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Anyone had a choice between Sevenoaks and Judd?

(15 Posts)
PegTheHen Tue 29-Jan-19 13:41:25

DS did well in the 11+ this year and is very likely to be offered a place at Judd on 1 March. He also sat for Sevenoaks, and we're waiting nervously to find out whether he's been successful. In the meantime, we're trying to decide what we'd do if he ended up getting both offers (trying to think about it now because we won't have much time to choose once we know whether we've got offers). I know they're both fantastic schools, and we'll be bloody lucky to have the possibility of one of them let alone both, but I'm really interested to hear if anyone has made this decision and if so what their reasons were? One minute I think we'd be crazy to turn down a free place at Judd; but we really loved Sevenoaks, especially the co-ed and the IB (DS is definitely the academic rather than the sporty type). V grateful for any insights.

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chopc Tue 29-Jan-19 15:19:02

I haven't had to make the same decision. However would like to say that your son will likely achieve the same results in either school. However he may have a different school experience. When you take the academics aside, is there anything you particularly wanted in a school?

PegTheHen Tue 29-Jan-19 19:40:02

Good question! I agree it's not about exam results, they're likely to be similar at either school. So, what did I hope for apart from co-ed? (it does really bug me that all the grammars around here are still SS, though at least some have mixed sixth forms). Subject choice (choice of languages etc). Quality of teaching, particularly quality of the relationship/rapport between teachers and students. Focus on how to think/breadth of aspirations, not just results. Unstuffy/unpompous. Access to enrichment activities (esp music). Nice kids!

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Scoobydoobydoo Tue 29-Jan-19 20:40:59

Hello OP
We had a similar dilemma last year with our daughter between sevenoaks and a SS grammar in Tonbridge
She chose to go for the grammar.
I really liked sevenoaks but my worry (apart from the strain to the bank balance) was whether she would cope with the rigour coming from a state primary.
She was also not keen on the Saturday school!
If your child is academic and very sporty and musical then I think sevenoaks is a brilliant option!

Good luck!

PegTheHen Tue 29-Jan-19 20:51:55

Thanks. He's academic and musical but not sporty (one of my concerns is how well he'd fit in with the rugby scene at Judd). Interesting point about the rigour following state primary (we're also state). I'd have thought TOGS (I'm guessing you're talking about TOGS) is as rigorous as any, but maybe Sevenoaks is more?? How's your DD getting on now?

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Scoobydoobydoo Tue 29-Jan-19 21:27:43

Yes. She is at Togs and seems happy.
I don't think we can ever compare state to private.
Also while it seems children coming from primary prep schools are better "prepared" for a school like sevenoaks I think state children will do just as well.
My daughter can be a bit of a coaster so I worried her being in a fast paced environment.
Also we were not sure how much of the extra curricular stuff she would really utilise especially as she got older and the stress of academics increased.
However end of the day the fees was a huge deciding factor for us.

One thing to also consider is the head Katy Rick's leaving this year.

PegTheHen Tue 29-Jan-19 21:53:37

Thanks, lots of food for thought. Yes, it's a shame about the Head, she seems fab.

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chopc Wed 30-Jan-19 04:56:12

I think there will be a good proportion of non prep kids as there is an international intake as well. So I wouldn't really worry about that. If you can comfortably afford it, I think the experience at Sevenoaks will be amazing. However if you can't, your son will be fine at Judd and none of the boys whom I know who goes / went to Judd played Rugby

williteverend99 Wed 30-Jan-19 14:20:37

I think your DS may have a better experience at Sevenoaks - better facilities etc. But he will also get a great education at Judd - and loads of boys do not play rugby. You have to ask yourself whether the better facilities at Sevenoaks are worth £100,000+. I like Sevenoaks - but I do not believe that the students in Y7 - Y11 are any brighter than those at the local grammars. Indeed many turn down places at Sevenoaks when they are offered a grammar place. The 6th form experience is different and I think Sevenoaks does offer something special for those who want to do IB. Maybe you should take Judd for Y7 -11 and then review options for 6th form? Your DS may or may not want to do IB.

PegTheHen Wed 30-Jan-19 17:27:48

Very interesting thought. Hadn't considered that as an option.

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PettsWoodParadise Wed 30-Jan-19 22:58:52

We had a similar dilemma for DD, she is now in Y9 at a Grammar close to us and really happy and thriving.

We loved Sevenoaks but the fees for us would have meant selling our home so a major compromise and a step too far for us. We are putting a bit away every year in case DD wants to do the IB as it is something she is keen on, but £50k+ for sixth form is a huge amount. Alao she may not pass that rigorous entrance test or she may want to stay where she is. There are grammar IB options too like Dartford, Tonbridge and one of the Bexley grammars.

fortunatelythemilk Thu 31-Jan-19 22:43:55

Name change as it's a small world!!
I don’t know Judd from personal experience, but we had to decide between another SS Kent Grammar, Tonbridge School and Sevenoaks. Went with Sevenoaks as ticked more boxes for us- Co-Ed, felt IB breadth would suit our DS and it seemed an excellent institution yet relaxed, friendly and unstuffy and very outward looking. It just seemed right.

DS loves it. He made friends easily, finds lessons interesting - lots of discussion based learning. Lots of opportunity and time given to a very broad co-curricular programme - even beyond year 9. Re sport - he is sporty, though not for team games but that’s fine there! Very manageable homework - a recent strategy I think?? Oh and great food, he says!! It’s a busy school, always lots going on but the long holidays make up for the Saturdays, in his view.
Well done to your son - now you have a tricky choice as they are both super schools. Good luck! smile

PegTheHen Thu 31-Jan-19 23:35:57

Thank you, fortunatelythemilk (love that book!), that's great info. Still waiting on offers, so who knows yet! How do you find the social side at Sevenoaks? Bit worried about how we (more importantly DS) would find it mingling with the properly rich. Are the kids down to earth?

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fortunatelythemilk Fri 01-Feb-19 00:14:57

So sorry, yes, too late I realised my mistake and then couldn't edit the post! DS tells us kids all friendly and inclusive - seem like a good bunch! A handful seem to come from Beacon and S'oaks Prep beyond that i think it's a big mix - but I've no real idea what schools people came from. As well as boarders people travel from a wide area.
I don't think money, what do Mummy and Daddy do, what have you got etc etc comes up really. We're not minor royalty or Uber loaded - I haven't ever been made to feel aware of that though grinIYSWIM... (Equally I totally get that being in a position to hand over the fees means we're v fortunate!) ...the second hand uniform shop does a roaring trade...

PegTheHen Fri 01-Feb-19 06:36:38

Thanks, that's good to know.

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