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Secondary school Dame Alice Owen

(14 Posts)
JoyL0804 Tue 23-Feb-21 17:16:00

Hi all, I have been searching for a good secondary school for my son, and I came across DAO
I would like to know how hard it is to get into this school? My son is in primary yr5 at the mot and I am not planning on getting him to do the 11plus exam, can he get in without this exam? I also would like to know more of a generalised review on this school.
By the way I am so new to this site, 😊

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PatriciaHolm Tue 23-Feb-21 18:57:37

The school website has a map of how places are allocated according to the distance criteria they have (the 22 children who live closest are criteria 3, and then just distance is criteria 8, after siblings/musical aptitude/65 who take the academic test/children of staff).

Essentially in the last couple of years you really need to be living on the doorstep to get in by the distance criteria...(about 400m at most)

BarbaraofKent Tue 23-Feb-21 19:01:36

It's a very sought after school, I think you probably have to actually live in Potters Bay to get in by distance criteria.

Sixgeese Thu 25-Feb-21 10:28:34

I can't say how easy it is to get in without the entrance exam as My Dnephew got in via the exam and his sister got in a couple of years later by the sibling rule.

They live in WGC and there was no chance of getting in apart for the exam.

Both did really well, mainly As or A* in both GCSEs and A levels and loved their time there.

JoyL0804 Thu 25-Feb-21 12:27:23

What kind of exam do they have to do?
How hard is the exam? My husband tutor my son to do well in math so he is doing year 6 maths, while in yr5 right now. If we know what to expect on these exam, we can coach our son to do well?

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PatriciaHolm Thu 25-Feb-21 12:32:42

There are some familiarisation papers on the school website which might help, as well as information about the exam.

Stokey Thu 25-Feb-21 13:14:52

It's incredibly competitive though so wouldn't set your heart on it. I think they only have 65 places and get hundreds of admissions, most of whom will be from clever kids who have been extensively tutored. The elevenplus exams forum will have more details.

Cactusowl Thu 25-Feb-21 13:22:56

I know quite a few children who go there. Obviously you have to be bright to get a place via the entrance exam. I know bright children who haven’t gained a place because they haven’t been as prepared for the exam as some children. Getting a tutor who knows the entrance exam well really does seem to help.

JoyL0804 Thu 25-Feb-21 16:22:38

Thank you all for your genuine reply, is there any other good school around this area I can have as a back up as just in case if my son don't get into this school.

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seasidefishwife Sat 27-Feb-21 01:02:12

@JoyL0804 where do you live?

JoyL0804 Sat 27-Feb-21 13:06:55

Welwyn Garden city

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JoyL0804 Sat 27-Feb-21 13:32:38

In the process of moving to Welwyn garden city

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Cactusowl Sat 27-Feb-21 16:44:17

If you live over on the Panhanger side there’s a chance your son may get a place at Richard Hale in Hertford which has a good reputation.
The secondary schools within Welwyn Garden City are fairly mediocre.
Many girls from WGC go to Bishops Hatfield girls school which is a very good school so if you have a daughter too it’s worth considering.

JoyL0804 Sat 27-Feb-21 18:07:03

Thank you, I'll check out these schools, my daughter is in primary yr3 at the moment, Ideally I am looking for a mixed school so my daughter can go to the same school as my son. wink

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