Perse Upper exams(16 Posts)
I think Erebus is broadly right. I think the headmaster has even described the school as comprehensive in approach. In recent years some of the children who have got in have raised a few eyebrows at local prep schools (very shall we say ordinary kids) and this causes problems because the school don't stream properly so the brighter kids they still get become disruptive and bored. More of a concern for the bright ones is that the Perse seem to be following national exam standards in a close pursuit race to the bottom. Sure, most kids are crammed until they get A/A* (not that hard these days) but the bright kids should be taught a much broader curriculum once, not taught the narrow national one four times over until. Sad evolution really.
I think you need to be aware, lilymaid that it appears you are talking about a boy who has now left the school and is where he wants top be in a 'very competitive field', so presumably well past school age. Good for him. Since then the school has become a) co-ed and b) not requiring of an entrance exam for the DC they 'selected' at 7, being prepared to keep DC on who 'would have failed' the entrance exam. My friend, who has DC well and truly there right now feels the school is 'selling itself' on attributes it no longer really can aspire to.
Feel free to disagree with him.
Sorry diabolo , iPhone autocorrect again
"And there is no comparison with his DBs mediocre experience in an "outstanding" village college for teaching and anything else!". Axe.
Glad you got sorted diabolical, I can guess the schools and they are both great so it sounds like you can't lose
outotlunch - lots usually go to Ipswich School but only a couple are going for that this year, no idea why. I loved it when we looked around, but again, the travel would be a 90 minute commute twice a day, so it's not for us.
We have chosen a very local day / boarding school for DS, it's an all-rounder sort of school, we all love it, where he will be a day boy. It is not so academically pushy, but still does outstandingly well. The school runs a bus through my village, so it's ideal for DS to develop more independence too.
I have also applied for a place at our Outstanding local Catholic senior school, but don't hold out much hope as we are not Catholic - we'll see what happens come 1st March. A lot of his year group are going back into the maintained sector this year.
"I have, unlike yourself it seems, no axe to grind."
No axe to grind at all - I was very happy with DS's education!
Diabolo , did you make a decision re your ds , I remember your thread . Which school is less popular this year, I have a year 5 ds, so just being a bit nosy
lilymaid- I'm only telling you what a fellow parent of yours (DC at the school) told me. I have, unlike yourself it seems, no axe to grind.
I have given the OP my tuppence worth based on what my friend has told me.
I know several DS's who are going for it from DS's prep (normally perhaps just 1 or 2 per year, as it is some distance from my location). I'm not sure why so many although one of the other day schools that is normally popular and much nearer seems to have been totally disregarded this year for some reason.
I know it is an excellent school, but really not easy to get to from my area so it's not for us.
If the "old laurels" include my DS ... hmmm! He did well in exams despite no noticable effort on his part but he reckons he got a pretty good education from both the Perse and his primary schools (and it has got him where he wanted in a very competitive field). Back when he started virtually all the Prep pupils moved on to the Upper School and people talked about "resting on their laurels" etc. Plus ca change ...
(And there is no comparison with his DBs mediocre experience in an "outstanding" village college for teaching and anything else!)
My dc is taking the prep exam next week. Did the pre test in September and we had a totally positive call from Mr Jones saying that they looked forward to welcoming him at the school this year...am a bit though as I am wondering how many are taking it - was told around 60 for the 30-odd places and whether the pre test really counts. Anyone got any idea??
The fact the school has opened its doors to girls should tell you a bit! i.e. they weren't quite as oversubscribed as one may have been lead to believe.
Also, bear in mind, the DC in the Prep no longer have to sit the exam (though are allegedly 'weeded' out a bit prior to the day by which they either have had to commit to the upper or to another more suitable school). Also, someone I know very well (which is where this unbiased info comes from!) was actually a bit pissed off that his DC had worked hard towards his upper entrance exam (was in the prep, the last year that sat it) yet every DC in the class passed. He felt it was an exercise in snobbery, tbh, that it should have sorted some sheep from goats! His second DC- well, he was called to the upper to be toldhe needed to be aware that this DC wouldn't necessarily have passed the entrance exam as one of his subjects was quite poor -but whose entrance to the upper was automatic as he'd been at the prep. He recognised this as a 'don't blame us if the DC doesn't pass reams of GCSEs or iGCSEs or whatever!)
So, I know 2 DCs personally in the upper. They are pleasant, normal DC. They are not particularly bright and, dare I say, not appreciably doing better or learning more than my DCs in a good state comp. This is not to 'dis' that school. I am sure you get what you pay for- they have good facilities and class sizes of about 22. And no disruption, of course as one reason for the 'entrance exam' is to weed out 'trouble'!) My DC will have to wait to Y11 to get classes of 18.
But my friend feels the school is sitting on old laurels and shouldn't really sit quite so firmly on them these days as the entrance base has broadened, which is not to say there aren't some very clever DC there- of course there are- but it might not be the academic hot-house it once was.
Good luck, anyway!
Try posting on the local Cambridge forum where there have been discussions about the Perse in the past.
In the past the entrance exam wasn't too stressful (provided child was bright). Nothing like entrance to London schools. Highlight of DS's day when he took the tests was lunch - pizza and doughnuts - which sold the school to him. But with girls as well, perhaps things have changed?
Anyone's child doing these on Saturday? Is it true it is harder for boys to get in now they take girls? Anyone know what the day is like? Are there really 150 kids going for 60 places?
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