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Predicting Oxbridge in Year 7?!?

(64 Posts)
settledandsmug Fri 21-Jun-13 11:27:28

I attended a parent forum meeting at my DCs school recently and a question was raised with regards to Oxbridge entrance and student preparation.

The staff response was that some likely candidates can be identified from year 7 and they keep a close watch throughout their school education. I was intrigued by this and have a couple of questions for your consideration:-

1. Do you think this is possible and/or sensible?
2. If you do, what do you think they identify in year 7?

I asked these qs at the forum and was only offered vague answers. Just curious really, but could imagine an onslaught of Y7 parents all desperate to ensure their children fit the 'Oxbridge box'.

Goodwordguide Tue 25-Jun-13 18:15:05

DH and I both went to Oxbridge - I'm more worried that my DCs will feel pressure to apply because of this rather than from school. I just don't see how schools can identify anything more than potential, the entrance interview means the application process is so subjective.

I was bright in a very geeky way at school (obsessive reader etc) but not extraordinarily so - and my (north-eastern state comp) school told me not to bother applying as I'd never get in and people far brighter than me had failed.

StressedandFrazzled Thu 27-Jun-13 10:05:41

First open day (in October) at DS's school, (Yr 7) history teacher mentioned that DS had done cats? test and was predicted to get A's at GCSE. The school didn't tell him, and we haven't told him. Don't want him to feel that lurking pressure; certainly wouldn't want him to feel at this stage that he was expected to do Oxbridge. (He has just got straight A's in end of term exams though)

lljkk Thu 27-Jun-13 19:29:08

How do you know that, Stressed, did he tell you?
I haven't a clue what exams DS has had this yr, or what marks he got in them.

TheBuskersDog Thu 27-Jun-13 23:39:29

Stressed, been predicted to get As/A*s is quite different to having Oxbridge potential. Whilst most Oxbridge students will have all As, most students with all As won't go to Oxford.

wandymum Fri 28-Jun-13 10:44:35

My primary school teacher told my parents they thought I could 'get to Oxbridge' if I wanted when I was about 7. I did eventually go to Oxford.

It's actually very interesting as if she'd not said it, I'm not sure it would have happened. No-one in our family had ever been to university before so it wouldn't have been something my parents would have considered. Once she'd said it, we all sort of determined that's what I'd do and so I worked harder at school than I might otherwise have.

StressedandFrazzled Fri 28-Jun-13 11:08:57

lljkk yes the history teacher told us at parents evening

The Buskers Dog, Yes of course I do know that getting A's at GCSE certainly doesn't mean a child will do Oxbridge; I was actually making the point that it still feels quite early to be giving any kind of academic prediction as to how a child will do in a few years time, whether it be A's in GCSE or Oxbridge. Too much pressure too young

gintastic Fri 28-Jun-13 15:08:42

When I was at school, they pushed me to go to Cambridge. I applied and got a place, and my school were appalled and horrified when I turned it down in favour of a place at Bristol. I hated the interview, hated the town, hated the atmosphere - and Bristol was actually better for the subject I chose anyway. I got the 3 "A"'s that the Cambridge offer required, so I could have gone. My Mum asked me about 15 years later if I had regretted my choice, and I can honestly say of all the things I've done, that has to be the one I regret least.

My eldest DD is showing signs of being very bright, but I don't want her hot housed, she needs to discover the joy of learning for herself - if she does want to go the Oxbridge route, I will support her all the way, but the school do not get to bully her into applying if its not what she wants.

Notcontent Fri 28-Jun-13 21:16:23

I didn't go to school or uni in the UK, so very different system. But for various reasons at age 11 I wasn't a particularly amazing student. Very different story a couple of years later, when I was top in everything.
So I don't think you should make any assumptions about children's ability or potential.

Yellowtip Sat 29-Jun-13 01:10:01

gintastic do you think schools would really bully a pupil into applying if that wasn't the way they wanted to go? Not good schools who knew their pupils, surely?

gintastic Sat 29-Jun-13 06:14:23

Happened to me. State schools with very bright pupils want the kudos of bring able to boast about Oxbridge entry. One teacher tried to persuade me to call UCAS and change my choices (I posted the letter accepting the Bristol offer prior to telling him that I'd turned the Cambridge offer down), spent an hour talking AT me about the opportunity I was giving up and then ignored me for pretty much the whole of Upper VI when I stuck to my guns. Interesting as he actually taught me for Maths...

This was nearly 20 years ago, I hope things have changed.

pourmeanotherglass Wed 03-Jul-13 11:02:58

Not sure I'd want my dds going for Oxbridge.

I went to Oxford (physics), struggled academically and came out with a third. I may have been better going someone with longer terms and less pressure.

If they did want to go for it, I'd make sure they were aware of what they were applying for, and they were 100% committed, not just to getting in, but also to being in a very pressured and competitive environment when they get there.

alreadytaken Wed 03-Jul-13 19:36:24

schools are not capable of predicting who will get into Oxbridge in year 12, the idea that they might be able to do so in year 7 should be a joke. Of course there will be a few students in year 7 where you can say they show promise and some where it seems very unlikely but students change a lot between 11 and 18. Too much emphasis is placed on Oxbridge by schools who want to boast about having pupils go there.

Fairdene Thu 04-Jul-13 12:16:37

The teachers of one of my DDs said she should definitely think about Oxbridge when she was 6yrs old, so Y2. She said it to me, not to DD.

Fairdene Thu 04-Jul-13 12:17:46


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