Are there non-selective private senior schools?(32 Posts)
Hello! DS will be sitting 11+ exams next year and there are not that many senior boys' schools around us (Shalford). RGS will be the first choice, there is also Duke of Kent, Reeds and Royal School (the last two are quite far away already). Is there going to be tough competition for places in all these schools? DS is bright and hard-working but he is in state school now and you never know. What other options would he have otherwise? (except for the state secondary, obviously).
Not non-selective but some are less selective than others IYSWIM. You will know that of those you have mentioned RGS is the most selective of all!! If you are thinking of Reeds then consider St Johns (easier to get to by train from Guildford) which has a similar entrance requirement (but is only 13+ so may not suit). City of London Freemens takes at 11+ but obviously a bit further out, but may have buses etc. I know that Duke of Kent is well thought of by those whose boys wouldn't hack a more academic environment. Not sure what Cranleigh (prep) requirements are these days but that would be close for you. Churchers in Petersfield easy to get to by train from Guildford, but as you get further away you need to bear in mind that some of his friends may live equally far away in the opposite direction which makes soacialising difficult.
We moved away from Guildford for exactly this reason - boys very badly served!
But on timing you may need to act quickly - lists close quickly!
Thanks homebythesea! What do you mean lists close quickly? I thought they accept applications by about November 2013 to sit the exams in January 2014?
Also friends in G'Ford considered Frensham Heights for their DS who was not likely to get into an "academic" school - but it would have been a schlep
you may be right - we did 13+ so maybe the system is different for 11+ ??
I was thinking that if he doesn't get into a senior school, to place him in prep school that goes up to age 13 and then make a move. Would that work or is there something I am missing here?
What other options would he have otherwise? (except for the state secondary, obviously)."
The Royal School is just opening their Boys' Senior School this September, and so should have places. They run a shuttle bus from Haslemere train station to the Girls' Senior school site, and I imagine they may well do the same for the boys site at Hindhead - if so the train might make it more accessible. Certainly I know of pupils coming in from Woking..
aww... maybe prettybelle is just saying she knows what her local state secondary is so doesn't need a pointer there?!! I know buses go from G'ford station to St George's Weybridge.
Even if you are considering prep for a few years, you'd be applying for 13+ this year all the same.
As an aside, I live fairly nearby and current year 5 is a huge birth rate year. Is it the same in G'ford?
King Edwards in Witley is not far away, and you shouldn't have any problem getting in.
Reigate Grammar I don't know anything about, but it's an easy journey to Reigate by train from Shalford.
Thanks everyone for yor helpful posts!
JoanByers, I didn't think of King Edwards - when you say that it's not difficult getting in - surely, it is still pushy to a good extent, with great teaching, great results, etc?
I do wonder why RGS is so popular and believe that its central location should be one of the reasons after all (notwithstanding academic strength etc).
holidaysrcoming, not sure about Guildford in terms of birth rate of the current Year 5. If it's any indication, when I applied for junior school for DS he was on a couple of waitlists and was eventually offered places in all those schools. So it doesn't look like there was an unusually huge amount of children.
er, I am not sure what you mean by pushy to a good extent? Is that what you want?
King Edwards results are on their website, they are quite pastoral/naice, and I think they might send one typically to Oxbridge each year. Worth a visit anyway.
RGS is so popular because it is in the top few in the country of day boys schools in the country for A Level, GCSE, and Oxbridge entrants, and by some distance the most successful for the same in Surrey.
It is also less than half the price of Winchester, Eton and similar.
I'm not sure that the RGS location is that great, limited grounds, no buses, but it does have the trains at least.
JoanByers, yes, I like pushy. I see how much more progress DS has been making since I started giving him more homework and encouraging to try harder. If he is left to be he won't be doing his best and it would be a shame.
There are actually lots of buses that go RGS from all over Guildford and the Bus Station with routes to/from other towns is quite close by.
But it is cheaper than others, that's for sure.
Another question please, knowledgeable mums.
If DS will be sitting exams in a few schools can I be certain that exam dates will not overlap? And how many options is normal to have, i.e. how many exams cam a child sit within a short period of time? Not to mention that each school will come with £100 registration fee.
The exam dates shouldn't overlap. Schools in a particular area work together to make sure of this. If there is an overlap, they will undoubtably allow you to sit the test at another time.
There are non-selective senior schools, even if they have an assessment day.
I work in a school that has an entrance assessment, but this is basically to assess whether or not a child can cope with a mainstream environment rather than needing a special school. We may offer places win the proviso that the child has extra learning support lessons for example.
St Georges in Weybridge is an amazing school, fantastic grounds, brilliant facilities, indoor tennis courts and the education is excellent. Co-ed, No Saturday school apart from fixtures if he's in a team sport. Selective academically and the Head runs a tight ship. RGS came 5th in the country for academic results beating Eton in the league tables. Boys only day school, no Saturday school except for team fixtures. Full of very intelligent young men, with lots of little geniuses. Very sporty, right in the middle of town, but no school coaches all boys come in by train. Only downside a lot come in from Cobham, Esher,etc and even London because the train connections are so good that friendships and socialising could cause a problem with them living far away. Frensham Heights is a performing arts school, and has an unusual approach to discipline, no uniform, call teachers by their first names. No awards, trophy's or credits. So quite unusual, but does suit some. Nice relaxed environment, none of the ususal pressures but you have to be self motivated, and its a non selective school, just sit an assesment paper. Hope that helps.
