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Which private prep is good for 11+ (Grammar) in Kent

(23 Posts)
mum0588 Tue 07-Nov-17 15:16:44

My DS is 2 years old and I will be moving into Kent (dont know where confused as depends upon prep and grammar school) so can someone please (probably from personal experience) tell me a nice prep so getting into grammar can be easier. Also, somehow, if DS does not get into grammar (in case he does not want to), I prefer to get a independent so please suggest a nice place and if possible not too far from London.

Thanks in advance..

Wilberforce42 Wed 08-Nov-17 05:44:41

Kent is a big county have you researched any particular areas you would like to live? Also it is perfectly possible to get into a grammar school from the state system. Even if you tutor it is much cheaper than prep school. However in answer to your question I know Tunbridge Wells preps like Rose Hill, Yardley Court and Holmwood House have massive success with pupils getting in to grammars. You also have to take into account your child’s ability - they may not find the grammar ethos suitable once there so you need to be certain it’s the right environment for them. If not then privates in the Tunbridge Wells area that cater for boys in the 3-18 age group include Beechwood, Sutton Valance and the Bethany school a bit further out. Hope that helps.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 09-Nov-17 04:07:31

You need to look for an area that suits your needs and budget before looking for a school I'd say. As Wilberforce Kent is a huge county.

WitchOfTheWaste Thu 09-Nov-17 07:36:31

Agree, don't write off the state primaries. Last year our local primary had a higher percentage 11+ pass rate than Holmewood (much smaller numbers, but higher percentage). If you've got an able child, then a good primary plus home support and a bit of tutoring in Year 5 (or not!) should result in a grammar place. If not, then you would have to query whether a grammar is the right environment for the child. (Obviously there are anomalies, all children can have off days!)

mum0588 Fri 10-Nov-17 20:36:25

@Wilberforce42, @GhoulWithADragonTattoo: Thats why I got confused, I am ready to move anywhere considering London commute is not more than an hour..
@WitchOfTheWaste: May I know that state primary school name please. The reason I am not considering state coz they are very few which performs and they dont particularly prepare for 11+. I know what you said about able child but even for that DS should have opportunity to perform.

WitchOfTheWaste Fri 10-Nov-17 23:08:24

Sorry, not prepared to name school, but the individual school isn't really the point. There are lots of really good state primaries about - if you do a bit of looking around they're not that hard to identify. And the point is that a good state primary should be able to give an able child a perfectly good grounding for 11+. No, they won't specifically prepare them, as they're not allowed to apart from anything else - which is why you might then want to use a tutor for the 11+, to cover the specific skills and non-national-curriculum stuff that the 11+ tests. If you think that state primaries underperform, don't forget that they're likely to have a more 'mixed' cohort than a prep - so actually they might be performing just as well or better, given the intake they've got. Also, a much smaller percentage of students at a state primary is likely to take the 11+ - esp compared with a prep that specifically aims to feed super selective grammars rather than independent secondaries. I guess my point is that it's quite hard to compare state primaries and preps directly because of these various factors - but my general feeling is that if you have an able child with good home support and perhaps the money for a bit of tutoring, there is no reason why a good state primary shouldn't give them pretty much as good a shot at the 11+ as a prep.

mum0588 Sat 11-Nov-17 12:49:14

@WitchOfTheWaste: You are right but the reason I prefer private over state coz if DS could not get to nice grammar then I am thinking better off in indi and I have read that if backup is indi then private prep is way forward..

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sat 11-Nov-17 12:54:10

Dulwich Prep for Cranbrook. Yardley Court in Tonbridge has a pretty good rate of grammar school success. Hilden Grange?

bellabelly Sat 11-Nov-17 13:28:07

Why not Cranbrook Primary (state school) for Cranbrook Grammar? Loads of our Year 6s passed 11+ this year. The ££££s you would have to pay for Dulwich Prep would buy a hell of a lot of private tuition!

1Mother20152015 Sat 11-Nov-17 13:37:43

Dulwich Prep if bright enough to get into it.

mum0588 Tue 14-Nov-17 13:48:14

@ThroughThickAndThin01: liked the prep but the problem is, it is too far from London where we both work..
Just out of curiosity, why not too many mums are responding to this question coz there must be tonnes of out there having same or gone through same confusion or not ready to name?? I could not see any reason..


