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Do you need to have gone to private primary to pass private secondary entrance exams?

(19 Posts)
puffling Fri 24-Jul-09 22:19:08

Apologies if this has been covered in recent state/private threads.
DD will be going to a decent state primary. Children do quite well there in all areas of their development. The philosophy is 'Learning thru' play.' I get the idea, but they seem to do an awful lot of playing.
Anyway, if we were then to apply for state Grammars or to take private entrance exams for private secondary schools, would dd be seriously behind other entrants?

sandyballs Fri 24-Jul-09 22:31:00

From what i have heard from other parents at my dd's state school, they would need to be tutored from year 4/5 to stand a chance in the grammar school exams.

abraid Fri 24-Jul-09 22:40:30

It depends on the area you're in. My daughter got in from a state primary with no coaching, but we're not in London.

Friends in London trying to get into Henrietta B. or Tiffin Girls tell me they had coaching for some years.

englishpatient Fri 24-Jul-09 22:45:54

Yes - she will be unfamiliar with the types of questions (verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning) as these are not covered at all in most state primaries. Most (but NOT all) private primaries prepare their pupils for these exams so those children will be at an advantage straight away. The competition for state grammars is huge, so even if your DD is very bright, she will NOT automatically get in!

JackBauer Fri 24-Jul-09 22:50:18

I had a small amount of coaching for about 6 months before private school exams from my state primary, mostly to get me used to the types of questions. My headteacher actually did the coaching.
I got into the school and there were other children there who ahd gone to state primaries as well. (this was a while ago though)

puffling Fri 24-Jul-09 23:46:16

Thanks for your replies. very useful

hmc Fri 24-Jul-09 23:53:42

I'm glad you asked this since my plan is good local village state primary for my children (they are already there) but private school in So'ton at secondary level....

trixymalixy Sat 25-Jul-09 00:00:28

I went to state primary and passed the entrance exams for a private school.

dilemma456 Sat 25-Jul-09 00:12:56

Message withdrawn

orangetulip Sat 25-Jul-09 11:52:30

Hard to say without knowing your state primary or what the entrance exam is for the private secondary. But my DS was at a very good state primary - he got offered both a Grammar school place and a scholarship to an independent school - no tuition just practiced Bond papers with me at home, and the independent school had changed its Maths and English papers to be more in line with Nat Curr so it was supposed to be fair for applicants from all backgrounds.

Lilymaid Sat 25-Jul-09 12:15:54

DS1 went to State Primary then got place (with bursary) to local (but newspaper "premier league") independent and was awarded a bursary. He did some verbal reasoning and English practice with a tutor in our village for an hour per week in Y6. The primary he was at was extremely average (think it was then OFSTED Satisfactory) though he had previously been at a very good primary in another part of the country. He is very good at jumping through academic hoops, so would have got in without any tutoring.

HappyRainbow Sat 25-Jul-09 15:47:36

My son has just left his state primary and passed the entrance exam for a grammar school and an indepenent senior school.

He had no coaching. Both schools stated that they were not trying to catch children out who had not had an indepenent primary schooling as the entrance exam questions were more of a general nature.

I bought some 11+ exams books/papers from WH Smith's for him to go through to give him and us an idea of what was in store.

primarymum Sat 25-Jul-09 16:12:48

My DS sat and passed the 11+ for grammar school here without any previous knowledge at all. We found on the Monday that the area we were moving to still had the 11+ and he sat it on the Tuesday! When it was youngest son's turn, he practised on a few papers from WHSmiths and he too passed. So I think a great deal depends on your child, the level of competition and whether they are worried by the type of paper they will have to sit. Have a look at some sample papers ( the 11+ site is very useful!) ) and see what you think!

Metella Sat 25-Jul-09 16:48:39

I think you will need to do some sort of preparation but you can probably do it at home (for private anyway - grammars are hugely competitive).

This site has links to sample papers for various private schools around London which might give you an idea.

Free Papers

mimsum Sat 25-Jul-09 19:25:38

ds1 went to a good but not academically obsessed state primary and sailed through private secondary exams with no coaching and only looking at one practice paper

The staff at the secondary's open day specifically said not to tutor as they were looking for potential - they also said they marked the candidates from private prep schools differently to those from state primaries

My mum didn't organise any coaching for me at 11+ age and I got full scholarships at 4 different schools plus a place at Tiffin girls - if children are really bright it will be totally obvious to the examiner. Btw, I was very bright at that age, but by no means genius level ....

nooka Sat 25-Jul-09 19:36:10

dh and I both went from state primary to private selective with no tutoring/problems. It would seem somewhat unwise for private schools to only take from private preps on a business front to be honest.

I would ask the schools that you think you might be interested in at secondary where their pupils come from at the moment. That might help give you an idea whether it is an issue or not.

I think you have to be quite careful with tutoring/cramming for entrance exams because it's really not helpful for children to be in an environment where they struggle to keep up - you might find that tutoring is required in the long term.

puffling Sat 25-Jul-09 22:59:50

Thanks all. really useful info.

scienceteacher Sat 25-Jul-09 23:02:22

The best advice is to go to WH Smith and buy some 11+ papers.

AcademicMum Sat 25-Jul-09 23:11:00

I went to state primaries and passed entrance exams to private secondary school, but this was some years ago (in the days when children still did the 11+, so we were coached for that at primary school anyhow). I didn't have any private tutor either. From what I remember most people at my school came in to private education at secondary level not primary level. As I say though, my info may be seriously outdated....

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