brighton college again!(26 Posts)
I have booked our 2 dd's in for an entrance exam to brighton college this Wednesday, have viewed school and v impressed but would like to hear from current parents to discuss pressure rumours. Both dd's applied in present school but want an environment where they will be able to flourish all round and not excessive pressure and the worry of receiving a cull letter at the end of year if not academically excelling!Please advise.
I don't know anything about Brighton College specifically but I do know it's results have improved markedly over the last decade. The son of the head of my DS nursery was there and that was 13 yrs ago and it certainly wasnt that academic then.
Independent schools improve their results by being more selective, chucking out at some stage those who are not going to make the grade and pushing the children harder; more prep higher expectations etc obviously they try and improve teaching etc but they still have to do the other three as well. Don't be under any illusions you will find most schools like Brighton college with their kind of results would be considered by many to be pushy but its how your DD's cope with it. My DS's highly selective boys boarding school would probably be considered as very pushy by many but he loves it and doesn't feel under any pressure but I have no doubt that there are others who do.
Thanks for your response regarding selection and pressure at Brighton college. I am in no doubt that our dd's are applied and hardworking individuals but would not necessarily categorise them as scholars, just above average students.
My concern is that they are only expecting a* grade students although they reassure us they want students that are on the higher side of average at 55% pass rate. I am just hearing so many stories of children regularly being 'culled' when not achieving grades even though optimum effort is being given.
Stories of stress illnesses have not been uncommon and this is surely not what any caring parent would want for their child. It is hard to tell whether some stories are just bad feelings from parent with children not making the grade due to a lack of application/behaviourial issues etc. and chinese whispers, hence hearing from current parents going through years 9/10/11
would be very helpful.
Many thanks once again for your speedy advice.
If you really believed all these stories then you wouldn't be putting your DDs forward though I hope. I have a DS in Year 11 who has been there 13 years this year (since Nursery pre-prep). I have seen the school get more and more academic but I like that. My son is very laid back and has enjoyed every single day of his 13 years, which I think is a fabulous testament. He is in many ways a very typical teenage boys, likes being with the lads, plays a lot of sport etc. I keep my ear very close to the ground and I haven't heard one story of stress illnesses so I am really unsure where that comes from. As for "culling", children who enter the College are those that the College wishes to educate and they work with them, so if they are clever enough to get in, and they work hard (not punishingly hard by any means) then they will get by very well.
To go into the 6 th form at my DS's school you need a minimum 7 A*'s we were told this on the first day they started. The boys are all aware of this and an a* culture/expectation pervades the whole school. The school only does what I'm lead to believe from comments on MN are the more difficult IGCSE. I luckily can't comment on how those near the bottom of an exceedingly selective in take feel about this.
Secondly I work in what can be an exceedingly stressful and unpredictable environment where lives often of children hang in the balance. Some people thrive in these situation rising to it, just effortlessly doing the right thing the adrenaline kicks in and their brain just looks at a situation and everything that needs to be done is performed quickly and effortlessly. Others run around like headless chickens or literally run away and we've all had the same training. This has nothing to do intelligence application or even exoerience it's just how you are.
It's the same with pressure from school some children rise to it thrive on it whist others who are equally able become very stressed and anxious. These may be the children your hear about. My experience from work tells me it's not always possible to identify one from the others before the situation arises obviously the exceedingly anxious personalities are not going to cope some who don't want this avoid it but many surprisingly choose these environments and seem oblivious to their inability to cope.
Finally I was a recent mature student and loved the whole academic environment even the exams and stayed relatively unstressed through out the whole three years until I did my dissertation when my husband commented that he has never seen me so stressed and apart from my driving test it was the most stressful experience if my whole life. I can't tell you why so as I've already said you just don't know what how people will respond or what tips you over from ok to "oh my God I can't cope."
happy - I am not sure what your exact point in relation to BC is. The entrance criteria for 6th form is 10 points at GCSE, you get 3 for an A*, 2 for an A and 1 for a B - this is hardly 7 x A*s. There is no IGCSE culture yet at BC.
Im not making any point re: BC which I've already stated I know little about just about how individuals cope with pressure.
i can only give you my experience, or rather report on my sons.
He joined for 6th form, and left last September, he had nowhere near 7 A* grades, 'only' 3!
He came from a very trad boys selective where I felt he did not get the grades he could have done.
He loved Brighton from the first day, and found the final leaving chapel service incredibly emotional
sobbed his eyes out
He did stunningly well academically, and says he has never encountered such good teachers in any school he has been to.
