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Who's taking dd to a North London Consortium exam tomorrow?

(55 Posts)
mitbap Thu 11-Jan-07 16:27:58

Are you nervous!

NorksDrift Thu 11-Jan-07 16:39:38

Good luck to your DD(and to you!).I remember the tension even after eight years!

RTKangaMummy Thu 11-Jan-07 16:58:41

good luck to her

Which ones - schools does it include

Which ones has she done already and which are left to do

mitbap Thu 11-Jan-07 17:02:36

She's sitting at Heathfield for Heathfield and St Helen's tomorrow. She did one last Saturday and has several left to do. Am sick with worry that she'll get nothing out of this. I can see no reason why any of these schools will offer to anyone other than the super bright! Terrible crisis of confidence here - I don't think I'm passing it on to dd but it's hard!

alibubbles Thu 11-Jan-07 19:15:05

My 4 year old today mindie didi the assessment for St Albans High school for girls today and the 3 year old did it yesterday, so small and young!

Mum and I were far more anxious than they were!

RTKangaMummy Thu 11-Jan-07 19:16:16

Hope she does well

RTKangaMummy Thu 11-Jan-07 19:16:48

She will prob get several choices

mitbap Sat 13-Jan-07 11:07:19

Haven't heard from St Margaret's Bushey yet (exam last Saturday). Has anyone else?

mitbap Sat 13-Jan-07 11:33:06

The postman's just been - dd's got an interview at St Margaret's!! They do not interview everyone. Do you think this means an offer or a reserve place?
BUT it clashes with another exam (next week being peak exam week around these parts). Do you think they will reschedule?

mitbap Mon 15-Jan-07 10:13:30

Yep - they've rescheduled - hooray.

mitbap Tue 23-Jan-07 16:48:59

..... and she got a place!! So pressure off a bit. Only 6 more to go!!
Oh, and never be influenced by anyone whose argument against selection includes the pressure put on the child. My dd has absolutely loved it and she's no extrovert. She sat for 6 schools in 9 nine days - some of them involving being there all day doing various activities plus 3-5 exams - plus 3 interviews. It's a challenge, it's attention, it's an adventure, it's different to the normal school day. Or maybe I'm a deluded child torturer!
One exam day left, she's on the short list for St Helen's so has that interview and we're hoping for interviews at 2 others and then we're done.
I do think she'll be glad to chuck the VR and NVR out of the window!!

frogs Tue 23-Jan-07 16:52:14

So pleased for you, mitbap, I know how anxious you were about it.

teachersmummy Wed 24-Jan-07 09:15:44

Is that right that you have to pay just to apply to a private school and pay again for the assessment even if there is just a small chance of getting as a school is popular. Do you get a refund if you don't get offered a place and how many schools would a child be entered for?

mitbap Wed 24-Jan-07 09:19:48

We applied for 7 schools. Each cost £50 to register. This is not refundable but there is nothing else to pay in order to be consoidered. Obviously the exams and interviews take up a lot of time and usually involve being off school (dd was hardly at school last week). If you accept a place they want deposits ranging from about £500 to about £2000 pounds. If you then change your mind you don't get that back.

teachersmummy Wed 24-Jan-07 09:39:51

Do all the offers come out together, so if your third or fourth choice offers a place can you hang on just in case you get your favourite school? I suppose in the overall cost the £500 isn't such a bad thing if it then guarantees the place.
It makes our termly voluntary aided school levy of £10 (although the head suggests to offer more if we can) seem very good value.

mitbap Wed 24-Jan-07 09:47:11

The school we have an offer from sends them out almost immediately after the interview. Most of the schools we have gone for are in the North London Consortium and send out offers on the same date and need acceptances by the same date. The school that has already sent it's offers also wants acceptances by the same date as the consortium. I expect that schools in any area will all cooperate in this way otherwise it would be impossible for parents and schools alike.

teachersmummy Wed 24-Jan-07 10:01:42

How does a school assess a three year old in an unfamiliar setting?

mitbap Wed 24-Jan-07 10:49:51

Sorry - can't help with that my dcs are at state primary and it's 11+ we've been going for.

suzanneme Wed 24-Jan-07 14:00:52

mitbap, do you think children from state primaries are on a level(ish) playing field with children from prep schools when applying for independent secondaries? Our dd is 4 and we are in a huge dilemma as to whether to send her to our local primary (which has outstanding Ofsted in every category and is 2 mins walk away, with neighbours' kids all going too) or the local prep (also has great Ofsted equivalent report, but a short drive away and no really local friends, plus ££!) and our main concern is whether she will get into independent selective school at secondary level. Any advice gratefully received!

