This is the pushy parent Tiffin tutor thread.

(460 Posts)
uwila Mon 22-Jan-07 13:28:06

Okay, so wh ohas used a Tiffin tutor? Did it get your kid(s) into Tiffin? How old were they when they strted tutoring?

Okay, so my DD is only 3 1/2 but I like to plan ahead/. I've heard you can sign up for tutors that increase your chances of getting into Tiffin (boys and girls schools).

Any experience/opinions welcome.


frogs Mon 22-Jan-07 13:33:55

A colleague of mine has entered his dd for Tiffin exam (and Nonsuch, and a couple of others). She hasn't been tutored, but is considered (by her dad!) to be amazingly bright. My dispassionate observation is that she is reasonably but not outstandingly able. Has been at well-regarded S. London primary school (not going to name names in public I'm afraid).

Will let you know the outcome. I do know Tiffin are very very strict re. lateness and it's difficult to get to by public transport, so I would consider the journey very carefully.

Personally I think tutoring is over-rated for VR and NVR exams. As long as they've had a chance to get familiar with the format the child either can or can't do the questions. Extra tuition in maths (particularly) and possibly English if the exam will feature an essay-type question are likely to be more worthwhile. All the selective schools say that their exams are based on the NC, but IME the maths in particular goes well beyond what most schools are covering in the classroom.

3.5 is a bit early to plan, though!

foxabout2pop Mon 22-Jan-07 13:34:03

I haven't used one myself, but know a few local parents who have.

In understand that the tutor assesses the child first to see if they'd have a chance of passing the entrance exam, and then if they think the child would be a good candidsate, the tuturing commences age eight or nine.

Its probably worth doing if you have a bright academic child.

I understand that Tiffin girls school focusses on maths/sciences, whereas the boys school is more rounded.

Would be interested to hear other peoples experiences of the tutors and whether they're worth the money.

frogs Mon 22-Jan-07 13:40:28

I took dd1 to an independent Ed Psych when she was in Y5, partly because I wanted to know whether she had a chance of getting into the N London selective grammars, and partly because we were having constant problems with the school. On the basis of that assessment I was pretty sure she'd get in, so she didn't have exam practice tutoring as such. She did some extra work with a tutor, but that was more for all-round education than exam tuition.

If you have a child in state school and want a realistic pop at selective state schools then you need to keep a close eye on what she is and isn't learning in class from about Y3 onwards. If you see worrying gaps, then you could consider getting a tutor to fill them. But I would be very wary of tutoring a borderline candidate to get in -- dd1 is at a much less selective grammar in N. London, and the pace of work is immense. She is loving it, but it can't be much fun for those who are putting in all the effort and still never getting the high grades and commendations.

bossykate Mon 22-Jan-07 13:44:34

oh go on frogs! which one was it? just put the initial(s) if you're shy...

frogs Mon 22-Jan-07 13:45:50

H juniors in Wandsworth, since you ask.

foxabout2pop Mon 22-Jan-07 13:49:40

Has anyone tried applying for scholarships to places like St Paul's - sorry to change the subject, but its related (..ish)

twickersmum Mon 22-Jan-07 13:51:53

my sister went to state primary, was very bright, got part-scholarship to LEH but FAILED to get into Tiffin.
Her teacher at school told my mum that 4 from the class applied, 3 got in, my sister didn't. The other 3 had tutoring. The teacher said my sister was brighter than the others, just wasn't prepped for the exam.

so, it is worth it.
then again my sister is now 23! things might have changed!

uwila Mon 22-Jan-07 13:52:39

Fox, I work with someone whose sons go to St. Pauls. The older one has just been accepted at Oxford Medical School. I don't think they go on scholarships, but he definately speaks very highly of it. Also, my boss' son went there... and he too now goes to Oxford.

frogs Mon 22-Jan-07 13:57:34

Fox, I have a working hypothesis that the scholarships to private secondary schools are not doled out strictly according to ability, but that there's an element of the schools trying to keep their feeder preps happy. This is based pretty much on our experience last year with dd1, who scored the highest mark out of all the applicants for her selective state school, but was still only partially successful in the scholarship stakes in the private school applications.

But lots of these schools do have bursaries, which are allocated according to rather more transparent criteria. There also seems to be an increasing move towards needs-blind admissions by some pretty high-profile private schools, presumably in an attempt to (a) keep up their league table showing and (b) keep the Charities commission happy.

foxabout2pop Mon 22-Jan-07 13:57:38

An ex colleague of mine from Hackney put her daugher through the scholarship exam and she got into St Paul's - her mum was so surprised and she's gone to a crap primary but was very bright. Apparently not many people go for the scholarships, as they just assume they won't get one.

What I've heard locally about Tiffin is that only 10% of tutored candidates get it. So its not surprising the untutored ones are at such a disadvantage. Its soooo heavily over subscribed.

Saying that one of my work colleagues now has a daughter there who had no tutoring whatsover - it was just one of the local schools so they thought they'd give it a go!!

hana Mon 22-Jan-07 13:57:45

your daughter isn't even in school yet and you're worried about secondary schools?

nothing else to plan for then?!?!

foxabout2pop Mon 22-Jan-07 14:00:04

Hana - I'm worried too - my oldest is only six. The primary schools where we live are great but the secondary schools are absolutely crap so its a big worry for us - even at this stage.

hana Mon 22-Jan-07 14:03:22

but it's years away
willyou still be living where you are now?
circumstances change

dd1 jsut started school in sept - secondadry schools aren't really on my radar yet

hana Mon 22-Jan-07 14:03:56

altho primary schools much better in our area too than secondary

<maybe on my radar a bit then>

twickersmum Mon 22-Jan-07 14:04:11

everyone i know is worried about secondary schools and most of us have pre-school children.
i think it is quite normal. The primary schools where we are are generally very good. a lot of people only go to private primary to get into private secondary. not because the private primary is any better than the state primaries.

KTeePee Mon 22-Jan-07 14:05:25

hana, luckily BECAUSE I considerd secondary schools when I was choosing dd's primary, she will (unless they change their admissions policy) go to a great secondary. Wouldn't get in if I had sent her to our nearest primary. Sometimes, it does pay to think ahead.....

hana Mon 22-Jan-07 14:05:56

maybe worry begets worry then
I don't know many people worried about secondary schools yet (those that have chidlren same age as dd1 I mean)

speedymama Mon 22-Jan-07 14:06:39

Hana. I don't know about anyone else but this thread makes me realise that my boys are lucky to have me. They will not have to endure paranoid parents who think that their child will end up as losers/failures/on the scrapheap by not attending a particular school - no sirree.

jura Mon 22-Jan-07 14:08:27

Dd1 did the Tiffin exam. Came nowhere. Well, she did not come in the top 500 (out of 950 applicants).

She was not tutored, but her school did do VR/NVR practice sessions.

She's bright, articulate and doing well at a selective school (now in Year 8). The Tiffin test, as I recall, was only VR and NVR - no maths or English.

Their loss, imo.

hana Mon 22-Jan-07 14:09:22

i just , or rather my parents didn't have this stress when we were growing up. schools seems tso be so different in the uk.

Mercy Mon 22-Jan-07 14:10:26

lol Speedymama. Blimey, I've never even heard of Tiffin tutors or schools.

uwila Mon 22-Jan-07 14:10:56

Hana, if you don't want to worry about secondary then don't. Fine with me. The fewer people who worry about their kids education the less competition I will have. I am a freak for planning ahead. That's how I got into a primary school in a borough in which I do not live.

Just gathering information here so I can plan ahead.

hana Mon 22-Jan-07 14:13:57

<think we are int ehsame borough, so perhaps I need to worry hjmmm>

uwila Mon 22-Jan-07 14:14:56

I always note that I have gone a wee bit too far when I start talking about the schools admission in the frist person.

Hi Jura, Absolutely silly silly Tiffin turning down a Jura!

uwila Mon 22-Jan-07 14:15:38

Hana, do we live in the same borough or go to school in same borough?

uwila Mon 22-Jan-07 14:16:15

Tiffin schools are in Kingsto-upon-Thames.

hana Mon 22-Jan-07 14:16:24

daughter is in a RuT primary school

hana Mon 22-Jan-07 14:16:43

oh well neighbouring borough then

uwila Mon 22-Jan-07 14:18:53

I live Spelthorne, but DD goes to school (hopefully) in Twickenham. She is in the nursery and we haven't heard about reception yet, but I'm prettty confident since kids in the nursery get priority into reception.

Mercy Mon 22-Jan-07 14:20:18

Ok - thanks Uwila!

SturdyAngel Mon 22-Jan-07 14:40:39

I live in RBK and am very worried about secondary schools for my DS. I haven't got as far as worrying about tutors for Tiffin but if nearer to the time it becomes clear Tiffin would not be an appropriate choice anyway, then we WILL be moving!! He is only 3 but I want to ensure I am prepared and can give him the best start in life no matter what he decides to do.

foxtrot Mon 22-Jan-07 14:44:34

Uwila, i live near you . What's the journey like to Tiffin? What alternatives are you looking at?

twickersmum Mon 22-Jan-07 14:46:29

Uwila - what school? be cryptic if you like i will work it out.
we are just looking at primary schools/nursery for DD1

sfxmum Mon 22-Jan-07 14:49:34

one of our friends sent her daughters there and they live in Wimbledon but that was years ago, girls now early 20's, i think it is much harder now, but still she keeps telling us we should make this one of our top options for secondary school

Wheelybug Mon 22-Jan-07 14:50:42

I think its fair enough to be thinking about senior schools when a child is at pre-school if it is a selective one such as Tiffin.

DD is 2 (on weds) and I am local to Tiffin - We have thought about it as I had heard you only get into tiffin if you've been to a private prep school or have serious tutoring. Therefore we had to decide if we were going to sign up for private prep. As it is the one that dd would most likely to have gone too did extra classes to tutor them for 11+ exams so if we decide to go that route we may as well pay for the extra tutoring but not the school fees IYSWIM, the state primaries are pretty good (particularly in the area we're in) and we also have a very good non selective girls senior school at the e nd of the road.

Hence, you have to think about it this early.

Don't actually know anyone thats been through it though Uwila so not much help !

uwila Mon 22-Jan-07 15:17:23

Twickersmum, tried to CAT you but you don't accept them. You'll have to CAT me if you want the school name.

uwila Mon 22-Jan-07 15:20:44

No idea about the journey to Tiffin. To be honest that's not one of my considerations on choosing schools. I'd far rather travel than settle for mediocre education. I can't reallyy understand why people are so interested in have their school within spitting distance of their house. I'd commute to Timbuktu for my kids education.

And, while we are on the subject of Tiffin does anyone know how it compares to private schools academically. As far as I know it is on par with them, but the big atraction is that is is free.

hana Mon 22-Jan-07 15:53:50

uwila, are you sure that children in nursery ( at your dd's nursery) get priorty for reception places? dd1 went to preschool attached to the school, but it was made v clear to parents that attending the preschool didn't any priority in getting into the school. As it happens, we had to go on the waiting list and she only got a place during the first week of school.
thought this was same across (RuT) borough

foxtrot Mon 22-Jan-07 15:54:54

Personally i would have to set a limit on travel time/distance if it would make the school day long and tiring, or the journey was awkward.

Don't know how Tiffin compares with fee-paying schools. Are there any similar standard state/grammars in the area? DS1 is in reception, and i agree it is never to early to consider secondary, but the policies on feeder schools, catchments etc seem to change from year to year so there are no guarantees about where you may be able to send them.

frogs Mon 22-Jan-07 16:02:38

But the thing is, uwila, it won't be you doing the travelling, it will be your 11-yo dd. By herself. In the dark (in the winter). At 7am. Waiting 20 mins for a bus that doesn't arrive, and freaking out that she's going to get a late detention. And not getting back till 5.30 pm, with supper, music practice and 3 hours homework to do. And up at 6.30 the next morning for more of the same.

Unless you're planning to move house nearer the school, you do need to be thinking about journey feasibility because it is going to seriously impact on her quality of life.

uwila Mon 22-Jan-07 16:15:05

Yes, I'm sure about the criteria into reception. I'm aware that most schools don't give priority to nursery kids, bout ours does. It is a church school so they can set the criteria. And syblings get prority too. So, hopefully, DS will also get in.

Um, I think that sitting on a bus is not the worst treatment in the world for a kid. We all do these things as adults to get to and from work. But, really, we aren't that far from the schools. And yes if she got into Tiffin, I would consider moving closer. However, I'm aware that only about the top ten percent of applicants get in. So, the back up plan is a private secondary school -- and she would have to take the bus/train there as well.

Come to think of it, I'm not sure I'd put an eleven year old on a bus in the dark... might have to arrange some other transport for her.

foxabout2pop Mon 22-Jan-07 16:32:21

Uwila - I went on the train to school miles way on my own and was fine. Although it helps if there's other kids travelling from the same area (which I did not have). Anyway you could always move a bit nearer if she did get in?

Tiffin girls always comes up in the top 5 performing secondaries (state) for London, Tiffin boys is usually in the top 15 or so. Both would be fine by me. We also have the option of catholic secondary schools in west London, which are mostly excellent, but will indeed involve some travelling.

Our primary prioritises nursery children too. i.e. if you have no sibling - then the nursery is the only way in and that's part of the admissions criteria.

Hana - you live in the same borough as me ; so you'll know what I mean about great primaries, but crap secondaries.

Christ's is improving very fast since it became a LBRUT school again (was previoulsy a LBW school) but we'll need to see how much it improves in the next few years.

If we don't get into a decent secondary, we'll have to move out of London.

frogs Mon 22-Jan-07 16:48:36

Well, only you can judge in the end. But dd1's journey is just over an hour, door to door, and I think that's at the margins of acceptability. We're moving house in large part to make her journey easier, as otherwise the child's day consists of nothing but Eat, Schoolwork, Homework, Sleep. Which even for a motivated child is not much fun.

We went to a drinks party in Sept with a whole bunch of pushy Wandsworth parents with kids in the year below dd1, and they were all busily convincing themselves that a 90 minute journey involving 3 changes of various combinations of buses and overground trains wasn't that bad really. Bearing in mind that almost all the academically successful schools are incredibly fierce about lateness (dd1's school allows one late and gives detention only on the 2nd late in a rolling 10-day period, but that seems to be the exception) and tend to have later than average finishing times, it's not going to make for a great quality of life.

Needless to say dd1 is desperate for our move to go through.

uwila Mon 22-Jan-07 16:50:58

OMG foxy, so you rode the train. Is THAT what happened to you?

uwila Mon 22-Jan-07 16:57:28

Yeah, I have to agree that an hour commute is getting a bit long for a kid, especially if it meant changing public transport connections.

Also, my aim is actually to live in Twickenham long before time to sign up for Tiffin Tutors. But, if my ability to afford a house doesn't change sometime soon, I think we're leaving the country anyway. Every time I say this to DH I think he thinks I'm kidding... But I'm not.

Celia2 Mon 22-Jan-07 19:43:41

I have the contact for a Tiffin tutor.If you want it CAT me. She does put children's names down from 3!
A few other mnetters have used/ will use her and she has a formidable reputation among parents.
You need to make sure that your child is Tiffin material and I don't just mean on the academic side.My children's school sends a few girls each year, some love it some don't thrive and would have been better elsewhere.
Most of the children I know started tutoring in Year 5, some in Year 4 and they go for an hour a week.
There are 10 applicants for each place but this includes the completely deluded parents who apply without knowing that their child has no hope at all.
The commute is Ok as long as the child is happy in their school. if you hate the school it would be horrendous having to do a long journey to get there and back.

foxabout2pop Mon 22-Jan-07 20:26:33

Celia - is the tutor Mrs W? I have sent Uwila that contact, which a friend of mine provided. Also her daughter provides tutorship?

I'd be very interested if you have a different one, as am planning to get DS assessed.

Celia2 Mon 22-Jan-07 20:30:37

That's the one!

catesmum Mon 22-Jan-07 20:31:35

as an ex-Tiffin girl, I would really say think carefully about pushing your kids to go there. My first 5 years were wonderful, but the last 2 were terrible as the place became an exam factory...I remember a year when the Year 11 only got a 99.9% pass rate, and the head said that she hoped that the current year 11 wouldn't let her down again...there's more to life than this. My brother went to a comp in Richmond Borough and was incredibly happy.....

foxabout2pop Mon 22-Jan-07 20:31:36

oooh am glad I know something then!!!!

Do you think 6/7 is a good age to get DS assessed and try and get on her waiting list?

twickersmum Mon 22-Jan-07 20:31:41

Celia2 - have CAT you... Uwila, CAT'd you also!

foxabout2pop Mon 22-Jan-07 20:34:09

catesmum - do you feel going to Tiffin benefited you though? I mean in terms of what you did after you'd left - having such a strong academic foundation.

