Got a place at Tormead for Year 2, should I move my girl?(32 Posts)
Hi, my daughter currently attends Pewley Down in Year 1 and seems very happy there, with many friends. I am bit concerned about her English - not her first language - she is not fluent enough and her vocablularly is poor. At the same time she is very bright, that's her teacher's view too. I planned private education for her from the beginning but she didn't get a place in Guildford High School twice so this year she sat an assessment in Tormead for Year 2 (without raising our hopes) and got a place.
Now I am at a crossroads. She would go private when it's time to change schools for Year 3 - that's for sure. But with her limitations in English I am not sure she would get a place with the main intake - so moving her in Year 2 seemed like a good way to secure a place. What bothers me is that from studying the Tormead web-site I didn't see much difference in curriculum and extra-curricular activities with what Pewley offers - unless I am missing something? And she is so happy at her current school.
prettypolly1, thank you for your post! My main concern is that she would not get a place at a private school when it's time to move her. It hs to be Guildford High or Tormead because they are close to our house and I commute to London for my job.
What I heard from other mums with bilingual children is that private schools help them develop the language faster and better. My girl is very confident and sociable but she can be shy around strangers so potential problems with classmates are a factor indeed.
What do you mean when you say that Tormead is completely different and the children are different? A few of my friends have daughters there and they seem normal.
Tormead will have more staff per pupil (double I think) and your daughter's difficulties are more likely to be addressed individually.
I was in this position with my son when he was 5 (he also has bilingual parents and language difficulties), I moved him prior to Y1 from a state school to private, and while they initially were very worried about his level of attainment (the state school said he was doing fine), it was all sorted out with the higher levels of staffing in the private school within a year or so.
If you are going to move her in the future, it's best to do it sooner, rather than later.
My daughter is Y1, a bit shy, but no SEN that I can see, but she gets support from SEN about being more confident (she gets on very well with her classmates, who aren't bitchy at all at this age from what I've seen).
But Pewley/HT has specialist EAL teacher. I would also consider Rydes Hill (although not as convenient for you) or St Theresa's (bus from Merrow).
But if you are determined to change her to private then I would move her now, as she might not get through for year 3.
Thanks for your posts. Maybe I wasn't clear - my daughter is far from having SEN although she has been getting some extra language sessions in a small group at Pewley - she started learning English at 3,5 and we don't speak it at home which is why she has to catch up.
I will have to move her for Year 3 because Pewley is an infant school and the Holy Trinity where most of her classmates will go is not quite suitable for her. So it's either next year or the year after.
I liked Rydes Hill a lot and in fact my daughter had a place there but it's not convenient for me in terms of location.
Sen doesn't mean that she's not intelligent. Shyness can be an sen.
Only a year ago I was determined to send her to a private school and when she didn't get into Guildford High I was disappointed and upset. But since then I have been quite happy with Pewley... It would have been a much easier choice if there were any problems at all with the current school.
On the other hand, I've been through this with my older son - he isn't as advanced at his age (in English and general knowledge) as I would expect him to be despite having been attending an outstanding state school.
Whilst Tormead is academically selective it is not as academically selective as GHS so it's not uncommon for Tormead girls to have tried out for GHS first.
Of note: Tormead doesn't always require girls to have a full try-out day, to assess their social development and skills in the classroom/playground. They just assess academically.
Consequently, it's a harder school to integrate into if not there from the off. Lots of small cliques there.
Can I ask - if Tormead is academically selective and she got a place that must mean that she is smart and not really very behind? Or she could have been just lucky to get a place? I realise how it sounds - but even at Pewley, while her teacher has been very pleased with DD's progress in maths she did always stress that I must read with DD more to help her with comprehension, fluency etc... And then suddenly she is advanced enough to get a place at a selective private school. How is it possible?
Who knows? Perhaps she is very intelligent and any language difficulties will pass.
Perhaps they just want to fill the space that wouldn't otherwise be filled and get your fees in.
Most probably a bit of both, Y2 vacancy, fill it, and she's a decent candidate since they don't really need her to perform publicly till she's doing her GCSEs in a decade, which is a long time to work on.
Lots of state grammar schools are full (well, 40% or something like that) with EAL children who do extremely well.
For what it's worth, my DD will be starting reception at Tormead in September. We did the 4+ for GHS as well but she didn't get in (although was nearly there by the sounds of the feedback we received). The other two people I know with DDs starting at the same time as my DD also tried for GHS as well and were unsuccessful so I think it is, at least for most, the fallback option. However, I still think it's a great school and have friends who went there (albeit a long time ago now) who very much enjoyed it.
