Going for better school...(232 Posts)
I had a thread here before and had great advice from a lot of posters regarding going for scholarship and bursary.
DS is exceptional at maths, and also doing better than average in English, and he is in YR5.
I had a talk with my ds in depth, and he doesn't seems to want it at all, like preparing for entrance exam etc. He is very strong willed and wouldn't do anything he doesn't want to. So preparing for the entrance exam will be unlikely.
He says he is happy to go to local sinking school with his friends. Destination isn't great, I am not sure if they do actually accommodate his needs or not and only goes up to 16.
What I really wonder is, can he be able to go further is he wanted to, even after attending sinking secondary school?
I really don't want to send him to where he doesn't want to. But worried his outcome maybe restricted. I don't think many will go to further education at this school, many end up leaving school as fast as they can.
Your DS is, as I recall, exceptionally gifted, not just 'bright' and working way ahead of age-related expectations.
He might not want it at all, but at 10, he is too young to understand the importance of these decisions and a poor school with no sixth form is less likely to be able to accommodate him than a better school with a sixth form (I use my knowledge of teaching A-level to push my brightest students in KS4, for example).
You really do need to be looking into scholarships and private school, or at least beyond a poor local state offering.
Unfortunately you can’t make him do the exams etc but I would really really encourage him if at all possible - maybe a taster day at the Private School?
My dd has a part scholarship to a Private School and despite a few “leaving all my friends” wobbles she was always really up for the exam/interview and it’s been absolutely the right decision for her.
She is in touch with a lot of her friends at the local comps and she will regularly come to me and say x happened at that school or y happened at another school, glad I’m not there!!
They say bright kids will be ok at any school but ok isn’t what we wanted for DD and she’s now in an environment where the bright kids are the cool kids instead of being mocked for it
Not all school entrance exams need extra coaching. Have an honest chat with the school and see what they say. I did no extra work with my DS and he got a place at a selective with bursary. But the school were adamant that they didn't want coached kids
Maybe start by taking him to open days? Once he sees the facilities and, more importantly, has stimulating chats with teachers of his favourite subjects, sees fascinating science displays etc he may decide that he actually WANTS to work to attend a particular school?
A high ability child is not well served going to a mediocre comp. The school's focus will be on their progress 8, that is value added improvement between a child's predicted outcome on entry at year 7 and what they actually get. If a child arrives already likely to be an A or A* student they have no incentive to help them . Poor comp near me raves about one recent student that left to go onto highly regarded Maths degree. Word on the street was that he would have done that anyway, and school just hung onto his coat tails. Top set kids are usually put in the largest classes, with the weakest teachers and not stretched. I agree with Hopping, get him to a taster day/open day/private visit. Y5 kids are wowed in particular by science labs and get the students there to speak to him. Sounds like he'd converse easily with them and benefit loads.
Have you taken him to any open days? Many children pick up some very off misconceptions about what private schools are like from their friends. Do bare in mind that scholarships are rarely academic and offer little of any discount and all bursaries are means tested.
Calling schools sink schools is so damn rude...
OP, Give us some info why you think it's a sinking school.
Thank you for advice.
Sorry, I didn't call the school sink school, it's sinking, but it's been a general idea among parents here. Most of parents who can afford private send them to somewhere else.
One of the teacher on MN offered me to look at the school's performance etc while back during convo on one of G&T thread, and said she wouldn't recommend it, especially the fact there's no 6th form and choice of subjects aren't great. But it's only one in the area.
The secondary he is meant to go, we have been there since they hire out facility to some clubs.
We haven't been to open days for other schools yet, but he may change his mind if he sees the different schools, so we need to do that soon.Thank you.
Bit drastic but can you move areas? Perhaps to a Grammar school area?
How tied to your area are you? I would seriously be considering a move too. You don't have much time though. Entrance exams will begin in some areas in last week of august.
What does he/what do you want in a school? It may be time to consider boarding, if he's that able. Many schools have scholarships.
We had a talk about a year ago about possibility of moving. I don't have strong tie to the area but dh does. He grew up here. Ended up in massive argument. Result: no move.
Boarding is another no, due to his health issue. He has regular hospital visit and need to take meds everyday.
He is very able at maths, but he isn't competitive at all, and loves other things as well. Part of me think he will be ok anywhere, he will be fine. But other part of me thinking that we may be going for somewhere we can't change once there, and restrict his future choice. It's worrying and scary.
Thanks for the advice.
Irvine: Many boardings, grammar schools and private offer 6 forms large scholarship/bursary, you have another decision time later on too, it isnt just 11+. Either himself or his dad might change his mind in 6 years time. If you really dont want to send him to your local comp then talk/write to the nearby school to convince them to find a way to test/stimulate/check him if he could qualify for their scholarship/bursary.
*write to your nearby private school which you mentioned you prefer.
We are in yr5 this year too and the competition in southwest london is scary. All kids are really smart and most importantly work seriously hard.
I posted on your other thread. Dd wasn't interested when I first discussed it either. In her eyes she'd been up to use the sports facilities at the comprehensive and nearly all her friends were going there. And obviously not like I'd start calling it a sink school to her and listing all the reasons why.
Going round the various schools on open days changed her mind. We went to the sink school and two she had little/ no chance of a place at, and she brought up the differences herself.
We also viewed two privates, hers and a second choice. And they blew her away. If anything I had to keep a check on her eagerness incase a bursary wasn't forthcoming.
If it's the idea of preparation, give him a test to try. He might realise it's not going to entail much. Dd had the vr/nvr explanation guide which she read through whilst watching tv and tried some questions. Plus a full set of test papers which she looked through in the same haphazard manner. Then we did one timed practice during the Xmas holidays.
From various threads we've both been on I get the impression your ds will only need a similar (lack) of preparation.
I would take him to see some schools, talk to the Maths department there, see what they can offer him. Not many schools can offer support for an outlier.
Thanks for advice, Green, The hogfather and GHGN.
Dinky, I don't think it's rude. I never call it a sink school in front of ds or others, and saying it's sinking on MN, it's just stating facts that results aren't great and not much choice for the children of all abilities.
'Facts' depend on where you are standing and how you are looking.
Your idea of a fact might be different to another persons depending on how data is looked at, whether fact informed by gossip, historical general viewpoint or actual experience.
Facts can be disputed...
As far as I can see, all the people have given me great advice except you, Dinky.
Do you have a child who is exceptional at something and the current school isn't really helping to accommodate his/her needs? If so, you would understand.
Oh for goodness sake... I will bow out.
Actually my child at a school you would cry 'sink' at I am sure. He is very bright. They are supporting him very well.
You want private. Fine. Nothing wrong with that but lay off the rude words like 'sink'.
I do wish you luck...
When you say the results aren’t great, what do you mean? What %age of high achievers are there and how do they do?
I've nearly bowed out but back!
Bertrand raises good point. At my child's school not many high achievers and therefore even if school does well by those pupils does not really impact much on bottom lines.
Bye for now!!
I think that I said this on your previous thread, but I'll repeat it anyway. If your school is the only school in the area there will be a significant amount of higher ability children, because there will be a significant amount of parents who simply can't afford private education.
This doesn't mean that they don't care about their children's education, it simply means that private school is unachievable (even if, as is often suggested on MN), they take on a lodger/ironing.
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