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Surrey/SW London moving from state primary to independent secondary?

(21 Posts)
Giraffescandance1 Thu 19-Nov-15 17:31:10

I'm currently choosing a primary school for dd. We're in the catchment of an outstanding state primary, but could afford to use private primary school if needed.

I'm tempted to use the state primary as it seems good and I liked visiting, however I would definitely choose an independent secondary school.

Does anyone know how easy/hard it is to get a state educated child into a selective independent secondary school? Aged 4, dd seems bright and both parents are enthusiastic about learning, academia and are professionals. I assume some tutoring would be needed?

I was thinking of Guildford High or similar for secondary.

gazzalw Thu 19-Nov-15 17:40:08

Know many children in SW London (Merton) who have done state primary and then moved on to private secondary school relatively seamlessly. Granted most of them have been 'top table' primary though.

I'm not entirely convinced (on the basis of the DCs I've known) that tuition is needed BUT it probably depends which private secondaries you are aiming for. And many of the DCs I've known who have opted for private secondaries have gone down the 11+ route too, so many will have had some level of tuition although some parent-led rather than via the formalised tutoring route.

Worth finding out from the private schools you're interested in, what proportion of their pupils are state educated to 11.

Interested to know why you subscribe to the 'definitely choose an independent secondary school' view? What about the grammars in North Surrey - are they not an option or worthy of consideration?

SelfRaisingFlour Thu 19-Nov-15 17:47:52

Plenty of children go to private secondary after state primary and they are certainly not all top table or even above average. I don't think there's a problem so long as you can afford full fees and you're not going for the most selective schools.

Lozza1990 Thu 19-Nov-15 17:53:59

I think that's pretty standard, a lot of parents don't see much point in a private primary but a private secondary is quite a difference from a state.

MonsterDeCookie Thu 19-Nov-15 19:03:38

Is second asking the secondaries your interested in what proportion they take from state. I was very surprised how few but we are in North London where it's all a bit mad.

AnotherNewt Thu 19-Nov-15 19:12:08

Yes a lot of pupils join the private sector for the first time at 11+ and it's perfectly achievable.

What you will miss out on is experienced prep head teacher's advice on school transfer (which schools suit your DC based on what they are like in school; which destination schools are aspirational and which are realistic). But you can cover quite a lot of this ground by careful research.

At age 4, that's hardly going to be a concern, though. You could always move to the private sector in one of the 7/8+ intake rounds (or another time if there is an ad hoc vacancy) when you know rather more about what your DC is like, how things are going at school, and where you think you'd like her to end up.

Giraffescandance1 Thu 19-Nov-15 19:51:18

Thanks for the replies. I wouldn't mind a grammar if it suited dd, but I don't know how bright she is yet and I'm thinking private mainly for the smaller class sizes and to avoid the state secondaries locally that don't have great reputations.

If she's anything like her parents though she may enjoy academia and so I don't want to preclude using the more academic private schools due to going to a state primary. Contacting the private secondaries to find out the proportion who join from the state sector is a great idea!

TeddTess Thu 19-Nov-15 19:55:30

considering you have a school in mind why not get in touch with them and ask what number come from the local state primaries.

it is perfectly normal in Richmond borough to do state primary and indie secondary. i mean obviously most people stay in the state system but funds permitting it doesn't seem an impossible move.

Waitingandhoping2015 Thu 19-Nov-15 19:57:18

We've done this twice now. In hindsight I would do the same again! I don't like the idea of prep schools going to 13+ and then moving in Year 9. Much better to move at 11+ ... yes this can in theory also be achieved from some Prep schools but beware the backlash (eg Shrewsbury House!)

DS1 was tutored by me at home, he was in the top 25% at Primary School and we did a decent amount of extra work to increase his level in Maths and English but also cover the required NVR and VR.

DS2 was in the top 2-3 at primary and we aimed for Tiffin and was tutored partly by me at home but also externally once a week on a 1-1 basis for about 9 months. Ultimately we chose to send him to an independent school though and not Tiffin, but the amount covered for Tiffin was clearly more than enough for independents' entrance exams.

Given what you've said above I think you would find it fairly easy to put the work in with them and achieve entry to most independent schools.

Waitingandhoping2015 Thu 19-Nov-15 19:58:26

At DS2s highly selective independent the percentage joining from a primary school at 11+ is about 60% I believe.

mummytime Thu 19-Nov-15 21:34:04

I've known girls go to GHS from state primary, lots go every year to Tormead and RGS (and I've known girls go from State to a variety of other Private schools).

