Help! 10+ interview in City of London school for boys

(195 Posts)
koss Sun 03-Feb-13 14:21:32

Hello, I am new to this site. My DS has shortlisted for the CLSB 10+ interview. Has anyone got any previous experience? Just want some help what type of preparation needed etc.

My DS too. Yikes.
Also looking for advice.

OhDearConfused Mon 04-Feb-13 11:04:43

Me too. Do either of you know how many are being interviewed?

koss Mon 04-Feb-13 12:29:40

I am sorry. No idea.

Shaded Tue 05-Feb-13 15:14:50

Asked the school today and was told that of the 200 boys that took the 10+ exams, 80 have been asked to interview. There are 45 places at 10+. What I forgot to ask was how many offers of places they would make as they may need to make slightly more offers as some may have other schools as their first choice.

koss Tue 05-Feb-13 20:32:19

Thanks Shaded! I think they will have a waiting list as well.

I think almost all people accept 10+ places.
At 11+ most boys hold more than one offer.

OhDearConfused Wed 06-Feb-13 10:28:41

That's right. Last year out of 52 10+ offers 46 accepted (hence they took more than the advertised 40).

Completely different at 11+ when there is much more choice. [We - and I think many others are in the same boat, hence the acceptance rate - have no other option.]

Shaded Wed 06-Feb-13 17:18:27

Are your interviews on Friday or Monday? Ours is on Monday and am now wondering whether I should have gone for the Friday option so we are one of the first through the door. Or is it better to be last interviewed?

I am definitely overthinking this. confused

OhDearConfused Wed 06-Feb-13 17:58:41

What a choice: Early Friday so one of the first whilst interviewers are fresh and not jaded, or Monday so last and they remember you!

Definitely overthinking. grin. Have a wine.

We are Monday too, BTW.

Shaded Wed 06-Feb-13 18:09:56

Yep am sure I will get through many bottles of wine before this ordeal is over smile.

justone Wed 06-Feb-13 18:17:47

My DS did the 10+ 2 years ago. His interview was on the Monday and got a place - so the interviewers aren't too jaded!

He is halfway through his second year (Y7) there now and loves it. Good luck to all your DS's smile

My DS towards the end of the day on Friday - probably worst time of all....and I'm also overthinking and decided they are doing it in reverse order of exam success so all best ones on Monday. Oh dear.

Meeting a friend tonight wine only answer.

Shaded Wed 06-Feb-13 19:06:58

Justone thanks a lot. We need all the reassuring stories we can get

Shaded Wed 06-Feb-13 19:08:57

Toomany I have it the othee way round. We should stop thinking and do more drinking!!!

OhDearConfused Wed 06-Feb-13 19:55:09

justone thanks. Good to know its worth it.

Can you remember what your son told you the interview was like?

justone Wed 06-Feb-13 21:44:45

ohdear from what I recall he was in there about 20 minutes. He said they asked mainly academic questions - a few maths problems, then he had to read a paragraph and give the meaning of certain highlighted words. They also asked him for a verbal review of the book he was reading at that time.
He can't remember the couple of personal questions they asked him.
He didn't seem too phased when he came out. I on the other hand had chewed my fingers down to the knuckle!
IIRC they let us know 2 days later - not much longer to wait now!

Shaded I think you have an evil plan to encourage me drink so much that I can't get my DS to the interview.

Shaded Thu 07-Feb-13 07:05:37

Justone thank you very much for the interview tips.

Toomany very funny. Hope you had a really good time yesterday.

I did have a good evening and then a bad night because DS is stressed and came into bed with me. Poor little thing - I've tried so hard not to pressurise him, but he knows if he doesn't get in now he'll have a whole year of hard work ahead to make sure he gets in next year.

Shaded Thu 07-Feb-13 10:03:39

Toomany dont worry I suspect most DSs are feeling stressed. I am not withholding any treats from DS and trying to overlook all the things that would normally cause me to shout at him. They are afterall still very yourng boys. I had the 'it doesn't matter how you do' chat with him this morning but not sure he believes me now.

I keep telling him it doesn't matter too, but he has decided it matters to him because of the stress of the next year.

I do assume, however, that all of them are feeling the same and the school are used to it and getting the best out of them. A friend who did it last year said he stuttered his way through the maths, but still got in.

OhDearConfused Thu 07-Feb-13 10:43:33

Yep - ours is also going through the same
Good luck all.

Thank you, Justone.

snowmummy Thu 07-Feb-13 10:58:56

Of course your DS is stressed; he's probably picking up on your stress.

As usual, it's all my fault! The joys of being a mother.

Thanks Justone!

OhDearConfused Thu 07-Feb-13 11:24:44

You are not alone, TooMany, my fault too!

snowmummy Thu 07-Feb-13 11:36:02

Children inevitably pick up on their parents' emotions. I didn't say it was your fault but I do find it strange that your DS is so stressed that he cannot sleep properly because he is under so much pressure to gain a place in a particular school.

Shaded Thu 07-Feb-13 11:45:21

Actually I suspect most of the boys were relaxed about it after the exams, at least mine was, but now he has passed the exams he now really wants to go to the school.

I think part of my stress is also wanting to keep him in the innocence cocoon where nice things always happen.

OhDearConfused Thu 07-Feb-13 11:57:47

Shaded I agree. Fine after the exam. A little sleepless night syndrome after the letter arrived inviting to interview.

snowmummy I think the "its all my fault" bit was a little tongue in cheek (at least it was on my part!). I wouldn't say though we are putting pressure on him, in fact now prep is all over, trying to chill, and just some chat along the lines of "be yourself", and telling him what to expect. Its only I suppose that we are finding it hard to hide our stress (because it is a big deal if he doesn't get in - one more year at a primary we are not happy with, 5 or 6 tests next year - not the end of the world by any means, of course, but still. And I think as said above, DSs also know that they "will have to do it all again" (times X))

Mine was also relaxed after the exam and started to get worried after he'd got an interview because it suddenly became real. He actually bounced out of the test day saying it was "easy", which made me think he'd missed the point!

