables. They do manage to bang out tolerably good academic results on a consistent basis though.
If you are looking at SE London agree with pp Dulwich (est. 1619 smile ) , trinity , Whitgift.
I would support the posters who have said you might very easily change your idea of which senior school would suit your son from when he starts prep school to when he is coming up to having to actually choose a school. I would find a good prep school with a decent set of destination schools and take it from there as and when.
Why specifically, out of interest, do you want a school which runs 3 - 18?

happygardening Mon 20-Jul-15 14:31:13

I believe schools which offer IGCSE now don't feature in National League Tables which is why you might be struggling. Tonbridge is generally considered to be more academic than Harrow a couple of boys at DS's prep tried to get into Tonbridge and failed and ended up at Harrow, Tonbridge apparently was founded in 1553.
Lots of top independence schools don't like their results to be published in league table but their A levels/IB/Pre U results and university destination; at least the % of successful Oxbridge candidates will be on their websites, many don't bother to publish IGCSE results as success is take as a given at very selective schools, 6-8 A*s at (I)GCSE will be the norm and nothing t get excited about.

happygardening Mon 20-Jul-15 14:37:14

I'm not sure why you are concerned about when a school was established? Kings Canterbury apparently was founded in 597ad ok out of your area but it's a boarding school and has a prep school although not guaranteeing to send to Kings.
Or what about Eltham College only "early Victorian" but I understand from friends who live in that area considered to be pretty academic.

CamelHump Mon 20-Jul-15 19:08:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LIZS Mon 20-Jul-15 19:16:07

Agree , especially given the heads of W and T are changing next year and others will follow in the interim. You are really looking 10+ years hence.

Michaelahpurple Mon 20-Jul-15 19:26:30

And if, as seems the case, you want a top academic and historic school, they simply don't go through from toddlers to youths. They are either public schools, from 13, or grammars from 11. You have to let go of the through-plan.

ancientbuchanan Mon 20-Jul-15 19:33:04

If you don't insist on the Kent demarcation but are fundamentally looking at S London you have a large number to choose from.

If you want all through, though no idea why, and getting into one bit does not assure automatic entrance to the rest, them go Ducks, Dulwich Junior ( not the same as and not IMV so good as DCLPS) Dulwich.

From Orpington, Beckenham, Bromley South it's an easy commute to Westminster. Do nursery, good infants, then Westminster under school then Westminster.

But choose your school dependent on your child. Co ed or not, or sixth form ? Later on, how academic? What other talents

IMV, Dulwich good at maths, rugger, good at value added for the lower end, nit so good for liberal arts, stretching the best, Oxbridge. If I had a v musical DS who sang, I would send to Trinity, because they provide children for the ROH and sometimes Glyndebourne. If I wanted co-ed 6th and a smaller school, I'd choose Eltham. Trinity also co-ed 6th but larger iirc. If an arty sort, Alleyns.


whereismagic Mon 20-Jul-15 19:41:21

Some parents prefer a diamond formation approach: coed until 7 or 11, then single sex, then coed in 6th form. The thing about independent schools is that they have some sort of range of personalities and abilities to which they cater.

Ladymuck Mon 20-Jul-15 22:03:02

Also worth bearing in mind that 3-18 is a long time to be amongst the same group of peers. It happens with any prep school to a certain extent (ie there will be a group of boys who head to the same senior school), but being in the same school for 14 years doesn't suit every child. And it will definitely limit your options. Your son will not be prepared for junior or common entrance, so you will be effectively be forced to stay on at a stage where you may realise that another school would be even better.

Published league tables for independent schools are often incomplete. Sevenoaks for example decided that none of the examining boards covered English Literature sufficiently so they have developed their own qualification which is recognised for UCAS. By the time you cover those schools taking IB, iGCSEs, Pre-U as well as MFL exams accredited in the relevant country, you soon see why it would be hard to rank them.

As well as Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Westminster I would add City of London Boys to the list of senior schools.

StrumpersPlunkett Mon 20-Jul-15 22:10:27

the school my children attend opted out of the lists is not in your area at all
but I just wanted you to know that by sticking to published league tables you could be missing something brilliant.

Tanith Tue 21-Jul-15 09:23:27

Holmewood House prep school is near Tunbridge and gets very good results. One of DS's friends was there and loved it.

Tonbridge School is also highly rated. We were recommended it as an alternative to Winchester - don't know how accurate that would be, it was a parent rather than HM recommendation.
However, a Tonbridge boy, who'd previously attended my son's prep, actually cycled a considerable way back to his prep to recommend Tonbridge to the Headmaster for future pupils so evidently it suits its boys very well!

forago Tue 21-Jul-15 09:35:24

OP your research technique is fundamentally flawed as, as other have said, you are relying on leave tables only and some of the percieved top schools deliberately refuse to be in them. anyone living in Bromley would be looking at Whitgift, Trinity and Wilson's (grammar) as options and these don't even figure in your list. Some children also travel to Caterham school from that area. They also are 10/11+ schools. There is no way Royall Russell is in the same league. You need to go and visit the schools and speak to people with older boys. This all happens organically in year 4/5 of primary school.....
I'd focus on getting primary/prep right if I were you. You need to be getting his name down for many prep schools now as well, not at three, it will be too late.

happygardening Tue 21-Jul-15 10:46:53

You also need to decide if you want to move him at yr 5/6 or yr 8 if it's the later choose a proper prep school that goes to 13+ and regularly feeds into senior schools your think you might be interested in. A good one will have a good head who will advise you nearer the time as to what school is right for your DC. Many we know (in Kent) choose primary to yr 2 and moved them at yr 3 to good preps for preparation for 13+ entry so you would have plenty of time to find a prep if you went down that road.

eatyourveg Tue 21-Jul-15 12:57:30

Hilden Grange is a feeder prep for Tonbridge - they have a pre prep dept so you could go from 3 - 13 then 14-18. Seem to remember something about some of the Tonbridge scholarships including Y7/8 at HG

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now