Not very bright DD - would she get into a private school or do they only want super smart kids?

(37 Posts)
snail1973 Sat 26-Jan-13 09:05:03

DD (yr2) is in the bottom group for most things at school. We live in an area with high achieving children, so I am aware that bottom of her class area is probably around or just below the national average. We also live in 11+ area (Bucks). I know she wont pass the 11+ and the school that we are in catchment for if you dont pass is not brilliant.

So DH and I are thinking about private. But now I am worrying that private schools are all so selective that they would not be interested in DD.

ANyone got any thoughts or advice?

BooksandaCuppa Sat 26-Jan-13 23:43:40

Not in your part of the country but as an example, ds's non-selective has a very broad intake where they have bands of roughly 40% of higher ability, 40% of middle ability and 20% lower ability. They also specialise in dyslexia and dyspraxia and for that reason often 'pick up' extra children before the exam years who are not doing so well in the state system. The lower sets are half as small as the top sets. Their exam results (and therefore 'value added') are very good. I'm sure you would have an option of a similar school.

As others say, and you agreed, it's far too early to tell how she'll be doing by 11, but it's always worth knowing your options. As ds has AS and we'd decided we wanted this school for him since year 4, we were able to save a considerable amount towards fees before he started.

Annelongditton Sun 27-Jan-13 00:01:19

I would absolutely second Irishrose's comment

"One bit of advice. Its not what the school does, its what the parents do that counts. My children have always been in private schools but without my input they would be nowhere near the standards they're at now. Teach your child the basics and watch her flourish."

JoanByers Sun 27-Jan-13 12:42:21

I know a girl who was expensively educated at one of these sorts of schools. She is doing media studies now at uni.

She's not particularly academically capable, and obviously the private school didn't change her into a genius, but on the plus side she is very pleasant, kind and well-spoken and so on, and thought that's not necessarily the school's doing, I guess it wasn't harmful.

BooksandaCuppa Sun 27-Jan-13 12:54:28

How snobby, Joan. I know people from grammar schools who are studying media studies at uni..maybe it's what they want to do? And how do you know that, for the girl you mention, that's not a whole load better than she would have done at a state school?

How ridiculous to imply that the only the very top selective schools are worth paying fees for - it could be argued that the very selective schools add less value when you consider the intake they have.

'Those kind of schools', indeed! As if all non-selective private schools are one homogeneous lump only good for teaching manners???!!!

JoanByers Sun 27-Jan-13 12:59:02

Well she did drop out after the 1st year of uni another subject first because she found it too hard.

Actually I think 'these kind of schools' are fine whether you are bright or not, my point was more about the 'not very bright DD' than whether the school is up to scratch.

BooksandaCuppa Sun 27-Jan-13 13:08:40

Ok, fair point. But I don't think anyone would suggest that any school can make a high flier out of someone with limited academic potential. But a very good school, be that state or private, will get the best 'results' it can out of each pupil as well as allowing them to explore other interests, access a broad curriculum and grow into rounded, caring individuals.

The Op merely wanted to know if all private schools were very academically selective and the answer is no, they're not. And they probably vary as much as state schools do. So, of course, be careful that you know what you are paying for if you do decide to go down the fee-paying route.

ipadquietly Sun 27-Jan-13 15:14:52

My huge great sympathies.

I think you're being realistic, having been faced with the same dilemma in (I think!) much the same part of Bucks. Some of the SM schools are dire. Luckily ds got into GS on appeal - the option being a very poor SM, and probably a house move! Furthermore, from my experience in schools, you can generally predict who will pass the 11+, or be borderline) in Y2. (The more verbose/linguistically developed in Y2 don't always reach the academic standard by Y5/6.)

Tutoring for the 11+ is also a bit of a problem for all in S Bucks at the moment (lots of money has been poured fruitlessly down the drain), as it is changing later this year.

I know a number of people who have used Pipers Corner and have been very happy with it - the dd of a colleague got very good A levels and has just started a law degree. Also, another advantage is that you can send the child at any age between 3 and 18.

spookycatandfluffydog Sun 27-Jan-13 19:42:34

Have you considered St Marys in Gerrards Cross?

TwoKidsAndCounting Sun 27-Jan-13 19:50:47

It's way too early to be labelling your child not bright because she didn't pass a couple of curriculum base tests. Bare in mind that the curriculum as followed by all state schools in the country is not how the 11 plus works, totally different in fact. There are many kids who don't successfully follow the curriculum but will excel at intelligent tests like the 11 plus!

ipadquietly Sun 27-Jan-13 23:00:17

With my knowledge of Bucks education, the OP is very sensible to be forward thinking, particularly as her dd is having a few problems in class. She is not 'labelling' her dd, and I'm sure she will be watching her dd progress brilliantly over the next few years.

However, the OP is rightly concerned about secondary options in Bucks, and is mulling over alternative strategies. There are no comprehensives here - it is grammar or secondary modern. Some of the sec mods are good..... and some are not so good.

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 27-Jan-13 23:04:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WMDinthekitchen Sun 27-Jan-13 23:21:02

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