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If you wanted your child to go to Reading School, what primary would you send them to

(31 Posts)
havemercy Sun 25-Jan-15 21:56:43

Due to proximity I would love my pfb to go to the grammar school in Reading. I'm currently looking at primary schools for him. I have the money to go private, but I know nothing about the private system.

Can anyone suggest a good prep school, or give me positive stories of state educated primary going to Reading school please?

Apologies if my terminology is wrong. I know this is an emotive topic. I'm after a bit of information to help make my decisions. I want to give my pfb the best chance at life and I'd like to keep his options as open as possible. Obviously I have no idea of his aptitude or ability at the moment (I assume he would be able as his father and I are very very well educated from the state system)

havemercy Mon 26-Jan-15 08:22:41


HelpMeGetOutOfHere Mon 26-Jan-15 16:16:31

It doesn't matter what school your child goes to to get into reading. It is based on their ability at the 11+.

My ds2 attended a normal faith school about 6 miles from Reading and he passed the test and is a pupil now. No extra coaching or tutors.

I would encourage him to complete homework and to read extensively.

The problem with Reading is that it has such a large catchment area and the intake is tiny in comparison. I really believe it is the luck of the draw.

I have heard that boys who attend crosfields do well in the tests though and ds seems to know a few who had previously attended crosfields.

Izzy82 Mon 26-Jan-15 23:38:59

State schools can offer no help with the Reading exam. They have over 600 applicants for 100 places so it's quite hard to get in. I teach in a school local to Reading and have seen some incredibly bright children not get in. They are up against children who have been tutored for years to pass the exam (obviously not all children are tutored!).

havemercy Tue 27-Jan-15 10:27:27

Thankyou so much help me, have you heard anything of Waverley Prep School?

izzy I am happy to pay for tutoring. I did wonder when this should start as my Ds is 3 years old. I'll probably start him at 8?

I was thinking of putting him into a (pre?)prep school now, so it doesn't become a 'culture' shift if he was to get into the grammar....

I have to admit all if this is new to me as I was State Educated, so apologies if my terminology is not correct.

We live in West Reading.

HereIAm20 Tue 27-Jan-15 10:54:56

If your intention is for your DC to go into the independent system if he does not get into Reading School it would make sense to look at which Secondary School they would go to and look at the "feeders" for that school. We used to live in Reading and son went to Crosfields from yrs 3-8 having gone to state school for yrs R-2. My younger son has done the same where we live now. We chose to do this because the local state schools did not offer the same sports or Mel and Latin to the level that the Independents did so we did not want them to be disadvantaged if they joined later. So I suggest thinking about what preps fit best with your Reading School alternate might be the starting point.

HereIAm20 Tue 27-Jan-15 10:55:54

MFL not Mel darn autocorrect

ElfontheShelfIsWATCHINGYOUTOO Tue 27-Jan-15 14:48:57

They are up against children who have been tutored for years to pass the exam (obviously not all children are tutored!)

also up against pupils at schools who teach them to pass exam ie private schools with an aim and goal.

havemercy Tue 27-Jan-15 16:34:39

Thankyou so much everyone for giving me all this lovely information. I'm pretty ignorant of secondary teaching, as well! I have friends with children at St. Josephs and others with aspiration's of The Abbey.

St Joseph's is 3-18 so I'm thinking that they probably don't coach children with the purpose of getting into Reading School.

hereIAm did your child have trouble transitioning at Crossfields, having come from state? Did they have to pass an exam. If so were they tutored for that exam?

HelpMeGetOutOfHere Tue 27-Jan-15 20:03:44

If you are west reading have you looked at st Edwards? I have a friend with a boy there and her older boy went there. He's now at reading and she said they are extremely well prepped for entrance exams.

I have a friend with a boy in yr 8 at st joes. It's a fairly new thing for boys to go there. I went many moons ago and was all girls then. As you say they go all the way through there. Perhaps look at schools with a view to staying until 18 but with preparation for the 11+ And maybe the added bonus of passing and getting in to reading and no more fees wink

havemercy Tue 27-Jan-15 20:43:16

The main reason Reading school appeals is that I won't have to pay fees! I don't know anything about the quality of it yet blush

St Edwards is the closest independent school to me, I havent looked into it yet but will definitely do so (with an open mind thanks to your recommendation).

