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What age do preps start preparation for 13+

(16 Posts)
dazedandconfused12 Tue 24-Oct-17 10:04:44

Just that really.
Ds1 is at village primary in yr3. It's 200m from our house, free and he's very happy. Class is v mixed ability.
Ideally at 13 we'd like him to go to highly academic senior school.
We've found a prep school 1 hr away which regularly gets children into the academic school we fancy and we have found a plan b school too.
So the question is what age should we move him? Prep school has the disadvantage of the commute and cost.

AnotherNewt Tue 24-Oct-17 10:09:17

Does the secondary school have a pre-test at 11+?

LIZS Tue 24-Oct-17 10:15:51

They do far more regular testing from year 3 onwards, so children get gradually very used to exam technique and discipline. They will also use CATs, Pip tests et al to assess the child's potential and advise on appropriate schools to aim for. If your proposed secondary is academically selective you may want to establish before making the move that he is potentially a suitable candidate. It is not unusual for pupils to join a prep school between year 5 and year 7. Some seniors pretest and make conditional offers as early as year 6 though.

dazedandconfused12 Tue 24-Oct-17 11:38:45

Apologies another newt I should have made it clear the academic secondary starts at age 13 (yr9?) And the entry exam is taken a year before.
Thank you LIZS should I ask the prep / secondary how early they could give an indication of the suitability of the 2ndy for DC1 or is the exam at age 12 the only way?

LIZS Tue 24-Oct-17 11:43:28

It will vary. Do they offer an alternative entry route for non CE/Prep school candidates? What level of SATs do they normally expect from state school candidates to pass their tests.

KingscoteStaff Tue 24-Oct-17 12:14:28

Double double check there isn't a pre-test for Plan A school in Year 6.

Is Plan B school 13+ as well?

dazedandconfused12 Tue 24-Oct-17 12:28:03

Hmm good point re sats. We were thinking of moving him for yr5 to give him 3 years in the prep before the entrance exam. But it would mean he wouldn't sit the sats. I guess I can just ask the school directly? On their website it just says exam in yr8.
DS1 was predicted exceeding for ks1 Sats in reading maths but didn't get the maths. No explanation was offered by the teacher at parents evening other than he rushes and doesn't read the questions properly.

AnotherNewt Tue 24-Oct-17 12:28:26

If the entry is by (competitive?) exam in year 8, then I wouid be looking at having your DS finish primary school at he usual point, then go to the prep for two years.

So you need to look now about registering him for both schools to see if that path will work and that you don't miss any admin deadlines.

If the secondary school is not competitive exam, but CE, then you need to find out how and when it makes its conditional offers (as you say no pre-test).

Because if that is in year 6, you might want to think about an earlier move to the prep.

One way of assessing standard is via sessions with a tutor who is familiar with entry to the desired school. I don't mean signing up to tutoring - that's a totally different thing, I mean a few sessions with the aim of assessing across all the main subjects.

dazedandconfused12 Tue 24-Oct-17 12:33:03

Plan b school you can start at 11 or 13 which will be awkward but I guess we can't avoid but at least he wouldn't be the only one starting at 13...

BubblesBuddy Tue 24-Oct-17 14:43:41

My DD went to a prep that prepares for CE at 13 plus. They didn’t prep for 11 plus. You really should go next year. They will be doing French (or an MFL) and the children will also get subject specialist teaching which you won’t get at the village school. The prep schools will stream or set and you need to get into that system. Our prep had fantastic art, music and sport because children were prepped for scholarships in those fields as well, not just academics.

I therefore think leaving it until Y7 is too late if the school you want us CE only. If it’s not, then it won’t matter so much but you have missed out on a lot that is available at the prep. You will also have three schools in quick succession which is a bit messy.

DD moved for Y4 and it was about right. I assume they have a space? Senior schools don’t take much notice of Sats because most prep pupils don’t sit them. That really shouldn’t be a consideration.

Lowdoorinthewal1 Tue 24-Oct-17 14:53:47

An hour is a very long commute though. Does the prep run long days and Saturday school?

ChocolateWombat Tue 24-Oct-17 14:56:11

I would second triple checking there isn't a pre-test in Yr6 for entry into Yr9 option. This is increasingly being used.
And if it is, I would think carefully about doing that pre-test, because it gives you your place and although CE might still be taken, the place is guaranteed. The other reason to do this if it is offered is because if they pre-test at Yr6 by the time of testing at Yr8 level, there maybe very few places remaining and it's more competitive to get the late rather than early offer.

I would be speaking to both Preps and asking how many join the school in Yr 5,6,7 and exactly how many go to each destination and if any take pre-tests in Yr6 for anywhere....and if they do, why the school isn't prepping for it. You need to ask loads of specific questions and for numbers where possible as responses toget a better picture.

ChocolateWombat Tue 24-Oct-17 15:00:27

And also, do ring the Senior schools too - don't just look at website.
Simply explain where he is now and what you are considering. Ask them for advice and if they have routes for state school educated children and also clarify exactly when different deadlines for applying, being tested etc are and if there are more than option with all this.

It's always good to start talking and building a bit of a relationship sooner rather than later and for your own clarity and peace of mind.

Work backwards to the Prep once you are totally clear about the Senior.

dazedandconfused12 Tue 24-Oct-17 15:11:36

We have visited both schools and DS1 (and 2!) are registered for both schools. I'm thinking the prep will start preparing them around yr5 which is why I thought we could 2more years out of state primary.
Prep school has spaces and no exam to get in. It sends a handful each year to the academic school so is a 'tried and tested' route and we did ask the academic school about the prep school too. There is a child that went to our primary to yr 6, did 2 years at the 2nd state school and 5hen got a scholarship to the academic independent school but she is super bright and I don't want to base my strategy on 'hope' ;-). Also we wouldn't want our kids to remain at the state school if they don't get in just because the sports etc is pretty poor.
The question is whether it's OK to leave it til year 5 or we need to move in year 4?

ChocolateWombat Tue 24-Oct-17 15:38:23

Yr3 is a standard time to move, as is Yr5. However, in Preps you will often find one or two leaving and coming in every year, so whilst Yr4 wouldn't be the usual point, it would probably be fine.

Saving a year of fees sounds like it would help you. Yr5 would be fine and leaving it to Year7 is also possible if you could do with saving more. Every year, Preps see a number leave at the end of Yr6 (even if they don't officially have a Yr6 exit) and expect to gain a number at Yr 7 if they go to 13.

Yr 5 is often the time when Preps start things like Latin, which is part of CE - most don't do it in Yr4.

dazedandconfused12 Tue 24-Oct-17 19:34:38

Thank you all for your input. Very helpful and some good pointers on things to check out.

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