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how to get my ds of 6 through exams for private school

68 replies

olliebird · 09/06/2007 22:09

anybody got any advice form
i've got to try to get my ds into local private school. He's just six and this means an interview in sep, then exam and 3-hour assesment in jan.

I haven't pushed him atall so far. hes at a good state primary. On level 5 of oxford reading tree.

I feel i'm going to have to make up masses of ground in six months. Any advice?

I sure he's bright enough, but no boffin certainly and he's quite hard to persuade to do his homework.

OP posts:
ungratefuldaughter · 14/06/2007 17:15

They don't leave that quickly just quite a few get persuaded to leave if not keeping up. Have friends who do tutoring (some are teachers some are just expert in their subject) and teach kids at private schools who are not doing so well and have been told do better or they will have to reconsider their future

This type of education only works if all the class are at same level

Enid · 14/06/2007 17:20

"Our twins' school has had I think 1 or 2 boys join each year from state schools as an occasional place came up (one boy left because his father beat his mother up, they split up and couldn't afford the fees, another moved abroad etc) and some of those have taken a while to catch up. I've heard some other children say they aren't very good at XYZ and I'm sitting there thinking well give him a chance - he's only been there a term and he'll soon catch up. "

god those children sound vile

keep him at the state

ungratefuldaughter · 14/06/2007 18:37

agree with enid, have heard some comments like that from private school kids

ChazsBarmyArmy · 14/06/2007 18:53

Enid are you saying that children at a state school never make judgemental comments about other children and their abilities. I think you will find children in any sector of education have the capacity to be "vile" - not that you were making generalisations about the child based on a parent's educational choices.

I am watching this thread with interest as we debating between putting DS in a prep school from reception or joining later. I think we will probably put him in from reception in Sept.

ungratefuldaughter · 14/06/2007 19:01

they may be vile but they do not have the I am superior to you attitude that DS encounters on his bus home from school

Enid · 14/06/2007 19:50

I have never heard a 7 or 8 year old criticise someone elses abilities, no

ChazsBarmyArmy · 14/06/2007 20:09

Enid you are lucky to live in such a lovely world populated by such sweet children.

I was educated entirely in the state sector and I found that the kids were perfectly able to criticise and judge each other for very many reasons.
My state school was in the middle of a council estate and believe me we were left in no doubt by the kids who went to the state school in the more affluent neighbourhood that they were a cut above us.
Sadly this behaviour is far more general than any of us would like to admit and so shouldn't really form the basis of deciding what is the best education for your child. All you can do is teach your child that this isn't appropriate behaviour.

Enid · 14/06/2007 20:13

oh I am sure they do
was being chippy really

still it did sound quite wanky and pretentious

singersgirl · 14/06/2007 21:57

Certainly the 8 and 9 year olds in DS1's state school class are aware of abilities and, while not criticising, may comment on it. One of DS1's friends said the other day that he thought that children like J and D and G should be in a class on their own as the work the class was doing was too hard for them.

DS2 (5) said "The children in X group read like they were 3 years old or something." Of course I did my waffle about how everyone is good at different things and some people learn to do X quickly while others learn to do Y, but still, children observe and comment.

I guess what is important is the value put on their comments.

Judy1234 · 15/06/2007 08:32

Enid, small boys of all classes, colours and kinds can be dreadful to each other. I'm afraid it's just how they are. Read the Lord of the Flies and examine a few. It doesn't matter where they go to school and parents do their best to encourage them never to criticise or bully another child. But if it's got curly hair, red hair, very fat, a funny leg, a silly voice or very thick or very clever/nerd/swot I'm afraid children will always always say things they shouldn't. Nice schools and parents help children not to do that but the fact children do it isn't really a reflection on the school. If I ask how is the new boy settling in then the boys would say something like - he's very popluar lots of friends or he finds the work really hard or whatever.

I suppose my point was the gap between levels of work in private and state as someone below said can be fairly wide even at primary level which of course is partly because the private schools, some, are selective not just by if you can pay (some very thick people are rich) but by ability and then the classes are smaller and teaching better and standards much higher so the gap forms.

Ladymuck · 15/06/2007 08:38

"I have never heard a 7 or 8 year old criticise someone elses abilities, no"

I take it you haven't had to watch many football matches then! Ah the different life of amotthers of girl children.

I thought that ds1 had actually made great steps in maturity when he now goes to his room or somewhere private to rant about his useless teammate!

moopymoo · 15/06/2007 08:50

i was always dubious about the need for private ed at primary level. however, ds did 2 years at local primary (good ofsted, was top 2yrs ago in Sunday times list)and even at this early stage i was sure he was nnowhere near reaching his potential. he was assessed by psych ed on school recommendation and found to have a specific learning difficulty close to dyslexia that meant his spelling 'age' was already one year behind average and his reading age one year ahead. we moved him to private school (not really a prep school , we are in NW, think things are a little different here to London!) anyway he was assessed by same last week, after 2 years he is now 2 years ahead in spelling and 4 years ahead in reading. anyway, sorry long only semi relevant waffle - my point is, it is worth it, without doubt, all this has been achieved without pressure - he is 100% happier and working at the level that he should. he is not hothoused, just focused.

ungratefuldaughter · 15/06/2007 09:05

no, not better teaching, just a narrower and smaller group to teach to which is much easier than teaching to thirty of which a few will be very, very bright, a few will have extremely supportive parents, a few will not have heard english spoken at home, a few will have a disturbed family life and so on

olliebird · 16/06/2007 12:08

i've heard a lot of stories like yours, people saying how much happier their kids are now they are in private school. I don't think people would pay all that money if they weren't getting value for it. However finding the money is really difficult - something I still have to sort out.

I agree its about allowing your child to reach their potential and not about pushing them.

Also agree there is the same amount of nastiness and kindness in any group of children. Just important to choose a school where you child is not in too much of a minority so there is no additional reason they should be bullied.

Interesting point about the whole class teaching at private schools, so if you child can easily keep up this is a definate advantage to private

OP posts:
singersgirl · 16/06/2007 13:02

On the whole preparation for exams thing, my friend with DS at pre-prep who is my main source of info told me they had a meeting this week about Y2 exams and were told:

  • if your DS's reading age is not tested as at least 2 years above chronological age at the start of Y2 in September, don't do it
  • there will be weekly reasoning classes before school for all children preparing
  • there will be twice weekly creative writing lessons run by a specialist teacher
  • there will be exam and interview practice in the second half of term.

    Don't know how usual this is, but hope it helps!
Judy1234 · 16/06/2007 13:30

sg, may be true. All my children went to schools at 5 that went through to 11 or 13 so there was no particular pressure at 7 to get in anyway and indeed children leaving to sit the 11+ for state schools from the private schools in particular are not prepared by the private school because they want the children to stay until 13+ and hate the last 2 years dropping out but some schools like the one my sister's children are at go up to age 7 and part of their aim and what the parents in a sense pay for is to get the children into good schools at 7 when the school ends and hers have more homework etc than my children 2 years older I think because they are doing preparation for those exams and practice. None of that helps if the child has an IQ of 100 or course but for children in the middle having had some practice helps.

morningglory · 05/08/2007 23:26

singersgirl: I think that this is pretty common.. DS is starting nursery at a small pre-prep in September which gets great results (at least 6 every year to Colet Court at 7+, 8-9 to Latymer, etc). At the tour, we were told that 4 afternoon a week during year 2 were spent specifically gearing kids for the 7+s.

samanthar · 06/08/2007 14:06

have you got an 'explore learning' centre near you its quite expensive but good for boys as its computer based. or kumon maths english?

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