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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:53 pm 
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I mentioned in a previous post how I found the recent open-day at Tiffin girls. It's obviously an amazing school, but I was struck by the quietness of the place, and the utter determined diligence of the girls as they worked silently in almost all classrooms (even the 6th formers work in silence-no Ipods or lively chat). The experience was completely the opposite of walking around our local Comprehensive - all noise, fun and cheek. Being in Tiffin reminded me of walking around a church - I felt as if I was on hallowed ground - seriously!

And I've just heard that an over-tutored girl has dropped out of Tiffin recently because the reality of being there under that pressure was just too much for her, and far greater than her over-prepped exam answers had really prepared her for.

This has led me to wonder if it is the right place for DD? Yes she's bright, she's conscientious and hardworking with good friends and a sense of humour etc etc, but I have no real way of knowing if she'll cope with the totally different quality to the pressured learning she'll be under on a day by day basis. It's not something she's prepared for, she's not at prep school, just a normal good primary school - and Tiffin is another world as far as I'm concerned. Can anyone shed any light on this for me please?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:03 pm 
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Don't worry. If your DD gets a high enough score to be awarded a place then you should have no worries, the school is quite normal, the workload is not excessive (at least to start with). Goals/Targets are set on a regular basis and reviewed, these targets are set high but achieveable.

Being from a State Primary School background is very normal; this is not a problem.

Good luck.
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SVE

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:15 pm 
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I know numerous girls at Tiffins and all came from state primaries within the borough. They are all bright girls but were certainly only on a par with the brightest other children within their class group - no child geniuses among them :D

They are all coping perfectly well with the work and none of them has suggested that it's particularly pressured. Of course they are no longer necessarily at the top of the class (and indeed may well be in the bottom group for some subjects - but being in the bottom group at Tiffins is not something to be ashamed of!!)

I have heard many other people talk about the lack of "fun" at the open days and I can understand why having been to a couple of open days there myself over the years. I think this may be because many of the girls there are very, very diligent and the academic side of things is the be all and end all (I am not saying this is a bad thing by the way). However, many of the girls are involved in all aspects of the school - sport, music and drama and they do have fun! In fact some of them have too much fun and the usual teenage problems of boys/staying out late etc are all too evident there as well - and so they should be :twisted:


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 4:47 pm 
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Don't believe a girl can be 'over-tutored-if tutors could magically give powers to pass the exam on the day to someone not able to cope with the work they could bottle it and sell it - just an urban myth.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:27 pm 
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I would agree.

There will be some children who don't settle in every school be it very academic or not and it is rarely the academic side of school which results in problems.

If your child is bright and comfortable with the work she is doing she should be fine.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:32 pm 
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Thea wrote:
Don't believe a girl can be 'over-tutored-if tutors could magically give powers to pass the exam on the day to someone not able to cope with the work they could bottle it and sell it - just an urban myth.


They do ... its called prep school :lol: :lol: :lol:

Seriously though your DD will be fine. I think there will always be the odd child for which a school does not suit and that can be the result of a myriad of factors, none of which we can really predict in advance. If your daughter can get in with a sensible amount of tutoring she will be fine academically

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:54 pm 
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Thea wrote:
Don't believe a girl can be 'over-tutored-if tutors could magically give powers to pass the exam on the day to someone not able to cope with the work they could bottle it and sell it - just an urban myth.


I disagree. My background - Grammar pupil at Dorking many years ago, daughter in Y7 at local Grammar (in Gloucestershire), Appeals panel member for local grammars (and also primaries). I also have many friends who are teachers in Grammars.

At appeals we sometimes get children from prep schools who have been given practice papers and tutored for well over 2 years (one school used to boast that it had 100% record of 11+ passes), yet they've failed the test - sometimes just by 1 question, which still appears to make them pretty bright - yet then we look at other academic indicators - VRQ tests set by the school, CATS, Ed Psych reports, and these children are often pretty average - ie the midpoint on the IQ chart. They have been over-tutored to pass the test because parents think that Grammar will be the best education for them. Well, in these cases, it's probably not. They would struggle with the work, will need more attention from the teachers... A good comp, or private school (which are often effectively comprehensive apart from parental income in intake) would be much better for the child.

Talking to teachers (not at the schools I hear appeals for), they can't pick out children who get through on appeal, but can pick out the ones who have been over tutored.

In my first year at school, there was a really nice lad whose parents had sent him to prep school, and also had him tutored a lot to pass the 11+. It was so important to the parents that he went to a Grammar that he had to spend 1 1/2 hours each way travelling, including a change of trains. Yet he struggled like mad to keep up in all lessons (apart from PE, which he was good at). Eventually the headmaster wrote to his parents and asked that he leave the school, saying he would do a lot better in a local non-selective school where lessons could be pitched at his ability.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 7:34 am 
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I am currently at Tiffin, now in my 6th year there. I accedentally stumbled upon this forum, and found it fascinating to read all the opinions of my school from those who have visited it, or heard stuff from their peers. I would just like to re-assure anyone, that the workload at Tiffin is no more than any other school, especially in the younger years. There is no "pressure" to acieve highly. What there is however, is a general love of learning, an ethos of striving for ones best (within sensible means), and a respect for those who do as best as they can. It is a place where your child will never be teased for trying hard, putting in effort or getting good marks, and this attitude had definitely helped me do as well as I have done, without feeling any more strain and stress than any other teenager sitting exams.
I hope this has helped ease your minds somewhat,
TG


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:25 pm 
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Thanks TiffinGirl, I'm sure that will be very reassuring to parents worried about the stresses of the school

SM


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:09 pm 
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Thanks to you all for the thoughtful advice. I also sent my thanks to the kind 6th form pupil who made Tiffin sound normal and approachable!


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