Local Talk

Primary schools Tunbridge Wells

(8 Posts)
autumn51 Tue 29-Oct-13 07:26:57

Hello, I'm looking to move to Tunbridge Wells soon and have one dd aged two. I have looked into primary schools and the tiny catchment areas. I've pretty much given up the hope of her getting into Claremont, so was wondering if anyone had any views on some others in the town, such as St Peters, St Barnabas, St Marks and St James? Are there any to avoid? I would try to buy a property close to the above, if you have any tips on which to try for then much appreciated!

Thanks :-)

Princesspond Wed 30-Oct-13 23:27:34

I can only comment on a few: We live in st James' catchment, it's a friendly area and a good school (is religious mind) imo one of the straight forward ones catchment wise the school has a list of roads that are in the catchment. Pretty much if you live in those named roads you will get a place but be careful with road borders one side of road can be in, another not etc (they don't give priority to siblings hence the larger catchment compared to others). It's 3 form entry so a pretty big school.

St johns is trickier they do prioritise siblings so catchment is measured in distance from school. I think that now means you need to live less than 1/3 km to get in, it changes each year depending on the number of sibling places allocated that year. Don't believe estate agents 'st Johns catchment blurb' that bears no relation to whether you'll get in.

St Barnabas used to have a poor reputation but is def improving, was over subscribed this year and you now have to live close to get in. It is a smaller school one class per year which many prefer.

People tend to look less favourably on the new 'academy' and St Matthews but I have no personal experience to comment.

Hope that's helpful thlsmile

autumn51 Sat 02-Nov-13 15:41:05

Thanks Princess that is so helpful! I've been looking at houses in the Broadwater Down area, St James area and also near Rose Hill school. Do you have any pointers on which would suit me better? I'm a professional and am used to living in an area of south west London which is full of young professionals with families, lots of play groups, parks etc. I'm a single parent so would be nice to live in a friendly community :-)

Princesspond Sat 02-Nov-13 23:07:52

Well I'm probably biased as I live in St James' and i'm really happy here, it does have a community feel, walking distance into town and lots of play groups, a big local park etc. There are a lot of professionals who have moved out of London to have children and a ready supply of nice teenagers to babysit. I lived in London for years, barely knew my neighbours and liked it like that but now I have children I really like being able to stop and chat to neighbours and have made many good friends.

I used to live near Broadwater down (near sainsburys or am I getting confused?) but before I had children so it's hard to compare. It was friendly but not in the same way, but I think having children does involve you in the community more though. I think the schools aren't as good there.

Near Rose Hill - Bishops down is also a v good school and had a bigger intake this year so was slightly easier to get a place. I really can't comment on the community feel I think it depends on the individual road. I have friends that live more st johns end where there are lots of families and young children. In other roads ? with the bigger houses seems to be a lot of retired people whose families have left home. But that is only my impression hard to say if you don't live there.

Princesspond Sat 02-Nov-13 23:12:27

Forgot to say the new free school is on Mount Ephraim which might be an option. It only opened in September.

autumn51 Mon 11-Nov-13 17:12:30

Thanks Princess! I've found a house near Bishops Down that I like, just got to wait and see if my offer is accepted :-)

I like St James area a lot, Dunorlan Park is lovely, you chose well!

Princesspond Fri 29-Nov-13 00:37:02

Good luck with the house and move!

lalapa Mon 16-Dec-13 16:35:14

Hello, hope your offer will be accepted.
If it does not the broadwater down area is lovely and very green.
The local school, Bradwater Down, is getting better and has a lovely feeling with great outdoor space.
My children will start school next year and I am thinking to put this school as my first choice although we could easily get into Frant or St Thomas in Groombridge.
Yes it has few children with English as a second language but they stream very well so the ones who are able to progress will do better than in any other school being this one not over subscribed.

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