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How hard is it to get into Reading Grammar School?

(19 Posts)
Fernlily Fri 27-Apr-18 13:18:23

Hi, I'm looking at Reading grammar for my son and wonder if anyone has any advice on sort of CAT scores boys have had who've got in? How much tutoring boys have had and then how they find coping with the workload once there?

My son's at a local prep school, but we can't afford private senior school fees (we have a daughter too), so need to think of another option. He has high ish CAT scores (I think), but might have slow processing... any advice hugely appreciated, it's so stressful. Thanks!

OP’s posts: |
Tallace Fri 27-Apr-18 17:19:55

Its very hard. My son didnt get in and he got 119/120 in his Y6 maths SATS. ( i dont know about CAT scores. I suspect his VR marks lowered his overall score.

AbbieRuin Fri 27-Apr-18 23:09:10

Have a look at the elevenplusforums for plenty of up to date, detailed information.

My son went there, but did the old entrance tests, so nothing I can say would be very useful. I didn't hear about any of his friends having tutoring to get in, but he probably wouldn't have had those conversations anyway. Expectations are high, but support is equally high. I do think it's an excellent school.

Keeyaw Mon 30-Apr-18 15:02:05

It is very very hard. They no longer do the 11 plus as they found that some entrants were being extensively tutored for the exam so they scored very highly, got in and then fell behind. I believe they score the boys based on how well they do on the entrance exam and then select from there.

Tallace Mon 30-Apr-18 15:06:24

Ive just seen that you said your son might have slow processing - the entrance exam is very time pressured i believe. They really have to work against the clock to complete all of the questions

Fernlily Wed 02-May-18 14:04:02

Thanks for your replies. Yes I did wonder if his slow processing might be an issue (he's not diagnosed, I just think he takes a long time to finish exams). He got 130 plus in his CATS, which is very high, but I'm guessing all the boys who get in have high CAT scores.

Keeyaw, you mentioned that they don't do the 11plus. Do they have their own exam then? I have been warned that some boys are tutoured from the age of 5 to get in!! We haven't done any tutouring, but I would for a year before hand once a week.

Does anyone have a boy there currently? Thanks!

OP’s posts: |
CookieDoughKid Fri 04-May-18 19:22:26

I have Indian friends who have boys there. Their mental maths is phenomenally quick, and they had self tutored for best part of 5 years with sole aim in passing the Reading Boys exam. They are probably 2 years ahead of their state school curriculum. You will counter competition , especially Asian tiger parents who are totally fixated on getting into this grammar who are very well prepared and quick. Being top table is not enough. .

CookieDoughKid Fri 04-May-18 19:23:13

You need ambition to get in.

DotDixie Fri 04-May-18 22:59:57

Just to let you know the school (and a couple others) are known for kicking boys out if they don't think they'll pass their GCSEs/get below C in their AS levels.

AtiaoftheJulii Sat 05-May-18 00:18:39

That's just not true.

They have a well-publicised minimum GCSE grade requirement for getting into their 6th form, for internal and external candidates - boys who are there already are held to the same standards as those who are applying from elsewhere. There are a handful of boys each year who don't get into the 6th form, but it's discussed with them well in advance, and they don't get kicked out before their GCSEs! And I've never heard of anyone being asked to leave in y12.

DotDixie Sat 05-May-18 10:20:02

I know people that went to the school and I know someone who moved to my school as they got kicked out after getting their AS results. Ive literally seen it first hand. Perhaps things have changed since then but just a warning that ops son cant slack like he would be able to in some schools.

AtiaoftheJulii Sat 05-May-18 13:13:16

Yeah, I know a lot of boys that go/went there and I know at least one who redid his y12 there after terrible AS results, so it's not black and white. Funding for 6th forms has changed, and fewer people repeat y12 these days, and of course they're not doing AS any more (or they may but they don't count), so I think your warning is out of date, and in any case very dependent on the individual, not a blanket policy.

DotDixie Sat 05-May-18 19:03:55

I was just telling op what I know. Didn't realise it would be such an issue hmm Also it happened not that long ago so i didn't think it would be "out of date"

AtiaoftheJulii Sat 05-May-18 19:16:25

What you know is that one person left after AS levels. What you told the OP was that the school is known for kicking people out. I do think that drawing massive extrapolations and presenting them as fact is a issue, yes.

Keeyaw Sat 05-May-18 23:06:33

I can't remember what their new test is (it's been a while since I worked there) I think it's something that Durham university came up with. It's along the same lines of the 11 plus but it's not the same test as it was possible to "beat the system" by being tutored just to take that one test (I believe there are multiple testing dates for the 11+ so some tutors were able to use their tutees to build up a question bank and then just teach them the answer the question defeating the purpose of the exam)

They have formed a consortium of 19 grammar schools who all sit the same exam on the same day and then they process the scores and rank them, the highest ranks obviously receive offers. They do have the information on their website.

DotDixie Sun 06-May-18 10:11:11

Theres no need to be so rude and argumentative. I know of one example personally but have heard it is not uncommon. Im sure op can make up their mind for themselves, there's no need to get so defensive. Also he didn't leave, he was kicked out, just because you haven't experienced it doesn't mean it didn't happen.

MarchingFrogs Mon 07-May-18 07:56:03

The well-publicised case (around August/September 2017) concerning St Olaves grammar school established that entry into a maintained school sixth form is for the whole A level (or other) course and as such, students can only be permanently excluded (which is legally what 'being required to leave if you don't do well enough in your AS / year 12 exams' is) for certain reasons, which do not include academic progress. This practice was indeed widespread - not just in grammar schools - but since last September, schools have been busy rewriting their sixth form information to ensure that they no longer fall foul of the law in this respect.

PotTheRed Mon 07-May-18 08:31:07

I know a few lads who 'left' Reading Boys School too. (Last couple of years) I don't know the full details but it was under the guise of being best for everyone involved. If you are somewhere like Reading Boys and aren't doing well then chances are you aren't going to want to stay there anyway.

MarchingFrogs Mon 07-May-18 09:21:20

Meant to add that the gist of my post was that yes, it will certainly have happened that Reading (along with many, many other schools) will have had and enforced a requirement for certain results at year 12 to 'progress' to year 13, but also that this should now be 'out of date' in the light of the St Olaves case.

DS2's grammar school (nowhere near Reading) now says something along the lines of, 'You need grade <x> to carry a subject on to A level. If you don't achieve this, you will be expected to take another AS course in year 13'.

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