One big pointer as to how the pupils regard the school, is that usually for leavers in other schools there is a 'muck up' day, eg at my daughter's rather uptight GDST school, one year brought a live goat in! It is a two fingers up to the school gesture.
There wasn't one when my son left and it was not even discussed, he felt that illustrated their regard for the teachers and school.
It is horses for courses though, it won't suit everyone, but we loved it, see if your daughters get in, and good luck for the exams!
What Im trying to say is you can listen to horror stories of over stressed children or for that matter stories of happy chilled children hardly doing any work and still getting A*s and Oxbridge entry but it does not mean that this will be how your child will respond. There are so many other variables teachers housemasters others children etc which will also effect how much pressure a child feels there is and how they cope.
thank you all for your valuable responses, it has made us feel that sitting our dd's for brighton college is the right thing to do but we are also looking at them sitting for Hurstpierpoint College.
For us, I guess, I needed reassurance from other parents at Brighton that as long as our children are happy and applied and willing to give their all socially and academically they will prosper.
I was concerned that listening to rumours you would be continually worried that if your child was not performing to set academic targets you would be waiting to receive a letter asking them to leave. Whilst at the same time they were giving their best.
Thank you once again for all your invaluable comments. Lala.
I am considering sending my ds to BC. I want somewhere push! He's a lazy little toe rag who needs a bloody great shove, not a push. He is 14, anyone know what the chance are of getting a place in the middle of the year and not at the tradition change overs (i.e. 11 and 13?)
frenchilion, describing your ds as "a lazy little toe rag" is unpleasant and abusive.
Oh do me a favour. He is lazy. I have just got another letter from his school complaining about his not doing his homework in 4 different subjects. He lies to me and says it is done. It is also not unknown for his to forget to go to his detention. Cue another letter. If it were not true that would be one thing. But the fact is, he is outrageously lazy.
I hardly think toe rag is abusive. Toe rag is quite clearly an affectionate term. But I am nevertheless frustrated at my very clever son wasting his talents and giving me and his teachers the run around by being a lazy little toe rag.
oldqueen, describing frenchlion as unpleasant and abusive is seriously up yourself. Get down off your high horse fgs.
charmed to meet you too
I happen to think badmouthing and being so unpleasant about your own children is not OK. I don't think it is being "up myself" (delightful turn of phrase) to point this out as being my opinion. You don't have to agree with me but you don't have to be rude either.
Give them a ring you have nothing to lose - they have broken up for Easter now but I am sure they will be able to help!
O for goodness sake
dramaqueen oldqueen it was nothing more than an affectionate poke at her ds! everyone else can see that except you. How old are you ?
lala3030 - many of the selective independents do this as teachers at nearby non selectives will tell you can't have the grade average reduced
BC very good at spotting/supporting dyslexics (extra time in exams etc)
Hi there Gunz, That's not the way most parents choose to show affection towards their children... because it's not actually affectionate. I am 51. You?
My dad used to call me a lazy toe rag because I
am was one, we had an amazingly close relationship and I know he adored me. I think the context of the relationship is important oldqueen. I have heard amazing things about BC, my friend has two DC there and they are thriving hugely.
Frenchlion, I doubt there's much of a chance with in year places at BC. It's a hugely popular school which I personally hated. Thankfully so did my DS who can also be a toe rag at times!
There are other private schools in the Brighton who are more likely to have places. most independent schools have high expectations, maybe all not as high as Brighton College though.
Help! I'm thinking about trying to get my daughter in to Brighton and Hove High school for girls. She is currently in year 6 at a local junior school and private school was never an option until her uncle announced recently that he may be able to help with the fees... I don't really know where to start in terms of preparing her to sit the 11+ entrance exam and can't seem to find a good 11+ tutor in Brighton. I'm worried that she won't have a chance of passing without some intense tutoring (academically she's level 4c across the board at the moment and also 'displays dyslexic tendencies'). Can anyone recommend a tutor or pass on any help or advise? Shoreham College is also possibly on the radar although further away.
You have left it quite late to think about a tutor for entrance exams as these are generally held in the January of Year 6 for entry to Year 7 in September. Saying that you can prepare her yourself, get some Bond practice books/papers and work through these. Check what type of exams each school does, whether they do verbal or non verbal reasoning, all will probably do maths and English. Get your child registered for the exams as schools will have a published cut off date though if you have missed this it's still worth asking.
Brighton College is extremely selective but most of the other schools will take children with a wide range of different abilities. (Shoreham College is non selective as you know). Schools to consider include Brighton and Hove High School, Roedean, Lewes Old Grammar, The Towers.
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