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Good primaries in Rochester, Medway and surrounding areas?

(26 Posts)
confusedperson Thu 27-Oct-11 10:49:36

We are looking into buying a house in Rochester and obviously, we would like good primaries for our boys (one is in Reception, another is 2) which would set a good standard for getting into Medway grammar later. We can consider Catholic or Anglican schools as well, I don’t know how oversubscribed they are?
Basically, I noticed that there are plenty of good schools in Rainham but I prefer Rochester long term and not sure if I can get in the best schools while living in Rochester? What are common catchments in these areas? I am currently in London, where catchments are less than 0.5m or very oversubscribed, so cannot really compared if Medway is the same.
P.S. Ideally we have to be close to train station or on a bus route, due to daily commute to London.
Any advise would be very much appreciated!

MayDayChild Thu 27-Oct-11 13:22:25

Kent county council publish their applications and distances for primaries online so pouring over this may help you glean which are the popular schools.
mapping this out alongside rightmove houses for sale is where I would start.
I haven't lived there for years so can't comment particularly. Rochester is on the whole a nice town.
Beware crossing the river to Strood, a less popular area.

MayDayChild Thu 27-Oct-11 13:36:27

Sorry, just remembered Medway are separate to Kent so strike whatever was irrelevant! Probably all of it!

confusedperson Thu 27-Oct-11 13:41:01

Thanks MaydayChild! Medway still has not published their Primary Admissions Booklet, so I cannot find any distancies to schools.
It seems that the most good schools are in Rainham, but it opposes our idea to live in Rochester, so it is really a dilemma.

MayDayChild Thu 27-Oct-11 18:52:10

You can call them though to get all info or ask for the email address hopefully they will respond quickly.
Also ask for last years stats as at least you could start to see the picture
Good luck

Ben10WasTheSpawnNowWeLoveLego Thu 27-Oct-11 19:22:35

Here you go

There are plenty of good schools. Balfour school would be one of the main ones to aim for the Rochester area and had a 1.1km distance. My sons school was c600 m this year and 500m the year before.

Ben10WasTheSpawnNowWeLoveLego Thu 27-Oct-11 19:24:18

Most good schools are quite full though as I know when I called around at the end of last year when I was thinking of moving him, schools that are even deemed as less aspirational were full.

Ben10WasTheSpawnNowWeLoveLego Thu 27-Oct-11 19:26:34

Sorry balfour is actually 1.5km so quite big catchment

confusedperson Fri 28-Oct-11 12:13:44

Thank you everyone, especially for the link! I was very worried that if we buy a house in Rochester, we won't have a wide choice of good schools, but the catchments seem to be wide and I shall not be worried! That is reassuring.
Sorry a bit off topic, but if you are locals, how is the area between St Peters and Delce schools? (nearer Maidstone road than City Way road)

confusedperson Fri 28-Oct-11 12:14:14

Or any better areas within 1 mile of Rochester train station, please....?

Ben10WasTheSpawnNowWeLoveLego Fri 28-Oct-11 12:28:02

I live in Chatham which isn't the most sought after part of Medway so for me those houses and roads are fine but it is all about what your expectations are. We moved from a flat in Thornton Heath near Croydon so are v pleased with our school and area. If you are moving from a more well off area in London, then you might feel that those roads are not for you - quite small houses, lots of steps up to the front door, difficulty parking, narrow roads. We looked at one on Rochester Avenue and it just felt too small.

If you can be on the other side of Maidstone road the houses are bigger and it is more well off IMO. We chose this house in Chatham for more room than the same £ in Rochester. We still go to Rochester and my parents live in Rainham. I would personally chose Rainham over Rochester as I prefer it's atmosphere and it has shops for actual people rather than tourists. You have Rainham Mark Grammar and two good single sex schools.

Ben10WasTheSpawnNowWeLoveLego Fri 28-Oct-11 12:28:21

What's the budget?

Ben10WasTheSpawnNowWeLoveLego Fri 28-Oct-11 12:32:04

And how many bedrooms

confusedperson Fri 28-Oct-11 14:12:38

Thanks Ben10... we actually also moving from Croydon area, and I do not expect anything posh, just safe and quiet smile We are looking here or similar, but still undecided.. When I visited, Rainham felt to suburbian to me, but perhaps I am wrong? Going to visit the area again next week..

Ben10WasTheSpawnNowWeLoveLego Fri 28-Oct-11 15:22:37

grrr I just deleted a huge response!

