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private vs grammar vs comprehensive

(48 Posts)
Kenlee Sat 09-Mar-13 13:50:40

If your kid is smart and la di da di can get into a good grammar school quite easily. What if your kid is not really that clever or you havent found that trigger to open their minds yet. Is it worth it to let them struggle with 11+ train them to pass only to see them fail later on.

In this scenario would you send your child to private school hoping they have the key or place them in a local school and hope for the best?

Im just intrested ..

Blu Sat 09-Mar-13 13:59:07

You make the local school sound like a dumping ground for no-hopers.

I don't really understand the question.

In the first place, really bright kids do very well in comps, it isn't dependent on any 'la-di-da' factor. Grammars aren't the ba all and end all of a good education - although i understand that high schools in grammar areas can be affected by the fact that so many children are in another school.

Secondly, in comprehensived there will usually be a range of subjects and qualifications on offer to suit a rich variety of children. One of which may well 'unlock' a child's talent and or enthusiasm. Children may be late developers in an academic sense, or get a good strong BTEC in a vocational subject at a comp, or do both.

Or if you have the means you might choose a less academically competitive private school - you'd still be hoping for the best - half the time it's all we can do, whatever stage andability our children are at.

seeker Sat 09-Mar-13 14:02:30

Could you try phrasing your query in a coherent manner? I don't actually understand it as it stands.

Kenlee Sat 09-Mar-13 14:25:39

What I mean is if my child is not smart. Do I force her to do the tution for the 11+ so that she can pass it. Only to find out that she will not do well in a grammar school setting. Do I send her to a private school where she will stand a better chance with smaller class numbers. Although even in a hot house private she may not get noticed. Let her go to the local comprehensive and buy a flat for her later in life.

I am not slating the comprehensive schools as I am the product of one.

Im just wondering have I done the right thing going private.

happygardening Sat 09-Mar-13 14:29:59

Just because you pay it doesn't mean that they'll find the "key" and many private schools even the not very selective ones have increasingly at least one eye on the league tables and therefore push children quite hard and many I suspect are becoming less tolerant of those who can't or won't perform.
On the other hand many state comps are IME not good at catering for the individual needs of a child (not saying independent schools are necessarily any better).
My DS1 was at a prep to 13 and then changed to an "Outstanding" state comp he has a relatively high IQ (top 5%) but problem processing (bottom 5%) we had choices of a non selective independent or the comp the later actually had marginally better results. In the past the prep and previous independents had never found the "key" so we gave the comp ago. They've also never really found the key although a few stroppy letters have improved the situation but at least we're not paying for it! The comp again IME is more honest they aren't prepared to go the extra mile to help him but at least they're up front about it, most not very selective independent schools IME make lots of grandiose claims but underneath it all are still not prepared to go the extra mile. I do have to say communication is easier in the independent sector head masters are more prepared to see you so you feel better you can delude yourself that someone is listening.

seeker Sat 09-Mar-13 14:30:49

No idea- it all depends on the individual school.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Sat 09-Mar-13 14:33:12

Look for the school which meets the needs of your child. If she's not academic then there's no point in applying for a place in an academic school as she'll constantly struggle. Is she good at art? Sport? Tuition for the 11+ is pointless as she'll struggle with the work, even if she does get a place. Look at what she is good at and look for the right school for her. It may not be private, just look into all of the options. Private doesn't always mean good.

Kenlee Sat 09-Mar-13 14:49:15

Hmm the thing is that we are in Hong Kong at the moment and getting into a good local comprehensive would be difficult as I don't have a permanent address in the UK. In her school exams she is only getting low 90`s whereas the rest are in high 90`s or at 100%. She does have P5 ballet with the Royal school of ballet but every girl has that. Her music ability is nothing to write home about either as her peers are all at grade 8 whereas she only scraped past her grade 5. Then sports she wins the local swim meets but again does not do well agaisnt the mainland Chinese who have swim times so fast she can not compete.Its all so discouraging for her. I have heard good things about Priorsfield that help your child to be the best that she can be...hopefully it is true....

happygardening Sat 09-Mar-13 14:49:31

OP I thought from another thread that your DD was going to board at Prior Fields in September because you live in Hong Kong. I know you're understandably anxious about her embarking on this why don't you contact the school and have a chat with them. Or perhaps post specifically about the school or if you have specific concerns about the school start a thread asking for suggestions for other schools your posting above could bring all the pro and anti private school brigade out of the woodwork all will then write af infinitum about there often anecdotal experiences and just leave you more confused.
Sorry if I've made a mistake I can't find my glasses its just your names look very similar.

happygardening Sat 09-Mar-13 14:50:50

Sorry OP cross posted!

