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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:39 pm
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Hi all,
I'm new to this forum as my son is only entering yr2 but have been thinking of seeing if we could get an assisted place at Blue Coat in Harborne, as we feel this would prepare him much better for 11+.

Does anyone have experience of the school, the entry exam or know anything about assisted places?

DS is very bright but not overly confident about his reading & writing abilities even though he is in top 5 of class and I wondered whether I should have a tutor do a few preparatory sessions with him before throwing him in to an entry exam for Blue Coat in January.
Any thoughts or recommendations for tutors appreciated.

Thanks


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:23 pm 
On my advice, a friend of mine entered her child for a bursary at Bluecoats about 6 years ago. Child was at a fairly ordinary single form entry primary school but did have a good reading age due to parental interest, as well as some talent for maths. She did no preparation other than have me test her to see if her reading age was sufficiently advanced--Bluecoats had suggested she be at least 1.5 years ahead of her chronological age which most clever children will be--and to get used to the idea of being tested.

Things may have changed since then but the bursaries were not widely publicised so there was not much competition, and child did win the bursary and went on to win similar to KEHS. She was clever and hard-working but certainly not outstanding.

Interestingly enough, while mum was pleased with the better education she was receiving, child never really enjoyed the school and would have happily gone back to her original school. Indeed I have known several children to transfer to Bluecoats from a state primary and, while they have undoubtedly improved academically, they all struck me as nicer children before the move.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:08 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:39 pm
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Thanks that's useful.
I too have some doubts though, as my son id very verbal, and has an extraordinary imagination and a flair for storytelling & fantasy - I can see a possible science fiction writer in him but he has decided he wants to be an artist.
I worry about a school like Bluecoat pushing so hard academically that it dampens his love of learning and enthusiasm, but I also worry that an ordinary state school will not offer the broad range of experiences or allow him to be a bit different. However he is at Bournville at present which does seem to be pretty good.

I myself went to an independent school for a while and apparently did extremely well academically, but although I remember certain amazing teachers there I also remember being rather overworked and miserable and having tons of homework which I would often have to stay up till late to finish.

Gosh it's hard this school thing!!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 2:20 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 9:51 pm
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I believe it's been the practice of a few parents at our primary (not a million miles from yours) to transfer their kids to Bluecoat for Y5-6. I have no idea whether it's been a success though I'm afraid.

Mike


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 4:45 pm 
As far as selective entrance goes, there is some advantage to going to Bluecoats if your aim is KES or KEHS but I wouldn't say it is necessarily any real advantage for the free KE grammar schools. Indeed, in some ways, it is a disadvantage as the majority of children there are still tutored only it is often hard for the children to manage school homework and a tutor's. I also know they do push them hard on year 5/6 and the children do get sick off hearing about the 11 plus. At state school, while children and parents may discuss it a little in the playground, they don't also have to listen to teachers going on about it, too.


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