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Good places to live for state (grammar) schools in kent

(26 Posts)
testbunny Fri 03-Sep-10 14:33:00

Hi there

We are considering moving to kent (surrey is too expensive). what are locations, towns etc to look for when considering good grammar schools? also are there primaries that will prep children for the 11 plus in the same area?


seeker Fri 03-Sep-10 20:20:32

Primaries are not actually allowed to prep for the 11+. Some do - but in a slightly "under the counter" sort of way. You're probably best to look in the Canterbury/Faversham sor of area - there seem to be more grammar places and thery are "pass and you get in" rather than the super selectives towards Tunbridge Wells/Sevenoaks.

Bear in mind, though, that only about 23% pass, so you need a Plan B.

LadyLapsang Sun 05-Sep-10 12:33:19

If you have a very intelligent boy you could consider St Olaves in Orpington but it only takes about 10% of those that sit the entrance exam. There is no catchment area, your child just has to be able to get to the school.

FloraFinching Sun 05-Sep-10 12:34:53

Medway is cheap and has grammars


autodidact Sun 05-Sep-10 12:35:15

How old is your child? Are you sure they will be able to pass 11+? Perhaps worth checking that the non-grammar school options are ok, just in case.

lindy100 Sun 05-Sep-10 15:22:09

I went to Folkestone Grammar - would poss also have been able to go to Ashford. Good schools with pretty good reputations, and not oversubscribed, as in some parts of Kent, as these places don't have the 'posh' factor.

Depends if you can put up with being in S Kent - and Folkestone/Ashford aren't great towns - there are some lovely villages, though you should check catchments, and train to London for work not so bad these days.

And at least they're not Medway...

QOD Sun 05-Sep-10 15:28:02

I live in a village and possibly went to school with you Lindy - I am 41 - you?

If you have a girl, then Folkestone grammar has a HUGE catchment due to half of the area being coastal - the boys is not quite so easy - Dover grammar for boys is easy to get into.

Sandgate Primary and Sandgate Primary are very well known for their manipulating getting their kids into grammar via pass or on appeal (Sandgate primarys head is on the panel of the HT appeal group)
Both are very very nice schools with great catchment (high income areas round them)
Agree though, most primaries do fark all to help them or coach them

testbunny Sun 05-Sep-10 18:12:39

thanks ladies really helpful.

problem is need to be on easy link to london because of my hubby's work.

also very good point about checking the other schools just in case she doesnt get in!

sue52 Sun 05-Sep-10 20:56:44

As seeker says West Kent is super selective and expensive to live in. Maidstone in mid Kent has some excellent schools and more reasonably priced property. I haven't heard of any primaries that coach for the 11plus.

nancy75 Sun 05-Sep-10 20:59:20

bromley, has st olaves and newstead woods, also has good comps if you don't get into the grammar schools. easy train links to london but its not cheap

Greenshadow Mon 06-Sep-10 16:14:19

Another vote for south Kent area - train links to London are improving now with the high speed rail link and a lot of people do commute.

Is pretty easy to get into the grammars there but of course that does mean the standard is not so high once in.

QOD - which was the second primary you meant to say (I know Sandgate is good - but so good you named it twice....!).
Not come across primaries that prepare children for 11+ and personally I wasn't aware of many children being tutored which happens a lot elsewhere.

QOD Mon 06-Sep-10 17:49:10

LOL! DOH! Saltwood!

grumpypants Mon 06-Sep-10 17:54:36

Medway has a differnt test than Kent so if you moved to Rochester for example, you would have to have your child sit the Kent Test in order to get into a Maidstone grammar and vice versa (which just means extra paper work, and poss no subsidised bus pass). Primaries can't officially prep - talk to parents tho to hear what their school does - loads of parents tutor anyway, whci skews the results.

Greenshadow Mon 06-Sep-10 20:47:49

Thought it might be Saltwood, QOD.

My DC went there though we have now left the area (not voluntarily I hasten to add - none of us wanted to leave).

QOD Mon 06-Sep-10 20:56:59

Really? We must have been close neighbours! We're in the Zoo village - high percentage get to grammar at ours too but nothing like those two!
Last years Saltwood class only 1 failed!!!!

Greenshadow Mon 06-Sep-10 21:17:50

Oohhh, not far away QOD.

Last year was exceptional, even for Saltwood!
My DS3 would have been this year's yr6 and I think most of his friends passed.

It was a lovely school and we still miss both it and the village.

Ingles2 Mon 06-Sep-10 21:22:03

Have you looked at Headcorn area?
50 mins by train into London and children from here go to the grammar schools in both Maidstone and Ashford

elvislives Mon 06-Sep-10 21:33:43

unless things have changed in recent years the girls grammar in Ashford doesn't have room for all the girls who pass the Kent Test. The boys always did until 2 years ago but now they are at capacity too. It is easier to get into the boys than the girls.

indigomagic Mon 06-Sep-10 21:39:35

I know the grammars in Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells well, and if your DC are very clever (not just a bit above average) I would absolutely recommend the Tonbridge grammars, Tonbridge Grammar School (girls) and The Judd School (boys). Both brilliant schools, but the upshot of that is immense competition for places - worth it though!

Not a cheap part of the world to live in - though Tonbridge is cheaper than Tunbridge Wells and less than 50 mins on the train to London.

taffetacat Mon 06-Sep-10 21:43:43

Cranbrook is selective but has one of the best reputations in Kent. You have to live very close and property prices are relatively high given the lack of proximity to London.

Sevenoaks/Dartford areas have many good grammars: Tonbridge, Judd, Dartford, Gravesend, St Olave's/Newstead Woods and then further afield Tunbridge Wells ( expensive housing though and not as close to London).

Dartford Grammar has an excellent reputation, very academic, takes the top 10 percent and you need to live in catchment to have a better chance. There are some nice villages between Dartford and Sevenoaks and the London commute is good. Some primaries in the villages are feeders for the grammars but there is no preparation, tutoring is the only way to get in.

Sushiqueen Tue 07-Sep-10 13:39:30

We are in the middle of the Tonbridge Grammars and the Maidstone Grammars and know pupils who have just started at both. I think more have gone Maidstone direction but only just.

Most of the schools around here run buses and we have the options of several state schools as well (although some better than others) and you will need to travel to get the secondary schools. Also have 2 local primary schools as well as loads nearby.

Not a pretty Kent village though although we do have a train station near by which goes to London. A lot of us drive back up so far though and commute in from there. Depends on where in London your dh has to get to for which parts of kent are easier.

sannu Fri 24-Jul-15 13:47:05

Anybody moved from Salisbury to Maidstone, Kent please reply

PettsWoodParadise Tue 28-Jul-15 21:48:55

Does it have to be Kent proper? Is Orpington within your budget? Houses in Crofton equidistant between Petts Wood and Orpington stations, 3 bed would be about £350. Lovely area but also can apply to Kent grammars, Bromley and Bexley and if don't get in Crofton is in the catchment of Darrick Wood which is an outstanding school. More options.

sannu Wed 29-Jul-15 22:57:59

Thanks petty wood .. I have a 8 yr old daughter hence looking closer to school commute. I am planning to buy a new buit and my budget is 450. Haven't looked at Orpington.

Mimigolightly Wed 29-Jul-15 23:11:38

Dartford - or its surrounding areas - is very good. They have both Dartford and Wilmington Grammar schools there.

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