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Primary schools in Kent - help!

(22 Posts)
missonimpossible Sun 21-Oct-12 21:56:31

My husband has got a new job in the Medway area of Kent and we are looking for good primary schools for 2013 admission within commuting distance. Looking at the primary school admissions for Kent from last year it appears the catchment areas have really shrunk. We have pretty much ruled out the Medway area and We would ideally like to live in small town or a nice village with some amenities. He doesn't mind travelling upto 20-25 miles further into Kent and we don't need to be near a train station. Do any Kent mums know of some nice small towns/villages that have good primary schools that may be ok to get into if you don't live on the doorstep.

PoohBearsHole Sun 21-Oct-12 22:07:27

The Faversham area has some good one apparently.

Sargesaweyes Sun 21-Oct-12 22:20:29

I used to work at Sandgate Primary School down in Folkestone. A really outstanding school by the sea. I think the fast train takes about 45mins to London St Panc.
Not sure if to far out for you.

I live back up north now but I think Kent has quite a number of outstanding primary schools.

shattereddreams Sun 21-Oct-12 23:16:40

All villages south of Maidstone are highly sort after.
East farleigh, boughton monchelsea, sutton valance to name a few. These would be the most expensive

Cheaper areas are coxheath Linton or loose, Further out headcorn, staplehurst

Other areas to consider are walderslade, edges of Maidstone like vinters park or grove green

Faversham is nice, or you could do the dartford villages, Swanley village, farningham,

The catchment areas have shrunk everywhere because of a rise in the birthrate!

shattereddreams Sun 21-Oct-12 23:17:04

And that should be sought' sorry!

shattereddreams Sun 21-Oct-12 23:18:31

You might like bearsted, close to Maidstone. Very pretty if you like that sort of thing.

Bonsoir Mon 22-Oct-12 07:45:14


have good primary schools.

missonimpossible Mon 22-Oct-12 20:20:37

Thanks for your messages. We have looked around Maidstone, we like Bearsted but quite expensive and I hear parents had trouble getting their children into the local school this year. We have also looked at Lenham and Headcorn, which seem Ok. Does anyone know what these villages are like?
We are also looking further afield at Whitstable, possibly Tankerton. Does anyone know what it is like to live there and/or can comment on the local schools?

shattereddreams Mon 22-Oct-12 23:12:04

Both nice villages, larger villages with good amenities. lenham has a secondary school and those that go to grammar get the train into town easily enough.
All the villages are nice. They all have a best bit, good bit and a "pikey" bit usually a road of council houses which are probably now all privately owned but still get called the council houses. But that's just village life.

I would prefer headcorn to lenham but couldn't pinpoint why!
I grew up in one of the villages I first mentioned and went to school in town.

Clearly you have ruled out Medway so I would have a good look at Maidstone. It's perfect for the commute. There are so many villages to choose from. You need to drive around them all. Some are tiny with no shops and some are huge.

Where are you now?

shattereddreams Mon 22-Oct-12 23:13:02

Sorry, I am referring to lenham and headcorn, not whit stable and tanker ton of which I know nothing grin

witchwithallthetrimmings Tue 23-Oct-12 10:23:33

Whitstable and tankerton are nice (i live there!), not very rural but easy to get into proper countryside and you have the sea, Schools you have
Swalecliffe- (need to be on the tankerton side to stand a chance of getting in). Good (especially on the academic side) but large (3 form entry)
St Mary's - Catholic primary school on borders of whitstable and tankerton. Good but does not push the 11+ that much
Joy Lane (the other side of whitstable)- was in special measures and has reopended as new school, not sure about this
Two infant schools: St Alphege and Westmeads, St Alphege okay Westmeads brilliant but catchment area tiny (1/3 of a mile last year)
Two junior schools (Whistable Juniors and the Endowed) Juniors a bit rough and ready but children are all happy and do well, the endowed is good but some find it a bit constraining

JuliaScurr Tue 23-Oct-12 10:33:33

We live in Medway - welcome!
dd went to Temple Mill after being a 'school refuser' at two schools and therefore home ed for 6 mths. Cured in 4 months at T Mill smile
Temple Mill gets crap league tables, but lots of kids get level 5/pass 11+ in year 6; the sen unit brings down the average
Brilliant Head - Mrs Bright
can't recommend T Mill enough, it's great

Taffraid Tue 23-Oct-12 12:44:46

Can recommend where I live in Kent but don't want to out myself! Small village with good largeish primary ( 300 plus pupils PAN 45 ), school takes pupils from 2 villages plus some from other areas dependent on numbers for the year.

Not an expensive area especially, but rural although has good links. DH commutes to London in c.35 -40 mins, train station at bottom of road. Close to major roads.

PM me for more info.

talkingnonsense Tue 23-Oct-12 16:40:13

Do you have strong opinions about grammar schools? Most of kent and Medway have the 11+ and then grammar ( often single sex) or high schools. This is definitely something to bear in mind when picking an area. The high schools are sometimes called comprehensive, but in most parts of Kent approx 25% of children go to grammar schools, so clearly they are not.

charleybarley Tue 23-Oct-12 16:48:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Floralnomad Tue 23-Oct-12 16:57:42

It might be worth looking at walderslade , and IMO the Medway 11+ is easier to pass than the Kent test , so may affect your decision . Walderslade is probably the nicest bit of Medway ( don't live in either myself) , also Lower Halstow /Upchurch but I'm not sure about the schools or house prices . There is an issue in the Bearstead end of Maidstone with primary admissions but I am told that Hollingbourne school is very nice.

missonimpossible Tue 23-Oct-12 21:02:37

Thanks for all your replies you have been very helpful.

Whichwithallthetrimings: We really like Whitstable/Tankerton (especially walking along Tankerton slopes). Swalecliffe looks good and hoping in the future we will be thinking about the 11 plus. Do children from Whitstable/Tankerton have any trouble getting into the surrounding Grammar schools?

Charleybarley: Do you know what the primary schools are like in Lenham and Headcorn. Lenham seems slightly cheaper, so wondering if there are any problems.

Floralnomad: Have not looked at Walderslade, do you know any nice parts?

Floralnomad Tue 23-Oct-12 21:16:17

The woods bit is def the best bit ,and Tunbury avenue school is quite good from what I hear . The village has a coop and chemist so ok and there is a Morrisons and Asda nearby .

shattereddreams Tue 23-Oct-12 22:33:21

I think lenham may be a little cheaper due to London commute times perhaps. Headcorn probably quicker.
<wave at charleybarley, you live very near my mum>

shattereddreams Tue 23-Oct-12 22:38:00

Headcorners seem to try to get into Sutton valence school before headcorn. But that's not to say headcorn is bad.
Sutton V is just a bit richer is all.
I'm guessing lenham primary is bigger too as there is a v large housing estate there. Pretty village centre though.
Both are about same distance from Maidstone.
Lenham probably marginally better commute for your DH until they finally bother to build Leeds village bypass. Unlikely to be anyday soon

witchwithallthetrimmings Wed 24-Oct-12 09:29:20

My impression is that whistable children do relatively well in the 11+, results from swalceclife are particularly good. - They all have extra tuition though

charleybarley Fri 26-Oct-12 08:56:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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