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Private primary then grammar?

(61 Posts)
Jasminetealeaf Tue 09-Feb-16 08:58:03

I know there were lots of similar posts here already but hope you wouldn't mind giving me some advice regarding my own situation.

My DD is going to be 3 years old. We have a good local infant state school but the junior school is not that great. Since we luckily live in the catchment area of a great super selective grammar school, our plan is to get her to private primary then hopefully she can get to the grammar after 11+. I'm not sure if we can afford to carry on private all the way through to 18.

We called all the private primary schools locally and can you believe all of them except one were fully booked! It's too late to look for a private school at 2 and half years old!

So, the one still have space is a house school with impressive grammar entry result. But considering it has no land and most activities have to be outside of school, it's really over priced! Plus I'm wondering why it is still not fully booked.......

We can try another private school near work, with all land and great facilities but I'm worried they might not be interested to prepare children for grammar exam because the school is up to 4 to 18+

It's nearly the decision time because the house school need to start at 3.
So confused!

Lucidlady Tue 09-Feb-16 09:03:07

We did exactly this. Didn't have a lot of options so went with the school that had no land and do you know what, it's a fantastic school. All my reservations have disappeared. They don't have their own land but they make great use of local parks, excursions etc. My DD loves it there and I'm so glad we gave it a chance. As to why do they have a space? Could be they are more picky about candidates, and only take the best as opposed to anyone whose parents can write a cheque?

Where are you OP, I wonder if we are in the same neck of the woods? SE London?

Matildatoldsuchdreadfullies Tue 09-Feb-16 09:08:35

I think making plans involving a super-selective grammar when your dc is 2 is.... well, counting chickens somewhat.

At the very least, you need a back-up plan. I'd plan to use state schools till 11, with tuition for the 11+. This will be a lot cheaper, and will leave some money in the pot for post 11 education if chickens don't hatch in the way you hope.

foragogogo Tue 09-Feb-16 09:15:11

many preps aren't interested in grammar school preparation - because the September exams in year 6 dont work with their preparation for the January independent school exams and they have no control/influence as it's purely exam score for gramamar, no interview.

If you really want the grammar school I think you'd be better off in a state primary with a lot of tutoring. Also have a plan B as you won't really know if the grammar school is right/achievable for your child until year 3/4 at the earliest imo. You may also decide that you don't like the grammar school as a super selective grammar school is a very specific type of school and isn't for everyone. You really can't tell all this until you have some experience of the whole primary school "thing" imo.

Only1scoop Tue 09-Feb-16 09:19:05

Dd is at private pre prep but goes through to 18.

They don't do 11 plus but we sent her there knowing she can stay right through if she thrives and it's not selective.

Seems a little early to be thinking about grammar but saying that if all schools are subscribed seems you are not alone in your thinking.

Theressomethingaboutdairy Tue 09-Feb-16 09:26:29

We are currently doing this, sort of. We moved all 3 of our children out of state and into an independent primary school and are planning, fingers crossed, on a state grammar. We actually moved from Surrey to Kent to get a shot at a state grammar. Dd1 went into year 5, ds into year 4 and dd2 into reception. Dd3 will also go to this school. It is a small school with limited facilities and grounds but the 11 plus pass rate is excellent and the dc are very happy there.

fleurdelacourt Tue 09-Feb-16 09:28:51

if the prep school you've found has good results then that's the key thing for you isn't it? The prep school near us with no grounds are out on he common for PE and playtime every day - doesn't seem to hold them back.

Your other option is to stick with the infant school to start with and then transfer to the prep in year 3? Lots of the independent schools near us have spaces further up the school.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Tue 09-Feb-16 09:30:22

I'm in Kent and a huge amount of parents do prep school then grammar.

If I were you I'd start her in the state infants, then move as soon as a place comes up in your preferred private school.

Jasminetealeaf Tue 09-Feb-16 10:55:12

Thanks all for you kind replies.
I'm near Chelmsford so the grammar school I wish is C county high. I know it's highly competitive to get in but hopefully DD will stand better chance since we are in the area.
I appreciate DD is only 3 it's too early to tell her future development. I just want to supply her the best education within my ability so she can achieve her potential.
Thanks for the good feedback of house schools. We have appoint to see the school soon.
Ideally I prefer to get in at 4 years old, without kindergarden year but I'm worried there won't be any space left if we don't put name down at 3. .... not sure if I should leave it till next year ......

Greengrass1982 Tue 09-Feb-16 11:01:32

We are Kent parents currently have two in private prep . Will keep our options open for when secondaries come up however would like to aim for the grammars... Do they have a leavers destination list ? Quite a few children at my kids school get scholarships to private secondaries too

Matildatoldsuchdreadfullies Tue 09-Feb-16 11:10:36

Greengrass, I would imagine that most private schools have leavers destination lists. Certainly independent schools local to me do.

