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13+ entrance exams

(45 Posts)
montclair Thu 11-Oct-12 21:45:20

Hi, Hope people can help. DS in state middle school. Options for upper school look quite bleak. Neither do we have pots of money. Are there spaces at 13+ for bright state pupils? Or have we missed the boat looking at 2013 entry? Complete novice but going to view some schools and would consider boarding. He is an all rounder with some extra ability in maths and science. Is it worth registering or is the competition so fierce we don't stand a chance?
Thanks again

milkshake3 Thu 11-Oct-12 22:00:21

call the registrars direct. Most are keen to broaden their intake. Depends which school you are looking at as a lot will have done pre tests in yr6-7, and many will be v oversubscribed. Which schools are you thinking about? Where are you based? Don't lose hope but you need to get onto it fast!!

montclair Thu 11-Oct-12 22:10:37

Thank you for your reply. We live near Harpenden. Looked at Haileybury and DS thought it was great and then a friend told us about the londonfeeassistance website, which kind of opened our eyes to what may be available. So the possibles are St Albans school, Chigwell, Haberdashers and Mill Hill. Weekly boarding would be an option. Shall I call these schools or will they have allocated all their scholarship/bursary money? He did achieve the highest scores in Year 6 in the English reading and science SAT papers, but I know that there are lots of other bright children out there. I have looked at some of the websites and the closing dates are approaching but their lists may already be full?

milkshake3 Thu 11-Oct-12 22:34:20

Man the phone tomorrow morning. That's the only way you will find out. I'd also look a bit further afield - our highly technical analysis for determining schools in the right location for us was to take a map and draw a circle that represented a 1.5hr commute from home. Any school which fell in the circle went on the "runners and riders" list. But you need to move quickly. Good luck.

montclair Thu 11-Oct-12 22:44:25

smile Thank you. Will do!

happygardening Fri 12-Oct-12 08:35:53

Most scholarships for 13+ schools take place next year around spring time. Your problem will be that rather than the standard NVR VR maths English and maybe science being tested many will use the scholarship papers set by the Independent Schools Examining Board and past/examples of papers will be available from their website. This means other subjects will be examined French history geography etc although your DS may not have to do all. The competition for these scholarships is fierce many parents have sent their DC'c to prep school for years to prepare them and they will have been in "scholarship sets" since at least yr 7 if not 6! Not all schools only offer bursaries to scholars and I doubt the bursary pot has yet been doled out for 2013 but many of the ones known to be more generous have already selected at yr 6. The advise above is good speak to admissions now.
It might be worth considering smaller less well known schools which are non/less selective these maybe struggling to fill their vacancies and might be more interested and offer a generous bursary to a bright child who through no fault of his own has not reached the required standard for the usual scholarship exams. If he also plays a sport to a good standard or an instrument I suspect this would also help. These schools may not have such impressive results as those you mentioned above but this does not have to mean that bright can't do well at them and you may consider them better that the state option.
Good luck.

montclair Fri 12-Oct-12 22:05:01

Thank you for your help. Are there any of the less well known schools you could mention? I have started to look further afield, but starting from a standing start is tricky. I was not aware of scholarship sets - the state education has been quite good but I am now becoming aware that the upper school will be an issue. Seems a lot of info I need to digest in a small space of time.

EdithWeston Fri 12-Oct-12 22:10:37

What's your DS like?

I'm assuming you are trying your local day schools anyhow. But in looking for boarding, you've also got to look at the community and whether it would suit him. Do you want single sex or coed? What are his interests? Any geographical limitations (easy reach from where you or family are, for exeats, concerts, sports days, etc)

montclair Fri 12-Oct-12 22:28:00

Veering towards coed; he is interested in sciency stuff - will spend hours on a beach looking for the creatures or fossils. Quite a mathematical brain - operating at a level 8 currently. Plays rugby and was the overall school cross country champion in Year 6. Well behaved but never stops talking. Likes reading and scouts and fire-making! (Nothing sinister!!!) Cross with myself for not knowing the cut off dates and simply not realising what was out there. Any advice gratefully received.

happygardening Sat 13-Oct-12 09:18:02

Don't knpw anything about their admission proceedure but have you looked at Christs Hospital Horsham? Oakham who are coed are meant to have a generous bursary policy not necessarily attached to scholarships. If he's a cross country champion and good at rugby I would definitely think about smaller less well known schools who might give him a sports/all rounder scholarship. Realistically I suspect you will find it harder to get one from a well known school because of the ISEB scholarship exam which is about the equivilant to GCSE's and those hoping for a sports scholarships will be often at county standard and beyond!
If you seriously considering boarding my advise after 7 years of boarding is the maximum distance in 1 1/2 hours one way this applies even more if you want weekly boarding otherwise you will miss out on things you DS does and neither of you wil be happy.
Finally Winchester College (single sex full boarding and no rugby but in my biased opinion in a league of its own) does take boys from the state sector they are keen to broaden their intake although you've probably missed the boat for 2013 but boys from state schools do join at other times and they do offer generous bursaries. My advise is contact the admissions office you've nothing to loose.

happygardening Sat 13-Oct-12 09:22:52

Where do you live I get the feeling from one of your post where you mentioned Hailybury North of London an area I don't know at all! But I do know other areas for smaller less well know schools.