What you said about Tiffin reminds me of comments I've heard about Queen's primary in Kew - three families I know have taken their children out of Queens as its so pressuerd their children were very unhappy.

drosophila Mon 22-Jan-07 20:35:25

Isn't 3.5 a bit early to worry about this. I mean she could turn out to be unacademic and all this would have been a waste of your time. I can understand looking into this if the child was a bit older. Also if what the poster said below is correct your child may have talents that lie is subject that are not pushed at Tiffin.

Why are yo looking into this so early? I am truly interested.

Celia2 Mon 22-Jan-07 20:38:20

The tutor doesn't assess until the child is in Year 5 if it is 11+ tuition. My dcs are in Year 5 now and we had "the call about a month ago".

foxabout2pop Mon 22-Jan-07 20:40:10

Celia - is year 5 age nine? I always get confused about this as DS's school calls the years something different to every other school for some reason.

Celia2 Mon 22-Jan-07 20:45:23

Yes, Year 5 is 9-10 years old.

twickersmum Mon 22-Jan-07 20:46:44

i have been thinking about this and DD1 isn't yet 3!
only because for the good tutors you just need to get your name down, then forget about it until they are 7, 8 or whenever.
By then, if they are academic - great. If not, you don't take it up. But better to have a choice then to find out age 9 or 10 that your DD's teacher thinks they have a real chance of getting in but there is no way you can get hold of a decent tutor.

It is like the private school 2 roads from where i live. You have to get your child's name down by the time they are 3 months old (for 5 year old entry). Otherwise it is full. We decided not to, but it was an active decision not to.

twickersmum Mon 22-Jan-07 20:49:57

catesmum, i would like to hear more! i know Tiffin is an exam factory and glad to hear it is just the last 2 years tbh.

i think most successful schools are pretty much like that.

i was in one where 40% got 5 A-C passes at GCSE. So that means 60% didn't. and that was a girls school with an excellent reputation (but no entrance criteria). There was no pressure - and if you weren't in the top set you didn't really have a chance. And now i think the streaming has been stopped. i can only imagine what it must be like.

Celia2 Mon 22-Jan-07 20:53:46

We found that if the tutor thinks your child is bright enough they will take them despite not having their name down. DS1 had a few tutors phoning us because we had asked people we knew who were tutored to recommend a tutor , they had spoken to the tutors and they then wanted him on their lists. He was in Year 5 when we rang the tutors.
However you are right, it is better to put their name down, forget about it and then decide when the call comes.
Without wanting to worry people I think that the Grammars will get more good applicants next year as the first preference stipulation has been stopped so there is now nothing to loose putting the grammars first.

foxinsocks Mon 22-Jan-07 20:57:31

grr just posted and lost it

the journey to Tiffin from where Uwila is now (not that I know exactly where you are uwila, but have a vague idea) wouldn't be that bad (but you may have moved anyway).

Uwila, if you are thinking about moving to Twickers and get your dd into that school, bear in mind that you have Waldegrave as an option at secondary level. It's an all girls state secondary school in Twickenham with v impressive results and an excellent reputation. Entrance is on distance criteria (some complicated quadrant system but if you moved, you'd know where you'd need to move to get a place iyswim).

twickersmum Mon 22-Jan-07 20:58:43

Celia2 - is your DS in a state primary?

Celia2 Mon 22-Jan-07 20:59:50

Yes 3 in stste primary, one in secondary.

twickersmum Mon 22-Jan-07 21:01:28

foxabout2pop - what do you consider to be good catholic secondaries in west london?

foxabout2pop Mon 22-Jan-07 21:02:29

Foxinsocks - agree Waldegrave has a great reputation!

Wish there was a similarly good boys school in the area

There were reports in the press last week that the government is going to change the entry criteria for seondary schools so that no child gets in due to living in the right catchment area. Places would be allocated by lottery. There were parents being interviewed about the value of their houses going down as a result of no longer being in the right catchment area for good schools.

Celia2 Mon 22-Jan-07 21:04:05

Their schools are church VA.

SueW Mon 22-Jan-07 21:04:20

Don't know what it's like down south but falling rolls are hitting here in East Mids for entry to Y7 in Sept07.

Applications/registrations for most private school are below previous years and I've heard that the best state schools aren't hammering the 'we only accept the best' speech quite as much this year.

foxabout2pop Mon 22-Jan-07 21:04:31


Boys: Cardinal Vaughan and the London Oratory

Girls: Gumley House, Sacred Heart and Lady Margarets

All those take kids from DS/DD's school.

Also Wimbledon College - but don't know much about that one.

foxabout2pop Mon 22-Jan-07 21:06:39

Mind you I went to Sacred Heart and it didn't do my spelling much good did it? LOL!

twickersmum Mon 22-Jan-07 21:07:14

i went to london oratory for sixth form. was very strict and quite a journey from hampton where we lived. good though!

frogs Mon 22-Jan-07 21:12:44

Fox, we are considering the Oratory and Cardinal Vaughan for ds. For some reason our primary school regularly gets boys into the Oratory, but has had bad luck recently with the Vaughan, not sure why. But once the first preference criterion has gone things will get easier, methinks.

But probably harder for selective schools.

foxabout2pop Mon 22-Jan-07 21:17:21

Twickers - all those nice Catholic boys eh?

Frogs - CV may be more oversubscribed as its higher in the league tables maybe? How old is your DS now? Mines 6.

Irritatingly, there seem to be far more decent girls schools than boys schools in our area.

Celia2 Mon 22-Jan-07 21:27:09

The admissions criteria for CV is very daunting! I hadn't realised it was so strict.

twickersmum Mon 22-Jan-07 21:28:00

frogs Mon 22-Jan-07 21:29:31

Mine's in Y3.

I think a lot of people are put off by the religion test, which I do think is a bit naughty as it's hard to see how you can test religious knowledge without also testing general ability. A few years ago there were tranches of not terribly bright boys getting into the Vaughan, but that was still in the days of interviews.

(Sorry, uwila for hijack!)

twickersmum Mon 22-Jan-07 21:31:24

i think the oratory used to ask boys (age 11 entry) to recite some prayer that they would only know if they went to mass...

for girls: will you look good in the uniform? we can be more selective with you and up our exam results!

foxinsocks Mon 22-Jan-07 22:04:25

fox, I'm in the same borough as you. Both Orleans Park and Teddington are viable secondaries (for boys and girls) although so much will have changed by the time ours hit secondary level so it's far too difficult to predict what the state schools will be like by then. (also have a 6 yr old in yr2 and a 5 yr old in reception).

foxabout2pop Tue 23-Jan-07 08:41:21


I understand from Mum's with boys at the Oratory that one of the criteria is when you got your child baptised.

i.e. if you are a real Catholic, therefore believing your child will not go to heaven if they are not baptised, you would have them baptised ASAP after birth. Thus a child who was baptised at 3 months would be allocated a place before a child baptised at 6 months.

Although this made me smile, I think there is an underlying logic, because so many families now get their child baptised aged 2.5 years - after they've suddlenly realised the criteria for local faith schools and suddenly decide their child should become a Christian!!!

I don't want to hijack this into a discussion on faith schools (please lets not go there) but I just thought it was quite funny . I laugh in the full knowledge that DS was baptised at 3 months

foxabout2pop Tue 23-Jan-07 08:42:15

Foxinsocks - you in RUT then? What is Orleans like?

twickersmum Tue 23-Jan-07 09:51:59

no idea about the Oratory and baptism thing.
i wouldn't be surprised if they expected children to be baptised by say 6-9 months old, but no one believes the whole thing about unbaptised children not going to heaven, that's been renounced i am sure. (but that's a whole new thread isn't it...)

foxinsocks Tue 23-Jan-07 10:01:33

I've heard it's OK (always seems to be doing reasonably).

Thing about round here - traditionally, children went to the state primaries then off to private secondary (or grammar if they got in - but as you know, fiendishly difficult to get in, even if you are v bright). Great private secondaries here - Hampton, Eleanor Holles for example (and others further afield) - lovely reputations, great grounds - still (I think) biggest intake of pupils from state schools rather than private etc. etc.

However, I think (and this is my own opinion!) that in the last 5-10 years, things have changed somewhat. Because of the massive increase in house prices, those that have moved into this area (without a long history of house buying) have silly size mortgages (like us) and are beginning to realise that they may not be able to afford private school. Hence, more children are going to the local state secondaries with parents who want to be involved in their education and hey presto, the standard is improving.

My theory doesn't apply to everyone (especially those minted from the city!) but we have noticed this amongst our friends who have started to say, no matter what, our children will be going to state secondary because we have no choice.

Similarly, the council seems to have taken an interest in the secondaries (as you know, has always had a good reputation for primary), and the government has pledged money to improve them (and this seems to have filtered down to the schools - Teddington, for example, is about to be rebuilt).

I'm hoping (fingers crossed) that this trend will continue!

bossykate Tue 23-Jan-07 10:06:51



if it is the one i think it might be... quite a few self-satisfied parents i would have thought!

foxabout2pop Tue 23-Jan-07 11:17:44


we have precisely that problem - mega mortgage and no disposable income. TBH I don't think I'd want DS and DD to go to a private school anyway. I feel we pay anough in tax that our children should be able to go to a decent state school - and all children should have a decent education, regardless of income, but hey, that is a whole other thread too.

I agree with what you say about the typical education route for RUT (simlar situation in Islington too). Hence, there is a dire shortage of decent secondaries in RUT, particularly for boys. I hope you are right in your belief that parenst are investing in the local state secondaries now.

A lot of children end up going to Grey Court but I'd rather move out of London TBH.

RUT is the only london borough with no Catholic secondary school

I'm just hoping that Christs continues to improve. Apparently its completely oversubscribed and children from Queen's school cannot even get in, despite both Queens and Christs being CofE.

uwila Tue 23-Jan-07 11:38:44

So do you guys really think Waldegrave compares with private schools? I know it is regarded as good among state schools, but I didn't really think it held a patch on privaate schools.

My plans are try for grammar schools (doesn't have to be Tiffin but Tiffin would certainly be nice), and if they don't get in then it's private schools, which frankly won't cost much more than the full time nanny costs now. SO, perhaps we'll just have to buy a teeny weeny house.

foxinsocks Tue 23-Jan-07 11:58:37

depends what you want from a school I think uwila. It (waldegrave) is very good academically (especially if you take into account that it hasn't been able to academically select the children in the first place) and has a good reputation for getting the best out of a girl.

Having said that, the downside of state secondary in RUT borough at the moment is that none of them have sixth forms (though I think this will change) which means you either follow on to Richmond college (which, again, has a good reputation but is huge) or go into a Tiffin or private education at that stage (which quite a few do though).

frogs Tue 23-Jan-07 12:34:35

BK -- ruddy loads of self-satisfied parents.

I remember going to said child's 4th birthday party, where what appeared to be half of smart Wandsworth were discussing, in all seriousness, the relative merits of the various different toddler French classes, and how important it was for their 3-year olds to be able to speak French. Having had a glass of wine too many, I told the story of my dd1 spending a week in France with some French friends, and the only French words she learnt were 'pipi' and 'caca'.

A nasty silence ensued.

foxabout2pop Tue 23-Jan-07 12:57:46

Frogs LOL!! my DS does Spanish, mind you he is 6.5 - its free as well, so I thought "well why not"?

We really do need to start thinking about our little precious ones' CVs you know.

All these preferred secondary schools will want to see things on their CV like "fluent in Latin, excels at rugger, talented violin player etc"

uwila Tue 23-Jan-07 14:28:19

Oh yes, I'd like to sign DD up to be a chorister and sing in Latin...

Don't suppose it will get her into Tiffin, though.

drosophila Tue 23-Jan-07 17:23:50

I find this thread so depressing on so many levels. To think that yo are thinking about entrance exams when your kids are tots is mindblowingly depressing.

I have a very bright ds (well I would say that) and we live close to a very sought after secondary school and it has not crossed our minds to have him tutored. He is 7 and in yr 2. I'm not sure how this local school compares to Tiffin but I would be horrified if parents around here were thinking as you guys are.

Really really depressing. I really hope someone sorts out state education one day.

sarflondon Tue 23-Jan-07 19:14:08

Frogs - Sorry to bump this thread but I have some info about Cardinal Vaughan so please feel to contact me off board if you like.

arfishy Wed 24-Jan-07 04:55:19

Hi Uwila,

I went to private schools in Kingston and Twickenham if you need any info. I have a lot of friends from LEH/Hampton Boys/Tiffin/Claremont etc.

I also went out with a number of Tiffin boys and got repeatedly thrashed at hockey by Tiffin girls.

teachersmummy Wed 24-Jan-07 12:13:22

I asked this on another thread but it was mainly 11+ members but how does a school assess a three year old for entry? Many will just go silent in new surroundings

Oh my goodness. Have just come across this thread. Am in Twickenham. Had thought I was pretty well ahead on the schools front but am clearly WAY behind the mark!

Hallgerda Wed 24-Jan-07 12:25:00

teachersmummy, this is basically an 11+ thread - some people just start a bit early.

Ladymuck Wed 24-Jan-07 12:28:49

Teachersmummy, there have been a couple of recent threads on the "3+":

This one on the Habs 4+

This one is more general

teachersmummy Wed 24-Jan-07 13:05:05

Just looked at 4+ Habs (what is habs) looks horrendous, luckily primary and secondary school for DS just needed proof of bottoms on pews for few years

Hallgerda Wed 24-Jan-07 13:28:58

drosophila, I'm afraid I know some parents thinking of getting tutors to get their children into the school you live near (they live further away, so wouldn't get in on distance and are competing for the 63-odd places for the highest scores in the test - I don't think you have anything to worry about). The children are juniors, not tots, though.

I find it depressing that all this effort is going into preparation for verbal and nonverbal reasoning tests - at least English and Maths would be useful for other purposes.

frogs Wed 24-Jan-07 13:31:25

sarflondon, have CATed you.

Foxabout2pop - are yours currently at the catholic primary in Twickenham? If yes, how are you/ your kids finding it? If not, please ignore and apologies for hijacking this thread!

Am waiting to hear in March if our DS has got in. Naively thought that because am a regular at St James's church & live nearish that would be enough ....did not realise that being in central Twickers, am at the far reaches of the likely catchment area...We have a back up of place at a (non-catholic) private school where DS has been down since he was 2 weeks old (ridiculous) but will be a bit peeved if we aren't even offered a place at the state catholic.

catesmum Wed 24-Jan-07 13:43:12

foxabouttwopop....haven't had time to message in a while...yes I did go on to uni and did okay...but then did a lot of the girls who went to the local sec mod...and my brother who went to a Richmond school went to uni (after going to a sixth form college)and got a first...

this was a couple of decades ago, and we don't live in the area now, but lots of old friends do, and their kids won't be going to Tiffin...

uwila Wed 24-Jan-07 14:14:42

Arfishy, yes I'd be interested in your opinions on Twicker/Hampton area options.

Our plan is go to out lovely COE school in Twickers. But, after that, I'm half expecting to end up paying private school tuition. Would be great to get into Tiffin. But, of course the competition is stiff. So, it would be nice to start collecting private school information/opinions.

Of course, I am planning WAY ahead here, as we haven't yet started reception. But, hey, a bit of inside information is always helpful.

You can e-mail me at uwila at hotmail co uk

foxabout2pop Wed 24-Jan-07 17:12:14

cate - its interseting that ex Tiffin girls wouldn't neccessarily recommend it. I'm ex Sacred Heart and loved it so would love DD to go there.

decaf - we're in RUT, not Twick. DS nearly didn't get a place and we only lived 1 mile away - but he was born in the millenium year, so there were extra kids. We went on the waiting list and he got offered a place two weeks after being initially rejected. (I lost two weeks sleep )

Its pure luck as it depends how many siblings ther are in a given intake. The catholic schools tend have have lots of siblings . Last year 28 out of the 30 were siblings . But this year there are only about 8 siblings, so lots of places for new families.

Just make sure you attend mass each week

drosophila Thu 25-Jan-07 08:18:20

Hall. If you look at the figures for my local secondary school they have a huge number of 'siblings' can't remeber the exact number but it is well over 100. I know someone who would have liked to get her son into said school and happened to have a friend who worked in the office. When moaning to her friend she as told don't worry if you want him in I can get him in no probs. She did not take her up on it though. It makes me wonder what they are hiding in the 'sibling' figure.

Hallgerda Thu 25-Jan-07 08:31:59

drosophila, I think your suspicions are well founded, but I don't have hard evidence. The business about those working at the school being able to get their children in was raised in Parliament some time back (I found a Hansard page when searching on the school), but being able to get their friends' children in is a new one on me. I suspect not many people would have acted as honourably as your friend. I still think you should be OK as you live really close to the school - after all, if you didn't get in and appealed, you could open up a nasty can of worms if our suspicions are correct. (Then again, you may get to that stage and decide a different school would be better for your son. Stranger things have happened...)

oops - sorry fox - will read more carefully in future!

foxabout2pop Thu 25-Jan-07 12:13:41

Hmm school admissions policies do indeed work in mysterious ways.

DS's school prioritises:

1 church attendance
2 Siblings
3 Children of staff
4 Special needs
5 If over subscribed, then distance

The year DS applied, at least two familes gave false addresses and got in.

batters Thu 25-Jan-07 12:40:45

hallgerda are you talking about G school?

