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What did you tell your 3/4 year old about going to private school assessments / interviews?

(19 Posts)
VenetiaLanyon Fri 09-Sep-11 09:58:44

I have so far mentioned that at some stage soon we'll get to go and do some playing at some lovely schools. DD can be shy / clingy, and I want to make sure I handle this right. Certainly don't want to mention that they are interviews.

Any tips from those who've been there done that? Thanks smile

Pantone Fri 09-Sep-11 12:03:42

Teach her to draw a very detailed picture of a person. Eyelashes, fingers, the lot ;-)

CMOTdibbler Fri 09-Sep-11 12:16:08

I just told ds we were going to visit some schools to see if he liked them. It seemed to work out

VenetiaLanyon Fri 09-Sep-11 12:16:32

Thanks Pantone...not quite sure I understand why, but thanks!

teejwood Fri 09-Sep-11 12:40:13

i always played this as the child going to see the school to see if they liked it and the teachers rather than vice versa, if that helps.

VenetiaLanyon Fri 09-Sep-11 14:42:56

Thanks teejwood and CMOTdibbler; good approach in some ways, but I would worry that DD would take from that that the choice was all hers...did you have that crop up as an issue?

horsemadmom Fri 09-Sep-11 15:42:32

Tell her it will be a lot like nursery and afterwards we'll go for a nice treat! DD and I had a bit of a ritual going- assessment and then Starbucks. Don't worry about it. If she's ready and right for the school, they'll see it.

Lonnie Fri 09-Sep-11 18:39:07

say your going to see the schools to see if you and she liked it that should change the whole idea it was all down to her

CMOTdibbler Fri 09-Sep-11 19:54:47

DS loved both schools we visited for assessment, so it wasn't an issue. But I wanted a school that fitted him, so we had been round a few. But we aren't in a v competitive area for schools - saying that, ds's school have no reception places now for two years ahead as they will be full from kindergarten

VenetiaLanyon Fri 09-Sep-11 20:05:35

I very much like the idea of the treat, Horsemadmom.

DD has very decided ideas about life, CMOTdibbler, so, given an inch, would naturally assume that she could decide where she was off to...

teejwood Fri 09-Sep-11 22:39:37

venetia - the dc's were offered the schools they wanted funnily enough - in one case there was a choice to be made between "like" and "like" so it ended up being "where most of dc2s friends were going". but i appreciate that it might not always work out that way.

in general keeping things chilled and natural is best imho. no point cramming a child who then isn't able to keep up with the work. it's best if the "fit" is right instead. that said - you probably want to get an idea of what the assessments involve and then let your dc practice in a non-pressurised way. eg if they are expected to be able to write their own name.

good luck with it!

ozhodge Sat 10-Sep-11 14:22:13

We went through hell week as we visited 6 schools in 4 days (we were from overseas so only had a week - 4 for boy, 3 for girl (1 same)). We just said we were going to see a school, listen carefully, answer clearly and also think if you would be happy at the school.
After the first school and having them being quizzed, tested, interviewed it turned far different. We then sat down and said, ok lets recheck your reading, writing, spelling and speech. Surely depends on the school but i think the most important is asking them to pay attention to whether they would want to go to the school. Its so important for them to be happy just as much as getting a good education.

Iamseeingstars Sat 10-Sep-11 23:05:05

Dont make a fuss that it is a private school or that it will be any different to other schools.

The assessments will be basic and child friendly and your observations of how they deal with this will give you an idea of the phylosophy of the school.

You might tell her that they will want to play games with her and that she should play them but dont give any clues about tests, assessments, must do this that etc or she will freeze.

BlowHole Sat 10-Sep-11 23:08:07

Sorry I have no advice but am so jealous of you being able to choose from lots of lovely schools for your dcs. I know that is no help at all.

Pagwatch Sat 10-Sep-11 23:09:27

I have always said that they are going in to see the school and meet some of the teachers and play some games and do sone stuff together. That's it

One did assessments as a party though which made it really easy. She got an invitation and dressed up and most of the tests were just games.
Funnily enough that was the school she/we chose. grin

mumteacher Sat 10-Sep-11 23:28:03

Going to play at the school to see if the child likes it is a great idea - however some schools have 2nd round assessments. A child may well say- I've told you my choice of school why do I have to go back to that same school again?!

ifink Mon 12-Sep-11 08:28:18

just remembering last year's round of assessments for my DD with a little bit of embarrassment....I said 'we are going to see x school to see if you like it, if you are good, listen etc then we'll have a treat afterwards'...except my DD went into quite some detail when saying goodbye to the assessors at the end about all the tv she was going to watch afterwards and the junk food with it..not the impression I was trying to give!!....(she did get an offer in the end though...phew)

definitely practice the cutting out a shape and drawing faces....oh and make sure she knows that a diamond is also called a rhombus (kid you not although this was at an assessment my friend's DD went too not us thankfully)

Theas18 Mon 12-Sep-11 08:50:58

At 3-4they aren't looking for inherent genius but a pleasant child that will fit into the school (and dare I say it isn't going to be obviously disruptive). As the others have said the assessments are really play based and should be fun and not too taxing. I wouldn't coach a child at all - I strongly disagree with the poster who suggested you teach them to draw a detailed figure- yes they may be asked to do this, it's a known test of cognition, but if they can do that like a baby Einstein and the rest of their assessments are not at that level either school with smell a rat, or will take her as an Einstein and she will not be and struggle.

Is she good at chatting to strangers? does she talk to the GP/vicar/next door neighbour in a sociable fashion? If not I'd work on that rather than anything else- go and have tea with a neighbour, meet grannies best friend etc etc just to get used to a bit of social chatter along the lines of "we've been to the park/made a cake/got a letter or plans for the day/ week" (and that is where "treats" after the asessment might come up, so it might be better not to promise Maccy D's and a huge cola!)

VenetiaLanyon Mon 12-Sep-11 09:39:39

Thanks all; most helpful smile, particularly the whole bribery thing, and the idea of just going to meet some teachers to do some playing with them.

We have been told not to try to prep for the assessment by most of the schools, as it is ludicrously transparent to the assessors, and that suits me just fine, however we have been told by one that she should be able to write her name, which is a way off yet (she is 3.7).

DD goes to a lovely and cuddly but chilled and non-pushy nursery (which is why we like it), and am trying not to get phased by the fact that the smarter nurseries in the area have been practising writing for the last 6 months....

My other worry is that DD can sometimes take quite a while to warm up to people, even those she knows fairly well, and in spite of having lots of practice. A mere 45 mins for an assessment may well not be enough to bring her out of her shell. Really not sure if there's anything we can do about this, however; it's who she is... confused

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