And he is now terribly keen to go, which is a good thing, I guess.

"It's all my fault" was indeed tongue in cheek. Well spotted. A mother's place is in the wrong.

koss Thu 07-Feb-13 17:21:37

Thanks Justone! Does anyone know how many scholarships they offer at 10+? DS is not doing anything for the interview. Now I am really worried!

Shaded Thu 07-Feb-13 18:14:33

Koss we have decided to stop worrying and soak ourselves in drink. Join us.

Toomany best of luck tomorrow and to others having their interview tomorrow.

woohoo let's open up the bottle of wine

koss Thu 07-Feb-13 22:08:43

thanks Shaded! I will also stop worrying.But don't think we can actually do that until this is over.

Best of luck to everyone who has(DS) interview tomorrow! please share your experience afterwords.

hellsbelles Fri 08-Feb-13 20:43:51

just found this thread! my son did his interview this morning. Please try not to worry (those of you that have interviews on Monday)...he really enjoyed it and came out very happy.

2 interviewers - they ask a few questions from the papers that they did during the examination and they have to read out a passage and are asked questions on it. Also asked about the family (i.e. what we do for a living etc).

I'm pretty shocked to find out that so many are going for so few places...I'd managed to persuade myself that once he got to interview it was a pretty sure thing...and that surely they wouldn't waste time interviewing boys that were unlikely to get a place! Luckily I didn't see this thread before we went into the I was not stressing (and neither was he). We find out on Wednesday so at least there isn't too much more time to worry.

Good luck. Maybe we'll all see each other at a parents evening one day!

My DS had a similar interview this afternoon - shorter than 20 mins.
He also came out chirpy.

If we do ever meet we'll never know.....

Good luck to the Monday people.

sicutlilium Fri 08-Feb-13 21:00:24

Good luck to you all. I have a Year 9 boy there who joined at 13+ last September, and he loves it. He's off on CCF Army Camp this weekend.

hellsbelles Fri 08-Feb-13 21:05:00

I'm so glad to hear of the boys who are enjoying it there. I know a few boys already there and they are such lovely happy kids it really makes me feel hopeful that if DS does get in he'll love it.

Toomany- well - if they both get in we could actually PM each other with our names. But if that's too weird no problem!

Let's see how we get on....
Am feeling I might have 'shared' too much on other threads.
I've never met a mner only found out that RL friends of mine are on here.

hellsbelles Fri 08-Feb-13 21:21:22

oh goodness no need! I was just saying it flippantly - it really isn't necessary. I always forget that ones whole MN history is easily searchable!

I have to say I've been very lucky with MN friends that have turned into RL ones. I have made some really really wonderful ones but I know it can often not work out.

Anyway good luck for Wednesday.

sorry sounded defensive - I am shattered - we have too much going on as a family with DS seeming to be doing amazingly well and DD struggling more than I would have thought possible.

I have lurked around mn for 7 yrs now, but never been much of a poster so never connected properly with anyone here or mners in RL.

Have you gone for any other 10+ places?

hellsbelles Fri 08-Feb-13 21:40:35

please don't worry - you are right to be careful. Sorry to hear you are going through it.

We haven't gone for any other 10+, if he doesn't get in now we'll just wait till 11+. Have you tried for anything else?

No, we didn't try anywhere else. Not many do 10+ near us.

We only decided to go for this the day before the application deadline so we're reeling from him passing the exam.
Someone who got in last year thought the interview was just a formality, but it seems not from the numbers above.

It is great to have this part over with, though. We can now relax for a few days, at least, although I know I'll start worrying again (it's in the name!) next week.

hellsbelles Fri 08-Feb-13 22:11:10

I have to admit I thought that the interview was a formality too. And I'm very glad I did otherwise I would have been worrying far more in the run up to the interview.

However I will be worrying next week..not in the name but in the nature!

Here's to a peaceful and anxiety-free weekend for all with maybe a wine or two

Shaded Sat 09-Feb-13 12:00:42

hellsbelles and Toomany thank you very much for your feedback. Goodluck to your DSs and everyone else too. I am going out tonight and putting the interview out of my mind.

hellsbelles Sat 09-Feb-13 17:44:14

Shaded. Good luck to you and your son! I think the great thing is they make it as enjoyable as it can be for the boys. Everyone I know that had an interview on Friday was very happy and not at all traumatised by it! So fingers crossed, your son will actually enjoy it once he's in there.

Of course results day on weds will be a different matter. But haven't they done incredibly well to get this far!!

koss Sat 09-Feb-13 22:44:32

@Hellsbell, toomany-- thanks a lot for shareing your experiences. I am now feeling good and telling DS to have fun on Monday. Good luck for Wednesday.
Shaded-- good luck to your DS and everyone who has interview on Monday.

hellsbelles Sun 10-Feb-13 08:08:44

Kos...that's great. Not long to wait now. DS has a friend who is already there who warned about the fact that he would get questions about the maths paper they did during the exam. They went through some of the questions including one he'd got wrong. I think the fact he knew that he wasn't singled out for this was a very important for him. Otherwise he would have panicked that it was just him that got things wrong. The boy that warned us got a scholarship so knowing that made DS not worry when he got asked about his maths paper!

koss Sun 10-Feb-13 08:41:01

Thanks for more info Hells! That's really helpful. Do you know how many scholarships they will offer for 10+?

hellsbelles Sun 10-Feb-13 10:55:45

I'm afraid I don't. Really really hoping we are in with a chance for one as it would make such a massive difference...but I"m getting ahead of myself - he needs to get a place first!

hellsbelles Sun 10-Feb-13 10:58:06

sorry - one more thing. They do tend to ask a logic warn him it's worth considering a question may have a few different angles to it.

sicutlilium Sun 10-Feb-13 12:12:51

koss you can get an idea of how many academic scholarships they offer t 10+ here - scroll down to 24th April 212 announcement:

OhDearConfused Sun 10-Feb-13 13:29:16

Not many at all, certainly compared to 11+.
Makes sense I suppose, at 11+ they are competing against Westminster and st Paul's etc, not so at 10+. So no real incentive to award more.
Still .... Getting ahead of myself: need a place and would be delighted with just that

hellsbelles Sun 10-Feb-13 15:00:15

that's helpful Sicutlilium - so 4 academic ones last year at 10+

sicutlilium Sun 10-Feb-13 15:30:07

OhDear the Westminster & St Paul's scholarships are not awarded on the basis of their Y6 pre-tests.

