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dd's Yr 1 teacher has just told me that in yr 6 she cld apply for scholarship to private secondary school.

(21 Posts)
CapricaSix Wed 15-Oct-08 19:08:30

(JAGS being one of them, if anyone knows anything about that school opinions would be welcome!) Cos turns out she falls under the G&T category. They will be putting her up a year for literacy to start with.

I know it's far too early for me to think about this stuff but obv i can't help it right now - so talk me through this - pros & cons, what should i expect, how do i not put pressure on, etc. I find myself in the very bizarre position of previously not even needing to consider the option of private school, and not wanting the option either (you know, a form of inversed snobbishness), to being quite excited about the possibility and let's face it, how can I pass up an opportunity like that for dd?

When I was growing up I was always told how "clever" I was and how I should be getting "straight As" and how I wasn't working to my potential etc, and as a result I basically stuck two fingers up at the system, didn't work very hard & still got all my GCSEs C and above. I ended up only getting 1 A Level and failing another one, and chose not to go to uni because I had no clue what I wanted to do. (Good decision, that, though, I'm now funded to study with the OU a subject that I am really LOVING! grin).

So, in a nutshell, I don't want dd to be labelled or to feel pressured or special in any way, but equally the boot is on the other foot because I don't want her to waste it either!

Hassled Wed 15-Oct-08 19:14:47

It's a tough one and I understand your reactions. But Year 6 is a hell of a long way away - half your DD's lifetime again - and children develop at wildly different rates, which is why children can fall in and out of G&T categories. So just Keep Calm and Carry On - no pressure, no expectations - and see where you are in Year 5 re Year 6. If she just enjoys the next few years then nothing will be wasted.

chapeloffearstickchick Wed 15-Oct-08 19:15:10

I think shes rather too young for any such assumptions tbh.

AbbeyA Wed 15-Oct-08 19:17:17

I wouldn't worry about it while she is so young. How is she socially? How mature is she? It isn't always a good idea to go up a year, it depends on the DC.

Twiglett Wed 15-Oct-08 19:20:47

well she can apply for a scholarship but whether she'd get one is a different MATTER

it's great that your DD is doing so well but really there's a helluva long way between now and then .. leave it till year 5 and then think about it and go and visit the schools in your area

continue to praise your child for effort and trying not for how very clever she is

JAGS is a good school .. single sex, lovely facilities .. highly oversubscribed as are many private schools in this area

is it local to you? Lots to be said for walking to school

uptomyeyes Wed 15-Oct-08 19:21:19

I know JAGs well, I've a lot of friends with daughters who are either there now or have been through the school. Its clearly a good school in terms of its results and I'm sure most of the girls there are happy.

In terms of the scholarship would you be expecting a reduction in fees or are you happy with an honourary scholarship and be happy to pay the fees yourself.

I laso think Yr 1 is far too early to be talking about scholarships to senior school. You could always try her out for JAPS for yr 3 entry if you are keen to take an academic route with her.

brimfull Wed 15-Oct-08 19:23:37

I agree yr 1 is a bit too early to be worrying.Just keep encouraging her and be thankful the school recognises her ability.

singersgirl Wed 15-Oct-08 19:25:08

Mmm, though I'm sure your daughter is very clever, there's still a big gap between a teacher saying that she could apply for a scholarship in 5 years' time and you worrying about passing up an opportunity.

If she's very bright, you don't need to do anything except encourage her interests out of school, feed her with books of the sort she enjoys and make sure she's happy and challenged at school.

I understand why you might feel that you need to do something special, but honestly I don't think you do.

Twiglett Wed 15-Oct-08 19:25:16

WTF is an honorary scholarship? <intrigued>

singersgirl Wed 15-Oct-08 19:27:21

An honorary scholarship is an award in recognition of eg academic or musical ability/achievement, without any significant financial benefit. Often academic scholarships only give £50 or so - it's all about kudos. Means-tested scholarships or bursaries are different, and some schools give means-blind fee reductions.

Twiglett Wed 15-Oct-08 19:30:29

what a waste of breath
grin

twinsetandpalls Wed 15-Oct-08 19:31:57

What a lovely thing to be told, I would just try and create a home where reading and learning are seen to be important and desirable and the rest should follow.

uptomyeyes Wed 15-Oct-08 19:33:22

In order to retain their charitable status independent schools are having to prove that they are using their funds for charitable purposes - not assisting famillies who can actually afford the fees regardless. The funds that used to be offered as scholarships ie reductions against the fees bill (not great reductions at that) are now having to be used to maintain a smaller number of children from very needy backgrounds.

A friend and neighbour is employed at JAGS and we were talking about this at the weekend.

