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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 7:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 5:48 pm
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Sorry if this has been mentioned before (and I'm sure it has) but our two children are approaching Yr 4 and 2 and we're wondering if transferring to private would improve their education and subsequent chances of entry into GS? I realise it's hard to tell but I wondered if the successful entrants at Pates (for eg.) really are a mix of state and private or whether the state primary school entrants are in a significant minority? Does private actually give you an edge bearing in mind that the entrance exam is VR instead of the full gamut of maths/english/NVR etc. Our current primary school combines two years into one which we are finding really detrimental during the second year in each class which is why I am dreading Yr4 and 2 as my two are bright and enthusiastic but will be held back by being in a class with some less able Yr3's and 1. This is a huge range of ability for a teacher to cope with but there isn't another state primary locally that has space for my two. Ho hum. :( My DD for example is currently in Yr1, working in the top group in her class (which is made up of 4 other Yr 2's) and is studying Yr 4 maths. Her teacher says she will be a challenge for her next year :shock: and hasn't worked out what to do with her yet :shock: Not very reassuring. So, as a last option, we are looking at private but really not sure if it's worth the huge fees :? The last thing I want is for boredom to set in. Any thoughts from you guys who've been there?


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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 7:50 pm 
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Location: East Kent
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Her teacher says she will be a challenge for her next year and hasn't worked out what to do with her yet Not very reassuring.

on the contrary, she has taken account of where she is now and is thinking about how to plan work for her.I would find it far more worrying if she had said nothing and just planned to the middle ability. It sounds to me as if you have a teacher on the ball.


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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 8:18 pm 
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I think you will have to look closely at the private primaries - they can be just as mixed academically as the state schools and though they have smaller classes (usually) they often have a wide range of ability to deal with.

For example my DCs private primaries were very good, the classes were small and the academically able were on the whole, encouraged, but there were also many there who were not particularly able and more still who arrived from elsewhere as they were not getting on at previous schools..


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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 9:24 pm 
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Thanks for your comment yoyo but my concerns were that the teacher was saying that she had no plan on how to deal with a bright child!! Surely she has plan, isn't that was training and experience is for? She may not have everything in place but I was shocked that she was concerned she didn't know how to deal with my DD just because she picks things up quickly and doesn't need to go over new things again and again and again etc...! Sorry, ranting I know, but it galls me that a qualified teacher expressed concerns that she was unprepared to support a bright 6 year old :shock:


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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 10:38 pm 
I belive Richard Pate had the most kids pass for Pates this year out of any school (i might be wrong though)!


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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 9:06 am 
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We have sent all 3 of ours to private school from year 4 onwards despite them attending what passed for "outstanding" primary schools in the state sector. The eldest 2 were not borderline 11+ candidates and passed with high scores but I really think the outcomes might have been different had they remained in the state sector I am afraid.
The (painful) fees also had an unexpected bonus in that they both found KS3 easy and the homework a walk in the park after their prep school regime so we have had a relaxing time for 3 years of secondary school.
The difference we feel that the traditional prep school made was that they had to get organised, had to think for themselves, had to get used to sitting down and getting their brain into gear, had few distractions from badly behaved pupils, took note of the aspirations of other pupils working for the same goal and benefited from a more academic environment. Most of all though, they did VASTLY more work than they did in the state school, the same amount of writing in half a term as they had done in a year before (and, as I said, their state schools were supposed to be excellent ones).
Each time one of the children approached year 4 we would debate the matter but we always reached the same conclusion and went private. I think it would, with hindsight, have been entirely possible to lessen the pain of the fees by giving notice in the january of year 6 and letting them have a term off but we have lived and learned!
If you can possibly manage it I would pay but probably not until each child reached year 4.
Good luck anyway!


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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 6:44 pm 
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Thanks Magwich for your post. It's such a dilemma. The private school has advised us to move our daughter up a year and offered her a scholarship which means she immediately benefits from any G&T provision and is given extra project based work to encourage and stimulate her. Not sure this is a good idea but my daughter picks up new concepts easily and is old in her current year so may not suffer (not sure - another dilemma!). But your comments were very encouraging. I think if we had pots of money we'd just give it a go but when you're going to have to put everything you have each month aside for fees you wonder how much fun day to day living will be outside of school. I don't mind sacrifices (I'm really frugal) but I do want my two children to be able to experience and enjoy life :?


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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 8:50 pm 
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Hi Littlebaker

I have been reading your post with interest, hope you come to a decision soon for your own sanity as much as your childs.
I have recently been thinking about how children are determined between bright or G & T, my son who is very bright, picks up new concepts v.quickly and can recall amazing amounts of numbers and figures in his head for a seven year old. When i have been to parents eveing he tells me that my son is top of the class, picks everything up easily and is progressing really well. ( most funny was when he told me that he managed all the sight words and spellings for years 3,4,5 and i the said but his teacher told me that this time last year and i then asked what he had been learning this year and whether he has been stretched at all. red faced and mumbles of how they can only take them so far as it laps in to ks2. However i have had another parent from the playground tell me that he told her that my child is a maths wizard, well its just a bloomy shame he doesnt share that info with me or is that because he might have to do something about it.
Anyway my point is how do i no if my child is bright or if there is something more than needs nurturing, i have thought about the private route but can definatly not afford the fees.

Any help wd be great thanks chatternatter


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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 7:27 pm 
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hi there
I just wanted to add another dimension if I might.
I have two boys who are both at Pates. They have been to 3 different state primary schools (Northern Ireland, Scotland and England, we didn't get round to Wales!!) due to my husbands job. I would not say they are exceptionally bright but they work hard and have a good attitude to education.

I thought that most of the primary schools they attended did not exactly stretch them but I used to ensure they went the extra mile in terms of the quality of their homework (no shoddy bits of paper) and gave them extra extension exercises at home. I appreciate not everyone can do that but if you can it really helps you to understand how your child learns, their strengths and areas they need to improve. I also tutored my kids for the grammar school test, and believe me, it is not rocket science but does take time and dedication.

I cannot comment on the private sector as I have no experience. I would just say, it is a lot of money!! Pates can be achieved without a private education, many many kids have done it. :D


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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 12:06 pm 
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Yes,Id just like to echo EE and all she has said(bar the country hopping!)is true here too.
Thats a combination of things and not least because *most*state schools havent a clue on VR and/or whats needed to gain a place at Pates or indeed any of our Grammars...if as a parent you do...youre half way there.


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