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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:27 pm
Posts: 74
My child will sit for the more selective N. London independent schools but I'm getting a little worried that he won't impress at interview as he doesn't have a wow factor hobby that he is fantastic at. He is okay at football and plays for a team but it's not the A team, hasn't been picked for school teams (although there are not many). Loves sport and playing the instrument he does but isn't at a high grade. He does play for the local sports club's team too in another sport that these schools do and is good but not county level.

He is a lovely, enthusiastic boy according to school reports and gets comments in them such as his behaviour is exemplary and he does well academically, never in trouble but I have the impression that these schools want A team sports players and grade 5 musicians? He just seems "quite good" at most things (not so at one or two!) but not amazingly good at anything.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 7:17 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2014 5:13 pm
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Elevenlevel, I don't have any experience of this but just wanted to say that your DS sounds like a great all rounder and any school should be proud to have him. If nothing else, it shows that he (or you!) is a great time manager!

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 7:29 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:30 am
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+1

He sounds delightful. Schools love all rounders, and let's face it, we need far more good, hard working and delightful all rounders than we do child progidies and geniuses. Really, jack of all trades is ok!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 8:10 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 5:03 pm
Posts: 1178
Location: Cheshire
The idea that one's child needs to be scholarship level in extra-curricula activities to get into selective Indies is a fallacy imo
We have been to quite a few interviews over the yrs and my children have never been asked to run around an a running track or play the piccolo.
These as academic schools they are only really interested in your child being a good fit academically and sociably .
As an aside I do not agree in scholarships of any kind I am happy to pay extra full fees for means tested bursaries and even to provide free travel, school meals,uniforms ect for less fortunate families but detest paying extra for student just because they are the best finger painters in the county!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:17 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:05 am
Posts: 25
My son had 3 interviews last year for N London/Herts indies. My impression was that they were just using the interviews to check that they had a child who could communicate. They all stated that they were using the interviews to ensure they had pupils who would benefit from the education/environment they offered. My son sounds very like yours; he takes part in a lot of sports but is not county level at any, and had only made it to grade 3 by the time of the interviews, but would have had a very good school reference. Most of the questions were along the lines of "which sports do you like?" and "what is your favourite subject?". Habs was slightly more involved but nothing like the girls' school seems to be. Even my reticent, shy son got through them all quite happily and very few of his classmates have any high level achievements in either sport or music. I'm not sure if a borderline exam result would mean that more weight was put on an interview but I would certainly recommend not worrying about them.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:31 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:27 pm
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PHEW! So glad I asked as this is very reassuring. I had assumed they prioritise the county chess player or top team footballers among those who get decent exam results. He is a good conversationalist and loves school and learning, sport, being in class plays and music so fingers crossed. I'm confident he'd throw himself enthusiastically into school life at our target schools which is why they appeal.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:59 am
Posts: 429
Location: N London
He sounds like my DS too, relax, they will love the fact that he is sociable and can show that he is genuinely bright and interested, not just well prepared for exams. Schools also look for kids that are willing to get involved regardless of ability and who really want to go to the school and take advantage of all the opportunities. Good luck. Let us know how it goes. Which schools are you trying for?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 10:17 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:27 pm
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Outing myself maybe here but St Albans, Habs and maybe City.

He is really enthusiastic about learning and talks so positively about almost all aspects of school life, works well with others according to his reports and gets those "a pleasure to teach" comments every year in his report. But maybe they say that about all of them other than the very challenging kids these days in state primaries so who knows if that will matter.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 11:16 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:34 pm
Posts: 47
My DS is at City, he loves sports and plays with local clubs, not a county level player or anything. He play an instrument, but not in high grades yet. He is a enthusiastic, social and chatty boy.

I don't think City looks for any WOW factor activities, they wants pupils who will be gel well with their academic and social ethos. The interview had two parts, an individual academic one, with an English and a Maths teacher and a group one in a class room setting.

I must add, as per my DS, there are lots boys at City who are county level players and some play for GB as well.There are also many high grade musicians, but I think this is the case with many other indies and Grammar schools.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 12:30 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:34 pm
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Sorry, I forgot to add that, there will be top level athletes and musicians and children involved in other WOW factor activity in Comps as well. In other words, all type of schools can have them :-)


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