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Moving near Cranbrook

(8 Posts)
LucyMarie1 Wed 24-May-17 22:54:14

My husband has got a job in Chart Sutton and we'll be moving in July and trying to decide where to go! I have two girls, one 6 years and one 3 years so I'll be looking for a school place for the older (and applying for 2018 for the younger. )
I grew up in Maidstone so would prefer to not live there, but am looking at the villages around Cranbrook with an eye on the secondary grammar school there. Which areas and primary schools would others recommend?
Does anybody have teenagers that live in the Weald that could comment on whether there is enough for them to do?
We've also wondered about going a bit further to Tonbridge or Tunbridge Wells, which might have more to do?
We're hoping to start looking for houses in the next week (we'll rent first so could move near a good primary and then buy near a good secondary).
Any comments/views would be much appreciated! Thanks

FrazzledInCranbrook Thu 25-May-17 17:56:26

I love living in Cranbrook! Moved here from London a few years ago. Our kids go to Cranbrook Primary which has been through Special Measures in the last few years. Was inspected v recently and is now rated 'Good' with Outstanding ' for EYFS. The new Head is fantastic and it feels like a very happy place now. Cranbrook Grammar is admitting from Y7 in September - has previously been Y9 entry only. The catchment area is quite wide so lots of options if you prefer surrounding villages, rather than Cranbrook itself. But then be prepared to be taxi service for teens as local bus service is rubbish!

user1493416129 Tue 30-May-17 23:19:08

I highly recommend Staplecross primary school!!

user1493416129 Tue 30-May-17 23:26:25


They are amazing out of Cranbrook catchment area, but the school is excellent. The teachers are really good with the children and have excellent facilities for such a small school. Mr Noah's Nursery Iden Green is amazing for younger children. Not heard amazing things of Bodiam or Sandhurst school, but there not in special measures or anything. Nice enough but if you aiming for cranbrook might not be what you looking for x

LucyMarie1 Wed 07-Jun-17 18:50:05

Thank you for your replies and sorry I've not replied back for ages! We've been knee deep in looking for houses and schools. We're currently torn between a house and school in Brenchley and Cranbrook (quite different I know!), both have school places. I toured Cranbrook school today and really liked it and am going to see Brenchley and Matfield school next week.
FrazzledinCranbrook- is there anything about the school that you have concerns about? Is there a strong community of parental support? Is there a nice community of Mums generally/ pre school groups? I will still have my pre-schooler so will be about a bit. I'm also looking for a preschool for her. Any recommendations? Thanks!

Florin Wed 07-Jun-17 19:01:00

I grew up in Brenchley and it is a wonderful very socialable village I highly recommend it. I live in Cranbrook and love that too personally if you are looking at state schools I would look st Colliers Green as they have a better ofsted. We nearly sent our child there before deciding to send him to a private school. For your preschooler I can highly recommend the group at Dixter house on a Thursday and Friday morning. It was the the best thing I ever did. Each week they make a cake or scones etc then while they cook they go for a walk around the beautiful gardens or sometimes in the woods (if in the woods food is cooked over the camp fire) then back to eat what they baked and storytime then some sort of activity like seed planting or craft. 2 hours of activity for £5 and a very friendly bunch.

FrazzledInCranbrook Wed 07-Jun-17 22:01:58

I don't know Brenchley but have heard very good things about Brenchley and Matfield Primary School. Matfield is a very pretty village with pubs and a duckpond - close to Paddock Wood too which is handy if you need to use the trains. Mascall's Secondary School (Comp, not Grammar) is on the Matfield side of Paddock Wood - I know people with kids there and they seem very happy with it. Not sure if Brenchley's in catchment for Cranbrook Grammar?

And to answer your questions about Cranbrook - no I don't have any concerns about the school. One of their areas for development (which was also picked up by their recent Ofsted inspection) was to try to challenge and stretch the most able pupils further. The intake is very mixed in terms of socio- economic background (like the town itself) which can present challenges but is also one of the things I like about it - we're a diverse bunch and the school reflects this!

There's a very active and friendly PTA who would be thrilled to have a new recruit if you have time to get involved. grin There are occasionally adults only nights - Quiz Nights, Disco, etc - which are a good way to get to know other parents, have a laugh and raise some funds for the PTA. Have I mentioned the PTA yet? Come join us ...

Cranbrook has a good choice of nurseries / pre-schools. My lot went to Juniors link up at Hartley Dyke near the farm shop 3 mins drive away. I chose them because their opening hours suited me as a working mum. And they stay open during school hols. But there's also Woodpeckers and Rainbows in the middle of town and know people who've been very happy with them.

If you're going to be sahm or only part time, there's the children's centre (right next to primary school) that does various activities, rhyme time at the library, messy church once a month and a toddler group at church too. Sweet little playground in between school and church. There's also this place which is apparently great, although I've never got round to taking any of mine for their craft / baking workshops. You won't be short of things to do with your youngest one!

My MIL's house on the High Street has just gone on the market (though not on rightmove yet) - am now nosily wondering if you're one of her viewers! grin

FrazzledInCranbrook Wed 07-Jun-17 22:10:47

Heheh - just logged onto the Cranbrook Chat page and seen that you're being inundated with recommendations! I'm assuming it's you? grin

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