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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 7:47 am 
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I really need some good advice.

I am currently living abroad in Asia and would like my daughter to go to King Edwards high school for girls in Birmingham (Sept 2018 entry)


We as a family were planning on coming back to the uk this summer for my daughter to attend one of the prep schools in Birmingham so we could give her the best chance at entry.

We visited one of the schools.. Hallfield and were told after an assessment my daughter is likely to gain entry into one of the Birmingham grammar schools and likely Kehs on her cat scores and assessment/ interview.

As the only reason for coming back to the uk in year 5 was to prepare my daughter for entry we are now wondering whether she really needs to come back now? As obviously she is on the right track from being at a British international school in Asia.

My question is do you think a prep school is required to give the best chance for entry into Kehs independent school or do you think it is a rash decision to bring her back just for this reason as I could diy tutor from abroad and do the 11 plus from abroad?

My concern is that the school seems to be a feeder school into the grammars/ independent therfore for the exams tips and in school prep the school would be invaluable .. I am a bit nervous thinking that I would have to do all the prep myself if I were to DIY.

Any thoughts would be welcome... Thanks


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 8:42 am 
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Location: Birmingham
Quote:
My question is do you think a prep school is required to give the best chance for entry into Kehs independent school

No
Quote:
or do you think it is a rash decision to bring her back just for this reason as I could diy tutor from abroad and do the 11 plus from abroad?

Yes

The Independent preps in Edgbaston don't focus that much time on "Study Skills" or specific techniques for the KE Grammars and KEHS/KES independent. I know a lot of expat parents who believe that good English International schools (in Asia etc) probably provide a superior education then UK state sector or fee paying prep schools


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 8:55 am 
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No prep school can advertise as a feeder school for true grammar schools in the area. Entry is via ranked score in the 11+ exam alone. Prep schools may do preparation for the CEM 11+ test but you can do that yourself. The 11+ is mainly time pressured. Lots to answer in a short period of time. The verbal (English) skills required are very high - usually acquired through reading and understanding over a long period of time.

You will need to check out residency requirements for any Grammar Schools you are considering, as some may require you to be living in the area the year before you intend to start to be considered in the first round of offers.

Entry to independent schools varies - most have some form of entry exam, the standard required can vary though. The bottom line - and, therefore last person in - can be quite low as, to put it crudely, private schools need bums on seats to pay the bills. Did the prep school give you an indication of how many girls went on to your target school this year? You are questioning their assessment of your DD by asking the question whether you should come back or not. Do you have doubts about the school?

Nobody can give you cast iron guarantees. Your DD may have a meltdown at the time of entrance exams or may be under the weather. She may just have a bad day. It happens. The cohort she is up against may be super bright - or not - and her position is always relevant to the cohort. You need to investigate the alternatives too - the "what if" scenario. What if she doesn't get offered a place at X private school or z grammar school? What then?

But, the brief answer is, with caveats, no you don't need to go to a specific primary to gain entry to specific secondary schools. People diy for the 11+ and get their children through independent entry exams from "normal" state primaries.

(Crossed with Ken who was far more succinct!!)


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:25 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
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Location: Essex
kenyancowgirl wrote:
No prep school can advertise as a feeder school for true grammar schools in the area. Entry is via ranked score in the 11+ exam alone. Prep schools may do preparation for the CEM 11+ test but you can do that yourself. The 11+ is mainly time pressured. Lots to answer in a short period of time. The verbal (English) skills required are very high - usually acquired through reading and understanding over a long period of time.

You will need to check out residency requirements for any Grammar Schools you are considering, as some may require you to be living in the area the year before you intend to start to be considered in the first round of offers.

Entry to independent schools varies - most have some form of entry exam, the standard required can vary though. The bottom line - and, therefore last person in - can be quite low as, to put it crudely, private schools need bums on seats to pay the bills. Did the prep school give you an indication of how many girls went on to your target school this year? You are questioning their assessment of your DD by asking the question whether you should come back or not. Do you have doubts about the school?

Nobody can give you cast iron guarantees. Your DD may have a meltdown at the time of entrance exams or may be under the weather. She may just have a bad day. It happens. The cohort she is up against may be super bright - or not - and her position is always relevant to the cohort. You need to investigate the alternatives too - the "what if" scenario. What if she doesn't get offered a place at X private school or z grammar school? What then?

But, the brief answer is, with caveats, no you don't need to go to a specific primary to gain entry to specific secondary schools. People diy for the 11+ and get their children through independent entry exams from "normal" state primaries.

(Crossed with Ken who was far more succinct!!)


Aren't the KE grammar schools completely super-selective, so, assuming that one is eligible for a state school place, address would only be relevant in a tie for a final place, or in determining waiting list position? Having said that, I'm not sure how you apply for a place at a state school (as opposed to registering a child to take the 11+), without a UK local authority to do it through?

Where address would be important, though, is determining which alternative state school you would qualify for, should the score in the 11+ turn out not to be what you need for a grammar school place.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:46 am 
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Yes w/r to KE grammar schools, address less important but for back ups very. I was covering all bases as op didn't say where they were looking to move specifically - as you know, certain areas make Warks GS feasible too but residency requirements to be considered in the first round may affect some! Sorry - was preempt ing subsequent questions!!


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:13 am 
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My take is that if you had a prospective address from a certain point, you would give that and then apply via the LA based on that. If your a service family there will be additional support too.

Two things are being conflated here though. The private KEHS and the 11+ for the state KE grammars. In the former case (as is the case for any independent school), they usually don't publish scores. Since there are no published scores (you just get a letter saying you would benefit) there no basis for comparing between the two.

My advice having got DD1 through the two local CEM exams + the KEHS one, is to aim for a Camphill score and hope your child is good enough for the freebie and sit the KEHS. A decent result on the super selective, should translate into an offer from KEHS (and being able to demonstrate ability to pay the fees won't hold you back).

In other words do everything you would do anyway. Too many other variables to weigh in terms of sending the child back, but the preps would not be a bad idea if you were not sure of standards where you are. Preps typically get 50%+ through the 11+ as far as I am aware. Often much better!


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 12:03 pm 
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"...Preps typically get 50%+ through the 11+ as far as I am aware. Often much better!..."

Not in our area...!!! Most prep schools here get one or two through each to the state selective GS (i.e. the same sort of level as the state schools) and more to the independent sector (assuming parents can pay the fees - or get some sort of scholarship) - which is to be expected as preps are, after all, generally more focussed in preparing for "their" secondary schools, if they have them.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 6:44 pm 
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This is also the case in N London. Some preps get nobody at all into the state selectives and if they have a secondary school attached it is in their interest not to. DG


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:05 am 
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I received useful stats from a knowledgeable anonymous source and here they are.

Few years back they were sent a list of all children gaining entry into CHB and CHG, showing their postcode and the school they came from.

More than half of CHB entrants were from Indies - mainly just Hallfield, Blue Coats, West House with a few from Norfolk House and Ruckleigh's .
Just under half of CHG entrants were from Indies - mainly just Hallfield, Blue Coats, EHS and some from Ruckleigh's too.

The other Indies barely featured.

Of the other pupils, they were mainly from very good state schools like Harborne, Hall Green, King David, Moseley CE etc. and not many inner state schools featured in the list at all.

Now you can deduce yourself from the above stats.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:09 am 
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And, I must also add, from my personal experience over past 6 years, that children attending prep schools are more likely to have additional private tutoring classes as compared to state school kids.


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