Scholarships have therefore become honourary as opposed to financial. you get the honour of an arts or music scholarship but actually no money off your fees. When you do your uni applications you can say that you were a scholarship girl - but your parents are no better off grin

CapricaSix Wed 15-Oct-08 19:53:46

Thanks everyone, everything you've said is what I've been thinking myself, so don't worry, I will put it away for the next few years! Her teacher only just said all this to me today so I needed to process it. I was surprised myself that she was talking about yr6 and scholarships already, I said isn't there a possibility that she will slow down & everyone else will catch up, she said there's always that possibility but that she simply can't see it happening with dd. hmm

Putting her up a year was only for literacy, AbbeyA, not in general, and this year only if her teacher gets to the point where she feels she can't "stretch" her enough - she's going to keep going as she is atm esp as it's so early into the year. But she said in yr2 she will definitely be put straight up to yr3 for literacy if she's not already up a year by then. I think that makes sense, nothing worse than being bored by a subject that you actually love -dd's big passion is reading & writing.

Twiglett JAGS isn't in walking distance, but it would be a short bus or train journey.

uptomyeyes - apparently the scholarships are for a free place at the schools! Perhaps there are details that I'm unaware of though, her teacher didn't go into detail.

AbbeyA - I've never been able to compare dd to other children, the whole G&T thing was a surprise though I knew her reading was amazing. So I've no idea how mature she should be at this age, emotionally or socially! She has a wide vocabulary and we talk a lot about all sorts. Socially her teacher said that she has a love-hate relationship with her "best friend", and it's the friend who wears the trousers, her teacher can see dd looking quite bothered by it sometimes but she's too timid to stand up to her (which does not fit how she is with me! grin). But I'd say (and the teacher did too) that this is nothing different from any other yr1 age child. one thing to bear in mind too is she's an august baby so youngest in her year.

twinsetandpalls - we have that environment here already, dd is very interested in what I am studying for the OU! She asks me every day what I have learnt about today! We also had a conversation recently about all the options for employment or further education after leaving school that people have, and what I did (dd asked me about it!)! dd's conclusion was "I won't decide yet, I can decide later on!" bless her! grin She has been harbouring a wish to be a bus driver for quite a long while now though...

CapricaSix Wed 15-Oct-08 20:07:13

BTW i just found the info on the JAGS website about their "scholarships". It's the James Allen Assisted Places fund. "These places are offered to girls who would benefit from a JAGS education but whose families are unable to afford the full fees and who have no substantial capital assets."
If your income is up to £13,000 you can apply for a place with fees fully paid for you.

CrushWithEyeliner Wed 15-Oct-08 20:14:57

Congratulations. That is great news for you you must be really proud. She obviously has the raw talent, the bext few years will see how she develops.
I know JAGS really well - produces very well turned out laydees but academically not the greatest. Have you considered Dulwich College? It is exceptional.

snorkle Wed 15-Oct-08 20:45:27

We were told this about ds in either reception or nursery and the subject was never mentioned again. We took it with a pinch of salt, but he did in fact get a scholarship at 11, so maybe they can tell even that young. Through school teachers have always told us he's bright but never used the term gifted except for once when we were told he was borderline gifted in maths. He too was a very inquiring child, always needed explanations for everything & all we did was provide answers (& much, much later some practise before the actual test). You should of course try to foster a love of learning in your child, but you'd do that for any child, potential scholar or not - so nothing different there really.

herbietea Wed 15-Oct-08 20:53:01

Message withdrawn

CapricaSix Wed 15-Oct-08 23:12:53

Thanks to the rest of you.

CrushWithEyeliner - no i haven't thought about secondary schools at all and I'm not going to for a while yet! Other than "ooh not looking forward to dd's adolescence" and wondering what her peers will be like at secondary school!

herbietea the reasons you state for your ds not going to private school are the concerns i have too. Remaining "grounded"...

snorkle yes you are right about attitude to dd being the same for any child. Key for me is that she enjoys what she is learning and that when she is older she is doing what she wants to be doing. I hope she has some sort of ambition or interest later in life, that is not necessarily related to academia. I had no ambition or interest at all for a very long time, at least none that were developed in a constructive or focused way - till recently in fact, and I think this was partly down to my parents and teachers' reaction to my intelligence or ability or whatever, coupled with my younger sister's extreme (irrational) inferiority complex. Being good at something, or having a talent, was Not A Good Thing, and I didn't feel I deserved any praise anyway because I never had to work very hard at anything. I realised recently that all that was holding me back before and depriving me of a desire to achieve something or to be ambitious, and I'm also finding it easier to recognise when I have worked hard or achieved and to feel good about it.

I'm finding that dd being good at stuff is making me think about all this stuff again! I don't want her to wind up with the same sort of attitude/feeling so I'm almost wanting to ignore it all completely. Silly to think she would really, she has different parents, no siblings, and a different school system too i'd imagine!
I should just relax really, follow her lead, talk lots together & stay in touch with her (didn't feel like my parents did, we're close now though). The rest will follow.

Thanks for listening!! grin

CapricaSix Wed 15-Oct-08 23:15:17

I just need to clarify that when I said "Being good at something, or having a talent, was Not A Good Thing" I meant as far as I was concerned, my parents & teachers' attitude was the opposite!!

mimsum Mon 20-Oct-08 12:49:52

er, crush, dulwich college is a) boys and b) a very good school but not exceptional compared to all the other schools in the area and c) JAGs is always thought of as an academic powerhouse around here - are you thinking of a different school as there are less academic ones around but JAGs isn't one of them ... (have many friends with kids at both JAGs and Dulwich College)

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