Questions about private secondary

(17 Posts)
JammyPodger Wed 05-Mar-14 21:34:19

So I'm thinking about sending my DD to a private secondary school and have a couple of questions.

If DD leaves primary in year 6 and therefore doesn't do prep year, will it be hard for her?

Which leads me to in people's experience of schools that are 3-16 years, is it regular for children to only join for high school?

Any advice or experience helpful, thanks.

LIZS Thu 06-Mar-14 07:21:33

Yes it is common to join such schools at 11. Presumably she'd have to take an entrance test probably during year 6. They tend to look for aptitude rather than knowledge but make sure you know what papers she will sit and prepare her for time constraints and style if she isn't used to taking exams so she can brush up her technique. Not sure what you mean by prep year . Prep is just a term for some private schools between ages 7 and 13.

SoldeInvierno Thu 06-Mar-14 07:45:20

Lots of children move schools at 11 even if they are at prep school, which often goes on until 13. If you enter a private school in year 7, you normally take an entry exam in January of year6. You need to register to take the exam a few minths before and you pay a fee to do so. The exams vary from school to school. Some are harder than others.

SoldeInvierno Thu 06-Mar-14 07:51:55

Aldo You need to visit the schools during year 5, so that you get an idea whether you like them or not. With some of them you will get an instant dislike. It's like when you are house hunting grin. In our case, for example, I didn't like the schools which put too much emphasis on sports. It all depends on what your DD likes best. Are you thinking single sex or co-ed? Selective or not? Day girl or flexi-boarding?

SoldeInvierno Thu 06-Mar-14 07:52:52

"Also", not "aldo"

JammyPodger Thu 06-Mar-14 07:55:39

Thanks. At one particular school I was looking at, they have a prep year for year 6 and it was described as an intake ideal for children entering the grammar school from other types of school.

I really have to do more research but she won't be leaving primary this year.

Nocomet Thu 06-Mar-14 07:57:07

Very common here as we have nice village primaries.
As Solde says you need to do your research well in advance as schools tend to have enter emcee exams. Not terribly onerous round here unless you want a scholarship.

(And the girl I know who got 2 scholarship offers wasn't tutored, but yes she is very clever, artistic, musical and quite sporty)

Nocomet Thu 06-Mar-14 07:58:19

Entrance (I haven't had any coffee yet)

JammyPodger Thu 06-Mar-14 07:59:08

Yes the sport thing has already put one out of the question.

I've looked into one which is a grammar and seems quite selective.

Another is a smaller school and has a less selective approach but as it is a fairly small school, I think a lot of the year 7's would have been there for primary.

Both mixed sexes.

purpleroses Thu 06-Mar-14 08:25:24

The schools should be able to give you figures for the number they accept from other schools and the number who carry on from already within their school. If there's an exam they should also be able to show you some year's previous papers - so you can see if your DD could manage them, and also to tell you the proportion who sit the exam who get in (though be aware some kids may sit quite a few exams, so it might seem like a lot of applicants to a place, but not actually be that hard to get an offer)

My DD is about to start a private secondary from a state primary. She had to pass the entrance exam so I'm assuming that means she's good enough. The school she's going to will have around 2/3 of the intake from its own prep, but the others from a mixture of other schools, which I would guess would be mostly state because the local private schools go up to 13, so they'd go in at 13, not 11.

LIZS Thu 06-Mar-14 08:26:15

Yes the sport thing has already put one out of the question. Not sure what you mean by this ? dc are at what is locally perceived to be a sporty school, and neither is, but there are so many other activities on offer and chances to shine that it isn't an issue.

SoldeInvierno Thu 06-Mar-14 08:28:17

Grammar schools are selective, but they are not private. If you manage to get in, you don't have to pay fees.

However, there are some private schools that have the word "grammar" in their name. That's just a name and they are still private fee paying schools

LIZS Thu 06-Mar-14 08:30:49

Some private schools use Grammar in their name, just to confuse things! It often relates to the origins of the school and the days of state 11+ in areas of the country which no longer have a selective system.

Soveryupset Thu 06-Mar-14 08:34:43

This is only my experience, but if I was you I would also keep an eye out on what is required for the entrance exam and what sort of level they are expecting (this will vary hugely from school to school!).

We decided to move DD1 in Y4 when I realised that L5 was the absolutely minimum they required for the year 6 exam in January, but in reality many children were working way beyond that.

Some of our friends whose children moved at 11 told us that at L5 their child was sitting in the bottom/close to the bottom groups for English and maths and it was very hard to catch up to be at least in the middle.

I didn't really want that experience for my children so I decided to move them earlier. Still if you think your child would easily be a L6 in Y6 then you'll be perfectly ok. Or if the school isn't that hugely selective, then you'd also be perfectly fine with a L5.

Our primary school didn't teach L6 in Y6 so it wasn't an option. We could have got tutors in but I didn't fancy the idea at all. (Too much stress!)Sport and French were also the two main differences although again some children do catch up quite easily.

JammyPodger Thu 06-Mar-14 08:55:31

The sports comment was just in response to another poster who mentioned a school putting a lot of emphasis on sport. Admittedly I had only looked online at one school but it was very sports orientated and most of the trips etc were sports related.

Thanks for all the responses.

JammyPodger Thu 06-Mar-14 09:11:27

And yes, fee paying grammar.

iseenodust Fri 07-Mar-14 11:47:34

DS's selective school has 2 classes per year in the junior school and 3 in the senior school. So 1/3 enter at yr7 and they do not languish in terms of attainment.

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