Anyone want to join me for a London indie/11+ thread?

(17 Posts)
Burntcustard Tue 04-Oct-16 13:01:23

Hi, DD is in year 6 at a state primary and is preparing to sit the London indie schools in January. We're N London, so aiming for SHHS/Channing/FH, though also thinking of Highgate, City, Queens, and maybe North Bridge House. Clearly that's too many, but narrowing it down is difficult when we've no idea where she'll get into. She's a bright girl - top groups, but not top of the top groups, and can be inconsistent - lots of careless mistakes on easy questions. She's highly motivated, but her school are doing nothing to prepare them, so doing it after school is tough. Any one else doing the same thing? Any recent feedback on the schools?

NotAMusician Tue 04-Oct-16 13:39:24

Hi, DS will finish his grammar 11+ test tomorrow. Will try city and Westminster next January . Aim to scholarship. Otherwise, just go to grammar.

petitdonkey Tue 04-Oct-16 13:41:13

Just in case it is of any interest, my children go to Ashford School in Kent - they are currently promoting London children coming down on an accompanied train on a monday morning then back on friday evening. You may not be remotely interested but I think it is a great idea for working parents.

Burntcustard Tue 04-Oct-16 13:45:36

Thanks. Boarding school is not for us. DD did sit for HBS (along with what seemed like every other girl in London) but didn't get through the first round.

Maarias Tue 04-Oct-16 18:28:42

Snap - just finished the grammars today (on the assumption we don't go to the second round for that one!), but still considering indies for my DS - mainly Trinity but possibly KCS and Hampton as well. Having done the grammars, I'm expecting a walk in the park! Famous last words! At least they'll bother meeting him!

EllyMayClampett Tue 04-Oct-16 18:54:58

I think that FH and SHHS are both in group 1 of the North London Girl's Consortium. So she can apply to both schools by only taking one exam. Unfortunately, Channing is in Group 2, so that is another exam. When you are thinking of how many schools to apply to, I assume you are concerned about all the exams she has to take.

GrumpusLumpus Tue 04-Oct-16 19:46:20

Perhaps throw mill hill into the mix as a back up? You could probably benefit from the advice of a tutor who could let you know which schools she might have the best chance of gaining entry to.

Davros Tue 04-Oct-16 20:31:33

The two north London consortia cover a lot of schools which makes that a bit easier. NBH and King Alfred would be separate.

Burntcustard Tue 04-Oct-16 21:55:55

Yes, I'm aware SHHS, FH and Queens are all the same group, so that's three schools one exam. My impression is that FH, Channing and Queens are similar in terms of difficulty and getting more competitive. If we also apply to City or Highgate as a stretch, and then NBH or Mill Hill as fall backs, then even with the consortium that adds up to a lot of exams + open days + possible interviews, so pretty full on and almost certainly too much. Her tutor's advice is that DD is academic but inconsistent, so to apply to several schools.

2kidsandcounting Wed 05-Oct-16 22:44:57

In my opinion, it is more difficult to get into Channing, then FH, then Queens. My daughter also sitting those schools.

QGMum Thu 06-Oct-16 08:55:39

I went through this last year with dd2. My advice, that I wish someone had told me, is that it is very important to apply to schools in a wide enough range so that your dc have at least one offer come offers day. This doesn't apply to the very bright who will get offers everywhere but does apply to the bright but inconsistent, like my dd. She missed out on our first choice (where dd1 is) and ended up on the wait list for our second and third choices, which were supposed to be the back up choices. I had been sure she would get into these. She did, as both wait list places turned into offers by early March but it was a very stressful few weeks all round and with hindsight I wish I had added more schools at the less selective end to try to ensure an offer for her , e.g. More House or Portland Place. She was heartbroken not to have a single letter offering her a place when the results came out.

QGMum Thu 06-Oct-16 08:56:10

I went through this last year with dd2. My advice, that I wish someone had told me, is that it is very important to apply to schools in a wide enough range so that your dc have at least one offer come offers day. This doesn't apply to the very bright who will get offers everywhere but does apply to the bright but inconsistent, like my dd. She missed out on our first choice (where dd1 is) and ended up on the wait list for our second and third choices, which were supposed to be the back up choices. I had been sure she would get into these. She did, as both wait list places turned into offers by early March but it was a very stressful few weeks all round and with hindsight I wish I had added more schools at the less selective end to try to ensure an offer for her , e.g. More House or Portland Place. She was heartbroken not to have a single letter offering her a place when the results came out.

originalmavis Thu 06-Oct-16 09:02:59

Which schools does your current school suggest?

AnotherNewt Thu 06-Oct-16 09:07:59

Apply to the right range of schools, without over-facing your DC with sheer number of exams, is where a good prep school (head or SMT with responsibility for transfer) comes in to their own.

In London, they should know the day schools within reasonable journey of the area where their pupils' families live extremely well, plus good knowledge of a range of schools beyond that. It's not just about how tough the exam is (though that is important) but also what style of exam it is, how much weight is attached to interview, etc. Plus knowing which pupils from their schools have gone where in recent years and who thrives where (this will inform what goes into the reference).

If not at a prep, then you can't get this kind of advice, though a good tutor who has been in your area for a while and has seen where their former tutees end up shoukd be able to cover quite a bit of it. OK, no input into reference, but they should know about style of exam and that can make a big difference.

Notcontent Wed 12-Oct-16 22:29:34

Burntcustard - sounds like you are in exactly the same situation as me. We are also in North London and dd is at a state primary - she is also bright and in the top groups but a bit inconsistent. At the moment I feel that we have little chance of getting any place for her because we are competing with so many other people. A boarding school or even a very long commute are really not an option for us, so I am not sure what we will do!

originalmavis Thu 13-Oct-16 09:39:21

We've been through this and it's all about doing the practise papers and exam practise - plus wide reading and interest in world events, non academic activities, confidence. They Iike curious, confident children.

Look for papers online and with marking schemes - try Manchester grammar school, bond papers, Dulwich college, CLS boys... work through them together. Practise writing essay plans and time plans for exams. Finish eith time to spare to go over answers, don't leave blank spaces, show your working out, neat writing etc... if you know other kids are doing same exams why not set up a Saturday study group (will need a cooler name) to do a test paper then have pizza? Kids are good at getting each other on and explaining answers - explaining to someone else also helps cement it in their minds too.

Choose the schools you like rather than the 'good' ones - if it doesn't feel right then it may prove to be a horrible school career for your child.

Ask parents and kids. Speak to the heads and teachers. Scour the internet for any gossip or news reports.

EllyMayClampett Thu 13-Oct-16 10:42:40

Burntcustard and Notcontent, its simple. You get sample papers for the schools you are interested in. You use them to do a gap analysis between what your state school will have covered by the middle of year 6 when the exams are held, and what the exam requires, and you then fill the gap. Do not be swayed by people who claim that preparation is not needed/ not desirable. They are not on your side. A competitive, timed test is not the time for your child to be working fractions, percentages, ratios, etc. from first principles. Clever prep school pupils sitting next to them will be well prepared.

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