How academic is Colfe's? I am considering the school for my DS (Yr4) in a few years time (for year 7 intake). I am
worrying wondering whether he will pass the exam. Just how difficult is it? Will most average children get in or do you think that it is predominantly for the 'above average'?
He is well above average in his reading, science (is on G&T) and general knowledge but is average in maths and writing (although of course, this may improve)
I know it's very difficult for anyone to say but would love to hear the opinion from those who have DC in Colfe's.
I don't have dc at Colfes but I know several families who do. No less than six of ds' classmates went there in September 2010 and they have all settled well. All of them passed the exam, one got a scholarship. None of them were academic high-flyers. FWIW some just missed out on at least one of the Bexley and Kent 11 plus exams. I don't think the exam is all that hard tbh but don't forget there is an interview too! Good luck, everyone I know with dc there is very satisfied with the school.
Thank you Marina, it is really good to hear that none of the six were particular high-flyers and that they all passed the exam. DS is intelligent but definitely not academically flying right now. I had the impression that they only get invited for an interview if they pass the exam?
I have had a peek at a sample test from their website but it's hard to tell what DS will be capable of in a few years!
He's only Yr 4 and I'm already panicking.
I have dc at Colfes. My understanding is that the school is less selective than the grammars in that children who might not have passed the Bexley 11+ can get in.
Why not go to one of the open days in Sept and ask them? Also, your child's primary school may well have an experienced view.
One of our neighbours is a teacher at Colfes. When we've spoken to him, he has described it as an excellent school for those who just miss out on the Bexley 11+ (we live in Bexley borough so that would be our starting position). He also said that he thought it was an excellent school up to GCSE level, although in his view it was less strong at A' Level - his reasoning being that the pupils were very carefully coached to succeed in their exams, which might be to the detriment of their development as independent learners. I think that was the gist. Anyway, our DS1 is in Year 3, so still a way to go, but in my mind Colfes is a definite possibility if he doesn't make it through the 11+.
Thanks for the replies. Has anyone known of anyone failing the test?
Just saw this. I know dozens of children who've sat the Colfe's test and have only ever heard of one who wasn't offered a place. To say it's for those who "just" miss out on Bexley 11+ is probably a bit generous. They were advertising recently that they still had places available for this September so are obviously not hugely over-subscribed...
Thanks katiebdee. I think my son is a long way off grammar (mainly due to slowness) so that's good to hear. Do you have any idea why the one child didn't get in? I did notice that they still have places available; so am hopeful!
I believe they allocate the places and scholarships based on the test results, however, they only know how many people will take up the places when they respond to the initial offers. I know of a lot of people who have sat Colfe's as a back up in case they did not get in to GS or their preferred Indie. I think that is why they still have places left.
I would also take the just missed out on Bexley with a rather large pinch of salt. I know someone who was offered a 50% scholarship + a 25% bursary at Colfe's and did not pass the Bexley, Kent or St. Olaves 11+ test.
I find it very hard to believe that a child who failed the 11 plus received an offer of an academic scholarship for Colfe's - all the children I know who received academic scholarships (rather than means tested bursaries) either passed the 11 plus or didn't bother to take it but would have walked it, students now studying medicine and the like.
It is not as selective as St Olaves and would take some at senior school who just miss the Bexley test - but then carries on adding value so those children often outperform the ones who leave at 11 (mainly to save their parents paying the fees) when they sit GCSEs and A Levels.
I really don't think you can compare Colfe's to St Olaves!!
From the research I've done, most people are in agreement that it is not a very selective school and they take mostly average children.
Hard to believe or not, it is true. Not only didn't he not pass Bexley he didn't pass Kent either, he was not even close. I dont' know if he only just missed the St Olaves or again if he was miles out like in the other 2. Still the child was offered a 50% scolarship and a 25% means tested Bursary. I don't know if Colfe's were aware of his 11+ results.
Perhaps the child was particularly gifted in one area, eg maths, sport or music. A computer marked VR/NVR test would not pick out these abilities, but a broad entrance exam with interview would.
We looked at Colfes for our dd. We liked it a lot, the school has the head teacher that impressed us the most. In the end, we chose another school because we felt that dd was not confident enough to cope with so many boys. If we had a son, it would be top of our list.
FWIW My Neighbour had a dd at Colfes and out of her 3 dc ( other 2 went to city of London) she was the least academic. Neighbour thought it was a good school for her as it was not a very pressurised environment but dd still got a place at a decent uni on a decent course when she left Colfes.
Sorry SE12, I've only just seen that you asked me a question! The child I know who didn't get into Colfe's is very severely dyslexic.
The Colfe's test is different as unlike the 11+ tests, there is no VR or NVR - for some children that's an advantage!
I would be heartened by places still being available so late in the day - all the independent schools have the same issue of not knowing who is going to take up places but most fill any gaps from their waiting lists pretty quickly.
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