Has your friend said anything about the atmosphere at St Edwards? I'm after a caring nurturing environment where the children just happen to be intelligent/challenged

Izzy82 Tue 27-Jan-15 22:21:10

Whilst I agree that you probably need to tutor your son in order to level out the playing field, I wouldn't put all your eggs in one basket. he is still only you g and it might be that he is not particularly academic. Reading Boys have incredibly high expectations of the boys. I have seen several past pupils really struggle when they have been tutored to pass the exam but are not accidentally 'up to it'. There would be nothing worse for your son than to know he was always bottom of the class.
Whatever you choose, I hope he does well wherever he ends up

havemercy Wed 28-Jan-15 00:05:14

Thanks Izzy that is really kind of you.

I absolutely will not mind if ds is not academic. If we get close to 11plus age and it seems that he would struggle there then I would have no hesitation in not entering him for the exam. I want him to be happy in life, not subjected to intense pressure at school. Equally I would hate for him to be bored and not stimulated daily at school.

I don't want to hold him back in life in any way. I struggled to get my education and I do think I would have found gaining my education easier if I had been in a more appropriate setting (I really thrived at university).

MrsCakesPrecognition Wed 28-Jan-15 00:28:13

How about focusing on finding a lovely, local primary school which suits your DS, let him make local friends and develop at his own pace through KS1. Then you can look at doing some tutoring or DIY 11+ preparation once he gets to y5.

DoctorDonnaNoble Wed 28-Jan-15 06:14:15

I used to teach at Reading School. A long time ago now! I remember us getting boys in from Crossfields. Remember there is also Year 9 entry.
The main thing I remember is we had boys from a range of schools, not many from the immediate area state schools, although I think that was based on assumptions and not many actually trying to get in.

havemercy Wed 28-Jan-15 09:46:28

MrsCakes, your
post is exactly the struggle I am having! I've tried to give him an idyllic early few years and would love to continue with that but the large class sizes of state have been a little disconcerting.

Thanks for your input DoctorDonna, Crossfields's fees were a little eye watering, but it is local and convenient so I'll put that on my list to look at. Its nice to have your validation too.

Waspie Wed 28-Jan-15 11:15:35

We looked at Waverley school. I loved it. At the time we looked (3 years ago) 8 out of the 12 Year 6 of the preceding year had gone on to either Reading or Kendrick and the others had won scholarships. They were/are(?) very focused on getting their children to grammar or scholarships to independents.

We discounted Waverley as it's finances were very precarious at the time and had recently failed to convert to an academy with education provider CFBT. DP was concerned that it would shut, as our other local prep had done the year before, meaning that DS would have to change school once again.

It's a long way from west Reading though.

MrsCakesPrecognition Wed 28-Jan-15 14:40:05

There won't be more than 30 in his class for the first few years, so not impossibly huge. It is definitely worth visiting some schools to see how they are laid out, what the reception class staffing arrangements are and how the classes feel. It is amazing how different schools can feel in the flesh when they look pretty similar on paper.

havemercy Wed 28-Jan-15 20:31:14

Waverley is in The Times top ten list?

LadyintheRadiator Wed 28-Jan-15 20:40:51

When will he start school/what's your catchment school? Just interested as am in the area and schools seem to vary massively here.

LadyintheRadiator Wed 28-Jan-15 20:41:55

Pm if you'd like but don't want to say on here.

havemercy Wed 28-Jan-15 20:49:30

He will start reception/foundation September 2015

<<scared mommy face>>

havemercy Wed 28-Jan-15 20:50:15

Where are you?

LadyintheRadiator Wed 28-Jan-15 21:01:45

Ahh my DD goes this year too. I'm West Reading, bath road ish. Have you applied for state primaries?

I do have a DS at primary but don't make judgments on what others choose - my own DS had lots of difficulties when younger and for a short while I wasn't even sure if mainstream was a choice - he's doing fine though now.

I do think there is a lot to be said for local primary for at least infants to make friends etc depending on which it is and how much you are/want to be involved in the local community. That said I have friends with DC at St Joes who are v happy too.

HelpMeGetOutOfHere Wed 28-Jan-15 22:40:45

My friend loves at Edwards. She said the pastoral care is excellent and the boys have only nice things to say about the school and staff.

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