...So, the test paper for Kingston Grammar....(23 Posts)
I was sent a sample exam with the prospectus.
My son is year 5, and will hopefully sit their exam before Christmas.
Is this what we can expect with most schools? Is this supposed to be difficult?
I am not sure, as we have been overseas for a good number of years, and this whole secondary thing has just hit with full force.
Not sure what you mean..do you not find the test difficult?
Is Kingston Grammar an independent?
If so (knowing nothing about this particular school) the entrance paper may be difficult or it may be quite easy. Some independents are very selective; others not so. Also, some may have papers with a mix of easy and difficult questions - the pass mark might not be too high but it allows them to assess the intake, and provides a basis for awarding scholarships.
I am not sure whether it is difficult or not, I am trying to gauge my sons maths skills, but it is tricky because he only started uk school again in September.
I will let him do the exercises later.
It is beginning to dawn on me that he really IS disadvantaged having spent the last three years overseas in a different school system, and I am beginning to panic, seeing as we are coming from a state school.
Have you visited the school and talked to anyone there? One thing to remember is that with private schools you're a potential customer. They should be perfectly happy to discuss with you your DSs educational background and whether he might need to do something extra. I'm not a fan of tutoring but this is the sort of specific case - where your DS may not have covered the expected curriculum, regardless of his inherent ability - where it might be worth considering.
Kingston Grammar is an independent and is very selective. They have an interview if you pass the test, so they're looking at the 'whole child', rather than academic ability alone.
If you live near Kingston then you'll know Tiffin - it's nowhere near as competitive as that!!
I've known a few children from DD's state school get into Kingston Grammar - they were bright children, but not the brightest in the class. They were also the kind of kids that were very sporty and played an instrument, which makes me think that they're looking for 'all-rounders'.
My DS1 goes to Kingston Grammar, and my DS2 didn't get in (no sibling policy!) OP - do you mean the A4 page of maths puzzle-type questions they give you? My DS1 couldn't have done all of those in yr 5.
Basically they're looking for kids who are pretty good at both maths and english, and I think it's getting harder to get in - the pass mark (ie mark above which kids got interviews) was only about 45% this year, which makes me think they set a pretty tough paper! Having said that, as corlan said, it's nothing like as hard as Tiffin to get into.
Coming from a state school isn't a disadvantage - I think something like 60% of their intake is from state schools (my DS1 was at a state primary). If you want any more advice re the exam or the school itself, do pm me.
stillfeel18, thanks, I will pm you once I have read the prospectus better.
I have three prospectuses to go through this weekend. Colette Court (St Pauls), Kings College Wimbledon and Kingston Grammar. We are considering these along with Ibstock Place. But, we will of course need to see all of them first. Have some knowledge of St Pauls, as ds1 is a member of their fencing club, love the grounds and the location. Dh has also done some consulting at Kings and he was very impressed with what he saw, and we have been to the Ibstock open day. But it was all rather sudden, so we feel really late with all this.
We are also thinking of applying to Ashcroft Technology College, St John Bosco, Gunnersbury, Christs and Cardinal Vaughn. Such hard decision, finding the right fit for him.
He is sporty, but not in the "right" sports, mountain biking, skiing, fencing and martial arts. He is also quite academic, he loves maths and writing, but is disadvantaged due to gaps in his learning due to being overseas. He has a sound knowledge of Science and History, especially the ancient greeks and romans, and the exploration of polar regions. And not to mention, I am sure he could do a phd in Pokemon right away....
He has not learnt any French, and no Greek and Latin, and I am not sure how important this is.
Woe is us.
I would think that a good independent school would be able to take his furrin education into consideration (whereas state 11+ probably wouldn't). Some of these schools will be used to international intake
I don't think any of those schools will assume any prior knowledge of french, greek or latin. I really don't think you need to worry about what he's covered so far.
Ashcroft is a very, very different kettle of fish from Colet Court, for example. Make sure you have a mooch round any school you are interested in at the end of the school day, to get a feel of how the kids are behaving together, and whether you can see your son fitting in. Open days/evenings are not representative at all.
Kings College has said to call them any time to arrange a visit, so think I will do that.
I have a feeling I will spend my next couple of weeks "school stalking", as I dont know anything really about any of the school. My sons school feeds into Gunnersbury and Cardinal Vaughn, but they are very selective and we dont have enough "Catholic cred" to get in, I fear.
I'm not sure where you live, and it may be too far away for you, but if your son is very good at skiing you could also look at Reed's School in Cobham, where they excel at skiing and offer scholarships in it (but I think you have to be skiing at county level).
