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Relocating to Kent

(14 Posts)
Mikmat Fri 21-Jun-13 22:25:35

Hi Mums,

My family are relocating from Brisbane, Australia to Kent for my husband's job. I've never been to the UK, so am starting from scratch.

Any advice/comments on all aspects welcomed!

Should we choose state or private schools? My kids are 5 and 7. The company would pay for private schooling. I am after the friendly community feel which our current private school has, is this also the case with private schools in Kent? Ay views on Kings Junior School?

Housing - I would like to find a friendly, child-focussed community. Which areas should I avoid? My husband's job is in Sandwich, so we would have to live within a reasonable distance from there. What is Wingham like?

I've been looking online at rental properties and the majority seem to be student housing, is there a local agent that may not be advertised online?



ifink Fri 21-Jun-13 22:33:14

HI Mikmat, the best rental website nationally is lettings agents subscribe to it so it saves you trawling through lots of individual sites. S
I'm not from the Kent area but sure someone else will be to help.
Ps I'm in Brisbane so if you want any general advice re living in the uk then PM me!

juneblues Fri 21-Jun-13 22:44:03

What's wrong with Sandwich? Why would you live anywhere else? Sandwich is lovely, infant and junior schools are excellent and 2 well regarded secondaries too. Wingham is a poor second choice, although nice too, it's a 15 minute car journey to work, why do that when you could probably cycle to work?

juneblues Fri 21-Jun-13 22:49:03

There are private schools nearby such as St Faith's at Ash and Northbourne Park, but in fact many of the children end up going to Sir Roger Manwood's school for secondary, the local public grammar school, St Faith's is almost like a crammer primary for that school. I'd choose Sandwich infants and juniors.

juneblues Sat 22-Jun-13 08:06:04

3 local estate agents.

Lettings looks quite limited in the village of Sandwich itself, you could look at Ash, Worth, Woodnesborogh, Eastry - you'll find the 2 private schools located there that I mentioned.

Mikmat Sat 22-Jun-13 09:56:09

Thanks juneblues,

It will just be my husband working in Sandwich, and there is nothing to rent there. I found a nice rental in Wingham, hence the question. It is more important for us to live a reasonable driving distance to the school we choose. There is also a property in Broadstairs, any ideas on that area?

We are looking at Junior Kings School, does it have a good reputation?

juneblues Sat 22-Jun-13 13:14:13

Yes it looks like you're going to have to go for house first. Have you looked at Deal/Walmer? Connected by train to Sandwich and more facilities, just no grammar school, advantage of being by the sea, usually more to rent there, certainly cheaper than Sandwich for house prices.

If I had the choice of free private education in that area, I'd go for Northbourne Park - it's very strong on outdoor education, not just sport, as well as music, French, loads of extra-curricular activities and links with Deal Tri junior section (running/swimming/biking). It has 190 children, more boys than girls, boarding including French and other nationalities who come for a specially tailored programme. Just the campus itself is enticing, in beautiful countryside but you can even cycle from Eastry or Sandwich to school. Junior Kings is much nearer busy Canterbury, 350 children, fees are higher (but if your'e not paying it's not an issue). For me, Northbourne park has far more positives, it's closer to Sandwich. I'd have loved our children to have been able to go there.

juneblues Sat 22-Jun-13 13:16:02

Broadstairs has Wellesley House, again I'd choose it above Junior Kings if I lived in Broadstairs, but still I just love Northbourne Park and all it's "extras" and I'd rather live nearer to that school.

pooches Mon 01-Jul-13 12:59:00

As a Wingham resident with kids at Junior kings I really like it I must say. As I commute to London twice a week it's handy being that bit nearer Canterbury for the fast train.

Broadstairs is great and near to beach etc (not quite in the same league as Australian beaches please note) but I am not sure I'd want to be between Ramshgate and Margate to be honest as opposed to between Canterbury and Sandwich.

Local Wingham primary is also good I understand in the state sector as is Sir Roger Manwood. Other parents I know are also happy with St Edmunds or Kent College. having said that, I am sure recommendations above are right- we are a bit blessed in Kent with schools - and the weather is a bit better than the rest of the country (not something to get excited about mind...ditto note above about beaches...)

juneblues Mon 01-Jul-13 14:02:24

How about this 4 bed in Eastry for 1k per month?

Perfect for Nortbourne Park, Eastry primary school (short walk), Sandwich town with shops, a few restaurants, beach!

Bonsoir Thu 04-Jul-13 18:16:36

Read The Good Schools Guide (you can subscribe online) to get the low down on schools. Where there are good schools there are family communities.

FanjolinaJolie Mon 15-Jul-13 09:15:43

Wingham is lovely, as is Littlebourne and Wickhambreaux. Wickhambreaux Primary School is absolutely wonderful my DD had two fantastic years there when we were posted to Canterbury.

I think Kings School is very good but I do know one family who were not happy when their DD was there and the mother was a teacher at the school at the same time!!

cecru Tue 30-Jul-13 15:40:35

We live in a village next to Wingham and have had kids at Northbourne Park and one still at Wellesley. I agree re Sandwich being lovely as is the village of Goodnestone - not forgetting villages between Canterbury and Sandwich such as Ickham and Wickhambreaux. Wingham is pretty and friendly but has rather a busy road running through it. Junior Kings is a very good school and I have many friends with children there. I know that Goodnestone and Wingham Primary schools are also excellent. Good Luck!

HB25 Sun 20-Oct-13 16:18:15

We have had two children at Northbourne Park, one passed the Kent Test a couple of years ago and the other is also recommended to take it. We love the school as it is the only one with "Forest school education" as part of its curriculum, it is small enough to care, and large enough to get the results. We also have a good choice of which senior school to go on to from either grammar or private.

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