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Tutoring for grammar/selective school

(74 Posts)
Kenlee Sat 14-Sep-13 19:57:33

I was just wondering is it really worth it? If your child is clearly not good enough to get in.

I have a close family member who's daughter although quite clever and was tutored to get into a super selective hot house school. which now they have regretted.

Their daughter is an avid swimmer but isnt good enough ....She can play the piano but not well enough. She can not play another instrument. She likes to dance but she is not graceful enough. She was near the top of the class in prep school but now she is not smart enough.

I have seen a bright child with a great outlook on life with many friends become the shunned girl at school.

So the question it really worth it.....?

She now cries her way to school. Im not sure what happens inbetween but she looks so sad when I have picked her up...

A little retail therapy helps but how much will be needed for her to last 5 to 7 years..But now her Uncle is in Hong Kong ..retail therapy is few and far between as her parents can not afford it.

Im so glad my daughter went to a school with good pastoral care. I think with enjoyment comes learning.

Bunbaker Sat 14-Sep-13 20:06:11

I agree with you. DD was offered a place at an independent grammar school because she passed the exams without tutoring. We didn't accept the place because we couldn't afford the fees. She is now at the local comprehensive, in the top sets for everything, but struggling slightly with maths, so we are getting a maths tutor so she can keep her place - something we can afford because we don't have school fees to pay for.

Ladymuck Sat 14-Sep-13 21:22:09

I don't think the issue is anything to do with the tutoring though. It It is to do with whether that school is the best fit for that child.

QuintessentialShadows Sat 14-Sep-13 23:25:10

Ds1 is in a selective independent. It is not so much about hot-housing than believing in the child and teasing knowledge and learning to develop, using a good potion of educational psychology in the process. The teachers are brilliant. I want the same for ds2. I believe he too can flourish in a school like this. But I also know he will need to start tutoring soon for this to be achievable for him. He is keen to learn, but more keen on sports atm.

Kenlee Sun 15-Sep-13 07:49:11

I m not agaisnt super selective for the select few who can cope with the preasues of super selectivity. I am more concerned about parents who send their children to these schools because they see it as a brand name.

It is something they can brag about when at cocktail parties. The only problem is when the child can not perform and struggles...

Its the parents that are at fault...your child is not a status symbol. If they require a mass off tutoring to get in then most likely super selective is not for your child.

Save the cash and go on holiday my daughter and I went to Taipei ..Bangkok...Singapore.... Lego land in Malaysia... Shanghai... Bejing ...Seoul ....Ching mai..Hua hin.. We enjoyed it... If you think about it..its better than staying at home doing NVR and VR ...for a test to get into a school that will probably reject your child before the exams..To keep thier place in the league table.

I just wanted to introduce the idea that tutoring for selective if your child is not made of that a waste off money and the child would be happier on holiday with their mum and dad in tje pool

FormaLurka Sun 15-Sep-13 09:37:29

Kenlee - you obviouly have an open mind view on the subject grin.

Assuming that this is not a made up child, the problem is with the school itself and not the type of school.

In any case, for most of us its not an either or situation. I mean, we have a skiing holiday in Feb and then a summer one. In between there are school trips. Very few of us are holidaying at Butlins just so that we can afford £30k plus per year for two kids.

QuintessentialShadows Sun 15-Sep-13 10:33:15

If we are talking about super selectives, no, I would not have sent either of my child to those. I want them to have a childhood too!

QuintessentialShadows Sun 15-Sep-13 10:33:46

children hmm

Kenlee Sun 15-Sep-13 13:39:40

FormaLurka I actually dont think it is the schools problem. They have set out their stall to garner students with a certain criteria. The parents who over tutor their children just to get in are the problem. Dont waste the money go on holiday....

My daughter is in a 30K private school...didnt do the tutoring but passed the entrance exam. The point is she is not struggling at school.

Whereas her cousin was tutored to death doing pass question often till 8 at night....

The thing is now that she got in...She is tutored to keep up...So she misses out on real school life the clubs the sports the sheer fun of just being with friends.

Im really just writing this to remind parents being in a super selective is not the be all and end all....let your child enjoy school...