OhDearConfused Sun 10-Feb-13 15:36:27

My point was that city have to award scholarships to compete for the best ( of the best) at 11+, but don't needvto at 10+

sicutlilium Sun 10-Feb-13 15:42:48

OhDear - sorry, yes, I see what you mean, and I think it's part of the picture, but those looking at St Paul's and Westminster would probably be looking at City's 13+ entry.

singersgirl Sun 10-Feb-13 16:20:09

Well, strictly speaking, not necessarily as there is an 11+ entry point into both Westminster and St Paul's (via Colet Court, the prep school). Colet Court also offers a 10+ exam for deferred entry for state school boys, so City is competing at 10+ with KCJS and CC, if not Westminster. I do know that Colet/St Paul's only offer honorific scholarships, though - if you want money off the fees you need to be eligible for a bursary.

OhDearConfused Sun 10-Feb-13 16:47:55

Was just speculating as to why so many at 11+ compared to 10+!

I heard that scholarship interviews are with the headmaster, so I guess you'd know if your DS was up for one?

sicutlilium Sun 10-Feb-13 18:07:54

Yes, I think the letter inviting DS for interview specifies if it is a scholarship interview.

Shaded Mon 11-Feb-13 15:27:30

Interview over!!!! Just have two more days to wait. All our DSs have done so well to get this far and hope we all get good news.

OhDearConfused Mon 11-Feb-13 15:44:24

So do I. :-)

(But sadly of course we can't!)

Farewelltoarms Mon 11-Feb-13 19:58:31

Hello can I ask you all a question before you get the results? Would you recommend going through the 10+ at City. I've got a y4 boy and I'm in two minds. On the one hand, yes brilliant to get it out the way if they get in or at least get in some exam practice if they don't. On the other, I feel sad about him not having y6 at his school (plus guilty since his sats results would likely be good) and also denying ourselves other options (i.e. UCS and Highgate). He's top ish of his state school class but I wouldn't say a dead cert for any of these schools (i.e. he's bright but far off genius level plus lacking any other particular accomplishments).
I like the idea of having a go since it seems a bit all or nothing at 11. But like I say I have reservations and I wonder what's the point of us all going through this if even the best case scenario gives me a weeny dilemma...
Are you glad you've opted for it?

hellsbelles Mon 11-Feb-13 19:58:33

Shaded - how did it go? Was he o.k?

OhDear - why not? There aren't 40 of us on this thread and there are 40 or so places up for grabs! We could make it a clean sweep.

hellsbelles Mon 11-Feb-13 20:12:14

Farewell - same thought processes here - I wanted him to do it while there was less pressure but equally I'm worried that if he does get in we don't get the possible choice that we would have at 11+

So no huge insights I'm afraid. He does have some good friends who have also got to interview stage so if they do all get in together that would make our decision of whether to accept the place (if we get it!) a bit easier.

Shaded Mon 11-Feb-13 21:02:46

hellsbelles he said it went well, same format as discussed earlier, but did not really grill him. And yes Ohdear we are few in this thread so hoping for the best for all our DSs.

Farewell I grappled with the same issues you raised and what really decided it was the fact that City is our top independent school choice anyway so if he gets in early then all the better. The tough part is knowing that we may be writing off the grammar school options but am not sure my DS is the kind of boy that will be top 180 out of 1500 children anyway. If he gets in this time guess I will never know.

I also know from friends with kids in Yr 6 that the first and second terms are focused on exams and interviews and it only starts being carefree in the last term.

So just my 'short' way of saying that there are pros and cons either way.

OhDearConfused Mon 11-Feb-13 21:33:59

Ah by "we" I thought we meant all applicants, not all MN applicants.

I stand corrected, yes a clean sweep

Same thought process. One additional point. For us it was supposed to be "let's see and never mind if doesn't work out". But it is still incredibly stressful, many more applicants, smaller chance of success, big chance of disappointment, DS set his haert on it, no other option, with it all to do again next year if doesn't work out. So rather than reduce stress, if it doesn't work, it will have doubled . So not sure I would recommend it ! Not if you are happy with primary at the moment ( we are not ).

But if all well on weds essay, may change my mind!

Shaded Mon 11-Feb-13 22:42:24

Ohdear good point. With the significant jump in numbers taking the City exam, from 110 to 200 this year, I agree that is no longer the easier/less stressful option.

hellsbelles Mon 11-Feb-13 22:54:57

Ohdear - you are so right. I thought it would be far less stressful than it has been. But i can only imagine that is multiplied many times over when they are taking the if there is a chance we've avoided that then it'll be worth it (and of course not worth it if he doesn't get in!)

Shaded - glad to hear it went well - I was relieved it wasn't such an intense interview as we would have expected (we assumed there would be an element of current affairs questions - but DS said he didn't get any).

I also thought it would be less stressful and it was okay until it became a real possibility with the interview.
I do think the 11+ is different because we would be going for more schools.

My negative thinking now is that if he doesn't succeed at this stage it's worse because we could do more work for future exams, but there's not much to be done if they don't like him at interview. And who could not love him at interview?!

Shaded Mon 11-Feb-13 23:16:29

Yes no current affairs, mainly academic and then questions about interests. Guess they recognise that they are only 9/10 after all.

hellsbelles Tue 12-Feb-13 09:36:17

Toomany. Too true - how could they resist!

I have heard mention that the interview is also about weeding out kids that have been tutored to within an inch of their lives (and therefore may not be able to keep up once in school).

There was one child at the exams that was in tears over the stress of it all and I hope that what they are doing is making sure that the ones they pick will enjoy and benefit from the school rather than always feeling stressed

Shaded Tue 12-Feb-13 09:42:39

Yep how could they resist our boys wink. Don't envy those doing the choosing; every boy I saw looked so intelligent.

