Yes my DD is at an indie school, where most of the children continue at the school into year 7 and beyond. The 11+ verbal reasoning prep done at school is therefore to prepare them for their own 11+ tests, and not for the KE exams.
Regarding your question about private education for primary aged children, I can only say that we have been very happy with the choices we have made….
We hadn’t really contemplated educating our two DDs privately as we have some excellent state school locally. However, we realised that our DD1 would miss out on starting school with her peers (they were summer babies, she was late and arrived in September), and decided to enrol her at the local indie to make the most of their excellent pre-school programme. It soon became clear that she was at least keeping up with her peers at school despite being part-time in a pre-school class. When the time came to decide what to do for full-time schooling, and having looked carefully at what else was on offer, we decided to keep her in the independent sector. We were worried that a bright but quiet child may be overlooked in a class of 30. Time moved on and naturally her sister joined her at the school too.
We now have DDs in years 5 and 3 and have been seriously thinking about where they will best be suited for their secondary education. It would be easy for DD1 to stay at the school she is in where I am sure she would do very well. However, we are very lucky in our region for our children to have the chance to attend some of the very best Grammar Schools in the country. We feel that the chance for our DD to be educated among 120 or so other girls of at least equal academic ability is something we cannot ignore. Obviously the chance to give up paying school fees is also very attractive! I can almost see me getting some new curtains!
Do I feel that DD1 has had a better education because she is at an indie? NO. But do I feel that each child in the class is allowed to work at the level they need to reach their potential, be that with extra learning support, or targeted work to stretch the more able students? YES. This is I am sure largely due to the smaller class sizes, and the reduced bureaucracy for teaching staff (we have many teachers at the who have got fed up with the paper-work getting in the way of teaching in the state sector).
Do I feel that the ultimate outcome of my DD1s endeavours to gain KE success will have been helped by her having attended an idie? Probably not. I think that parental support and the attitude of the child are key to the success of a child in primary education, whether your aim is to gain 11+ success, or finally getting the penny to drop in reading/maths etc.
None of us taking part in the experiment known as ‘bringing up children’ have the chance to see what would happen if we had had an identical child going through an alternative education system. Who is to say that our DD wouldn’t be as bright and motivated had she gone through the state education system? The only thing that is certain is that we’d have been financially better off!!