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4+, 5+, 7+ madness 2015 - who's going to join me?

(176 Posts)
4pluspsycho Mon 25-Aug-14 23:02:32

Following on from the 2014 thread, I've decided to name change and start a new one for 2015:

My dd will be sitting assessments for 3 schools in the coming months. I've tried to 'tutor' her myself, but in reality it's a half hearted attempt (from both of us!)

I'm hypocritical in the sense I'd really like her to go to 2 of the 3 schools; but do feel guilty trying to 'prepare' her, when I can see she's not at all interested in pencil control, shapes etc.

I'm going to give it our best shot through relaxed, play based learning and then see what happens on the day.

Anyone else or am I the only one?

alwaysdoinglaundry Tue 26-Aug-14 00:00:49

Will be watching this thread with a fascinated horror, one child safely through these and we have a year or so before need to really start thinking about preparation for child 2. Horrendous time, good luck with it all. Which schools?

alwaysdoinglaundry Tue 26-Aug-14 00:18:49

On a more useful note, read mumteachers's posts if you want to specifically prepare her. She knows what she is talking about.

4pluspsycho Wed 27-Aug-14 21:50:40

Don't want to name schools, but one starts with H and the other with N - it may be very difficult to work out!

The other - a smaller one in Herts. I've read mumteacher's advice on other thread, very helpful. What school is your dc at? PM me if you'd rather not say publicly.

Did you tutor before the assessments? My dd is easily distracted and likes to not follow instructions if she doesn't fancy doing so - should be interesting then!

4pluspsycho Sat 30-Aug-14 23:01:01

Am I really the only MN'etter going for 4+? Anyone else?

Lanki Sun 31-Aug-14 17:12:48

What Questions do they usually ask at 5+? Do u need to know numbers bonds to 10 at least? They say age appropriate exam, meaning a December born will be given harder Qs? So confusing how to train. I do not wish to tutor

coolmommy Mon 01-Sep-14 03:30:11

Hello 4pluspsycho...I am in the same boat as you....
We are new to UK(and the education system!!). Both me and DH work in London want to be somewhere within 1hr commute.
DD will be going to 4+ in 2015.
Can you please suggest me some of the top schools I can look into ? Just starting with the research ...and need to be quick not to miss the registration deadlines.
Ladies please help!!!

WanttogotoDisney Mon 01-Sep-14 19:16:17

Pretty obvious school choices there Psycho! Pencil control and shapes are the least of your worries! Despite what they say N most definitely do expect them to be reading and writing by January and they time the exercises to see how quick the girls pick things up. It's not for the faint hearted and serious preparation is needed.

4pluspsycho Mon 01-Sep-14 21:35:38

*Faints as reads Disney's post*

There is absolutely no way dd will be reading by Jan. I will be delighted if she can just write her name! Oh dear, oh dear..I'll prepare myself for the worst then. Oh well, she's still going as I've paid the reg fee now. The only saving grace is her vocab is amazing and she is really confident (some would say too confident), so maybe her winning personality can save the day, as the academics clearly won't!

I think I have been a bit too relaxed over the prep for this. Will step it up as of tomorrow and do all we can.

4pluspsycho Mon 01-Sep-14 21:44:44

Hi cool,

Welcome to the UK. Where are you living now? When you say an hour commute, that's not going to be for dd's school is it? That's a very long journey for her there and back, every day.

'Top' schools are:

Habs Girls
St.Hilda's (Bushey)

Popular co-ed ones are:

Holland House
Edge Grove
Manor Lodge

They're the ones that are on my radar anyway. All new to this and despite following last year's thread, am evidently not up on as much as I should be. Someone should be along soon with a more comprehensive list.

4pluspsycho Mon 01-Sep-14 21:46:35

Disney, do you know how it works if my third school's assessment is before H and N? Do they push you to make a decision even though you haven't sat the assessment yet for your preferred school?

WanttogotoDisney Tue 02-Sep-14 10:45:23

Yes Psycho. I'm guessing that your third choice is either ML or RP and they require you to make a decision fairly quickly and pay a �1000 deposit before the January assessments. We looked at it as just another part of the cost of private schooling and a price worth paying if DD later got into a 'better' school.

RP apparently offers places to anyone who says it is their first choice in October. If you don't say it is your first choice then they postpone your assessment until February but there is no guarantee of a place then as they may have filled them all in October. ML is heavily oversubscribed and the majority of places go to siblings - there were only 26 non-sibling places available for this year's entry - and around 90 non-siblings applied. So if ML is your third choice you probably also need to sit for RP otherwise you could end up getting none of your 3 choices.

N assessment was horrendous with lots of loud confident girls showing off and reading out loud in the waiting room. My DD was jumping in puddles and crawling around on the floor playing with someone else's baby. Needless to say she didn't get in but I got to have a good giggle with some of the less serious mums.

alwaysdoinglaundry Tue 02-Sep-14 12:14:52

coolmommy London is a big place and you don't say where you are. But if you are thinking N London, but not so far out as Habs and NLCS your options would include:

selective - Channing (main entry at 4), Highgate (main entry at 3, might have chance vacancies). St. Margaret's in Hampstead (main entry at 4). You're too late for South Hampstead. Phoenix which is the feeder to UCS is very competitive at 3 but may have the odd chance vacancy at 4. King Alfred's if you like the alternative approach.

non-selective backups - Golders Hill, Hampstead Hill, Annemount and Avenue nursery/pre-prep. All go to 7 and prepare for the 7+. Also Norfolk House which goes to 11 and Northbridge House which goes to 18. They will all tell you that they are full but many will be using them as a backup so there is often a lot of movement on the waiting list in late January/early february when the selective schools offer their places. I know someone who got a place at the Avenue when her first contact with them was in the May before a September start. Well worth being on a few waiting lists.

