Advanced search

Get £10 off your first lesson with Mumsnet-Rated tutoring service Tutorful here

State primary school >>>>> private secondary school?

(39 Posts)
grrd Sat 02-Jul-11 13:18:09

Did your child attend a state primary school and then manage to get into an independent secondary school?

Does visiting a private primary school education make it easier to get a place in private secondary education?

How do primary schools (state and private) prep the kids to get into private secondary schools?

Are you planning to enrol in a state primary school and then hope that your child will get into private secondary school?

I would be very grateful for your experiences!

Have a lovely day, A

WesternIsle Sat 02-Jul-11 13:33:22

I did it with my first child - I was ignorant to the state school system. He was at state primary and got a scholarship to independent senior.

Private schools normally assess independent kids and state kids differently - as prep schools do common entrance at 13+ which requires a lot of preperation (hence being called prep schools), and the senior schools realise that the state schools won't have this opportunity.

Independent schools are normally working a year ahead of state schools, therefore the disadvantage of being state educated primary is that you have to be ahead of your year group at school, to really stand a chance with independent senior school. Whereas being in an independent prep you will already be working at the higher level, even if you aren't the smartest, as they will be bringing you up to that level.

There will be tutors in your area for particular schools, as independent schools do their own entrance examinations. Most senior schools will be able to supply you with past papers to practice

No I would not plan to do it again - I have put my younger children into private the whole way through - I am disillusioned by the state sector.

Elibean Sat 02-Jul-11 13:44:29

My eldest is at a State Primary simply because it was the loveliest school in our vicinity. I occasionally worry about the future, in case the local Secondary doesn't pull its socks up by the time she needs to move on, but not hugely.

If we do choose private secondary school, it will have to be a quirky one - I can't picture dd1 in a traditional or old-fashioned or highly academic environment. There are non-selective independents, and there are independents that look for a good mix of state and independent sector kids coming in: those would suit us better anyway, ethos-wise - they tend to be more creative, and more open.

If we had a specific secondary in mind, and it was selective, I suppose I would either plan to tutor or move dd to a pre-prep....thankfully, I don't!

Elibean Sat 02-Jul-11 13:47:58

Sorry, that was all about me/dd blush

I do think your decision has to depend somewhat on what the schools (primary and secondary) are like where you live. A good state primary could feed into a selective secondary (we have some Y6 children going to Latymer, occasionally St Pauls, Putney High) and, of course, on the individual child.

castlesintheair Sat 02-Jul-11 13:59:16

Where I live and where my DC go to (state) primary school, about half of the year 6 go onto private secondary school. Just about every one of those will have had extra private tuition. This usually starts around end Year 4/beginning Year 5, although some start in Year 1 or earlier. The school won't actually do anything to "get" children into private secondaries as it's not part of their ethos. It is up to the parents and where I live the parents are extremely active in doing this.

I've got 3 DCs. My eldest is starting Year 5 in September and I have every expectation that he will get into a reasonably academic private secondary. He is academic but will be starting private tuition in September. We are also considering going down the extra (different) tuition for the highly selective local grammar school, but that is a whole other ball game! I also expect my other 2 DCs to do the same when the time comes although they are both girls and there is an outstanding non-selective girls state secondary that they could (catchment area permitting) get into. There is no such option for my DS.

Elibean Sat 02-Jul-11 14:03:55

smile hello Castles! Can't believe ds is nearly Y5...

LovetheHarp Sat 02-Jul-11 14:05:41

It's a similar scenario in our local state primary, castleintheair. The only slight difference is that parents start the tutoring around Y3 or Y4 and then realise how much stress/time/effort it all involves and just jump ship then. A typical year R will be 30 children and a typical Y6 around 18, so nearly half will have gone private by the time they get to Y6.

Now my DD1 is in Y1 I can see that if I wanted her to sit the 7+ she would already require preparation and extra help; this is because they tend to have covered more and in more depth already at this stage. If I was to send our children I would go earlier than Y6 because I couldn't face the stress of putting them through all that extra work/preparation required and then risk not getting in, as the competition in the more academic selective schools is pretty tough for the 11+.

grrd Sat 02-Jul-11 17:46:35

Thanks Ladies, for the insights!

We hadn't considered some of the things you mention at all.. It looks like we live in the catchment area (fingers crossed!) of an outstanding state primary school... so we are hoping that this school will be sufficient to get them into a private secondary (but I guess it does take a bit more than taking the kids to the zoo from time to time or reading them a story at night wink

Of course we also would like to set our life up with as little as possible monthly running costs..

and @elibean - hey, I was asking for your personal experiences, so thanks for the "all about you & your daughter" post!

So if anyone has opinions and experiences on this- please keep it coming.

rabbitstew Sat 02-Jul-11 18:12:45

Well, a genuinely outstanding state primary school and parents with a bit of extra cash to take their children to the zoo and buy books for them (and fewer money worries to give them bad tempers and grey hairs!) would certainly be better than a not particularly inspiring prep school and no money left over to make up for it. Children go from state primary schools to private secondary schools all the time, some following intensive long-term coaching and others not - it really does depend on the schools in question, the children in question, the parents in question, blah, blah, blah (ie every case is different, so what works for one family won't be guaranteed to work for another). Fwiw, I was educated at the local state primary and got a place (with music scholarship) in a private, relatively academic secondary school on the back of 2 weeks' preparation (although you could say my family background and interests were years worth of unintentional preparation), so it's not impossible. I didn't actually take the place up after that, anyway, as I had a place at the local state grammar school.

castlesintheair Sat 02-Jul-11 18:13:25

grrd, fwiw, my DCs go to an 'outstanding' state primary. All the schools round here are 'outstanding' in fact, and still the tutoring goes on ... so maybe it depends on the area but I think it's becoming a nationwide epidemic.

