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Please tell me it will be ok

(12 Posts)
Itsgettingbetter Fri 13-Jan-17 19:32:11

Found out today my 11 year old DS won't be interviewed for either of his 2 independent school choices. Am absolutely gutted as it is a lottery round here as to what you get. The first was a straight up rejection, the second was willing to see him but only for a fee paying place (we need a bursary). He is regarded a very bright boy but hasn't yet got the hang of performing well in exam scenarios.

The two state choices we listed on the LA form are well reputed ones so of course there is still hope.

I just wanted advice on the ways in which I can prepare my son for successful future? I am 2nd generation British (daughter of migrants). One draw of the independent schools was the character building element and the opportunity to develop the 'soft skills' needed to succeed in this society.

How can I help him develop these? He does a fair bit of extra curricular now - Spanish, drumming, scouts, leadership academy where he does debating etc. but no sport. We go on interesting trips and visits and attend stimulating talks. How else can I broaden his horizons and make him well-rounded individual in the way a good independent would?

Thanks for reading smile

mumsneedwine Fri 13-Jan-17 20:02:21

Send him to State school ? It's anazing how most of the population go to one and seem to turn out ok. As doctors, lawyers, plumbers, musicians, pretty much anything they want to be. Independent schools do not have a monopoly on producing great humans. Some say they do as otherwise why would anyone pay for them. Some are truly amazing and offer so much - but it is a minority. Let your child enjoy things and take up opportunities and make friends from all backgrounds and they will turn out just fine.

SAHDthatsall Fri 13-Jan-17 20:26:47

Yes ditto to that. He'll find his way.

And if you can only afford a Ford Fiesta why expect to drive a Bentley?

user1484226561 Fri 13-Jan-17 20:29:24

relax, you are clearly doing loads with him, he does also need down time to waste, or spend as he chooses. Does he organise himself, and choose activities for himself, and initiate outings himself? Maybe a bit more independance.

titchy Fri 13-Jan-17 21:42:32

It'll be fine! You do know the majority of kids that go to Oxford and Cambridge went to state schools.

Devilishpyjamas Sat 14-Jan-17 09:11:32

Some of the least rounded people I have met went to large public schools....

CheerLeader2017 Sat 14-Jan-17 11:41:13

I share your sense of disappointment, as parents we are meant to 'fix things' and this is something you can't influence. How you deal with this rejection will influence your son's perspective of's not always a bad thing! You are already doing a fantastic job with him and as others have said, entry to private school is not an automatic passport to success in life. Having said that, if you still want to pursue this route, don't forget about 13+ entry. Stay positive.

Blu Sat 14-Jan-17 13:02:14

It's disappointing to try for something and not get it, but resilience in the face of that is the most character building thing possible, IMO.

He will be fine and more so. Scouts is fantastic. State schools offer a good education. He knows his family took huge steps to achieve what you have.

Make sure he has plenty of opportunity to choose his own goals and learns how to work towards them - look at 'growth mindset'. Be careful how much of his life and time you manage as he gets older, maturity comes from taking responsibility for their own decisions, successes and 'not achieveds '.

You only listed 2 schools on your application? Are they Ines you will get a place in due to distance, faith etc?

happygardening Sat 14-Jan-17 16:20:44

My DS's independent school offered a myriad of opportunities; 6 plays a term 30 plus concerts a year, weekly sometime twice weekly lectures from some of the most eminent in their fields, manuscripts going back to the 13 century, they have a Mappa Mundi endless sporting opportunities and other endless other extra curricular activities. But no child can do all of them, some won't do any of them, you can lead the proverbial horse to water etc. most will do a few. I'm
always amazed by friends who've had an excellent education in the private sector who are as cultured as paving stones and my DS knew boys at his school who were also cultured as paving stoned.
If I was in your position the three things I would want my DS to experience are classical music, live theatre (not musicals, but Shakespeare Shaw Miller etc) and art/architecture. My DH is a classical music nut in particular opera despite hearing it from birth my DS went to his secondary not interested he's left an opera nut, he regularly saw brilliant live theatre at school and through school trips (we rural so our opportunities are very limited) and he's always been mad on art his school really encouraged this. I personally think these three things improve your quality of life and how you look at the world.
Art architecture are often free you don't need to know anything about it, as the famous art historian Kenneth Clarke said "look look and look again". You can download music, and there are cheap seats at the theatre or many plays are on at the cinema. You can stand in the pit at the Globe very cheaply. It doesn't matter if he hates it or loves it just go and see/listen.
Reading is good, as he gets older if you can encourage him to read bits of Dostoyevsky, Nietzsche, the war poets talk about them.
Finally help him understand his own culture, where you come from, your countries history, its mistakes and successes.
Schools are not solely responsible for making you into the person you are, parents, grand parents, friends, experiences play a very significant part, as I get older I realise my grand parents had a huge impact on me, I'm so like my grandmother in so many ways, my school very little. Encourage him to try everything he's offered be it at home or school and I'm sure he'll be absolutely fine and grow into a great young man.

Itsgettingbetter Mon 16-Jan-17 10:00:18

Thank you for the replies.

Autumnsky Mon 16-Jan-17 12:54:17

I think your DS would be fine as long as he has a good goal for his life and agree to work hard for it. One of the benefit of independant school is the extra activities, but as the above post mentioned, DC can only go to a few of these, you can certainly organise this yourself. I think at leat one sport is quite important. Even he is not keen on sport, you should help him to develop at least one hobby for sports, this will help for his future working life balance, release stress etc.

swingofthings Mon 16-Jan-17 18:40:44

Is he naturally ambitious? As parents, you can't win, you have to take a chance and hope for the best. I have spoken to many adults who went to public and state schools and you get a bit of everything!

OH went to public school. He wasn't an academic pupil and actually end up expelled! He started working when he was 18 and there have been no stopping him. He has a good job but not what he or I would call a great career. I think he would have done just as well going to state school because he is naturally competitive and determined and I don't think he got that from school but from his genes and upbringing.

Some of his friends have end up having great successful careers, although not are happy with their lives. Some have ended up doing labour jobs (and happy with it!). One said that going to a public school was the best thing his parents could have done for him because it taught him to be competitive, but then the one who ended up a plumber said that he hated the competitive nature, that it made him feel awkward and that it took him years to realise he wasn't interested in a successful career and that it was ok to do something manual.

My friend had I have gone to state school and there is the same range of people, some with great careers, some not. I do a very similar job than my OH and earn slightly more. I too am competitive and determine by nature.

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