Breaking into the citadel - how do you research secondaries.....

(31 Posts)
thesecretmusicteacher Fri 22-Feb-13 13:11:26

So, here we are, wanting to do the good citizen thing and send DS1 to the local comp on our street. Good but not outstanding. Sends kids to Oxbridge but will they know who DS1 is? Will he get any attention?

Can I get through the door? No I cannot. Not till the Open Day in six months' time, which would be after the exam dates for the selective in the next LEA. I missed the Open Day last autumn because it wasn't publicised to Year 5s.

Mind you, I can't get through the door of the selective grammar either (this time, my more switched on peers went to open day in year 4 then started tutoring!). They tell me to wait for their open day in June - that's 9 months after DS1's classmates started special tutoring.

Now, the £10,000 a year private school on the other hand.... not a problem.... "how much time with the head would madam like?..... we think an hour and a half would be about right.......would Tuesday suit?......Here are some examples of our exam papers.....we'll send you details of our exam dates in six months' time"

So - help me strategise here please people and not end up spending £10,000 a year and breaking faith with all our neighbours (it is an article of faith on my street that you go state and to the local comp.) merely because oversubscribed state schools don't do marketing. How do I inveigle my way into each of the state schools and sneakily research them please?

seeker Mon 25-Feb-13 13:23:45

Lots of schools don't offer 3 sciences now, iseenodust.

iseenodust Mon 25-Feb-13 13:34:28

seeker How depressing. Personally I'd add that to evidence of low aspirations in a school. Not saying should be compulsory part of curriculum for all but feel it ought to be an option.

adeucalione Mon 25-Feb-13 13:52:36

That's crazy - surely the state school knows that an Open Day in September is too late for anyone trying to choose between them and the grammar (who will presumably have the entrance exams at about that time)?

I am incredulous that they won't give you a tour - can you fib and say that you have just moved to the area, maybe that would make them more accommodating?

Failing that you will just have to get a feel for the state school from talking to your neighbours, observing the pupils at finishing time, stalking their website and just generally doing internet research (Ofsted, DofE etc). I think that should give you enough information to get a feel for whether you are likely to be happy with it when they do eventually let you in - if in doubt, start preparing for 11+ (and if it's only VR/NVR then a few practice papers through the summer holidays should be sufficient ime).

I would also go and see the independent school, so that you can make an informed comparison following each Open Day - exams for this school will be next January so if, after the state Open Day in September, you decide that the indie is the best option you will still have four months to prepare (more than enough).

Elibean Mon 25-Feb-13 14:12:25

musicteacher....you know, you sound very clear about what you'd like for your ds smile

Just find out what you need to make you feel more confident about doing it, then do it! If he's happy with it, that is. Your plans for the summer break sound great.

thesecretmusicteacher Mon 25-Feb-13 14:13:09

thanks adeucalione

hooray, someone gets it!
makes me feel better already.

thesecretmusicteacher Mon 25-Feb-13 14:27:45

thanks Elibean, thanks

I am touched x

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