Hallgerda Thu 25-Jan-07 13:23:40

Yes, batters.

meb2006 Thu 25-Jan-07 16:02:06

just starting to review this long thread - new at this - can someone please explain Nonsuch ? VR? NVR?


foxabout2pop Thu 25-Jan-07 16:08:18

That's a relief - I thought I was the only one who didn't know what those terms mean, but was too embarassed to ask!

mitbap Thu 25-Jan-07 16:12:47

VR - verbal reasoning
NVR - non verbal reasoning
nonsuch - no idea. If you find out let me know!

Hallgerda Thu 25-Jan-07 16:15:03

meb, I'm a little confused by your post. If you're asking what tests Nonsuch (a girls' school in LB Sutton) has, the answer is here . If you're confused on the meanings of the words, I've just explained Nonsuch, VR is verbal reasoning and NVR is nonverbal reasoning. If you're none the wiser on the latter two, this may help.

meb2006 Thu 25-Jan-07 16:27:11

You hve answered the question perfectly - 0ne is the name of a school (hence I had not heard of it) and the second two are pretty obvious once you know what the answers are! Thanks very much - I shall keep reviewing now and I will be understand more then I would before.

foxabout2pop Thu 25-Jan-07 16:30:32

I'd never heard of Nunsuch either. Curious name for a school!

Hallgerda Thu 25-Jan-07 16:35:07

Ah. I presume it's named after Henry VIII's palace of the same name, which used to be near there, but, as the name might suggest, it isn't any more. But it was a bit of a strange name for a palace when it was there...

Pamina Thu 25-Jan-07 16:36:42

I think it is a shortening of None Such as in there is "none such palace more beautiful/great/large than this one" (although impossible to get that to sound grammatically correct )

uwila Thu 25-Jan-07 16:39:00

And there's a big park too. You lot need to get out more!

drosophila Thu 25-Jan-07 20:09:22

I think the person I knew was a bit taken aback by the practices of the admissions at aforementioned school and I think it turned her off the school as a whole.

I also met a couple of mothers last summer who were offered places at the school and turned them down cos they didn't like the two tier approach. Both their children were offered places as a result of the exam so they would have been in the top groups but they didn't like the way others were treated. During a tour of the school some unpleasant things were said about the lower groups.

batters Thu 25-Jan-07 20:36:19

Hallgerda, can I ask if you know any girls that travel to Nonsuch from our area? Just wondering...thanks!

PS I have heard the rumours about G school too. I can't believe though that the school would really get away with this?

Hallgerda Thu 25-Jan-07 21:11:02

batters, I don't know any girls who go to Nonsuch from our area, but one of my neighbours' daughters considered applying there. I know someone (in last year's Year 6 in your daughter's old school) who was thinking of applying to the other girls' grammar in that borough, but I don't know whether she actually did, or where she went in the end.

People at state schools round here can be quite cloak-and-dagger about grammar school applications, with some reason. My children's primary school certainly didn't approve of DS1's choice.

drosophila, I was put off school G by the disparaging remarks made by one of the deputy heads about... boys . I too got the impression life wouldn't be much fun in the "support" band.

Wherearemyglovesmum Thu 25-Jan-07 21:22:15

Nonsuch have a different admissions policy which discriminates in favour of siblings and distance from the school. I wonder how these policies will change with the new rules.

batters Thu 25-Jan-07 21:33:30

Thanks hallgerda . I have a friend whose dd was in year 6 last year so will ask her (actually it does ring a bell). I do like to know where all the children go.

Am surprised that your ds's primary school weren't fully supportive of your choice for secondary education, would have thought it would look good for the school.

I am also amazed at G school's attitudes. Unbelievable.

Hallgerda Fri 26-Jan-07 08:08:15

For anyone out there trying to find out which secondary schools children went to from particular primary schools, the Directgov site school profiles may be useful. Not all schools have filled in profiles yet, though (batters, I'm afraid you'll have to rely on networking for the moment.)

sparklybits Fri 26-Jan-07 08:41:49

hallo - i found this a really useful thread - i'm v much ahead of myself as i haven't even conceived as yet! Just v keen to keep up to speed with the local schools - i live in shepperton.

having been to a c of e grant maintained secondary (and a dire primary) i'm keen to send my kids somewhere where - even if there are less able pupils - the teachers keep control & allow everyone to achieve their full potential without disruption. I find it a bit worrying seeing some local school children's behaviour in the streets.

anyway, as i say, am extremely premature - good luck to you all with the tutoring & selection processes

arfishyisabitsquiffy Fri 26-Jan-07 08:50:15

Uwila - have sent you a long waffling email.

arfishyisabitsquiffy Fri 26-Jan-07 08:50:18

Uwila - have sent you a long waffling email.

batters Fri 26-Jan-07 08:58:25

Hallgerda, what a useful site, thanks .

Pamina Fri 26-Jan-07 09:07:22

Yes, thanks Hallgerda. Found out that dd1's school sends approx 15% of pupils to grammars, including Tiffin and Nonsuch

bettys Fri 26-Jan-07 09:27:31

I too am reading this thread with interest.
Celia 2 and foxabout2pop, does the tutor you know of just do Tiffin tutoring, or for other schools as well? I'd be very interested to know as we will probably be going down that route (in yr 2 at the moment but need to plan ahead as tutors already getting booked up!)

uwila Fri 26-Jan-07 10:05:34

I got it. Its fab. Sorry I haven't had a chance to respond. We are in a state COE shool for primary -- I think (FINGERS CROSSED!!!!) But, thinking ahead to the time of secondary, the more I look at at it the more I think my average kids will not get in a place like Tiffin. I suppose there is noo harm in applyin. And if I do send them off to a tutor and they don't get in, then I suppose that tutoring might also help them excel in another school -- wherever that may be.

I'm not really keen in the state secondary system so chances are we'll be paying for private.

I'd prefer to send them private now as well, but it is sooooo not in the budget. My hope is that by the time they are older we'll be able to pay for private.

Anyway, there's lots of good infor in your e-mail. So, thanks for taking the time to send it.

uwila Fri 26-Jan-07 10:07:53

Oh, good question Bettys. What is the test they take for Tiffin? Is it a standardised test that kids take that applies to all Grammar School applications. Or do they take a different test for each application?

jura Fri 26-Jan-07 10:20:33

uwila, the test for Tiffin in the standard test for all Kingston's state selective schools. So if you wanted your child to try for the selective stream at Holy Cross New Malden, for example, it's the same test. Or Tiffin Boys.

when dd1 took it, it was VR and NVR only.

If you go the private route as well, there'll be a different test for every school. It's a very stressful time, I can tell you. Dd1 did 6 different tests, I think, and got offers at 3 schools.

jura Fri 26-Jan-07 10:20:57

is the standard test, sorry

bettys Fri 26-Jan-07 10:21:08

As far as I know the test for Tiffin is Verbal Reasoning and NVR alone, not the usual one (which consists of numeracy, literacy and verbal reasoning). Also it is age-weighted, so those born early in the school year will be at a disadvantage.
Admissions Policy (for the boys' school)

bettys Fri 26-Jan-07 10:27:56

At Kingston Grammar School the entrance test is more like the other private schools' (scroll down), so that's why I'm wondering if the tutoring needs to be specific for the different entrance exams.

frogs Fri 26-Jan-07 10:37:03

bettys, age-weighting means that those born early in the school year will not be at a disadvantage. The whole point is to eliminate the disadvantage of those born late in the school year and level the playing field for all.

bettys Fri 26-Jan-07 10:41:24

It feels like a disadvantage when 2 children can get exactly the same marks yet the one born in September will then be marked down just because of the month they were born in. It's not as if they've had an extra year of school.

NotAnOtter Fri 26-Jan-07 10:43:16

I have a child at either end of academic year ie - 20th august and 1st october its a HUGE difference. I have not read the whole thread but in NVR and VR tests a lot is developmental and the couple of marks for age weighting - really is not much...

NotAnOtter Fri 26-Jan-07 10:43:16

I have a child at either end of academic year ie - 20th august and 1st october its a HUGE difference. I have not read the whole thread but in NVR and VR tests a lot is developmental and the couple of marks for age weighting - really is not much...

foxinsocks Fri 26-Jan-07 10:44:17

they aren't marked down

and believe me, there is a big difference between those born in September and those born in August - it's not that they've had less time at school, it's just that when they start school, they aren't necessarily as mature and able to learn as those who are practically a year older than them so tend to start off slower

(I have one born in November and one in August so can tell!)

NotAnOtter Fri 26-Jan-07 10:47:00

great minds fox

foxinsocks Fri 26-Jan-07 10:50:35

I believe you get an age weighted mark for SATS too

uwila Fri 26-Jan-07 10:54:38

So where can I find complete list of grammar schools in say West London? Or even Greater London?

Hallgerda Fri 26-Jan-07 10:57:34

Here , uwila.

foxinsocks Fri 26-Jan-07 11:00:13

uwila, just to have a look at, here's Waldegrave

bettys Fri 26-Jan-07 11:02:08

Sure, it also depends on the on the child (I was born in August so was always a year younger than everyone at school so I know what that feels like). There are 3 August children I know in the same class at school and they vary in ability & maturity. One is quite babyish & one is very mature, and the other is inbetween.

I don't really know how many marks are used to adjust the figures. I mention it because with 10 applicants for every place at Tiffins, it may come down to one or two points difference between candidates. It's a factor in deciding whether to go in for the test.

Yes, I think Sats are age-weighted. All the marks at school seem to be.

Uwila, league tables are quite useful, too.

foxtrot Fri 26-Jan-07 11:07:56

useful link hallgerda. Does anyone know about the grammar schools in Slough?

MadamePlatypus Fri 26-Jan-07 11:34:59

I think a bright child can do well at Waldegrave or Grey Courts (I know three people who went to these schools - one architect, and two doctors. The boy next door also went to Grey Courts and is currently studying music an uni).

There are some very good state primaries in Richmond and Kingston - I think the advantage of prep schools is that they focus on getting children into particular private secondaries, not that the standard of education is any better - in fact, (for the same reasons that being completely exam and test focused is bad in all schools), they can be worse.

I am dreading the whole Tiffins panic in Kingston, not because I want DS to go there, but because I don't want him to feel that he has failed if he doesn't go to a particular school.

Meanwhile, talking of sitting on buses to get to school, think of all the poor ordinary kids living in North Kingston who will have to be sitting on a bus to get to school because there aren't any comprehensives in the area!

singersgirl Fri 26-Jan-07 11:42:58

SATS levels aren't age weighted - they are based on raw scores. I've seen data that shows the distribution of, for example, Level 3s at KS1; a small percentage of August born boys get them, compared to a much larger percentage of September born boys. Have no idea where I saw it, but as the mother of 2 August boys it interested me.

People keep telling me my boys will have an advantage should we go for Tiffin because of their age, but of course they start off with a disadvantage because they are so young.

foxinsocks Fri 26-Jan-07 11:49:50

at SATS you can see their raw score (I think) but generally, you're you're supposed to look at their standard score from what I'm led to believe (though I'm not a teacher so you'd need one to confirm that!).

There's Grey Court in North Kingston/Ham isn't there?

foxinsocks Fri 26-Jan-07 11:51:25

sorry, the grey court reference was to Madame Plat.

uwila Fri 26-Jan-07 11:52:19

So, there are no grammar schools in the Richmond borough? And none in London?

But, zillions in Kent?

frogs Fri 26-Jan-07 11:52:24

Is it just me, or are there a lot of foxes on this thread?

foxtrot Fri 26-Jan-07 11:56:03

But i had no idea there were some in slough uwila, did you?

Hallgerda Fri 26-Jan-07 11:57:06

Yes, uwila, that's right.

foxinsocks Fri 26-Jan-07 11:57:27

a lot of foxes in SW london!

no grammars in RUT, Kent fought to keep them. Hampton (private boys school) used to be a grammar but when grammars started being abolished, it turned into an independent school (like a lot of grammars round this way I guess).

Hallgerda Fri 26-Jan-07 11:59:52

Yes, and a few moved out of London to pre-empt the ILEA cull...

Hallgerda Fri 26-Jan-07 12:00:16

Whoops - grammar schools, not foxes.

foxtrot Fri 26-Jan-07 12:01:08


uwila Fri 26-Jan-07 12:06:35

Well, that's rubbish. They should turn them back into grammar schools (someone will come along and shoot me for saying that surely).

Ho hum... perhaps we'll run off to Kent. Cheaper housing, grammar schools. Hmmm....

NotAnOtter Fri 26-Jan-07 12:06:36
uwila Fri 26-Jan-07 12:09:14

Oh now there's an idea. I love Yorkshire. But only in the summer. So that might be a problem.

Do they have Grammar shcool that offer boarding? I could send the kids off and just visit in the summer.

willow2 Fri 26-Jan-07 12:10:28

Hands up all those with kids at SM? There has to be a pushy parent from SM on here.

uwila Fri 26-Jan-07 12:11:44

Excuse me, not an otter..... Your "children enjoy a beer"??????

And, five children???? Maybe you should stay off the beer.

uwila Fri 26-Jan-07 12:12:21


bettys Fri 26-Jan-07 12:15:31

Hi, willow!
Where do they tend to go to from SM?

Lilymaid Fri 26-Jan-07 12:18:31

For those who are planning well ahead, use this to find where to live!

Cloudhopper Fri 26-Jan-07 13:09:13

Blimey! Nonsuch not a grammar any more - wonder why they did that?

Hallgerda Fri 26-Jan-07 13:18:23

Really, cloudhopper? Are you sure?

Cloudhopper Fri 26-Jan-07 13:20:42

Well from the look of their new admissions policy, they now only take 50 pupils by ability, and the remainder are by catchment area.

Which effectively means it isn't a grammar any more. Plus, they aren't listed on the list of grammar schools.

MrsWobble Fri 26-Jan-07 13:20:52

don't be so quick to write off comprehensive schools. League tables are based on the results of all pupils whereas assuming your children are grammar school material you should be looking at the results of the top set of the comprehensive school which may well be as good as or better than a grammar. The information won't be published in league tables but the school ought to be able to provide it.

this probably won't be true if you live in a grammar school area as the top set will have gone there but if you are considering a long journey to an out of borough grammar you might find that your local comps are actually better than you thought

Hallgerda Fri 26-Jan-07 13:29:17

cloudhopper, I've just taken a look at the school admissions criteria and I think you've misunderstood the small print. Girls have to pass the test to be considered at all (to be "of selective ability" as it says in the criteria). Then, if oversubscribed (which of course it is ) the places are given to - looked-after children, sisters of current pupils, various other categories, the first 50 in rank order, pupils satisfying various residence criteria... but they all need to have passed the test.

If you can't find the school in the grammar schools' association listing, try looking under Surrey.

Cloudhopper Fri 26-Jan-07 13:31:40

Thank goodness for that Hallgerda! Although it is true that the dds are too tiny to tell if they were bright, it is one of the attractions of living in this area just in case they are.

Cloudhopper Fri 26-Jan-07 13:32:54

Mind you, I had thought if dd1 was coached, it would save us a fortune in tutoring if they had a siblings rule.

God I am sad - dd1 is only 3. If we are still round here in 8 years time in this damned flat, then shoot me.

willow2 Fri 26-Jan-07 16:22:25

Bettys, I thought you had gone forever! (Miss you, btw, when can we get together?) If they don't go to the two crap local ones they go to Ibstock, Tiffins, Kingston, all the usual suspects really. Do we need to put name down for tutors already? FFS.

teachersmummy Fri 26-Jan-07 16:30:14

'fraid I agree with mrs wobble, having had kids through comprehensive school I don't think they would have done any better or been happier at grammar or private, also had the bonus of being with a complete mix of kids. DS in yr 5 will also be going to same school

mapleleaf Fri 26-Jan-07 16:31:48

a recent SM newsletter stated where all the year 6's ended up this year. about half ended up at state schools, 4 even went to SI !!! oh the shame !!! he he he

jura Fri 26-Jan-07 17:37:07

Speaking as someone who lives at the very edge of RBKUT, the choice of non-selective state secondaries is woeful. My dd1 would probably have done well at a "good" comprehensive, but the state school she was allocated (having not got into Tiffin Girls) was not particularly "good".

Hence the requirement for me to slave away on MN at work, not at home, for the next 20 years, to fund her education...

foxabout2pop Fri 26-Jan-07 18:48:20

Hi - what is SM??

bettys Fri 26-Jan-07 19:04:25

Oh I sneak on occasionally to look at certain threads ....
Keep thinking I'll bump into you Willow at the B as we're there every Friday for tennis - maybe tea there one week?

