North London selective schools - how much prep?

(6 Posts)
FanDabbyFloozy Fri 12-Jun-15 22:55:08

Hi,
I am trying to keep calm about prep for the entrance exams for secondary transfer in North London but the numbers are boggling - two thousand sitting for Henrietta Barnett fgs! We have begun some lightweight work as my dd is in y4, but I know kids in her class doing 15 bond papers a week! Is all that prep really needed?

The school say she is bright but there is no way I could get her to do 15 papers a week during school term, nor would I want to! Our only school on distance is a school with the lowest results in the Borough, otherwise we wouldn't go down this route.

So hand on heart how much prep is needed by the end of Y4 and through Y5? Do tutors recommend all this work? (We haven't found one yet).

404NotFound Fri 12-Jun-15 23:02:07

i have one dc who aced all the selective exams with minimal prep, and two who didn't quite get in having also done minimal prep, but probably would have just about squeaked in if we'd pushed them a bit.

I have no regrets that we didn't prep the younger two more intensively. Looking at people I know who did, their dc are not doing significantly better five/seven years down the line than the dc who went to good comprehensives (normal comps, not DAO etc).

So it kind of depends how much it matters to you to go the selective route. it probably won't make that much difference to your dc's outcomes unless your backup schools are all truly dire. Excessive tutoring and academic pressure otoh have been known to backfire.

Your call, really.

FanDabbyFloozy Fri 12-Jun-15 23:11:01

That is reassuring! I don't mind preparing some but not going OTT as I have other kids. Maybe I'm not crazy after all!

I really don't have options as our closest school by distance and the only one ever offered to my area never fills spaces even. Sadly we are not Jewish as there are great options then. We could possibly do an Indy but with sacrifice and only if we only got that school.

ssss123 Sun 14-Jun-15 21:54:05

Are you in barnet? If so how about qe girls or copthall. Both are good comprehensives. Mill Hill CH also a good semi-selective option.

MMmomKK Mon 15-Jun-15 00:47:18

North London seem to be similar to the West London where we are. Competition is intense and the process is rather stressful.

I don't know what the right level of prepping is. 15 papers a week sounds a bit high - with this speed they'll run out of test to practice, lol.

Your daughter is going to Y5 next year. In prep schools in Y5 kids would have daily homework, with more additional work during holidays. It doesn't all have to be "tests". The program at preps at Y5 is meant to cover most of the material needed for the 11+ by end of Y5, so that Y6 can be spent on polishing and practicing.

As I understand, 11+ at most competitive independents (and grammars?) kids should be comfortable Level 5s, or even 6. Based on where your daughter is now and her trajectory, you can figure out what is necessary to get there.

FanDabbyFloozy Wed 17-Jun-15 03:31:58

Ssss123 - unfortunately not in Barnet or Mill Hill but further south in the borough. MHC by selection might be an option though so will check that out.

MMMomKK - That is useful, thanks. She is doing well at present and one of the top few (or so she says hahahah!). She was a L3 at KS1 if that means anything?

Anyone else willing to say how much prep they're doing?

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