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Westminster Under / Colet Court Question

(18 Posts)
cleargo Tue 14-Jan-14 13:43:40

DS goes to a prep school (up to 13) and has a satisfactory (not exceptional) record in placing children at the top london day and boarding schools e.g. Westminster, St. Pauls, Eton. We are however considering whether DS should take the 7+ entrance exam next year for Westminster Under and Colet Court (if he doesn't get a place, we carry on with his current school). We think he is ready for those tests (and even though the school does not prepare him) and can work with him over the course of the year. We have however been 'strongly' advised by some people that given DS goes to a Prep school - WUS and Colet Court will not 'consider' him for the entrance. This is because his school goes to 13 and they would much prefer a candidate from a 7+ school. I have not been given the reasons for this - but simply that as the 'upper schools' (i.e. Wesminster and St. Pauls) have a good relationship with his Prep school - they would not want to affect this by taking one of their students at 7+.

My own personal view is that these schools will take a candidate they like, irrespective of the school or the context. Just wondering if any mumsnetters with experience of this can verify this - do any of you have children who may have applied and been successful from a prep school to the prep department of WUS and Colet Court?

Michaelahpurple Tue 14-Jan-14 14:01:26

I know boys at WUS who have joined at 11 from schools that go to 13 and of course virtually all the 7+ boys come from schools which thereby lose them a year early and would generally prefer them to stay to 8. Thinking of other examples - yes, several boy from Knightsbridge which goes to 13

I don't think it is a problem. How are you supposed to know that your boy is a WUS/Colet candidate when you are putting your name down for school when they are 0-2. It just wouldn't be reasonable.

Oddly, 7+ applications have massively increased over the last 5 years with as many or more trying then as at 8+, so it isn't the easier back door some used to consider it. However , many of those applying totally lack the maturity, even if they have ability, so still a good call for early developers.

onebananatwobanana Tue 14-Jan-14 14:40:25

Agree with Michaela - At 7/8+ it's a bit of a lottery and maturity plays a large part in it. I have heard that preps and secondaries have an unwritten rule that most DS join at 13 if the prep goes to 13, but there is sometimes the odd boy who moves anyway. I think most of the places at 11 are for state school children or preps that finish at 11.

Why not give the 7+ a go, and if it doesn't work out, stay at your prep. When your DS matures, if he has the ability, it sounds like the teaching is of sufficient quality (if they already have a track record of sending boys to those schools) to get him into the top schools via the pre test route in yr6 followed by CE/scholarship in yr8. Remember not everyone wants those schools for their DS - some will choose a school where the DS will be top of the pile rather than middle to bottom of a more selective school even if the child got into the more selective.

areyoutheregoditsmemargaret Tue 14-Jan-14 15:09:25

Of course they'll take him if he's good enough. Nonsense to suggest otherwise.

QuintessentialShadows Tue 14-Jan-14 17:33:47

Check that you can apply/sit the exam more than once, as some schools will not let your child sit again later.

cleargo Tue 14-Jan-14 18:34:20

Thank you! That is what my feeling is too. Why would they turn down a good candidate?

Did anyone read though the evening standard article yesterday about consultancy services that get you a place at the school (not just tutoring!!).

onebanana I guess only concern is this unwritten rule you speak of that DS must stay till 13 if the school goes up to 13.

I just looked at feeders for colet court and some children have come from prep schools that go up to 13.

areyoutheregoditsmemargaret Wed 15-Jan-14 10:18:52

I honestly think all those advisory services/tutors etc are in the main a massive con to leach cash from ultra-rich but gullible foreign bankers and oligarchs.

Michaelahpurple Wed 15-Jan-14 14:38:40

Cleargo - I had a look at the article. Would possibly carry more weight if they knew which exam happened at WUS last weekend - it was 8+, not 7! But the underlying point about the increased competition from the international market is definitely true

Nicename Sat 15-Nov-14 13:36:32

A bit of a zombie I know but... The issue ATM seems to be that you can't apply for the 11+ for WUS and the 13+ Westminster (newish) pre-test, which obviously happens at the same time for the boys. A bit of a logistical FUBAR when you have to apply so far in advance and this isn't explained to parents. You have to pick one or the other.

Michaelahpurple Sat 22-Nov-14 14:47:27

I would be very surprised if that was true. Why can't you? You certainly could do both 2 year ago.

Naughtyornicename Sat 13-Dec-14 10:12:54

Back again. Yes that's the case, from the horses mouth. Its not written anywhere but the heads confirmed with our head. There's also a preference for boys to stay put if their school goes to 13+ and try for the upper school.

Gunznroses Sat 13-Dec-14 18:21:07

I find that weird as I read about the fact from their school website at least a yr ago, so don't understand how parents are just finding out.

Surely the reasoning must be that the exams are very 'similar' and taken within such a short space of time within eathother that it would be somewhat unfair.

Naughtyornicename Sun 14-Dec-14 11:58:49

I didn't see it on their site and you do need to register well in advance. It was news to our head and deputy head!

Michaelahpurple Mon 15-Dec-14 10:06:09

Just not true. My sons are at one if these schools and there are several 11+ entrants from 13+ schools, and some sat both 11+ and 13+

sunsetsandsunrises Mon 15-Dec-14 10:52:44

My DS is at a prep that goes to 13. From what I understand both the prep and senior schools prefer entrants to come at 13, having sat the pre test if the prep goes to 13. However, a tiny number sometimes elect to sit the 11+ instead, but it really is a tiny number, and if they are good enough candidates they will get in then. I understand the senior schools prefer to give 11+ places to those from state schools and preps which finish at 11. I don't think you can sit both the 11+ and the 13+ pre test.

naughtyornicename Mon 15-Dec-14 15:30:17

Michael - I know you are well informed about schools but really I was told this by our Head and the teacher who advises on destination schools this year. It sounded like it was news to them, and they are both very experienced!

CLS boys us also an either or situation.

Eastpoint Tue 16-Dec-14 07:10:05

There are usually only a few spaces at 11+, only 20 at Colet & some of those will go to boys who did 10+ from state schools. My son is now at senior school but 3/5 new boys in his form were from state schools. I don't know how many of the boys in other forms were from prep schools.

Michaelahpurple Wed 17-Dec-14 19:25:00

I guess it must have changed from two years ago. Perhaps only for 13+ schools as simply wouldn't be fair for 11+ School boys who would otherwise have no chance to try for the great school, for which the competition is not as acute as Wus at 11

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