Re tutors, one of the mums rang one for her Yr 4 child only to be told there was a waiting list, so just thinking ahead really. About 40% from our school went on to private/selective secondary education last year.

bettys Fri 26-Jan-07 19:07:20

foxabout2pop - can I CAT you for the name of that tutor? Would be very grateful!

foxabout2pop Fri 26-Jan-07 20:55:30

Bettys you can text me on 07779-289-041 - my e-mail is down so I won't get a CAT.

bettys Fri 26-Jan-07 21:21:18

Thanks, will do!

hatwoman Fri 26-Jan-07 21:31:33

If you have a girl RBKUT has excellent non-selective schools - Cooombe and Tolworth both have very good results.

I am pretty shocked that people think quite this far ahead - and I think the comment about worry breeding worry is very apt (I wasn't remotely worried when I opened this thread...still not but wondering if I should be...)Does anyone know what a Tiffin tutor actually does that intelligent parents can't do? Are past exam papers available to anyone? cos if they are I really doubt the value of a tutor.

and is VR and NVR - verbal and non-verbal reasoning?

NotAnOtter Fri 26-Jan-07 21:34:42

in my daughters year 5 girls sat ( this was Skipton Girls High School btw) one withdrew after the practice and only one of the remaining four passed. At least two of the girls who failed were tutored and i mean weekly for over a year. Unsure about the third girl
The girl who passed was not tutored.

In my sons year the boys who seem to struggle are the ones who were often privately educated and then school-tutored towards the papers. Yes they get in - but are they really well suited.
(this is Ermysteds BTW) these schools are ery academic and not for everyone

NotAnOtter Fri 26-Jan-07 21:35:53

very true hatwoman

bettys Fri 26-Jan-07 21:45:45

Yorkshire has good schools of every kind (I'm from Yorkshire & constantly bemoan the dearth of similar choice here in London). Particularly in RuT the choice seems to shit be state secondary or private. There is one local church state school that may improve in time but that's guesswork.

NotAnOtter Fri 26-Jan-07 21:47:09

yes the comp by us is top of tables for similar but i am a sucker for a free grammar school!

bettys Fri 26-Jan-07 21:51:54

That should read "shit state secondary" ! I've been looking at the Yorkshire league tables with envy - pah!

foxinsocks Fri 26-Jan-07 22:16:49

hat, I don't think there's much a tutor can do that a dedicated parent couldn't - I do think (if you were inclined to want your children to sit those sort of tests) that a few sessions in exam technique wouldn't go amiss but other than that, the whole point of VR and NVR is that they are more of an assessment than a test of factual knowledge.

Dh and I have taken a decision not to subject the kids to tutoring - if, by the end of primary school, their teachers think they may benefit from trying out for Tiffin, then we'll take a decision at that stage but otherwise, our local comps seem reasonable enough and hopefully, they'll stay that way!

hatwoman Fri 26-Jan-07 22:37:14

glad to hear someone thinking like us (I was beginning to worry...) not sure if we'll still be in this neck of the woods by then though

foxinsocks Fri 26-Jan-07 22:48:20

where are you thinking of going hat?

hatwoman Fri 26-Jan-07 22:54:39

oh nowhere in particular . just always been at the back of our minds that living here and commuting into London was never a long-term plan. we're very fond of Oxford. tbh although I used to agitate to move I'd probably stay.

foxinsocks Fri 26-Jan-07 22:56:59

mmm lots of peeps on here like Oxford

the traffic there seems worse than London though - dh has relatives that way and it never fails to drive me mad. It also seems (like most places now I guess) outrageously expensive to live anywhere convenient.

hatwoman Fri 26-Jan-07 23:01:41

we go there quite a lot - dh's family are there and we have quite a few friends there - lived there for about 6 years. we had a particularly nice weekend there about 4 years ago and in a fit of misery about sw london I logged on to lots of estate agents websites to do some sums - and was to find we couldn't sell our house here, buy one there, and use the difference to pay off a reasonable chunk of mortgage - coz the house prices for North Oxford and SW london were virtually identical.

foxabout2pop Sat 27-Jan-07 06:13:17

Bettys - the one local church school you refer to, which is improving - do you mean Christs? If so, we're watching that one too! How old are your DCs? Ours are 6.5, 3.5 and minus 5 weeks.

poppetmum Sat 27-Jan-07 09:22:28

Hello, just new on this thread and found it very helpful (but also rather depressing and and a bit worrying!)Wonder if anyone can give a bit of inside into private schools in RuT too (the last resort back-up plan) Do they also require entrance exams if you want entry at 11, 14 or 16? Are they also oversubscribed?? Do many join from state schools? I assumed you could just get in if you could pay (naive??), but our neighbour's boy (at 7) is now at a private primary to ensure he gets into a private secondary. I've heard similar for LEH although another neighbour's daughter just went at 11 from Collis. Any insights welcomed!

bettys Sat 27-Jan-07 10:04:04

Foxabout2pop - yes, I mean Christ's. Was talking to someone yesterday whose child has just started there & is enjoying it. It has 1 year left of the old catchment policy (which spread as far as Wandsworth) before it becomes strictly local catchment. However it is over-subscribed & a certain amount of places are for church-goers only. The child in question was on the waiting list & didn't get a place until the summer. It's definitely seen as the better option to SI !

Poppetmum, all the private schools I have looked at require entrance exams, some are more over-subscribed than others. There is definitely a set of local people who put their child in private primary simply to get an edge on places in secondary, although a lot of private primaries also have an entrance test at 7 & 8.

foxabout2pop Sat 27-Jan-07 10:09:09

Bettys - I think Christs is the fastest improving school in the borough. We are within walking distance and can also get a church reference so I have it in my sights if DS/DD don't get into the Catholic schools in west London and/or aren't academic enough for Tiffin. Interestingly, the CofE schools take Catholics but the Catholic schools don't take CofE, so that puts us in a good position - although of course there are fewer Catholic schools, so they are very over subscribed too. Lots of Queens kids can't access Christs as they live too far away (there other end on Kew), bjt the whole distance thing for secondaries may be got rid of soon if Labour has its way...

foxabout2pop Sat 27-Jan-07 10:10:10

Bettys - texted you. Let me know how you get on as I haven't called them yet!

bettys Sat 27-Jan-07 10:33:46

I've got it - thank you that's great, I'll let you know how I get on!

Celia2 Sat 27-Jan-07 10:45:49

Jura, the selective stream at Holy Cross was stopped this year. Not sure why and there didn't seem to be much publicity.

jura Sat 27-Jan-07 12:45:12

Does that mean the Tiffins are the only selective state schools in RBK now, celia2?

hatwoman, agree that Coombe and Tolworth get reasonable results. But nowhere near the selectives. We were very nervous that we'd be allocated somewhere else (CCC) but in the end were offered a place at Coombe - we must have squeaked in on the distances. But with dd1 having been offered places elsewhere, we bit the bullet and decided to pay for the increased chance of success.

Celia2 Sat 27-Jan-07 14:38:13

Yes they are but Hollyfield do have a fast track for which they sit an exam.
If you look at the like for like results the top achievers do well at Tolworth and Coombe, obviously Tiffins wins in the league tables but they would be expected to wouldn't they?

hatwoman Sat 27-Jan-07 14:41:25

very true celia, take 900 odd kids from across sw london and give places to the most able 140 and I should blummen well hope you get good results! I have also heard good reports about Hollyfield's top stream

CristinaTheAstonishing Sat 27-Jan-07 15:50:20

The head of Tiffins is a young bloke who went to an underperforming state primary in a small & not wealthy town in east Anglia. I can't remember about seconday, then on to Oxford or Cambridge. Not adding anything to the knowledge base here, just a bit of gossip. Catholic, largish family.

drosophila Sat 27-Jan-07 21:09:39

So if you tutor like mad to get your kid into whichever 'good' school do you then throw back your heels or do you have to keep tutoring?

CristinaTheAstonishing Sat 27-Jan-07 22:33:43

I have no idea, Drosophila, but I shudder at the thought of a life spent under so much pressure.

In fact, how does tutoring work? An hour a week for a year, a few half mornings before the entrance exams? Really curious to know if I'm being apprehensive about something I know nothing about.

foxabout2pop Sun 28-Jan-07 08:21:48

Christina, I think tutoring for two years is quite common now. Anyone know if its an hour a week? I know it involves homework.

Some of DS's friends are having Kumon maths atm and the teachers at his (very good) school say its completely counter productive as it just teaches a different method, thus confusing the kids.

Its a good point Christina about the pressure though.....

Celia2 Sun 28-Jan-07 13:46:06

It is 1 hour per week which sometimes seems to have to increase to 2 in the months before the exams plus homework.
One friend of DS1 had 3 hours a week plus homework.
Personally I'm not a fan and believe that children may need some exam paper practice but that there is something wrong about such intensive tutoring.
Some of the children we know do still have tutoring while at the grammars but their parents say they would have been paying for private education so are quite happy to pay for tutoring. It does mean that their children do little else though as they don't have much spare time.

foxabout2pop Sun 28-Jan-07 15:49:03

Celia - its does seem a bit false doesn't it, if children need endless tutoring to "keep up" or "stay ahead"? Some of the parents in DS's class are obsessed with having their children at the "top" of the class and pay for tutoring to keep them one step ahead, just so they can tell everyone their children sit at the top table. Its seems really sad for the children and a not a little pathetic of the parents (lets face it, they must be so insecure). I agree, nothing wrong with some preparation work leading up to exams etc - but a whole life of tutoring/homework???

teachersmummy Sun 28-Jan-07 16:31:53

A friend who tutors in maths\science tells me that most of his students are from grammar schools who were extreme tutored to get there in the first place and are struggling to keep up with the rest of the class or those at private schools who would be persuaded to leave if their standards of work dropped and threatened to spoil their record of 100% pass rate. So it seems the round of tutoring never ends (even extending to sixth form)

Judy1234 Sun 28-Jan-07 16:34:50

I don't think tutoring helps in schools. If you can't keep up, you can't keep up whatever tutoring you're given. Part of the point of private schools is you don't need to pay for tutors as there is good teaching at school whereas go to a state school like the Blairs and you have to hire in tutors from Westminster School just to get decent GCSE and A levels.

amidaiwish Sun 28-Jan-07 16:42:08

go to a "state school like the Blairs"
the London Oratory is not what i would call "a state school"....

and i went there, so i should know.

frogs Sun 28-Jan-07 16:44:03

Oh naff off, xenia. Some of us can't afford private schools, are doing our ruddy best for our kids and don't need to have our noses constantly rubbed in the fact that we don't earn enough to buy our way out of the system.

lulumama Sun 28-Jan-07 16:50:21 sister and i both went to a private all girls school in the north west..and had maths tutoring......some children find certain subjects harder to get to grips with than others...and what is wrong with some extra assistances if that is the case?

Lilymaid Sun 28-Jan-07 17:09:55

Private tutoring can work but the child must want to do the extra work and there should be a particular end in sight (e.g. an exam). If your child is already at an academic independent school where results are excellent, private tutoring is probably only useful where the child has very particular problems or organisational difficulties. In the state system - especially in subjects where it is now difficult to recruit teachers (e.g. science and maths) - a private tutor may make all the difference to whether you can carry on studying that subject to a higher level.

hercules1 Sun 28-Jan-07 17:13:19

Xenia - I know loads of excellent teachers who dont and wont teach in private achools. I've also known some crap ones go and teach in private schools as it is often deemed to be easier. Private doesnt equate to teachers being better than teachers in state school. It means small class sizes and such like.

I found your comment offensive.

NotAnOtter Sun 28-Jan-07 17:26:49

tosh anyway
round us there are a lot of 'posh but dim' folk who honestly believe the private school system to be superior. We are fortunate in that it is not. `the paying grammar schools fare only as well as many state.

I shall reiterate what i said before - the boys who struggle in my sons school are mor often than not the rivate school educated ones who were pushed but just do not have the calibre or drive

xenia talks through backside again

sparklybits Sun 28-Jan-07 17:30:04

when i was at primary school I found maths difficult - in a few areas mainly - base numbers and long division spring to mind.

anyway, a teacher told my mum that there is always more than one way for a subject to be explained.

i think that 'struggling' in a class doesn't mean you're to be condemned as incapable.

In secondary school, also in maths, we had a teacher who taught GSCE to the level of the top few (boys) in the class). He would write answers up on the board before the majority of us had finished ,regardless of whether we understood. I'm not incapable. I think that pupils are reliant having time and patience to explain things. If tutoring helps either state school pupils or private school pupils to grasp things which hadn't sunk in in the classroom then it's worthwhile.

amidaiwish Sun 28-Jan-07 18:13:19

here here sparkly bits...
i did GCSE chemistry, just didn't "get" moles etc.
changed school for A levels, did biology A level, first lesson was on moles (i couldn't believe it, was gutted).
anyway i understood it within 20 minutes.

just needed someone to explain it in a different way. maybe if i had had some tutoring (20 mins might have done!) to help me with chemistry i would have done better in it and not shied away from all science a levels.

MimmyPig Sun 28-Jan-07 18:16:26

I agree.

I did A level physics at 6th form and the teacher was rubbish (this was at a girls grammar school - one right at the top of the league tables) and I got a U. The next year I went to the local college (y'know, the one everyone looks down on and 'only thickos go there'?!) - in a year, with a much better approach to teaching physics (imo anyway) I 'got it' and ended up with a B at physics A level instead.

So it's not always just that you can't keep up - the approach just might not suit you. As hercules says, the teachers aren't always better in every subject at the 'better' schools - as my example illustrates I think.

sparklybits Sun 28-Jan-07 18:23:03

it's only recently (I'm 32) that i've got over thinking i'm not good at maths / figurework.

i found myself telling someone at work 'i'm crap with numbers'.. and as soon as i said it i regretted it. i'm not at all. i concentrated on arts subjects and did a history degree. i now have responsibility for recruiting graduates to our team.

the whole team sat the verbal and numerical reasoning tests that the graduates use - and my numerical grading was better than the verbal. through using numerical skills alongside my traditionally stronger 'grammar' skills i think i'm actually quite good.

just a shame that both my school (actually a v good grant maintained c of e school) didn't give me more confidence - it's taken 15 years to turn around. wish i'd pursued the tutoring or had better maths teachers.

Celia2 Sun 28-Jan-07 19:37:50

Xenia, Kings College Wimbledon is seen as a good school. My neighbour is a tutor and she tutors 14 boys from Kings.
Your argument is just daft; people use tutors for all sorts of reasons. The local Grammar tutors all take huge numbers of pupils from private schools.
I thought one of the supposed benefits of a private education was that it gives an all round education. I'm sorry to say that hearing you constantly make such sweeping statements based on prejudice and perhaps ignorance of the state system does not make me want to sign up.

Judy1234 Sun 28-Jan-07 20:23:48

Well the Blairs obviously preferred the Westminster teaching to the state Oratory school. Yes I know some children are tutored in the private sector. I don't remember very many at Habs and NLCS where my girls went but there would be bound to be some and all 3 of mine wanted to do an Easter revision course before A levels which was tutoring.

Back to the state school - if it's really important to get a place at 11+ then I can't see how tutoring can harm the child particularly if the tutor has good ideas on what helps you get into that particular school.

amidaiwish Sun 28-Jan-07 20:53:42

xenia - DC Blair may have been struggling in a particular subject and needed extra tuition from "the teachers at westminster school"... why is that different to any child at any school, private or state?

and maybe it is because they live in downing street and westminster school is AROUND THE CORNER they got a teacher from there?

can't see your points about this are relevant tbh.

but yes, a bit of tutoring to pass the 11+ is usually required, esp if in a state primary school with no prep for the exams.

Celia2 Sun 28-Jan-07 23:18:25

Or, the Blairs need tuition and the only teacher not spending his evenings preparing and marking was a private schoolteacher!

clerkKent Mon 29-Jan-07 12:57:41

I know people who turned down places at Tiffins Boys and Girls in favour of the less academic emphasis in some of the Sutton grammar schools.

A alternative to a private tutor in this area is \{\Explore Learning} . They do 11-plus tuition for children in Year 5.

sparklybits Mon 29-Jan-07 13:07:00

maybe.. maybe.. if you pay out for a private school you're less inclined to admit that you're then paying for tutoring on top as your child either has a little problem with one or two things OR simply struggles with the lot.

that's my suspicion anyway

Judy1234 Mon 29-Jan-07 13:11:57

I've never found the few parents in private secondary schools who I've known use tutors want to hide it particularly. Some children are just bone idle and having a neutral third party tutor to make them get on with something does them a lot of good. Other parents have a fixed idea that little Johnnie must be a doctor or accountant despite him not fulfilling his early academic promise and they force tutoring down his throat that probably won't do any good.

I'm not sure the A level revision courses helped any of the three older children hugely (Easter before A level) but they asked and chose to do them and found that daily direction and revision helpful and daughter 2 had some very good tutors on that. If instead you'd work well on your own all Easter that's fine. I remember asking the schools about those courses and they said there was no harm and some girls had found them helpful.

foxinsocks Mon 29-Jan-07 15:11:02

you get the sense with the Blairs though, that had he not been a politician, they'd have happily packed their lot off to private school.