I do think you have to be a bit careful about reaching conclusions about schools in Kent though. I live in East Kent, and so the 25% or so of children who are 'deemed suitable for a grammar education' have the option of any grammar school they happen to be close enough to get into. In contrast other parts of Kent are super-selective - so an 11+ pass might not prove to be a golden ticket.

Jasminetealeaf Tue 09-Feb-16 12:06:30

Greengrass, yes,there is leaver destination list. Lots of the house school kids went to C county high. Some of them got scholarship but to be honest I don't want to put hope too high. If DD can get it would be great of course!

PettsWoodParadise Tue 09-Feb-16 12:24:50

We did this route but more because DD wasn't being stretched in an all ability environment and the selective private prep taught roughly one year ahead. However as the private school has its own senior school attached they offer no support for grammar entrance so we did it ourselves and she sailed through. I don't think the private prep gave her any advantage over the state pupils but it did mean she was in the right frame of mind and keen to pass. We did see other schools which had leavers destinations on them but often they were 'edited' as when you looked at the total numbers in the yesr the leavers destinations were significantly short on the full picture.

fleurdelacourt Tue 09-Feb-16 13:00:48

if private primary aim is to avoid school fees at secondary, then a scholarship to an independent at 11 won't help - academic scholarships are very rarely worth more than 20% of the fees

Jasminetealeaf Tue 09-Feb-16 14:49:44

poster PettsWoodParadise, was your DD upset that she left private school and her friends for a grammar school? Somebody told me I have to consider the emotional side when we make decision of leaving private to state so better choose primary only private school, not the one with secondary attached. Personally I think they should be stronger than that mentally.

PettsWoodParadise Tue 09-Feb-16 18:05:45

DD is due to leave this coming year. She can't wait. She finds she doesn't have much in common with a good number of those she is leaving behind and she does have a couple of her friends who are going to the same grammar (we know based on score even though we haven't seen it in black and white via offer day on Mar 1). She is so keen to leave we are home educating for last term of Y6.

Lucsy Tue 09-Feb-16 18:11:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PettsWoodParadise Tue 09-Feb-16 22:20:59

Yay Lucsy! It seems to be getting more popular.

Also Jasminetealeaf, another thing to add about leaving the private school for grammar. The assumption of it being a wrench or a mental anguish is likely to be true for some but it also assumes that state is worse or giving a DC less. Not all independents are great. For us it is about the school with the right fit and we've always told DD that so she is mentally prepared (and excited) about moving on.

minifingerz Wed 10-Feb-16 14:05:29

Roll on the day that grammar schools start to 'control' for the unfair advantage afforded by attendance at a private prep school in their admissions processes. hmm

PettsWoodParadise Wed 10-Feb-16 17:13:53

In Birmingham most grammars reserve a number of places for Pupil Premium students who, considering independents don't generally do bursaries at primary level, will most likely not have been in the independent sector. So Minifingerz inroads are being made in that regard.

PerspicaciaTick Wed 10-Feb-16 17:25:45

According to the HT of CCHS, the 150 year 7's this year came from 86 different primary schools. I don't know how many went to private primaries, but there must be an awful lot getting places from state primaries too.

MrsJamin Wed 10-Feb-16 17:36:01

How do you know at age 2 that she's of sufficient ability to thrive at grammar school? Utterly utterly hate grammar schools as you're basically planning to pay in order to get into one. You do know they are meant to be for the most able pupils? We're in Reading with superselective grammars and local kids don't get a sniff of a chance without their parents paying for private or tutoring. It makes me sick. Here's a biscuit. biscuit

Duckdeamon Wed 10-Feb-16 17:41:19

Superselective? Long shot, whatever you choose for primary.

I doubt a private school that goes to 18 will do any 11+ prep at all, so you'd probably end up making time for additional work at home or paying for a tutor.

semideponent Wed 10-Feb-16 17:48:07

I agree with Matilda and foragogogo. Individual tutoring is more effective than general school preparation. Private preps (near me) go to 13+ and definitely don't prep effectively for 11+ exams. State primaries vary, but I would want to get a tutor for specific exam prep.

My personal experience - with individual tutors you have the power to insist on trial sessions and buy lessons one by one or in blocks. Parental intuition counts for much more. With a school, change is an awful lot more difficult and comes with a host of other anxieties.

If I could go back and do it again, I'd go for state primary and tutoring.

minifingerz Wed 10-Feb-16 18:09:21

Oh I don't know. My dc is in a class of 31, with one teacher, one TA, and about three children (including him) with SN, but no allocated 1 to 1 support.

My nephew on the other hand, who just got into a super selective, was taught in a private school, in a class of 16 high achieving boys. The school ran 11+ booster sessions and 11+ summer camp. He also had additional tutoring outside of school, as did many of his classmates who were also doing the 11+. It's full-on.

Children in private schools simply get more teaching because there is less disruption and about half the number of children in most classes. Disruptive, low achieving children and children with SN who need a lot of teacher input are not usually present, hence the pace of work tends to be faster. They simply cover more of the curriculum. This matters when the 11+ involves essay writing and KS3 maths.

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