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Eton King's Scholarship Tutor Needed

(37 Posts)
TTGD Tue 28-Nov-17 17:07:49

I am new to mumsnet but I hope I can get great advice here. I apologise in advance for the long post wink

DS is in Yr 7 but when he sat the Eton pre-test in 2016, outcome was "very strong test results but didn't really shine at interview". I recently called the admissions office at Eton and the very helpful lady I spoke to said, going through his test results, she would greatly encourage us to let him sit the King's Scholarship exam. She went as far as saying, whilst other things are considered in offering a place, his test results are top scores and should easily have secured him a place. Anyway, we didn’t get a place.

DS is very keen on Eton and we would like to support him as much as we can. He moved from a local private school (where all pupils go on to the local grammar or local comp, so limited experience of Independent Secondary Schools – never mind top ones). To be honest, our (parents & primary school) preparation for Eton was non-existent. No interview prep, nothing at all!

He is now in a Prep school, school very happy to support, they have sent pupils to Eton in the past but no King’s Scholar in the last 10 years. We were actually going to send him to a top grammar, then changed our minds, by which time Summerfields, etc was already full.

So my ask now is – does anyone know of a very good tutor for the King’s Scholarship exam who has recent success of getting children through and that they can recommend? This will be of great help to us. Thanks…

AnotherNewt Tue 28-Nov-17 19:30:48


christmaswreaths Tue 28-Nov-17 20:56:23

First of all, have you looked at the Eton KS papers?

Our son has a place at Eton and has also achieved very high results. He also was not at a prep school and had no preparation. He did get a conditional offer from Eton, but you will be surprised that, if like my DS1 he was not at a prep, the amount of preparation you will need to do for the common entrance exam is not to be understimated.

The prep we have moved him to, does have a track record of KS but they did say that they are not so sure he can be prepared as there is so much catching up to do. DS1 has never done Latin or French and those two alone are quite a feat on top of everything else.

I know that's not what you asked, but I thought I'd share our thoughts on the matter.

SimultaneousEquation Tue 28-Nov-17 21:11:19

My ds is also at a prep, and has a conditional place at Eton (he came from a prep school but wasn’t prepared for the test either.) We are not sure yet if he will just do CE or the KS exam, but as christmaswreaths says, either way it is a lot of work.

I think you might need to look up specialist tutors for this. The maths for CE isn’t any harder (actually, I think it’s easier) than top set kids at a state school would be doing. All the other subjects (for CE, don’t know about KS) need CE syllabus knowledge which doesn’t correlate to the national curriculum.

TTGD Tue 28-Nov-17 21:15:07

Thank you very much for your responses.

AnotherNewt - We live in Kent (Greenhithe)

Christmaswreaths – Yes we have looked at the KS past papers. We think he will be in a good space for them with the right support. He didn’t do Latin in primary school so has only just started but according to his prep school, he’s made so much progress that they think he won’t need his 1-2-1 Latin tutoring (in school) before the end of Year 7. He’s in the Scholarship class with children who’ve been studying Latin since Year 5.

TTGD Tue 28-Nov-17 21:17:59

Simultaneousequation – You are spot on! The specialist tutors you mentioned is what I am after. I’d just rather have someone who comes recommended and has a recent track-record. That’s why I asked smile

christmaswreaths Tue 28-Nov-17 21:19:53

Yes my DS1 is in the scholarship classes too, but the papers overall are pretty challenging.

Good luck anyway, hope your DS1 gets what he wants. Apologies I can't help with a tutor as we are not going down that route, so haven't really looked into it.

Michaelahpurple Tue 28-Nov-17 21:40:18

Remember that (unless things have changed since last war) he won’t necessarily have to take Latin or French at scholarship, so you should focus your efforts. Only the top 3 (or is it 4) optional paper scores count so if for instance you think he will shine at the second general poet, the humanities paper and the second maths paper you could opt for him even to sit one or both of French and Latin (let alone Greek). Better to have one spare in hand but not obligatory.

Michaelahpurple Tue 28-Nov-17 21:40:59

Ahem. “Last year”, not “last war”

TTGD Wed 29-Nov-17 09:56:25

Michaelahpurple - thank you very much.

