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PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:18 pm 
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Hi,

I've been told that private schools like Habs prefer to take children from prep schools rather than State Primary Schools. Is that true? What are the chances of a very bright boy from a State Primary School. My son is sitting the entarnce exam on 7th Jan 2011


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:40 pm 
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ranmis wrote:
Hi,

I've been told that private schools like Habs prefer to take children from prep schools rather than State Primary Schools. Is that true?


That was not my experience at all. DS attended a state primary, sat for Habs and St Albans and was offered a place at both. Boys in previous years at my son's primary school have also been offered places at Habs and both the boys I know that attend are very happy there.

If your DS is bright and does well in the entrance exam then he should certainly get through to the 2nd round. It is then down to how well your son does at interview. There is every chance that a bright boy from a state primary will be offered a place.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:53 pm 
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Location: Herts
In my experience private schools are all in search of the bright state school students, especially the more expensive ones. It means they can get the fees out of some less able but wealthy students and then the able state school pupil can collect lots of points for the league tables at GCSE and make up the difference. They need bright children more than they need fees because it is the bright children who keep them in their top places in the league tables. And everyone wants their children to go to schools as high up in the league tables as possible. I found admisssions at private schools very keen to progress our application with one very notable exception and even here the Head and other senior management were all lovely. I ended up feeling guilty for having led them on because they were so keen! If your son is bright Habs and St Albans will chase him. The issue is if your son will enjoy his peer group. At one school I found admissions lovely but my daughter came out of the all day exam and said that she had been excluded all day from the prep groups and found the girls very snobbish and unfriendly and was certainly not going there. We know several boys from our local state schools who are at Habs and St Albans and really enjoy it. The sport is really good and they have a huge circle of friends. I hope your son does really well in the exams and you get offers from both so you can choose. DG


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:09 am 
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Thats very encouraging! Thanks a lot Chilled & Daogroupie


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:11 am 
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Sorry guys, forgot to ask. Do you have any tips for Habs Boys or Merchant Taylors interviews. What questions do they ask?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:16 pm 
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Ranmis, my son is also sitting the Habs exams tomorrow and the Merchant Taylor's exam on Tuesday. I enquired from previous parents and i was advised that they ask questions about current affairs, ask your son to talk about his interest. Another parent said they showed her son a photograph and asked him to give a description of it. Having said that, people say that the child should not appear to be too 'coached', so i think the best advice will be to encourage him to be relaxed and answer the questions to the best of his ability. I personally think at that stage, it is not even about answering the questions correctly it is about how well your son is able to carry the interviewers along. Fingers crossed.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:13 pm 
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The Habs interviews were held in groups last year, 6 - 8 boys I think, and they have a variety of different questions. I think they try to vary it a lot so that the boys don't have set answers.

Parents are interviewed by the headmaster or deputy while the boys are interviewed. I was totally unprepared for this but fortunately DS made a much better job of selling himself than we did!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:30 am 
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Location: Barnet, Herts
Why do the parents need to be interviewed?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:56 am 
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I went to Merchant Taylors’ and absolutely loved it. Left 27 years ago and still see a number of old schoolfriends on a regular basis. That said, I understand it’s a much more academic school than when I was there… :lol:

The son of a family friend started there last year and I know they’re very happy with it. They certainly didn’t interview the parents, though. I’ve not heard of this before. Did it happen at Aldenham, zorro?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:34 am 
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Hi Rob. No, what happened at Aldenham was that we all went into DS's interview. It was done very informally in the Head's sitting room. We were only asked a couple of questions about the school, all very relaxed. I would have been petrified to have a proper interview and DH would have been silly (always is in formal situations to try and cover his nerves! :roll: ) I didn't know Habs did this.


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