QuintessentialShadows Sun 15-Sep-13 13:51:50

Do you honestly think that people here have not thought about that?

Some people are in a position to both spend 30k per kid on schooling, and also go on lots of fab holidays. It does not have to be either or. It is not so black and white as you seem to think.

todaysdate Sun 15-Sep-13 13:59:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

todaysdate Sun 15-Sep-13 14:01:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Wuldric Sun 15-Sep-13 14:15:53

I don't know what makes you think that superselectives do not enable children to have childhoods. As far as I can see, they have too much flipping childhood for my liking.

Kenlee Sun 15-Sep-13 14:18:03


I am sure that most parents have thought about wether or not to send their child to super selective. I am just trying to let them know its okay not to accept if your child will struggle when they get there.

I an sure as most in here we have the fiance to support our children with fees and other things. In fact im sure some spend a vast amount on tutors too.

What I am saying is that is it really necessary if your child will not fit into the school.


I really hope he gets in...if its right for him.. a good school with the right student is a great combination.

todaysdate Sun 15-Sep-13 15:45:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gazzalw Sun 15-Sep-13 18:39:04

DS goes to a super-selective. He wasn't tutored but I wouldn't say that he's flourishing academically yet. He hasn't quite grasped the level they're expected to be working at. Hopefully it will come hmm. It is, however, the school he was very keen to go to and he stands by the decision that it's the right school for him.

I wouldn't say that he is disheartened but I think it's been a real eye-opener to him that there are such a lot of really clever boys about!

Taz1212 Sun 15-Sep-13 19:24:03

DS is at a selective private school. I refused to do any tutoring with him. I did have him sit a mock 11+ exam over the course of a few days just to give him a bit of practice for that type of test. I only wanted him to be accepted if he were suitable for the school - not because he was tutored and would then possibly struggle academically!

He was up around the top few students in his state school in all subjects He is now amongst the top for reading/English, middling for maths and decidedly at the bottom on the swim team which he nevertheless enjoys ! He loves the school and thanks us every day for sending him there. grin

DD will be applying in 2 years and I'll be making sure she is familiar with various maths concepts and run her through a mock 11+ but again, that's it.

stella69x Sun 15-Sep-13 19:29:45

If they gotta be tutored to get there it makes sense they gotta be tutored to stay there so maybe they shouldn't be there in the first place? Why should money buy an education the child's intellect doesn't deserve? Why should smart lower income kids be deprived a place coz mummy & daddy could afford to 'buy' a place with tutoring?

Kenlee Sun 15-Sep-13 21:11:34

I dont disagree with tutors as such. You can't expect a child to excel at every subject. My daughter had private swimming lessons and she enjoyed them.

What I am in disagreement with is wether or not the parents can afford it or not to force their child to go to a prestigious super selective. That is not suited to their child for the simple reason of branding. Yes if the child is smart and can keep up with the work then their social life at school will be great. Where they will take it in their stride to be on the school sport team. Enjoying themselves after school playing games amongst their peers.

This will not happen to the unfortunate over tutored child. Who will struggle and will require tutorial covering all subjects. They will not have time to be social ...often being labelled as dumb and ignored or made fun off.

Having a full day at school and being tutored till late at night to keep up is not what School is about. The certificate and school name is unimportant unless your child learns social interaction and how to enjoy themselves.

I say this as my daughter had been up agaisnt children in Hong Kong who are tutored till 11 pm at night. If they are not tutored they are in private sports lessons or music. If that doesn't kill them. They are then subjected to learn painting or an art.

My daughter is now at an independent selective school in the UK as I refuse to join the pack and subject her to 6 years of super tutoring to make her pass her exams.

I just feel so sorry for my nieice.

Dancingdreamer Sun 15-Sep-13 22:33:09

The sad fact is that unless your child is tutored (and this includes parents who train and tutor children, not just paid lessons) kids don't get in to superselectives. I know of children that were consistently top of the class at school and failed to get into superselectives when less able kids in the same class got in. The reason? The less able were tutored to get to the school. Don't belive these superselectives that say they disagree with tutoring. Nearly all the kids are tutored who get in are tutored (if you question the parents closely - they like to pretend it is all natural genius!). The majority of these so called aptitude tests can all be learned with practice. And by the way, the less able tutored kids are all doing fine at their schools!