Mintyy Sat 09-Mar-13 14:52:34

Tbf, you can only address your question to about 7% of the population wink.

weegiemum Sat 09-Mar-13 14:57:37

My dd1 is "borderline" for dyslexia, at a state high school (comp). but she's also at a bilingual state school with small(ish) classes and is doing amazingly well. Don't slate state schools - (not only have I taught in them) I couldn't ever buy the amazing English/Gaelic education my dc get. Honestly it's not possible to pay anything to get what they do. We could afford private, but we wouldn't ever do it!

happygardening Sat 09-Mar-13 14:59:41

"could bring all the pro and anti private education brigade out of the woodwork all will then write ad infinitum about their often anecdotal experiences"
Or post chippy comments about private education.

Ladymuck Sat 09-Mar-13 15:08:32

An 11 year old with grade 5 is hardly struggling musically. There are relatively few 11 year olds with grade 8, so your dd has a rather unusual peergroup. And in terms of getting low 90s, the range for the last maths exam in ds's selective independent school was 40%-98% (admittedly the lowest score was from someone who is one of the top swimmers nationally for his age, but class average was still around 82%, not 98%).

If your dd has sat and passed the 11+ then the school can give you feedback on where she sat in that cohort? If she is year 5 ie not sitting 11+ until next school year, then there's no harm in sitting it without tons of tuition and see what happens.

Kenlee Sat 09-Mar-13 15:14:06

Happy you are right I am the same person.

Although I have made the decision to send her to private education at Priorsfield. It seems whenever I mention that my DD is going private people seem to abhor the idea. I was just being curious at what a cross section of society thinks about private education.

I know I am lucky that Priorsfield actually accepted my daughter on her academics and none to brilliant extra abilities. It just seems weird to me that people are so against it.

Although, now I am happier about it because all my apprehension have been dispelled and we are both looking forward to going to England. I will attend her induction as I feel it is important as a father to be present for the first few days.

I am happy to send my DD to Priors field because 20 years ago when I was at UCL my girlfriend later to become my wife lived in Godalming. I passed the school gates saying that looks posh. If I ever had the opportunity to send my daughter to this school I would. I do so I am.

Actually from all the mummy talk I have found that its not at all as daunting as it seems. Priorsfield is renown for it pastoral care and from asking around everyone says the girls are all very kind and well rounded. So I am a happy bunny. Although St Catherine's seems to be more academic I don't feel it will suit her as she requires a lot of love.

Anyway back to the original thread ...Yes I was just wondering why parents will send their kids to Private, Grammar or Comprehensive school.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Sat 09-Mar-13 15:24:53

Ds is at a private school, only because there are no grammar schools here and the Comprehensives wouldn't meet his needs. If you're overseas then there will be very different expectations in the schools, a bright child at the top of the class here may be in the middle of a class elsewhere. A 'posh' school may not be great, looks are not a measure of how much your child could achieve.

Lucy4356 Sat 09-Mar-13 15:35:20

Had I known then what I know now, especially with the technology available. I would have home taught my DS and DD. Whether it is comp. or grammar.
The schools are too regimented, with so little time to discover where your child's interests or abilities lie. So many of our children, will never reach their true potential. What a waste, for all generations.

Talkinpeace Sat 09-Mar-13 15:36:10

those of us who do not live in areas with grammar schools have a much simpler choice
especially the ones without spare cash
and luckily I was able to get my kids into other than my catchment comp !

Kenlee Sat 09-Mar-13 15:36:35

I actually chose Priorsfield because of its pastoral care. My daughter is only 11 and although well traveled. I think having a close knit school to support her is more important than just getting good results in her exams. I want her to be able to be able to think and not just memorize. To enjoy her school life. If I wanted a hot house education I would leave her in Hong Kong. The kids here are tutored from end of school 3:30 to 7:30 have dinner and tutored some more to 9 or 10 o'clock. I just dont want this for my daughter.

BTW Lady why did the local school not meet your expectations??

seeker Sat 09-Mar-13 15:38:36

Well, you must live in a very rarified world if an 11 year old is struggling with music if she only has grade 5 and all the girls have grade 5 ballet!

Lady Mary- curious as to why a grammar school would meet your child's needs but a comprehensive wouldn't.

Talkinpeace Sat 09-Mar-13 15:40:57

she lives among Hong Kong expats and tiger Mums - sounds like her reasons for choosing that school for her DD are pretty sound.

hardboiled Sat 09-Mar-13 15:41:01

She is grade 5 at 11 and you say she is not musical? She scores in the low 90s and you say she is not academic? It sounds as if you're judging your daughter based on her peers, who all sound like little geniuses and athletic champions TBH. I don't think she will struggle in the UK. Boarding and private sounds like the good option for you, you live far and you can pay for it. Have faith on her.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Sat 09-Mar-13 15:45:27

Ds is highly academic and very good at languages. The local comp only taught 2 languages and it's GCSE results were poor (Ofsted highlighted discipline problems), they were aiming for 24% pass rate a couple of years ago. He's able to study 5 languages at his current school and the classes are a lot smaller so it works for him.

Kenlee Sat 09-Mar-13 15:48:08

I hope so..because being below average with your peers is soul destroying...

My DD is looking forward to leaving HK as her friends are all returning to their perspective countries.

teatrolley Sat 09-Mar-13 15:50:50

'la di da di da'

Has in interest in singing?

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