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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 8:58 am 
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Which papers are a better option if you're coming from a mediocre state, very large (large classes too) primary? Children not used to timed tests etc.

Are there any disadvantages to dropping down a year at an Independent - if you have an end of August birthday?

An adviser told me schools sometimes 'fudge' the results a bit if they like you. Does this honestly ever work in the other direction? If they don't think you'll socially fit or similar?

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 10:55 pm 
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Dropping downa year is normal in inde's especially with August birthdays. There is no real harm in it, moving up tends to cause more issues.


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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 12:11 am 
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Thanks. Wycombe Abbey don't allow it & wondered about whether others took a dim view really? Admissions at other places sounded flexible.


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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 9:45 pm 
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WA may say 60% but in reality this is not the case as it's one of the most selective girls schools. The more selective the less likely they would do this.


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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 10:53 am 
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Location: London
Unlike Grammars, Indies have much more scope to look beyond straight test scores, and will be interested in potential and the contribution a child is likely to make to the school. Many therefore will bear in mind how much preparation a child has had in the run up to the entrance exam, and may well allow some leeway to a child who has not been at a prep school. Interviews seem to be particularly important for boarding schools.

WA is very academic, indeed perceived as being THE boarding school for very academic high flyers. Also their exams are sat right at the start of Yr 6 and, unlike 11+ tests for London days schools, cover a range of subjects. I assume 60% then is worth 65% or more later in the school year.

Entrance requirements at girls boarding schools will vary greatly. You really need to talk to each about their expectations in the context of a child coming from a state primary. An alternative might be a Prep school from 11-13 and the 13+CE. Specifically I would be careful of trying WA without first being sure your child really is pretty much at the top of their year group and that she has properly prepared.


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 9:38 am 
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Thanks - great advice. Which are the other academic girls boarding schools & Co-eds too? Have looked at league tables e.g. Oundle looks like an academic option plus CLC for girls (but it's not full boarding). Good to get an opinion - it seems WAS is the stand out. Many go from Godstowe which isn't academically selective. Interesting.


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 5:48 pm 
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Disadvantage; sporty children will not be allowed to compete in competitions with their class mates and will need to play in teams with the year above (e.g. girls of the same chronological age)

Academic Girls boarding schools:
Downe House
Benenden
St Marys Calne
CLC
Badminton

Godstowe may be less selective on admission but they are academic and the girls work hard. This is shown by the number of scholarships they win each year.

I have added CLC to the list as they do have full boarders. None of the above schools are solely full boarding. Also do check with each school to see what full boarding means to each individual school. They vary massively in my experience.

As for selection we as parents spend a long time deciding whether an individual school is correct for our own children. So schools do the same. They are looking for a child that fit in with their school ethos. They may be lenient if a child is a talented musician or sports woman, but its all about getting the fit right. I certainly wouldn't want my children to go to a school where I didn't think they would fit in.

Good luck in your search for a school.


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 10:55 pm 
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Thank you. Very helpful. Godstowe is a very impressive and friendly school. Benenden I think may be the only one without day pupils? Will do some digging.


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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 5:50 am 
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Yes I think you are correct about the full boarding, but Downe House I believe has 15 day girls some of whom are staff children I believe.

Do check the weekend boarding policy for Benenden as certainly when we had friends with girls there despite a full optional weekend programme many went to home to London most weekends. This was though a few years ago.


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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 10:19 pm 
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Sorry but why are you so keen on Wycombe Abbey? When we were looking at schools for our daughter (boarding, girls and coed) we didn't look at it because we just found the refusal to offer an alternative to Common Entrance so offputting and unwelcoming. We thought the message was clearly that if you haven't been to a prep school then we're not interested. Good grief, even Eton and Harrow offer alternatives to CE - all the girls' schools and coed schools that we visited did so too. We visited quite a few and though not all were a good fit with us it was also quite clear that they all catered well for clever girls and that the girls (and boys) did very well indeed. One thing I will note is that we swapped notes with other parents on some visits and the only one we had an adverse report on was WA - the comment being that the parent felt judged/sized up and found rather wanting and all within the first few minutes! You may find a very different experience but please do visit. Our experience was that if you visit enough schools you really will find more than one that is just right.


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