Starting prep in year 5(15 Posts)
Would this be wise to prepare for common entrance? Or if dc started in prep until year 8 would this make entrance to secondary independent schools easier? Would dc have to still sit common entrance?
"Would DC still have to sit common entrance"
You would have to speak to the school(s) you were hoping to send him/her too. If the senior school didn't want CE what would be the point of moving your DC for one year? You might has well leave them leave them where they were.
The main advantage of being at a prep school is that they prepare children for the entrance exams into senior schools including the now increasingly common pre test/interview. I'm not saying that it can't be done from a state primary in the vast majority of cases but this will require more input on your part. The other advantage is that at a good prep school the head will advise you on what senior schools you should be considering, there are hundreds out there and it is easy to become confused. We were advised to send our DS2 to his current senior school and I'm not sure we would have considered it if we'd been at a primary school as we'd set our hearts on somewhere else.
Our prep was boarding, before sending my DS's I was anti boarding but having experienced it and seen how happy children can be I obviously changed my mind. Many parents anti boarding and this does restrict choices of senior school. If your looking at a prep with boarders even if you're currently not considering it yourself then you might discover it's not inhumain and that many children thrive and at the same time have very good relationships with loving families and therefore you might consider it in the future.
Goodness, what a wide ranging question. Have you researched any prep schools? Do you have any in mind?
Would this be wise to prepare for common entrance?
Prep schools exist to prepare for CE so it's not so much a question of being the wise choice as the natural choice if you want your child to go on to a school that uses CE for entrance.
if dc started in prep until year 8 would this make entrance to secondary independent schools easier?
A decent prep should have thorough knowledge of the entrance requirements of the schools to which it regularly send pupils. They should be on top of the CE curriculum and also have a clear idea of the individual ethos of the various senior schools - so they can guide you towards those that might best suit your child. In normal circumstances no prep can guarantee entrance to a particular senior school.
Would dc have to still sit common entrance?
Depends on the type of school.
I have heard of people who send their child to a 13+ prep school and are then surprised that said child is not prepared for the 11+.
Prep schools can be stupendous - but you need to have done your research and understand exactly what they provide and why you are sending your child to any particular one.
What I've written seems incredibly superficial.
Could you ask a more specific question?
Fraid you've got to ask the specific schools. If they pre test at 11 your child probably needs to be all in " the system " for this, and I'd think transferring from state at 11 to just do 2 yrs prep for 13+ Would be a huge leap for a kid who hasn't actually done any formal exams by then....
Ah - I seem to have interpreted started in prep until year 8 differently.
OP If you meant not starting till year 8 then no, it wouldn't be a good idea. And I doubt that any good prep would welcome a new child in year 8.
Sorry I haven't been very clear.
I guess I'm thinking that if my child started in a prep school (that went through the year 8) in year 5, would he have a better chance at a good secondary rather than staying in state and attempting the entrance papers to start in year 7??
Or to put another spin on it! Move to a prep staying till year 8, then seeing what the opinions were?
Depends on the prep school , some will offer 11+ entry as their main focus, others 13+. A lot of secondaries offering 13+ entry now pretest in year 6 and/or have entrance tests in autumn year 8 rather than rely on CE itself but preps still use CE to keep classes motivated until summer term. It can be pretty dull though , lots of practice papers rather than new topics in year8. Dc prep had a number of joiners year 5 & 6, also year 7 , primarily for 13+/CE.
OP You need to find out about all the possible types of school and then decide which route you want your DC to take. It's too complicated to describe them all. (I know nothing about London school f'rinstance and also wouldn't have much to say about independent schools that start at 11+. But I can bore for England on my area of expertise ...)
It doesn't sound as if the model you describe is one I can say anything useful about. Change your mind and think about a trad prep leading to a trad senior school. I know masses about that.
I think you need to work backwards. Come up with a range of secondary schools that you think would suit your DC, then that will give you an idea of whether you need:
a. a prep that specialises in 11+
b. a prep that specialises in 13+ January
c. a prep that specialises in CE
d. a prep that specialises in Year 6 pre tests and then CE
Some will do all 4, but by no means all.
I think that's part of my problem. Our local Preps are fabulous, nurturing, calm, great facilities right on our door steps. Jump to secondary, all a distance away, academic pushy, long days, quite a few stories of children not coping.
We are in the south of England.
1) Don't jump to conclusions about the senior schools. Go and visit them - you might be surprised!
2) What do you know about the local state schools? None worth investigating?
3) You could take a punt on your favourite prep and then take their advice (including possibly un-local boarding.) Although you do need to be alert to registration and pre-test deadlines from year 5 on.
Have you actually visited any ? Tbh when your dc are younger it is had to envisage how they would cope but plenty do. Don't just go on rumour. I suspect you may be in our area but even so there is a diversity of senior schools , academic and less so. Even the less so will trumpet their successes. The important things is to choose an appropriate one.
I'm a bit confused you talk about fabulous preps and pushy senior schools. Maybe I'm being a bit daft but I don't quite see how this relates to your original question.
What sort of senior school do you have in mind? One that does "entrance papers in yr 7" most although not all senior schools starting in yr 9 either pre test in 6 and the place is conditional on a certain marks being achieved in their entrance exam in yr 8 this could be CE or their own exam or some don't pre test and offer a pace in yr 9 again conditional on achieving a certain mark in CE or their own entrance exam. Very few pre test or or have entrance papers in yr 7 for yr 9 entry.
My advise is decide which senior schools you fancy have a good loo around narrow it down to two or three enquire about their entrance procedure and requirement e.g. Yr 9 entry after a yr 6 pre test and 70% min in all papers at CE in yr 8 or no pre test and their own entrance exam in yr 8 or would they allow a child from the state sector not to sit CE or perhaps some parts of it e.g. not the Latin paper or maybe the schools own exams and then look at your local preps schools and see if they regularly send children to your chosen schools especially if it's one of the very over subscribed ones e.g. Eton, SPS and go and have a good look at talk to the the staff etc. if you aiming for a super selective or even a very over subscribed less selective school as your child goes through the prep school it's likely to be much more pushy and the day will probably get longer.
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