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Thornden, Kings, Schools

(9 Posts)
Mini5 Mon 01-Oct-12 15:51:10

Hi there,
My S is year 5 and DD Year 3 at the moment, i have been to the open evenings to the above schools but we r not living in the catchment area of the above schools. Thornden is below 3 miles but we r not coming either catchment nor linked schools. We hv got own house and need to sell and buy again. It is too much stress involved. Just wondering if any one have got the above schools if you r not in the catchment area?.

ISingSoprano Mon 01-Oct-12 16:09:17

The Winchester schools catchment areas are about to be revised so I wouldn't do anything until this is confirmed.

LittenTree Wed 03-Oct-12 15:14:13

I'd say pretty much no chance for Thornden. To the best of my knowledge, no one has gotten a place there over the past 4 or 5 years who lives outside the catchment- legally, anyway! There's a fair bit of 'renting in' for 6 months goes on. DS2 mate, one street out on the western fringe of the catchment, didn't get a place (is now at Mountbatten, Romsey, another good school)

We moved to get the DSs into Thornden. I am aware that in the recent past, DCs from a fair way away have succeeded in getting into Kings, because, of course, much of its catchment is fields! I have no idea what the change of catchment boundaries will entail. Winchester has been seriously caught out this year with YR DC- nowhere near enough places for them, I gather, and I believe Westgate Comp is planning on opening an on-site feeder primary school...?

I also looked at Kings to compare with Thornden. I was quite surprised at how different they both felt (and honestly, having loads of mates with DC at Kings can say...)- Kings felt like a grammar school (having been to one myself!). Everyone knew their exact ranking, be it 1A, 4C etc. Thornden claims not to set at all! Which it sort of doesn't. They set for Maths in Y7, then MFL (clever DC get a second choice in Y9). Other than that, they appear to be taught in reasonably wide ability groups BUT the way they do it is sort of selection via exam route, ie double v. triple science, foundation v. higher GCSE courses. It seems to work in that Thornden has the best academic record of any comp in Hampshire, without the success/fail of 'setting'.

We chose Thornden because of this. DS1 is reasonably bright but DS2 isn't. He doesn't need to be in a class labelled 4C for English, for instance.

Kings has a more mixed intake, socially, too (though not very ethnically diverse, as Winchester isn't!). Some friends' DC have spoken of a bit of an us and them feeling there- the MC DC with doctor parents versus the DC from the big council estate, Stanmore. Thornden is very MC (practically non-existent FSM) which won't suit everyone. It has a fair number of non-white DC from MC Asian backgrounds!

LittenTree Wed 03-Oct-12 15:15:59

You know, I think you can get the stats of how far out the furthest DC got into any Hampshire school and how many got in under each admission category directly from the LEA?

I think that might be hugely helpful for you as it'd give you an idea of what your chances were.

vj32 Wed 03-Oct-12 20:32:40

Can't remember the exact numbers but the number of applications to King's was amazing when I looked last year.

Found it:

Hope that helps!

LittenTree Wed 03-Oct-12 22:49:01

You'd have a fair swag in that 'Kings number' who'd applied to Kings, Westgate, Henry Beaufort plus their own 'local' comp, though.

I see 78 got in on distance alone (6 odd miles) but I'm actually surprised at how many 'tried their hand' for Thornden seeing as they appear to have taken 6 out of 280 who were in a link primary (and presumably out of catchment) but none on distance alone. I don't know what that final figure means (Final Offer Distance) which is 1.1 miles for Thornden. I (legitimately!) live about 3 miles from it and my DSs are in!

That, vj32, was the info I was thinking about that I suggested the OP got.

Finally, I want to make it clear that I'm in no way suggesting Thornden is 'better' or 'more exclusive' than Kings just because I 'chose' the former! They are both very good schools with differing ethoses (ethii?!) and catchments that work in different ways.

Mini5 Fri 17-May-13 12:01:02

Hi We have sold our house and waiting to get our offer price to be accepted near Scandabout school which is very close to Thornden School. It seems to be the House price ratio looks 1:4 when it goes near to the school.

There is a long waiting list in the Scandabout or Hiltingbury school as well.

TeenAndTween Fri 17-May-13 12:59:31

for info.

Kings streams which is not necessarily a Good Thing, and can be disheartening for those in the 3rd stream.

All Winchester schools are good but with different feels.
Kings can be self-selecting academically (ie parents of less academic children may be less inclined to choose it), so better results may not necessarily mean your child would do better there than elsewhere.

Talkinpeace Fri 17-May-13 13:20:02

good luck at Thornden.
Your kids will get to see my DH wink

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