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11+ entry to girls' boarding schools: how many schools to apply for?

(13 Posts)
MusieB Fri 19-Apr-13 14:57:33

DD is in Y5 and is reasonably (but not ultra) academic. We have registered her for 3 boarding schools for entry at 11: Downe House, Benenden and Heathfield - and that is our order of preference. Current HM is confident about her prospects for a place at Benenden and Heathfield, slightly less so for Downe.
Does anyone know whether it will count against DD to attend selection days at/apply for all 3? Is this normal? I don't want to ask the schools concerned for obvious reasons.
Any other comments on the selection processes at these schools will be very gratefully received!

Slipshodsibyl Fri 19-Apr-13 15:50:49

It's fine. Just tell the truth. They know you are not going to be looking at just one. However if it is possible to do school's own exam rather than CE, there is actually no way for them to find out, assuming they are bothered. If your HT is confident then trust her.

AuntieStella Fri 19-Apr-13 15:59:38

Train your daughter to say at interview 'well Mum's put me down for a couple of others just in case, but I really want to come here' to every school.

MusieB Fri 19-Apr-13 17:56:05

Mnay thanks for both those replies

mumtolawyer Fri 19-Apr-13 22:38:20

We registered at more than that. It wasn't a problem. What will be a problem is if more than one of them do ONLY Common Entrance, because then you can only go for more than one school if the second school agrees to be second choice. And if you are accepted by your first choice the second won't even see the papers. Benenden I remember is CE only.

MusieB Mon 22-Apr-13 10:26:12

Thanks, mumtolawyer, that's very helpful. Both Downe and Beneden are only CE (Heathfield doesn't use CE). Are you able to let me know at what point one has to choose between the schools which do only CE? Presumably this is at the time the formal entry for CE is submitted - but do you know when that is? I am thinking that DD should attend the assessment days/weekends for all three schools in September/October, and hope that we won't have to make achoice between which of Downe and Benenden to go for until after that....

mumtolawyer Mon 22-Apr-13 12:52:39

For complicated reasons we never had to make the choice as to who went first, but we certainly did the assessments at more than one CE school and didn't have to choose then. I think it's when you put your CE entry form in you have to specify the school which is first choice (so they know where to send it to be marked).

So, if you did the assessments and passed all, then you would need to decide which to go for as first choice between assessments and entry deadline for CE.

I found it really helpful to see our first choice of school several times, but that may be teaching you to suck eggs!

Good luck.

MusieB Mon 22-Apr-13 15:49:31

Thanks again mumtolawyer. That's what I was hoping (ie that one doesn't have to make a choice prior to the assessments).

And yes, we're going to see our first choice school again, but no, you're not teaching me to suck eggs (I have a lot to learn about all this...)

mumtolawyer Mon 22-Apr-13 20:12:50

PM me (click message poster against my name). We did a HUGE amount around boarding schools and I'm very happy to share in detail - but not on the public board, as it would out me instantly!

gerger Sat 20-Aug-16 07:17:35

Hi Mumtolawyer

I just read your message but it was in 2013, not sure you still here to check. I am from Hong Kong, planning to send DD to boarding school in year 9, she is studing in international school, sporty, academic above average. Would like to find a full boarder school, happy, not seriously competitive, good school result. Any suggestion? My list : CLC, Benenden, Downe House, St Mary Calne, St Catherine.

Thank you

strawberrymelon88 Tue 27-Sep-16 15:47:45

Any one can provide any info about the Downe House Assessment Day? They have to use computers as part of the assessment ?

MidLifeCrisis007 Tue 27-Sep-16 19:10:43

The Downe House assessment day comes very early in the academic year which is a clever marketing strategy by the school - it fell on Monday 19th September this year and the school will helpfully let you know quite quickly whether your DD made the grade or not. Essentially once you've hopped over the assessment hurdle, you're in. It's very unusual for any school to turn away a child at the CE stage. VERY unusual indeed.

IIRC Downe House use the standard Durham University devised 11+ computerised reasoning test - it's one that gets progressively harder when you get answers right and is designed to challenge girls of all levels by the end. You'll probably need to take in your DD's English book as well so that they can assess her handwriting and language skills.

Personally, I don't see Benenden as a less academic option than Downe House - but Heathfield certainly is, so a good back up to have - but you may not need it!

While we were going through the 11+ process a very wise soul told me to put the decision in my DD's court. You don't want to be on the receiving end of a phone call in February 2019 from a miserable child saying "I wish I'd gone to xxx instead...."

BizzyFizzy Tue 27-Sep-16 19:52:04

Is your DD in a prep school? If so, take the advice of the Head.

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