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11 or 13 start for Boys only Indie? Abingdon school in mind

(8 Posts)
CookieDoughKid Wed 22-Jul-15 13:04:28

I'm considering send my dc to Abingdon boys school. I notice that there is a possibly entry for year 13. My boy is in a State Primary school at the moment. Is there any real advantage in sending my boy to Abingdon at 11 vs 13? (Other than the chance to cement friendships etc). Saving 2 years worth of private school fees would be a huge help. Also is it more competitive getting in at 13 vs 11? Hoping someone here can provide more info.

Gruach Wed 22-Jul-15 13:59:57

Haven't applied there myself so no first hand knowledge - but the website clearly says that First Year entry (at 11) is intended for boys moving from a school where that is the normal changeover point.

I'm not sure I can see any advantage (other than financial) in not moving at that point as it would mean another school for two years in the interim.

You will also have noticed that for 13+ entry your son would first have to take a pre-test in yr 7.

(I should say having experience of both entry points at other schools I would absolutely choose the first.)

CookieDoughKid Wed 22-Jul-15 17:01:34

Thank you gruach. From your experience, what was particularly hard about 13+ entry if you don't mind to elaborate?

summerends Wed 22-Jul-15 17:59:46

Cookie your DS would normally be taking Common Entrance at the 13+ stage which means more syllabus work (not necessarily) harder on top of what he would be doing in his state school.
You have an interesting point though about saving a couple of years' fees but IMO I would only consider this for Abingdon if it really makes a difference for affordability (taking friendships and settling down into consideration).
If it does, since pupils do move from state to private at the 13+ stage at least for other schools it would be worth asking the Registrar whether they have a non CE 13+ exam route.

Gruach Wed 22-Jul-15 18:42:09

They do have a non CE route at 13+ but for this both prep and state school pupils have to pass the earlier pre-test.

The trouble with waiting till 13 as a state school candidate is that you lose two ways. You are not at Abingdon Prep or any other Prep school being prepared for the way things are done at Abingdon. And you're not at Abingdon itself - when you could have been. You've lost two years of making friends and settling in. You're out of the loop and not going up with Prep School friends. It's likely your state school is not cracking the whip over Latin - catching up from 13 can be tough when you have so many other new things happening at the same time. Perhaps you've missed out on some of the more esoteric sports ... So you always feel a little behind. (Tiny violin for me at 13 and a half ...)

Two years fees is no small thing I know. And at lots of schools everyone starts at 13 so it makes less difference. I'd be inclined to go and talk to the staff to find out what they believe those first two years are for ...

Millymollymama Wed 22-Jul-15 20:56:59

If they have an intake at 11, go at 11. Your DS would need to be in a prep school for 2 years to go at 13 so you won't save any fees. My DD went from state to independent boarding at 11 and did the school's own exam. No Latin needed and some schools only require this for scholarship exams anyway. Do check that. If entry at 11 can be achieved from a state school at 11, grab it.

Gruach Wed 22-Jul-15 21:11:55

He wouldn't need to spend the intervening years at a Prep as Abingdon appears to have a clear non-CE route at 13+. (Which does make it harder for the OP to see the benefit of spending money on those two years.) I wasn't suggesting he'd need Latin for a CE exam - just that he'd have to work very hard to catch up once there.

From the outside I'd imagine that the Abingdon staff see the first two years as an opportunity to dovetail the curriculum of the 11+ boys so that they're all on the same page once the Prep schoolers arrive in year 9. But I may be completely wrong.

CookieDoughKid Thu 23-Jul-15 19:44:36

Thanks Gruach and Milly. I'm going to have to speak more with the school in question but no doubt, they'll say 11+ entry is the best route from state Primary.

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