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Common Entrance exam

(27 Posts)
123xyz Fri 21-Mar-14 17:12:15

I am currently looking at senior schools for my year 5 child, but I don't know how to find out their likely score at CE. How do you go about finding if your child can go to a 65% entrance or a 50% entrance?

trinity0097 Fri 21-Mar-14 17:21:41

Are they currently in an independent school? If so, ask your head teacher for guidance to which schools would be suitable.

If your child will be in a state school until the end of Year 8 then senior schools will have a different system to assess rather than common entrance.

123xyz Fri 21-Mar-14 17:24:09

They are in independent and the school are asking us where we want to go, I say I don't know and they advised us to go and view as many schools as we can. Which is fine but I have no idea what level we are looking at.

JimBobplusasprog Fri 21-Mar-14 17:29:02

The school are being rubbish. They should be advising you on senior schools that would suit your child. That's their job.

handcream Fri 21-Mar-14 18:41:07

I totally agree with JimBob. The school should be working with you and using their knowledge of the senior schools suggesting a couple of schools.

A good prep school will have years of experience of doing this. It sounds as though this school is looking for you to come up with the ideas

To help with what are you looking for:

Boarding or Day
Co ed or single sex
Where do you live. Some people on MN might be able to help
Do you have any other children?
Are you looking for the top public schools, Harrow, Charterhouse etc or something else? They are circa �32k per year (I know shocking price)
Winchester demands a high mark in CE, Stowe less so.

123xyz Sat 22-Mar-14 06:29:23

I am considering a wide range of schools:

Brighton college
Bradfield college

Fees all seem similar for the boarding

Just don't know where we stand academically back to our school then and ask them for more guidance.

totallyuseless Sat 22-Mar-14 07:27:29

You need to go to a "feeder school" aim for the top school on your list and apply to the academic feeder, that way you won't go wrong.

The schools that are hard to get into are hard to get into for a reason !!

Not all prep schools are good. They might have great leaver destinations but more than often the parents are doing most of the work at home (tutoring)

Bowlersarm Sat 22-Mar-14 07:37:37

The head should be able to direct you as to which schools would be suitable by the time a child is in year 5. If he hasn't, you need to ask him the question and tell him the schools you are considering and would your child suit them?

Make a one to one appointment with the head, without your ds.

totallyuseless Sat 22-Mar-14 08:05:45

Sorry I read your child was five years old opps.

I would give your child a 11+ paper or a level one CE paper, if he does well you will know if he is on track. You could also try some of the independent schools 11+ papers.

If a prep school has not advised you how your child is doing and what schools he should be aiming for at this stage, it should be ringing alarm bells. I suggest you look for another school that feeds into the schools you want.

LIZS Sat 22-Mar-14 08:10:22

CAT scores should give you a fair indication of where he is academically and head should advise you re which ones to visit and shortlist. At dc prep these conversations started in Yr4

totallyuseless Sat 22-Mar-14 08:53:39

LIZS, CATS tests indicate raw intelligence but they wont indicate whether a child can pass a test.

LIZS Sat 22-Mar-14 08:59:23

No I realise that , but it will indicate which level of school should be potentially attainable. At Y5 it is unlikely individual subjects scores can be relied on yet to demonstrate this. Some children may only just be starting Latin for example. Also op some schools state 65%(for example) in all subjects , others 65% average, allowing for more variation.

totallyuseless Sat 22-Mar-14 10:22:53

My son got a CATS score of 140 all his test scores at school were over 90% yet when I tested him independently at home (using 11+ independant exam papers) he did really badly. I later found out the school were not teaching the full curriculum.

Passing CE and other exams boil down to how good the school is and how much external tutoring you do, not raw intelligence. Children only know what they are taught.

ZeroSomeGameThingy Sat 22-Mar-14 10:37:55

Hmmm.... Not a nice problem to have OP.

It's not that you're asking an unreasonable question - but it's one you really should never have to ask. And the fact that you're asking strongly suggests that your current school is not doing its job.

Even if this school goes up to 18 and doesn't usually have an exodus at 11 or 13 they should be able to offer clear guidance, by now, on your Dc's capabilities and the sort of senior school you should be aiming for.