There was an interesting thread last year where someone pointed out that a teacher in one of the grammars had said that those who needed intensive tutoring to pass the entrance exam, then went on to struggle and need extra help throughout the whole of secondary school (and were well aware that they were struggling and couldn't keep up). Personally, I think it's unfair to put that sort of pressure on a child if they really can't cope with the academic pace.

jura Mon 29-Jan-07 17:30:53

That was my attitude, FIS - if dd1 couldn't pass the test without intensive tutoring (as opposed to some coaching in how to do the tests) then she'd be unlikely to cope with the relentless pressure in an academic hothouse like Tiffin.

I'm glad we didn't. She's not super-bright, but her main problem is she's lazy - gets that from her dad .

Judy1234 Mon 29-Jan-07 17:45:17

Not sure about the Blairs. They're both quite left wing so I'm not sure they'd have paid depite Tony Blair going to Fettes.

Some parents pay for private schools to age 11 so the children are a year ahead or whatever and prepared for entrance tests and move to the state sector at 11. I suppose tutoring whilst you're in a state primary school is a similar principle. We have been told, perhaps wrongly that the academic primary schools are at least one year ahead of the state schools in terms of the work done so that must give an advantage which some

foxabout2pop Mon 29-Jan-07 18:05:16

Its a shame though that most boroughs don't have decent grammars like Sutton's anymore, so the only option is either an aspirational school like Tiffins, or the total crap local comp (Grey Court in our borough).

When I 11, we all just did the 11+ and many more children had the chance to go to grammar schools, as there were so many local grammars.

Foxinsox - I agree with you regarding the tutoring. I think its one thing to give the kids a little preparation for an exam in terms of understanding what the examiners are looking for, quite another to burn a child out with endless tutoring, when lets face it a lot of the motivation is to make the parents feel good about themselves.

With regard to the private schools I'm shocked by the amount of homework some of DS's friends get, who attend private schools. They just seem so young to be spending so much of their free time studying.

TheDullWitch Mon 29-Jan-07 18:11:04

What is the point of tutoring a privately educated child in how to revise for her A levels? That is crazy. Shouldn t all that expensive education have instilled a bit of self-reliance. If she can t study independently and manage her time how is supposed to cope at univsersity.

Well done to the colleges who are not allowing these over-prepped kids to take all the places from state school children who have achieved their grades by their own efforts, not because Mummy forked out hundreds of quid to hold their hands through revision time.

amidaiwish Mon 29-Jan-07 18:18:57

well that's a whole other consideration isn't it... maybe by the time our LOs are ready for A levels, it will be an advantage to be from a state school. so better to get good grades from a state school than excellent grades from a private school when it comes to getting into unis.

Judy1234 Mon 29-Jan-07 18:20:34

They're very popular. You get a lot of state school pupils at them too. The cost is minimal if you're already paying fees and if the child wants to go on them that's better than them deciding to spend the Easter holiday surfing or doing their nails so I was quite happy to pay. They weren't taught how to revise. They were given extra help on whatever modules of the particular board's A levels they had been doing. Some of the standard of the teaching my daughter said was brilliant. She was very enthused by the sessions. They have 900 students on the East revision courses I think, the place one of my daughters went to -

My other daughter did a residentail one at an Oxford college and enjoyed the night life too although I'm not sure that's quite the point!

Judy1234 Mon 29-Jan-07 18:22:06

am, not what the best private schools have found. No bias against them and as many girls as ever going to the universities they want.
I see students from state and privaet schools will be asked if their parents went to university soon... he he he - that will be interesting. You'll be disadvantaged if the universities are stupid enough to do so, because your parents however poor you are and however bad your comp is because your parents have a degree. What fun Blair's education policy is.

foxinsocks Mon 29-Jan-07 18:22:25

Grey Court's not too bad fox. We have a friend with a child there atm.

I dunno Xenia - lots of people's left wing principles seem to go up in smoke when it comes to their childrens' education. Look at Ruth Kelly and Diane Abbott.

foxinsocks Mon 29-Jan-07 18:22:37


foxinsocks Mon 29-Jan-07 19:05:33

and lol jura - I also have a lazy dd (who, funnily enough, also gets it from her dad ). I doubt she would take very well to tutoring!

TheDullWitch Mon 29-Jan-07 19:43:14

I just think of Prince Harry getting "extra tuition", to the extent of his art teacher doing his course work, so he could scrapean A level.

Tutoring to get into a school, or a bit of catch up on a particular subject is one thing, but tutoring a child through a revision timetable is, in my view, teetering on the verge of cheating.

Judy1234 Mon 29-Jan-07 20:21:01

"Tutoring a child through a revision timetable is, in my view, teetering on the verge of cheating."
I don't quite know how that is so. It was really an extension of what they did at school. In other words like going to school over the Easter holidays rather than being sent home to work on your own. There's no law that says you're only allowed X days teaching a year to sit an A level and if you exceed the days you cheat is there? In fact the 4 week private school easter holiday is probably 2 weeks shorter than state schools so 2 weeks on a revisoin course may be is just giving you the lessons the state school pupils are getting anyway. Most children at private schools don't do those Easter revision courses. Mine just chose to and if you've a child who's actually asking to work in the Easter holiday particularly my fairly laid back ones you jump at the chance.

drosophila Mon 29-Jan-07 20:42:46

In Ireland extra tutoring used to be called a 'grind'. Great name eh????

drosophila Mon 29-Jan-07 20:45:33

Tony Blair left wing. Why does that sound sooooo odd to me?

bettys Wed 07-Feb-07 12:15:03

I have started (many thanks to foxabout2pop) making enquiries about tutors.

The one I spoke to tutors specifically for Tiffins as the VR & NVR exams are so different to the standard independent school exams (ie English, Maths and a bit of VR). She said that only children in the top sets for literacy & numeracy should apply, and even those who are very bright have less chance of getting in if they have no tutoring in this kind of exam. For one thing, speed is necessary in answering these kind of questions so practice is important.

Apparently these exams were meant to level the playing field and find those with native intelligence & good at problem-solving, but as time has passed it has developed into a subject of its' own. It sounds like even the cleverest child stands no chance if they've never done this kind of thing.

The tutor stressed thinking about what kind of school would suit the child best, not just at 11 but at 16. Both Tiffins are very tough, very academic, although there are lots of other activities as well. It's difficult to judge at Open Days as they are so crowded.

The tutoring is usually 1 session of 1.5 hours a week, with an hour's homework. They normally start in January a year before the exam, although increasingly some are starting in the September (so they would have 4 terms of tutoring). The turor in question recommends booking at the beginning of yr 4.

So it seems that if Tiffin is your main choice it's best to tutor even the brightest children. I forgot to ask about cost, does anyone else know this? I'm still doing research so will report further if anyone is interested.

foxinsocks Wed 07-Feb-07 12:17:51

it's in the tutor's interest to tell you that though bettys.

bettys Wed 07-Feb-07 12:21:30

True, but do they do VR & NVR in Yr 6?
Are past papers available to practise at home?
Does anyone know a child who got in without any extra tutoring of any kind?
Tiffins isn't my main choice at this point, and just researching all the options.

singersgirl Wed 07-Feb-07 13:28:27

You can't get specific Tiffin papers, but you can get heaps of VR/NVR 11+ practice papers from places like Smiths. All the Y5 and 6 children I know seem to be being tutored/have been tutored, for Tiffin or independent schools. Have to say I don't know anyone personally who has got in to Tiffin (don't know that many older children), but know some children who have sat it this year and are waiting for results.

bettys Wed 07-Feb-07 14:20:09

Ooh I didn't know you could get those in Smiths, must go look.

Hallgerda Wed 07-Feb-07 15:18:36

These people sell packets of VR, NVR, English and Maths test papers and helpful books explaining how to do VR and NVR questions. I think tutoring costs around £30 an hour. I think there was someone earlier on the thread who knew someone who got in to Tiffin without tutoring. My eldest got into a grammar school (not Tiffin) without tutoring. I think you have to ask yourself what a tutor might do that you couldn't (and what else you might prefer to spend £30 a week on...).

bettys Wed 07-Feb-07 15:49:05

Thanks for the link, Hallgerda. I wouldn't be half so concerned about the situation if we weren't in this part of London, but the competition for decent schools of any kind is fierce. Which grammar school is your ds at, if you don't mind me asking?

Hallgerda Wed 07-Feb-07 16:27:19

One of the ones in LB Sutton - I'd rather not be too specific.

My BIL lives in your area - his son went to another of the grammar schools in LB Sutton (having failed to get into Tiffin despite tutoring).

bettys Wed 07-Feb-07 17:06:06

Yes, sorry, I was just after a clue really. LB Sutton is a long way from us though.

Celia2 Wed 07-Feb-07 19:42:50

I know quite a few Tiffin pupils; most had tuition, some for a long time and more than once a week. The children who didn't have tutoring did do papers at home with their parents. I don't know anyone who just took them without any preparation.

Hallgerda Wed 07-Feb-07 20:44:39

I live in a far more laid-back area, and was quite surprised that most parents round here didn't bother with practice papers. But then the local comp had a wider "circle" for Band B than Band A, so aiming for excellence might have been counterproductive.

bettys, I wouldn't have thought tutoring was necessary to build up speed when doing practice papers - most of us have kitchen timers, after all...

singersgirl Wed 07-Feb-07 22:48:13

If you want to start early yourself , you can buy Bonds assessment papers in VR and NVR from Y2 (age 6-7). These I think are similar to the ones used in 7+ prep school entrance, but there is one for ever year.

bettys Wed 07-Feb-07 23:32:29

Kitchen timers, hmm that would definitely be cheaper!
Singersgirl, thanks for the info will be looking for those Bond papers, they sound like they might be the kind of thing my ds might enjoy in a weird sort of way (!).

amidaiwish Thu 08-Feb-07 00:12:24

i do know girls who didn't get into Tiffin but did get part scholarships to other local independent schools (LEH).
not getting into Tiffin was believed to be down to no tuition (the unpushy parents!!)

Hallgerda Thu 08-Feb-07 10:45:42

The girls who got part-scholarships to LEH and didn't get in to Tiffin could have been better at English and Maths than VR and NVR though - it might not have had anything to do with tutoring.

bettys, have you looked at your default option? Knowing my local comp was OK did take the pressure off me quite considerably. (I'd look at actual results and the school itself rather than relying on gossip).

bettys Thu 08-Feb-07 11:11:07

The local school is the one that's 3rd from the bottom in the RuT league table with only 34% getting 5 passes at GCSE. I see these children every day - they're not local, they're trouble. The school was in the paper recently for truancy, drugs, assault etc.
It's not an option.
Tiffin wouldn't be my first choice, one of the nearby independents would be. Just sussing it all out.

Hallgerda Thu 08-Feb-07 11:20:28

Oh dear. I can see why you wouldn't be too keen on that one. I'd take a look at any slightly less local schools that might be OK and possible to get in to - there may be some. (Your second nearest secondary school, CTCs, partially selective ones, ones that have some places for pupils with particular aptitude at art, music, languages etc - there's quite a bit of variety around)

singersgirl Thu 08-Feb-07 12:24:26

The results for Christ's are also still quite bad but it's supposed to be improving rapidly as the 'new children' move in. But I know someone who pulled her kids out of Y9 and Y10 at Christ's and moved them to a local independent as she wasn't satisfied.

I hear quite positive things about ADT. Bettys, will you come and talk to my DH and explain to him about why that other school in Hertford Ave is not an option?

bettys Thu 08-Feb-07 13:11:42

Ah hah - I think we know each other in RL Singersgirl!

singersgirl Thu 08-Feb-07 14:38:20

You know, I thought that too!

lemonysnickett Sun 11-Feb-07 22:21:52

Am looking for a tutor for tiffin can anyone recommend one? Daughter currently at a state school we are just not happy with. We are moving to richmond and for obvious reasons private out of the question. Would be grateful for any tutor contacts.

AtheneNoctua Thu 26-Mar-09 16:27:48

WEll, almost 3 years later, I thought it would be good to revive this thread. I've been through a few MN names and few matching e-mail addresses and haven't a clue where my tiffin tutor info has gone. Can anyone help me recreate it? DD is 6 now. When should I put her on a waiting list for a tutor? And how would I know at this age if she is Tiffin material? Or shoul dI know at this age?

discuss please...

ICANDOTHAT Thu 26-Mar-09 17:01:07

I would say if she was Tiffin material, you'd know by now. She's be in the top group in her class and the teacher would be tewlling oyu how bright she is - my son's in yr1 and they were streamed from reception. My oldest son is in a private snr school which is fairly academic, but not Hampton or Tiffins standard. Several of the lads in his class were tutored from around yr4 for Tiffins. They assess your child to see whether they have a chance of passing prior to tutoring.

I would not let your child anywhere near a tutor until that time and if they want her now, you are being ripped off and she will be under a lot of pressure (too young!). There are several 'high flyers' in my sons yr2 class that would be likely candidates.

Lucky it's Tiffin's Girls, not Boys - in big trouble financially hmm Had to be bailed out by Kingston LEA.

cherryblossoms Fri 27-Mar-09 00:48:15

Athenenoctua - If you mean the W people, you can get hold of them if you think laterally and hunt down a copy of one of their books.

I don't have CAT so I can't do that.

They seriously do have a waiting list.

I personally have not used them for dc.

this thread is just poncetastic

cherryblossoms Fri 27-Mar-09 00:56:53

I feel you may be right, mmj. [wry smile - I have joined in -belatedly]

I wasn't here 3 years ago and I've very much enjoyed reading through it.

I would love it if parents would come back on and say how the dc are doing in secondary now.

NotanOtter Fri 27-Mar-09 00:57:23

3 years old????

my dcs are at a school not far below the tiffin...

i decided the year before they went that this was an option

they did not have tutors

its school

its good

but really some folk need to get perspective

cherryblossoms Fri 27-Mar-09 01:17:25

Notanotter - this is a resurrected thread - the child is older.

The mad thing about the whole Tiffin tutor thing is that the waiting list closes (officially, anyway,) around reception/year one.

Yes, really.

I'll never forget the day I found this out. I laughed. It seemed utterly surreal. I thought I'd wandered into a book by a male comedian about pushy parents.

The actual tutoring doesn't start until way later.

Tiffin is a weird, surreal, alternative reality. Just be glad it's not your reality.

mrsmaidamess Fri 27-Mar-09 06:28:33

It's my reality!

We (grudgingly) did the tutor thing . And dd is thriving at Tiffin. It seemed the tutoring was a 'necessary evil'. It gave her practice in speed and technique, not intelligence.

But with ds, we won't bother, not because he's thick, but because the 'mystery' of the process that we didn't know about with dd has gone. So dh will get some assessment books from Smiths, if thats the line we want to take, and do it ourselves.

We live 10 walk minutes away. Unlike 90% of the out of borough girls! But thats another issue.

It was approx £24 and hour, and W assessed before taking on, to not give parents 'false hope', altho one guy insisted his boy took part.

singersgirl Fri 27-Mar-09 11:14:54

DS1 didn't take the Tiffin test in the end (my choice - didn't like the vibe, didn't think DS1 would fit in very well and don't think they seem to do that good a job with the boys' results considering how difficult it is to get into) but got places at several selective private schools.

The actual tutoring is only for one year (Jan of Y5 to Jan of Y6) but the waiting lists are full much earlier. The waiting lists for the excellent tutor DS1 saw are full by the end of Y2; I'm lucky someone gave me her name when DS1 was that young. I've realised the tutoring was pretty much the only stimulating work DS1 did for the last 6 months. And all his friends, apart from one, have been tutored too. So it is the new normal in SW.

It is madness, and I have bought into it wholesale. DH just shakes his head sadly.

AtheneNoctua Fri 27-Mar-09 12:41:08

cherryblossom, can you e-mail me on thenenoctua at live co uk?

Am dying to know who W is? (assume it is not George Bush)

AtheneNoctua Fri 27-Mar-09 12:41:35

Oh bugger

Athenenoctua at live co uk

AtheneNoctua Fri 27-Mar-09 14:53:35

Are kids really streamlined in Year 1? I don't hink they are at our school. But, I'm going to ask at the parent-teacher consultation next week. I thought streamlining, if happens at allm happens after key stage 1. And I thought that was end of year 1.

AtheneNoctua Fri 27-Mar-09 17:25:30


cherryblossoms Fri 27-Mar-09 18:14:29

Athenenoctua - I've sent the e-mail.

amidaiwish Fri 27-Mar-09 18:46:47

athene or cherry- would you mind sending me the tutor too. (DD1 in reception, v bright, top in reading & maths, being given extension work and taken off the reading scheme). thanks!

i don't think they stream at all... maybe that's a bad thing. how many of the state primaries stream?

NotanOtter Fri 27-Mar-09 21:02:20


they may not tell you but they do

AtheneNoctua Sun 29-Mar-09 21:33:17

Thank you!