There are also lots of schools in Mill Hill which I know less about.

wanttogotodisney you bring back memories, it has clearly got even worse than when we did it.....

alwaysdoinglaundry Tue 02-Sep-14 12:28:59

Also Habs has a 5+ assessment and they often take girls at 5 that they have turned down at 4.

coolmommy Wed 03-Sep-14 00:34:09

alwaysdoinglaundry and 4pluspsycho

Thanks a lot for your inputs. I am looking through the websites of these schools now.

I am currently living in Reigate(Surrey). We are renting at the moment so will move near school, only constraint being within 1 hr travel to london bridge.

Also was curious as to what level of reading /writing is expected in the January assessments at NLCS and Habs. Is it just simple words like C-A-T or rather should be reading sentences. Also any clue on other activities done ?

wanttogotodisney.. It was interesting to know that the other girls were reading already. Can you please elaborate as to reading/writing at what level?

ridinghighinapril Wed 03-Sep-14 10:26:03

Reading and writing at the! We are in south London, so not going for those schools mentioned above and really hoping that is not the standard they are expecting. DD can write her name, have a stab at reading 3-letter words and talk the hind leg off a donkey (although not sure if she will do that in the absence of familiar faces).

As coolmommy says, can anyone elaborate the degree to which these kids can read and write. We are not planning on tutoring for these entrance exams.


4pluspsycho Wed 03-Sep-14 13:21:09

Thanks Disney, that sounds like something out of a comedy sketch!

I do shudder when I think of an extremely precocious 3 year old, with an all singing, all dancing 'tiger mom' smiling proudly as dd reads aloud/counts to 100/orders lunch (in French) or whatever else!

Speaking of 'tiger moms', I tried to get dd to start writing her name yesterday. Tantrum followed, so we went to the park instead. I was thinking as I was driving home, how much she actually learnt by just going to the park. Feeding the ducks, asking what they eat/drink and why they are going under the water, picking up sticks etc and playing with other children.

She learnt more in a couple of hours there, than she would do with me at home, trying to bribe her to sit still nicely and concentrate.

I suppose the schools have to measure and test in some way, but you could just train an obedient monkey to do the tasks they require, no? If you sat with your child (presuming they follow instructions!) and did pencil control, writing names, shapes, every day for say 6 months/a year, then of course they would be able to do it if they practiced long enough. I wonder how much weight is put on the ability to 'complete tasks' and how much they actually look at the child and assess them in other ways. I suppose it comes down to time and also the dc are are only in there for a short amount of time. It's just so subjective though and determined by factors out of our control too - i.e whether dd slept well, is hungry, in a bad mood, I could go on and on....

I don't know anything specific about the assessments, apart from what I've read on here. First time through this and as baffled as everyone else! Do think though, N and H ask too much and expect candidates to do evidently a lot more, compared to other (more relaxed) private schools. A friend's son who is now 8, just turned up to his assessment played with dinosaurs, did a puzzle and listened to a story. It was for a fairly selective prep school, but seemed rather laid back and no tutoring was involved.

houseisfallingdown Wed 03-Sep-14 14:07:16

I know lots of girls who passed the 4+ round here (another part of London) for 'very selective' schools and most of them could definitely not read. Most could probably just about write their name and that was about it. They were asked to chat, do jigsaws, draw pictures etc etc. It all seemed to be slightly random what they were looking for and 3 years on there seems no logic at all as to who got in and who didn't, academics wise.

alwaysdoinglaundry Thu 04-Sep-14 19:56:09

My daughter sat for NLCS a few years ago, could write her name but nothing else and couldn't read. Got a second round interview but not a place. I don't think reading is a core skill but maybe something they look for in a tie break type situation. I think would be short words certainly not sentences.

Swex Thu 04-Sep-14 20:01:13

Cautiously putting myself on this thread as ds will be doing 7+ but 2016. So just pootling and getting the lie of the land

4pluspsycho Tue 09-Sep-14 22:44:30

Just bumping this up...Disney I've pm'd you. I'm probably going to bite the bullet and get a tutor for dd. Nothing I'm doing at home is evidently working.....(sigh)

MortaIWombat Wed 10-Sep-14 11:01:49

If this is for January assessments, I think you're unlikely to find a reputable tutor with space now, judging by the stuff people write about 11+ tutors. Perhaps it's different for tinies.

Laalaa2580 Sun 14-Sep-14 17:44:06

Just received my letter for DD's 4+ assessment at SHHS. Any advice from anyone who has been through it?

paprikash Mon 15-Sep-14 20:57:54

Has anyone got any knowledge of the Forest 4+?

Greenfizzywater Tue 16-Sep-14 13:21:52

SHHS like girls who can sit still and are docile and quiet. Very formal school - reception children have to line up and shake hands every morning and are told off if they put their book bag in the wrong place.

My daughter didn't get in and they said "she grasped new concepts very quickly and wanted to move on so we found it difficult to keep her to task". fair enough she can be a bit fidgety, but I'd have though grasping new concepts quickly was a good thing!! However she has a place at our first choice school so wasn't an issue.

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