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Any insight into Sevenoaks School exam?

(5 Posts)
WitchOfTheWaste Sat 14-Oct-17 08:21:14

DS will be sitting the 11+ in a year's time but we are also looking at Sevenoaks as I've heard fab things and I love the idea of co-ed and international focus. He's just started some 11+ tutoring and is loving it so far, and seems to be doing well. Our current plan is to enter him for S'oaks exam as well, and just do some past papers for a couple of months once he's finished 11+. He's currently at state primary, so no specific help/guidance from the school. Is that enough to give him a reasonable preparation? Or do we need to consider specific tutoring? Want to give him a good chance of a place but don't want to go crazy-parent about it all.

PettsWoodParadise Sat 14-Oct-17 12:37:10

We had the same strategy. We did home familiarisation for the grammars. Once we knew the grammar results we really only did the bare minimum as whilst she liked Sevenoaks she really loved the local grammar and we were pretty certain her score was enough to get her in so she didn’t do much beyond September except maybe one Sevenoaks past paper. She said it was the hardest of the exams she did. In the end we had some great choices including Sevenoaks but she chose her closest school which happened to be the grammar. I think DD would have struggled with the maths in the Sevenoaks test if she wasn’t in the top set at a selective Indie. The Indie didn’t officially help with any prep but she was doing Y7 maths in Y6 so was more ready and had wider knowledge. They tend to take more girls at Y7 as more boys come in Y9 so don’t know whether that makes it easier or harder as I suppose it depends on how many boys apply for Y7 too.

WitchOfTheWaste Sat 14-Oct-17 13:55:10

Thanks, that's really helpful. Maths is DS's strongest area, but I hadn't really thought about the fact that it might cover stuff outside the curriculum. Guess we can go through past papers looking for things he hasn't met at school. I think he might find the comprehension and writing harder; I'm trying to do some comprehension-style questions now when I read to him (which he finds very irritating grin). He has a tendency to not always read the question accurately enough or not to express himself brilliantly, even though he basically knows the answer. Annoyingly, his strongest area is probably NVR, which S'oaks don't do! Out of interest, what were the main reasons your DD preferred the grammar, if you don't mind me asking?

PettsWoodParadise Sat 14-Oct-17 20:32:33

DD liked the grammar as she felt more akin to the girls showing her round, it was also closer to our home, 30 mins walk (10 mins bus 15 mins walk) compared to 50 mins to an hour to Sevenoaks. DD likes her sleep so a long day isn’t ideal for her. She did however like the idea of school on a Saturday at Sevenoaks! DD wanted to do Engineering and Mandarin and she had those options too at the grammar. We didn’t talk money much but she also knew fees weren’t easy for us and the only thing we said was if she did go to Sevenoaks we wouldn’t be able to do all the trips, we shortlisted some amazing state schools and one Indie school and said she could put them in her order of preference and she still chose the grammar. I loved the idea of the IB and who knows, DD loves her school and from the lowly depths of Y8 wants to stay on for sixth form, but that may change with time. Sevenoaks treat the test as a day, it isn’t just about the written test, it is how they interact as a group. They have a lovely, strong and caring ethos and I know of one very academically capable child who wasn’t offered as (this is my interpretation only mind you!) they were rather vile and selfish during the test day. That sort of selection made me want to take up the offer all the more!

WitchOfTheWaste Mon 16-Oct-17 07:09:45

Thank you, that's so helpful! Going to the Open Morning next month, so we'll see what he thinks. Your daughter's school sounds fab, glad she's so happy there.

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