Thanks everyone for your posts. Still not quite decided. I tried thinking carefully and honestly and I am certain of one thing - if I knew that she would get in at Year 3 I would not move her now.
I am happy with her current school, she seems happy - although I don't really have any point of reference. But I am concerned that next year lots of infant school girls will be changing schools so there will be more applicants. And both Tormeand and GHS have only one more class.
So basically moving her now is like a very expensive insurance. Is it worth it?
Another thing I am certain of is that I want her in private school for Year 3. Tormead and GHS are the only two that work in terms of location - and location must work because my job is what enables me to offer her this education.
Any more ideas please?
From what you want I would say move her. It is guaranteed, then you don't have to worry about in a years time. You have in hand, albeit a year earlier exactly what you want, why risk it,
Thanks, iwantavuvezela. Another factor is that my older son will be applying for secondary school next year so I am expecting to have to do a lot of work with him. It kind of scares me if I have to worry about exams for my girl too.
Tormead is not exactly what I wanted - my heart was set on GHS. But it is the next best thing.
I read threads here where people gave up offers from private schools, including GHS, if they got a place at a preferred state school. While it amazes me how can anyone give a place at GHS it does make me wonder if I may be missing something.
You have a lot of decisions. But if you make the one regarding your DD that will free up your head space to focus on your son. I am sure whatever choice you make it will work out! Good luck
if you had planned to move your daughter in year 3, what difference will a year make? Obviously it's a financial burden but you'll be paying the fees anyway. We moved our DD half way through yr9 bit admittedly we were unhappy with her senior school. There is a huge difference between state & private, mainly academic. DD found the jump hard to handle whereas DS waltzed into a prep school & was immediately top in maths. Guess it all depends on how bright your child is & how academic the school?
Before we moved into the private sector, my children attended a not so great (according to Ofsted) primary. Thankfully this school was on the up & ultimatly it was a good school for them. Three Korean children join the school who didn't speak a word of English on joining. Within a term their language improvement was huge & they were totally intergrated into the school. The barrior for your daughter could be her shyness which will be problematic wherever she goes. You know your DD best & whatever input you get from us all, it's you who needs to decide? Good luck bit really you don't need it as you've got the choice of an excellent infants school or an excellent private school!
I think if you are def going to move her for year 3 move her now. It doesn't make sense to gamble for 1 years fees. How will you feel if she doesn't get in for year 3? also how do you explain to the school that you turned down the place one year ago? I am not sure what your dilemma is to be honest. However, I know Holy T and pewley have got great reputations. If it were me I would send my children to both those schools and reconsider private v state at secondary. I have just moved my daughter out of a private girls school into a state primary because I think the all round education is better in our local state. Obviously thats a whole other thread and debate but for me the greater mix of children, larger number of bright children ( as more children), mix of sexes is preferential. She is certainly happeir now in her state than in her small girls school so as in other threads dont assume that state is nec the poorer option. However if you are dead set that it is for year 3 on then move her now and save yourself the stress
Whats with the 'must move her in year 3' thing?
Mine are at private secondary so I'm not having a go at you for wanting to go private. I'm just curious. Your DD is happy where she is. You seem to be happy with the school. By your own words, on paper there seem to be very little difference between the two. You don't want to move her now because of your concerns BUT you definitely want to move her in Sept
A friend's DD got offered a scholarship at 11+. She thought she save a couple of years fees and go in at 13+. She was good enough to get offered a scholarship so the school must really want her right?
Well, the DD didn't get a scholarship this time round and since they couldn't afford full fees .......
As another poster has said, if you are adamant about switching in year 3 and you aren't that confident about your DC then do you really want to run the risk for the sake of 2.5 terms of fees?
I think you should move her whilst you have the chance,the school has a very good reputation and you might not get in if you leave it until year 3.Hopefully she will make friends quickly and all will be well.
Be aware that staff from schools may read these boards so don' t make yourself too identifiable.Good luck with your decision.
I too am wondering if staying at Pewly beyond year 3 is not an option?
If she is happy and learning then why move her at all?
If moving in year 3 is certainty, then I would do it now whilst you have the place.
I believe Pewley is an infant school so you have to leave at the end of year 2 but it feeds to a very good junior school. I would question why it has to be private at year 3 but if it has to be then move now, in my opinion anyway
The thing I find oddest is that Pewley Down and Holy Trinity are now actually the same school, with the same head teacher etc. Just different sites.
Lots of girls go to Tormead at 11, a few go to St Catz or GHS or other girls schools.
(BTW, if your daughter doesn't thrive, they may suggest she moves, or for St Catz she may not pass the exam to the senior school.)
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