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Mon 30-Mar-09 14:28:55

Like a country that is part of britain, but with an 'a' instead of an 'e'

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Mon 30-Mar-09 14:29:36

and starting with 'w' grin

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Mon 30-Mar-09 14:32:33

btw - altho' they say the list closes early, a friend moved to Ham and wanted to get her ds into Tiffin - this was in Dec of Y5 - she rang the tutor I gave her and - hey - there WAS a place available... ( interestingly, after assessment the tutor said that the boy would be better advise to look @ other schools - so they do not all just take the money regardless)

fridayschild Mon 30-Mar-09 18:39:54

Our state primary (RuT) streams from Reception. The children are put in "work groups" of 4 kids, and moved around so they are working with children who go at the same speed. They start with the date of birth, or what they know of the child from nursery, and take it from there. They're not in the work groups all day. The school doesn't call it streaming, but the children recognise it as such, certainly by year 1.

And if you have two or more children, you can learn an awful lot from parent teacher meetings, just from the different words the teachers use - what is not being said about one child, for example?

AtheneNoctua Mon 30-Mar-09 23:28:27

Oh, we are an RuT school, and our head like to be in line with what other borough school are doing. I bet there is streaming I don't know about! Bugger. Must find out.

poppetmum Tue 31-Mar-09 16:18:07

cherry, athene or amidawish (great name!), I'm in a similar situation, so if one of you could also CAT me the tutor details, it would be most appreciated. Thanks

katiestar Tue 31-Mar-09 18:46:53

I am a little concerned that you are already laying plans for getting her into a highly selective school ,so far in advance.I think it is a huge responsibility to pin on a child.

ramonaquimby Tue 31-Mar-09 19:03:38

children will be streamed usually from Year 1 - not sure how they would do it in reception. It's not obvious, the kids will be in different groups for spellings. reading, maths and writing. - and they know who is in top sets, etc etc. Just ask your daughter. Ask the teacher what sets your daughter is in, what levels she's working within (National Curriculum) and you'll get an idea if you need to sign up for a tutor or if you can just save your cash. Am pinning hopes on Waldegrave myself grin

AtheneNoctua Wed 01-Apr-09 23:38:13

Waldegrave is no good for me. I have one girl and one boy and there is no Wladegrave equivalent for a boy. So, I'd have to send him private anyway (or Tiffin for boys wink) and I can't send one private and the other to state. SO my hope is grammar school for both. Failing that, ££££££££££ for private.

Katie, I'm not going to force her down this road against her will. But I am going to prepare her for the possibility in the event that she is good enough to get in. If she proves herself not to be Tiffin material in the next few years, then fine we'll back out of this plan and find another one.

MammaK78 Thu 30-Apr-09 12:16:20

Hi there,

I've read a few of the comments and was wondering if someone could offer some advice.

Looking for a primary school for next year for my 3 year old and I live in Twickenham.

Now looking ahead to secondary education - we'd like our daughter to go to Waldegrave Girls School and wondered if anyone knew what the admissions process was for them and whether they had any specific feeder primary schools?

This will obviously then dictate which sort of primary schools we go for you see.

Any advice anyone could offer would be great.

Thank you!

Miggsie Thu 30-Apr-09 13:25:47

MammaK, if you ring Richmond LEA they will talk you through this.
I know someone who moved house when their daughter was 3 to be in the catchment area for Waldegrave. The local admissions person talked themthrough it.

Akiko Thu 07-May-09 23:45:52

May I have the tutor's details please:

Starbear Thu 14-May-09 21:42:11

Don't move house to get into Tiffins. Very few local kids get in there. But if you want to, I'll sell my house smileSorry but this makes me a little mad as we have very little choice in Kingston re schools.

Queenma Mon 22-Jun-09 19:00:40

Please can someone give me the contact details of a certain Mrs W who tutors for tiffins girls ?

happilyconfused Tue 23-Jun-09 22:25:53

Both Grey Court and Hollyfield are shooting up the tables thanks to BTECs and Diplomas. Likewise Tolworth Girls also do BTECs. Tiffins oth will need to look up what BTEC is.

I hear Hollyfield top set is good if your child gets into it but the others will have to take a diploma option in Year 10. My friend's ds (Hollyfield) timetable for next year is BTEC Diploma Media, BTEC Certificate Art, BTEC Certificate in Science, AIDA in IT and GCSEs in Maths, English and RE. I think Grey Court is similar.

DaddyJ Tue 23-Jun-09 22:50:48

God. I need a stiff drink to read this thread.
But read it I must!
Why is schooling so damn complicated in the UK??

Anyway, when in Rome...

allblondegirls Mon 29-Jun-09 11:02:03

Agree with happilyconfused about Hollyfield, sure Grey Court is equally good. My DD is getting a very good education at Hollyfield. Tiffin is not the only good school in Kingston, we are very lucky.

MangoNoodle Wed 09-Sep-09 15:34:14

Just came accross this thread, and being fairly new to MN, would like to cast a question to all in the RBK.. my ds is still a baby and dd is 3 but I am starting to worry about their secondary schools. as my husband job takes him around the country, we are not sure if we should move back down to London (from Shropshire) for her to go to an outstanding, often oversubscribed state primary (still not sure if can get into this faith school although only 5 mins walk down the road) then fight like mad to get into nonsuch secondary (for dd) and tiffin (for ds). if fail, would other state secondary schools be better than upnorth? or send them to private secondary in RBK? whereas in Shropshire, we can afford for both to go to a very good (in our opinion anyway) private primary, then hope they get into Thomas Telford/Adams Grammar/Newport Girl later on under the coaching within the school plus parental guidance at home. Of course we are looking at two different lifestyles too (north - open space/country living vs south - barbican/tate/muscial and kingston's shopping!!!!!oh I am truly deprived here). which route would you choose if you are in my shoes?

deaddei Sat 12-Sep-09 10:41:28

Saw this on the eleven plus forum site, a post from someone whose child did the Sutton test recently.

".... We loved the polish violinist outside M&S, we even bought two of his cds as one of them had my dd's grade 4 viola piece on, Ava Maria. We were very surprised by how many Asian children there were. Definately outnumbered the white children. Yet when me and younger dd spent the next two hours in Manor Park a few hundred yards away we did not see any Asian families at all.It was eleven hours and an entire sunday out of our life as we left at 9am this morning and did not get back until after 8pm , but it was probably the best thing we have done in our preparation. I did thank the staff today but will prob write as well with a few recommendations. DD said there were 120 and the desk were absolutely crammed in, some on the stage and she said in the front they were right against the wall. She said three did not turn up but two of the desk were changed over for new folk. She said there was a constant noise of people dropping their pencils and they checked people's pencils on the way in and those with new pencils had to have the tips broken off. We only spoke to one other family who had come from Epsom. People's body language seemed quite clear that they did not want to talk. I tried smiling at a few people but of course they dont know thay we are really not their competition. "

Love the bit about the noisy pencils.

buy1get1free Sat 12-Sep-09 13:29:27

deaddei V.Funny. Why the poster was surprised to see so many Asian children I do not understand - would have been obvious to me.

Mango Don't stress! if you truly care about your child's education, they will reach their potential. Any educationalist will tell you that the support a child gets from home is 100 times more than they can provide in any class room

deaddei Sat 12-Sep-09 15:44:29

Yes, the poster on the Sutton thread lived in Herts and was doing the Sutton test for practice- must have found Sutton a bit of a shock1
Damn those noisy pencils!

CatherineofMumbles Sat 12-Sep-09 17:41:36

Why would the new pencils have to have their leads broken? hmm
Actually we have wooden floors and the DC are ALWAYS dropping pencils when doing homework - VERY noisy & irritating!

squashpie Sun 13-Sep-09 22:46:37

Thank God I'm not the only one worrying about this stuff! Can anyone tell me how I find a recommended Tiffin Tutor (or a tutor for any of the local selective private secondary schools, for that matter)? DS at a Kingston primary but everyone tightlipped about recommending tutors. Get the feeling I'm already behind not having him on a waiting list from age 3!!shock

CatherineofMumbles Mon 14-Sep-09 08:40:42

Ask the Year 6 parents - unless they have a child in your year they will not have any reason not to tell you.
Rubbish about not being on lists since year dot as people move around a lot paticulary in areas with cmpeititve schools and pushy parents grin - I recommended a Tiffin tutor to a friend but expressed doubts about her availability as she is very highly regarded, and it as just when tutoring as about to start. A sit happened that tutor DID have a vacancy. The reason for this was that she only takes children she believes have a realistic chance of passing, waste of everyone's time if not,and not fair on the child, and so had spaces vacated by those some children from her list who HAD registerd at 6, but when tested at 10 were not of that calibre!

CatherineofMumbles Mon 14-Sep-09 08:41:43

Sorry - I mean last years Year 6 parents

deaddei Mon 14-Sep-09 11:04:42

squashpie- I agree with Catherine...titors will be finishing early Dec with this years Tiffin prospectives, and starting in January for the year 5 boys.
Word of mouth is how I got mine- I wanted 1 to 1 not a group, and also very local- he's actually in the next road.

deaddei Mon 14-Sep-09 11:05:09

Tutors even...haven't got my glasses on!

squashpie Mon 14-Sep-09 13:02:00

Thanks Catherine and Deaddei for your replies. The thing is, I only know two year 6 parents and that's because they have children in my son's class and they are very vague whenever I ask for details!! I can't believe it's sooooo competitive even to get a tutor, let alone to get into one of the schools!

Do the schools have a list of recommended tutors, do you know?

deaddei Mon 14-Sep-09 14:30:39

Squashpie-There's a website called coombe tutors, which has a ist of sw london tutors. Not sure whereabouts you are.

CatherineofMumbles Mon 14-Sep-09 17:46:45

Also local paper - saw some in last week. Schools in Kingston may be forthcoming, tho' schools in Richmond see this as the sign of the devil, (even tho' the reasom their SATS results are so good is that the kids are all being tutored outside grin

squashpie Mon 14-Sep-09 23:25:12

Thanks for the responses. The Coombe Tutor link looks interesting. I never look in the local paper because i always assume, no doubt completely wrongly, that if they were any good, they wouldn't need to advertise!

I looked at my DS coming out of class today, looking so tired (settling back into school and into a new class can be quite draining, I think; like starting a new job, taking in so much information) and I did just think he's still very young, still developing in so many ways, it's absolutely ludicrous that we have to think about this stuff so early. Feel like I'm wishing his life a way a bit. Gawd, I must be tired too!! smile

deaddei Tue 15-Sep-09 08:57:28

Squashpie- also local newsagents windows.

MangoNoodle Mon 21-Sep-09 16:01:01

buy1get1free - thanks! will try to.

abra1d Mon 21-Sep-09 16:03:54

'Fox, I have a working hypothesis that the scholarships to private secondary schools are not doled out strictly according to ability, but that there's an element of the schools trying to keep their feeder preps happy'

NOt sure about this--at our prep school last year (supposedly a very bright year) not a single child got an academic scholarship to the senior school.

MsDav Thu 24-Sep-09 15:26:25

DS is being tutored for Tiffin by someone who was trained by Mrs W. She's really good (we think anyway!) If anyone wants her details pm me

AnotherBloodySugaBabe Thu 24-Sep-09 15:31:27

What a hideous thread. No, really. re-read it, why don't you all? Repellant is not the word.

MsDav Thu 24-Sep-09 16:33:29

Not really sure what you mean...Is wanting the best for your child repellant? Is recognising that the skills needed for the Kingston Grammar schools entrance tests are not covered in state primary schools repellant? Unless Tiffin change their entrance criteria and introduce some form of preference for children within the borough and make the test based on skills state school children would have been taught then I am not sure what we can do other than try to level the playing field a bit?

Don't even get me started on school choices when you live in the north of the borough....

deaddei Thu 24-Sep-09 16:35:50

echo Ms Dav
The system stinks in Kingston.

Builde Fri 25-Sep-09 17:18:41

A close male friends went to Kingston. He wasn't terribly happy there - found it a bit intimidating. Although he went on to Cambridge but others didn't.

Some of the South London comps are great fun...a bit more relaxed but with quite a bit of Oxbridge types.

newmaldenmum1 Mon 19-Oct-09 17:08:37

Hello- We are looking for a tutor for Tiffin boys for our year 5 son. We have the name of someone (ironically a Mrs W), but the number we have been given is incorrect and I am unable to get the correct number. Does anyone have a number for the illusive Mrs W or can anyone recommend a tutor.
Many thanks

deaddei Mon 19-Oct-09 18:07:12

Welcome to the nightmare newmaldenmum1 (I wonder if I know you...hmmm)
Have heard of the famous Mrs W but not used her.

KittyCorncrake Mon 19-Oct-09 19:11:56

I beleive the famous Mrs W has retired. May be worth asking the y6 parents - unless they have a year 5 sibling they have nothing to lose by telling you the neame of theirs

CybilCeremony Mon 19-Oct-09 19:20:45

I have both Ms W's numbers but will only give thm to you if you live in Kingston grin

KittyCorncrake Tue 20-Oct-09 08:15:53

just looked on, and both B & M are listed - you could also ask in the hairdressers on Tudor Drive.

newmaldenmum1 Tue 20-Oct-09 12:39:27

Hello Cybil Ceremony - I live in New Malden with my children at state Primary school in the borough - does that count as Kingston ?
Many thanks

newmaldenmum1 Tue 20-Oct-09 14:32:10

Hello again
Thanks have contacted Mrs W who is full for year 5 children - back to plan B!!

MsDav Thu 22-Oct-09 16:23:03

am happy to pass on the details of our tutor Newmaldenmum if you PM me

naz2 Sat 14-Nov-09 23:12:45

Hi we are local to New Malden/Wimbledon and would really appreciate anyone who can recommend a good Tiffin Girls tutor.

If by the smallest of chance anyone is willing to pass on the details of the two Mrs W's even better, but would I even be able to afford them and can they really make such a huge difference to any child ? Surely they are just myth and legend ?

PersevereMum Wed 25-Nov-09 14:22:23

Hi, I am looking for tuition for my daughter, yr 5. Would appreciate your passing details of Ws or any other successful tutor/ing.
Has anyone heard of the Oxbridge centre in New Malden? Any good?

AtheneNoctua Wed 25-Nov-09 14:27:10

Out of curiosity, why will you only give out the names and numbers to people who live in Kingston?

deaddei Wed 25-Nov-09 19:13:30

Probably called humour Athene grin
Or perhaps Cybil wants to encourage Kingston children to go, rather than the rest of the bloody South (good on you Cybill!)

CybilLiberty Wed 25-Nov-09 19:22:32

Yes I do believe it should be a Kingston Only school. Most folk here do!

deaddei Wed 25-Nov-09 21:20:06

Oh wouldn't that be wonderful- we can dream!

MsDav Thu 26-Nov-09 13:44:38

Tiffin's refusal to entertain any form of catchment area has now forced many of the other Grammar schools to do the same. Sutton Boys has also done away with catchment now, is it simply down to league table placings that they do this? When you have children coming from Ascot and beyond every day surely the schools must see that it has gone too far?

MrsGuyofGisbourne Thu 26-Nov-09 15:16:56

Totally crazy. I have a friend in Kingston, with parents in Devon near Colyton Grammar. So the boy is trying both the Tiffin. and also Colyton Grammar, giveing g'parents address, will live with g'parents in term itime if he gets in there, and does not get into Tiffin....
Wonder if there a Devon boy doing the same thing in reverse???

MsDav Thu 26-Nov-09 17:08:57

That's a bit naughty isn't it, never mind the poor son going away to live in Devon (No offense to Devon) I don't think that seems fair on many levels.The non selectives are improving, Grey Court in particular has done very well recently and is definitely on the up.

deaddei Thu 26-Nov-09 19:18:51

It is, to be brutally honest, a load of bollocks.

AtheneNoctua Fri 27-Nov-09 09:18:03

Maybe they should bring back more grammar schools since they seem to be so popular. I think catchments are discriminatory, personally. If you can afford to live in our posh town, then your children should be kept down by a lesser education. hmm

I think all schools should do away with catchment areas. Good schools for rich kids and bad schools for poor kids is hardly my idea of equal opportunity.

AtheneNoctua Fri 27-Nov-09 09:19:35


If you can't afford to live in our posh town, then your children should be kept down by a lesser education. hmm

MsDav Wed 09-Dec-09 16:22:27

So, how did everyone's DCs find the test yesterday?

kizzie Wed 09-Dec-09 17:25:11


CybilLiberty Wed 09-Dec-09 17:26:12

Athene, LOTS of our town is not posh.

deaddei Wed 09-Dec-09 20:03:27

MsDav- thank goodness it's all over! Dh took ds and came back shellshocked after seeing all the people! Dc said "it was ok" which could mean anything. Do not care- glad to put all practice papers out in the recyclying today.

domesticextremist Wed 09-Dec-09 20:06:54

So does this mean that all the Kingston people [Cybil?] wont be trying for Sutton/Wallington/Wilsons/Nonsuch then? wink

The catchment areas have gone because of the Greenwich ruling grr.

CybilLiberty Thu 10-Dec-09 07:32:13

dom dd DID do the Nonsuch exam (many moons ago) but their intake rules are different and local girls DO get priority so dd would have had to be GENUS to get in there, and she isn't!.

