Local Talk

Tunbridge Wells - Primary schools

(7 Posts)
LifestyleChanges Wed 07-Mar-12 22:35:24

Hello everyone. I am completely new here and I am hoping for some information and help.

My son is due to start Reception in September 2014 and we are looking at the best place to move to within Tunbridge Wells in order to get him into one of the "good" state schools (we are on the outskirts right now - we need to move)

Based on what I have read and the conversations I have had, I think the most suitable schools would be St James and St Johns. I know the area immediately around St James quite well, but not so much with St Johns.

My niggling doubt, which may be completely incorrect, is that St Johns doesn't seem to be in a great area. (the immediate streets). Can anybody advise on what kind of families go to St Johns?

PanicMode Thu 08-Mar-12 12:56:32

Think you should aim to go to Claremont with that sort of attitude wink.

We are at St John's - we live on the Skinners' side of the school and there are many families from there, as well as those from the more High Brooms side. Yes, it's probably more mixed than the other one, but friends with children at St James' are struggling with the fact that the school has had to expand so much over the past two years that at the junior school they are breaching the space guidelines on the numbers of children in one space. St John's has the advantage of already being three form entry, and there are no plans to enlarge it further. We are happy with the school - we turned down a scholarship to a private school to keep my son there - as they are challenging him, the teaching is good, they have lots of after school clubs. Only gripe is that getting parents involved in the PA is difficult - for such a large school, there should be more involvement!

Of course there is also the Free School planned for the St John's area, so that could be another option to think about - it's due to open in 2013, (if we get consent and can find premises!) and that is going to a single form entry of 22 children in a year.

The other thing to think about is that if you locate in the St James area, and you think your children may be suitable for grammar, you may not get in as this year TWGGS' cut off for first allocations was 1.8 miles. People who passed the 11+ and are on that side of town have been given the Academy.

DM me if you want more help.

LifestyleChanges Thu 08-Mar-12 22:02:11

PanicMode thank you for your helpful answer. I do realise how I sound but I just want to make sure my DS doesn't end up being educated in the same sort of environment as I was. I didn't know about the free school. So what will the admission criteria be for the free school?

PanicMode Fri 09-Mar-12 08:11:03

No worries, we moved away from our previous area once I went round the schools at collecting time.....didn't want my children in that environment.

The Free School criteria will be very similar to the entry criteria for most TW schools - ie looked after/vulnerable children first, then siblings, then distance, although there may be a 'lottery' entrance for 10% of the places in order for us to demonstrate that we will have fair access. We should know soon whether or not the application has been shortlisted and then if we get consent, I can advise on the exact criteria - I can't remember what was in that part of the document, but I think that the principal driver will be distance. At the moment, we don't actually have premises, so we're scouring the St John's area trying to find something - ideally we're aiming for the KSH as that sits in the centre of the catchment 'black hole', but we're not sure whether that will come off......

PanicMode Fri 09-Mar-12 08:11:37

sorry, forgot the link www.thewellsfreeschool.co.uk gives a bit more information - and if you are supportive, do sign the form!

ginajacques Fri 14-Mar-14 21:43:21

Hi we are moving to Tunbridge Wells from the North, I currently have my sons name down for the best Primary school in our area, it has an excellent reputation, it's a catholic, I'm looking for a similar one, not necessarily catholic but good discipline, behaviour and academic results and believe parental recommendation is better than ofstead reports. Please advise!!!!!!!

ginajacques Fri 14-Mar-14 21:44:53

Hi Lifestyle changes, we are in the same position as you fancy meeting up for coffee next week? x

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