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Individual School Information - B

updated February 2104

For Attainment 8 and Progress 8 with 2016 GCSE scores go to here for explanation.

Barton Court Grammar School Canterbury. Mixed. For 2012 entry, there were 23 vacancies on allocation. However, for 2013 there has been a complete turn round,  and the school is oversbscribed by 28 qualified first choices. A parent who successfully appealed last year with my assistance, has recently written to me: "Just to let you know that we have been really pleased with Barton Court since ???? started in September. The head of Year 7 is really good and has been more communicative than the primary school.  ????  got 9 ‘A’s in core academic subjects in  recent grade sheets and has settled in well. Music seems to be a big thing there, which is perfect for ????. Just like to thank you again for all your support in what was a very trying time! Barton Court originally offered 128 places in 2013, but indicated at appeal that it would be prepared to take in an additional form of entry if the Appeal Panel saw fit to offer places. In the end 37 appeals were successful out of 89, the highest number of appeals of any school  in Kent that year. The school is currently exploring a complete re-location to Herne Bay. See news items. OFSTED Mar 2014 - Outstanding. Number of first choices fell from 121 in 2013 to 88 in 2014, reflecting uncertainty over proposed move to Herne Bay in 2017, which is no longer being pursued. School still filled. Now taking over Charles Dickens School in Broadstairs, as an academy. 22 vacancies on allocation in 2015, 19 in 2016. Disappointing 94% 5 GCSEs A-C in 2015. Provisional Attainment 8 for 2016, 64.4. Progress 0.29, above average. Barton Court 35 out of 62 appeals upheld in 2015, 30 out of 74 in 2016. 

Bennett Memorial Diocesan School Tunbridge Wells. Heavily oversubscribed with pupils from families with strong Christian affiliation. Check oversubscription criteria carefully. 92 first preferences turned away in 2009. 64 first choices oversubscribed on 2nd March 2010. By far the top Kent non-selective school in 2010 GCSE tables at 86% 5 A-C inc M&E. Close to lowest performing grammar school. 47 first choices oversubscribed for 2011 entry.  OFSTED 2012 Outstanding. Excerpts from Report: Information about the school This large and oversubscribed Church of England school converted to academy status in April 2011. The school is well above the government’s current floor standard which sets the minimum expectations set for students’ attainment and progress. Key Findings This outstanding school and sixth form is a highly inclusive community where every individual student is valued and cared for with dedication. Its strong Christian ethos is pervasive and underpins the central belief that every student can achieve success. In this very supportive environment, students are highly motivated and develop into confident, conscientious young people who are well prepared for their future lives. Students make rapid progress to reach high standards of attainment that have been sustained over time. Overall, teaching is highly effective, including in the sixth form. Teachers have excellent subject knowledge and lessons are characterised by a range of carefully selected activities that accelerate and deepen learning. Rightly, ambitious leaders are intent on sharing the very best practice to increase the proportion of outstanding teaching further. Students’ exemplary behaviour and high attendance are underpinned by the warm and positive relationships throughout the school. Students are polite, well-meaning and thoughtful. As learners they respond to challenge with enthusiasm showing resilience and perseverance. Most have a strong commitment to making a positive contribution and realising their potential both academically and personally. High quality leadership ensures that high expectations prevail. Staff are proud to be part of the school. The combination of positive student attitudes and the rich curricular offer ensure that the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development provided is outstanding. Expanded its intake by 30 to 240 for 213 entry, but still oversubscribed by 56 first choices.  Used the same appeal panel as Judd in 2013, with one successful appeal between the two schools - at Bennett (a client of mine!). Admission criteria appear biased towards non-conformist Christians. Currently (entry 2013) 75% of places are awarded to children from Anglican families at the heart of the church with sub-criteria for families livng in local deaneries and siblings. These places are regularly highly competitive and the surplus are considered below members of non-conformist churches. The rules stretch to a record three pages in the Kent prospectus (including sixth form admissions)- so consult them closely, as there are subtle interpretations of the broad categories. Clearly it helps to be an educated intelligent Christian! Has increased intake by 16 to 240 for 2014 entry (having previously enlarged to 224). Heavily oversubscribed. 83 first choices not offered in 2014. 

