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 Post subject: help!
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:50 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:32 am
Posts: 4
Can anyone help me?! I am feeling sooo down and need someone to give me a bit of hope. My daughter is at a state primary and has sat 5 west london indies, her current levels are 4a & 5c in maths and literacy but she has worked so hard out of school to get levels up so should safely be a 5C in both. I didn't go for the academic schools but for the mid range, problem is they seemed to have all upped their game and are getting very competitive. I'm really worried now that she won't get in any of the schools. No one else in her primary school is doing indie exams so i have no one else to talkl to or point of reference.


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 Post subject: Re: help!
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:13 pm
Posts: 283
Hi Gemmum,

Seriously no need to worry! Your dd is performing at well above the national average and most kids taking these indie/grammar exams are within the level 4/5 mark at age 10. Your dd will certainly get into one of the schools you have applied to. I had that worry when we started the process, but I am now more confident. Indies look at the whole picture, interview, interests and exam scores so your dd stands a good chance especially if she is now a 5c. Good Luck.


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 Post subject: Re: help!
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:19 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:55 pm
Posts: 85
Location: London
Hi there,

I am not sure that there is an awful lot that I can say without knowing more about your daughter or the schools she has applied to (and I am in North London in any case) but I didn't want to let your cry for help go unanswered:
first of all, relax a bit. I am pretty sure that you will get a place somewhere. Yes, it is true that London day schools have become more competitive since the financial crisis and recession but I have yet to hear of anyone who ended up at a sink school because they couldn't get into any indie at all. Maybe it happens very occasionally, but I have never heard of it.
Second, you should have received or will shortly received letters or e-mails either turning you down or inviting your DD for interview. Let's hope for the latter.
The interviews vary greatly from school to school. I would think that in the case of the mid-range schools, the interviews themselves would not be very academic. What schools are looking for is "is this child bright?" "Will she respond well to teaching?" "Would she be nice to have in the school?" (Any teachers on here, feel free to disagree with me.) Therefore:
- on walking in, greet the teacher properly, shake hands and smile!
- listen to what the teacher is saying and asking; don't interrupt but don't be afraid to ask if you haven't understood a question properly. Better to ask than to give an inappropriate answer.
- Don't fidget. Be respectful but not shy. Remember you are there because they want to meet you.
- Prepare for typical questions such as :
- what subject do you enjoy most at school? Why?
- what book have you recently enjoyed?
- what do you like doing in your spare time? (avoid answers such as watch TV or play computer games but also avoid trying to come across as a junior Einstein)
- why would you like to come to this school?
- have you applied to other schools? (best to be honest IME)
- get your daughter to watch newsround and buy something like First News so that she is aware of some current news, e.g. the Olympics, the Royal Wedding and so on.
Try running through these questions once with your DD - not more than once, lest she sound too rehearsed at the real interview - it will fell a bit strange, doing it with Mum, but better than nothing.

If you should be so unfortunate as to receive straight rejections (with or without interview), start approaching other, not so academic indies soon after the acceptance deadline for offers has expired. You never know, places may be left unfilled. At our school, there were some casual places available for year 8 entry last year and it is a very good school, one of the more academic.

I hope that all of this helps. The interview tips are a summary of what we were told by the head of our prep.

Good luck and feel free to PM me as well if you like.

-


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 Post subject: Re: help!
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:38 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:32 am
Posts: 4
Thank you both for encouraging words. The school she didn't get in to was Harrodian, I never saw Harrodian as 'academic' but maybe i was wrong in doing so, there was an incredible amount of children sitting the exam and at the first stage they had said they are not interested in extra curricular activities, interests etc they take the top lot through to interview etc. My DD has had one interview for a school that interviews all apps and has another coming up, a friend has run practice interviews with her, she's chatty, confident, has a wide interests and is not phased by interviews, she's a sweet, lovely girl (maybe I am biased!) but i think it would be a travesty if she misses it all because she doesn't get top marks - precisely why we didn't go for SPSG, Latymer, LEH etc. I know I need to relax and let it go a bit. She is sitting her last exam now and its the one she really wants then we are having a celebratory girly eve tonight and will (kind of) forget about it all. I'm interested to know what schools are the 'not so academic' that we could go to next if she doesn't make this lot. Thank you for your time and for caring x


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 Post subject: Re: help!
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:40 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 6:50 pm
Posts: 152
Location: S.W. London
Gemmum, I'd agree that Harrodian isn't the most academic of schools but it only takes 20-30 children at 11 (the bulk of the year must come up from the junior part of the school) which makes it harder to get into than pretty much any of the west London schools.

Plus, from what I've been told by parents whose children applied there, they try to divide the intake pretty evenly between girls and boys so please don't be disheartened by your daughter not getting a place there. I'm sure she'll feel a lot more positive if she knows there were only 15 places available and you say there were a lot of children sitting the exam.

Is she sitting for Ibstock Place, St Catherine's or St James'? They're the 'next tier' which come to mind.

It must be tough being the only parent at your primary in this position. Is her class teacher able to give any advice, even at this late stage? No other construction help but I do wish you and your daughter well - I know what it's like when you've done all you can but aren't sure whether it's enough. Hope today's exam went well.


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 Post subject: Re: help!
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 6:33 pm
Posts: 287
Hi, have you considered Hall School in Wimbledon?


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 Post subject: Re: help!
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:42 pm
Posts: 54
Hi Gemmum

You are not alone! I really feel for you and your dd, and hope she gets the one she wants (Ibstock?). Our experience has been similar - there seem to be so many applicants this year that the bar is rising at all the schools. I'm clinging to the hope that the other girls are doing lots of exams but can only accept one, so a place will come through eventually.

It might be out of your commuting zone, but have you looked at Radnor House which is opening for Y7 (and Y9) in Twickenham at the old St James' Boys site? Their exam is on Sat 5th Feb with registration (another £100) deadline of Friday 4th. I was quite impressed by their plans and the Deputy Head (former head of 6th form at Harrodian) has a very positive and refreshing attitude.

Fingers crossed for you,
dc


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 Post subject: Re: help!
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 8:07 am
Posts: 100
Location: London
I feel for you. We did it all 2 years ago and I am only just getting over the anxiety created by the West London scramble.

Mixed schools are more difficult as are those with a junior school. The Harrodian is also relatively small,is a fairly new school which is becoming more established, and it is not unusual for it to throw up some surprising decisions. They presumably know what they want.

It may not feel like it not but the vast majority will end up happy enough with the offers they get. And the one or two in my daughter's year who had to use their "fail-safe" option are happy. Dont forget that if your daughter has sat for 5 schools, so will all the others.

Hold in there!

In terms of interview a friend who has done secondary school interviews says that what they are looking for is a child who can talk to adults and who has something to say. It matters less what they actually say! She should, of course be clear why she wants to go to the school.


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 Post subject: Re: help!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:22 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:27 am
Posts: 2086
Location: Barnet, Herts
Gemmum,
I've been through this too - 3 yrs ago! But I can still remember the agony as if it was yesterday!
I would agree 100% with Sue 123, especially the interview advice. The questions DS had in his interview are all covered in her post (apart from a bit of mental maths).
Try not to worry,I'm sure your DD will be fine!


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 Post subject: Re: help!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:38 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:32 am
Posts: 4
Thank you all for your replies, really very kind of you to take the time. I will look in to the 2 schools that have been suggested and will sit tight and cross my fingers, there's not much more we can do now. xx


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