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Caterham, whitgift, trinity et al thread, for, dare I say, 2016 entry ......

(11 Posts)
Wonkytooth Sun 25-May-14 08:54:48

Hello everyone.

Am I amazingly too early to start a thread for those looking for senior school entry in 2016.....?

How does one go about choosing a secondary for their DD/DS? Any advice on how to start would be much appreciated.

This is not to exclude the state sector.

He do you choose a school and how do you prepare your child for his/her pending independence?

Dreamgirls234 Sun 25-May-14 10:13:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Leeds2 Sun 25-May-14 10:30:36

Go and look round as many as you can now. I would go without my son, so that if there were any I knew I didn't like, for whatever reason, he needn't visit! I would also try and come to a decision as to whether you want single sex, or co ed, as that will help eliminate some from the list.

Seeline Wed 28-May-14 16:15:06

THe ones you have listed in your title thread are all academically-selective schools. Start checking the entry requirements, exams etc and see whether your DC is up to the standards required.

clevererer Wed 28-May-14 16:25:53

Im in. I'm going to look at these 3 schools in the next few weeks so interested to hear your experience.

Wonkytooth Wed 28-May-14 21:09:13

I am looking at their open days and will trot along and report back.
seeline thanks - good tip.
This is going to be a roller coaster journey!

Ladymuck Wed 28-May-14 23:52:00

As well as reading websites, checking out the prospectus and going on open days, I would also check out some of the courses that these schools put on for prospective pupils. Whitgift hold a sports course in July which I am fairly sure that year 4 boys can attend, as well as their science taster days during the October half term (for year 5 and 6 boys). Their application form used to ask you to list which of their courses you had attended (and probably will again). Trinity usually do a sports and/or cricket course in the summer as well as a junior orchestral masterclass in the autumn term. These courses will give you an idea of who is in the cohort for your son's year, as well as a feel for the school, and then when it comes to exams, interviews etc at least your son has some familiarity with the school. I think that Caterham just invite in certain prep schools for their courses, but always worth asking the registrar (and again that may give you some information about their expected intake - usually up to 50% of entrants to Whitgift and Trinity are from state primary schools, whereas Caterham has a lower number from state schools).

As well as being familiar with the selection requirements, I would also look at transport earlier rather than later. A journey which takes only 15 minutes by car at the right time of day can easily be 1-1.5 hours by public transport at peak time. It is very easy to be optimistic about a journey until you've tried it a few times!

The state school options all have specific admission requirements, so you need to look at the admission policies first to see which schools you might be eligible for. There may be fewer than you think! It is too early to tell how the policies for the Sutton grammars will continue to change over the next couple of years, though i imagine that Wilsons will aim to continue to have a number of their places based purely on score, without a distance criteria. But if you are outside LB of Sutton, then you will need to check and potentially comment on proposed admission policies each year.

merlottime Thu 29-May-14 09:41:33

Ladymuck - Hope you don't mind, but I have a few questions about Caterham. I am going to look at Caterham at an open day but an nervous about the fit for my middle ability DD, currently at a state primary. She isn't realistically grammar school material - so if (and I realise it is a big if) she got through the entrance exam how likely is she to be able to keep up? The blurb on the website suggests they kick out pupils who aren't keeping up - do you know if this has happened? I would hate to put DD in an environment if she would struggle and then potentially get rejected further down the line, but otherwise the school looks fab.

Ladymuck Thu 29-May-14 12:48:35

The range of ability in the independent schools is usually wider than in the grammar schools. I am aware the parents are warned by the end of year 4 in prep whether or not their child will be of suitable ability for the senior school, and certainly there have been a few who have been told to look elsewhere. But the 11+ selection is sufficiently rigorous that I'm not aware of anyone who has been asked to leave for academic reasons up to GCSE, and the requirements for 6th form (6Bs) are lower than for external candidates who are required to get 6As (though as you probably will need As to get onto certain subjects, I suspect that really the requirement is 3As, 3Bs). And as far as I can see they will work with behaviour issues to a point, but ultimately it is for these reasons that children may be asked to look elsewhere in the senior school, not for ability-related issues.

My personal suspicion is that the requirement to get in at 11+ is higher for external candidates than for those coming through from the prep school, but as far as I can tell once you are in they will work with you to help you get what you need. There is a "work hard, play hard" ethos IME. The number of 11+ applicants has risen by 33% in the last 3 years, but I think that they've added an extra form this year to year 7 (possibly as a one off), so whilst there is more interest in the school, I'm not sure that it necessarily means that the academic hurdle to get in has been raised.

merlottime Thu 29-May-14 13:09:23

Thanks Ladymuck - we will see if DD likes it and if so it will be fingers crossed for the test.

Heyer75 Mon 13-Jul-15 02:09:19

Hi I am new to Mumsnet , not sure if this is the right place to post ! Was wondering if there is anyone looking at 2016 entrance for South London independent and grammar schools for their sons ? Thanx

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