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Private Education for 'average' kids(39 Posts)
Hi. I'd welcome any advice on where to send my twin girls who are articulate, sporty, 'normal' kids who meet expectations at school but not exceeding in anything. Looking at SW London/Surrey Schools - Epsom, St Johns, KGS, Sutton High, Surbiton High etc.......
Thanks . I'm at a state primary so they are totally useless on advice . Thanks for the thread information though
How old are they and are you willing to separate them?
They are in Year 5 and yes I'd be happy to separate them... although obviously easier to keep them together
Include some "back up" schools - Claremont Fan, Radnor House, Ewell Castle, St Cath's Twickenham, Notre Dame Cobham etc. Further out St Teresa Effingham & Tormead. You need a range especially if you are after 2 places. St John's is very popular & difficult to predict entry, if you include it in your final selection you need 3 more schools on your list with 2 that are less competitive.
Not sure why you’d have an expectation of a state primary having any knowledge of private secondary schools?? Your emoji indicates some irritation.
No irritation whatsoever ... more a lack of emoji etiquette
Honestly I'd go for a tutor and have them assessed and see what they recommend. They could be really bright and their school has let them down or that really could be the best they can currently do. My experience of large london primaries is that they often lose the middle. There's a huge emphasis on bringing up the bottom set to pass SATS and proving to ofsted that they are stretching the top. The middle is just left to it as their aren't enough resources.
It's also about ethos and what appeals to you. Do you want them pushed? Do you want a very broad curriculum? There are so many factors really.
All great points. I do have a tutor but she's keeping them in touch with not falling behind at school and with homework, as I'm a full time working mum. She will also help prepare them for the exams. Fair to say she sees them sitting firmly in the middle of the bell curve ... sometimes strong in writing etc but weaker in maths which we are supporting on further. All the schools mentioned have been recommended but every thread I read seems to be about high performing kids.. where do the rest go??
@cheese10 , they go to the schools I mentioned, a typical average prep dd living in Hinchley Wood (good transport options) will sit SHS, Notre Dame, Tormead and Claremont Fan & probably get 3 offers.
Look at schools like More House and Queensgate. They are both very accessible on the tube from SW London and are far more inclusive than some other independent schools.
I think Sutton High would be worth a look, too. I definitely got the impression that it was seen as less competitive.
Yes, some secondary private schools are for the clever (even very clever) kids. But there are plenty of private secondary schools for the rest of us. South West London is a very competitive area though! Totally depends where you live. You are in an easier position if your DD's already at a prep school as their school will be preparing them for 11+ exams and will have loads of advice and suggest suitable schools to sit (most sit a minimum of 3 exams... one you expect to definitely get, one you'd be most happy in and an aspirational school). You need to be happy to go to all of them, otherwise no point sitting them. Lots of kids (especially in SW London) sit more than 3, which is quite sensible really, assuming they are not under pressure. It is not worth over tutoring, but is worth tutoring, especially if your school won't be doing exam practice, you want your DC to end up in a school where they will fit and not drown and be miserable at the bottom all of the time.
I know nothing about grammar schools (as my DC weren't grammar school material), but all the other schools you listed in your original post are schools we have visited/sat exams for, amongst others.
I think this year in particular has been hard as there is so much competition.
You need to visit all the schools, see which ones you and your girls like and go from there. All the schools are different, all look for different things, but there is a private school for everyone.
For the brightest: LEH, PHS, WHS, G&L, KGS
Somewhere in the middle: SWPS, SHS, St. Johns, Epsom, St. George's
Easier to get into: Radnor House, St. Catherine's and Notre Dame
Though this year has been quite surprising. There is A LOT of competition and some children have been very disappointed this year.
Have you considered Emanuel and Ibstock Place?
I’m afraid that Emanuel and Ibstock are now both pretty over subscribed.
jeanne16 True, but I know of a couple of girls who got Ibstock but didn’t get through stage 1 for WHS or Tiffin.
OP - I remembered a thread (about a DS rather than a DD, and a couple of years old) which listed the less academic London schools, here. Maybe that will give you some more places to look at.
Hereabouts average and sporty are good things in the traditional Prep schools that go up to Yr 8 and also for their next schools with 13 up admissions.
Not so good for ex grant maintained grammar style schools. Sports are good there but they are academic hot houses.
May be different depending on where ones lives, of course
Poppyred25 your list is peculiar. SWPS, Tormead and SHS are way tougher to get into than Claremont, Notre Dame or St Teresa's. They are a completely different league. With an average child you could certainly apply to them but it's questionable whether you would get a place whereas St Ts, Claremont and ND would happily offer to average girls.
What about Clapham and Streatham High? Very nice school but less competitive entrance.
It's possible that very good access to sports and smaller class sizes are reasons to go private. If the entrance exams to a school are not quite competitive then it might not be worth the bother unless sports and class sizes matter a lot to you.
Look at Farnborough Hill- technically Hampshire; but easy train ride from SW London
For decidedly "average" ability SW london girl.
SHS (lots sit the exam, how many really have it as frst choice is debatable)
Fairly realistic -
Ibstock (becomig more academic tho)
St. John's (not so academically selective altho really on the up with this, and VERY popular as is gorgeous school)
oh and everyone i know got offered Sutton...
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