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Francis Holland Regent's Pk/Queen's Coll

(11 Posts)
CarmelitaMiggs Fri 28-Sep-12 14:06:31

DD is Y6, so we are gearing up for secondary transfer.

She is at a state primary and doing well in all aspects except maths. Despite some maths tutoring, she is still just behind the national average (3 class teachers last year didn't help). Her school is not gloomy, saying she is making fair progress, but her tutor is more blunt and has just suggested she may be one of those kids who may not get her maths GCSE -- which shocked me a bit, as I failed O level fairly spectacularly but then passed it 2nd time around; if I can do it, surely DD can too.

She is otherwise bright, a big reader, sporty, arty, thoughtful, funny and a joiner-inner. Basically a Good Egg.

I imagine she will interview well.

State options for secondary around us are not good, alas. Among other indep schools (including a few which are less academically selective) we're most keen on Francis Holland and Queen's College.

Can anyone tell me how critical maths is at this stage for these sorts of schools, when coming from a state primary? I really don't want to put her through the entrance exams if she has no chance, but of course I see how much she has to offer.

Can anyone shed any light?

CarmelitaMiggs Fri 28-Sep-12 17:21:44


oldqueenie Fri 28-Sep-12 21:36:53

there in the london consortium aren't they? If I remember right from when ds1 did secondary school transfer you could get a sample exam paper online... that will give you an idea of what is expected. good luck!

oldqueenie Fri 28-Sep-12 21:38:26

scroll down on link here... sample papers

CarmelitaMiggs Sat 29-Sep-12 14:05:40

Thanks, oldqueenie.

Still wondering if anyone out there has direct experience of applying to either school...?

clerkenwell Mon 01-Oct-12 12:15:42

My daughter applied to both these schools successfully and was less successful at some of the other schools sitting the same consortium exams (CLSG, G&L, NLCS), from which I conclude that at the time these schools were marginally less competitive. At both schools she had interviews that were friendly and thoughtful about her strengths and weaknesses.

My observation is that the school that she went to, Francis Holland, does seem to have a range of abilities, although almost everyone has a strength. This means that there are certainly girls who at 11 were better at Maths, and girls who were better at English.

This does not mean that they will accept girls who perform poorly in one or the other paper, but it looks probable that that they might consider it if the child was stronger at English than Maths for instance.

It seems to me that it is certainly worth a go. They seem to place a lot of importance on the interview, which is her chance to show off all her other good things. Remember they will also get a school reference, which is where her school can again recommend her strengths.

Having said that, it seems very extreme to say that she is unlikely to get a GCSE in maths at this early point. You probably need also to look at whether the schools have a remedial maths programme for her, and it is possible you need to look for another tutor, wherever you send her, as your current one doesn't sound that encouraging.

I suppose that the sort of thing you need to think about, is that assuming they take her with her not very good maths, is there enough flexibility in the timetable for her to shine at what she is good at. It would be a pity for her to struggle at lots of subjects (say possibly sciences because her maths is bad) and so lose confidence. I doubt this would be the case - I am sure with the right support your daughter's maths can be got to a sufficient level. However I have no experience of this sort of thing so you should listen to more qualified people than me !

Good luck with your decision making. Both schools seem very good to me. Neither are easy to get into these days, but both are worth a go.

Tigerstripes Mon 01-Oct-12 19:59:11

Queen's college has historically been a school where those who are less academic seem to go, along with, say francis holland sloane square and queensgate. Francis holland regents park, along with, say, godolphin, south Hampstead high seemed to take girls who are middle to higher ability
Francis holland do like all rounders, which it sounds your DD is. Have you looked round both schools?

beafrog Mon 01-Oct-12 21:13:37

Are you sure she's really as bad at maths as the tutor says? Sometimes it's a matter of confidence more than anything and in maths if you have lost confidence at some point it can be disastrous. I'd go and talk to the schools before you apply - explain that she's struggled a bit with maths but is otherwise v bright.

I had a very similar problem with one of my DC and schools were surprisingly sympathetic - if they do really well in everything else, maths difficulties are not an insurmountable problem unless you are applying to a very selective school. Once we'd got over the entrance exams and could all breathe a sigh of relief, the maths came on in leaps and bounds...

CarmelitaMiggs Mon 01-Oct-12 22:39:15

So grateful to you for these comments. Clerkenwell, great post, thankyou, when did your daughter apply?
Tigerstripes, she/we really liked FH, the buzz of it, I have a hunch she will like Queen's also. I hear the art at Queen's is strong.
I wouldn't mind getting another tutor but it feels too late to chop and change now, plus I have no other leads. I'm wondering if POSSIBLY tutor was drunk when she said that thing about GCSE (but it was 11am!). Her comments were much more extreme than feedback I'm getting from school, which says she is trailing, but certainly not disastrously. But tutor says, "oh, the school will always underplay the problem."
Beafrog, you're right, it is partly confidence-related, but also I fear there's a mysterious genetic component (she comes from a v-e-r-y long line of women with similar issues, we're all A++ at other things, it hasn't really held us back in any way....). Very good advice about approaching schools beforehand, explaining the situation, and I shall do that I think. You don't think they'd think I was loony pushy mother?

beafrog Tue 02-Oct-12 22:26:12

CarmelitaMiggs I don't think they'd think you were a loony pushy mother if you approach them early - just being sensible - no point wasting their time and your entrance exam fee if they only want top notch maths students.

As for the tutor, maybe she's trying to cover for fact that she hasn't managed to get your daughter to the level she'd have expected... You may find that your daughter would do just as well in the maths exams without any tutoring - my DC got noticeably better at maths once we gave up on the tutor (we got through three tutors and a year of Kumon - none of which did the least bit of good..)

CarmelitaMiggs Thu 04-Oct-12 18:43:02

Excellent advice re approaching schools. Will do.

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