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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 11:30 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:23 pm
Posts: 25
Hello all I am looking for some advice from existing parents of Tiffin Girls.

Our DD recently took the stage 2 test, and her English is really very very good and her Maths is Pretty good too, so we think that she has a decent chance at passing stage 2 and getting a place.

Although DD did have a tutor, which i really think made a minimal difference for stage 1, we didn't actually push her that hard, probably spending less than 1.5 hours a week on 11+ papers between stage 1 and stage 2. With the optimism that if her natural aptitude doesn't get her in, then she is better off elsewhere.

The concern that we have, is listening to the cohort of parents at the stage 2 exams. many of the parents were talking about hours of exam practice per day and expectations that weekly tutoring will be required to continue for their DDs if they get into TGS.

We want DDs to be about the journey rather than the final result, to be in an environment with challenging work, capable kids, where she can perform to her best academically AND make lots of friends. From the parents we spoke to on the day, it seemed like they have been pushing DDs significantly harder than we have, and that they will continue to pushing them, with an intention to continue tutors while at TGS. If other children are being pushed, then the worry is that the stress will transfer to DD. Clearly we're worrying about this 12 months too late, but we're now thinking maybe we should just send her to the local (very good) Comprehensive or take out a second mortgage and go to LEH.

Maybe we were just stood next to some mean parents, but any thoughts welcome....


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 11:39 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:00 pm
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Location: RBK
You are very lucky to have met some parents who admit to pushing their DDs to limit. The one we usually meet say they all have brilliant children and tutoring of about an hour a week was more than enough. Some were doing just one practice paper a week. :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 11:41 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
I don't expect you will be seeing many of these parents again. If they really think that they will require tutors to babysit their daughters through secondary school then I would have thought it unlikely that their daughters will secure a place from the Stage Two tests. I would have thought it would be cheaper for them to go to private school if at Tiffin they are going to need a tutor for each subject. I have dd's in Y10 and Y11 at DAO and they have never had tutors and are doing fine. We don't know any students who have tutors and I have not seen it mentioned on the forum about any other school but Habs boys! Great news that your dd is fab at English, that will serve her well. Focus on her and forget them. hopefully you put Tiffin first. TG


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 12:03 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:23 pm
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Thanks for quick response. I guess the concern that crystalised with us at the stage 2 test was that we'd taken DD down this route to try and find her a cohort of similar like minded girls, only to be presented with something quite different.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 12:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:00 pm
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Location: RBK
From our experience at Tiffin (boys), you will find children with a range of ability. Some would have been focusing for years on NVR/VR only and may have left English/Maths behind. However, with Tiffin Girls tests in English & Maths as well, generally most girls would have to be fairly good in these subjects as well. One can't get the place only on NVR/VR results no matter how high the score is. Good score in English is must as well as that accounts for 50% of the combined score.

I would think that the TGS intake from 2013 onwards would not need tutoring. Some children may need some guidance and I think, that teachers there would be more than able to provide that. Other point is that the pace of study now is much much faster as schools are gearing for changes in GCSE and A level exams. It seems as if they are trying to cover GCSE Foundation course in year 8.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 1:18 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:31 pm
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pushydaddy wrote:
The concern that we have, is listening to the cohort of parents at the stage 2 exams. many of the parents were talking about hours of exam practice per day and expectations that weekly tutoring will be required to continue for their DDs if they get into TGS.

There is no doubt it is an arms race to get into TGS and to some extent you don't really know how much effort is required so some will become obsessed and join fora like this one and overdo it. I would advise against listening to anybody in and around the admission process!
pushydaddy wrote:
We want DDs to be about the journey rather than the final result, to be in an environment with challenging work, capable kids, where she can perform to her best academically AND make lots of friends.

Perfect, that's what we wanted too and it's exactly what you get at TGS.
pushydaddy wrote:
From the parents we spoke to on the day, it seemed like they have been pushing DDs significantly harder than we have, and that they will continue to pushing them, with an intention to continue tutors while at TGS.

No tutor required if you are supportive like any 'normal' parent.
pushydaddy wrote:
If other children are being pushed, then the worry is that the stress will transfer to DD.

Hasn't happened to us but secondary school can be a challenging time so TGS has it's share of kids having a hard time just as other schools do.
pushydaddy wrote:
Clearly we're worrying about this 12 months too late, but we're now thinking maybe we should just send her to the local (very good) Comprehensive or take out a second mortgage and go to LEH.