Borden Grammar School Sittingbourne. Usually has places available. Appeals organised by Independent Appeal Panel Administrator. Had 15 spaces on allocation in March 2012, but all filled after appeals. Just 88 places filled out of 120 for 2013 entry. Sadly, the current headmaster is retiring on health grounds. The new head for September 2013 was previously a Deputy Head of Higshted Grammar (Girls) also in Sittingbourne. The other Deputy Head of Highsted has been appointed to that school. OFSTED Nov 12 - Good. Some excerpts - Information about the schoolThis is a smaller-than-average-size secondary school; The school selects from the top 25% of boys by ability using the Kent test to determine admission into Year 7; Borden Grammar School converted to become an academy in January 2012. When its predecessor school, also Borden Grammar School, was last inspected by Ofsted it was judged to be good; The school’s headteacher has been in post since September 2013; The school has a specialism in sport and a second specialism in modern languages; Approximately one in ten of the school’s population is eligible for the pupil premium. This proportion is about a third of the national average; Approximately one in nine students is from a minority ethnic group, which is below the national average; A little over 10% of students are disabled or have special educational needs and are supported through school action, this proportion is a little below the national average; A little under 4% of students are supported at school action plus or have a statement of special educational needs, which is about half the national average; Some additional AS- and A-level courses are taken by sixth form students at Fulston Manor School and Highsted Grammar School. This is so that these students can follow courses that are of particular interest or relevance to them; The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for students’ attainment and progress. Key findingsThis is a good school: All staff share the headteacher’s ambitious vision which focuses on the achievement of every student within a highly supportive and harmonious community; Supported by good leadership and management, students’ achievement is good and improving because of good and improving teaching; Parents, staff and students are exceptionally positive about the standards of behaviour and safety in the school. Students arrive at their lessons hungry to learn and engage enthusiastically with classroom activities. Relationships between teachers and students are very positive and help to promote high quality learning; The school’s leaders, including the governors, know their school well and what needs to be done to improve it still further; The school’s curriculum is broad and balanced and it is successful in meeting the needs and aspirations of all students. This helps the students to enjoy their learning, appreciate its relevance and achieve well. The school provides its students with excellent cultural and sporting opportunities; The sixth form is good; its students serve as excellent role models to younger students in the school. Students’ achievement in the sixth form is good. It is not yet an outstanding school because: In mathematics, not all students make the best possible progress from their starting points. Vacancies for 2014. 2016 appeals, 24 out of 49 successful. 

Brockhill Park School Hythe. OFSTED 2012 - Good. Information about the school: The roll in this larger-than-average school has risen steadily since the previous inspection. The school is set in parkland, houses a working farm and theatre and holds specialist status for the rural dimension and for performing arts. It operates within a selective area where approximately a quarter of pupils attend grammar schools for their secondary education. The proportion of students who have special educational needs and students with a disability is well above that found nationally. The proportion of students who join or leave the school at times other than the usual time is higher than in most schools. The school has met the government’s current floor targets for academic performance.Inspection report: Key findings This is a good school with a positive learning ethos which is raising students’ aspirations. They develop well academically and personally, and are prepared well for the next stage of their lives. The school’s specialist status has a significant impact on students’ experiences. They achieve particularly well in performing arts subjects, and the farm is a popular aspect of school life and provides access to additional vocational qualifications.Students’ attainment in GCSE, AS and A-level is in line with national averages and has increased year on year since the previous inspection. This represents good progress from students’ below-average starting points. Recent developments to enable students to improve their literacy and numeracy skills are having a positive impact The sixth form is good, shown in rapidly increasing numbers as the curriculum is extended to meet a wider range of students’ interests and abilities. Teaching is good. Good behaviour is the norm. Students comment on improved attitudes in the last few years so that they are proud of their school, want to do well and appreciate that adults take an interest in them. Leadership and management are good. The school is very effectively led by the Principal, and senior and middle leaders have an accurate understanding of the most important areas for development. Is now oversubscribed with first preferences. 60 first choices oversubscribed on 2nd March 2010, rising to 81 in 2011, but slipping back to 20 for 2012. 33 first choices not offered for entry in 2013, probably reflecting the lack of popularity of the nearest school to Brockhill. 13 first choices not offered for 2014, the fall reflecting the increased take up by Folkestone grammar schools through their own test.