EdithWeston Sat 13-Oct-12 09:28:55

I agree Oakham is worth an enquiry.

I would suggest Dulwich too, but its boarding community is small and largely made up of overseas boys. That might work though, if you can reach it as a day boy or weekly board, especially as it has a non-CE 13+ entry which has not yet closed and it's pretty well endowed (claims about 1/3 pupils receive some form of assistance and can make high %age bursaries).

St Edwards Oxford would suit his sporting side: I don't know about their maths/science standard but its academic side is generally on the up.

Millfield and Wellington might be worth calling too, though I suspect the latter in particular fills its places quite early.

manicinsomniac Sat 13-Oct-12 10:18:25

Children at the prep school where I work are often registered for more than one school and several Y8s don't yet know for sure where they are going. So I doubt it's too late.

Popular schools for us ( further North than you but still commuter belt)include:
Stowe, Uppingham, Oundle, Rugby, Cheltenham College, Dean Close, Bloxham, Kingham Hill, Bradfield, St Edwards Oxford, Radley, Oakham, Eton, Harrow, Blundells, Marlborough, Millfield, Malvern College, Repton, Berkhamstead and (weirdly) Gordonstoun.

happygardening Sat 13-Oct-12 10:29:57

If you read St Edwards website those wanting bursaries had to apply in yr 6 and it's very sporty you would have to be a consistent county level player or even above that to get a sports scholarship.

happygardening Sat 13-Oct-12 10:31:33

Many mentioned above have a very small bursary pot you need to read their websites.

montclair Sat 13-Oct-12 10:43:30

Thank you so much for all the info. We are at Harpenden J9 of the m1 so lots of places within hour to hour and half that you have mentioned. Will be drawing up my spreadsheet. He isn't county level - probably could have been if the school had more PE teachers but 1 guy doing it all on his own - just not possible. Reeally grateful for taking the time.

happygardening Sat 13-Oct-12 15:19:43

Quickly casting my eye over the list manic gave Marlborough Radley Harrow Eton have already selected and there would be a bit of a bun fight in the unlikely event of a place coming up.

happygardening Sat 13-Oct-12 15:31:16

Shiplake might be worth looking at off the top of my head I don't think they require CE rather their own entrance exams and years ago a lady quite a few years ago from there was telling parents that they have bursaries available. It is single sex till 6 th form then coed. Meant to be good for pastoral care and 6 th form boarding is well thought out and promoting independent prior to university. Near Henley so not too far definitely a doable journey.

maree1 Sun 14-Oct-12 13:22:03

State school pupils should still 'go for it'. But practice, practice, practice with all the old examples of entrance papers you can obtain. Being good at maths and science is fine but competition is fierce - practice more. Never forget English - it will also count heavily as a key subjects. Google 'schoolboy crawford's creative writing cards' or dig out some other appropriate extra instruction on the web or in WH Smiths.

difficultpickle Sun 14-Oct-12 15:52:15

I wouldn't rely on school to get your ds to county level for sports. Most dcs I know who have achieved county level all did so through clubs outside school. Is that something your ds could do?

grovel Sun 14-Oct-12 17:49:24


montclair Tue 16-Oct-12 00:34:38

Thanks for all your suggestions; it would seem I am too late for many of the top ones. DS is working at Level 7 and 8 for all the main subjects but I am not sure whether that would be enough to secure him a place. Any thoughts? Better start revising!

EdithWeston Tue 16-Oct-12 07:03:30

It might: have you a candidate list of schools at all? Do they use CE, their own exam, or a non-exam system?

CE syllabus and past papers can be had via ISEB. Have you had a look at them? They are marked by the school at which your DC has a CE-conditional place, so you'll need to ask what marks they expect to confirm the place. This varies enormously between schools.

montclair Tue 16-Oct-12 15:27:44

He is in the state system at the moment so, from what I can gather, he would not sit the CE but rather their own. But will ask about the marks. Thank you

EdithWeston Tue 16-Oct-12 15:30:35

If you know it's non-CE, then you must have narrowed down your search a bit. The school's admissions people may be able to give you a specimen set of past papers.

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