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Entry into Kings College or Colet Court, St Pauls

(49 Posts)
rukmal Thu 09-Oct-08 07:52:51

Can anyone help me. My son is 4 and in a pre-prep. We want him to enter Kings College, Wimbledon or Colet Court, St Pauls at age 7 and does anyone have any tips on how to do the entrance tests. He will do them at age 6 plus. Can anyone help with recommending a good tutor. We live in Surrey. Has anyone used Prime Tutors -grateful for views.

dilemma456 Thu 09-Oct-08 09:07:28

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dilemma456 Thu 09-Oct-08 09:08:42

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AbbeyA Thu 09-Oct-08 09:37:19

I agree dilemma but I wasn't going to start a reply having said it before. If you are not happy with the teaching at the pre prep you have chosen the wrong one! If the teaching is good but your DC needs extra help then I would suggest that he isn't suited to the schools you have in mind.
The last thing any small DC needs is coaching for a test. There is so much you could do as a family. Play chess with him, go orienteering as a family at a weekend and let him help with the map reading, visit museums and the theatre, let him join something he is interested in-a football team, martial arts etc., let him cook a meal with you etc. They are things you are probably doing anyway.

goingslowlyroundthebend Thu 09-Oct-08 09:52:56

Speak to your school about what they think is best for your DS. We have friends who wanted their DS to go to Kngs and the school said it wasn't the right place and now looking back they absolutly agree. Those two schools are seriously academic, there are lots of less pressured ones in the area.

goingslowlyroundthebend Thu 09-Oct-08 09:55:15

Also our pre-prep is utterly anti tutoring, if they are going to get in they will.

slummymomma Thu 09-Oct-08 10:54:11

It's a really tricky one. My six year old is doing the exam for KCS this January. He's at a state school (good one) and has been seeing a tutor since february. He is bright (I would say that wouldn't I) but I think he needs the support to get through the type of exam. The pre-preps if they are doing their job properly should get a child through the exam for either school but I do know that lots of parents still do a bit of tutoring as well. It's really hard to know what to do for the best - particularly as KCS will tell you not to tutor!

AbbeyA Thu 09-Oct-08 11:08:06

I think there is more of a case for tutoring a state school pupil, just to make sure that they are level with the pre-preps. However, as dilemma says, the pre-prep has a vested interest in your DS getting into a good school. As a parent I always ask where pupils go when they leave. I would talk to the teacher, tell her aims and be guided by her (or him). If they don't think a highly academic school will suit your DS look elsewhere.

AbbeyA Thu 09-Oct-08 11:09:03

Sorry-tell her your aims. I should proof read and never do.

jujumaman Thu 09-Oct-08 18:15:07

I've been told by a couple of people who really know about this that it's a good idea to let a state school pupil have a little tutoring to try for one of these schools mainly to teach them exam technique, but as I said to you on the other thread (where you unwittingly entered a bit of a lion's den)and as others are saying ,a pre prep should provide the relevant teaching for these exams.

I went to two very academic schools, the female and mixed equivalents of the types you are talking about. The people who'd been tutored to get in were, frankly, miserable - if you needed extra help to keep up it wasn't the place for you.

If you're still convinced you still don't need tutoring until about six weeks before. Again. I've been told on good authority, your child will burn out far too early. I wish you luck with whatever you decide.

Abbey, fancy seeing you here wink

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Thu 09-Oct-08 19:01:27

A friend's son has just started as a 7+ at CC. He was not tutored but they went over exam techniques with him. At that age they are looking for potential rather than attainment, so if he is curious and interested in things he will do well in the group activities. Good Luck! My elder son was offered places at both those schools (in a different age group) - we chose CC, but KCS would have been just as good. They are both VERY academic schools. DS1 is happy, but would not have sent him if he had to be tutored to get in.

singersgirl Thu 09-Oct-08 20:11:07

They say they are looking for potential rather than attainment, but this year's 7+ KCS starters don't contain a single boy born in June, July or August - which sounds suspiciously like attainment to me. 50% of the joiners also come from the KCS owned pre-prep, which is a thought if you have that on your list.

Amey Thu 09-Oct-08 23:11:29

Sorry to go slightly off topic. Singersgirl, I think prep schools struggle with judging the potential of summer born (boys) for 7+ because they are just too young to test and taking the gamble on them is too high risk (for the boy as well as the school). Some good preps take summer born's a year later either in 8+ entry or out of year. The problem is what to do with them for the spare year.

singersgirl Fri 10-Oct-08 11:48:24

Amey, I take your point, and it may be that most of the pre-prep summer borns do the 8+ exam at the suggestion of the pre-prep; many of the pre-preps round here keep boys until 8.