OhDearConfused Tue 12-Feb-13 09:43:45

hellsbelles I had heard that too but generally for indie interviews, rather than CLBS. Is your info that City in particular do that?

Unless it is about that weeding, I am at a loss as to why they interview that many. All the kids "passed" the test, and must have displayed some social skills in the "class" that was part of the interview day.

TooMany - yes, at 11+ there would be many more options including state grammars.

finger's crossed all.

Farewelltoarms Tue 12-Feb-13 15:50:47

Thank you all so much for taking time away from your finger biting/wine drinking to answer my questions. I think you've all successfully put me off! I do know a couple of boys who got in and their parents both said they applied very last minute, did a couple of papers with them, it was no big deal etc. If I could be like that (if they were indeed like that) then I'd probably go for it with my son. However, I know myself and I'm not laid back about anything and would inevitably get myself worked up and risk transmitting this to ds. The process written about by you all seems far more likely (possibly those parents were not be entirely honest...).
One last question before I forget about all this for a while, is it true that they've gone from 110 applicants to 200 in a year? This is for 40 places isn't it? Part of the appeal of the 10+ was that the odds seemed so much more favourable. However, presuming that there is a higher take-up of offers, then perhaps the proportions are very similar. I presume that City just want the best boys so they calibrate their 10+ and 11+ so that the intakes are of similar intake.
Enough already!

Farewelltoarms Tue 12-Feb-13 15:51:34

Sorry, that should read intakes are of similar ability...

OhDearConfused Tue 12-Feb-13 15:54:20

Yes, indeed farewell. 200 applicants (up fron 110) for 45 places. It doesn't sound as if 10+ is more favourable than 11+. If last year is anything to go by, the vast majority of offers at 10+ will be accepted so they won't over-offer to the same extent as they do at 11+ in order to fill places.

When we went on our tour we were told the odds were similar for the two entry points. They have many more applicants at 11+, but those applicants are going for more schools too.

FWIW we truly decided to give this a go the day before the application went in and I delivered it to the school myself! We did not have a tutor, but I did work quite hard on past papers, bonds books and essay writing. We aimed for an hour a day and probably managed 5 or 6 hours a week for the six weeks or so between the deadline and the exam. DS is at a fairly laid-back state primary.

I am rather thrown by the possibility of him getting a place now, but more scared of him not getting one having made it to this point. I have told him we don't hear until Thursday.

OhDearConfused Tue 12-Feb-13 16:21:42

And when they said that, TooMany, I bet they didn't expect 200 applicants. It went up from 99 to 110 to 200!

So 10+ is more difficult.

Double well-done for getting to this stage.....

Where did you get the figures from ODC?
And do you know if there has been a similar rise in applications at 11+?

Shaded Tue 12-Feb-13 16:31:45

Farewell sorry if we have put you off - certainly did not intend to and you must review our views in the context of our nerves just some hours away from the results. I asked a mum whose child passed the 10+ if it was worth going for it and she was very positive - so ask me again tomorrow if we get good news and am sure I would be submitting the application on your behalf.

There are many pros (with rose tinted lenses) from my point of view.

- We like many others entered for the exam at the last minute so if we do go through we have not spent many months preparing (although we worked hard over the holidays)

- whatever happens, it is good practice for the 11+ and the work we did has translated to my son's school work

- indeed less pressure on the child i.e. no one else at school asking about the results as no one knows we are sitting for this.

And so many more.......ask me tomorrow.

The other positives for me are
- not being part of sats looniness in yr 6
- a gentler introduction to the big step in expectations at year 7

OhDearConfused Tue 12-Feb-13 16:35:00

TooMany: figures for 10+ were posted on this thread by Shaded above: Asked the school today and was told that of the 200 boys that took the 10+ exams, 80 have been asked to interview. There are 45 places at 10+.

Don't know about 11+ - but yes, if that also went up (almost doubling!!!) then the comparative odds will have stayed the same.

Do you think they will answer the phone if I called and asked the result???

Only 24 hours to go.

I was wondering if I could call and say we're on holiday with no access to our mail for the next week, but I'm too scared!!

Oh yes, I did see the numbers you quote, but wondered where the ones for previous years came from. My DH was told 186 sat the exam this year.

OhDearConfused Tue 12-Feb-13 16:56:27

I think it was last year's thread ! (Or it could have been a thread on the 11+ forum.) Sorry - can't easily find where it came from.

Off to pancake party - take my mind off it all or bore others silly about it. Oh dear, how ridiculous I am.

Shaded Tue 12-Feb-13 17:04:35

I think the numbers are increasing as more parents find out about the 10+. I had no idea until I went to the open day as I was doing the rounds of school a year early. If we are successful we will certainly inform others and am sure their instinct will be to go for it as a trial run, then your child shocks you by passing and you are suddenly in the finger biting stage!!!!!

OhDearConfused Tue 12-Feb-13 17:06:57

Found it! The Heads report to the governors is at this link:

In it he writes (about 2012 process):

"Group 1 (10+)
In many ways this entry point has become our most successful and certainly the
easiest to administer owing to the lack of competition from other schools and the parents’ ability to pay. This year we again had a record number sitting the entrance examinations (110 compared with 99 last year) and this increasing popularity of the 10+ intake has meant that we have now settled into taking two classes in Old Grammar as a matter of course. Despite the large number of applicants we still wished to limit the year group to 40, in order to maintain a high academic standard, but the take up rate of full fee places was so high (86% compared with last year’s 76%) that we have filled 45 places, without taking any boys from the Reserve List. Four Academic Scholars and one each of Music and Sports have enriched the quality of the intake."

Shaded Tue 12-Feb-13 17:14:05

ODC thanks for posting this. I wonder what the headmaster is going to write about this year's cohort of 200. The chances were clearly better in previous years.

koss Tue 12-Feb-13 17:37:05

Hi everyone, couldn't communicate yesterday. Although I read all messages. Very scared now. Another few hours to go.......

sicutlilium Tue 12-Feb-13 18:00:40

Ha ha! Thanks for that link - DS1 is part of the 13+ "strange year". DS2 will have to do the 13+ pre-test, so I shall be biting my nails this time next year.

