Advice please on whether to do 7+(13 Posts)
My 6 year old DD3 is currently at a good all round independent school which she will leave at 11. My older DD's (Y3 & Y5) are also at the same school and are average in their class. However, DD3 is very bright, amazing reader (total bookworm) etc., loves to learn and will sit happily for extended periods focusing on academic stuff (despite parents who are not pushy at all!). She is one of the top academically in her year despite being the youngest. Girls at our school generally do the 11+ which is fairly gruesome (we are in central London) but at least they are all in it together and are ready to leave by then.
I could have DD3 sit the 7+ for a selective academic school and if she goes there she will stay until 18 yrs old. However, she is very happy at her school now which is a 5 minute walk from our house. The 7+ school is a commute (20/25 mins in a car) and not sure how many friends she would make that live close to us. I didn't even think of doing the 7+ with her two older DDs as they would not have been up for it but DD3 would probably take it in her stride and possibly even enjoy it. I still feel a bit sad about her not going to her school around the corner, where she is very happy and worry that she may not be happy changing schools. She is however quite sociable and adapts well to new situations and people and is also a leader.
I feel maybe I should give her the opportunity to be in a school with similar academic kids. Also the school has amazing results all the way through to A levels. I could wait and have her apply to the school at 11+ but should I strike while the iron is hot? Competition is fierce at 11+. If she got in now she would miss out on the next 4 years in her happy local school but at the same time be in an amazing school which we will be applying for anyway at 11+. The assessment is in January and DH says just do it and then decide but I'd rather not bother doing it if we are going to decide in the end to keep her in her current school until 11. Any thoughts?
I don't know whether my thoughts will be very useful to you but my main one is that being in the same school from ages 7-18 sounds massively claustrophobic to me. She'd be pigeon-holed by the time she was 9 and that would be her til 18. Its great that she's academic but who knows what else she might be - sporty, artistic, musical, creative? Shy, popular, thoughtful, outspoken? Why not wait and see and then look to getting her into the right school for her at 11?
Would you be considering the same school at 11+ for either of your elder dds?
Good point Barbarian about it being claustrophobic although the academic school has great sports, music etc also. I would still say the kids there are all well rounded but also strong academically if that makes any sense.
LIZS: I would like to try the other two DD's for that school at the 11+ but it is horrendously competitive to get in at 11+ so am not sure they would get in. There is no sibling policy. But that is the sad reality with a lot of central London good independent schools.
No use having great sporting facilities (or whatever) if you, your classmates and your teacher decided several years previously that sport isn't your thing. Changing schools is a great opportunity for reinvention and for people to look at you with fresh eyes (and having made that point extensively I'll now stop banging on ).
Is the school run manageable? I know it sounds least of the concerns at this point but once she gets through, it will be a few years of juggling the logistics. Will the other siblings has to sacrifice their extra curricular to sit in car for commute all the time? 20/25 minutes can easily double in London traffic. If the prep regularly send children to this senior school at 11+ I would wait.
The school run is okish but it is true that it could double in London traffic. Other kids wouldn't suffer because I have a some help in the afternoon and in the morning I could drop her after I drop them. The prep school sends a few kids but not many. Still, I think perhaps I should wait.
Stay where you are, she can try for lots of other schools at 11 and it will save you a lot of hassle with school runs
I wouldn't even bother. There's so much to be said for being in the same school as her siblings and being local plus by the time she's 11 then surely she could get herself there? You said yourself that she thrives on learning in which case she should find the 11+ fine. I did 11+ last year with my DD and it's really not that onerous, the build up and the panic from the other parents is far more stressful than the reality.
Schools with amazing results tend to be selective ie those children would get amazing results whatever school they were in.
I wouldn't even consider moving her from a school where she is happy and her siblings are unless her needs weren't being met. It's quite a pressure to be singled out as the 'clever' one at such a young age, and her ability won't diminish in any decent school.
The 11+ is really not that bad for an academic child, particularly one already in a prep. I'd move her only if you think she'd enjoy the new school more. Also you may decide at 9/10 to aim for a different school entirely.
A 7-18 school will not pigeon hole your child at 9. In most schools the junior and senior departments are very separate and there's a huge intake and fresh new start at 11. You don't specify the school but Junior departments and senior schools are very different (and often in completely separate buildings, just sharing sports etc facilities) in all the schools I looked at.
Thanks for all your messages. It's hard to know whether she would like the new school more but why take the risk. If it ain't broke... Thanks for all your comments. I guess I was thinking of trying to 'slip one in' now and have some peace of mind that she has a place in an excellent school until 18 but I will have 2 other DD's who have done the 11+ by then so it shouldn't be so stressful (I hope). Also, I totally agree that bright kids get decent results in any decent school! Also, good news on the London Consortium front too since yesterday as they are changing 11+ to CAT & interview so that will hopefully ease the pain a bit!
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