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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:35 am 
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Hi,

My DS, has decided he would like to sit the test for this school. He was totally taken in and loved it when being shown around. I have told him if he passes we could only afford it if we got a bursary. Bless him, he totally understands and really does want to give it a go.

The problem is, I have been told the entrance exam is completley different to the other (state) Grammar school entrance exams. Could anyone please tell me what I should be looking at in the tutoring area and something about what to expect in interviews?

Many Thanks


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:58 am 
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You'll probably get a better response in the Birmingham section. All I can remember about the exam is that scholarships are decided on the Maths section, I don't know about bursaries.

Mike


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:35 am 
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Is this the case with scholorship selection too? Do well in the maths and DS is invited for interview?
Thanks in advance.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:38 am 
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I'll move this to B'ham... hang on there!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:43 am 
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There are musical scholarships as well as academic ones. There may be sporting ones, too, but I'm not sure of that. Re concentration on Maths, yes, the school does say that in determining the scholarships, maths is looked at closely, but it's not enough to be a maths whizz if you can't also write, and answer a comprehension. As the school does IB, with its extended essay component, being able to write is important too.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:50 am 
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ah yes, IB, certainly a leaning towards the arts at KES..


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:13 pm 
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The test is formatted very differently. Candidates are required to answer a verbal reasoing paper - quite traditional in style, i believe, but also respond to a fairly challenging comrehension. Writing skills are then assessed when aksed to write a story with a specified title. Maths is also assessed, and i believe a few additional questions are added towards the end of the test of which it is expected only the 'gifted' will be able to answer - scholarships are awarded from these candidates. Bursaries are awarded to pupils who perform very well overall in the test-it's not just enough to 'pass' it. A ballpoint figure of 'top 40' individual candidates - bursaries would then be allocated dependent on position and the financial circumstances detailed by the parents.Many candidates who are offered a place are not offered a bursary as well despite needing one ,as the funding has run out by the time their position has been reached.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:31 pm 
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Location: Birmingham
I think you are right, ews, the exam is formatted v differently. I'm far from being an expert having only had one DS go through applying for KES, but based on our personal experience it's the maths & English papers that are most important. They need the boys to be able to write but recognise that state educated boys may not have the same exposure to English comprehension and composition as those coming from prep schools. I got the very strong impression that VR was only looked at if there was little evidence of writing flair.

I am basing this on the experience of my state-educated boy who has a far stronger leaning towards maths (and so managed to pass the more maths-orientated Camp Hill exam) yet less apparent writing talents, and so wrote so little that in his case the VR score was looked at. They are not expecting beautifully composed essays but my DS is the master of the precis! Why use 40 words when 5 will do? His writing reminds me of that line in Educating Rita, when Rita's response to the essay question of how to stage some classic play is, "On the radio". That's kind of my son's approach too.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:08 pm
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Location: Not in a hole in the ground but in a land where once they dwelt-the Beormingas
lizziebutnotdizzy wrote:
Hi,

My DS, has decided he would like to sit the test for this school. He was totally taken in and loved it when being shown around. I have told him if he passes we could only afford it if we got a bursary. Bless him, he totally understands and really does want to give it a go.

The problem is, I have been told the entrance exam is completley different to the other (state) Grammar school entrance exams. Could anyone please tell me what I should be looking at in the tutoring area and something about what to expect in interviews?

Many Thanks


We've only been through the KES experience once (a couple of years ago) but from DS experience- the Maths had three sections to it: part A, B (12, 40 word questions) and part C (about 6 lengthy scholarship type q's).

There was a comprehension paper ofcourse. When DS did the exam, it told a story about a boy who wished to become a member of a gang. To join the gang, he has to pass an 'initiation test'. The boy was at the top of a warehouse, (30ft drop to the ground, and across was a narrow wooden beam). The test involved him walking across the beam and back again.

Some of the questions he remembers suggest that the questions weren't too difficult e.g what is an initiation test? What was the initiation test that the narrator had to do? Who was the narrator’s best friend and give two/ three pieces of evidence? Who disliked the narrator the most– give 3 pieces of evidence? Who was the leader– give 2 pieces of evidence? What were the two things that were stored in the rooms? Which 3 things destroyed the warehouse?

The composition involved continuing the story just read, (story ends with the gang waiting to see whether the boy would take the test)—you are the narrator who’s trying to join the gang which has Razz, (the leader), Tocky (a boy who dislikes you) and Titch (you’re best friend)...continue the story.

We found the CGP's composition book really useful for providing structures for various types of writing (as well as to show pupils how to devise a five minute plan before writing the essay). As for creative writing (it worked well with DS): I had a box collection of nine books containing 'short stories' ranging from adventure, fantasy, ghost, animal etc. We used to go through some of those looking for creativity, atmosphere, choice and style of language etc and then an appropriate composition task would be set for DS.

Re: interviews- our situation was different. Since we weren't resident in Birmingham at the time, DS had his interview on the day he sat the KES exam. It was very casual. I remember feeling bewildered about why he had been called for an interview (as they wouldn't have marked his paper in 10 minutes and therefore it couldn't be based solely upon exam performance) but there were a few other children, presumably who also came from afar.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:09 pm 
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Hi

Thankyou to all who have replied, some very valuable information for us to mull over.

Just have to see if DS's English skills up to scratch....we are one of the state primary children who hasn't been exposed to much comprehensive skills I'm afraid.


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