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Ds doesn’t seem prepared for 11+

(37 Posts)
mummy2aPrince09 Fri 22-Nov-19 03:28:04

Hi everyone, I’ve been reading loads of posts but this is my first ever time posting!

My ds is sitting exams in January and in practice exams he doesn’t seem to get more than 60-70% and I’m getting super worried.

We have applied to Hampton, upper Latymer, Highgate, merchant Taylors and Habs.
Back up schools are reeds school and last choice Epsom but don’t really want ds in school 6 day’s.

What my worry is that with all the competition his scores aren’t enough to get him through, especially his English.

He was in a state school until last November and only joined in prep last year in year 5, he’s in the middle sets in maths and bottom in English.

I have weekly tutor but progress is so slow and time is running out.
The school says he’s really bright but needed that extra attention and the curriculum was different in state school so he needs time to catch up, but the issue is we don’t have that much time to get him to the 90% mark.

My question is that is it still possible to get in with 70%?
If he doesn’t get through do we get a chance of being on a waiting list? He is working hard but is also an Xbox addict which distracts him. Please advice me as I’m having sleepless nights and super worried!

OP’s posts: |
Hoppinggreen Fri 22-Nov-19 08:11:50

I cant advise On those specific schools but I doubt 70% would be enough to get into a super competitive Grammar or Private school.
If he’s bottom set in English and middle for maths it really doesn’t sound like he’s academic enough for a school that he needs to achieve 90% to get into and even if by some miracle you pushed and pushed him to the extent he did get in then what? He would struggle and be miserable
Are there any other options where he doesn’t have to score so highly to get in? I’m not in London so cant recommend any schools but maybe someone else can

winteragain Fri 22-Nov-19 08:19:15

He does not need to be getting 90% in everything! Do not panic!
Most schools don't have separate scholarship papers so the papers also have to identify those who are going to get scholarships.
There will be lots of boys who are better in one subject or another and they will also look at reports etc.
You still have a few weeks - is it a timing issue or silly mistakes or just can't do it.
Also- the maths curriculum in particular won't be very different at a state school, whatever the prep school says. They will just do more 11 plus preparation.

sarahjconnor Fri 22-Nov-19 08:19:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FanDabbyFloozy Fri 22-Nov-19 08:25:43

@sarahjconnor speaks sense. Parents say "it's worth a shot" and true, every year one or two sneak in but they are going to find the pace fast. He's already in a prep and being tutored so maybe it is what it is.

If you think he's going to mature later, why not pick a less academic school now and try again at 13+ if he seems better ready for it?

Where do you live that you can consider North London/Herts schools as well as Surrey ones?

sedburn78 Fri 22-Nov-19 08:27:22

For Hampton he can get away with being weaker in English but he does have to be strong in Maths/reasoning. He doesn't need to get 90% though! Latymer is probably more even but if he excels in one it will help. Don't worry. I have seen so many parents like you over the years and honestly, it all works out. If he's at a prep school and is bright but needs to catch up, why don't you just keep him there and go for the 13+?

daisypond Fri 22-Nov-19 08:34:56

Secondary school transfer can be really stressful, so I get it. Even if he doesn’t get offered a place straight away he may be put on a waiting list, and as people firm up their choices, places will open up. He can only do as well as he does - there’s no point if he doesn’t want to work at it, and what 10-year-old would? Did you get advice from his school over which schools to apply for?

LIZS Fri 22-Nov-19 08:41:48

Does he have the option of staying at prep school until year 8? If not have you made a state school application?

BubblesBuddy Fri 22-Nov-19 08:49:07

I don’t think you can expect the prep school to work miracles. Why not wait until 13? He might get a chance to consolidate his work and mature a bit. Assuming the prep goes to 13 of course. He just might not be academic!

Gingercat1223 Fri 22-Nov-19 09:00:57

@mummy2aPrince09 , I can't think where you live to consider all those schools, I guess you are relying on the train system. Don't forget you have to drive to school most Saturdays for home sports matches.
Listen to your Prep head & as others say consider moving him at 13.
I have experience of the SW London schools & can say you have to be a good all rounder to do well with your chosen schools, Reeds has a new exam this year so may suit your ds. Have you been for your Epsom interview yet? Hampton is tough, it's an exam for a committed ds. Have you looked at the Hampton recommended reading list on their website? Would your son be excited to read the books on the list? They select ds who can keep up with the fast paced teaching & challenging homework.

Best of luck for the coming weeks.

Michaelahpurple Fri 22-Nov-19 09:09:58

It's all very well saying wait until 13, but surely a lot do that sector is either very academic and/or pre-selects early ie now? Dulwich is the obvious exception, with their year 8 January entrance exam but are there really many others?

There are the new schools - Fulham Prep, Kensington etc I guess

XelaM Fri 22-Nov-19 09:20:35

Have a look at Aldemham next to Habs - absolutely brilliant school but less selective and not such a competitive hot house. I haven't yet heard a bad word about it and I know quite a few students there. Also look at Mount House - they have an entrance exam but are generally non-selective and offer 50% scholarships from what I hear. It's a lovely school and very nurturing. Again, have friends' kid there.

XelaM Fri 22-Nov-19 09:23:42

Habs, Highgate and MT have some of the most difficult entrance exams of all the selective independent schools. Try to get in by all means, but also have a "safety school" that's less selective.

