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Grey Coat school - open places

(15 Posts)
peacockfeather11 Fri 24-Jul-20 09:39:25

Hi - does anyone have a success story of getting in under an open place? Is it worth trying?

OP’s posts: |
peacockfeather11 Fri 11-Sep-20 13:31:42


OP’s posts: |
tiggermummy70 Sat 12-Sep-20 12:45:47

If I remember correctly most of the "open" places are decided by the council for those that live within catchment area local to the school or foster kids in the area and are not chosen by the school.
Sorry I cant be more specific my eldest got in through faith and youngest secured a language spot although she didnt accept the space as she preferred a different school.

tiggermummy70 Sat 12-Sep-20 12:50:23

Are you in the area?

St Marylebone near Baker st/ marylebone do the same banding test as GCH.
I would reccomend doing the language test if daughter is bright and has good sence of logic should do well.
Our daughter that qualified for one of the 15 language spaces only speaks english and although there was a little intro in primary to spanish it was not a regular lesson.
The test is designed to measure girls ability to learn languages so it doesn't disadvantage those that only speak one.

DD2 went down route of applying for scholarships instead.

peacockfeather11 Sat 12-Sep-20 13:26:17

@tiggermummy70 Thank you for replying. I'm too far for but will definitely try her for the language space. Do you know what the banding test is like? They have said it's NVR and English, I'm not sure what the English involves but have downloaded some sample NVR papers.

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peacockfeather11 Sat 12-Sep-20 13:42:15

Is there any pre-work she can do for the language test?

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tiggermummy70 Sat 12-Sep-20 13:46:52

It is general assessment.

I think there were a mix of long and short answer questions DD1 found it OK.
think there were some maths questions too.

DD2 loved it - i don't think they are expected to answer all the questions although I think she tried!

At the end of the day they are judging their average ability so they know where they are in the 3 bands.
The school must have girls from all acedemic abilites

There are no practise papers for the languae test. - they use a made up language which is given to them and then ask them questions based on what is supplied.

They send you a letter to tell you if you are in the top 15 I think it was a month before results of applications come out. I think they will also tell you if you are wait listed for a language space.
Eldest got letter saying she was unlikely to be offered a language space so I supect she was below number 30 in the results of the test.
We were not given results of banding test. Although the test results can be shared with St Marylebone or visa versa so only need to sit test once.

peacockfeather11 Sat 12-Sep-20 13:56:55

@tiggermummy70 really appreciate you replying.

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tiggermummy70 Sat 12-Sep-20 14:15:11

NP - although apologies for my poor spelling!

Feel free to message me direct if it helps.

With so many applying for GCH it can seem quite scary and you wonder if you should try. But I would say go for it.
Just make sure you put it as option 1 on pan london application if you do.
if it is option 2 less likely to be picked due to sheer numbers applying.
I think the school is sent all the details of those that have school as option 1 they go through and choose all those that meet criteria etc.
They only move on to those with GCH as second choice if they can't fill their spots.
Year DD1 applied they had 167 spaces - and over 1100 applications although they don't tell you how many of them fail at first hurdle because of not completing secondary form or references etc.

Also if you get wait listed don't panic - DD1 had girls leaving and arriving into the year all the way up to Christmas I assume due to getting spaces off wait lists at other schools or appeals etc.
Quite a few apply to GCH as a back up to what choices they get from the independant schools. With the independants they don't get long to pay the deposit (around 3K) to keep their space if they are wait listed on preferred indy they may hold the space at GCH until last minute.

You need nerves of steel for this - you then get to breathe for a bit until they decide what they want to do for sixth form!
unless you have others coming up of course!

Which6thform Sat 12-Sep-20 14:21:50

"Just make sure you put it as option 1 on pan london application if you do.
if it is option 2 less likely to be picked due to sheer numbers applying. "

This is inaccurate. Put it in whatever you TRUE order of preference is. If that's #1, fine, but if not, you are fooling yourself if you follow the above advice. (Hundreds of old MN posts by admissions experts will confirm this).

tiggermummy70 Sat 12-Sep-20 14:41:45

This was what the head said at open evening.
IF GCH is the school you really want then you should put it first.

don't be disappointed if you get wait listed if it is second choice.

Always put them in the order you actually want them.

Which6thform Sat 12-Sep-20 14:57:51

Yes, that's right. Heads love to make it sound like you have to put their school first to have any chance even if that is absolutely not correct. Only if you get the school you put first would you not get the school in question, if you qualify on the criteria. The system is thankfully not as you previously described, it is quite sophisticated.

(What's important, though, is to have at least one very realistic (bordering on banker) on the list, or you might get anything, possibly quite far away or a school you really really don't want... )

EggsFried Sat 12-Sep-20 20:22:11

Yep, @Which6thform is correct. Every LEA is England has to use the equal preference system- the school has no idea where on the form you have placed them, only that you have applied. It is one of the biggest myths that those who put a school first have an advantage- this is untrue. The only way that the order schools are ranked on your form come into play is if more than one school is able to offer you a place. Everyone can only receive one offer, so in this case the LEA will offer you the school that is highest on your preference list.

PanelChair Sun 13-Sep-20 10:02:13

Yes, it’s an equal preference system. The reason you should list any school first if it’s your first choice is that, if you meet the oversubscription criteria for more than one school, you will be offered whichever is higher on your list.

tiggermummy70 Sat 19-Sep-20 13:08:02

You will only ever get one offer for which ever school is highest on your preference list (for london anyway)
This was to speed up the whole process.
I remember when I was that young you would have a week waiting for all the offer letters to arrive - make your choice and then reply to accept /decline and it took a couple of weeks at least as some would hold onto the spaces at more than one school until the last minute.

Some would get 4 or 5 offers and hold on to all of them.
others would be slighly sensible and decline 2 straight away and then spend the time considering the others.
The new system is def better than the old way.

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