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Wanstead - State Primary or a private school - to get admission into a secondary private school?

(21 Posts)
countrysidemuffin Sun 25-May-14 10:24:30

Our daughter has got admission into Nightingale (an outstanding state primary). I would like her to go there. But my husband is pretty convinced that if she starts with a state primary (even though it is an outstanding school), then later on it will be difficult to get into an independent school.

My husband wants to send her to St Joseph’s Convent School (a private school). He thinks that this will assure her a place in a private secondary school. I visited St Joseph's and liked it, but I absolutely see no reason of spending so much money on a private school when an outstanding state primary has offered us a place.

Has anyone got any first hand experience of St Joseph’s school or Nightingale school, and how the children perform at Yr6 to get into some good local private schools?


TheTravellingLemon Mon 26-May-14 09:54:27

I don't live far from you and I have to say that I agree witb your husband. Purely because pricate schools 'train' their pupils for entrance exams and the interviews. I don't think your DD will necessarily receive a better education at the private school, but I do think she will stand more of a chance of getting into one of the local secondary schools. Most of them start younger than 11 now. A private school will gear them up for aged 7 admissions.

wintertimeisfun Mon 26-May-14 19:50:50

i don't agree. i also live up the road from you and have a dd who wasn't tutored and got a scholarship into chigwell (she went to state primary school). there were actually alot of kids from her school who also got into good indi's (forest/bancrofts) although i do not know if they were all tutored, i know some were. if you local state is good and your child is bright i wouldn't be so quick to write it off :0)

summer111 Mon 26-May-14 20:49:20

I agree with wintertimeisfun. If your child is bright and at a an outstanding state primary, they should get into Forest or Bancrofts; (perhaps with some tuition/preparation) - certainly my children's friends have done so.
If you are catholic, don't rule out Probity for secondary education, it's excellent.

summer111 Mon 26-May-14 20:50:34


summer111 Mon 26-May-14 20:58:31


summer111 Mon 26-May-14 20:59:00

I agree with wintertimeisfun. If your child is bright and at a an outstanding state primary, they should get into Forest or Bancrofts; (perhaps with some tuition/preparation) - certainly my children's friends have done so.
If you are catholic, don't rule out Probity for secondary education, it's excellent.

Toomanyhouseguests Mon 26-May-14 23:11:40

I live in the area. My dc go to another, very nice state school. The sort that is oversubscribed.

About 10 to 15% of the year 6s go onto to one of the local independent secondaries. Almost all of them have been tutored for an hour a week for a year before the test. A few families do more, a few do less, but once a week for a year seems to be the norm. I haven't heard of a single child applying and not getting at least one offer from one of the three schools.

Meanwhile, the dc have been able to go to their local school with local friends,etc. and the tutoring is a tiny fraction of the cost of 7 years if prep school.

I've also heard very good things about Trinity.

All that said, if you are going for super selective day schools in London, then you probably should consider prep schools if you can afford them.

squiby2004 Tue 27-May-14 13:06:52

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

wintertimeisfun Tue 27-May-14 20:04:12

i've heard from many also that Trinity is a fantastic school however you need to have been going regularly to Church for quite a few years, etc. i am not of the faith however if i was i would certainly have applied for dd

ShineSmile Tue 27-May-14 20:30:41

Just out of interest, if a child goes to a state school for primary, by the time they start private at secondary, won't they feel a little out of place and maybe even slight intimidated by the other 'posh talking, over confident' other children? That's my worry about my DD, I don't want her to feel inferior.

wintertimeisfun Tue 27-May-14 21:24:23

i think it depends on the school. i don't think that people are 'posh' (superior) because they ie may appear to have more money than we do. we live in a very footballers wife type area where there is alot of money but i don't think that buys you class and makes you superior.. grin i do know what you mean however i think alot or certainly a fair few of the kids that go to this school are from hard working families to aren't minted, i know of a few (ourselves included). tbh i wouldn't want dd to be friends with the type that were like that anyway. i know of someone whose sone never asks any friends home because he is embarassed that his home is smaller than theirs hmm. a friend of mine has told me how one kid went to her house (same school) and the lovely darling went around commenting on how small her house was... Having said this, i think most of the kids/a fair few anyway are good kids. dh went to this particular school. His parents worked hard to send him there. He was one of the 'poor' kids but it never bothered him, he made some life long friends who were from very similar backgrounds, some wealthy, some not. dd is confident and not aware about money in a way that it impresses her. I guess you would say she is from 'old' money

ShineSmile Tue 27-May-14 21:31:04

Thanks winter! smile

How is wanstead by the way as a place to live? We are not too far from it, and are thinking about moving.

wintertimeisfun Tue 27-May-14 21:51:51

no idea as i live up the road but it is meant to be nice, has some bloomin' lovely houses. I think it is quite a yummy mummy type place, has a nice park/playground where i used to take dd when she was very young, nice shops too

muffinmonster Sat 31-May-14 14:04:52

Hi, countrysidemuffin; are we by any chance related?

