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Will my average DD survive at a private school?

(14 Posts)
ROZ12 Mon 17-Mar-14 13:56:41

Hi all,

I'm worried about my DD. I was told today my DD didn't perform that well in her entrance test at a mediocre private school-Old Palace. But she was offered a place I guess they look at the overall child. My DD really wants to go and I will have to pay full fees. I'm just worried she will be swamped by academic children and she will be overlooked?? She does not want to go to the state comp and I feel she will fit there and be looked after.

Anyone had any experience of their average child doing well at a private school?

Many Thanks


mythbustinggov Mon 17-Mar-14 14:09:58

She will do fine. You will find that there is no difference between the students in a private school and in a comprehensive - the differentiator is the size of the class, which will be much smaller in a private school - and so the staff will have more time for each student and be able to tailor learning for each one. Whilst there will be some who are more academic, there will be others with different skills - often lack of progress in mainstream education is why students are sent to private schools.

Private schools also have much more emphasis on high standards of work and a focussed work ethic - the students get used to this (on the whole) and tend to perform better.

There's no magic about private schools and they are not full of academic high achievers - they give students like your DD the chance to realise their full potential. If only there was time, space and money in the state system to do the same.

ATrueBeliever Mon 17-Mar-14 14:33:01

Out of interest, in what way do you view Old Palace to be mediocre? I'm not sure that I would pay for a mediocre school at all. Which other schools in the area did you look at?

Do you feel that her performance was a fair reflection of her usual ability? Sometimes children have an off day. Presumably you have some SATS grades say? What is she expected to get in those?

drivenfromdistraction Mon 17-Mar-14 14:41:13

A lot of private schools are not particularly academically selective. It doesn't necessarily mean she'll be lagging behind others.

Timetoask Mon 17-Mar-14 14:45:23

Why would you want to pay for a mediocre education?

happygardening Mon 17-Mar-14 14:45:35

The only thing that would worry me is that most parents are paying for results and many genuinely believe that if you pay you can turn Tim nice but dim into an A* student. Therefore most heads are under pressure, which they are passing onto the the staff and children, to get these good results and improve the schools position in the league table be it the local one or the national one.
From talking to a few friends with "average" children at independent schools they feel that their current children under a lot more pressure to do well and get those top grades than their older "average" children were when at the same school and certainly more pressure than they remember being under when they were at school.
As a parent you'll just have to monitor this and look about for signs of stress and anxiety caused by to much pressure from the school. But hopefully she'll be absolutely fine and flourish many children do so much better at senior school, good luck.

happygardening Mon 17-Mar-14 14:47:21

Having said all of this I agree with Timetoask why are you paying for a school which you describe as mediocre?

ZeroSomeGameThingy Mon 17-Mar-14 15:57:35

Surely, surely that was a mis-type? "Middling"? "Medium"?

No-one on earth would willingly pay for a mediocre school.shock

BigBirdFlies Mon 17-Mar-14 17:12:17

I don't think the school looks mediocre. It has almost 100% A-C and 60% A/A* at GCSE, and 55% A/A* at A'Level.

I'm sure there are more selective schools with higher results (Habs, City, St Paul's etc), but these would not allow a child who had stumbled in the entrance exam through the door. Value added is important for both state and independent schools, and if this school is taking children with a range of abilities and bringing them up to these results, it looks to me like a good school. Well done to your dd. If you can afford the fees and she wants to go there, then go for it. But don't let your dd hear the word mediocre.

ROZ12 Mon 17-Mar-14 17:18:51

Hi all

My DD is predicted level 5 in her SATS so maybe she had an off day and not used to exams gets nervous. Old Palace is different to the other indies she tried for Wimbledon High and JAGS which are almost top 20% of indies. OP is 191 in the league tables that is what I mean't by mediocre. Otherwise I love the school, very homely.

But thanks everyone for advice.

mary21 Mon 17-Mar-14 17:20:44

This is London, schools are oversubscribed. If they have accepted her they must think she will fit in and do just fine.
If it was another part of the country where a private school was struggling to get bums on seats I would be more concerned

ROZ12 Mon 17-Mar-14 17:22:26

It's oversubsrcibed and many on waitlist.

tiaramasu Mon 17-Mar-14 17:23:51

There seem to be plenty of non acedemic children at private schools. So I wouldnt think that an average child would necessarily have a problem.

MillyMollyMama Mon 17-Mar-14 18:04:42

Interestingly The Independent had it in its top 100 for A level results in 2012! Hardly mediocre in my opinion. Also why have you assumed an independent school will be crammed full of exceptionally academic children? Just because people pay it does not mean they have the brightest children who all go to Oxbridge! If your DD gets mediocre SATs she will be fine, won't she.

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