se3 - I agree with hatsy and do not think Halstow or any other state school really prepares you for 11+ - but am okay to do some extra tutoring at 10 or 11 (which seems more reasonable than doing it at 7!). I really don't know why Halstow is considered so good though. I would love to get feedback from parents who send their kids to Halstow.
I think Heath House and Blackheath prep definitely prepare well for 11+ - that is their main focus. They also have an intake at 7+, so that is another option to consider. But having said that, I am happy for my DS to go to Pointer as it seems well-balanced with a wide variety of after-school activities. Will think about Halstow vs Pointer once he reaches reception age!
Hi Devina, my DS starts reception a year after yours, and we're currently debating Halstow (try to move close enough to get in) vs. Blackheath Prep or Heath House. 11+ is one of the factors. Do you think Halstow prepares children to face 11+? Any info you can share from your research hugely appreciated!
Thanks hatsy - I went to see Halstow and really liked it. My only concern was diversity (or rather the lack of it!) - being in London, you would've ideally liked DS to get exposed to different cultures and background. Pointer was a little better in terms of diversity (surprisingly!).
I think you are right that no school really prepares them for the exams - but I still feel 7 is too young an age to set them up with tutors
if you are in Halstow catchment then you have to take that place IMO - have lots of friends with dc there and it is a fabulous school with an inspirational head and great results. Am not so sold on Pointers - but that is a different story.
Moving at 7 can work well as a couple of the boys schools do start their junior depts from year 3. So practically it could be a lot less disruptive than the 11+. I think if I had a son going in for 7+ exams, I would want him to have some exam practice and I would probably have some tuition leading up to it if my heart was set on it. Halstwo is a great school but is in no way geared up to external exams at 7 (nor is any other primary school- state or independent IMO).
My DS is starting primary and we are in (fingers crossed) catchment of Halstow. We also have a place in Pointer School. I am leaning towards taking up Halstow and then sending DS private at 7 or so - but is that practical? Have any mums on MN actually done that? I was told kids struggle when moved to private at 7 (with preparations for assessment etc) but does a good school like Halstow help them get there easily?
Any experiences with Halstow (and how the journey has been!) would be greatly appreciated!