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.

Thanks.

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!

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