Good research effort ODC! Perhaps our DCs will all prove so brilliant (and lovely) that they'll extend it to three OG classes.

Suitably fed and lubricated after pancake (with cava) party - plan to sleep well and wake refreshed to face the post tomorrow.

Farewelltoarms Tue 12-Feb-13 19:43:28

Shaded et al, you haven't put me off in a bad way, just that by reading your nerves and your sons' expectations makes me realise that although some people can be relaxed, I'm really not one of them. If you're going to do something, you might as well really go for it and if you really go for it, then there will be an inevitable emotional investment.
Are there just more children trying for the 10+ as opposed to the 11+ or is there a similar increase in the numbers applying for any good secondary?

I would also love to know whether the numbers have gone up for 11+ entry too.

Shaded Wed 13-Feb-13 09:35:58

Good morning and good luck for today's news.

hellsbelles Wed 13-Feb-13 10:14:05

I'm horribly nervous. DS has 3 really good friends that also got to interview and it'll be so hard for them if some of them don't get through. But DS seems very relaxed about it all though - thank goodness. What time does your post normally arrive. DH is working from home so I'm waiting for a call from him.

Our post doesn't usually arrive till about midday though!

OhDearConfused Wed 13-Feb-13 10:38:03

Yes, that will be tough. Our post is not til 1.30/2.....grrr.....

Actually very calm today - reading the Head's report linked above left a rather unpleasant taste in my mouth. Didn't like the way it was all about money and results and not about small boys. I know I'm naive.

My post also doesn't come until after 1.
Oh boy.

OhDearConfused Wed 13-Feb-13 11:26:36

Yes - what struck me about the report is that they see the competition from other side. He bemoans the difficulty of competing (with Westminster and St Paul's) for the most academic boys. Its tough out there for the indies aiming to excel academically!!

But I'm sure once in they will look after the little boys!

Yes, competing for the 'best' boys I find rather distasteful. Given their elaborate selection process surely they can achieve fantastic results for most of these bright boys with inspired teaching.

He also gets a poor mark for crap use of %
"Of the 8 Academic Scholarships offered, half took up the places (50% compared with 62.5% in the previous year)"
By turning it into a % he obscures the fact that it's four boys rather than five boys the previous year.

However, I did get a feeling that it was a happy and warm environment and would be very happy for DS to go there.

koss Wed 13-Feb-13 11:50:29

DS got a fee paying place in City. I am really happy that he did well and got a place. The competition was tough this year.

Good luck to all of you!

OhDearConfused Wed 13-Feb-13 11:54:20

Hurray. 1 out of 1 so far.
Well done (you and your DS)

Well done Koss and DS.
Next biggie - will you accept the place?

OhDearConfused Wed 13-Feb-13 12:10:11

Given their elaborate selection process surely they can achieve fantastic results for most of these bright boys with inspired teaching.

Yes, which is why you should ignore league tables! The more selective the school, the better the results - but not necessarily the better the teaching.

hellsbelles Wed 13-Feb-13 12:10:28

hurrah for Kos's DS!

"The more selective the school, the better the results - but not necessarily the better the teaching."

This is exactly why we took DD out of her selective prep school and moved her to a lovely community school - the teachers were just more engaged and interesting and more likely to instill a love of learning. And they were less scary and old-fashioned!

OhDearConfused Wed 13-Feb-13 12:21:58

Well I would discourage anyone to accept an offer today and go instead to the local community school next year as part of the usual 11+ entry (just in case we only get a waiting list place!) grin

koss Wed 13-Feb-13 12:23:03

Thanks to all and hoping good from all of you.
TOM we are not sure. TBH we were looking for scholarships as the school fees are very high. For us the main reason of choosing City at 10+ was ease of all the pains for 11+ but our criteria was always scholarships. So DS will have to try again 1 more year and there will be lot of choices that time I guess. Please do not think that I am demotivating you all.

Shaded Wed 13-Feb-13 12:23:43

Hi all. DS got a fee paying place too. Good luck to those waiting fro news.

OhDearConfused Wed 13-Feb-13 12:26:23

2 out of 2. Well done, Shaded.

koss Wed 13-Feb-13 12:29:52

Well done Shaded and your DS.

hellsbelles Wed 13-Feb-13 12:32:00

Shaded - hurrah! Maybe this will prove to be a lucky thread (I say while biting nails to the quick...where is our post!)

Wow! Well done.

My nails all gone, but have used the time to book half-term trip to Berlin.
V. excited and if we don't get the place we can even afford it!!

hellsbelles Wed 13-Feb-13 12:35:51

good strategy with the holiday booking Toomany!

Oh yay oh yay more good news today!
This is the lucky thread.
Hurrah can't believe it (and we're going to Berlin too)

Good luck to hellsbelles and ODC

OhDearConfused Wed 13-Feb-13 12:54:06

Oh dear, I have to pop out for a couple of hours and postie hasn't arrived yet..

Well done TooMany!

hellsbelles Wed 13-Feb-13 12:54:13

hurrah - brilliant news...I bet it'll be me that breaks the luck!

Shaded Wed 13-Feb-13 12:56:32

Toomany congrats to you and your DS. ODC and hellsbelles fingers crossed for you.

koss Wed 13-Feb-13 12:57:13

Well done Toomany!

going out now, but really hope it works out for you.
good luck

hellsbelles Wed 13-Feb-13 13:57:09

o.k..perhaps this is a lucky thread! DS is in too (as are his friends). Alas not a scholarship but we are absolutely thrilled and proud of him.

ODC - wishing you lots and lots of luck.

Wow HB - well done to your DS.

Starting to wonder whether they've created a third OG class for us all?

koss Wed 13-Feb-13 14:09:49

Very well done Hellsbell! This is really a lucky thread.
Good luck to ODC

hellsbelles Wed 13-Feb-13 14:10:34

well perhaps all the applicants were so brilliant they had to! or maybe they didn't have as many as we thought go for interview?

