Private school interview for Yr 9 entry from state comp. Help! Advise please!(5 Posts)
We are visiting a private school with DS next Monday prior to him taking entrance exams (for setting purposes) to start year 9 in September. It is a rural co-ed non-selective 2/3rds boarding 1/3rd day school with a strong Christian ethos (evangelical Anglican)and an outstanding reputation for pastoral care. (DS would be a day boy).
DS has been attending an urban multicultural all-boys comprehensive where he feels like a fish out of water and has been bullied for being a nerdy bookish geek who dislikes football and having no interest (yet) in teen culture. We are moving to the other side of the country, and have decided to abandon our principles about state education because the only state comp. with any vacancies in year 9 is the worst performing school in the entire county (there has been a large exodus from private to state schools thanks to the recession).
We will be staying for lunch, taking a tour of the school and meeting the headmaster and other staff.
Problem is, we have no experience whatsoever of the independent sector, either as pupils or parents and we are not practicing Christians. This is not a bar to entry BTW, DS just has to attend morning chapel 3 times a week.
What sort of questions should we be asking during the visit? What should we most definately not do or say under any circumstances if we want to make a good impression?
Apart from telling DS to shake everyone's hand and warning him not to mention his GTA4 addiction or eat peas with his knife, how can I prepare him for this visit?
You'll be surprised at the broad range of social backgrounds in the private sector. At my son's private school there are the sons of builders who've done well, local self-employed businessmen, shopkeepers, etc. Lots of children (like ours) started in the state sector too.
Seriously, just let your son be himself. There are all kinds of boys in private schools, just as there are parents.
Thanks abraid! The school is mostly boarding, with a large armed forces/clergy intake, and has been described as "a minor Public" school (whatever that means). Rather outside our orbit I'm afraid, but it is apparently a lovely place!
I'm sure it will be a lovely place and if you don't like it and don't feel comfortable (and it is in their best interests to make sure you DO) then it is the wrong school for you and your DS.
Anyway it sounds like most of the local families who can afford it have got their children there rather than face local state sec schools.
I'm sure you are doing the right thing - don't worry
Get him to talk about his interests - books he has read recently, favourite school subject (why? what interests him about it?), any thoughts about which subjects for GCSE*, what out-of-school activities does he already do and which of the school's extra-curricular clubs** does he fancy, any idea about career yet?
Just get him to enthuse about something/anything.
*GCSE options and how they clash/fit together can be a topic of conversation for you, too.
** A boarding school will be very keen on Joining In.
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