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 Post subject: advice on sitting
PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:56 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:43 am
Posts: 2
Hi everyone.
Newcomer here, about to embark on that curious ritual of the right school for daughter in the North London area. I wonder if anyone would care to share their thoughts with me on two things.
One, the dreaded *where to sit* question. At each and every open day visited, we are told it doesn't matter which school in a consortium you choose to sit the exam at. Is this the case?
Secondly, my daughter scores very highly at English, and less so at maths. Is the policy for offers rigid insofar as to need specific scores in BOTH in order to be offered? With that in mind, does anyone have parental experience of the direction schools lean toward? I hear "oh ******************** School is VERY scientific", or "******* School is far more arts and lit oriented". Would love to hear thoughts from here.
My thanks in advance. Great forum!


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 Post subject: Re: advice on sitting
PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:28 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:02 am
Posts: 25
The not very statistically significant experience of our family shows that the very top schools want children who are very strong in both Maths and English as it is across the board competence that they are looking at so that the children can cope with the curriculum. I would also say that extra-curricular activities (marvelousness at music and sport for instance) do not compensate for weaker results. This is of course reinforced by there being so much competition for places at the top schools - the schools can afford to be very choosy. The top schools are able to look at academic results, then the interview, then everything else.

It would seem to me that there is far more flexibility about this as you move away from the "super schools". The marginally less selective schools seem to be more able to select a child based on the individual strengths. This is of course partly because they often lose the all round excellent children to the top schools.

In our experience this is no bad thing. You need to be an all rounder to succeed in a top school. The other schools enable you to shine at the things you are good at, and work at the things you are less good at.

For us the biggest problem was that the selective process meant that our children did not go to the same school; this was hard on the younger child who had longed to follow in her sister's footsteps. However, after this hiccup, the selection process probably did put her in a school that suited her ability better.


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 Post subject: Re: advice on sitting
PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:54 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:43 am
Posts: 2
Much appreciated. Yes, we've already decided to avoid the super selectives, as I want her happy and in her comfort zone. The general attitude reading through the boards seems to be to sit at the school she is most likely to get into, rather than the reach.
Oh that there was a magic formula!!
Thanks again mm3


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