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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:55 am
Posts: 42
Hi

How important is it to have extra activities for independent school exams. how important is music. My DD has a grade 2 in violin and we are thinking of stopping now as we want to concentrate more on academic side as she needs a lot of work on this side.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 5:53 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:05 am
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I don't think you will get different answers to this question here, compared to the same one in general 11 plus thread.
In fact with indies, if you are thinking ahead to their interviews, it goes down exceptionally well to excel in something outside of just maths and verbal reasoning etc. A teacher said to me on a tour that he had a child answer the question 'Tell me about your after school activities' with 'Well, Monday is X school practice paper, Tuesday is y school practice paper, Wednesday and Thursday is with a tutor and Friday is good because I only have to do Bond Non Verbal reasoning. :cry:
Your child could lose interest entirely with pure academic study. It's a cliche but every child needs an outlet. So long as DC is enjoying it of course!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:15 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:14 pm
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Location: London
I think it is very important. My DS just got offered places at the independent we tried. Last year I agreed that he joined a "proper" football team, rather than just the football camps he was doing during school holidays. He had practices every Friday and a match, home or away, every Sunday. It was a big effort for me trying to fit this in with a full time job and 2 younger DCs, but he loved it. He therefore had something to say at his interviews, and was able to let off some steam and frustration of having to work a good 4 hours more than his friends who were not trying for selective schools. Healthy mind in a healthy body. I don't know if this would have worked with an instrument for my DS, as he would have perceived it as yet more work. He is now confident in his football abilities and this will help him make friends more rapidly at his new school. That's the idea anyway :)


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:16 pm 
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learning a musical instrument is generally considered to be beneficial to development of the brain and the violin (if I remember correctly ) is particularly helpful so apart from the reasons above ( which I endorse) I would think its better to persevere.
However, if your DC hates it then it would be better to find an alternative activity - musical or sporting or another hobby.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:11 pm 
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Location: Cheshire
if you are not applying for a scholarship award in Music/Sport/Drama/finger painting :roll: it makes absolutely no difference!

its all academics, academics and academics "all the way down"

personally I am against such scholarships , this money should be invested for bursaries instead(sorry Ladymuck I'm also a governor at an Indie School )


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:51 pm 
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IMO normal life should continue where possible. For DD that involves lots of activities, but we only skipped a session if it was scheduled while an exam was happening concurrently. She even did an evening club the night before two of the exams. We offered to let her skip those weeks, but she didn't want to miss the fun. It didn't hurt; arguably it kept her mind off the exams and reduced pressure.

Children need time to themselves to do what they like, be that activities, electronic games or just vegging out / reading rubbish. By all means build in time to study but don't take the good out of life.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:45 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:10 pm
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I have no evidence for this, but if you speak to many teachers they often say that the children that get the best exam results are often the busiest.

Whether it make a difference for school entrance is debateable and will depend on the school and the emphasis they put on interview. It won't make up for weakness in any academic tests, but it does provide something to talk about and demonstrates an ability to cope with different pressures. Some schools will put more emphasis on this at interview stage as amongst the children who meet the grade they do try to look for those that might bring more life to the school. Reasoning skills doesn't make a great year 7 concert !

That said I would have thought that there must be many an interviewer ready to throw themselves out of the window if they see one more grade 5 pianist !!


Last edited by CPM1771 on Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:50 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2014 4:32 pm
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totally disagree it's about academics.. The first round is but after that the extra curricular counts. That's what they ask at the interview- you need something to say! Also there were several kids who got interviews from my DS school for HABS. The others didn't get a place although academically on par with my DS, I think major factor is they didn't do any sports or musical instruments...


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 7:51 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:18 pm
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I would tend to agree with AML here. I think though in state grammar schools the academic ability is only checked but it's not the only thing checked in most independent schools. They are more interested in a overall package rather than just academic.

I know of students who have scored very high in all top GS exams but didn't do that well to bag any major scholarships from independent schools.

Overall development is more important IMHO rather than just academics. And musical instruments do help a lot, I know in some top GS doing one musical instrument is a must it seems.

When we visited MCS Oxford I was amazed to see the number of clubs that they offer, the range of interest they cater for , the kids who showed us around said that the most difficult part is to choose which one to go for as they are all to interesting :D

The Headmaster in his speech said they do recognize the importance of extracurricular activities and because they offer so many , they think their academic results are so good.

Even in MTS also we found there are so many clubs ( a bit less than MCS , but still a significant number), I think that broadens the DC's horizon.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:32 am 
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For DDs Indi interview she was asked to bring along something she was proud of to show them and talk about. She took her purple karate belt!


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