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The final push

(41 Posts)
Teddingtonmum1 Mon 16-Dec-13 00:09:34

My DS has 2 entrance exams whitgift & reeds in 4 weeks , he has been working hard but his results on practice papers seems to still be erratic one day he gets 100% the next day its 60%. am planning to stop study over Xmas but will need to resume work w/c 30th as I'm at home for the next 10 days. Am planning to have an intensive 10 days before the exams can anyone advise the best way to tackle it , DS can't do long sessions works better doing short bursts for 30-45 mins is it better to do one day on one subject or mix it up ?

Teddingtonmum1 Sun 29-Dec-13 17:48:03

Hi havinga nightmare

Have resolved myself if he gets a place I will move, as from teddington at 11 would be impossible there is the bus from new Malden but I doubt if I want years of having to get up at 5.30 am .

Did try and pm you back keeps kicking me out will try again !!

havinganightmare Fri 27-Dec-13 19:13:06

DS gets Wimbledon bus to Whitgift. Nearly killed us all the early start the first two terms but one year on we are seasoned pros at the 6am start for the 7am bus which is a hair raising 5 minutes race in the car! He is learning to manage his commitments with homework and clubs so that he hasn't too much in the evenings once home - and that makes a huge difference The problem is weekly fixtures when he misses the bus home but we are juggling that pretty well too. And of course Saturday fixtures..... Great school and definitely worth our journey - but adding on the extra time from Teddington is questionable. What about Hampton?! Good luck with it!

makemelaugh Fri 27-Dec-13 15:41:16

Re long journeys...I recently read a study about how much sleep teenagers really need. Apparently they need more than adults and more than many children and they never get it. The result is underachieving, grumpiness, lack of concentration, mood swings, lower stamina, etc. On top of that, think about secondary school.... Time spent travelling is - with exceptions - time they could've spent doing homework, activities, resting or sharing quality time with you. They will also want to stay in school for clubs, sports, rehearsals, library... They will want to go to a friend's house, have that friend around to their house... Think about having to pick up when ill, or after a late activity, or attend parents evening, events, sports fixtures... I have been to DS school at least 15 times already just in one term!
Just saying... Because someone gave me very good advice re distances last year when we were choosing schools and I am so grateful for it! And so glad I listened!

antimatter Fri 20-Dec-13 00:32:57

50 min at night not in the traffic. You need to double that time.

Teddingtonmum1 Fri 20-Dec-13 00:08:32

Ginandit I hope you don't mind me asking but did you get a bursary ?

Teddingtonmum1 Wed 18-Dec-13 19:20:11

Yep just had a look it stops at wallington then east croydon but takes about 50 mins as it only makes about 10 /15 stops might be easier than the train would have to do a dry run IF he got a place of course !!!

antimatter Wed 18-Dec-13 18:42:47

x26 doesn'g near whitgift
he would need another bus to get there, it would make it too far

Teddingtonmum1 Wed 18-Dec-13 17:42:14

It does go to croydon but I think it would take ages DS sat Sutton but didn't get past the first round but it would have been the only wanttogetgoing there will have a look.

mary21 Wed 18-Dec-13 15:52:11

Does the x26 go anywhere near whitgift? Boys from Teddington use it to get to Sutton grammar. If is does try a rush hour trip to see how long it takes

GinAndIt Wed 18-Dec-13 13:04:36

Sorry, cross-posted!

Yes, that sort of early start isn't unusual if boys make it into one of the top teams. Even if he's not sporty the school will find a way to get him there 6 days out of 7 wink...

Don't get me wrong, ds loves it to bits, but please don't underestimate the level of commitment (and therefore to-ing and fro-ing from school) that's expected.

Anyway, back to your original question - fwiw, I think we carried on throughout Xmas but at a lower, more casual level. I was of the opinion that what ds didn't know by mid-Dec he wasn't going to know, but we just kept things ticking over, half an hour at a time. Best of luck.

Teddingtonmum1 Wed 18-Dec-13 13:04:08

To be honest I've had enough already filling out forms headmasters interviews at reeds last week ( think it went ok but you never know !!) just be glad to get to march with 1 offer. if we get anymore ill have another meltdown at least if you only get 1 there's no choosing ...

GinAndIt Wed 18-Dec-13 12:58:39

It sounds like a really difficult situation, OP - hope you get the result you want (and is best for ds of course!)

Teddingtonmum1 Wed 18-Dec-13 12:58:12


Yes when I done the open day the boy who was showing me round said he gets to school by 7am 3 days a week for conditioning sessions for rugby. DS isn't very sporty but think that might change if he gets a place !!!

JustAnotherUserName Wed 18-Dec-13 12:56:19

LadyMuck - thanks. Hadn't thought of that. You are right of course. (We have prepared him ...)