OhDearConfused Wed 13-Feb-13 14:13:48

That would be great
I do think there is a correlation between participating on this forum and success though!
Well done all!
Fingers crossed still for me

MNers clearly produce the right kind of DS!

And I really do hope you get good news soon, ODC.

hellsbelles Wed 13-Feb-13 15:02:20

there does seem to be doesn't there - this is certainly the thread to be on. Funny to think all our DS's will be at school together after all our worrying!

ODC - the wait must be horrible - you are being very calm though! I hope you get your news soon...

OhDearConfused Wed 13-Feb-13 15:30:19

Sorry team. Let us all down - no clean sweep. A no for us.
Back to the drawing board.
Boo hoo.

Shaded Wed 13-Feb-13 15:49:11

ODC am genuinely sorrry to hear this. Anything I say now may sound trite but thinking of you and your DS right now.

Farewelltoarms Wed 13-Feb-13 16:08:56

As total outsider and interloper, I'm sorry too ODC but I think you should be pleased with how he did (friend's son did it last year and they sort at laughed at her on the phone when they told her just by how far he'd missed the exam results necessary to get an interview).
But horrible nonetheless as you feel that he got so far for nought.
I hope you feel it wasn't entirely wasted and when you feel more chipper, then maybe think what you might have gained from it.

Moominsarehippos Wed 13-Feb-13 16:11:49

You can try again though, can't you? Do you get feedback if you didn't get in? Maybe your current Head can ask or even out in a word for you?

hellsbelles Wed 13-Feb-13 16:32:05

Ohdear. Really sorry to hear that but hopefully it's great practise for the 11 plus. It was a ridiculously tricky year as there were so many competing he did bloody well to get to interview stage. I hope he is suitably proud that he did.

So sorry ODC - I hope you're both not too upset. I do think it's great practice for next year, but I'm sorry you'll both have to go through it.
Very sad.

Probably little consolation, but a friend of ours didn't get through at 10+, but is there now and very happy. He also had offers from other schools.

OhDearConfused Wed 13-Feb-13 17:40:11

Thank you all. A little upset (to say the least), as was DS. He's now at a play date and we have a holiday coming up.

No feedback as yet. I had heard that schools don't give them. But I will give a call and ask when I have calmed down a little.

I am assuming (since letter did not mention it) that we are not on a waiting list or anything. (But do correct me if I am wrong.) Will confirm tomorrow.

Good to know that someone did get in having failed at 10+!! (I thought it might be over with our chances there, because in fact City was our favourite and will likely be next year as well.)

However, there was no encouragement for us to tryagain. Unlike Dulwich which in its rejection (we applied for an "occasional" place there - they had 2 such into the last year of their prep and 25 applicants, so not really a proper entry and not really much chance!) said "DS did well, only 2 places, but do try again next year."

Need a wine

I really did expect to be in your position ODC, which I know is little consolation, but I do feel for you and your DS - he did well in a very competitive year, but it must be hard for him and they are so young!

There really is hope - the friend of ours who missed first time is also doing really well academically.

Have a wine from me.

Shaded Wed 13-Feb-13 18:32:42

ODC please do ring them for feedback. When deciding whether to enter DS for the exam, the lady in charge of the admissions assured me that she would give me feedback on strengths and areas to focus on if I ask after the process, irrespective of outcome. So pls reach out to her.

koss Wed 13-Feb-13 19:01:05

ODC very sorry to hear that. Feeling for you honestly. Your DS can try again for 11+ and they will see him as a fresh candidate. So no impact for sitting in 10+ .
So not to worry. Your DS did a brilliant job to go to this far. You should be proud of him. This experience will help him in 11+ for sure.

hellsbelles Thu 14-Feb-13 13:18:21

ODC - I totally agree with the others. If DS wasn't in I would have called for feedback and entered him for next year. I also know of a boy who didn't get in via 10+ but did at 11+ so it really does seem like there is no disadvantage to re-entering. And of course he'll know the drill and it won't seem so unfamiliar.

And you know what...they do make strange decisions sometimes. I know a couple of boys from last year (from my son's school) that absolutely should have got in - it made absolutely no sense that they didn't and a few got in that I was surprised about! So it'll be helpful for you and DS to understand their reasons...

But I'm really sorry that you have to deal with this. I hope DS is o.k.

OhDearConfused Thu 14-Feb-13 14:05:17

Thank you all. I am trying to get through to admissions, but failing so far.

DS was upset, but nothing that the present of a new games console couldn't fix! [It hasn't yet dawned on him though that he has to go through this all again (x more schools) next year!]

I can't help but wonder if he came accross at interview as immature (he is May born and still perhaps a little young for big school). The maths questions he mentioned having been asked were very well answered (I know my maths!), but his weak point (like many boys) is English and he couldn't even remember what he was asked in the comprehension part.

Ah well, I'll hopefully find out soon.

hellsbelles Thu 14-Feb-13 14:15:50

I'm guessing that the age/maturity can make a big difference and perhaps it's a blessing in disguise (if that is the feedback that they give) that he gets another year before being thrust into the jungle of 'big' school.

As much as I wanted my DS to get in I'm also rather terrified at the thought of him leaving his lovely nurturing school a year earlier than he might have otherwise!

Good luck getting through to them and hopefully you will get some helpful feedback.

Moominsarehippos Thu 14-Feb-13 15:53:27

Be as sweetie as you can. Maybe there's a waiting list. Not everyone takes up an offer. A child at our school got a full scholarship but went elsewhere - not quite as 'good' a school (there were gasps at the assembly when it was announced and the mum next to me said some Very Bad Words in amazement).

Try to find out as much feedback-wise as possible. Ask if you can automatically put your name down for 11 and 13+ (not sure if they do 13+ or if your current school goes beyond 11+). Have you a back up plan for next year? Speak to your Head too for guidance.

OhDearConfused Thu 14-Feb-13 16:56:49

Thanks, Moomin, am indeed trying to be sweet (its in my nature). I won't get feedback for a few days for various reasons, and have asked about waiting lists. It wasn't mentioned in letter so assume we are not on one - but I will ask anyway. I do know they do operate a list, but last year it wasn't in fact called on - 45 acceptances, when they only had 40 places!!

