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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:48 pm 
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Hi, my first post but have been surfing this site for a while now... time has come to jump in!
My DD1 in year 9 at local comp (5 mins walk from front door!) - loving it and doing really well.
DD2, very different to DD1, is currently in year 4 and is identified as exceptionally gifted.
We do not have the GS system in the area we live but a county near us does and they have given permission for DD2 to sit the 11+ a year early however even if she were to pass with top marks the likelyhood of her gaining a place is slim because of distance. There are only two GS which would be practical for her to travel to and both are usually oversubscribed.
A mum at primary school, who has an older daughter in Habs, keeps telling me to send her there - however this would be reliant on a scholarship and bursary (I think we would qualify for something!).
My main concern is whether she would fit in socially or whether she would always be seen as the 'poor relation' - and whether this would bother her when her peers have all the latest designer gear and overseas holidays and she has to make do with 2 for 1 deals and caravan holidays!
It broke my heart when I had to tell DD1 that we she couldn't go on the ski trip at school that was costing over £1000 - would I be constantly disappointing DD2 if she was at an indie?
Please, any experiences good or bad would be interesting to hear.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:52 pm 
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I am not the ideal person to answer but I see you have 50+ views on this thread and no answer so thought I would just respond a little.
My elder two are at a very selective grammar.As it is so selective, it is heavily fed by prep schools and most parents I have ever met had indep schools amongst their back up options.Therefore although it is a state school, it would be truthful to say that I have barely found parents truly in our sort of income bracket.There are a few and I imagine there would be at Habs because there would be other bursary/scholarship students.

There are times it is difficult - birthday and Christmas presents can seem stingy compared to some of their peers.However there are also wealthy but sensible parents who do not wish to spoil their children.We don't do skiing trips or their like.In fact they don't even bring the letters home now. :( I say to them that if they work hard, that is all for them in the future.It isn't real hardship in the grand scheme of things. They have basic mobile phones when some have iphones etc. All that said - they are not completely alone in "getting less" and as they get older, they understand the reasons why things are as they are.
We have visited some dauntingly lavish homes but no one has ever been anything but gracious to my children.( or me)They get judged on their behaviour and manners which are good.(outside anyway :roll: )
I would think carefully about early entry.It was suggested when we lived elsewhere for my eldest.Unless she is very old in her year - a years difference socially can be a lot at certain stages.
Go and look around the school and see what you think of the "feel". It can be very telling!
I am sure someone infinitely more qualified to post will come along soon but good luck. :D


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:37 am 
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Hi Chelmsford Mum
Thank you for the first reply to my first post!
From the sounds of it you are more than qualified to respond if you have two children in a similar situation.
The mum at my local primary school who has a daughter at Habs is also in a similar position, she just doesn't seem to let it bother her - but then she tells me her daughter brought home a friend the other day whose family are millionaires and they have a swimming pool at their house etc, and the gap just seems to widen to me!
We are pennyaires and have a blow up paddling pool in the summer!!
I appreciate you sharing your experiences regarding wealthy, sensible parents - if only I knew which ones my DD would encounter!!
A visit to the school is a must - will do that.
Have given early entry much consideration, greatly supported by current head teacher, school does not know what to do with her as, quote 'resources are limited'.
Too much to consider - explains why I am still up at this time of night!!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:51 am 
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With many schools within the M25 and especially a school like HABS, I wouldn't be too worried. HABS is very culturally and socially diverse and many of these parents send their children to independent school at the expense of material wealth. Having a girl is also good because they don't often go in for designer gear. CLC girls are always seen with Primark bags in Cheltenham! I also find that with the more academically selective school it is almost frowned apon to look down on someone because of their financial circumstances - it's intellectually beneath them to do such a thing! 8)


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:29 am 
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I think what Chelmsford Mum says is absolutely right. We were offered the chance for DD2 to do the 11+ a year early and did not take it because of the age issue and the difference it can make at some stages. We have never regretted that decision and now, even within her year group, some girls are going - how shall I put this?!- off in "different directions". Well, that's how the school put it anyway!!!!
The girls at the local private school are very similar to those at the grammar - a very mixed bag with some lovely parents and some who ply their offspring with booze and boys so I don't think you would be any kind of social inferior at all. As far as designer clothes go I have only one word to say - EBAY!
My dd's buy loads of Ja*k Wil*s, Hol*ister, A and Fitch etc etc at really bargain prices and look fashionably dressed WELL beyond their means!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:53 am 
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Location: london
magwich2 wrote:
As far as designer clothes go I have only one word to say - EBAY!

Definitely!
We are 'poor' compared with most at DD's school. They do not seem to let it bother them and whilst I am aware that DD2 is more intersted in whether we are going on holiday this summer than she usually is, it seems to be knowing that we are rather than what we are doing that is of a conern to her...and maybe that would be the case whereever she was. I have to confess shamefully I suspect it is at times more of an issue for me. I have been truly aghast at the amount of money some people seem to slosh around in and might be happier with my lot if I was less aware of this :mrgreen: . That is my problem though and really something I should work on getting over as I fear if it does become an issue for them, it will be my fault.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:45 am 
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Hi Kiwimum! As your post referred to Habs specifically, I want to put your mind at rest! I have girls there & one of the things we love about the place is the broad spectrum of family base, not just cultural & religious wise, but income bracket too. Yes, there is a small percentage (and it IS small) of astonishingly wealthy families there, but there is a far bigger percentage of families who scrimp & save to send their kids there. You see it by the out of school clothes wear, cars driven, fact that both parents working (to pay the fees) is the norm, success of outgrown uniform sale...I could go on & on. Holidays range accordingly - a few seem to travel business class to exotic places, most manage one year, and everyone I come across talks openly about bargain deals! Quite different from the previous school we were at! :roll: You get the pampered princess syndrome in many places - it's fairly well contained here. The girls' school doesn't do skiing trips (but there are other trips, I agree). I'm aware of a number of bursaries being offered & there's no sense of 'poor relation' - the kids really do seem to gauge friendships on mutual, rather than material, interests and likes. Just my opinion. Don't mean to make this sound like an advert for Habs per se - I'm sure plenty of parents would say the same about other schools . What I am saying, is that what makes ANY of these Indies worth their salt, are the families and kids in them & I'd hate to think of a great candidate being put off. Agree with other posters, make an appointment with the school, come to open days & get a feel for yourself. And whatever you decide, very, very best of luck to you! :D x


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:10 am 
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Location: Barnet, Herts
Agree with all previous posts!
I was really worried about this when DS started at indie 3 yrs ago. He has made lovely friends with great parents.
Yes there are wealthy families but as previous poster said, they have treated DS with the utmost kindness and the boys also love coming to our house (even though our whole house would fit into some of their entrance halls!)
We have managed to send him on ski trips ( he is going away next Sat for his 3rd trip!)because I always wanted to as a child and as one of 4, my parents couldn't afford it.
Don't worry, it will be fine.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:18 am 
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If you could budget for one school trip a year then that would help but I would ask the school for a rough idea of trips planned so you can make an informed decision, rather than choosing the first one that gets advertised.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:34 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:46 pm
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Thank you all for your replies - am feeling reassured.
Will contact school and find out when we might visit.
Just worried we might be dangling a carrot as any chance of attending would depend on how scholarship/bursary went. Have to keep buying those lottery tickets!


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