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Private senior schools around T Wells?(15 Posts)
Looking for some local knowledge about the above! We are toying with the idea of moving from North London to Tunbridge Wells when DD finishes yr 6 next summer. If we stay in London then we’d be looking at private options like the Consortium schools (Channing, SHHS, Francis Holland) and possibly Forest and Highgate. So I’m trying to work our what the equivalent schools would be in Kent/Sussex borders. I know Sevenoaks school but where else do people apply to?
I’m well aware of the grammar system (I went to TGS myself!) but we’d just be looking at private schools. However DD is bright so I’d prefer to avoid “11+ back-up” private schools and instead focus on ones that people apply for in their own right, if that makes sense.
There are very few of the type of schools you’re talking about in the area, because of the grammar schools. People further into East Sussex go to Eastbourne College (or increasingly Bedes as reputation changes) and of course Brighton College. Im less sure about the Kent schools- but there are not many
Agree with @summerdown , Benenden and Wally Hall (Walthamstow Hall) to consider but Sevenoaks and Grammars dominate. DS have Tonbridge and Caterham.
Further afield - Reigate G, Lancing, Hurstpierpoint, Ardingly Roedean as well as those mentioned above.
Depends what type of school you want.
Sackville in Hildenborough is a small mixed independent, with very good results and fosters a genuine family feeling. It tends to fly under the radar a bit because of Tonbridge and Sevenoaks Schools being so close. PM if you want some more guidance, I work in one of the local comprehensive schools, but have close links with varying schools in the area.
Oh, just remembered if looking for a girl then Walthamstow Hall (Wally Hall) in Sevenoaks is excellent.
Thanks for the quick responses!!
I think we’ll look at Wally Hall as another option. How about Kent College - what sort of reputation does that have?
Our timing is all wrong for the grammars - I’ve registered DD for the Kent test but as we wouldn't be living in Kent until next summer that means we have no chance at a place at Weald or TWGGS and I’m not keen on TGS even if she did get a place there. Also DH has a strong preference for private.
We should have made the move sooner but I just couldn’t bring myself to leave our crime-ridden yet lovely (!! I know!) pocket of N London - I still can’t really. But now it’s looking like we’d have a better choice of schools here it’s making it even harder!
Interested why you don't want TGS (I went there too!)
Another vote for Wally Hall.
I have sports fixtures at Kent college and am always massively impressed by the grounds / facilities/ staff and girls
You could look over the border to Lingfield, Worth , Ardingly, Battle Abbey , Woldingham or Caterham. Is Ashford girls private? Registration for Sevenoaks 11+ intake may already have closed but do check.
Both Kent College and Beechwood are to an extent 11 plus reject schools. There is a large influx of private school children into the Grammar system and some movement the other way. It is probably worth talking to the schools about where children come from and to. I think many leave Kent College for grammar schools. There is lots of movement on waiting lists at grammar schools so worth keeping the option open.
That’s really good info about Kent College, thanks TW2013. I had a suspicion it was more of a back-up school but that’s the kind of thing that’s it’s hard to find out without local insider knowledge! TemporaryPermanent, there are a couple of reasons I’m not keen on TGS. One is that (with my v limited current knowledge!) I sense it might be too pushy for DD - she’s very bright but not very motivated! I worry it may be too league-table focussed - when I was there (admittedly over 20 yrs ago!) I was encouraged to drop an A level as I was predicted to get less than A/B/C. But mainly - and entirely selfishly - I just feel a bit weird about revisiting my youth - maybe I need to overcome this though!
As I mentioned, we are revisited for the Kent test in Sep so maybe sitting this would help with waiting lists later on??
And the registration deadline for Sevenoaks is 1st Sep so can still do that. Do many travel from T Wells area I wonder? By train? I suppose I can call the school to try and find out.
I’m tying myself up in knots about it all... I also need to register for London schools...
And more importantly, actually decide whether we are going to move or not!!
“Revisited for Kent Test” should be “registered for Kent test!”
Another option to consider is Holmewood House or Rose Hill (the former being slightly more academic) which go up to yr8 for both boys and girls. Yr 7 is a common entry point as some will leave at end of yr6 to go to grammars and others will come in who haven't passed but are considering their next move. They prepare for common entrance exam. It would also be worth asking them where their girl leavers go in yr8 as that might help you identify other potential 11+ secondaries. By yr9 you might be more comfortable with her travelling further. Having said that many yr7s travel to Sevenoaks and vice versa. Or if one of you are still travelling to London you could look at other locations near Sevenoaks/Tonbridge to facilitate commuting. There are only two trains an hour from TW.
Many of the Grammar schools do rely on the self motivation of the students, they are fairly competitive and not always the best situation for a less motivated student. The classes are larger. Having said that yr5 is still young and she might get motivated by yr7. If you are near to either TWGGS or Weald you are likely to get in at some point to a grammar school from waiting list, especially as some girls will move to private sector in yr9.
Should say 'regarded as slightly more academic', have friends at both who are happy with them.
Mayfield is a nice school. Nurturing yet good results.
Is it a girls school you’re after, or mixed?
The grammar system does really skew the balance of schools.
Do you want/need boarding at all?
And what specifically do you want from a school, aside from being able to stretch a reasonably bright child (which any decent school should be able to do)?
My dd is at Kent College. I chose it in its own right, rather than as a grammar back up (dd did not sit Kent test - she could have passed, but it wasn’t the right path for her).
I wanted a school which would treat my dd as an individual, and could be more pleased with how it is working out. The staff are amazing, and dd is having an absolute blast. She is certainly being stretched academically, and is having a whale of a time exploring interests new and old.
A major focus of the school is mental health and well-being, and there is much work done around promoting a healthy balance in life, which is good to see.
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