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Got a place at Tormead for Year 2, should I move my girl?

(32 Posts)
PrettyBelle Fri 18-Jan-13 17:26:17

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.

SocietyClowns Wed 30-Jan-13 20:15:44

Laura, I agree with you, just wanted to say that in my own limited experience the private school may be more able to help. And as OP is going to move her anyway I wouldn't wait.

Laura0806 Wed 30-Jan-13 15:55:11

societyclowns, I didn't say that private school wont help, I said it wasn't a foregone conclusion that it would 'eliminate this problem once and for all' and I dont think you can say that either. I can site plenty of examples where private schools have brought children on leaps and bounds but also plenty where it hasn't. I have just moved my child out of private and into state because it wasn't offering anymore for her than the local school and when a child is happy I think caution should be applied. I just dont believe its a clearcut decision and where money is an issue it may be worth speaking to all the schools first about your daughters particular issue. As I said on my other posts if the OP is definite about private then I say move now not later definitely but if money is an issue I would hold fire, in my experience bright children do well anyway, particualrly in primary years

mummytime Wed 30-Jan-13 15:26:33

OP you have given a lot of information on here, just be aware of that.

I also strongly suggest that you have a back-up plan for your son. The local boys private school is very competetive, and all the schools in Guildford have a lot of bright children. Have you discussed school choice with the head teacher of Holy Trinity? He is very highly thought of by the heads of a wide range of secondaries, private and state.

SocietyClowns Wed 30-Jan-13 14:43:06

I disagree Laura, private schools can do a lot to help due to smaller class sizes alone. I've seen several children come on in leaps and bounds due to dedicated teachers and small groups. One child spoke no English at nursery level and was fluent by the end of the first term. My own daughter spoke little due to glue ear/being bilingual and is now absolutely flying and very confident. Depending on the school they may also have a lot of experience with children who's first language is not English.

OP, I would not hesitate to move her!

Laura0806 Wed 30-Jan-13 13:45:10

Honestly I am not sure that private school will 'eliminate this problem once and for all'. They will get the same exposure to the English language at any school and unless they are offered extra language lessons at private school ( which you will prob have to pay extra for) I am not sure why it will make this huge difference.The language will I suspect fall into place from reading at home with you and speaking about the meaning of the text. From your messgaes, it is clear that your Enlgish is very good. I would be careful about making the assumption that private is better unless the 24k is easy for you to find. Im not saying it wont help your children develop their language skills quicker but its certainly not a foregone conclusion

PrettyBelle Wed 30-Jan-13 11:11:32

So many responses! Thank you very much for your views!

I come from overseas so I really have very limited idea of local school. My son is going to Holy Trinity and while he has been very happy there, as a parent, I am not very sure about his education. He has limited general knowledge, he struggles with comprehension, his English is still not advanced as of some of his classmates and the only area where he is really good at is Maths - but I put it down largely to my husband being a Maths professor and doing lots of homework with him.

With my daughter, I have been hearing how bright and special she is ever since she was a toddler. At Pewley her teacher tells me that she is doing very well but her English is still limited. She is very happy there too - but I would hate it if 4 years down the road I ended up with the same situation with her as with my son.

We cannot provide them the same language environment as other families because we don't speak English at home. I am concerned that vecause of that they wouldn't be able to follow the school programme properly due to sheer lack of understanding and as a result will fall behind overall. It kills me when they read books for their age and don't understand all words or meaning.

My intention of sending them to private schools is based on the belief that private schools will eliminate this problem once and for all.

Next year my son will sit exams for the private boys school so we have been tutoring him. If he gets a place I will have to pay around 24K in fees for both of them. It scares me but I really feel lost.

Chestnutx3 Wed 30-Jan-13 10:32:27

Move your DD to Tormead they will help her along with her Engligh. GHS is really for the top 5% and its even more competitive since winning Independent School of the year. There is nobody who is behind on issues like speach and vocab in the GHS junior school. I have lots of friends very happy with Tormead. It appears much more nuturing and supportive than GHS (I have a DD there).

Send her to Tormead, you can always try for GHS at 11+ some girls do move between the schools.

I think Year 2 is a very good entry point, much easier to get into in year 2 than year 3 and allows your daughter to form friends before the intake in year 3.

mummytime Tue 29-Jan-13 22:54:00

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.)

Laura0806 Tue 29-Jan-13 22:12:05

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

ShipwreckedAndComatose Tue 29-Jan-13 21:48:28

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.

Iwasagnome Tue 29-Jan-13 16:58:41

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.

TotallyBS Tue 29-Jan-13 10:14:59

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 ....... sad

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?

TotallyBS Tue 29-Jan-13 10:05:28

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 confused

Laura0806 Tue 29-Jan-13 08:50:28

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

Mutteroo Mon 28-Jan-13 23:39:15

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!

iwantavuvezela Mon 28-Jan-13 20:26:24

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

PrettyBelle Mon 28-Jan-13 18:47:46

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. smile 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 smile it does make me wonder if I may be missing something.

iwantavuvezela Mon 28-Jan-13 18:38:35

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,

PrettyBelle Mon 28-Jan-13 18:31:15

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?

Jigsawmadness Sat 19-Jan-13 13:31:11

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.

JoanByers Sat 19-Jan-13 00:03:54

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.

PrettyBelle Fri 18-Jan-13 22:46:40

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?

Zavi Fri 18-Jan-13 22:38:18

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.

PrettyBelle Fri 18-Jan-13 22:33:25

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.

JoanByers Fri 18-Jan-13 22:27:41

Sen doesn't mean that she's not intelligent. Shyness can be an sen.

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