Kenlee Mon 16-Sep-13 01:34:30

The only problem arises when the less able are really really less able. I have seen tutored children who when given a blind question are unable to comprehend the question let alone answer it.

I understand that in most cases a little tutoring to brushup on skills on an already bright child will not eat to much into their play time.

Im really talking about Children that require more than 3 hrs a night to get in and then most likely that many hours when they are in...

englishteacher78 Mon 16-Sep-13 06:31:38

I went to a superselective. I wasn't tutored. Many of my students at the selective I teach in were not tutored. Some were. Some of those students do then find it difficult. I find it quite sad that students are being tutored for 2 (or more) years for these exams.
One of the reasons for the move in some areas to include extended writing is that it can often show the difference between the talented and tutored (but not always). I believe Kent are keen to make their exam 'tutor proof'. A good goal, but probably impossible.

gandhara Mon 16-Sep-13 11:22:43

Amazing how many people decry the benefits of tutoring and how getting in to a grammar without tutoring should be the measure.

For the record, my dd received alot coaching from me and went to weekly tutoring for a year and got into a superselctive. She wasn't great prior to the tutoring but it did get up to the standard. just scraped in as well, not far above the pass mark! But, once in she thrived. She's now predicted and on course for 13 a*s in her GCSE's in 2014.

She tells me virtually all of her class were tutored. None of them are struggling and all are predicted A's too.

I'd say now that tutoring is the norm (at least where i live).

Xpatmama88 Mon 16-Sep-13 14:13:39

Kenlee, if you are comparing HK education system on over-tutoring, I can certainly echo your concern. But again Chinese parents' high expectation of their kids are well known, as many of them are really tiger mums/dads.
In Asia, as well, they do have a very strong education system, and achieve highly in all International education rankings in Maths/ Science/ languages. In order to achieve that the parental support has to be paramount.
Also, many parents worry their children are not keeping up in this competitive system, they try everything to give their children an upper hand, like music, art, ballet....etc.
I experienced all these while I lived in Asia (HK, Singapore, Japan) many years ago, even I felt I need to do extra activities with my kids in order to keep up with their peers, mind you both my children were in Int'l schools and not the local school.
Also need to understand there is a different mentality and culture. They don't have well established social benefit system or pension system like the western world. Many asian parents are expectating their children to look after them financially when they get older, so hence better educated child hopefully lead to a higher paid job and more comfortable life. So more pressure on the kids to achieve academically.
Like you said, you can afford to send your DD to UK to board in order to escape that system, plus many fantastic holidays, many can not.
Your niece made the cut to get into a super-selective, she must be really bright. The problem is when she faces her even brighter peers, how she reacts. Work harder to get better, or totally lost her confidence, and feels she will never be as good as so and so.
We sent ours to board in UK too. My DD got into a super selective girl boarding school back in UK while we were in Singapore (10 years ago)she spent couple of years in an Int'l Sch in HK before that. Obviously did her no harm, and being a very competitive girl, she got all top results and make it to medical school.
My DS also make the cut to a very academic boy boarding school. Do we tutor them? The answer is yes/no, we encourage them to read a lot, and research and discuss on interesting subjects for them to gain knowledges on broad spectrum of topics. We never paid a tutor for academic subjects, but we did paid for piano and tennis lessons.
At the end of the day, they are the one who have to sit exams to get into these super selective schools. As a parent, we have to encourage and support them, tutoring or not!

Theas18 Mon 16-Sep-13 14:34:55

It is possible to attend superselective, have a life outside school and do well after, socially and academically.

However these schools are not the right place for all children even of the same academic ability.We still need to think very carefully about the choice of school.

Some for of exam technique tutoring at least is required for even the cleverest state school educated child though - the 11+ is taken in the 1st weekend of year 6 now and no state school has the kids " exam ready" for anything by then.

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