Entrance exam... last bit of panic!(99 Posts)
This has probably been asked many many times before but humour me! In the unlikely event that ds is ill or the weather stops us getting to the exam, do I ring the school and they allow test to be sat at another time or what????
Do you think so Joan? We got into a real pickle with it because we learned maths differently from how it is now taught in state schools and the DC got very confused and uptight by DH and I trying to explain, say, long division when apparently they no longer teach it as long division.
We hired tutor who gently steered them through. But I agree, it's either right or wrong, so in that sense, we can help.
That's a pity about the maths. It's one of the easiest subjects to work on as a parent IMO, with right/wrong answers and lots of websites that you can subscribe to for online tutoring.
Whilst all independent schools can set their own tests at 11+, this site gives past papers for the state school children, they take them in May of Yr 6. http://www.emaths.co.uk/index.php/4-students/past-papers/ks2-sat-papers might give you an idea of how far behind your child is in maths to do one of the non calculator papers (test a), a score or about 50-75% on one of them would equate to an average child nationally in the UK.
Thanks again Copthall. Still got a couple of irons in the fire but feedback from both KGS and Hampton points to huge holes in his maths and very spiky results. If he's underperformed in all his maths papers then I'll have to bring in Plan B - Prep school to 13 then a school that doesn't require a pretest. The only silver lining here is that this process has shown me where we really need to work, and part of our re-patriation package includes tutoring. So between me and a tutor hopefully we can fill in the gaps and get him running up to speed..... can't wait
papalazaru I am sorry it was a negative, but then it means that the school wasn't right for your DS rather than the other way around. The same problem with the syllabus did apply for DD as well, and her International School was very gentle, but we did work through some Maths books and Maths is her thing. I would add that her peers in her class at her gentle International School have gone on to great things regardless of what secondary school they went to, wherever in the world, almost every single one is now at a uni that is in the top 10 in the world, that expat experience prepares them well for life.
Papalarazu, I'm sorry it was bad news. One thing to say though is not to feel despondent about the difference in the education systems. Your DS' teacher said all the KS2 maths would be covered by the end of the year. This is the same here. I was v surprised to learn that the 11+ exam covers the whole of KS2 when by Jan on course the kids (in state schools) have only done part of the year. We had a huge amount of work to do to cover the stuff he hasn't done already and even so DS found the maths hard. I only discovered this discrepancy in the syllabus quite late in the day and I appreciate it doesn't help you much now, but it may do if you're going to try again next year. If you do, then maybe a private tutor could help cover the "unknown" stuff?
Thanks again Copthall but we got the no thanks today. I will email and ask for some feedback on his scores. It's so difficult being out of the UK system, I really I have no idea what the SATs levels are etc. I did ask his teacher to read through the KS2 levels for maths and she did say that they hadnt yet covered it all but it would be covered by the end of this academic year.
I also wrote a back up letter to accompany all the applications explaining that he'd been US system educated all his life. Now I'm not sure whether to write to the remaining schools adding what his teacher told me about the maths or whether that just looks too desperate
papalazaru Hope you hear soon and it is positive. The trouble is that you do not know what is going on. They may be waiting to see how the interviews go to see whether it is worth dragging you over? I am pretty sure DD was interviewed after the rest, the Head met us at the door and took her off, there was no one else there.
I wouldn't worry about nagging a bit to find out, as long as it is enthusiastic as so keen on school nagging, rather than annoyed nagging. They doubtless have some of the latter, some parents are unbelievably rude apparently!
Thanks Copthall - perhaps o/s students are marked separately hence the delay.... Still not heard and its driving me crazy!!
They definitely make allowances and they definitely regard expats, and children from /raised in other cultures an asset to the school community, providing the benefit of their experiences in class.
DD2 did KGS. It sounded to be more of a straightforward test of attainment whereas Hampton have more of the reasoning type questions aimed at testing ability, trying to identify potential so I wouldn't give up. The KGS exam may have changed though, it has become much more popular. The new Head is one of the most impressive around.
I suspect DD1 got in on her Maths and Science geekyness. Writing any sort of story continued to provoke hysteria right up to GCSE!
That's interesting Copthall - your DD must be very impressive to do so well at such great schools. And it makes sense that overseas applicants would be considered separately - though I didn't realize they'd make such allowances. As he's failed KGS I really don't expect a yes from Hampton. So Hopefully I'll get a rejection email on Monday morning otherwise I'll go into a complete tailspin at the thought of flying back for an interview !
SEN provision is brilliant at Hampton, over at LEH we were very jealous. I am absolutely sure a SpLD doesn't invite discrimination. Even LEH took my moderate to severe dyslexics. Of course, something you have in your favour is a rigourous assessment of ability.
