DH and I took our DD who turned 2 in August to an open day at a private school which we are considering sending her to. She would start there in September 2014 in nursery. We really liked the school however I was a little surprised when they said she would have to attend an hour long session (without me in attendance) where she would be assessed for entry. This won't be until early next year when she will be circa 2.5yrs. Does anyone have any experience of this? I don't feel like I have an option but to go down the private school route as the local state primary which we are in catchment for has a poor ofsted report with lower than average literacy and numeracy on leaving which I am not willing to accept.
Mostly it's to make sure they can support any child coming in, remember private schools don't have access to free services that state schools and it relies on parents being able to pay for services required and also sadly not all parents are very honest about their children when applying
lol - parents being dishonest about their children - I don't believe it! I'm only worried because my DD is an August baby so will be very young for her year group and at such a young age there is a massive gap developmentally between a just tuned 3 year old and an almost 4 year old!
The school should be used to the age issue but if I were you I would ask to speak to the admissions person and raise this concern with them, ask how they deal with it and do they have a policy to take a spread of children from across the age range. That will give you an indication of whether to worry or not. How many people apply versus the number of places? This will give you an idea of how much this 'test' is really an issue or not.
Every selective entry school is different, so they would have different priorities in the assessment. Some would look to take only the top 10% of children academically, for example. Others would prioritise independence, problem solving ability, social skill, communication ability.
The way in which they measure this could be vastly different- again depending on the school's ethos and priorities. I know one that sets up specially selected play equipment, then just observes how the children use it- occasionally asking questions as it comes up naturally. They look for vocabulary, independence, confidence for under 3s.
Another school I know of has a more formal assessment- but that is for slightly older children (4) So not sure how relevant that info would be!
It would help to find out a bit more about the school's ethos, do they place a high priority on pastoral care or is it focused more on results & achievement? That could give some clue on the type of student they want to select.