MsDav Thu 10-Dec-09 08:49:13

Domesticextremist, DS tried for Sutton too ;)

He thought the VR paper not too bad but the VR was "pretty evil" but still thought he'd done OK. God knows but even he will have to wait until March grin

deaddei Thu 10-Dec-09 13:40:45

Did anyone's dcs have to go back to their primary schools for the afternoon? I heard one headteacher went and put the fear of god into one yr 6 class the day before, about truancy and unauthorised absence....shock

kizzie Thu 10-Dec-09 15:57:53

all children who did the exam from ds school went back in the afternoon. it was made very clear that head expected to see them (state primary)

deaddei Thu 10-Dec-09 16:05:50

How ridiculous.
And did the head see them all?

MsDav Tue 23-Feb-10 13:01:44

So, how are we all doing then? This time next week we should all know whether our Dc's have made it in to Tiffin, or not, or on the waiting list waiting for it to move.

Good luck everyone

deaddei Tue 23-Feb-10 14:17:00

Ah yes, wondered when this thread would pop up again!!!
Well Ms Dav, I think little deaddei's name won't be on either of those lists!

Strix Thu 25-Feb-10 09:07:22

What is the Greewich ruling?

MsDav Thu 25-Feb-10 16:25:02

The Greenwich Ruling was a judgement that LEAs could not discriminate against out of borough children when allocating school places.

Strix Thu 25-Feb-10 16:37:31

But, don't all schools (apart from Tiffin) base criteria on distance from school or catchment area?

MsDav Thu 25-Feb-10 16:46:37

...or religion.. catchment areas aren't the same as borough boundaries

Strix Thu 25-Feb-10 16:59:04

Are there other grammar school in Greater London which don't have a distance restriction?

singersgirl Thu 25-Feb-10 17:12:39

There's no catchment as such for many London schools. Allocation is done on distance from the school, but there isn't an in-catchment/out-of-catchment preference. So if you're in a year when not many 11 year olds apply to a particular school, even though you live 5 miles away, you might get in, whereas the next year you might live 1 mile away and not get a place. So catchments as such don't exist for many schools.

Shinyshoegirl Tue 02-Mar-10 16:48:04

Just got news of DD's place today at Tiffin Girls having used the DIY method rather than a tutor. Now that I have a 100% success rate under my belt, I'm now thinking of setting up my own tutoring academy. wink

castlesintheair Tue 02-Mar-10 18:10:15

Congrats to you and your DD shinyshoegirl.

Shinyshoegirl Wed 03-Mar-10 17:17:25

Thanks! I wouldn't say it was an especially fun way to spend time with DD, but it was certainly a bonding experience. And if I ever find myself facing a non-verbal reasoning test I'll be well-prepared.

wheelsonthebus Thu 04-Mar-10 11:34:42

shinyshoegirl - you would make a fortune. Start offering your services now!

lucyboots Thu 04-Mar-10 18:19:58

Dread to think I'm a pushy parent by posting on this thread, but we're quite local to Tiffin and DS is apparently bright so I've been giving it some thought. Difficult to glean from the teachers just how bright he is and I know it would be difficult for anyone to say at this stage ( he's in Yr2 ) whether he'd have a chance of getting in. I wouldn't want to put him through the stress of taking an entrance exam if his chances of getting a place are negligible. So the question is, just how exceptional do boys need to be to get in? From talking to other mums at the school, it seems to be virtually impossible. Is it something teachers would advise on as children get a bit older?

hana Thu 04-Mar-10 18:23:18

you prob need to see how he's doing when he's in Year 3 or 4. why is it difficult to find out? ask how they have levelled him and see if it's above average, take it from there?

makmama Fri 19-Mar-10 13:44:49

Hi there,

My child is in year 5, and I am trying to get in touch with parents who's children succefully gained entrance to Tiffin. Really I am looking for a good tutor who particularly specialises in preparing children for the tiffin test. You know one of these tutors that are so good they don't need to advertise, you can only know about them by word of mouth or other parents recommendations. Is there anyone that can help me with this information?
Many, many thanks.

willow Tue 30-Mar-10 20:15:33

Hate to freak you out, but you've probably left it a bit late. Most get booked up well in advance and year 5 kids will have already started tutoring by now.

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Wed 31-Mar-10 15:13:32

Not necessarily - some always drop out - worth a punt and a Ham friend told me recently if you go into the hairdressers on Tudor Drive the gossip there will give you all the names you need...grin. There is a lot of mythology about 'special tutors'. Two friends of ours whose boys got Tiffin offers did not go to the 'special' T tutors but a 'bog standard' local generalist tutor without any track record and one other who had no tutoring at all, just did the Bond papers and was a voracious reader and presumably with a natural flair for the non-verbal. So don't despair - not a done deal if you haven't put her name down @ birth...

willow Fri 02-Apr-10 09:54:47



Cat2405 Wed 16-Jun-10 12:01:48

Would anyone be willing to share (by private message) the phone number of 'Mrs W' the Tiffin's tutor? I know her address but not her phone number!

For the record, I am an old tutee of Mrs W from way back when and am happy to answer any questions - however it was some time ago so it all could be quite out of date! wink

Shinyshoegirl Thu 17-Jun-10 23:05:08

Makmama: I would second Mrs Guy, and I'd even say that if you have a bit of time you can definitely do it yourself and you don't need a tutor. All the stuff you need is easily available online or in bookshops. Having been through this with DD last year, I don't think there is anything beyond the grasp of a reasonably bright parent. You have to have a bit of time to research the exam and then some time to practice together with your child.

drosophila Fri 18-Jun-10 19:25:16

A kid at our school was tutored by his Mum and got into Tiffin. I understand he is bright. Our school is an inner city school serving a very poor base so I suspect it was all the tutoring and his own ability. School is great but the bright kids are not particularly pushed.

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Sun 20-Jun-10 14:14:36

Other advantage of no tutor is that less chance for goup hysteria to take root. Our friend whose mum 'tutored' him wasn't being stressed by being reminded it it was vital he passed, or by seeing crisp fivers (lots of) being handed over each week.

mercibien Tue 22-Jun-10 20:58:58


If you were tutored by 'the Mrs W' you should know that a letter would be by far the most appropriate way of contacting her.

MsDav Fri 25-Jun-10 10:50:18

Just found out we won our appeal for Tiffin :D

claig Fri 25-Jun-10 17:55:52

well done MsDav, great school smile

MsDav Fri 25-Jun-10 21:29:14

Thanks, am still floating on cloud 9 lol

Dommy Thu 02-Dec-10 16:18:09

My DD's fairly bright and so we thought we'd try for Tiffin but apply to the local comps too. We put her down for tutoring in year 4 but were told that we should have done it in year 2 (I kid you not)! We ended up on a tutors waiting list to do the pre tutoring test anyway which she did sometime begining year 5 and got a good score so jumped into a tutor group directly.

We also went round the school open days in Oct year 5 before embarking on the tutoring and DD really wanted to go for it and I think this is important as it's a lot of work. DD started Jan year 5 until the Tiffin exam in Jan year 6 so this Jan 2011. It's been a tough year. The tutoring's about 1.5 hours study a week and the homework the same but rising to around 2 hours or more in the last few months.

Generally, I would say unless your DC's exceptionally bright you do need some form of prep to get in. It's a bit like passing a driving test, lessons help get you through. And the NVR and VR tests are very odd at first - a bit like MENSA tests. At the very least, do the NVR and VR multiple choice test papers from WH Smith from around 6 month before the test. For Tiffin you dont need the ones with maths and english as you wont use them, but would need them if you're also going for other type 11+ schools.

I am sorry I am not allowed to give out my tutors details - I did ask, but she's has a 3 year waiting list and surely must retire soon, she's about 80, so I must honour that. But try sourcing a tutor, plus lots of useful info re 11+ and testing including DIY tutoring and resources etc, through the very excellent elevenplusexams website. I learnt all I needed to know from there.

I hope this helps, and best of luck.

nals Tue 18-Jan-11 10:32:13

can someone give the contact no of Mrs W tiffins tutor. Also please advice me on the books for VR and NVR

willow Tue 18-Jan-11 11:51:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Dommy Tue 25-Jan-11 14:11:07

DD did the Tiffin exam Jan 2011. Had a years worth of tutoring with a renowned tutor who's got long wait list which is catagorically closed - I did ask.

1300 children did the exam this year (according to the Tiffin Girls letters page of website). DD was getting scores of between 86-92% ish in tests, sounds good doesn't it, but in all honesty I dont think this will be enough to get in.

We did a few practise papers before-hand over and above the weekly homework, where as there's plenty of DDs we knew were doing around 3-4 timed tests a day. So if you take into account that the top 10% of scores get in (90% don't), and the top 10% of 1300 scores must lie somewhere in the region of around 91%+ (or equivalent as scores are not calculated in percentage terms), then it's quite possible DD wont have made the grade, esp as she said she ran out of time on the and guessed around 5 questions.

Luckily we've got red hot comp down the road YAY! Would I repeat this process again - I'm not sure I would really. The competitions just so very tough and on a very uneven playing field.

Dommy Tue 25-Jan-11 14:17:35

PS there's all you need to know re NVR VR Tiffin, books to study, DIY tutoring, tutors etc etc on this invaluable website:

Dommy Tue 25-Jan-11 14:20:22

Crickey I'm going senile, forgot I posted about this recently must start those pills where did I put them....!

willow Tue 25-Jan-11 16:20:42

Was wondering when this thread would reappear

Yoursmartchildnow Sun 13-Feb-11 16:35:21

Message deleted

Bertina Sun 13-Feb-11 17:12:53

Dear tutoring service,

1. superfluous 'pounds'
2. too many exclamation marks
3. that's not how you spell 'before'
4. nor is that how you spell 'Egham'


Very poor. See me.

StellaLuna991 Tue 15-Feb-11 19:17:56

I'm not a mum but I found this thread and found it really interesting so I joined this site to comment.
I'm currently in Year 9 at Tiffin Girls' School and I was tutored at AE Tuition. Most people at my school were tutored and only a few were not. One of my best friends was not tutored by she passed with full marks (plus birthday points) and is near the top of the class.
Many people were tutored for two or three years before taking the exam but I only did one and some of my friends only did a few months. One girl just did one practice paper and she got really high marks!
What I like about the exam is that it tests you on your natural ability and not just how much you have been taught.
When my sister tried out for the exam last year, she did not pass but was offered a full scholarship at a great nearby private school.
My youngest sister just started tuition last November at OxBridge (many of my friends passed from there) and I hope she gets in!

Dommy Fri 25-Feb-11 15:27:40

Thanks for posting StellaLuna, good to know there's still some who get in with a just a year's tutoring/ no or minimum practise before hand.

CecilyP Fri 25-Feb-11 21:35:09

How can the exam test your natural ability and not just how much you have been taught, if almost everybody has private tuition for it?

Dozer Sat 26-Feb-11 15:05:03

How many girls d'you reckon join tiffin from independent schools?

PuzzleRocks Tue 01-Mar-11 18:07:50


DD1 is only 4 next month so no real urgency but I'm very keen for her to try to get a place. I am ex Tiffin myself and we live less than 5 minutes away. I never had any tutoring so I don't know how it all works; at what age should I start making enquiries?


amidaiwish Tue 01-Mar-11 21:21:10

puzzlerocks, i put dds name down when she was 4

i haven't yet put dd2's name down (age 5), as i am not sure she is exceptionally academic.

PuzzleRocks Wed 02-Mar-11 08:29:39

Thanks Amidaiwish, I will start looking at our options.

breadandbutterfly Wed 02-Mar-11 09:56:57

Are you lot serious?

Tutoring age 4???

Poor kids.

PuzzleRocks Wed 02-Mar-11 10:16:36

No, not tutoring at 4, going on a list at 4. Sheesh, I knew it wouldn't be long before someone got on their high horse.

PixieOnaLeaf Wed 02-Mar-11 11:49:00

Message withdrawn

irisjohnson Wed 02-Mar-11 11:49:26

Well, we've just had the letter through the door from Tiffin and ds1 got a really high score well above the cut off for a place this year. No tutoring, just me and him and some practice at home so it really doesn't have to be such a big deal with waiting lists for 4 year olds and years of tutoring.

Tiffin was our second choice so he's not going. He'll be staying very close to home at mixed comprehensive with selective intake for 25% of places.

bettys Wed 02-Mar-11 11:58:42

Three children that I know of at ds's school have been offered places at Tiffins (boys & girls). One was tutored for 2 years, another for 1 year, and one not at all. All very naturally clever children, but I would guess the ratio of tutored to non-tutored is about right.

PuzzleRocks Wed 02-Mar-11 12:18:53


I was merely making enquiries as I assume if everyone else is being tutored these days then presumably she will be at a disadvantage if she is not.

My niece has done extremely well academically despite having moved schools and areas several times I know it is quite possible for a bright child to flourish anywhere but as I said I went to Tiffin Girls, I am biased, and would love my daughter to have a chance at a place.

So shoot me. grin

amidaiwish Wed 02-Mar-11 15:59:49

i think it is called maximising your options

yes DD is on a waiting list for a tutor since she was 4, because i was bothered to make ONE phonecall. i don't want to find out age 9 that she is bright and yet no tutors available.

and it is only one year of tutoring, one hour/week, age 9/10. prob less than for any selective secondary.

if you have the ££ you put kids names down for prep schools at birth. i don't have the money for that and luckily live in an area with fantastic primary schools. most of the secondaries are dire, so Tiffin is a great option to have.

i think it is called wanting the best for your kids.

not sure why i am justifying this, the more of you who think it is stupid then the less competition for places. great.

PuzzleRocks Wed 02-Mar-11 16:32:07

Amidaiwish - Quite. My mother sending me there was the best thing she ever did for me. Without wishing to discuss my background too much, my life might have been very different if she had not been a little pushy.

Strix Wed 02-Mar-11 20:38:10

We should change the thread title to "The Perennial Tiffin Thread"

Congratulations to those who got in! smile

sunam Sun 08-May-11 14:19:41

This is my first 'dip my toe into the world of Tutoring ' question. How do I find out about good Tiffin tutors? My DS is about to turn 7 and will start Year 3 in September. Early but wanted to get a sense of what it might all look like if we went down that route. Gather its all a bit 'full on' around these parts!smile We live in Surbiton.

mumzy Sun 08-May-11 19:25:20

Can I ask with all these successful appeals at the most sought after grammar schools are the number of pupils per class now usually above 30?

king100 Wed 18-May-11 17:24:41

Hello - I'm a newbie to the forum and came across this thread. I hadn't started to think about secondary school yet (DS is only 4) and it can't be healthy to get too anxious about these things so early on. However, getting on a waiting list for a good tutor as early as possible seems like a pragmatic approach as it gives you the option of taking a place even if you decide not to use it later on. As such, I would be grateful if someone could suggest a good tutor (PM of course) for Tiffin boys.

Claygate Thu 07-Jul-11 09:33:12

Tiffin exam is OK if your child has a good grasp of english language. If their reading is behind, their spelling and vocabulary poor they will struggle with VR.

Non VR can be taught.

Well known tutor wont take kids with low language ability as it cant be taught. But in effect the tutor is only taking those with the ability and then sitting with them practicing again and for old rope.

Tutoring is all about practice with papers identical to tiffin exam and speed. Many kids say they did well in the exam but didnt finish. If they dont finish there is a strong chance they wont get in.From what ive seen there arent enough test papers out there that will give enough practice at home so tutoring is valuable.....but expensive.

Tutoring is practice practice practice under timed conditions. It can be very depressing if your child is not doing well in the tests. My son passed tiffin exam and was accepted. At first we didnt think he would pass and as tutoring went on felt he might not make it, it became stressful toward the exam, but he sailed it. Now he worries about missing friends but hey he got into a good school.

One thing you have to do is get your child on list to be evaluated by a tutor asap otherwise places will be gone. Again charges for this...

Problem is everyone i know who went to Tiffin ended up an accountant!!!
One thing there is not enough of on these threads is tiffin parents talking about whether it was worth it.

jcaravano Fri 23-Sep-11 14:33:49

Hello! I am a newbie to this site. Does this automatically make me pushy? My daughter is in year 4, and I have always been told she is Tiffin material. She has her heart set on it, so I thought it would be a good idea to start her tutoring while in year 4. She certainly is motivated to do so. Does anyone know of an 11+ tutor in the Kingston area who takes children from year 4? Thanks.

AmazingDisgrace Mon 26-Sep-11 13:54:06

Hi jcaravano. I'll send you a PM with details of a tutor that starts in Yr4 in your area smile

MelCamilleri Thu 29-Sep-11 22:52:05

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

YummyHoney Fri 30-Sep-11 16:28:25

Aaww! I hate when a message is deleted before I get to see it. What was it like? Anyone see it before it got deleted? grin

CrosswordAddict Fri 30-Sep-11 17:16:29

Can I put my name down to be a Tiffin tutor? grin
Seems to me there is a niche market here.