Rainham feels very safe with children and coming from S London, that is something that I crave!

I like the area that house is in. Near to The Math which is the most popular boys grammar school. I think that the Delce school is quite big so it depends how you feel about that. It is a flat road which is important in Medway so that you don't have steps up to the house or down to the garden. Depending on where you work in London, the coach is a good option which you can pick up from Bluebell Hill and it is straight into Canary Wharf. Much cheaper than the train.

We've been here 5 years now and there is no way that we would go back at all. Friendly neighbours that we know by name and they know everthing about us! So different to Croydon grin

It's great how much you get for your money isn't it smile

DisapprovingAlien Fri 28-Oct-11 15:40:57

One of the best schools in Medway is St Nicholas C of E School in Strood. Bog standard average intake, brilliant HT, brilliant staff, brilliant results (I'm not on the payroll wink.

DisapprovingAlien Fri 28-Oct-11 15:42:04

Just remembered though, it's only infants.

Another very good school in Strood, is Hilltop. Strood is about a mile from Rochester Station (just over the bridge).

Ben10WasTheSpawnNowWeLoveLego Fri 28-Oct-11 15:45:56

HMedway KS2 scores sorted by CVA I'm very proud of our schools score on here smile

Might help you make your choices as well.

confusedperson Fri 28-Oct-11 16:00:12

Ben10... your post is very reassuring. Five years in the area, you must know everything by now! Would you have chosen the same area (Chatham) if you had your knowledge now?
I want the best for my kids, and Rainham defo has best schools in the area (thanks for the link!) but I am a bit of town girl and Rainham didn't feel right for me (no offence, I do believe it is a nice area). Chatham seems to have some good schools, but a bit further out from the station, and I prefer to stay reasonably central... The Pillgrim school looks good on the table, and I am off to looking at their catchment.
I hope I am not making a mistake by sticking to Rochester....

Ben10WasTheSpawnNowWeLoveLego Fri 28-Oct-11 16:37:47

The area in between Chatham maidstone road and City Way has nice houses off it too as well as the Rochester Maidstone Road (took me a while to realise that there were two different roads!). It is not far from Chatham station.

We live in a cheaper part of Chatham and we bought this house as it is basically next to a primary school that is very good. I think TBH I would have chosen Chatham again given the neighbours, the schools, walking distance to the town centre and the supermarket etc although Chatham town centre takes a bit of getting used to grin.

We also had to choose houses based on distance to the train station so couldn't live in quite a few of the other areas like Walderslade and Lordswood which are very nice too.

Rochester is lovely - we always take our relatives there and will be there on 3rd December for the Dickensian Christmas - you'd love it, processions of people in Dickensian costumes, snow etc.

It is the lack of "real" shops that bothers me in Rochester. You have to go to Strood or Chatham for shops.

It feels much much safer here than Croydon/London. You won't regret it. There are no yellow police incident signs, you don't see the gangs of youths, DH doesn't worry about me being out at night.

MayDayChild Fri 28-Oct-11 18:07:10

Don't forget for shops you can drive to bluewater in about 15 minutes from Medway which is far more comparable to Croydon shops.
Don't discount any of the Medway towns for the shops! they have always been rubbish!

Ben10WasTheSpawnNowWeLoveLego Fri 28-Oct-11 18:14:23

15 minutes shock You must drive a lot quicker than me grin. I work at BW and the quickest I have ever done it is 25 mins at 5am. The thing with the towns is it depends how close you are to the motorway as that can put 15 minutes on your journey easily.

I agree that it is not exactly shopping heaven in Chatham but sometimes you want to buy a bar of soap rather than organic lentil woven soap like you can buy in the shops in Roch high street smile

grumpypants Fri 28-Oct-11 18:14:38

we used to live on the esplanade in rochester, and i loved rochester during the day with the kids - just went there the other day. chatham feels a bit grim sometimes, but bluewater is fab, plus the outlet centre isnt too bad.

confusedperson Sun 30-Oct-11 15:38:34

Thanks everyone again, especially Ben10... for very useful information. I wonder, which school have you chosen so it is close to the station. For us, Walderslade or Lordswood would be too far from the station. I was looking between Maidstone Rd (Rochester) and City Way, but will have a look between Maidstone Rd (Rochester) and Maidstone Rd (Chatham).

Ben10WasTheSpawnNowWeLoveLego Sun 30-Oct-11 15:40:20

I'll PM you

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