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Aschcroft, Hockerill, Tonbridege, Dartford or Rochester

(11 Posts)
Hesa Sun 10-Jun-18 04:55:18

Hi there,
We are relocating to the UK & I am loosing my mind over the whole process of searching for a State school. I figured that I have to rent first within the catchment area, which is another huge deal. Then sit and hope the school would actually take them both.
My eldest daughter IB for Sixth form & my youngest son Year 8

First: We are looking into the following schools;

Ashcroft Technology College

Hockerill Anglo-European College (Comprehensive)

Tonbridge Grammar
Dartford Grammar
Rochester Grammar

Second: I'd appreciate your help, what is really the difference between Technology, Comprehensive or Grammars. What should I expect.

We have moved twice before from strict to more relaxed schools, uniform, discipline & high achievers environment to a lower one which I did not appreciate at all.

Third: It seems my son will face a long waiting list unlike his sister considering our late application. Do u have any recommendations for other good state schools within the same areas to consider for him as well just in case.

thank a lot

Mary19 Sun 10-Jun-18 06:44:59

Firstly Grammar schools are selective. So you have to pass an entrance exam to get in at age 11. Each school will have its own arrangement for places further up the school if someone leaves. School years 7-11 but often people on the waiting list are invited to sit an age appropriate exam for places that come up.
Some schools are semi selective such as Hockerill. At age 11 some places are allocated to pupils with language ability. Further up the school it would depend if places are available.
Comprehensive,s are non selective so they have all abilities. Most will set for some subjects but other subjects are taught in mixed ability groups. This is individual to the school.
City technology colleges of which Ashcroft was one were set up with some sponsorship from industry and had a longer school day. I think but maybe wrong Ashcroft is now a regular comprehensive.
Catchment areas only really apply at age 11.
For inyear admissions it really depends if a school has space. The local education authority has to find your son a school place. It doesn’t have to be your most local school or a good school just a school.
For your older child I would phone around all the schools you are interested in and see if any still have space for sixthform on their IB programme. Obviously they would need to achieve the schools entry requirement. This would give you an area to start looking at.
You may well find you don’t have both children at the same school.
Kent has good Grammar schools but some of its other schools aren’t so good. Relevent if your younger child doesn’t get a Grammar place.

bagofsticks Sun 10-Jun-18 08:40:26

If you are looking at Kent grammars, bear in mind that Tonbridge Grammar is 'super-selective' - i.e. you need a particular score to get in, not just a pass. It's worth looking at Tunbridge Wells Grammar and Weald of Kent grammar in that area too, as the entry requirements aren't quite so tough.

bagofsticks Sun 10-Jun-18 08:43:52

Sorry! Forgot you were looking for IB.

LIZS Sun 10-Jun-18 08:46:40

At 6th form different criteria and process for entry will apply. Will your dd have taken any exams at y11? You may have missed application deadlines but some will be holding more than offer depending on outcome of gcses. You may well not know if she has a place at any specific school until late August, so you probably need to determine where to live first and apply for your son.

bagofsticks Sun 10-Jun-18 13:31:47

Turns out you should totally ignore everything I said earlier grin. I've just been chatting to a friend who works at TOGS, and apparently it's far easier to get in for the sixth form because quite a lot of people leave because they don't want to do the IB. For your son, if you go for TOGS and the boys' grammars don't have spaces, then maybe consider Bennett Memorial? Quite a high achieving CofE secondary modern. No idea about the Year 8 entry procedure though (don't want to give out any more misleading information!). Do you want your son to do the IB as well though? The boys' grammars don't do it, I don't think. TOGS has a co-ed sixth form I think. Of the secondary moderns, I think Skinners Kent Academy does IB??

marytuda Mon 11-Jun-18 10:35:53

Ashcroft is in Putney, SW London, and not leafy part either, so a long way from Kent grammars. It’s a v high achieving comp, as nominally non-selective as it gets (bar use of v. low key aptitude test for Y7 entry taking 21 kids out of 210) - and it pushes hard to get those results. This has also made it one of the most oversubscribed comps in London . . But it may have free places in higher years, as possibly some kids find pressures too much and leave (or, dare I suggest it, are pushed?) Just speculating here; it’s clearly well-run, and exceptionally well kitted out (for state school); but when we visited recently, trying to decide between this and another, it struck me as slightly odd that the admissions person said, “well, if you take (the other school) now and it doesn’t work out you can always apply to us again later on!” Really, I thought? To an oversubscribed school??
Like all non-selective inner London comps it is predominantly BAME . . If you are (subconsciously?) looking for a white-middle-class dominated school (many parents are, including some I’m quite fond of) I’m sure you’ll be better off at a Kent Grammar!

Hersetta427 Mon 11-Jun-18 11:22:10

Which is your priority as you may not get a place at the same school for both?

I live near to Hockerill - have you asked if there are any spaces in yr 7 (assuming you want yr 8 for September start). Hockerill is the most oversubscribed state school in the whole of Hertfordshire so your best chance of a place may be to get your daughter into 6th form and then your son would have a sibling link which may put them top of the waiting list should a place come up - you would have to have a plan B though should a place not be immediately available (which i imagine would be the case).

Hesa Wed 20-Jun-18 22:00:30

Thank you all for taking the time to reply. Great info. thx

Taffeta Thu 21-Jun-18 06:44:57

Dartford Boys is IB

Y8 entry v tough. If living locally then Wilmington Boys also close by (but doesn’t do IB)

Dartford to Tonbridge not a great journey but Orpington Tonbridge easy - could also consider St Olaves

Both mine at Kent grammars and they admit a few ( around 2-5 ) each year as other pupils move away etc. As pp said sixth form will be much easier to access than Y8

CremeBrulee Sat 23-Jun-18 19:36:59

Hockerill is a great school. I have a DD in Y10 and DS is joining Y7 in September. Hard to get into but worth it if you can.

PM me if you have any questions.

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