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How much preparation does your child's Prep school do for 11+/13+ entrance exams?

(12 Posts)
ChocolateWombat Thu 20-Oct-16 20:59:02

I realise that Prep schools differ in terms of what they are prepping their cohort for - some are basically junior schools that run to 11, where pretty much everyone goes onto the linked senior school, either automatically or by exam. Others I realise go to 13 with perhaps some leaving at 11, with the school advising on and prepping for a wide variety of entrance exams.

Just wondered if people could share which type their kids are in and the type of preparation provided - ie how far in advance they start prepping them, how they do it etc, their attitude towards tutoring....Thank you!

Here, in a school which goes to 13 and sees about 1/3 leave at 11+, the school seem to offer half a terms worth of extra maths and English sessions (1 of each per week) as well as perhaps 10/15 mins per week on VR and NVR for a term. The school says it doesn't encourage tutoring, but accepts it when parents choose to do it. They say that years of experience have shown them that doing that half term of preparation is the right amount - that more isn't needed and can be counter productive. They do seem to have a good rate of success of getting people into their chosen secondary schools, including large numbers of scholarships. As a genuine Prep, preparing for a wide range of senior schools, and having a mixed ability intake, the children do go onto a range of places, following advice about what would suit individuals given their ability, personalities etc.

Is this the norm.....or are people receiving something different? Many thanks in advance.

LIZS Thu 20-Oct-16 21:05:05

Dc went to a prep which went to y8. Prep for 13+/CE was significantly more thorough than for 11+ candidates although in the intervening years since dd left more schools have started to pretest 13+ candidates in year 6 so it may have changed accordingly.

ChocolateWombat Thu 20-Oct-16 21:15:21

Yes - the 11+ preparation here is for those who will move at 11 and those who are being pre-tested. As far as I can tell, more and more 13+ schools are doing this and more and more 13+ candidates are going down this route because they worry there won't be many places left if they wait to apply until Year 8.

The whole 13+ thing is an interesting one, regarding its future I think. More and more schools are taking Yr7s in when they only used to start at Yr9 - they secure the candidates and also an extra 2 years of fees. Really the pre test just seems a way to keep the Prep schools happy (well happier than they would be if there was no pre test and even more of their 7s and 8s left sooner) although I can see it gives parents security too.....but I suspect that the long term impact of this will force many prep schools to finish at 11. Seems to me that unless you are a Prep where the vast vast majority go to schools that only start at 13 (and although there are a good number of traditional board I g schools in this bracket, I don't know what % of total independent senior schools they make up) you will lose more and more at 11 as time goes on. I've become more and more convinced by the benefits if 7 and 8 in a Prep school, but for many schools, I think they are swimming against the tide unfortunately and in the end the Senior schools will call the shots.

LIZS Thu 20-Oct-16 21:26:14

Agree. About 8 years ago the prep tried to withdraw from CE preparation for all as fewer schools they fed relied upon it, even fewer now. However they went back on it at the last minute. At least 2 of those who still required it have subsequently added a y7 entry point. However the prep has kept its fees lower than the senior schools to try retain pupils longer.

OlennasWimple Thu 20-Oct-16 21:28:22

Watching with interest as we will be looking at 13+ entry but without a prep school for support...

M00MINMAMMA Thu 20-Oct-16 21:38:28

Our prep only goes to 11. Year 5 they start doing 30 mins a week of VR and NVR, First term of year 6 they have 30 mins extra each day for exam prep.

The school doesn't recommend tutoring and we won't be doing any as ds is busy enough as it is. They are a non-selective prep but get the more academic kids into very academic schools although the school encourages parents to aim for a school where their child will be happy in the long term and not just cram to get them into somewhere unsuitable. HTH!

PettsWoodParadise Thu 20-Oct-16 21:46:21

DD was at a GDST school which had its own senior school. Zero support for entry to other schools. We home familiarised for 11+ state grammars and also for one other highly selective independent and got a great selection of options but not thanks to the school!

vghifcqueen Fri 21-Oct-16 17:51:07

Ours is a through school with about half leaving at 11. Entry to the senior school is pretty much guaranteed although the year 6 do take the exam. From start of year 6 they've done a couple of comprehensions a week, grammar and and VR / NVR each week plus mental maths tests. Things seem to be cranking up now it's half term and they've come home with 2 comprehensions, 2 maths papers, 2 stories to write, 2 NVR papers and 2 VR papers. After half term they add a times test each week in every area plus papers for homework. We aren't tutoring as will be moving to state secondary but seems pretty thorough to me.

JoJoSM2 Fri 21-Oct-16 22:23:24

I can see why senior schools would admit at 11 - a lot of parents send their DC to state schools for primary and then transfer to the independent system so the schools make sure they can capture that market.

In terms of CE prep, I can't comment on what happens in prep schools but as a teacher, I'd say that it makes sense to carry on with normal teaching + do exam practise in the last few months to get used to/trained at tackling the particular exams.

Itsneverlate Sun 23-Oct-16 08:36:41

Hi Chocolatewombat, I recognize my DC prep by your description. They do exactly the same.

ClaraVine66 Tue 25-Oct-16 12:13:07

We are at a prep in West London (so v competitive) that goes to Y6 only. They started VR/NVR in year 4 and now in Y6 are doing at least 3 full sets of past papers a week, one under exam conditions. They spend most of the rest of the week going over the papers to improve all the questions they got wrong. Extra lessons for an hour a day after half term to do extra exam practice. Quite full on really!

Michaelahpurple Tue 25-Oct-16 14:01:14

Gosh. Our prep goes to 13+ and pretty much no one goes earlier but they all have to do the year 6 pretest (80% go on to the tied upper school but have to sit the tests and the rest head elsewhere )

The school doesn't do a loy of prep for the iseb, which causes lots of angst. They brought home two English mutlichoice practice papers and 5 VR/NR ones as optional practice resources. They have done two of these English papers earlier in term. They sit the iseb in about 3 weeks ana this is it. No reasoning lessons or other practice since 8+.

I can't help felling that children at other preps without an associated senior do much more, hence generalised anxiety about how this might hit those boys looking to go elsewhere.

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