I'm another one whose DS went to a local outstanding school in your area; he got offers from all three independents. He is bright though, and he had an hour's tutoring once a week for a year before applying. I would agree with toomanyhouseguests that this seems to be the norm.

At our primary I don't think the number going on to independent schools was as high as 10-15%, though. More like 5%, but that may be because it's a Catholic primary (not hard to identify!) and I think many parents feel that the Catholic options at secondary are very good, particularly Trinity (though it is very much not my cup of tea).

I don't have first-hand experience of St Joseph's but my impression is that it's nothing special - certainly they don't shine when it comes to sending the girls to the local grammar/independents. So if you do decide to go private, I would definitely look at Forest, which is still local.

Another option to bear in mind is entry to one of the private schools at age 7; that way you save three years' fees and it's easier (I think) than getting in at 11.

CampingClaire Sat 31-May-14 16:06:02

Have done independent for both kids (1 from 8 and 1 from pre-school). Both have been day pupils at local boarding schools. Lots of kids come in at various points from state schools and the only gap I've seen, generally, is their sport. Very few have played hockey, rugby, tennis (4x + a week) from the start and unless they are very determined can find it really hard to get into a team. Most preps will do sport at least 4 x a week and then again after school. The schools up here (can't speak for London) are really 'team' focused and the kids who don't know what to do can struggle to break in. Saying that...some have gone to local clubs while at state school and are fine.
Academically, the ones who normally come in later to our schools tend to be scholarships so they're obviously bright and therefore have no problems with the work.
I've never known kids to be ostracised due to not being 'posh' but then there are a vast range of incomes at all these schools and mine have had kids back here who live in castles or who's parents are mega millionaires or who are like us and live in a 'normal house', on a new estate and are busting a gut to pay for it! The kids don't seem to judge and as long as no one pretends to be what they're not...the parents don't either. There's always one mum every new intake who starts the process wearing M&S and before you know it has developed a love of tweed skirts and started driving a Volvo estate with a pair of black Lab's in the boot!! They're the ones who'll get laughed at!!
My advice...for what it's worth...stay with the good state primary and sink a bucket load of time and money into extra curricular stuff (music lessons - 2 instruments, sport - either achieve really high at a lone sport or join a good hockey/rugby/tennis club and go at least twice a week).

Sthlonmum Sat 31-May-14 18:44:27

Or choose extra curricular activities that your child might actually enjoy rather than from a prescribed list that you believe will open doors for them. No wonder childhood stress is at an all time high.......

Toomanyhouseguests Sat 31-May-14 22:13:17

muffinmonster, I think you are right about the schools being easier to get into at 7+ vs 11+.

A few families at our state school have done this. When you think about it, the children are very young and it is difficult for prep school kids to get very far ahead in those first three years.

Blossom8 Fri 08-Aug-14 16:33:02

Interesting Squiby. Why the dislike for SJC and the headmistress? My DS has been at SJC since nursery and will be entering Year 1 (Infants 2) this September and so for we have been happy. Unfortunately, we don't have an outstanding primary near us so we decided to pay for SJC and so far we have been happy with this decision.

One of my concerns is for them to challenge more able children instead of following what they should be at for their age. My daughter has recently turned 5 and has a reading and comprehension age of 8 according to their reading test end of year reports yet she still has been getting easy books to read.

However, I am told that from Year 1 onwards it gets more difficult and certainly when we went for a visit, the girls seemed very well behaved in class and polite which made up our decision for us. BUT if I had an outstanding primary, I probably send her there and save my money for private in secondary.

ohtobeanonymous Fri 08-Aug-14 23:15:01

Private preps will not necessarily prepare for entrance exams to senior schools, so you are best to start at the state primary and see if you're happy with your child's progress. Most FS and KS1 private and state school provision is pretty on par tbh, the main differences seem to arise in KS2.
Many, many children at private preps in London are tutored for 11+ and 13+ anyway. Save your money for the extra curricular activities and outings that will be fun and enriching and possibly consider tutoring from Y 4/5 if you are keen on a private secondary.

Twiddly Fri 10-Mar-17 23:44:31

Hi there, I realise this is an old thread but I wondered what you decided to do in the end? We're thinking of doing the exact same thing in the same place so would love to hear how your DC is getting on.
Many thanks

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