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Leaving Prep at 11?

(22 Posts)
Mumtogremlins Sun 24-Mar-13 10:48:58


Thinking of sending my DS to a private prep nearby in Year 4. The school goes up to 13. I assume most children stay on until 13 at prep schools but are they allowed to leave at 11? Will they be prepared enough to get a place at 11? From what I've heard, it can be easier get a place at 11 as more competitive at 13? But don't want to annoy the school or disadvantage him by taking him out at 11.


meditrina Sun 24-Mar-13 10:53:59

You need to discover what the individual school does in terms of 11+ preparation (girls schools, many day schools, pre-tests) and 13+ (CE and other school specific exams).

Children can leave whenever the parent decides they should, and a good prep school will prepare the pupil for whatever is believed (ideally by parents and school together) to be the most appropriate destination school.

Mumtogremlins Sun 24-Mar-13 11:45:25

Thanks. They do pre-tests in Year 6 and it is a mixed school so I assume lots of girls leave. They then do CE.
Are there any advantages in staying on for Years 7&8? I quite like the idea of them staying in a more cosy environment for longer and probably having smaller class sizes than at senior level

meditrina Sun 24-Mar-13 12:43:44

It all depends, I suppose, on the ideas you have for their destination school and the best way to secure entry to it.

And it gives a couple more years in the familiar prep. Whether this is a good thing depends on the character/temperament of the individual child. Some flourish when they move on, others benefit from longer at prep.

LIZS Sun 24-Mar-13 12:49:44

ime they may not be as well prepared for 11+ tests as those at schools where all leave at 11. Increasingly more girls are staying on for 7 & 8 at dc old prep but not sure the school are yet ready for it, the secondaries continue to limit their 13+ intake so competition for places may be harder and once the economy picks up the effect of the financial advantage (cheaper than secondary fees) may not be as significant.

PureQuintessence Sun 24-Mar-13 12:51:05

I guess the middle way is to sit Pre tests at 11+ for 13 + entry? That way you get your school for 13+ decided in Y6, but you stay on and do Y7 and 8. Best of both worlds?

Mumtogremlins Sun 24-Mar-13 13:01:17

I've no idea which school he would end up at, and they all seem to have different entrance criteria. Most of them accept pupils at 11 and 13. It's all very confusing!
As I'm moving my DS to start in year 4, it would be better to stay on until 13 so he has longer to make friends, before he has to move again. I think a smaller school would suit him better for longer but I don't want to make it harder for him at 13.

meditrina Sun 24-Mar-13 13:08:19

You don't have to decide now, of course.

And once he's at prep, there should be plenty of advice about tackling school transfer. Running him for 11+ entry means you get a second bite should he not secure an suitable offer. And you can do pre-tests alongside that, so you may end up with a conditional offer for CE as well.

The thing to watch out for are requirements for 13+ entry schools which do not pre-test in year 6. Do they test and/or interview in year 7 and make conditional CE offers then? Or do they run their own competitive exam? In which case you will probably want a safety net plan in place too. But the prep should advise and hand hold through the whole procedure.

Mumtogremlins Sun 24-Mar-13 14:12:29

Thanks, that info really helps
Looking at the local schools that could be possibilities, 2 of them pre test at 11 with the option to defer until 13 and then do CE. The other 2 schools are mainly 11+ entry - very few places at 13.
I'm guessing the prep school would prepare them ok for the different type of school and would then be fine with him going to a mainly 11+ entry school?

difficultpickle Sun 24-Mar-13 17:53:16

Pre-tests at 11 don't mean you avoid doing CE at 13. All the 11 pre-tests mean is schools sort out what offers they are making so you know which school your ds will be going to at 13. They still have to pass CE at whatever pass mark the school stipulates.

Ds's school has a mix with some leaving at 11 and others at 13. Senior boarding schools mostly start at 13 whereas the day schools near us start at 11.

difficultpickle Sun 24-Mar-13 17:55:19

Some private schools near us finish at 11 and I'd imagine would do a better job of prepping for a move at 11 than a prep that finishes at 13, where you have a minority leaving at 11. I wouldn't be happy with ds spending time in class prepping for an exam that he wouldn't be doing.