Teddingtonmum1 Wed 18-Dec-13 12:55:32

Whitgift unfortunately don't test NVR which despite just starting for the first time oct DS seems to have picked up quite easily just our luck !!.
Am still in court as some mn may know with ex as he doesn't want DS to weekly board hence seeing whitgift which is nearer to his father so could share parenting but his totally unreliable so have to have a back up as he says a lot but does very little , am looking to move from my flat next summer ( 2 bed in outstanding Collis primary school catchment if anyone is looking !!) so may have to rent in Croydon til he settles in or boards at 13. who knows everything is so up in the air which is driving me INSANE . unable to plan for anything at the moment ... will keep plugging away only a few more weeks to go am taking DS lap top shopping on Friday for his Xmas pressie so that should give him a boost . Hopefully !!.....

GinAndIt Wed 18-Dec-13 12:46:54

Also bear in mind that the school bus only works to get boys in for ding dong. If you have before-school commitments (eg swimming, etc) then the bus is no good. And don't even talk to me about getting up and out in time for Saturday morning sports (and we live nearby!) grin

It's a fab school. Just possibly not fab enough to justify a long or complex commute. The boys are shattered, even those who live with an easy distance. If your heart is set on it I would seriously recommend moving nearer.

Ladymuck Wed 18-Dec-13 12:36:25

And as for being naive, in terms of standards, Whitgift have an extensive primary schools outreach, and an incredibly generous bursary scheme. There will be children sitting the exam who are incredibly underprepared compared with most MNers. It may be worth preparing your son for this, as it was clear some boys had never sat that sort of exam before (eg would ask the teacher to explain the questions to them etc). It is not only the brightest kids who sit.

Ladymuck Wed 18-Dec-13 12:31:17

The point I'm trying to make is that there isn't a "passmark" as such for maths. There are plenty of boys at Whitgift who scored less than 50% in either English or Maths (but not both, and with a decent reasoning score). 65% was plucked out of the air as the highest mark I could think of that someone scoring below average in reasoning might achieve in maths.

JustAnotherUserName Wed 18-Dec-13 12:06:38

Out of interest, LadyMuck, did you pick 65% at random (or is that a "passmark" for a school like Whitgift - which my DS is sitting, as it happens?)

JustAnotherUserName Wed 18-Dec-13 12:00:17

Interesting, but for most Maths:

b - most indies emphasise you must show your working. That will show whether silly mistakes have crept in.

c - most indies tell you that no more than usual KS2 maths is tested, so most DCs will have been prepared for that (even if some schools are lagging and yet to cover it all by january). So I doubt (or am I being naive) that any will not know the full "curriculum" for the test (gaps having been filled by parents or tutors).

d - won't get anywhere near 65%!

MrsSteptoe Wed 18-Dec-13 11:46:25

Ah, that makes sense. Thanks.

Ladymuck Wed 18-Dec-13 11:30:53

Maths is more of a qualitative mark than you might expect as the boys either:-
a) get it all right
b) make some silly mental maths mistakes along the way (of the 5+8=12 sort), but clearly know the maths
c) have gaps in their knowledge (usually space and data (averages) related), but are otherwise sound
d) haven't a clue.

So if a boy gets 65% say, you know he isn't in category a, but you don't know, just from the score, whether he is in b, c or d.

English similarly is qualitative.

The reasoning paper which is usually written externally and is standardised is therefore the one purely quantitative number.

This is where indie markings are very different from the grammar computer-marked process where the score alone matters. Ideally you want a good showing across all the papers, but a good VR score can get you an interview if one of the other papers is weak.

MrsSteptoe Wed 18-Dec-13 10:13:16

Not applying to Whitgift, but out of curiosity: are they more interested in the VR score than the maths score? Our tutor has given us the impression that Dulwich at least is primarily interested in the maths (and the NVR, tho I don't think W tests NVR)

basildonbond Wed 18-Dec-13 08:11:14

Ladymuck is spot on - ds was exhausted in the first term if he'd had to cope with a really long journey on top of that it wouldn't have coped. I can guarantee that none of his friends will live anywhere near you so that parties, sleepovers etc will be a logistical nightmare. Plus there are frequent parents evenings, concerts, talks, sports fixtures etc which somehow you'd have to get you and your ds to. My parents live in Teddington, just next to the extremely popular state school you disregarded, so I know just how gruelling that journey can be.

Whitgift is a fantastic school and has been perfect for ds and if you lived closer I certainly wouldn't be trying to put you off but honestly, what you're suggesting is simply not fair for an 11 year old - there must be more suitable alternatives (inc state schools)

Ladymuck Wed 18-Dec-13 08:05:24

In terms of passmark, if you are after a full fees place then provided you do decently (over 75%) in the VR paper and don't do disgracefully in the others you should get an interview.

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