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How can we 'prove' our son's Maths ability?(9 Posts)
I'll cut a long story short. Our youngest son Y5 has, it turns out, a great and precocious talent for maths. We are low income, so we'd like to try a couple of private schools to see if he could get a bursary there for Y7 start, based on general ability, but mainly the maths.
Are there any definitive tests/assessments that we could get him to do that would show his ability to those potential schools in some concrete terms? Obv his current school will have levels for him, but we want to see if there's anything he could do before his KS2 SATS, which will obv be too late. CAT tests at his age? Ed Psych?? I really have no idea, and don't really want to tout him around like a performing monkey, but I don't know what's available, and this is something that we obviously need to sort out before - ??when?? end of next summer hols?
And how would we go about getting him assessed/tested?
I'm not sure if this is the answer you are looking for, but have you contacted any private schools and discussed their bursary/scholarship policies with them? You may find that there's an assessment test the school sets which is all the proof you need (may be done in Jan so worth checking out now) - it would save you and your son some extra work!
Just a thought.
I think private schools generally go on entrance exams and if they have them scholarship exams.
My own DD did exceptionally well at her entrance exam and her interview was then with the Head of Maths rather than the Head of Year (just to make sure the exam results wasn't a fluke) followed
The offer from the school came with Maths Scholarship.
Have you been round the Open Days this year? Maybe mention your son's ability to the Head of Maths to sound them out.
followed by an interview with the Headmaster that second paragraph should have read.
Agree with Baggy - most indies will have entrance exams to assess students suitabilities, and probably an interview as well.
If your DS is particularly talented at maths, you would be looking for a scholarship which would be based on his exam performance. AFAIK though most are for all-round academic ability, rather than just maths. An even if awarded they are usually only worth a small percentage of overall fees.
If you are on a low income you may be able to apply for a bursary, which is means tested, and again will give you a reduction in fees. It is unusual to receive 100% reduction. You would need to discuss this with the bursar of each school you were interested in as each is different.
I would make a short list of the schools that you think would suit his particular abilities. Then call each school and make appointments to view the school to discuss his academic needs with them and ask to speak to the registrar/bursar about any scholarships and/or bursaries that he may be eligible for.
I wouldn't bother paying for any external testing. I'm not sure this would be accepted as proof of anything. All the schools will have their own tests and assessments that they will use to gauge where your DS would fit into their academic spectrum.
I think the important things are to be organised and research open days, application deadlines, scholarship application requirements etc. and also to be open and honest with the schools about your reasons for applying (particularly to their school) and why you think DS would be an asset to them and that you will need assistance to enable him to join them.
You'll need to go through the normal selection exams on the normal timetable, with a parallel bursary application. So you have plenty of time to do your research into what the candidate schools offer in terms of their maths departments, what their bursary criteria are, and whether they ever give awards large enough to make the school affordable (eg if you need 90% but the maximum they offer is 60%, you may as well cross them off your list).
Generally, as your DS is maths minded, he might like it (wherever he ends up) if you look for maths masterclasses and workshops in your area. This will both provide enrichment for him (good in itself) and give him something to talk about at interview.
Some super selectives allow children to sit the exam a year early not for awarding places, but for diagnostic purposes only.
Does the school do the uk maths challenge? Have a look at the website. National competition which will give some comparison nationally- and your dc may enjoy it!
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