Ds passed for Kingston Grammar with no Latin or Greek and very little French; it's not part of the exam.
If you're concerned about his spell in a different education system it's worth looking at schools that interview before the exam so that he can talk about it and his sports eg Ibstock & Emmanuel. Reed's interview on the same day as the exam, and Kingston & Colet Court only once you've passed.
Do look at Emanuel also, it's a lovely school.
Thanks for the tip about Reeds, I have inquired about a prospectus. Will look into Emanuel too. We are a bit far from Reeds though. The bus is at 7, so it will mean a very early start, we are in Sw14 now, but will be Putney (stones throw from Ibstock) when this all becomes relevant.
Right now I just see obstacles. He is half way through that test paper from Kingston, and so far no issues. But I know that there are many gaps to cover. His tutor has a good success rate for Kingston Grammar, Tiffin, Ibstock, St Pauls and the Harrodian. Kingston Grammar was her suggestion, actually. She fears St Pauls is too academic for him, so I guess I should listen. <sigh>
Good to know they are not really expecting them to know much Latin, French, Greek etc. I feel I cant add that to the mix now, as we are already doing extra work for maths and literacy at home in addition to the tutor and her homework and additional work. I want life to be fun, he is just a little boy still!
It is actually good to know about the interviews first.
Ds went through all this last year so it is very fresh in my mind! I think the interviewing thing is important; it demonstrates the school is looking at the whole child, not just their exam results
Distance-wise, we are in SW13 but didn't opt for the most local school. We followed the advice of our tutor as to which schools she thought ds would get into and she was totally correct. Don't focus on the obstacles - you've got until January next year to sort them out.
PM me if you want any more info.
QS, have you thought about Hampton? We are in a similar position to you (same area, same academic year, some gaps but excellent at maths/writing/history, very sporty but not all sports). Hampton fits the bill for my DS and I feel like I'm pinning all my hopes on it especially as it is becoming increasingly harder to get a place there ... <Sigh> Interested to hear about other schools that may suit.
I have not thought about Hamptons, it looks lovely, but will be over an hour away, so that is a pretty long commute.
Apparently non of the primary kids from the 3-4 local schools in my area got into Tiffin this year (sw13/14). Word of mouth, so cant guarantee there wasn't one. My sons tutor said they had changed their entrance exams, and placed little emphasis on numeracy and literacy, and was focusing on verbal reasoning instead. She suggests Ibstock and Kingston as a good fit for him, so will concentrate efforts on these and Kings. There is also the issue of the Wandsworth test at the end of November. Think I need to updated my diary with all this!
What a headache all this is!
I heard the same Tiffin rumour and certainly no one from our primary school (one of the 4) got in. The papers have always been verbal and non-verbal reasoning but I heard there were 1800 applicants for Tiffin Girls this year, so incredibly oversubscribed.
Hampton is not as far as it seems as they run a good coach service with lots of routes through SW13/14 and the bus is really sociable. They share it with the girls from LEH! We really liked Hampton (though, having said that, the distance did put us off. But we know lots of boys at Hampton and they all seem to be thriving).
Noone got in to Tiffin boys or girls either from our "outstanding" primary school including a girl who got a 6 in her end of year 5 SATs.
It's a bl***y nightmare and seems to be getting harder and harder each year especially as there are so few academic boys schools. QH, I agree with singersgirl <waves> re Hampton - there is a really good coach service and it's quite quick compared to how "far" away it is. Having said that though, for the 10+ alone this year 180 boys (my DS included) sat for 30 places as opposed to 140 last year so, again, becoming increasingly competitive.
Quint - DD doing the 10+ in Jan for KGS too - do you mean the sheet of maths on the website? She could do all of those easily (had not had tutoring) - they didn't actually seem that hard to me though it said on the bottom that they thought some of them were. How did your DS get on with them?
Where are you at with all this? Fancy coffee soon??
No state school year five will be expected to have Latin or Greek, and most will have barely any french, that is normal and will be expected.
As I remember from DD taking the exam Kingston Grammar was one of the more straightforward Maths papers, in the sense of being in the run of what they were doing at school, rather than throwing in a lot of questions that were forcing them to think outside their normal experience / bordering on IQ type tests. There seem to have been two types of interview, if you are interviewed with other applicants it seems to indicate they have done well in the exam and it is just a cosy chat, making sure they are sociable? demonstrating that they are really interested in your DC as an individual to win them over to the school? If they are interviewed alone it is often on a specific topic which presumably has let them down in the exam. I like that they give them that other chance though I think a few schools will do that in interview.
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