King Edwards has the reputation of being a bit of a zoo- bullying not dealt with etc etc. may not be actually true but that is what the local gossip says!
Probably too far from where you are, but there's Claremont in Esher which is non selective but has a good reputation locally as a friendly school where pupils thrive. And it has lovely grounds.
City of London Freemans' at Ashtead is lovely too. Co-ed, great for non-academic subjects -really supportive of art & drama pupils. It has wonderful facilities. (We looked at it and really liked it, but it was too far away from us, geographically.)
Reeds is getting more academic. I know several boys who I'd expect to walk the exam who didn't get in this year, and weren't even placed on the reserve list.
There's St Johns in Leatherhead? Don't know much about it, but worth a look. Less academic than Reeds and RGS.
These schools all have entrance exams, but some are more to place pupils' ability rather than to turn them down.
OP you are right that for 11+ you can apply right up to the deadline before the exam - usually November before the exam. 13+ seems far more complicated.
RGS is academic. 30% of their 6th form go onto Oxbridge and most of the rest to London, Durham or other Russell Group unis. But if your son is expected to get levels 5-6 in Yr 6 sats, then he should be fine.
I would argue about Reeds being more academic than St Johns - especially as St Johns now has girls to bump up the grades
Reeds I suspect is more oversubscribed than St Johns. I think they are much of a muchness
There are loads.
I work in a non selective prep and every year we get children with significant learning difficulties into quite a wide range of senior schools. Of the top of my head the following have no or almost no academic selection:
Bruern Abbey (sp?)
I guess boarding would have to be an option for your to consider those though, I don't know if it is.
I don't know much about London day schools but they surely can't all be selective.
Reeds often takes those who fail to get into St George's. I think it is only mildly selective. Lovely pastoral care.
As I understand it they have many applicants per place (9?), but OTOH, they might make 6 offers per acceptance, so you can't really tell how oversubscribed they are from that.
St johns lists for pre testing are closed for the next 3 years. They only re introduced pre testing because it was so oversubscribed mostly due to going co-Ed
crikey - wish they'd put this up on their admissions pages. So St J's currently state that 'The closing date for applications is 1 November, when a pupil is in Year 6.' and that -
c. Registered pupils are invited to attend a pre-assessment session at the end of January, when a pupil is in Year 6'
But are you saying that in reality registration is effectively closed long before that? as only the first say 500 names on the list get to pretest. Are parents registering in year 3??
I spoke to them in November (he is in Y6) and they said my DS could apply late if we wanted to. I don't think it's possible to make blanket statements about such and such a school being 'closed'.
I know many on here are very keen on selective schools whether private or state; I'm not. DS attended a non selective senior school from year 9 to year 11. He was never held back academically & in fact was pushed to achieve his absolute best & he's now much more confident in his abilities. DS left last year with excellent GCSE grades & now attends a more local state sixth form college.
Also OP I'd suggest looking at local prep schools as it may benefit your son to be top of the school for a couple of years rather than bottom of a larger senior school. Some preps don't have n entrance exam, some do. DS took an exam for one school & gained a place whereas the other prep school was a simple interview with the HT.The advantage with a prep schoolis its hugely helpful academically as it prepares pupils for the common entrance exams for senior schools. As DS was also down for another selective senior school, the two year CE syllabus & exam practice his school offered became invaluable. With that wonderful gift of hindsight, we would make the same choice again to go for a prep at age 11.
Lastly, don't rule out the local state option. Local gossip can be extremely unhelpful & the truth may have been distorted. Visit the local school/s & see what it has on offer. in the long run it could save you a small fortune!
Thanks everyone SO MUCH for your helpful advice and insights into the senior school situation!
Mutteroo, your post was very reassuring since it seems as though DS would have to attend a school quite far away from our town, if things don't go to plan with RGS. That's not ideal since both me and hubby commute to London for work and DD will be at a different school, so two school runs. And therefore I would much rather send him for years 7 and 8 to Lanesborough or Cranmore - I liked the latter a lot and now wish I'd sent DS there in Year 4 but decided to save on school fees.
I guess I just have to make sure that I put his name down for 13+ assessment in time.
We are in catchment for supposedly really good state secondary schools but knowing DS I am concerned that he will get lost there and his learning would not be so effective as in a private school. Couldn't argue re the small fortune though! - hence up at 3 am earning money in advance.
Not sure if you are still looking around for schools but thought I would mention King Edwards in Witley again since my son has been there since 1st Form (year 7) and is now doing his GCSE's. We have been very happy there and it's not an exam factory but gets good results. Co-ed, entrance in years 7 and 9 so there is a choice, fantastic facilities, plenty of sport, no saturday school, good balance of boarders to day pupils, direct trains from Guildford to Witley so can walk easily from station to school. Excellent seperate junior school houses for years 7 and 8. Confused by homebythesea's comments on bullying since my son has not been subject to any and any issues that I know about are not tolerated and dealt with as in any other school!! Worth a visit to the Open days - next one 27th April
Any questions, happy to try and help.
If you want to consider St Johns Leatherhead 13+ then you need to register very soon as they pre-test in Year6 and close the registrations well before then, open days very limited too. Box Hill less selective, as is Ewell Castle.
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