Christmaswreaths – thank you.

If anyone knows of a proven King’s Scholar tutor, please kindly pm me.

snoozy2straws Wed 29-Nov-17 14:18:27

I don't know of any prep schools in Kent but Aldro School, Godalming, Surrey has a good track record of Eton success. HAve you looked at this and if they are full then they may be able to recommend a tutor? Alternatively, would Eton give you any contacts that they might recommend?
There are lots of 'past papers' to a variety of schools on the net that can be downloaded eg for 13+ academic scholarship these will give you a good measure of where your DS is at and may help.
Good luck.

peteneras Wed 29-Nov-17 15:20:37

To the OP, TTGD, first please let me say how pleased I am to hear your wonderful son absolutely loving and wanting to go to Eton and blessed also with fantastic supporting parents. Please remember successful application to Eton in the normal course of entry is not based on examination results alone though a good set of exam results certainly does help matters. Eton is on record to say it is not unusual for the top 3% of the best performing boys on examination results to not get a place! Judging from the feedback you got from the School, your son's academic ability is not a problem and so, for him the only possible route now left to enter Eton is via the KS exams.

I want to impress upon you here and now to please forget about the idea of hiring a "specialist KS tutor". This is simply because there's no such person on this earth. I've heard of claims by individuals and organisations alike (especially in London) that they can help boys win a (Eton) KS and of course charge you an exorbitant fee. Believe me, this is utter nonsense and I shall proceed herewith to prove to you.

Not delving into too much detail, but I follow and study closely the KS exams every year for at least the past 15 years. My conclusion is that in the past 15 years, successful KS candidates had always come from a good boarding prep school and a few day preps but with a proven track record of KS successes, e.g. Westminster, Sussex House, The Hall, etc. But it's the boarding preps that seem to dominate and walk away with multiple successes each year. The overseas competitors have been gaining ground in the last 10 years and they are going from strength to strength each year. Judging from the 14 successful KS and the school(s) they came from each year that make The Roll, I don't see any "specialist London KS tutors" featuring anywhere! So please stop looking and think of another way.

I know it's a bit late to apply to preps with a proven KS track record but if you PM me I'd suggest to you another way. Please also remember Latin is not a compulsory KS exam paper. Candidates have only to sit the compulsory 4 papers, namely, English, Mathematics A, General I and Science plus 3 out of the remaining 6 papers i.e. Mathematics B, General II, French/Spanish, Latin, Greek, and the tripartite History, Geography, Divinity. Most successful candidates take all of them!

TTGD Wed 29-Nov-17 15:44:48

Snoozy2straws – your suggestion makes sense so I will check with Eton. Thank you!

Peteneras – You have summed up what I believe to be our experience perfectly and it echoes what I heard from Eton too. I am keen to hear from you so Ii have sent you a pm. Thanks.

Pythonesque Wed 29-Nov-17 22:46:40

I haven't any advice to share with you but want to wish you and your son the best. I too have a son who is academically strong but at pre-test stage struggled in interviews. He's now in year 8 and will be sitting Winchester Election (plus other academic scholarships unless he secures a place via a music scholarship first). One of the other boys in his scholarship class is sitting KS and I think they are preparing them similarly. Since others in the class will be doing their exams earlier I am very glad there are two of them doing later ones!

Wincollparent Wed 29-Nov-17 23:05:53

There are enough successful boys over the years from non feeder schools to make the point that the naturally brilliant get through without specialised KS teaching. Obviously if you get brilliance with experienced teaching and acceleration then that makes it even easier. A bright very driven or biddable boy combined with very committed parents or the right school can also make it but a bit more luck is involved. Whatever you do make sure that it is in the long term interests of your DS. Don't let him get fixated on one school, offer him an alternative boarding school scholarship option that makes him realise that his interests and ambitions can be fulfilled elsewhere. Remind him that any extra preparation for the KS will give him a headstart whatever the outcome.
Have you tried boarding preps like Horris Hill or Windlesham that have experience of getting the occasional boy through?