ThroughThickAndThin01 Tue 14-Nov-17 13:57:46

Lots of commuters commute from Staplehurst station to London.

poisonedbypen Tue 14-Nov-17 14:01:11

Why don't you choose an area that you like & then ask about schools in the area. I think it's a bit odd to ask strangers on the internet such open ended questions. I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, but are you really going to decide on this based on what we say? What areas would be the best for your commute?

Floralnomad Tue 14-Nov-17 14:04:22

St. Andrews Rochester , not a proper prep is 2.5-11 but about 98% of leavers go to local Grammars ( Rochester Maths for boys) .

mum0588 Tue 14-Nov-17 15:00:41

@ThroughThickAndThin01: I know, I cannot have everything but as I am already spending more than an hour on commute, I am taking this opportunity to move out for Grammar and same time reduce the commute time.
@poisonedbypen: Sorry if that sounds harsh but I dont not think if even a single person takes decision on the basis of any online forms. As far as I know and believe, these places are to help you decide not decide for you. As there are lots and lots of options people believe are good to get into Grammar so you listen to their experience and based upon that you add your expectation, situation, experience, preferences and aim then you decide what is better. Everyone's situation is different and every child is different so I dont know why did you think I am here to ask someone to make a decision for me. I am just here to get advise (not decision) as they are always helpful and do no harms.
I prefer not more than an hour commute from London as I am spending more time on commute and less with DS.


reluctantbrit Tue 14-Nov-17 15:37:18

OP, I was you 8 years ago when we looked moving and I was quite glad to hear that the state primary we considered for DD was quite successful in sending children to either Grammar schools or indie secondary ones.

Fast forward 3 years, DD was 6 and it became quite clear that we had a huge problem on our hand. While DD is still considered top of her class it also emerged that she has a big concentration issue and is considered at the ADD spectrum. When she was in Y5 it was 100% sure that nothing would help her passing any 11+.

She will now go to a state secondary which is in the top 50 in England, sending girls on a steady basis to Oxbridge and other top unis.

What I want to say is, it is a long time from 2.5 to 9/10 and a lot can happen. More important than insisting on an 11+ is a nice area to live and schools your child can thrive.

Also, schools can change, a good/outstanding one can do down or a not so good one can go up. Similar with secondaries.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Tue 14-Nov-17 16:22:29

Surely you can do your own research then. There really aren't that many boys grammar schools in Kent less than an hours commute of London. You can't move out of London and same time reduce the commute time

mum0588 Wed 15-Nov-17 09:00:08

@ThroughThickAndThin01: Surely you can do your own research then

Sorry, did not catch what do you mean?

jennawade Wed 15-Nov-17 09:40:21

OP - any Kent grammar will involve a decent commute into London for you? Sevenoaks is on a fast train line but currently has no grammar school for boys.

the Kent grammar schools closer to London are Dartford and Wilmington - maybe research areas around there?

Or there are the Bexley Grammar schools which would give you a shorter commute.

You really have to research this one yourself.

mum0588 Wed 15-Nov-17 10:54:11

@jennawade: Thanks, I did consider bexley but did not like the area much so then I thought around Tonbridge but I thought to get idea about other areas as well..

SparklyUnicornPoo Wed 15-Nov-17 19:51:21

For 11+ you are probably best looking at ones that go to 11 rather than 13.

I know quite a few children from Fosse Bank who are now at grammars. The Tunbridge Wells grammars have loads of students from Tonbridge, which would be the better station for you to commute from and give you 3 boys grammars to choose from (Judd, Tunbridge Wells Boys and Skinners)

Maidstone is 1 hour 10 minutes from London, Shernold School always has a very high 11+ pass rate. Maidstone would give you a choice of Oakwood Park or Maidstone Boys and has lower house prices than Tonbridge.

ElephantsandTigers Wed 15-Nov-17 19:57:00

My children all went to a state primary then two private schools -one primary one 3-18. All are at grammars after passing their 11+. I think they still would have passed even if they'd stayed at the state primary..

pukkapine Wed 15-Nov-17 20:28:19

You could live somewhere like Sevenoaks (awash with preps) and comfortably within an hour commute to London. Then DS, if able, should be able to travel to Judd, Skinners or Tunbridge Wells Boys. This is quite a normal situation for Sevenoak's boys... The grammars have very large catchment areas and most kids commute around 30 min or so, often more.

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