Alwaysfrank Thu 19-Nov-15 22:44:31

It is definitely very possible. My four have all made this move at 11. If I'm honest though it has become much more competitive in the several years between oldest and youngest.

I know from previous threads which school waitingandhoping is referring to (I am a fellow parent) and it does have an unusually high proportion of state school pupils. There is a big contrast with the neighbouring independent school where I am also a parent and based on my dc's year, the state school percentage was probably nearer 20%.

Giraffescandance1 Fri 20-Nov-15 06:18:27

Thanks again.

Waitingandhoping when you say you tutored your dc, do have any background in this area or is it possible to tutor with no previous experience of teaching? Dh and I are both well educated professionals who'd be happy to 'tutor' dd but I'm not sure how much of the private school entrance exams would need to be taught by someone with more experience.

randomparent Fri 20-Nov-15 09:06:42

Giraffe: Parents can definitely prepare their DC for the 11+ without using a tutor, including for the most selective grammar and independent schools, so long as they have a good grasp of English and maths fundamentals and can explain clearly. Previous 11+ entrance exam teaching experience is not necessary.

IMO, it can be an enjoyable experience if parents have a genuine interest in educating their DC rather than doing it as a chore.

Waitingandhoping2015 Fri 20-Nov-15 10:16:54

Yes, what randomparent said.

I have no teaching background apart from education and a part-maths degree, but also I did have the time to put into it. You can gain a lot of information about what to do from here and the 11+ forum. Bond papers, many other papers, and Indie past papers such as Dulwich, MGS etc. You need to tailor what you are doing to the individual school though, both in terms of their exams and what they contain and the level required which varies enormously.

One thing I would say is try and get them reading loads. That will help with vocab and comprehension skills. Both of mine were/are NOT big readers and this could've been the area that let them down.

neuroticnicky Fri 20-Nov-15 11:05:18

I know loads of kids who have gone from state primary to independent secondary including to top schools such as SPGS. Since the 11 plus is just English and Maths (plus at some schools verbal/non- verbal reasoning)it is easy for a state primary school child to perform just as well as one from an independent school with some basic coaching from parents or a tutor for the exam itself. Indeed, although there is less homework, state schools have longer terms and do fewer extra subjects (such as languages) and so the kids can focus more easily on Maths and English. It is true that entrance to some independent schools has become more competitive (due to the increasing number of foreigners in Central London). However by the same token this has made the secondary schools themselves more conscious of the need to avoid becoming enclaves of the super rich and some actively seek bright children from state primary schools. Some of the state primary schools in our area (West London) have a very (some might say suspiciously) impressive track record of getting kids into the top independent schools which-in terms of the success rate of those who apply- is probably as good as any of the local prep schools.

Giraffescandance1 Fri 20-Nov-15 13:23:57

Thanks, it is really heartening to read this. Both parents are keen and genuinely interested in academia and education, we will need to work on the 'explanation' side of tutoring as no previous experience, but I'm confident we will both be able to understand and work with the content needed to be understood for entrance exams.

Alwaysfrank Fri 20-Nov-15 13:41:18

To add to what neurotic said, I suspect that the bar is slightly lower for state school applicants than those applying from the private sector. I was talking recently to the registrar at one of the very popular West London indies. They have tried very hard to make the entrance procedure tutor proof and are looking for potential rather than the finished article, so that there is more of a level playing field between private and state applicants.

neuroticnicky Fri 20-Nov-15 19:39:58

I think the main thing is to start 11 plus preparation early enough as your DC will need to familiarise themselves with the english and maths papers (and in particular with completing these within the timeframe) and also if applicable verbal and non verbal reasoning. Most state primary school parents I know start tutoring (either themselves or by hiring someone) around the beginning of year 5 to give their DC 12-15 months to prepare doing a couple of hours a week. This is fairly easy given that state primary schools have virtually no homework (maybe an hour or so a week).

IvySquirrel Fri 20-Nov-15 20:20:16

My 2 went from state primary to RGS Guildford. We did a fair bit of home practice in the year leading up to the test, but no tutoring as such. It's pretty common round here. I am not a trained teacher but I would describe myself as probably too interested in education! I have an arts degree and DH a maths one so between us we coup cover most things.

IvySquirrel Fri 20-Nov-15 22:21:23

Could not coup! Evidence of my educational prowess...

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