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 Post subject: Caterham
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:40 pm
Posts: 15
(Gulping fearfully at first attempt on forum) Anyone with advice for Caterham please? Interviews are next week and it feels a bit strange to do that before the exams. We are applying for Caterham and Whitgift after three unsuccessful gs attempts - DS passed Wilson's English, but was 5 marks off the maths. It's been really hard to get any kind of momentum going after the gs tests and he has not done much since. Although the two schools are very different, they both have different qualities that will suit our off-beat, head-in-the-clouds lego maniac perfectly. He's currently on 5b's.. what are our chances? Any input will be much appreciated.. many thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Caterham
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:19 pm
Posts: 55
Hi there

Not sure from your post whether you are looking for info on Whitgift too. My DS is in Year 10 so I can give you lots of feedback on it if that helps. My DS has a friend at school whose sister is in Year 8 at Caterham. The family seem delighted with it but I don't know anything about the entrance exam.


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 Post subject: Re: Caterham
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:40 pm
Posts: 15
Thanks estelle..
We are very keen on both schools and would be happy with an offer from any. DS is not particularly sporty (although he's keen to participate) but quite artistic and in the top set at his (very average) state school. I was very realistic about our chances with the gs exams and knew it would be a close call, but I really like C and W because I think/hope they will accommodate/encourage his quirkiness while providing enough discipline for him not to get lost. My gut feel is that W will be better at pushing him and making sure he does not slack, while C might be better at boosting his self-esteem. Am I way off track? Does he have a chance of getting into either with his levels and gs results? So yes, please, practical info on both Whitgift and Caterham will be very helpful.


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 Post subject: Re: Caterham
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:31 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:19 pm
Posts: 55
Hi there

I would think he stands a good chance at Whitgift if currently on 5Bs. Sample papers are on their website, maths, english comprehension & story, a bit of verbal/non verbal reasoning. Whitgift interview a lot of boys before making offers. Hopefully you have plenty to put on the application form in the way of interests, the reference is important but the interview is very much more so. Both parents should attend & they want to select boys who really want a place & for whom Whitgift is their first choice. For us it was. We turned down GS places & 2 other indies because we loved the school and have never regretted it. It is by no means a walk in the park-they expect a huge amount from the boys right from day one. It's not a cosy school but it offers a huge number of opportunities in terms of academic enrichment, music & sports. My DS came from a small state primary. He was a very small boy, bright, a bit anxious but enthusiastic. He has made friends across the board, plays in 2 orchestras, has taken up rowing & trains 6 times a week, has done exchange trips to Spain & is off to China next year to practise his Mandarin. He has a fantastic relationship with his teachers & works so hard, doing extension tasks & reading to broaden his knowledge. There is a range of abilities in the school as you might expect-not everyone there would pass GS entrance but Whitgift celebrates talents in different spheres like sport & music. It's quite a male school-so very different to Caterham I should think & only you would know which might best suit your DS. If you have other questions, just ask.


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 Post subject: Re: Caterham
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:48 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:40 pm
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Thank you for such a thoughtful reply. It is very useful to know how important the interview is - I have hardly given it any thought. It is also very reassuring as DS is small - at least a head shorter than most of his peers - and it is wonderful to hear how well your DS is doing. It's exactly what we would want: mine is highly unlikely to ever make the rugby First XV, but is a competent swimmer, an ace shot, keen on sports such as badminton and would like to try fencing.

We love Whitgift and it is our first choice. My concern is whether I'll manage not to throw myself at the feet of every teacher in sight, begging for a place :lol:

I would imagine every school would want to know that it's first choice. I have not done any prepping for the interviews and only told him to be polite and as honest as possible.. how would I advise him on the first choice dilemma in the Caterham interview? Fact is we also really like Caterham and would be delighted with a place there should we not make Whitgift. Surely they should understand that most candidates will have a back-up plan - I read elsewhere on the forum that some DC apply for up to four or five indies. (While I admire that, I have to admit DS just doesn't have the stamina for that.)


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 Post subject: Re: Caterham
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:19 pm
Posts: 55
Hi there

It is a good idea to do some interview practise because most indies will ask the same general questions..what is your favourite subject, what are your interests, why do you want to come here etc etc. It is tricky to manage the question regarding your first choice of school- of course indies know that you won't be just applying to one-my DS sat for 3 and felt happy to say at interview that he really loved 2 of them. The third one I left up to him so he told them he had applied to several lovely schools-he found it difficult to choose but a scholarship might help and they offered him one. I don't think that tack would have worked with Whitgift! But there are lots of things you can mention at interview like choice of sports, language provision, IB and I'm sure that Caterham has lots of advantages which your DS can mention. Also being polite, enthusiastic and well presented at interview cannot be underestimated.

HTH


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 Post subject: Re: Caterham
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:19 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:40 pm
Posts: 15
Once again many thanks for the practical advice.


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 Post subject: Re: Caterham
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:16 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:04 pm
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Deleted by user.


Last edited by Ladymuck on Sat Mar 21, 2015 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Caterham
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:47 pm
Posts: 29
DS did Caterham exams last year and got Piper scholarship but turned it down for a GS. Really lovely school. The head really impressed us and the presentation was excellent by the staff. The interview was relatively simple. They asked about extra curricular activities and their favourite and least favourite subjects. Most importantly I would get your DS to watch a bit of news and discuss what is going on in the world right now. That was one of the question they asked in the interview.

Hope this helped.


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 Post subject: Re: Caterham
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:16 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:40 pm
Posts: 15
I can't stress enough how valuable this input is - DH refuses to listen to one more panic attack and we seem to be the only ones in current school applying to indies (or admitting to it). I can breathe again..

We are applying for an art scholarship. DS has not had any art classes or formal teaching, but I was hoping it would at least show his creativity and off-beat thinking and hopefully some potential. A scholarship would obviously also be a huge help financially!

Our first (informal) prep will be after dinner, when I'll follow all your suggestions - good luck to anyone else going for interviews this week.


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