Generally you should not have to look at a wide range of schools. A decent prep would offer a short list of the most suitable for your child.

Could you say what sort of school you're at? "Independent" is too vague to be helpful.

123xyz Sat 22-Mar-14 11:50:58

It's a prep school, so majority leave at year 8 although some do leave at end of year 6.

Large majority of pupils go to parents' old school so no real decision to be made having been registered since birth.

I will go and see head.

ZeroSomeGameThingy Sat 22-Mar-14 12:08:43

Yes, do.

The thing is, you can't at this stage rely on any school's stated "pass mark" for CE. Because for a million different reasons (falling or rising applications for instance) schools might change the mark several times before your DC takes the exam.

Did you mean that your school feeds to one particular place or that none of the other parents ever looks at a school they don't already know? (We have always rigorously avoided the "names down at birth" places so I do find it hard to understand how that works...)

What on earth was your reason for choosing this prep?

123xyz Sat 22-Mar-14 12:13:20

The parents don't look at schools because before the baby is conceived its future is decided!

It's close to home and great all round experience. Just don't know where to go next smile

123xyz Sat 22-Mar-14 12:14:27

Not one particular place huge range inc Sherborne, Radley, Win Col, Eton, Canford etc

LIZS Sat 22-Mar-14 12:23:54

totallyuseless, I think that says more about that school than the predictability of attainment based on CATS, although agree they are far form the be all and end all. A good head/senior deputy would look at CATS plus other results in context and use previous experience to narrow down suitable destinations.

ZeroSomeGameThingy Sat 22-Mar-14 12:48:03

Ok OP I think you are slightly labouring under a misapprehension.

I don't know anything of the other schools - but for Eton and Winchester at least boys have to take and be successful in a pre-test in yr 6 (as well as passing CE.) It wouldn't matter if you'd put down a name before you met the child's eventual father - it would make no difference! (And at least one of those two is very clear that there is no option for putting down at birth.) I've seen plenty of parents left outraged when their child doesn't get into the "family school....

So someone is being a little dishonest with you. (Or just horribly ignorant.) I suggest that before speaking to your HM you read the Admissions section of every school you're interested in. And then insist on some proper guidance.

totallyuseless Sat 22-Mar-14 12:56:58

I agree with you Lizs. Good schools will use it as a guide along with other results but the OPs school sounds a bit like my sons old school therefore I suggest she finds out where her son is academically herself instead of relying on the school.

Most of the schools the OP mentioned require pre tests in 10 months time, as Zoro mentioned....the school should know where the pupils want to go after they leave by year 4 at the latest.

LIZS Sat 22-Mar-14 12:59:14

In fairness pre-tests are a relatively recent phenomenon and you do have to register for these in advance, some will close lists around a year earlier if they have enough registered. There will definitely be some parents who register children for senior schools at birth(or before!) and even choose the future house based on the parents' experience, in hope of gaining an advantage through the OB network.

totallyuseless Sat 22-Mar-14 13:11:48

Exactly, the OP is already disadvantaged because her prep hasn't advised her. Not all parents are familiar with entrance requirements for individual schools......this should be the schools responsibility.

123xyz Sat 22-Mar-14 17:10:30

I didn't realise not all schools allow early registration. The conversations at the school gates are very much like doc will be going to x as that is where the family goes.

I am spending the weekend reading up on the schools that I like and then hopefully will get to meet the head sometime next week.

ZeroSomeGameThingy Sat 22-Mar-14 17:55:04

That's good news. People have been scaring you unnecessarily. It's the school's job - having taught your children, to know where they ought to fit.

(Nb MN wisdom is three schools: aspirational, perfect and fall back. We didn't follow that but it seems reasonable.)

What I mean is.... The liklihood of your DC reaching 60% or 70% in CE is something the school deals with by making sure you only apply to senior schools that your child has a decent shot at. (Those parents boasting about little Sebastian being "down" for Eton are basically having a laugh. He's only going if he beats a whole load of other boys to a place.) Yes, less selective schools are easier but preps should not be blindly entering children for seniors they have no chance of passing exams for.

Good luck!

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