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Fretting about primary school assessment for DD

(4 Posts)
designerbaby Mon 24-Oct-11 17:04:10

We've applied for a place at a local
Independent primary school for DD - thus wasn't our plan, but 6 months after we moved into our house they changed the catchment area for the really great state primary up the road and our house is no longer in it angry. our next closest one is both inconvenient and pretty dire in a variety of respects so we're trying to avoid it...

We moved into the area far to late to make it onto any waiting lists for other local independents, and through a misunderstanding in my part missed the 'ballot' for the only other independent in the area.

So here we are. This independent is fantastic, and I went to a sister school for secondary... It would be wonderful if she got in. Clearly other parents feel similarly and the school us massively oversubscribed and they asses the prospective pupils now for entry next September and select on aptitude.

I've no idea what to expect or if there's anything we can do to help her with this and I was hoping someone here may have sone advice...

They say they're not expecting them to be reading or writing but just to have an awareness of letters and numbers and a variety of other vague statements. We feel DD is bright, but very aware we're probably far from impartial grin...

Since all our eggs are somewhat in one basket, well I'm freaking out a bit TBH...

Anyone been through similar?

Thanks, in hope,


Chestnutx3 Mon 24-Oct-11 18:12:32

Deep breath, you will be more nervous than your DD.

In the end if the school is right for the child she will pass the assessment. At my DD's school they seem to look for those with good concentration levels and who are very enthusiastic about everything - not much you can do to prepare for that.

I would also look at non-selective schools as well, just get yourselves on the waiting list in many areas there is alot of movement and even if you are 11th on the list then your DD might get in. I would definitely have a back up plan as its often 1 in 3/4 at 4+ and can be worse.

vikmotherof2 Mon 24-Oct-11 21:42:29

My son (3 at end of December) has been to assessments. They asked him to use scissors (try to cut a line), asked to make a drawing and then asked to draw me. He had also to reproduce a pattern on the paper with the pencil, of course recognise basic colours, do a memory game (four objects and each time one dissapears and he had to say which was gone missing), be able to recognise his name (except his name he can not recognise letters but maybe for a 4+ assessment they will expect more recognition for letters) , counting at least until 10 and be able to recognise those numbers.
They will also have a look at how they play with blocks,... to see their imagination.
Maybe you can ask if they assess individually or in group (some schools they just put all the children together to see how they interact, what they are doing with toys, see social skills).

I also think doing some puzzles and reading books and asking questions is a good preparation as this was also part of an assessment.

designerbaby Mon 24-Oct-11 22:41:55

Thanks guys, good to know what to expect a bit... Possibly somewhat naively we haven't particularly 'schooled' her or hothoused her... She has some letter/number work books which she enjoys, a phonics game which she seems to manage quite well... She is beginning to copy letters, can recognise many (but not all) lower case letters and can list other words which begin with the same letter, she knows all her numbers... colours obviously. She can draw recognisable (if slightly odd looking) people cars etc. She's good conversationally and pretty outgoing. She seems to make connections between things, shows a great deal of empathy and reasons well, (if x then y...) but I'm far from professional, and unsure what other children her age are capable of (she'll be four in November) - we only have a couple of friends with similar aged children - she seems on a par with them, perhaps a little ahead in some areas, but seems far more chatty than most (can't imagine where she gets that from grin) and quite outgoing, but don't know if this in any way helpful or relevant.

Our plan b currently is to investigate the church school route as we are committed Christians, but this is tenuous as we decided against leaving the church we've attended for twelve years to 'play the game' and start going to the school-linked church... It seems very cynical, and somewhat against what we believe but I confess in my weaker moments I sometimes question that decision. We've pretty much exhausted all other avenues, really...

I guess we just have to hope she's having a good day, and they see in her what we do - a bright lively girl who is curious and keen to learn, and that that's enough.

The local preferred primary (who's catchment we're two streets out of) have just added another form making it three form entry, and another primary close by has give from one to two, so I guess we can hope that if all else fails the increased capacity might mean we're in with a chance in the state system... The 13k a year we'd save would certainly come in handy...

Thanks again for the advice...


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