Also over at LEH papalazaru we were called back from half way across the world for interview, by Godolphin and Latymer and LEH (St Pauls' and Surbiton interviewed on our look / see visit). In fact the old LEH Head actually rang us personally, must have been in her evening too, to apologise and explain why she felt it was important she met DD. I nearly died, as speaking to a Head immediately makes me regress to schoolgirl and I struggled to give better than monosyllabic answers as she tried to discuss expat life. Probably for the best, my normally garrulous self would probably have wrecked her chances completely! I think the expat selection process often goes out of sync as they have to consider the exam paper from the point of view of whether weaknesses are to do with ability or differences in education systems/ culture.
Yes I liked the look of SEN at Hampton too as DS has dysgraphia. We did get allocated a short amount of extra time but had to jump through hoops for it. And then DS didn't use it anyway ...... .
I just want this waiting over then I can calm down or a few weeks before the Feb offers when I'll ramp back up to being a crazed email checker.
hampton were clearly not keen to give DS extra time either. So we didn't even bother to ask.
castles, one of the reasons we liked Hampton was the SEN provision which I was really impressed with, but interestingly of the 3 schools ds was sitting for, Hampton was the only one that did not give ds extra time in the exams having seen his SEN report. Now, I didn't ask for it, but Latymer and Emanuel both came through off exactly the same report Hampton had and offered extra time, whereas Hampton didn't - and ds hates the idea that he is in anyway different and might need it so wouldn't let me go back and ask. Now I'm not sure if it would have make any difference - and it's too late now.
Yesterday was a bit of a tough day for ds as his two best friends had their interviews.
papalazaru, I hope they come through soon - the waiting is enough to send us all utterly loopy though I am turning my mind to ordering the local state school uniform!
Thanks for the reassurance everyone. You may be right castles and racing heart. I think that the school closed early yesterday because of the snow so the email I sent wont have been read yet. A previous email had said I would hear within 10 days and that was by Friday - the registrar didn't mention that they don't interview overseas candidates so I just assumed they do. Having looked at their calendar all those interviews are scheduled for next week and they couldn't seriously expect us to make such a short notice trip (could they?). So that leads me to think it'll be a 'no'.
I wish I knew for the weekend but it looks like I'll just have to wait to Monday.
Thanks racingheart. I am planning to call the school but am waiting for DS to sit his last exam. I agree with your comment about power-wielding heads, so much so that I am removing my other 2 DC from the school at half-term.
papalazaru, we received our rejection letter from Hampton the same day the other boys in his year received letters inviting them to interview, which was 2 days later. They do it in batches of schools and do seem to be very organised so I would give them a call.
papalaz, if you are overseas, perhaps they don't call you for interview, in which case perhaps they won't write until they make the offers - which is all at once around 18th feb. Just a guess.
Nothing for us from rgs yet, snow giving me too much time to think. Still haven't worked out the value of testing a child at 11 for the 13+, but heyho
Still nothing from Hampton. I emailed today but no reply. Very odd - are those of you getting rejection letters (sorry )from a group who have applied for scholarships? I'm wondering if the non-scholarship rejections come later....? Or maybe someone in the office forgot we are overseas and has mailed us a rejection .
castles and mimbles, if you really like Hampton, why not phone and ask for a chat? I find it really odious that state school heads who disapprove of private education can have that much power over a child's future. Our head also disapproves, but to their great credit, writes wonderful reports - schools have mentioned how full they are.
Strangely we still haven't heard from Hampton.... Which has to be bad news by now. Not even waiting for a letter - they said they'd contact by email as we are overseas ;(
Sorry to everyone who's been disappointed. We had a rejection from KGS yesterday and it's always difficult to deal with.....
mimbleandlittlemy, I am sorry for your disappointment. My DS also got turned down for the same school this week. It is interesting to hear what you say about your DS as mine is also on a 6 in sats and has a SEN which is now not needed but it is printed in BOLD letters on the report his (state) school sent. Head is very anti private schools and particularly so in DS's case for some reasn. I got a copy of the report yesterday out of curiosity and really I'd be very surprised if anyone offered him a place having read it . The 4 boys from his year who had interviews at Hampton and were all assured they would be offered places are on similar levels to my DS so my feeling that they just don't like anything out of the ordinary there could be true. That and they are so oversubscribed they can just pick what they think is the best in all aspects. Of course it could be that he completely messed up the exam but I don't think so as he said it was the best he did out of the 4 he's taken! It makes me sad but I do think there are schools out there who overlook anything different - King's is one school.
good luck to everyone still waiting for letters.
My DD1 is going for the 8+ at a selective independent but we are not in London so a lot less competitive. We haven't done much prep and I am now slightly anxious that we should have. Too late now as it is next week!!!
Looking forward to hearing how others are getting on. For what it's worth I got her to do the Kings' papers (only ones I could find online) to see where we were at and she found the Maths easy but the English pretty hard!!
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