But it can't be that difficult to standardise scores across their applicants; grammar schools re-standardise every year based on the cohort, and NFER tests standardise on a wider scale. So you can tell that a child who is scoring 135+ on standardised maths and reading tests is likely to be a good bet, even if their raw score is a few marks down on an older child.

Amey Fri 10-Oct-08 13:55:16

Singersgirl,

I just think that any test of a 6 year old is rather hit and miss. We didn't put my August born son for 7+ assessment because even we couldn't tell his academic potential. A year later he easily got into a selective prep.

At the assessment, most of the good preps seem to spend time talking to the children and asking lots of open ended questions to see how their brain works.

But even they will miss plenty of children who prove to be academically able at a later stage.

However, there are some good, less selective preps which nurture and stretch their bright pupils and get them into the more academic secondary schools.

pagwatch Fri 10-Oct-08 14:04:15

My Ds 1 is a summer born.
His testing at 7 and then at 11 included an adjustment for that. I would be surprised if testing was not routinely adjusted accordingly tbh.
His school is mahoosively academic one in Surrey and they have an even spread of ages ( although older boys do tend to dominate in sport but don't get me started on that developmental twattery )

singersgirl Fri 10-Oct-08 14:56:11

I absolutely agree that any test of a 6 year old is hit and miss. I think that's what makes me irritated about the whole thing. Yes, I guess there must be an adjustment for age but it doesn't seem a very good one if 50% of the successful candidates are born in the first 3 months of the academic year and the remaining 50% in the 6 months after that.(By the way, I do know that one year group at one school isn't statistically significant, but I've seen lots of class lists from various schools which bear out the general theme.)

I have no personal axe to grind because I haven't done 7+ assessment with my August-born children; they're at their local state school.

I think South West London must be the most educationally crazed part of the planet - though I hear Manhattan is pretty mad.

AbbeyA Fri 10-Oct-08 15:11:49

Those who really want to forward plan should make sure they give birth between September and December!

Anchovy Fri 10-Oct-08 15:27:27

Singersgirl - LOL re "I think South West London must be the most educationally crazed part of the planet".

I have a nearly 7 year old DS and we have decided not to put him in for KCS this year (he is at a non selective co ed prep). Partly because we really like the school and have another child there, partly because he really likes the school, partly because I'd like him to stay co-ed for a bit longer but a large part because I can't face the trauma of tests etc at the moment. Prefer to leave it to Y6.

Because DS's school goes on to Y6 they are very clear about the fact that they do not prepare for exams at 7, so we would have to do some work as well as Ds has never looked at an exam paper in his life. I think a number of the preps have the same attitude. So its not only the state school children who have to be prepared for entry tests.

FWIW friend's children went from state to KCS at 7 very easily and happily. I think they have a reasonably big state intake.

AbbeyA Fri 10-Oct-08 16:11:33

It sounds as if pre-preps have it right and are interested in the education of the whole child. It can't be right to teach a child for a test, it spoils the whole joy of learning at such a young age IMO.

singersgirl Fri 10-Oct-08 16:57:27

In fact, the friend I mentioned on another thread with the tutoring etc did plan, like Xenia, to give birth between September and December - she didn't start trying to conceive till January so she knew there was no chance of a summer child. So she now has 3 children born October to December!

I'm in the throes of 11+ madness here and it's pretty much just as crazy. My poor 10 year old.

goingslowlyroundthebend Fri 10-Oct-08 17:28:49

Argh you are all scaring me, we have an August born DS who is sitting for academic surrey school next week – I thought I had relaxed about it...! However I have reached the conclusion that what will be will be and there are plenty of places at other excellent schools without such a high hooping test (I know as I rang some the other day), so fingers crossed! His school have been laid back to the point of horizontal so much so that I actually feel a bit mad asking is he ready!

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Fri 10-Oct-08 18:05:48

singesrgirl - I wonder if we know the same person or is there are many people organised enough to plan their children's births - I also have a friend who planned for autumn babies for academic and sporting excellence and three born sept, oct and december! (The December was the first born, they obviously got more organised each time!)

pagwatch Fri 10-Oct-08 18:07:46

or you maybe reading too much into it.
I am one of 8 children. Three of us are born with two weeks of the same date...... 9 months on from valentines day

grin

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Fri 10-Oct-08 18:08:23

(Having said that - sorry, off topic - I 'planned' for a May baby to make the most of the summer on mat leave, so came off pill in May for August conception, and 'hit the jackpot' straight away and so get a Feb baby.... hubris?)

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