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Weald of Kent Girls - Sevenoaks(6 Posts)
Should the 11 plus this year go as planned we would like DD to sit for WOK girls, but the sevenoaks annexe. I think she would stand a fairly decent chance of getting in but am worried re distance, we currently live in Orpington. Pre lockdown I'm sure I used to see a few girls in the uniform about, is there a direct bus or train they can get? Also slightly worried re friendship groups, we dont want to send her there and find out all friends live far away. As a school what is it like , any current parents? DD enjoys sport and drama and is generally considered fairly able but by no means super bright. We have a good mixed company that we are on the cusp of catchment for but ahe is keen to try an all girls environment
To be straight up, my DD doesn’t go to Weald in Sevenoaks (she’s at at girls school in Tonbridge & currently Year 7) but her two best friends from Primary do and we’re outer Sevenoaks so I hope this will be vaguely useful! I’ve also a friend in East Sussex who’s DD is Year 7 at Weald Sevenoaks.
As you probably know, the annexe is on the same site as Trinity, a newly built Christian school. There are very regular trains from Orpington to Sevenoaks (about every 10 minutes from a quick look I’ve just taken). From there she would need to get the bus. Kids come from all over into Sevenoaks and while buses out to Weald are frequent (the stop is named as Trinity, not Weald FYI), kids for Knole and Trinity also use the same buses so they are rammed! It’s about 10/15 minutes from the station to the school on the bus.
Weald is locally here the most popular Grammar choice for girls. Having said that, half of the parents through preference choose the Tonbridge site (maybe as it’s bigger?). You are allowed to give a location preference - however you might not get that! DDs friends parents chose Sevenoaks, however my E Sussex friend chose Tonbridge but was given Sevenoaks. That does work in your favour as Sevenoaks seems to have lower demand than Tonbridge - however, that could of course change!
Both DDs friends have settled in well in Year 7 and have been given quite a lot of work on lockdown. Of the 3 kids I know in Year 7 in Sevenoaks Weald, they are all really decent, bright (if not super super bright, they tend to go to Tonbridge Girls Grammar) girls. From what I know, Weald Sevenoaks Girls come from all over, from Orpington down to Bexhill. That unfortunately though is part and parcel of our better schools in this part of Kent. DDs classmates come from a wide
area too and it really is something to take into consideration. We were thrown into DD having/giving sleepovers earlier into fledgling friendships than we would usually have wanted. If your DD has good local friends from Primary & keeps up with them that does make the difference though!
If my DH hadn’t been grammar opposed, Weald Sevenoaks would have been my choice. Everything that I can see hasn’t changed my opinion on that!
There is a school bus from Orpington, can't remember the number but GoAhead bus route. Couple of routes through Orpington so may be an easy one near you. We are considering Weald for our dd - incidentally have you registered for the test?? Deadline is imminenet or possibly just passed..... - I have a friend with a dd there and it seems a popular choice. We are also looking at Trinity next door as a non-selective option (has a grammar stream) although to get in from Orpington you would need to be eligible on religious grounds.
Yes, agree with PP that you’d need to tick the religious box for Trinity, the last couple of years they’ve not gone out more than a mile on non religious places. Wasn’t aware they had a grammar stream (although Knole definitely does).
Any opinions on Knole??
Trinity definitely does have a grammar stream, I have a couple of friends with kids there. Might be a good option for us as dd is reluctant to consider grammar schools, although is capable and will hopefully sit the tests!
I’m outer Sevenoaks and Knole has an unfortunate (and I think probably unfair and based on historical rather than current performance) reputation here. The few parents I know with DC there (2 who went through the grammar stream, both going on to University) do really rate it. These DC are all boys though so unsure re girls and it is absolutely massive! Only one child from DDs class chose Knole which given its nearness is odd.
Trinity has a much better reputation and though it’s a new school, performance figures look encouraging. None of the 5 children from DDs class who joined Trinity last year took the 11+ (DDs Primary does call in & advise parents on whether they think your DC are up to it - a one minute consult in our case as DH walked into the room telling them DD wasn’t doing it!) so I guess probably why I didn’t know they had one! All 5 of them are really nice kids though so if they are indicative of Trinity students then that’s a positive.
A possible other option for you (although a longer commute!) is Hillview in Tonbridge which is where DD goes. It’s a good (if rather large!) school and is the choice of many local parents who either don’t want their children doing the 11+ or as the best option if they fail it! It did make it as one of Tatlers Top Ten UK State Secondaries (if that means anything!). You wouldn’t get in under location but they do offer 20 places to Performing Arts/Other Arts Students. DD got a music place. If your DDs are at all performance arts or arts inclined then it might be worth considering? When DD auditioned, there were only about 7 children auditioning for the 5 Drama places (and about 80 for the 5 dance places!) so perhaps an easier route in!
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