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Tunbridge & Tunbridge Wells - Girls grammars schools

(20 Posts)
user1475317873 Sat 22-Apr-17 12:36:30

We are considering moving to Tunbridge Wells. We like the area, but the main reason is the schools. I have met a few people who live there and have attended the schools or have children who attended the schools and speak highly of them. The people who I have met who attended grammar schools seem to have had a very good education and are very bright and doing very well.

I would like some advice please on Tunbridge grammar school, Tunbridge wells grammar school and Weald of Kent grammar school. Are they all highly competitive? what are the chances of getting a place. DD is in year 5 and bright, artistic and creative, but how bright do you have to be to get into these schools? also, what is the atmosphere like once you are in them? are they all highly academic and competitive? I am unsure DD will thrive in a highly competitive environment.

We have a younger daughter to consider too who will have to move schools for year 3. Also commuting to work will increase for DH and me; we both work in London. We also have the option to send DD to a private to a school where she has good chances of getting in without having to move, however it would be nice to save the £250k (approximate) we would have to spend for both daughters to attend private secondary schools. There is an opportunity to buy a house very close to one of these schools too.

We haven't seen any of the schools yet but will go in June and July when they have open days. What's the deadline to register for the Kent test?

OP’s posts: |
User2468 Sat 22-Apr-17 12:53:25

No help but they were my parent's schools!

gogoball Sat 22-Apr-17 18:29:03

You will not regret moving to TW. It's a beautiful part of England and Kent. Schools are very good. We moved from London almost 2 years ago and love living here but feel we should have made the move years ago. We are 30 minutes away and live in a different part of Kent. Save the money you would spend on private school and put that towards a house instead. No regrets here. Hopefully someone can shed more light on the girls' grammar schools.

Finola1step Sat 22-Apr-17 18:33:27

Waves to fellow TWells dwellersgrin
The key issue now is timing. As your eldest DD is in Year 5 already, then she will need to sit the 11plus in September. You need to register her beforehand (deadline is looming). Check the Kent Gov website.

Floweringjasmine Sat 22-Apr-17 18:37:57

Tonbridge Grammar is a super selective, very competitive to her in to.
Weald of Kent is a pass only entry but depends on where you live as it has catchments.

Tunbridge Wells girls grammar is pass only for most places but has an incredibly tiny catchment area and every year it's measured by the metre.
It also has some governor places which from past years are full marks pass.

The 11 plus forum Kent section will help you.

Essentially, where you live will make a difference unless you go for super selective Tonbridge (which still has an inner catchment pass mark and an outer one).

Floweringjasmine Sat 22-Apr-17 18:39:34


Dd2 got a place at Tonbridge Grammar but we decided that a local private school was better for her for various reasons.

milleniumhandandprawn Sat 22-Apr-17 18:56:15

Ex twgglet here smile
Twells girls grammar is brilliant, as pp have said though the catchment is mini nowadays.

The other thing - and one of the main reasons I no longer live in tw is that the traffic is absolutely appalling there now and for me has made the town unliveable.
Too many people with not enough upgrade to the infrastructure - it takes hours to get anywhere at the wrong time of day and at weekends.
Some people don't mind it but for me it became a deal breaker.

Floweringjasmine Sat 22-Apr-17 18:57:53

The traffic is horrendous, soul destroying wine

Finola1step Sat 22-Apr-17 20:41:41

St John's traffic (shudders)

milleniumhandandprawn Sat 22-Apr-17 21:12:54

finola urgh... the brilliant planning of Vauxhall bridge + a21 road works...

* de*ra*ils thread to moan about traffic* *

Seriously OP consider this!

user1475317873 Sun 23-Apr-17 14:19:07

Thank you. Lots of food for thought

I guess we will have to weigh the benefits of living in TW against longer and more expensive commute, traffic issues and having to move school for youngest daughter; but first we need to find out whether she is grammar material or not; registration for the 11plus is not opened yet so we still have time; it is a shame the exam is not until September and I guess results are in October so it does not leave much time to find a property and move before we have to apply.

What are the good primaries in the area? are they all oversuscribed? thinking of younger daughter if we move to TW.

Do these grammar schools have good extra curricular activities or are they more academic focused?

Floweringjasmine: If you don't mind why did you decide to go private instead of sending your daughther to Tonbridge Grammar.?

OP’s posts: |
massi71 Sun 23-Apr-17 14:37:05

Tonbridge Grammar is where my DD went.

For the lower years it's fantastic. Sixth form less so. There is a high rate of burnout and anxiety/exhaustion amongst the IB students. However it's great to get into Medicine/Oxbridge/Russell group universities.

Floweringjasmine Sun 23-Apr-17 16:34:51

We didn't send her to Tonbridge Grammar because she needs a high level of pastoral care as has aspergers. She is very clever but needs a lot of TLC.

If you are moving to Tunbridge Wells, then your options are TOGS (SS) or TWGGS with its very tight catchment area. You won't get in to TWGGS unless you have an address already.

It's a very competitive environment for the grammars, lots of tutoring goes on and it can be quite stressful.

I can only speak for the boys SS with regards to extra curricular activities as neither of my Dds went to the grammar's in the end.

user1475317873 Sun 23-Apr-17 18:29:07

Thank you very much; perhaps I need to get her assessed to see if she has chances. Where could I do that? we are not in a grammar area at the moment.

OP’s posts: |
Floweringjasmine Mon 24-Apr-17 08:30:23

You could get the books with tests in online, bond etc from Amazon. Maybe try that?

Confutatis Sat 29-Apr-17 22:47:57

I agree with Gogoball - all the schools are good. I had a lot to do with TWGGS about 15 years ago and it really was a super school. I think it still is and I think they all have very good extra curricular activities. Claremont and St James are highly thought of primaries and property prices near them reflect this. St John's primary always used to be good. Most of the TW schools are pretty good but my knowledge is a little out of date. The A21 roadworks should become a thing of the past soon so the traffic problems will ease a little... There are plenty of TW tutors who can give you one off assessments and advice. Half of West Kent uses them!

user1475317873 Sun 30-Apr-17 07:02:45

Thank you very much.

I am going to book her an assessment. If anybody knows of a tutor they can recommend can you please pm.

I will also look at primary schools recommended and see if there are any chances my youngest could get a place for year 2 if we move this year.

OP’s posts: |
Johe Thu 16-Jul-20 13:47:13

Hi there. Now considering the very same plan as yourself. Keen to know whether you went with a grammar in the end and if you found the journey to getting your daughter in OK?

timetest Fri 17-Jul-20 12:26:27

They are highly competitive to get into. Most girls have been heavily tutored and there a quite a few entering from local independent schools. Some girls who don’t make quite make the grade go out to less selective grammars (I know a couple who went to Maidstone) or look at non selective private schools. That saying TW is lovely, though traffic can be annoying.

Ozo6728 Mon 20-Jul-20 21:25:13

We live off St John’s Road and the traffic can be bad during peak periods (only sometimes) but I would hardly describe it as horrendous.

TOGS and TWGS are both well regarded. I see many children walking to school. Most girls from prep schools in the area have chosen to go there over the independent secondaries in the area. Boys on the other hand, tend to go on to Tonbridge School.

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