We turned down a place at LEH for TGS; No regrets.
pushydaddy wrote:
Maybe we were just stood next to some mean parents, but any thoughts welcome....

Yeap; probably. You will find a complete mixture at TGS. Within the kids there is a range too... there are some that are hugely gifted, lots that are very bright and others that are normal and bright.
Regards
SVE

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 2:00 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:23 pm
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Thanks SVE.

That does make me feel a little more relieved, it sounds more like the school i visited rather than the school we stood outside for the exam.

Oh well I can go back to worrying about whether she will get in now...

I do wish they could make up their minds more quickly.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 4:04 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 4:02 pm
Posts: 2149
Can I just echo SVE's comments and say how happy my year 8 DD is. She is definitely NOT having extra tuition and is thriving academically and socially. She has many friends, of many different nationalities and cultures, who have a similar ability level and outlook on life. There are sadly some, who I still believe were overtutored to get in, who do struggle, particularly in English - some of them shouldn't be there to be quite honest. I hope the school moves away completely from VR and NVR, or at least changes the weighting of these papers.

Please don't worry, pushydaddy (interesting name for a non-pushy-sounding parent!). It's a brilliant school, especially for bright all-rounders who want to take part fully in the excellent music, sport, drama etc offerings. Yes they work hard but they absolutely should not need extra tuition. You already know yourself if your DD is the right type of person for this type of school...

There's a PTA craft fair on this Sunday - come and have a look around, get the feel of the school and the type of girls who are there and reassure yourself. Less intense than the open evening. Details on the website I hope, otherwise pm me and I can check my school emails.

At the beginning of March, if your DD does gain a place and you are still not sure, please please feel free to pm me for more details/persuasion!

Regards, Peridot


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 4:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:23 pm
Posts: 25
Thanks Peridot, that is really helpful, I think we'll try and pop in on Sunday, I am sure that we'll be able to find at least a couple of presents.

My nom de plume was meant ironically, but my wife, her friends and DD (and one of her DFs) have yet to stop taking the micky...

Fingers crossed and all that.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 7:10 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2013 3:52 pm
Posts: 845
I think it is not a very black and white world. There are many things to consider:

A) DCs:
1) Not all DCs develop at the same time and in a linear way. Some DCs struggle in early years but pick up later and vice versa.
2) Not all DCs develop in all the subjects at same speed. This can change any time. Example, when my DC started primary school (much later year than reception) DC did not know any English, however, thanks to DCs head teacher who told us to continue speaking with DC in a different language even though it meant struggle(very low levels) in English initially. Writing was a big struggle until year 5(level 3). Some posters here can remember that I have often asked for writing help. Last term of Year 5/First half term of Year 6 something just changed very quickly. At parents' consultation day I was told that DC is a very able writer (improved lots), has fantastic imagination, originality and a difference in writing that stands out. It seems reading from other languages/cultures and blending it in day to day life took lot of time but was worth it. I always thought DC is very good in Maths but English is coming as DCs strongest subject now despite English not being a first language.
Conclusion: DCs change. Ability is not constant all year round/every year/every subject. May be some DCs are more able when they get in, go down later on and vice versa.

B) Tutoring:
Number of tutoring hours is a very subjective thing. Family background and lifestyle contributes. It also depends on both the tutor and DC.
Some DCs need more tutoring and others less. Some tutors suit some DCs and other suit other DCs. The teaching/learning time depends on how good the DC/Tutor combination matches.
I have seen some tutors getting best out of some DCs within a short span of time but other DCs may not find them that good.
Parental tutoring can be one-to-one, customised to DCs way of learning so likely to need much less time than other group tuitions. But again this can vary from one family to other.
Conclusion: comparing tutoring hours across DCs may not be fruitful for decision making.

C) Natural Ability:
I would prefer to use the words motivation/interest than ability.
Some DCs are self motivated and will do well as long as their motivation stays no matter wherever they are.
Some DCs are just not interested in schools and will not do well/take interest no matter which school they go.
Some DCs are in the grey zone, their performance depends on the environment they are in. Many of these DCs do well if they are in Grammar schools/Independent schools(possibly).
Conclusion: DCs can be more able in the subjects of their interest at a given time.

I am not sure removal of VR/NVR would make a huge difference. All those DCs who were earlier preparing for VR/NVR will now start preparing for Maths and English to match the new exams. Tuition centres/tutors will adapt to align with the new exam.


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