mitbap Wed 24-Jan-07 14:45:41

I still find it impossible to answer that. We're still awaiting the results from most the schools we have put her in for. We have one offer so far from a good independent school (but not one of the uber-academic like NLC) and she has got to the short list for St Helen's (highly academic). Many schools say up to 50% of 11+ intake comes from the state sector. There are many schools within striking distance to choose from where I am but it did appear to us to be very competitive (my guess is about 5 to 8 girls for each place at most schools - depending on their academic results and popularity). I think that in some ways we have been at a disadvantage because we are in reach of some of the best (and THE best) schools in the country iyswim. Some of the schools say they have exams and interviews designed to test 'potential' not learned knowledge (but on what basis they decide this is a well kept secret), some are very clear they take those with the top marks downwards.
We toyed with the idea of independent at 4 but didn't. The state primaries in our area perform a little over average and the one we use is 5 minutes walk away which I felt was important re length of day and social life - building up a network of friends near by (it is inevitable around here that at an independent senior school the pupils will be geographically widely spread). Also it's cheap!!
As other posters have noticed I have been very anxious and under confident about this exercise. dd1 is by no means top of the class. She may achieve some level 5s in her KS2 sats this year but it is by no means certain. Maybe it makes me a bad mother but I really can't see dd as a 10 A* candidate at the moment and can't see why these schools would take anything less than the obviously gifted - I have been worried since the open days and through the exams about the number of girls in elaborate uniforms (preps) turning up after having checked out the sort of results those that do the KS2 sats say they get. I have become more and more aware that prep school girls do seem to have been taught differently and to a higher level really. dd had a tutor just for 3 months to introduce her to typical exam papers. It was obviously felt that her written work was immature compare to prep school standards. Obviously, the state school does not introduce VR and NVR and it is essential that your child has lots of experience of this. Even some of the maths questions are not things that dd has covered.
I was determined not to tutor for ages as some do because I think we need any place she takes to be sustainable without stress and without more financial outlay for continuing tutoring in many subjects! But we have always done extra work with her at home and introduced the VR and NVR about a year ahead.
The jury is still out but I'm more coming around to the view that it's not actually as hard to get into these places as it looks and the differential between the state and prep girls is not so huge - after all it doesn't make sense to assume that every one who can scrape the fees together has really bright children?

suzanneme Wed 24-Jan-07 15:02:40

Thanks, that was really helpful. We are veering towards the brilliant state school now and you're right that it doesn't seem possible that every child who is at a prep school is very clever (though the small classes and rigorous teaching must help bring children on further, maybe it's a small difference in the end?). Very hard to know what to do for the best though!

mitbap Wed 24-Jan-07 15:48:52

Yes, it is very hard to know what to do. But you can never really know how your decisions will pan out and how things would have gone if you'd made different decisions. I expect my next worry will be whether dd can keep up at whatever school she goes to and if we should have chosen somewhere less academic etc etc. In other words I think you have to do a bit of due diligence and then go with your gut feeling. It's our job to be anxious about our dcs - we can't help ourselves!
In fact, my decision has been complicated by the fact that I myself am really against selection in the state system (see recent articles re the counties retaining grammars have most of their children consigned to the worst performing schools) and faith schools (another sort of selection) so selection by income also leaves a bad taste - but it's not illegal, I can just about afford it, it's my money and it's my dd!!

meb2006 Thu 25-Jan-07 14:13:46

You all seem very knowledgeable on here so I thought I would ask some questions as I am also based in N.London - I have a very young daughter (she is 1) but I know that you can not start too early when it comes to tentatively planning schools etc - I only understand junior and senior schools so don't even know what the different "years" means.

Here are the questions

Is it necessary to put a child's name "down" now for say age 5 entrance - or age 11 NOW (if not intending to go to school till aged 11)- does this make a difference if the schools are private or state?

How do you find out what the "feeder" schools are to certain senior schools?

How do you assess better schools - are there particular books/websites to look at - are schools assessed on anything other then exam results? how for example are junior schools assessed?

What, in your opinion, are the better girls schools from age 5 and/or age 11 in N London/S. Hertfordshire?

Are there such things as scholarshiops anymore and do these apply to children younger then 11?

As you see I am a complete novice and just hoping to start looking in the right direction.

Many thanks

meb2006 Thu 25-Jan-07 14:30:58

mitbap what were the 7 schools for the age 11 - and are they state or private?

mitbap Thu 25-Jan-07 14:33:44

Your local council website will have a page entitled something like education and learning which will explain about the state schools in your area and what the admissions criteria are and how and when to apply e.g. www.harrow.gov.uk/ccm/navigation/education-and-learning
The DFES website has performance tables you can look at to see how well or otherwise schools do according to government statistics.
The OFSTED website will have reports on individual state schools and some independent schools. The ISC website is where you will find reports about most independent schools.
There are many sites into which you can key your post code etc and they will bring up a list of schools in the geographical area and usually give you some info and a link to the schools website e.g. www.goodschoolsguide.co.uk
There are many consultancies that specialise in helping parents find schools (at cost!!) e.g. www.gabbitas.co.uk
Happy hunting!

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