Loveharp, yes similar story round here: the classes shrink quite dramatically in KS2 which is good news for us who stay I suppose wink

<waves back at Elibean> Sorry, hadn't "seen" you there!!! Hope all is well.

castlesintheair Sat 02-Jul-11 18:18:15

rabbitstew, the same thing happened to me: went to local state primary (definitely not outstanding), no extra tuition/parental input, got scholarship to reasonably academic private school, also got into grammar school. I just think it's become so much harder to do any of those things now without an extra push and believe me, I encounter children on a daily basis who are far more brilliant at that age than I was. And I really wasn't brilliant at all. Just quite bright.

rabbitstew Sat 02-Jul-11 18:36:34

Oh dear sad. School class sizes don't go down at all at my dss' primary school. I can't decide whether that's because I'm the most posh person there, or because the local state secondaries are either good or outstanding!

Elibean Sat 02-Jul-11 19:07:14

I would guess because of the good/outstanding secondaries, Rabbit wink

Our secondary has been the local sink school for years (but hopefully on the cusp of turning it all around??) so people took their kids out before KS2 in panic.

All fine, thanks, Castles smile and yes, lovely in a way to have smaller KS2 classes! dd's Y3 will be just 22, I think, unless we have some new joiners (always possible at our school).

LovetheHarp Sat 02-Jul-11 19:32:56

I agree that with a good or outstanding secondary most parents would be staying put.

Sadly ours has been "satisfactory" for decades and gets well below average results etc so those parents who feel they are able to send their children elsewhere (or move!).

rabbitstew Sat 02-Jul-11 19:55:48

Maybe that and the fact that the private schools around here are outrageously expensive!

Ishani Sat 02-Jul-11 20:01:13

Put them in in year 6, worth the extra ££££ to secure a place and it would look bad for them if one of their own didn't.

Kardashianw Sat 02-Jul-11 21:27:36

The way I look at it. So long as you support you child in their education a child will so well wherever.
Let's think when they get to university a child from state school could be on the same course as a child who went to private school and both are doing well on the course. Just think ahead if you really really want to then go ahead. What I have noticed by me is that parents are doing it for competition and not considering the child and whthere it will suit that child.
Dont get me wrong if my child got a scholarship for private school I'd take it and on the same hand I'd be happy to proceed at state school too!

LovetheHarp Sat 02-Jul-11 21:38:31

Kardanshaw you are right and going one step further I would say the same for the work environment. I don't know who my bosses are, but I can certainly tell they are all from extremely different backgrounds, with different accents, manners, etc.....

If I were to guess I'd say that most successful people I know have been to state schools! That kind of blows all the anxieties I have myself out of the window!

Ishani Sat 02-Jul-11 21:41:40

You're not wrong but equally I find that my girls private school is filled with parents who went to state school have done well for themselves and the first thing they want to spend their money on is their child's education. Yes they've done it, the hard way, so they want to ease the path for their own child.
Nothing to say a state education is going to hold you back but maybe a private one would oil the wheels iyswim.

Elibean Sat 02-Jul-11 21:56:22

My neice went to state school (her mother went to private, her father to state, they could have afforded private but had a perfectly good state school near by). She then went to Oxford. She is now doing a PhD (at Oxford). She actually felt she had a far easier time of it as an undergraduate than some of her private school peers....she knew how to manage her own work, was more independent, and more grounded.
A very specific and therefore meaningless example perhaps, but it does show generalizing that private school = easier life doesn't always hold true.

Rabbit, yup, could well have something to do with it!!

Elibean Sat 02-Jul-11 21:56:50

niece blush type too fast

Ishani Sat 02-Jul-11 22:03:52

Yes private school's keep the children in a bubble and do all their exams for them I heard.

MRSJWRTWR Mon 04-Jul-11 10:34:41

DS1 went to a 'satisfactory' state primary school and achieved Level 5's in his Y6 SATS. He took the entrance examination for a local independent secondary school with a bit of practice on NVR papers (bought from WH Smiths) which he hadn't come across before. He passed and started in Y7 last September.

Most of his classmates had attended the prep school, probably 120 out of an intake of approx 160. However, he has made some good friends and is coping well with the work.

I am pleased that we sent him to the local primary school first. As well as the new friends he has made, most of whom do not unfortunately live very close, he also has local friends from his primary school that he plays out with.

It has worked well for us and DS2 is following the same route, having started in Reception at our local primary school last September.

Elibean Mon 04-Jul-11 10:51:00

Ishani, you're not serious? confused

Re what niece said, I think she was at Oxford with a cohort of 'bubble' bred individuals - not sure if the private schools were to blame per se, or their family lives, or what. Some of them had had extraordinary lives. But its true that some of them had no idea how to manage their lives or work for the first year or two, and had a tough learning curve.

rabbitstew Mon 04-Jul-11 10:59:17

I can't help thinking that helpful responses will depend on where the OP lives. London, for example, appears to be a case apart, where tutoring seems to be considered more or less essential (even for children already at private school!...). Then there is the effect that grammar schools must have on parents' behaviour - divided between those areas where children passing the 11-plus are more or less guaranteed a place at grammar school, and those where super selectives are, up to a certain point, able to ignore the local community if someone clever/well tutored from outside gets a higher pass mark. And then there are areas where the local secondaries are awful, and areas where the local secondaries are considered reasonably good...

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: