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(115 Posts)
controlfreakyagain Sun 03-Feb-08 22:39:39

ds1 has 1/v this week for this highly competitive / selective school... am THRILLED he has got an interview but now desperate for any tips from thiose who have been through this recently. interview is rumoured to be v tough! aaaagh.

controlfreakyagain Sun 03-Feb-08 22:48:44


Lilymaid Sun 03-Feb-08 22:56:44

NO tips but sat on bus with boy and his mother last year who had obviously just come out of the interview. Boy was amazingly precocious (talked non stop about the interview quite loudly) so hope he is not typical!

controlfreakyagain Sun 03-Feb-08 22:58:45

he sounds delightful! hmm. let's hope that's not what they're looking for!

Janni Sun 03-Feb-08 23:03:43

My son's best friend attends this school. He is very gifted in maths and science but NEVER reads for pleasure and, in my opinion, would not have come across particularly well at interview as he has a tendency to mumble and look like he wants to find the nearest exit!!
When his intensely neurotic mother heard that he'd thought Robinson Crusoe was a footballer, she was CONVINCED that all the hard-earned money she'd spent on extra tuition had been flushed down the drain....BUT he got in and is extremely happy there.

Your child needs to look at the interviewer, smile, shake hands confidently, have a couple of things he is confident to talk about as they are bound to ask about hobbies etc but PLEASE don't try to prepare him too much. The headmistress of my DS2s school told me about a pupil of theirs they were SURE would get into Westminster and he didn't, because when it came to interview he was like a rabbit in the headlights, despite being a very confident articulate boy.

Try to contain your own anxieties and trust your son smile. He's done very well already to have been offered an interview.

controlfreakyagain Sun 03-Feb-08 23:10:40

thanks v much for that janni....
containing my anxieties would need a container the size of a small country... but i know you are right! i am DESPERATE for him to get a place there.... because i think he would thrive there and the alternative options arent anything like as good...

Janni Sun 03-Feb-08 23:18:49

grin - what I went through with my friend as she pulled out all the stops to get her son in!!!!

Good luck, I know the whole crappy business can make you very very stressed but...

My own son decided this year what secondary school he was going to try for and, cool as a cucumber, sat the test, did the interview and got in...whilst I chewed my nails to the knuckle !!!

controlfreakyagain Sun 03-Feb-08 23:22:50

well done him (and you!) grin

Janni Sun 03-Feb-08 23:47:54

Thanks - let us know how it goes!! grin

controlfreakyagain Mon 04-Feb-08 11:18:31

shameless bump.

miobombino Mon 04-Feb-08 13:52:31

Ds1 went there for a 13+ interview 2 years ago. He is a laid back individual, so I suppose you have to factor that in when he told me at the time the interview was more like "A bit of a chat, just talked about hobbies and what books I liked to read." I recall they asked one or two more substantive questions (maybe a gentle mental maths q or two ?) but ds1's emphasis was very much on the friendly chatty nature of the appointment.

He got in but we sent him elsewhere in the end; City is a fab school but it was our 2nd not first choice.

Very best of luck. City has, I think, a great mix of vibrancy and lack of pretension, coupled with excellent academic standards.

I'm assuming 11+ format would be similar ?

controlfreakyagain Mon 04-Feb-08 14:31:23

ta v much indeed for that.... that doesn't sound too bad!

frogs Mon 04-Feb-08 14:34:44

DD1 did City Girls a couple of years ago. They had a couple of laminated pictures that they gave the candidate to talk about -- one was something Victorian, the other was a pie plate, designed to elicit answers about fractions.

They were also asked to describe what they did at the weekend -- mercifully dd1 had the wit to realise that the correct answer was "Go to sailing club, practise my flute and read books" rather than, say, 'Play on my playstation and watch telly'.

So you might want to just flag that up. grin

Many congrats to cf junior on getting this far, and hope to hear how he gets on.

controlfreakyagain Mon 04-Feb-08 14:42:10

thanks for kind words. is it normal / healthy to be BESIDE myself about this?.... actually i think i know the answer to that one! if anyone had told me a year ago what this whole bloomin secondary school transfer at 11 in n london would be like.... i'd have laughed and told them to get a grip..... hmm

RTKangaMummy Mon 04-Feb-08 14:53:54

Kangaboy is the same age as Frogs DD so we went thru it together

It is very very very stressful

He got into his 1st choice school and di that with an interview although it wasn't City

He was asked about hobbies, interests, etc.

One tip is to NOT talk about it beforehand and then to put soemthing in the car on the way to the interview that reminds them of their hobbies interests.

Like he is into history and I put a printout about battle of hastings on the front seat of the car and so he read it on way to school {I pretended I had wanted to read about it and that was why it was there}

But it had the desired effect he tlaked about Battle of Hastings - the guy who interviewed him was also a history taeacher so was very ple\sed to talk about it

Good luck to him

Also they ask what other schools they have applied for and which is 1st choice and why?

marina Mon 04-Feb-08 15:00:01

From what I see of them about the place (work near both Schools) I'd agree with MioBombino's assessment that the Boys' School is not a pretentious place. It has a reputation for academic excellence but a relaxed dress and hair code as far as I can see
So it is likely to be a rigorous but not poncetastic interview controlfreaky, I'd say
Good luck to your ds

PrincessPeahead Mon 04-Feb-08 15:18:44


<<<crosses fingers>>>

controlfreakyagain Mon 04-Feb-08 21:34:31

you are all lovely and i love you.
will let you know how it goes (as much as i will be able to tell!),
am afrai9d we have already had the chat abouyt how saying "maths" in answer to "what is your worst subject?" may not be the best way forward...... if he gets in i think i will have to be the one who attends and sits the gcse's in due course (and i KNOW that's v wrong!) xxx

frogs Mon 04-Feb-08 22:18:11

controlfreaky, you have read John Farrel's book 'May Contain Nuts', haven't you?

If not, I commend it to you.


MrsPhilipGlenister Mon 04-Feb-08 22:29:04

Good luck to him, controlfreaky.

In defiance of all my principles, I am considering it for DS1 and have even gone so far as to get the brochure shock.

controlfreakyagain Mon 04-Feb-08 22:40:01

well it does have many things going for it.... once you have come to terms with private education IN PRINCIPLE. imo appears to be the most truly meretricious and democratic high achieving boys school.....liberal with a small l and fab teachers. really mixed (religiously / ethniocally / demographically....
it's not easy this secondary schools lark.

marina Mon 04-Feb-08 23:15:41

MrsPG shock wink

controlfreakyagain Mon 04-Feb-08 23:18:01

i haven't frogs.... but i will grin

controlfreakyagain Mon 04-Feb-08 23:19:59

have a look at the sample on line maths paper.... that'll frighten the bejesus out of you (well it did me!) my maths is now quite passable compared to ayear ago.... and my non verbal reasoning aint bad....

marina Mon 04-Feb-08 23:20:12

Will it make you all feel any better if its close links <cough> with a local authority are pointed out wink
Let us know how he gets on controlfreaky

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