Head is likely no use at all (state primary and not at all used to indies let alone 10+!)

Thanks, though...

Moominsarehippos Thu 14-Feb-13 17:02:10

Are you considering a move to a prep school that will take him to 13+? In the meantime, try to 'beef up' the out of school activities and interests. They look for "leaders" and boys that show curiosity, keenness to learn, manners and confidence.

This was just the dress rehearsal! Most of these boys have been tutored since the crib!

OhDearConfused Thu 14-Feb-13 17:13:12

To be honest I think you just described my DS!

I do think your DS did well to pass the exam. Given that there were twice as many candidates as a couple of years ago he must have what they are looking for academically. I can't imagine how they differentiate at interview and nerves might have come into play.

At the end of the interview my DS was told "you are clearly a boy who wants to get involved and is sporty". I wasn't sure whether this was a good thing, but I guess it was. Not sure how true it is!!

BTW Moomin... have you been lurking all along? I am a lurker of seven years standing and it's funny to think others may have been watching this.

Do you have a DS there?

Moominsarehippos Thu 14-Feb-13 19:14:57

Not a lurker! The thread just caught my eye.

DH is an old boy (in those days you were told the results straight after the interview) and DS might go there (not sure yet) but we have a little while yet! Its got soooo tough for the schools now (recession my big moominbutt!).

I agree, how can so many people afford it?
Or maybe lots were having a go and hoping for financial support.
At the interview my DS was asked what his parents do so perhaps he gave the correct answer!

Shaded Thu 14-Feb-13 20:56:25

I will never understand why they ask that 'what do your parents do' question. Is it an unofficial credit check? Just seems odd, it is clearly not about finding out about the family as it would then be tell me about your family.

My DS wrongly said I was an investment banker - i am definitely not but the minute he told me his answer I literally saw any offers of help in form of scholarships (in my dreams of course) melting away.

The DS of a friend said his Mum was a SAHM and his Dad was unemployed. He was hoping they'd feel sorry for him - he got a place, but no help!

Shaded Thu 14-Feb-13 21:38:49

Okay that is one theory out of the window - but still don't understand the purpose of the question.

I know. And my DS says he wasn't asked about what he's reading at the moment. All very odd.

Moominsarehippos Fri 15-Feb-13 07:21:33

Don't you put your job down on his application form? Maybe some years are touger if there are lots of siblings in the mix.

What happens if you get no school offers? That was last might's anxiety dream!

Good point, Moomin.. it is on the form.
I guess they want them to talk, but my DS is deeply uninterested in my adult life and would talk much better about his current book, and surely reveal something about himself.

hellsbelles Fri 15-Feb-13 10:24:14

I would imagine that question is as much about making sure they are engaged in what goes on within their family and aware of what their parents do.

The scholarship boy I know has parents that are in high level jobs so I don't think all scholarships are based on affordability...more attracting highly academic boys to the school (and therefore boosting exam results).

hellsbelles Fri 15-Feb-13 10:25:13

I hasten to add that DS had to be corrected on how he described my job...on the journey to the interview! Which was slightly alarming.

My DS was well-drilled in how to describe us!

Moominsarehippos Fri 15-Feb-13 13:48:52

I shudder to think how DS would describe us!

Exactly - that's why he was prepped....
my Mum is always asleep or on MN and my Dad is at work doing typing and chatting

nlondondad Fri 15-Feb-13 15:27:57

I should say that the number of boys admitted at 10+ is not large. (They are admitted to what City calls "old grammer" which is a single class of about twenty -or so - pupils). The great majority of boys are admitted at 11+

And it is not unusual for someone unsuccessful at 10+ to succeed at 11+

nlondondad Fri 15-Feb-13 15:28:16

I should say that the number of boys admitted at 10+ is not large. (They are admitted to what City calls "old grammer" which is a single class of about twenty -or so - pupils). The great majority of boys are admitted at 11+

And it is not unusual for someone unsuccessful at 10+ to succeed at 11+

Moominsarehippos Fri 15-Feb-13 15:36:35

I suppose its like Colett Court having the 2 sets of exams for 11+ entry (an earlier one for state schools deferred entry). CLS used to have a junior school. Life would be so much easier if it was all cut and dried by age 4!

MrsSalvoMontalbano Fri 15-Feb-13 16:01:24

Slightly off topic, but several boys who were not offered places at 10+ at Colet Court re-tried for 11+ a year later and wereoffered places.
Good luck to all those going to CLB - DS was offered a place at 10+ and we declined it as he was also offered Colet Court which is much more local to us. (so not a 100% take-up of offers)
DS would have been delighted to go to CLB - he said they were allowed to play football on the roof between exams grin)

To be clear there are now two OG classes

Moominsarehippos Fri 15-Feb-13 16:05:42

We're looking at CC too. Is it hideously competative (asks she, timidly)?

MrsSalvoMontalbano Fri 15-Feb-13 17:21:06

Moomin, it is very competitive to get it, but a lovely school, genuinely supportive and friendly - and eg there are boys with dyslexia who are very well provided for.

Moominsarehippos Fri 15-Feb-13 17:32:19

Who do I need to kill?

Arewetheryet Fri 22-Feb-13 13:30:17

Hi everyone, stumbled upon this thread by accident and have read the posts with great interest. DS has managed to pass and has been offered a place at Clsb. However, now that we are faced with the reality of accepting a place we are faced with the dilemma of him traveling on the tube on his own. We love the school and he loves it too but we are now worried about his safety. So my question is how close or how far do boys at Clsb travel from. We are in south london by the way. Many thanks...

Moominsarehippos Fri 22-Feb-13 13:33:18

DS was at the old location, so it was easy for him. Check the tube travel planner. We are looking to move DS to a school with a 40 min commute and I am shitting myself at the thought of that!

Is Blackfriars open yet? It's not all that far from Cannon street.

Arewetheryet Fri 22-Feb-13 14:10:30

Thanks for responding MHippos, his commute would be about an hour having checked the route.... Just wonder whether that will be too long and as I mentioned the safety aspect...

