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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:34 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:23 pm
Posts: 925
Location: North London
Hello

I was just wondering if there was anyone else out there like us, so that we could have a bit of mutual support on the forum through the next 18 months or so.

We live in N London and the only (non-private) selective schools we can apply to for our DD are HBS and Latymer. DD really wants to go to HBS, as she loves the idea of a school without boys (she may change her mind when she's older!) We also have a DS in year 2, he's already knocking spots off his sister academically, but we'll cross the bridge for him when we come to it!

Our local comprehensive is not too bad, so we have a reasonable fallback if she doesn't get into a selective school, but she really wants to try so we're encouraging her. I thought about tutoring her myself, but don't think I'd be any good at the English, so she starts with a tutor next week.

The ratio of applicants to places is terrifying, but she wants to try anyway. She's a bright girl, but sometimes lacks confidence, hopefully the tuition will help her with that. However, she is surprisingly competitive which may be the spark that gets her through this.

I have been told that I'm not pushy enough as a mother :shock: so I'm trying to up the ante on that, without turning into a demon parent :twisted: watch this space!

Anyway, I just wanted to know if there was anyone else out there, like us, N London based with a yr 5 dc, pref dd looking at HBS & Latymer and starting or thinking about starting with a tutor? I don't want this to be a competition btw, so no compare and contrast progress reports please, but more an emotional rollercoaster sanity check and practical advice sharing, while going through the process of the next year and a bit would be most welcome :D

Lemondrop


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:38 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:23 pm
Posts: 925
Location: North London
Anyone???

Nope!

Just me then :( :? :cry:

*skulks off to sit in the corner, Lemondrop no mates*


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:06 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 9:28 am
Posts: 106
Location: Middlesex
Hi lemondrop,

I'm sure you are not alone in this journey, it's just that your requirements for a friend were so specific I guess most are finding it hard to match it all! :)

I for one has matched the DD and the HBS bit, but not the living in North London part.

Without teasing I can tell you that you are in the right track and I shall soon be doing similar things, however as this is second time around for me I am taking it slightly easier and feel more confident (foolishly perhaps?).

There are lots who did it last year and will give you invaluable advice. With a dd it's a new route for me too.

Good luck


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:10 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:51 pm
Posts: 1037
Hi Lemondrop

My son is also in y5 and this is the second time round for us. His brother unfortunately (y8) did not make it but is doing Ok at local comp. Youngest thinks he is the bees knees and up until now has not realised the amount of work it needs. So decided to take him to visit QE and Latymer and show him the numbers who turn up. Did the job of shocking him and he now is more determined to do the home work set by his tutor. We had home tutored the eldest and I felt it did our relationship no good as I was always tired and nagging him. Second time round I realise that the child needs to be up for it which clearly the eldest wasn't. He is as bright at his brother but likes sport more. Have a tutor as she does all the teaching and I just have to get him to do the homework, which for me is far easier. Also every child we know who is taking the exams are being tutored, althoguht the head at Latymer says they shouldn't be, they are at a distinct disad if not. It is a dreadful situation, he loved both schools but as you said the ratios are huge. Good luck to us all and our DC's.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:14 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:23 pm
Posts: 925
Location: North London
Hi Vas,

Thanks for your reply, lovely to 'meet' you. I suppose I was a little specific :? but can't believe I'm the only person in North London looking at HBS & Latymer, surely that's not possible?

I shall open it up then, anyone from anywhere looking at HBS and Latymer please say hello :D

Where did your other DC (DS?) go?

LD


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:34 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:23 pm
Posts: 925
Location: North London
Hello Copella,

Thanks for saying hello, it was good to hear your story. DD is very up for it, she's been nagging me since y4 to get her a tutor, and really, really wants to go to HBS! My biggest concern is the let down she'll experience if she doesn't get in and how to prepare her for that.

I have done a bit of NVR and VR with her which she enjoys, but the tutor starts next week and I think that will be better, as you say, I don't want tuition to put a strain on our relationship, and my expertise is somewhat lacking with the English element (NVR & maths - no problem, but English - urk! :shock: )

The way I view tutoring is that it is necessary because everyone else does it, so she would be at a disadvantage if she didn't have it. It will fine tune her abilities, improve her focus and confidence and will be beneficial to her even if she doesn't get in to HBS/Latymer. It's like preparing for anything else you have to face in life such as a driving test or job interview, you wouldn't go to those unprepared. Also from my personal experience, I went to a private selective girls' school. My parents didn't tutor me at all and I just went along and sat the exams. It was fortunate that I was naturally good at NVR/maths and passed, but I really wouldn't want to put her through that.

Our DS is younger and I'm not going to think about his secondary education yet, one step at a time, but like you, I agree that different schools can suit different children.

Do you/your DS have a preference out of QEB or Latymer?

LD


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:46 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:51 pm
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Hi lemondrops

I am not sure really, Latymer is nearer to us and it seems more liberal than QE so it is my preference. DS who was sold on the swimming pool at QE and now is in two minds, as he liked Latymer but I think this was because he liked the maths talk, he solved the problem on the board and felt good about himself. He is easily swayed. We have friends with children at both schools and all are happy, so I think when we visit again next year we will try and hone the pros and cons a bit more. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:53 pm
Posts: 53
Hello
I am also starting this awful journey but have a son. If he is in the mood he will work but if not its a battleground in our house.
I feel like a awful mother a lot of the time and hope my son is not disappointed. He wants to go to Latymer or Dao.
The problem is my son hates reading so his english is his weakest subject.
How about yours do yo find it easy to help them study?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:41 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:23 pm
Posts: 925
Location: North London
Hi Daofan,

So far no problems with getting DD to study, she is very keen to try to get into HBS ideally or Latymer, so actively wants to do the work. The problem I have is that she gets very upset if she doesn't get something instantly. She's quite a perfectionist, and so rather hard on herself. She is a good reader and loves it, but isn't so keen to write.

Did you see that Gareth Malone series about getting boys to read, it's amazing how many boys are not engaged by reading books, so you're not alone there I think.

Good luck anyway, maybe we'll see you at Latymer :)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:23 pm
Posts: 332
Just seen your thread. I mentioned that my DD is year 6. Just a couple of points that might be helpful to those one year behind? - firstly, that tutoring yourself is not all bad; no idea what my tutoring skills are like, but it has actually brought me and my DD much closer; she used to be quite 'stroppy', but we now get on really well.

Also, that - sorry if this sounds like showing off, but it may help someone - I came top in the HBS entrance exam for English myself, many years ago, so can reveal how I did it.

The simple answer, I'm afraid - not good for those desperately cramming in the last few months before the exam, though - is that I was the kind of child who was never without a book in my hand (usually several on the go at a time), read all the classics and well beyond my age, for fun, not because anyone made me, loved creative writing and regularly wrote stories etc at home for pleasure and had no tutoring at all. Had never, that I recall, read or seen a comprehension in my life before the exam; but as I was used to reading and thinking about books, it just came naturally.

A sensitivity to language isn't really something a child can be 'taught' or certainly not crammed for. I honestly wouldn't waste my time tutoring English - other than basic advice like watch the clock, answer the question set rather than an easier one in your head, etc.

Just buy your kids your favourite books as a child; buy them more of their favourite authors; let them see reading as a passion, a wonderful window to magical worlds. Not a by rote, box-ticking activity as it is so often taught these days (used good adjective? tick, used diffficult conjunction? tick, etc). That might get your child through - or it might send the examiner to sleep.

Good teachers can recognise the difference between a heavily over-tutored child and one with a feel for language, so don't waste your time.

But I daresay others will disagree. :)


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