YummyHoney Fri 30-Sep-11 19:14:48

Oh yes, great idea CrosswordAddict grin

Tiffin Tutors List:

1. CrosswordAddict
2. YummyHoney

Jaykay128 Sun 23-Oct-11 22:05:23

Hi, I am a new to this site my daughter is in year 2. I have been told that for the best chance of her getting into tiffin she should be tutored and to get a good tutor I need to get her name down on a tutors list. So does anyone know of an 11+ tutor in the Kingston

YummyHoney Mon 24-Oct-11 19:52:18

JayKay Year 2 is far too early to begin tutoring. If your DD is bright, you can start in Year 5 and you don't need a "Tiffin tutor". All you need to do is make sure she is familiar with VR and NVR practise papers.

If your DD can only get into Tiffin with 4 years of tutoring then it is not the right school for her.

Jaykay128 Wed 26-Oct-11 09:21:32

I think you are misunderstanding me. I am not looking to get her a tutor now. Just to get her on a list to be tutored when she reaches year 4/5. As I have been told that finding a tutor when you need a tutor can be difficult.

I would rather have the option of a tutor when the time comes around.

racingheart Wed 26-Oct-11 20:27:21

Jaykay you are right. I don't think we're allowed to mention specific tutors on here (are we?) There's one not far from Kingston, Mrs W, who does well, teaches in groups I think. Another, Mr P, is in Surbiton. His wife Mrs P will tutor for Tiffin along with other grammars, so she'd cover the Sutton grammars too.

There's allegedly an entire family in New Malden that tutors, Mrs W and daughter, (I'm told.) Great reputation.

Don't go with the ones who hand out flyers outside the school. The real tutors have waiting lists for years. Now is the time to get on them.

Also, maybe do start fairly young. We didn't. We're not starting till mid Yr 5 but several friends have tutored from Yr3 onward, and their children have raced ahead academically at school too.

YummyHoney Wed 26-Oct-11 20:30:24

Sorry Jaykay - yes, I did misunderstand you. You're right to have a tutor lined up for the future.

Jaykay128 Fri 28-Oct-11 12:10:26

I think you can post the details in a private message. I will send one to you.

TrafalgarMum Wed 04-Jan-12 07:36:40

Happy New Year! This is my first chat and I am really interested in looking for a tutor to prepare my chid for either grammar or private secondary schools as living in Twickers does not provide good secondary schools for boys. Please could anyone inform me of which tutors they would recommend and which to avoid! Thanks

TrafalgarMum Wed 04-Jan-12 07:42:34

Claygate, please could you recommend the tutor you used to take you through this process. Thanks

TrafalgarMum Wed 04-Jan-12 07:45:58

Racingheart, you seem well informed would you mind sending me the list of tutors you have, I really need to get my child on the waiting list. He is in Y3 and I’m fretting we maybe already too late

Mamooshka Sat 21-Jan-12 21:23:39

Hello all

My ds is in year 5 and we have had a tutor for the last 2 months. His NVR and VR is 90% +, however his maths is only 50%. He is a very very bright and creative little man who has a passion for the Humanities (especially history) and will sit for hours reading books on WW2 and can name more flags and capital cities than I know most adults can...but......he finds maths 'boring'! I think it is a shame for him that he isnt tested on the areas in which he is passionate about. I really want him to get a place at a selective school as I know he will thrive in an enviroment where there are far greater opportunities than at our local comp, but he really needs the extra help to push him along.

The scary part is there are children around where we live who have been tutored from a very young age and know the 11+ like its their first language. That is not to say they are any brighter but just that they have been 'trained' for much longer. I am not dissapointed that they are far more advanced as that is clearly a product of their parents pushing them, but I am dissapointed that the competition is SO great that unless you get in early, your child may be weak in some areas that then need cramming. Some of the maths subjects are taught infrequently in the National Curriculum and there is a risk of skill fade if they didnt quite get it first time around. His reading and spelling age is assessed as 14, however this means nothing if his maths isnt top of the class.

I hope we can help him along but it isnt easy and forget the terrible two's and teething...secondary school options are the worst part so far.

CookingMamaLouLou Sat 25-Feb-12 10:43:26

I think everybody needs to really think about this whole process differently. I am an ex student of the famous Mrs Walsh, and I was tutored by her for 2 years in the early 90s and I still didn't pass my 11+ It completely depends on the child. She is fantastic i know-she tutored my two sisters and brothers and they all went to Tiffin and now I help my child with the methods she taught me. Is it just the parents wish for them instead of the childs wishes though? I remember crying with stress aged 11 before and after the exam. I have talked to my son endlessly over whether he wants to do it. I haven't pushed him. Make sure you have that "chat" with your child. Thinking about tutoring earlier than 9 is insane. Mrs Walsh had a certain method, and it really seems to work with my son. I just hope WHEREVER he goes to he will be happy and prosper. That's the goal isn't it?

NewToTheGame Tue 06-Mar-12 10:38:25

Has anyone heard of Mrs Pugh for 11+ tutoring? I wanted my son to be tutored by Ms Walsh but she has retired sad Who is the second best? I am new to the game of first child is turning 8, I realise I need to get more clued up.

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Tue 06-Mar-12 16:59:52

The best people to ask are the Year 6 parents with no younger siblings because they have fisnishe with entrance exams now and no longer have to keep it secret grin Just be friendly and ask them - they will be only to keen to pass on theri war-storis now

Tiffinmad Wed 04-Apr-12 19:04:06

Can someone please provide me with a tutor name for tiffin girls entrance exam for September 2013 entry? I'm very very desperate! I heard of a Ms Burgess? Anyone have the details? Or anyone else with a proven track record I really really will appreciate it!

legallady Thu 05-Apr-12 19:47:44


The problem you will find is that no-one now has a proven track record for Tiffin Girls as the exam is completely different for 2013 entry. You may find someone who has a proven record for VR and NVR but even if your DD gets through the first round of the test, she will still have to sit a maths and English paper for the first time.

Is your DD strong on maths and English? Are you just looking for help with VR and NVR? The well known Tiffin tutors round these parts have just focused in the past on VR and NVR - even the Walshes have advised girls sitting for Tiffins for 2013 to get separate help for English and mathematics if they feel they need it. Hopefully someone will get back to you with a name, though most of them will have started tutoring in January for 2013 entry.

SC32 Wed 25-Apr-12 13:23:55

Hello ladies,
I am new to all this. My son is in year 3 and I would like to add his name to a waiting list with someone for when he is ready to start studying. I saw an advert for 11 plus tuition, their website is Has anybody used them or can anyone recommend a tutor i can contact? Many thanks.

nals Mon 14-May-12 20:05:56

Hello. Could someone help me with tutors names as well. Would much appreciate your help. I am also looking for someone who could help with the English tuition as well. Many thanks for the help

Year6 Fri 20-Jul-12 01:23:45

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

BeingFluffy Fri 20-Jul-12 07:12:26

What a exd. The exams are changing this year - sounds like you don't even know!

The last day for registering for the Tiffin Girls' exam is today.

BeingFluffy Fri 20-Jul-12 07:16:44


It is bollocks that anyone can pass with enough practice. You are an exploitative creep. Btw there are now 2 stages which you obviously didn't know about.

I home prepped my DD. If anyone wants good free advice head to elevenplusexams.

BeingFluffy Fri 20-Jul-12 10:20:35

Sorry that my last message was rude. I recently heard of a poor little girl who had been tutored for 3 years and hadn't got in after twice a week tutoring (she was not even close).

Bearing in mind the TGS exams are changing, I would prep at home and use one of the PROVEN Tiffin tutors for the VR/NVR if you absolutely need to. The maths and English are anyones guess. There are a lot of free resources on the internet. I used the website I mentioned before for advice and my DD got in.

TheWomanOnTheBus Mon 23-Jul-12 13:22:44

... I recently heard of a poor little girl who had been tutored for 3 years and hadn't got in after twice a week tutoring (she was not even close).

This is one of the reasons I've opted out of this hysteria. Its just crazy. Tutoring may (or may not!) make much of a difference, but can you imagine the disappointment on all sides if after 2, 3, or even 4 years of tutoring, there is still a failure.

The NVR/VR needed for Tiffin Boys (I know girls is different) is so educationally irrelevant except to pass the test, that there is simply no other benefit in tutoring for it. (Tutoring for English / Maths of course not so - it could produce long-term benefits and may be worth doing in its own right.)

If you look at the 11+ forum website you can go mad or get swept up in his hyseteria. For my part, I'm convinced that many of the people who post there (and some that post here) are (i) tutors; or (ii) moderators with a vested interest in selling practice papers. Of course, its all portrayed as helpful support. hmm.

Just witness the desperate pleas on this thread for phone numbers of Mrs X, Y, or Z (not forgetting Mrs or Ms W).... Crazy - but I've already said that.

For my part, we will give it a go. We will practice a few 11+ papers nearer the time under timed conditions. If he gets in, great smile, maybe we will take it up. If he doesn't, disappointing sad but no so disappointing as it would have been had we made the same investment in "tutoring" that that poor little girl had.

BeingFluffy Mon 23-Jul-12 14:26:33

My DD is in an upper year at Tiffin Girls', several of her contemporaries were tutored by the legendary Mrs W. Many others had some form of tutoring. DD can identify a few girls who appear to have got in because of good tutoring rather than natural ability.

DD got in by practising at home, but I did find out the necessary info from elevenplusexams. In those days to get it you needed somewhere over 85%, now I believe it is well into the 90%s. I doubt many get in nowadays without intensive preparation. Ironically I think the unintended result of elevenplusexams has been to raise the bar so high, that you have to be very able and well tutored to get in.

I think the exam changes at TGS to include maths and English may have the undesired effect of making the tutoring even more intense. I would be happy if they changed to a simple aptitude test that no one could prepare for.

perfectparent1 Sun 16-Sep-12 17:24:05

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

BeingFluffy Sun 16-Sep-12 17:43:37

I have reported your post. There is an ads section if you want to post there but you have to pay.

What is it about bloody Tiffin that attracts charlatans trying to get the gullible to part with their money? My dd goes to Tiffin Girls and it is just a school! Not some mythical place with unicorns frolicking in rainbow meadows next to the school. Some girls like it, some hate it. It gets great results because the intake is very clever. The teaching is not different and probably worse than some schools.

The exam has changed this year at the girls school, so no one should know the best way to prepare - it is all a matter of conjecture.

breadandbutterfly Sun 16-Sep-12 22:51:40

Great post,BeingFluffy.

Yellowtip Sun 16-Sep-12 23:17:55

Fluffy so how have GCSE results changed over those five or so years? Do you have that info? Any change?

chickydoo Sun 16-Sep-12 23:20:19

It's not that great. My Ds 2 was offered a place, we turned it down.

MrsRobertDuvallHasRosacea Mon 17-Sep-12 10:36:44 thing I've ad on MN today.
"unicorns frolicking in rainbow meadows'

Should be adopted by the school for the website.

MrsRobertDuvallHasRosacea Mon 17-Sep-12 10:36:56

Heard, not ad.

kookeethecutey Fri 04-Jan-13 00:07:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Muminwestlondon Fri 04-Jan-13 11:17:12

The second test is currently an unknown quantity as this was the first year it was run. I have heard that the hairdressers in Ham Parade (don't know name - I think there are two) are a good source of info about Tiffin tutors and gossip but I cannot verify it! Just an anecdote from another parent!

Strix Mon 14-Jan-13 08:03:31

Can I bump this for some more recent experience with the turing and tests... especially as they have changed.

Strix Mon 14-Jan-13 08:04:09

turing tutoring

Muminwestlondon Mon 14-Jan-13 13:37:54

I would head over to eleven plus exams. Though I think parents agreed not to post until the last tests had been done, not sure if that is now or when the results are out.

Schmedz Sat 26-Jan-13 21:09:05

Even with all the tutoring in the world, the reality is that at TGS there are well over 10 applicants for every place. This means that over 90% of applicants will be not eligible for a place.
TGS does not have a monopoly on A* grades or Oxbridge success. Many of the girls who 'fail' their entrance exams will end up doing brilliantly well at another school.
My daughter did appallingly on the VR and NVR papers for this year's TGS entrance exam and has just received two scholarship offers to fantastic Indie schools to which she applied (no tutoring...just plain hard work on her maths and English and around 10 practice papers for the VR and NVR tests)
Of course, the best advantage to TGS is that there are no compulsory school fees!
If you really feel Tiffin is the best school for your child then all the best of luck in preparing (as much as possible to prepare for their tests) but after having taught there and spoken to many girls who go there, it is not the be all and end all of schooling. SOOOOO many excellent options in this region.

londongirl5 Sun 24-Feb-13 15:08:00

I just left Tiffin Girls' School and I'm so glad I did! They only girls they allow into the school are either extremely clever, or extremely hard-working (at their tutors). This means that all the girls going to the school will get good grades at GCSE and A Level naturally. Therefore, as all girls will do well anyway, the teachers don't need to bother teaching them properly. The teachers see their only job as making sure every girl gets an A* in everything which leaves no room for creativity, or even a thing called fun, which you don't seem to hear about at Tiffin. The rules are ridiculous, the workload is unbearable, their methods of dealing with bullying are non-existent. Everybody I knew at the school with me hated it and it seems like a massive taboo that the school is, in fact, awful. Now I'm at college my eyes have been opened to the REAL world and I am happier, enjoying working, and making friends with normal people. I just wish I'd never gone to Tiffin in the first place.
Message me for details.

OhDearConfused Tue 26-Feb-13 14:07:34

Thank you for that view, LondonGirl, and sorry you had such a bad time of it. I have heard it said before about Tiffin Girls.

I only have DS so I do hope that Tiffin Boys is not quite as bad as that. I would be interested in your (or other's) views before we give it a go next entry point.


potatoprinter Tue 26-Feb-13 20:32:40

Londongirl5, I am sorry you had such a bad time at TGS. My daughter is in year 12 and some of your comments sound familiar.

I especially agree about the school being unable to deal with conflict and bullying; I have personal experience of an incident when the victim was blamed and the perpetrators believed. My DD reports there is a lot of cliqueness and bitchiness in Sixth Form.

My impression was that the pressure for grades comes from other girls (parents?). The teachers I spoke to didn't seem bothered if DD got an A or A*. Yes, a lot seem to be tutored. Some of the teaching is quite lazy and I think teachers at my younger child's comp try a lot harder.

However, on the whole I think TGS has been a good school for my DD. She wouldn't have lasted 5 minutes at the local comp where DD2 goes. The rules in the local comp are a lot more stringent than TGS believe me. She did have the option of moving for Sixth Form but decided to stay on.

zoffany51 Fri 01-Mar-13 12:38:00

@ODC "I only have DS so I do hope that Tiffin Boys is not quite as bad as that. I would be interested in your (or other's) views before we give it a go next entry point." DS1 is at TS; what info do you want to know about the school? smile

LearnAboutLight Sun 03-Mar-13 23:13:48

I have a DD1 now in year 8 at the girls' school and can vouch for its well rounded nature. I have a conspiracy theory about tutors which is that they only accept children who would have got even without tutors. Of course, there are strategies for answering verbal, non-verbal, maths and english tests but to get your child up to speed on these strategies are not beyond the grasp of intelligent parents. Child must accept circa 80 mins each day from Year 5 as practice is gold. Some exam practice over the summer holidays would also be beneficial and this can be bought from conventional tuition providers. I hope I am right as I have a DS1 in Y5 who will take the exam in September 13. He is hoping for Tiffin Boys but we would also be happy with the Slough consortium schools.

Golgo13 Wed 20-Mar-13 06:18:46

@Learn about Light : You could say that the "well-known" Tiffin tutors have picked up a trick from Tiffin itself. If you select only the brightest, your outcomes are almost bound to be the best.
People then transfer the credit from the student to the tutor, and a self-sustaining brand is born.

londonirishmum Tue 03-Dec-13 15:54:31

Hello Celia,

I would really love to have the contact details of that Tiffin tutor you mentioned on one of your threads. You kindly mentioned to one mum that if she wanted the name she could "CAT" you - but forgive me as this is my first MN message, so I don't know what CAT means?

Any help would be hugely appreciated!

Ladymuck Tue 03-Dec-13 16:13:22

The famous Mrs W that Celia referred to (nearly 7 years ago - where does the time go!) has since retired I'm afraid. Also the Tiffin Girls exams changed format significantly last year coinciding with the introduction of (an enormous) catchment area.

CecilyP Tue 03-Dec-13 16:18:18

Yes, this thread started so long ago that OP's then 3.5 year old DD will be going to secondary school next September.

Ladymuck Tue 03-Dec-13 16:34:57

I'm desperately trying to remember what uwila namechanged to? Would be intrigued to know where she ended up!

Sashmckyx Mon 25-Aug-14 20:29:28

Tiffin Boys is now ALOT easier to get into than tiffin girls as there are 4 exams for TGS but only 2 for TBS. my daughter got into TGS and I would honestly say it is near impossible to get in without the tutoring. I think the tiffin exam is not just a test of intelligence but a test of how much work the child will put in to do well.

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