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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:40 pm 
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Hello, am new to this forum and am just beginning to think about secondaries for my y3 boy (and vaguely for his two younger sisters). Am really happy with our local v unfancy primary and want him to stay until 11. What I think we don't get from it, and I don't blame them, is any guidance as to how he would fare in any selective process, esp one that's 3 years away. My impression is that prep schools are good at advising which schools your child would have a good shot at and preparing them accordingly. There are educational advisers I think you can pay to do something similar but I feel like it's not something I shouldn't be able to work out for ourselves.
We're thinking of City, UCS and Highgate but they're all over subscribed and I don't know if we should also be looking around some 'bankers'.
We're Oxbridgey over-educated types and he's academic, but not massively so. He got levels 3s in his ks1 SATs with no additional help like Kumon or tutoring, though I'd say we pretty supportive and do all those middle class things like read and go to museums.
I'd be grateful for some guidance as to what his chances may be. There's so many stories about these schools being ferociously difficult to get into unless you've gone to hothouse private since the age of 2 that I don't know what we should realistically be aiming for.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:13 pm
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Hi
Your ds has about the same chance of getting into the schools you mentioned as any other child. We do tend to undrestimate our kids because most of us have high expectations. If you ds is working at level 3 now, he should be level 5 by the end of year 5/6. You expect them to move up two levels by that time. If I recall, City do have past papers and so does Highgate. The best thing will be to get him work on any weak areas and do mock interviews with him. A great number of state school children obtain scholarship places at indies, your ds may well be one of them!

Good Luck


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:15 am 
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Thanks so much leftol for replying. I suppose I know he's got a reasonable chance, I just worry that if he gets into none of them nor our favoured (non selective) state options then we're stuffed. That's where the handholding, I suppose, of a prep school comes in though I'm not sure any amount of handholding is worth the 100k plus we'd have paid for it!
Getting 3s across the board in ks1 stats puts him in top 10% of state school boys (apparently only 9% get 3 in literacy and am somewhat surprised he's among them). I just don't know how that corresponds to the applicants of these schools.
And I suppose there is no way of knowing without doing it.
Any recommended banker schools ie nice N London ones that are less selective?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:36 pm 
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You could consider Mill Hill or Aldenham. Both less selective than some but still solid academic schools. "Bankers" for a child of your son's abilities.

I think you are quite right that you will get very little guidance from a state primary about your child's suitability for a particular independent secondary. There are organisations that purport to be able to give you this assistance, for a fee.

However, be confident that you can manage without. You are doing all that you need to do to stimulate your child's interest in learning, he is a bright boy and, given nothing to interrupt his progress, just that kind of child that the schools you have mentioned are looking for. That said, it is a rare child that gets into these schools without any preparation (hence this site!) so, nearer the time investigate local tutors or scour this site for assistance in doing it yourself.

Good luck.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:42 pm 
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Ah thanks, really appreciate you taking the time to reply.
I think what you say makes absolute sense. I am reconciled to the idea of some tutoring and don't really have a problem with it since he generally has a lovely life with a 3 minute walk to school. I'd be wary of doing it if he were at a school with a long journey or one that was already academic to begin with.
I think at the moment he wouldn't shine at an interview since he always looks away from adults asking him something. But it's a long way off and I think that having lots of meals together is probably the best prep for this.
And I'll look into those schools you suggest. Lots of people my way go to Forest too.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:56 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:00 am
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MrsChips wrote:
Ah thanks, really appreciate you taking the time to reply.
I think what you say makes absolute sense. I am reconciled to the idea of some tutoring and don't really have a problem with it since he generally has a lovely life with a 3 minute walk to school. I'd be wary of doing it if he were at a school with a long journey or one that was already academic to begin with.
I think at the moment he wouldn't shine at an interview since he always looks away from adults asking him something. But it's a long way off and I think that having lots of meals together is probably the best prep for this.
And I'll look into those schools you suggest. Lots of people my way go to Forest too.


Be warned the Head at Mill Hill is planning on taking the school up in to the realms of high academia and rivaling other more challenging schools - his words.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:08 am 
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Hmmm interesting, but presumably the most academic boys might still opt for other schools in which case it will still be easier to get into? Which might be ideal for my boy - I'd presume he could perform at higher levels once in a school, I'm just a bit unsure about how he'd compete in an entrance exam against v prepped boys.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:17 am 
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Mill Hill only take from Y9 - so the pupils are well prepared by their schools and in the case of Mill Hill - from Prep Schools in the majority. Mill Hill has its own feeder school - Belmont - but other prep schools provide candidates for this school as well. Their entrance exams are Maths, English, Science and French with Latin as an optional extra - and I know that in recent years the English and Maths exams for Mill Hill have been deemed to be tougher than those for Y9 entry into MTS and other schools such as Berko. In fact we know of one boy that got a B in his Mill Hill maths exam but managed an A* for the MTS maths paper!!!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:56 am 
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Oh well, didn't realise Mill Hill was only 13+ which makes it a non-starter for us - a) because our son's school only goes to 11 and b) I have a bit of a problem with schools that don't do the 11+ as it seems deliberately exclusive. What I like about for instance City is that their main entry is 10 and 11 with no prep school which seems to level the playing field (and from what I gather they have a high intake of state school boys).
Plus it's a long way away!
Hmm still pondering on the ideal banker...


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:08 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:00 am
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It is worth noting that Belmont could have places for Y7 and provided that your son makes the grade would be virtually guaranteed a place for y9 at Mill Hill. To be honest the best thing to do would be to have a good look round a number of schools and see what you feel about them then. Another school to look at for your son would be John Lyon in Harrow - easy access via the met line! However, if you're looking for all 3 offspring to be at the same school, not an option!!!!


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