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Latymer (Edmonton) - thoughts please

(12 Posts)
hackneyLass Wed 26-Jan-11 15:27:56

My son (Yr 5) and I have different ideas about what secondary school would be right for him: I assumed he would go to a local comprehensive but he wants to try for Latymer - about which I only know it is insanely competitive to get in.

He goes to a reasonable but uncompetitive Hackney state primary school but he has disliked school since year 2. He's up the top of his class for everything except handwriting which is mediocre/atrocious. Recently he's been going to a local secondary school for regular Maths & Science days (seems to be some remnant of the G&T scheme, though his primary would never call it that) which he loves, along with the extra "theoretical" maths his teacher gives him. He seems motivated by all the extra stuff though he just rolls his eyes at the day to day work.

He may be right, a competitive school may be just the ticket for him and I'm happy to support him.

My questions to you experienced MNers are

1) Does any child get a place at Latymer without tutoring? We couldn't afford it but I can take him through practice papers (I've done verbal reasoning etc in my time).

2) Would the culture of the school suit a lad from a low income Hackney family in social housing - would all the others go skiing at Christmas etc? I really have no idea what to expect.

3) Can you get through the whole entrance malarkey without it being insanely stressful / spirit crushing. I feel that if it is the right school for him etc etc

Love to hear your experiences

animula Wed 26-Jan-11 18:26:21

The short answer to all those questions is "yes".

1. You need to get onto the elevenplus forum, and have a look in the Latymer section, which is in the "Barnet" section, I think ... bit hazy there.

Latymer have the test in two sittings. First is NVR - if he doesn't get through that, he won't sit the second test. Second is ??VR??, maybe not VR, can't remember!, English comprehension definitely, and maths. Maths is a test they set themselves - you need to see some old papers to get a "feel" for their sorts of maths questions, they are quirky.

Old papers are available from the school.

Do make sure you familiarise him with the bits of the test, it's silly not to.

2. Yes. There are children from all over at Latymer. And they all shake down. He won't be the only child there from Hackney. Truth is, grammar school is hard to get into, and when they get there, the classes are large, just like any other state school. So skiing families tend to go private. And the middling-bright children tend to get partial scholarships, and they go private too. So, no, he won't be the only child not going skiing!! And he won't be the only child in social housing, either.
Though managing to get social housing is such a rarity these days ... and in Hackney, too ...

3. Yes. i have a theory that in most cases it's the parents who make it stressful, so just don't.

But Mossbourne is doing amazingly, isn't it? Are you anywhere near that? If so, you can afford to take a punt on the grammar school, and be quite chilled ... .

Latymer is co-ed, which makes a nice change for a grammar school, and I get the impression it's good for urning out quite chilled, interesting children, who are also quite arty/musical.

hackneyLass Wed 26-Jan-11 22:08:20

Thanks animula, that is all reassuring.

I would be happy with several of our local schools including Mossbourne (well, delighted). Latymer hadn't really come onto my radar. But it has become apparent this year that son likes the extra work and it stops his endless moaning about school!

He & I looked at some of the sample papers and they look OK but obviously we'll have to do some work on it.

Anyone else who can tell me how their child got on at Latymer?

Dustylaw Wed 26-Jan-11 22:27:42

I would also suggest you think about a scholarship/bursary for an independent school eg City of London, Highgate, Forest. Most have been changed to ensure that support can be up to 100% of fees if means testing shows it is needed. Please don't think it's not for you or your son - you would be surprised.

tropicalfish Wed 26-Jan-11 22:28:49

my dc goes to Latymer and although we did have a tutor I think you can do the prep yourself. One point to note is that the school recently changed its exam structure and now does not set vr and has a much longer english paper. The school provides example papers and you can buy the latest set from the school which will include the new english paper.
We did about 45mins work a night with more at the weekend. My dc's school did not set any homework and also the set work at school was very much easier than the exam papers. You could see there was a big gap which needed filling.

animula Wed 26-Jan-11 23:50:16

Sorry, just nipped back to say that there was a typo in my post. It should have said "middling-income and bright", rather than "middling bright". (The whole 25% of fees scholarship thing.)

Bursaries (for private school), as Dustylaw says, are income-related, and for 100% of fees (though not extras, I think).

cluttered Thu 27-Jan-11 00:56:26

Hi HackneyLass, we are also in Hackney and currently waiting to hear whether DS got into Latymer.

We did tutor but our neighbours' DS who is the year ahead got in with no tutoring, just practice papers during the summer holidays before. He is bright certainly but isn't one of these precociously gifted kids you see on TV

Our neighbours are just a normal Hackney family, they holiday mainly in the UK and go camping/visiting friends and family rather than posh hotels, and their DS seems to have made friends from similar backgrounds

I think if you don't tutor you will reduce the pressure, certainly their DS and they were fairly relaxed about the whole thing whereas because we tutored we increased the expectations on DS, so I was very worried about his reaction if he had not got through the NVR.

I would say that Latymer is geared towards those children good at NVR/Maths rather than Literacy/VR. Yes, they have an English paper but the Maths paper is what really separates the applicants. So if your DS is strong in maths he should have a good chance. Don't worry too much about the handwriting as long as it is legible, I know that some independent schools' entrance tests mark for handwriting but I don't think Latymer does (someone please correct me if I'm wrong).

Does your DS play any musical instruments because they do have music places (30 I think), these children only have to pass the first (NVR) round.

You are very lucky if you are in the catchment for Mossbourne! We are in the outer catchment band but have no hope of getting in because too close to City (but not close enough to get into City).

LaydeeC Thu 27-Jan-11 13:29:33

^^cluttered, getting into Mossbourne doesn't just depend on catchment in all caseswink

Aynil Wed 09-Nov-16 21:51:28

Hi, I was looking for a good tutor that can help my daughter with latymer school entry exam.

SuperPug Mon 14-Nov-16 22:43:31

Definitely try it - Mossbourne is excellent and I'm sure he would thrive there as well.
You can prepare on your own although it's misleading of schools to say that no preparation is necessary.
- Look at other school websites for practise papers- CLSB have theirs up as do a number of other schools.
- Possible support from teachers at his current school? Marking papers etc.?
- Bursary schemes above are definitely worth investigating.
- Timing is key with past papers and he should try and do as many as possible without it taking over his free time.
- Possible use of laptop if he's statemented to use it? Does he have issues with motor skills and dexterity with his hands?
Good Luck smile

nizzy123 Tue 15-Nov-16 20:45:48

Aynil, the proposed exam for 2018 entry (2017 exam), looks like it might be a two part exam: first part GL Maths and Verbal Reasoning (July 2017 exam) and if get through this round, second round is a full length English paper.

For everyone else, OP is from 2011.

SuperPug Tue 15-Nov-16 21:07:20

Aargh! This happened before.confused
Did not see that it was reanimated thread, always happens in the education section.

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