11+ how many schools?(17 Posts)
Thinking towards the 11+ and just wondering how many schools you put your kids forward for? We've some v good state selectives around plus private. Thanks
We did 13+ pretest for 3 schools. Your school will advise which - dead certs, possibles with a bit of hard work and Hail Marys.
We went for 4 independent schools (3 exams as 2 fell into a London Consortium grouping), plus my DD's own through school consortium paper as it was mandatory.
We did not have grammar school options as Tiffin/H. Barnett were too far and do not live within a catchment of the decent local state schools. DD felt that this was the right amount, and got 3 out of 4 offers. There were some children that were sitting for in excess of 10+ schools, some even from preps against their Head's wishes. An experience for sure...good luck with it all!
Remember that the exams can he bloody hard work - especially if they are quite different in style from each other (and the cost, oh the cost!). Some kids really take it in their stride but we say many a pale, teary face after some.
Absolutely agree with you chocolate
Also, be prepared to have your mind change on schools as you go through the process, what starts off as a favourite can be pushed down the wish list for whatever reason personal to yours/child's experience of that school. The gut speaks louder than the league tables, or the parents' 'chatter', which there is plenty of!
We live in an area with state 11+, and just a few miles from two other 11+ areas. DS1 took the tests in his stride, so we opted to enter him for all three sets of state 11+ exams. On top of that, we entered him for one local independent school - my only regret is that I wish we had entered him for at least one more independent as I got the impression during the interview stage that we might have been able to negotiate a better scholarship for him if we had had offers from other independents to consider.
DS2 is a different child altogether, and I very much doubt we will enter him for as many 11+ tests, although we still have a couple of years before we cross that particular bridge.
Funnily enough the one we didn't really care too much about came back with a very lovely scholarship offer, and the one I thought 'oh-oh, no chance, he's not Stephen Hawkins crossed with Picasso, Churchill and yo yo ma' really liked him.
2 very different exam processes too. One was 2 (very) long written (3-4 hours I seem to remember) papers (stages 1 and 2), the other a pre test, then call back with a written paper, computer test and 2 interviews (we were interview too).
dd did one state and two independent exams and that was plenty
she was very 'meh' about two of the girls' options that most of her classmates sat as well so we didn't bother and we knew that even if she got a stonking scholarship at the v popular but not as academically selective co-ed she wouldn't take it so there was no point sitting that one either
Is your child in a state primary or prep now?
we may do 2 borough tests and then 2-4 private ones
not sure yet
For DS1 we did 6 (2 dead certain, 2 likely and 2 aspirational) and he was ok with it, the preparation
The preparation was the same. For DD2, I will not do anything at all, she gets really stressed and there is no point risking self harming or eating disorder (I am only partially joking) so we moved her in an all through school that caters for mixed abilities. For DD3 I am still waiting to see what would be best for her. She is also moving in the all through school in case. I felt that 6 schools was a lot though but I had no idea how hard it would be (west London) so I didn't want to take any risk. The state option was dreadful.
Oh gosh, I know nothing of this. If you kid is at a state primary you aren't told a thing about which schools are aspirational bs realistic or which schools share exams. Is there a nice easy idiots guide to London day selectives?
You can check the good schools guide or search on here
Do you have a tutor or will you do the prep yourself?
hi Alto, I gather from your parallel thread on SPSG that considering going independent is a new option?
Your Head had put your DD on the summer camp, so when you return to school, taking to he/she may be a good starting point. Your DD is obviously smart, but her personality may be suited to some of the selectives more than others. Re costs, if you consider St Paul's as the most expensive (circa £22k per annum before year on year inflation) then the others will be less. Talk to each school's bursary dept separately as each school's thresholds differ. Scholarships can also help, subject to being awarded one/more.
Look at where you live, what you want the maximum commute time to be (and how. use TfL planners etc as this could rule out schools from the start.
Do you want girls only or open to co-ed? What things is she interested in?
To get the ball rolling and a feel for your nominated schools, get onto to the open days (the dates should be open now and fill up quickly). Be mindful that these are opportunities for the schools to sell themselves, but a start.
Finally, (apologies, all this is quick and dirty advice), once you've trawled the league tables, websites re indie schools etc, keep on forums such as these/11+ forums etc and review past parents feedback. Invaluable insight to stuff the school gate guys won't tell you!
If cost is a real issue, be mindful not to start the process unless you can genuinely afford independent secondary as an option, as bursaries are tough to obtain as reality is there are only a handful available (at variable levels of % support) for families in need. So work out your bottom line if your DD was to undertake the process. Or sacrifices are made for 7 years that can impact the wider family etc.
DD will be sitting three state tests that cover a range of schools e.g Kent covers several schools as does Bexley, plus one independent. Of the state tests two are very similar the other is like a subset of the others so it isn't any more work. Plus one scholarship interview at her current school. We are not sitting tests like some do for schools miles around, all are within an easy commute or like one grammar is actually our closest school and one mile up the road. Check the admissions info carefully before putting in the effort. Check out the elevenplusexams website. Good luck!
For us, it depends on the kids and on the school options.
With dd1 (who only liked one of the three indies we let her look at) she sat for one, and got one.
With dd2, she will probably go for 3 indies (she's just a different girl and will want more choice, or at least a shot at choice!) but I wouldn't put her in for much more than that, unless she begged.
We did one state, 3 independents and one weekly boarding (scholarship exam for this one). The state exam was before Christmas, the other 4 in January. However, because we were also applying for sports and music scholarships, it did take up a lot of weekends.
One of the independents was a 'back up' which, in hindsight, we didn't really need, but I panicked a bit!
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