TTGD Thu 30-Nov-17 14:20:12

Pythonesque – Thank you for your kind wishes. I wish your son the very best in his Winchester Elections too. May I ask – does he already have a conditional offer to Winchester and he’s sitting the Elections as a stretch or that’s the only shot he gets at Winchester too? I’ll understand if you’d rather not answer.

Wincollparent – thank you very much for your words of wisdom. No, we haven’t tried those schools you mentioned. TBH, we were just going to send him to St Olave’s Grammar in Orpington, then registered for Eton on the very last day he was eligible to register and have not done much research around prep schools, etc. As he wanted to go to Eton, we ended up sending him to a Prep school here in Kent where we live.

trinity0097 Tue 05-Dec-17 20:44:03

Will he be going in college? If not the only thing he can get is the Anna Shaw Classics award now, to scholarships if not applying for a college place.

Dapplegrey Fri 08-Dec-17 18:47:54

TTGD - I don't completely understand your first post. You say that he did very well in the test but less well in the interview, but despite the test results you weren't offered a place.
Is it possible to take the scholarship if you haven't already got a conditional place?

Anyway, all the best to your ds. My ds left Eton a few years ago after the most amazing five years. I am truly grateful to that school for all it did for him.

Gruach Fri 08-Dec-17 18:56:45

Dapplegrey the last time I looked (couple of years ago) they had changed the rules so that boys who didn't already have a conditional offer had to take a pre-test early in the relevant KS year - which they had to pass in order to be allowed to take the KS. (Could easily have changed again though!)

Dapplegrey Fri 08-Dec-17 18:59:10

Gruach - oh thank you, I hadn't realised the rules had changed.
Op - all the very best to your ds in the exam.

rose1947 Tue 15-May-18 16:45:01

Hi All, my son has set his heart on Eton college. He is in year 5 in a local prep school in Midlands. The school has no experience in sending children to Eton, they feed Rugby, Oundal and Okam. The school does not prepare for pretest, but they prepare for CE. My son will be taking pre test in November, any advice/suggestions will be gratefully received. Is Pre test similar to grammar school 11 plus exams, I note that many of your children has done both exams. Is there a component of creative writing in Eton exam. Please post the interview experience, it is too early for us, first we need to cross the first hurdle, but it will definitely help someone preparing for the 2nd part.

Gruach Wed 16-May-18 17:41:04

Would love to help, rose, but it’s a few years since the pre-test was my specialist subject! It may be that lots of things have changed.

When we had a ten year old involved there was no need whatsoever for any special preparation. Computerised test. No creative writing! Interview on the same day. You’ll know that the school has a fairly robust environment - as far as I remember the boys offered conditional places were those who could hold their own in a fairly conversational type interview. But they know boys will be nervous!

But you’ll need more up to date information than I can offer.

rose1947 Wed 16-May-18 21:34:24

Thank you very much Gruach, I appreciate your interest and enthusiasm to help. I hope mothers who have gone through the ordeal recently would help. People like you and Peteneras has embellished mumsnet; always ready to help.

TonTonMacoute Thu 17-May-18 14:07:21

rose 1947

It might be worth you starting a new thread about this, as the OP is about tutoring for the Kings Scholarship exam, which is a very different animal. There will probably be a lot more people who can help you but who know nothing about the KS, and so might not click on this link.

I assume that you are asking about the first test before the actual assessment, and I cannot help you with that as it had not been introduced when we were going through this process - thank goodness!

I just wanted to say that you should not get too hung up on the academic side of the admissions process, although obviously it is important. It is just as important to have a boy with other skills and interests, whatever they may be.

My DS was put onto the waiting list, and what clinched his place (only six months before he started!) was the fact that he played an unusual instrument. He was very good, but nowhere near Scholarship standard, but it was enough to make him stand out fromm other boys on the list.

I wish you and your DS the best of luck. My DS had a great time, and left last summer.

rose1947 Thu 17-May-18 16:23:15

Thank you Ton Ton Macoute. You are right, There is no point worrying, He gets 80 to 90%, maths usually over 90%. He has distinctions in grade 3 piano, guitar, LAMDA grade 2 distinctions in prose & versus, drama and public speaking, usual school sports. He is Still pursuing these interest. What worries me is, people saying that Eton exam questions are very tricky and challenging. I will let you all know the outcome. Thanks

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