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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2007 11:29 am 
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Hi there , I am trying to decide whether the children in a private prep school who "groom" kids for the local grammars are much better off than one in a state school with a mum who helps prepare them, or perhaps gets a private tutor. it seems interesting that a local prep school gets about 30% pupils into pates, but the local state primary head teachers say that only the super bright need apply to pates...it is hard to believe all the kids at the privat school are super bright!...nature vs nurture!

so if you are prepared to prepare a child at home, do you think they will be much less likely to gain a place at a grammar than if they went to a good prep school? i wonder if perhaps the state heads do not have high enough expectations of the children?

also finally, i wonder what the chance of getting a child into a grammar is, given that they are well prepared at home. ? how much is preparation important vs natural ability/

thanks, hannah

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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2007 12:23 pm 
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Interesting post.
Don't think for one minute that the kids at DD's and DS's school are or were any brighter than thsoe in state schools. In fact some where sent because they needed more input than the state school could give.

Major advantage to me is that 11 plus prep IS done in school and so I don't have to get any books out or try and persuade them to do anything at home - I'll help out with explaining the odd reasoning question if DD can't fathom it but otherwsie her marks seem OK.

Expectations of kids in private primary schools are high - I can't comment on state primary schools.


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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2007 2:03 pm 
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Location: Gloucester
Hi Hannah,
I cannot comment on what private schools do with preparation for 11 plus as I have no experience of it.But I do know two work colleagues have children starting Pates this September who are both at state primaries.They both had tutors for approx 6 months and came in the top 150 to get offered a place.
Competition for places at Pates is extremely fierce,they will only take pupils from the top 150 in the test,even if this means that they are undersubscribed.I know a lot of Cheltenham children get sent to grammars in Gloucester,which are generally thought to be "easier" to get a place in.
Remember you will know the results of the test before you complete the CAF this year,but not the score but if your child has "passed" and if the score would have led to a grammar place offer this year.

Regards,
Gloucestermum.


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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2007 5:50 pm 
My three children attended local state primary schools, where the head did not particularly encourage trying for the grammar schools, instead encouraging the comprehensives. The two boys got into Pates and my daughter into The High School for Girls (Denmark Road) after practising at home with me. Buy the books from W H Smiths and you are also now given a set of Nfer Nelson tests from Pates which youreeive when you register your application. Obviously the private schools do actively encourage applications to the grammar schools and do seem to practice the skills needed for the tests. But there are plenty of private school pupils who do not get into Pate's as well!


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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2007 7:00 pm 
Natural ability counts for a lot, but preparation is also paramount to a child's success.

There are also children at grammar schools in Gloucestershire who have gotten there due to pushy parents and lots of preparation.

The initial decision whether to try a child for a grammer school is the most important one. The child's junior school should be able to advise of a child's suitability, whether the headteacher is supportive of grammar schools or not.

While I am aware that some private schools do tutor their children for grammar schools a lot of others do not.


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 Post subject: state v. private
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 11:45 am 
Tuition from a good tutor beats grooming at a private prep school, every time. :D

As the preference form is no longer a 'first preference first' form, does anyone know where the children will sit the test this Nov? It can't be their first choice because now there is no first choice!


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 4:35 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2007 4:14 pm
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Location: Gloucester
Hi Orson,
I hadn't thought of that one!!
I have a friend in education admissions,I will try and find out the situation or give them a ring myself,

Regards,
Gloucestermum.


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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 9:56 am 
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Location: Gloucestershire
I feel sad for the children who have been pushed really hard to get a place, and then struggle in the grammar.

One Gloucestershire prep school I know of boasts 100% success rate at 11+, and tutors all the children for at least 2, possibly 3 years before the exam. Another offers tuition as a chargable extra, and not all the parents take it up (then if they just fail to get a place are really miffed that less able children have beaten their children).

I would recommend (as a parent) finding a private tutor to carry out an assesment to see if your child needs any tutoring. It may be that they only need a term-worth of lessons to get familiar with the type of questions in the test. If they need lots of tutoring, you may want to consider if a grammar is going to be the best school for them.

As for state primary head teachers, hmm. Our schools head strongly dislikes grammar schools, as he feels that it makes children loosers. If you put it like that, it does, but if you phrase it as 'a way of selecting the best, most appropriate school that will allow each child to thrive' then it's not! I suggested to him that they give all the children some tutoring in how to do the tests, to even out the 'private tutoring' bias - but he said that those who could afford it would still get the tutoring. But at least those who couldn't afford it wouldn't be going into the exam blind.

Capers

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 Post subject: Re: state v. private
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 10:05 am 
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Orson wrote:
Tuition from a good tutor beats grooming at a private prep school, every time. :D

As the preference form is no longer a 'first preference first' form, does anyone know where the children will sit the test this Nov? It can't be their first choice because now there is no first choice!


tricky to say on this one as you can't really do a nice double blind randomised trial to find out!!!


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 Post subject: Primary vs Prep
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 3:43 pm 
My thoughts are that children's own expectations are set at a higher level in prep schools than they are in many primary schools. I suspect that the high levels of vocabulary and reasoning required to do well in the tests start much earlier than any private tutoring.

The other point I would make is that kids want to go to secondary school with their peers. If there are only one or two kids aiming for grammar schools from a school, the momentum is a lot lower than if there are a dozen. You have to really want it to make it happen (even for the brightest kids).


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