Mumtogremlins Sun 24-Mar-13 21:47:12

Some schools have an intake at 11 and 13. Do you think the prep school would only prep them for entry at 13? I wouldn't be happy sending him there if leaving at 11 was not an option - that would rule out a couple of my local-ish schools, and we don't have many options as it is

meditrina Sun 24-Mar-13 21:52:31

You'll need to ask the schools you are interested in what exams they prepare for, and ask for a list of leavers destinations at both 11 and 13 over the previous 3-4 years. That should give you some idea of how competently they prepare for exams at both ages.

The rise of the competitive pre-test in year 6 means that even 13+ leavers may need to be exam prepped at that stage, so there is more going on than used to be the case.

difficultpickle Sun 24-Mar-13 22:06:44

You need to speak to the school you're interested in and see if you can speak to existing parents. The school can't stop him leaving at 11 but they may not prep him for exams. Ds's old school finished at 11 but did no prep as it was expected that the pupils would go on to the senior school. If you wanted to do anything different you got a tutor to do the prep.

moonbeggs Sun 24-Mar-13 22:25:51

Be v careful. The 11-18 secondary indies round here have a strict no poaching policy, ie they won't give offers to prep boys at 11+ as it would mean their preps losing two years of fees. They only offer to state boys at 11+ and spend two years catching them up to the indie level before the main CE intake arrives at 13+.

Mumtogremlins Mon 25-Mar-13 11:00:20

It's all so much more confusing than I thought! It's tempting to leave him in the state junior and take my chances at 11 - at least he'd definitely be able to apply to all the schools we're interested in. Such a hard decision!

bluescissors Mon 25-Mar-13 11:32:53

My DCs attend a prep that goes to 13 but has a sizeable proportion (mainly girls) leaving after 11. Years 7/8 tend to be boy heavy and focused on those going to schools which start at 13 (either boarding schools, or day schools in London - KIngs, St Pauls, Westminster, Dulwich etc). Most of the boys do a pre test in year 6/7 for their chosen secondary and finishing the 11+ curriculum in year 5, doing VR and NVR and revising it during the first half of yr6, with many practice papers (yawn), means they are well prepared to work in an exam situation under pressure (although there are some pre tests you cannot prepare for eg. computer driven tests).

For me the reason we stayed for years 7/8 was driven by our choice of secondary which started at 13. DC1 flourished during years 7/8 - getting to the top of a school and taking on responsibility, being in a class of 12 so the teaching can be really personalised and frankly, growing up and making mistakes in a smaller more nurturing environment were other plus points. This is for my DC - others may be different with DC that are ready to leave at the end of year 6, or need a change.

At our school the 11+ prep is just as important as the 13+ prep, although the nature of the exams is different - 11+ is competitive (eg. 500 sitting for 100 places), whereas 13+ CE tends to be qualifying (once you've got a conditional place after a pre test, you need to pass CE at the required mark - I think failure is very rare). Non CE 13+ entrance is obviously competitive, like 11+, so it depends on your chosen secondary.

At the end of the day your prep school should guide you through the process and recommend schools that will be a good fit for your DC. At ours this process starts in year 5. Does your chosen prep have a good track record of getting DC into your chosen secondary school list?

Good luck. Sorry so long!

Mumtogremlins Mon 25-Mar-13 15:36:32

Thanks for the info bluescissors. The schools round here that are 11+ and 13+ have a pre test for everyone at 11, but you have to specify which entry you want. I am not looking for a boarding school or schools that only start at 13.
I assume if these schools ask all pupils to sit the same test at 11, the prep schools would have to seriously prep the children, whether they are leaving at 11 or 13? The schools that are 11+ entry only are not as academic. We live in Surrey so not much choice for boys, and don't want DS to travel too far

LIZS Mon 25-Mar-13 17:37:21

Pretest tends to differ to 11+ as a pretest often is computerised VR and NVR, so minimal prep required, whereas full 11+ entrance includes English and Maths.

Mumtogremlins Tue 26-Mar-13 17:00:48

The prep school in considering says that extensive prep takes place in Yr 6 for pre-tests.
Maybe some Surrey dwellers might know about the tests for RGS/St George's College and whether most children go there at 11 or 13 from prep schools?

LIZS Tue 26-Mar-13 17:08:42

Ask the Prep or get a copy of last year's review which should show destination of leavers?

trinity0097 Tue 26-Mar-13 19:00:26

I work in a prep, most kids stay until 13, but some, mainly girls leave at 11 as there are far fewer day 13+ options for the girls in south Surrey. Our kids mainly join RGS at 13, but a few go at 11 (one every couple of years)

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