Kent secondary school applications - how to find the right school

by My Kent Family reporter

Have you got a child entering their last year of primary school?

Do you now face the daunting task of finding a secondary school place both you and they will be happy with?

Leighton Bright, assistant head of lower school at Rochester Independent College, shares some advice for families facing secondary school selection:

Secondary schools are soon to begin showing prospective pupils what they can offer
Secondary schools are soon to begin showing prospective pupils what they can offer

The transition from primary to secondary school can be a daunting time for parents and children alike with the approach of September sometimes causing much anxiety and uncertainty.

Locally, the added complication of the 11+ can complicate these decisions. There are now more grammar school places for children in Kent than ever with a record 32% of Year 7 children starting in these selective schools this month.

Parents are faced with a range of choices, both state and independent, selective and non-selective.

It’s important you and your child have a look around the schools available to get a feel for the environment within which they will potentially spend the next seven years of their education.

Look around the schools during the day to get a feel for the environment
Look around the schools during the day to get a feel for the environment

Whilst formally arranged open events are useful, it’s a great idea to have a look around potential schools during a normal day; this will ensure that you get a true reflection of the atmosphere and learning environment, rather than a stage-managed and potentially misleading picture.

Think about the values which are important to you and your family and ask yourself if the school shares these values.

Does the school still offer the subjects, creative as well as academic ones, we as parents took for granted a few (or more) years ago?

Academic results are of course important, but should not be the sole basis upon which your decision is made.

Exam results are now the only thing which should be considered
Exam results are now the only thing which should be considered

There are many schools in Kent which achieve good exam results, but many parents are also looking for a focus on student well-being and happiness.

We all perform better and work harder when we are happy, engaged and motivated; these feelings and emotions are as important in an educational environment as they are in the work place.

Not all schools suit all children; everyone is an individual and should be treated as such.

Children who want to get out of bed and go to school in the morning are in the right place!

For more details about Rochester College visit www.rochester-college.org

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