LIZS Fri 22-Nov-19 09:25:04

Are you planning to move as that looks geographically spread out. Would the Whitgift schools be an option for 13+? Ewell Castle although coed now (are you hoping for boys only?) is less selective.

Hepsibar Fri 22-Nov-19 09:41:18

Firstly, want to say your son is likely to be the most marvellous little person whatever he achieves and you are a wonderfully supportive mum. It's so easy at prep/primary to be so over anxious about results, but the reality is he is likely to do well wherever he goes. He must have a very lovely temperament to put up with all this pushing!

Are you able to consider a different option for him? Could he board at a country independent school where there might be less pressure to get in, but good academic achievements? Going home half termly? Are there any really good comps around? You dont want to set him up as a failure, hawking him around the hideous grammar system.

Good luck, he will be ok.

SurpriseSparDay Fri 22-Nov-19 09:52:27

Could he board at a country independent school where there might be less pressure to get in

Going home half termly?



Going home half termly doesn’t happen anywhere! If the OP wanted full boarding it’s almost certainly too late for her to begin the application process for the handful of traditional public schools that offer this. If she wanted weekly boarding ...

SurpriseSparDay Fri 22-Nov-19 09:54:59

(Full boarding means compulsory exeats at least every three weeks, generally more often.)

Hepsibar Fri 22-Nov-19 11:03:44

Oh, ok, thanks for the clarification. I was just thinking that if an independent further away, weekly boarding might not be poss.

I am not so sure that the application process is closed and there are many good independent schools outside London who offer differing boarding arrangements which might be worth exploring.

SurpriseSparDay Fri 22-Nov-19 11:27:36

You’re very gracious Hepsibar!thlblush

It’s true there are countless good independent schools outside London - but if the OPs son is in yr6 they will probably have missed the registration dates for pre-tests for most full boarding schools. Applying to this sort of school is a huge commitment in time, energy, organisation and money (going forward). Some people do apply simultaneously to day and boarding schools - but it’s not really feasible as a last minute thing.

Schools with flexi or weekly boarding may have shorter application processes - I don’t know.

PatienceVirtue Fri 22-Nov-19 11:43:03

You seem to have applied to a lot of schools and ones that are geographically diverse. Can you not narrow it down a bit? I know it's tempting to throw a lot of applications at the wall but I think you're compromising his chances if you overload him.

In answer to your original question, over the Christmas holidays my son was doing terribly at the English papers for the North London ones we applied for (one of which you are too). I don't know exact marks because I was marking them myself a bit haphazardly. At least he's getting 80%+ in the maths, I thought (dh's domain). Then dh fessed that he was doing badly in those too, he was just lying about the score to make son feel better.

Anyway, by January, he must have improved or the standard was lower as he did really well. Mind you, it was only three exams which I'm sure helped.

mummy2aPrince09 Fri 22-Nov-19 13:13:54

Hi everyone thanks for your messages.
So here is the situation...
We are renting and contract ends in Feb next year and we can move.

In CATS ds scores 126 in vr
123 in quantities
118vin non vr
89 in spatial

The spatial was below average which bought his whole average score lower.

He does the most silly mistakes I’ve ever seen in an a exam. About 10-15% is sill mistakes.

He is also a registered young carer to me as I’m a disable single mum so it’s not an easy situation for little man.

I think his confidence got bit of a wobble from being at the top in state and then low in private.

13+ I believe would be harder to get into... more subject to think about?

I look forward to more replies smile

OP’s posts: |
daisypond Fri 22-Nov-19 13:20:15

Why did you move him from state to private? Are you set on him going to a private school for secondary? Why? How did you pick the schools you did?

SurpriseSparDay Fri 22-Nov-19 13:23:39

If he is doing well at the prep and you can afford it I would be inclined to keep him there to 13.

If you had posted this a year ago I would have suggested strongly that you look into boarding. Assuming you don’t have a really huge income, your circumstances would have put you at the head of any queue for a large bursary (up to 100%).

What does your prep school primarily prepare for - 11+ or 13+ / Common Entrance?

mummy2aPrince09 Fri 22-Nov-19 13:26:58

Also, boarding is not an option as he’s very very homesick and I tried sending him to sleepovers, school trips but ds gets very emotional and there were times we had to go and collect him at midnight 🤨

His prep school is only up till year 6 so we HAVE to move school.... would’ve been great if we had till year 8!

I was told by the head to apply for more schools because I’m on a bursary at prep and have to apply for a bursary place for secondary too so it’s not only the exam results that are a worry.

Sorry about bombarding everyone with my stress!

OP’s posts: |
mummy2aPrince09 Fri 22-Nov-19 13:33:11

School has suggested to applying to:

We had a great state near us in Putney where all the children went after the primary, Ashcroft Technology Academy and I still kick myself in moving him to the prep, but in a parents meeting they told me he’s quite bright and doesn’t always get the support he needs as we are busy with the ones needed more support. They told me I should look into grammer schools for him but we don’t prepare for 11+ here and that’s when I made some calls... he gave a small exam in the prep and for the full bursary, we then moved closer and now it’s impossible to get back in time to put his name for the state.

OP’s posts: |

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