Shaded Fri 22-Feb-13 14:33:07

Arewetheryet - my DS is starting in September too and will be using public transport - this is how the majority of students get to the school. I see quite a number of City students on my line and our commute is about 35-40 minutes depending on train.

I suspect many students will have similar commute to your DS - the train stations around the school are lively and busy and are safe in my opinion, with many responsible adults around. One of my colleagues with a DS at the school said after the first few weeks of first term his DS was insitent on doing the journey himself.

It will also get easier (for you) as they grow older.

Shaded Fri 22-Feb-13 14:35:19

Another question - do the firstcapitalconnect (thameslink) trains go by your part of South London? If yes then it is a direct train to Blackfriars; which is now open.

Moominsarehippos Fri 22-Feb-13 14:42:27

Can you find out if there's anyone nearby so that they could commute together? DH (not DS at the old location - I'm not that old!) was communing by tube from 11.

I would go with him - if possible - for a little while to see if you spot any uniforms on the tube and try to strike up a conversation with them!

Arewetheryet Fri 22-Feb-13 15:16:14

Shaded have pm ed you hope that's ok

Arewetheryet Fri 22-Feb-13 15:18:31

Thanks Moonhippo, this all so stressful..

Moominsarehippos Fri 22-Feb-13 15:24:48



That should do it!

Arewetheryet Fri 22-Feb-13 15:30:54

thanks so much Moomhippo! You out a smile on my face...

Arewetheryet Fri 22-Feb-13 15:31:21

Sorry that is supposed to read put!

Arewetheryet Fri 22-Feb-13 15:59:48

Ok! Thank you all for all your fab suggestions and help. Have now investigated the first capital line which I hadn't even thought off and that appears to be the best possible route. Now to find a buddy for him to travel with??

tripleweetabix Fri 22-Feb-13 19:38:22

Hi and congratulations to all those who received good news today!
My DS will be potentially travelling from Hammersmith/Ravenscourt park so would be great to know if any one has someone travelling in the same direction by tube...
It took us 40-45 minutes from memory ..

Arewetheryet Fri 22-Feb-13 20:16:33

Congratulations tripleweetabix DS are you 11 or 10+? I am sure someone will come along with some suggestions..

tripleweetabix Fri 22-Feb-13 21:10:44

He is joining year 7 after sitting the 11 plus .

Rifraf79 Fri 22-Feb-13 21:41:40

Tripleweetabix, did you ever think about Latymer Upper for your DS? We are thinking about the relative merits of the 2 schools, and as we are in west London LU has the advantage of proximity. Congratulations to your DS on getting a City place BTW.

tripleweetabix Sat 23-Feb-13 04:00:37

Thanks Rifraf79! Yes we definitely thought of LU but sadly it didn't work out for DS which is why City is 1 of 3 potential choices remaining. I agree proximity is a very important consideration and I have no problem with LU ( except they didn't give DS a place!!)
The other 2 are much less direct to get to though possibly geographically closer..

Moominsarehippos Sat 23-Feb-13 09:56:45

So ladies... What are the 'good' schools these days? Obv St Pauls and W'minster but after that? DH isn't all that impressed with CLB (but then, how many children enjoyed school), and some of the teaching/advice wasn't great (sounds like some of the teachers were dinosaurs or old warriors). I'm sure its changed!

OhDearConfused Mon 25-Feb-13 18:02:43


Am back again following a week away. We got feedback from City. He wasn't in the top 45 in terms of test results (at least not in all the three tests - he was in Maths!), so only borderline interview anyway, but obviously good enough for interview. He let himself badly down in interview however - and we got what seemed to be fair comments as to what went wrong (basically he was probably not mature enough for entry at this stage).

Now looking forward to 11+!

Thanks all and enjoy

Moominsarehippos Mon 25-Feb-13 18:21:31

Did they give you constructive things you could work on? Is it worth speaking to your current school to ask if there is anything they can help with?

Shaded Mon 25-Feb-13 18:31:33

ODC thanks for keeping us informed - was thinking of you over the weekend. Trust the feedback will help prepare for the 11+.

OhDearConfused Tue 26-Feb-13 10:10:30

Yes, we have things to work on. But no, I don't think our state primary will be overly concerned to help us perfect his interview skills (or his VR results!) since that is not something which will be ordinarily part of their syllabus. Nonetheless, a tutor will help and plans are afoot.....

Thanks again

Farewelltoarms Tue 26-Feb-13 10:24:01

Really interesting ODC, thanks so much for sharing. My ds is very immature, mostly in a sweet huggy way, but also in an inarticulate, not-look-people-in-the-eye way and complete inability to organise himself and his possessions. I think he'd have a similar experience to your boy so I'll think we'll postpone until 11. So useful to me to have had you do a trial run, though I do realise that this was not your primary intention!
I'll be interested next year to know how you get on and I hope it's really well (plus of course tips on how to mature up a lovely little boy - so sad in a way because I love the fact he still climbs into bed with us and holds hands in public etc).
Thanks again

Shaded Tue 26-Feb-13 10:44:55

ODC and Farewell here are some things that helped us prepare. On interview skills my DS does that thing of not looking adults in the eye etc. We worked on that by showing him what I looked like when I avoided eye contact and helped him practice holding eye contact even if it was killing him inside. I also had him practice talking to my older friends to build his confidence i.e. I made him realise it was an issue and we were working together to find a solution.

If you PM me I can send you a list of words I found on a website that we used to work on VR and it also helps to build vocabulary. As we started really late without a tutor this was one of the shortcuts I used to bolster his vocabulary but I also found that the bonds practice on VR helped in building exam skills i.e. familiarity with the different exam questions you may get. However, the fundamental is building vocabulary.

hellsbelles Tue 26-Feb-13 23:03:56

ODC - thanks for coming back to tell us how it went. It sounds like constructive feedback and something that can be easily worked on for 11+. Fingers crossed for the he's had this practice and you know what to work on surely it'll be much easier and hopefully give him a big advantage.

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