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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 2:30 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:35 pm
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Could you pls advise?
I have two sons (2 and 6). My first son is at Year 2 at a state school. Today I happened to read an article which said according to current belief, the ideal trajectory goes like this: nursery (private), primary (state), Year 7 to GSCE (private), Sixth Form (state).

• Nursery: private, to help hone an appetite for school

• Primary: state, because a child’s progress is boostable with careful home input

• Year 7 to GCSE: private, as the triangular effects of on-the-case specialist teachers, supportive parents and motivated children produce results

• 6th form: state, to take advantage of the benchmarks set for each university to recruit a certain number of students from state schools
http://www.independentschoolparent.com/ ... -education

Do you share this belief? I was wondering how hard it is for a child to enter a good competitive private school from Year 7 if they come from a state school.
Thank you.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 2:47 pm 
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I suspect you might be overthinking it.

The perfect trajectory is the school that is first and foremost good for your child. That may be influenced by so many variables depending on your child and his or her potential, character and motivation. Once you have options (if you are lucky enough to have options, incl private) then behind that comes
- Academic rigour and success
- Extra curricular activities (again, depending on family and child)
- Geographic logistics
- Age and stage of education vs statistics.

Really, its such an individual choice with so many variables, I don't think you should do anything as a listed trajectory, but asess for each stage of education as it comes along, but, first and foremost, consider how your child copes in each school environment and underpinning it all? Make home a place of learning through you, in the most casual and non-pressured way possible. Read and talk. No big secret.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 2:52 pm 
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Decent prep and Eton has always been a decent trajectory in our circle.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:45 pm 
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totally depends on the kids and the area.

In plenty of places people prefer the prep then grammar (if available) - also have to consider if DC would want to move after GCSE from their school to another at that stage.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 5:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:24 pm
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Location: Petts Wood, Bromley, Kent
It used to be that those studying A Levels had chosen to be there as those who wanted to leave at 16 had done so, creating a very different learning environment in 6th form. That was certainly my experience 6th form in my state comp was bliss compared to the five years previously. That has changed. Whilst not all who stay on post sixteen choose A Levels, many do, but really don't want to be there. This scenario is potentially creating a less positive learning environment unless you get the exceptional teachers who help turn the opinions of the less engaged students round. I appreciate this is an over generalisation and simplification.

As places at top independents increases the trend at DD's school has been for desire to join the Prep school which whilst popular had been less oversubscribed than the senior school. The reason being unless DC is really struggling they are pretty much guaranteed a place at the adjoined senior school. It is like an insurance policy for those who can afford it whether in a grammar area or in an area with poor state provision. Just because you can afford the fees doesn't guarantee a place at a good independent these days.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 6:26 pm 
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I'm not sure it is quite so straightforward.

When you say "ideal" do you mean easiest/nearest, highest quality of teaching, best value for money; the ideal way to inculcate a lifelong love of learning/self motivation; or chance of earning a higher than average wage?

I imagine everyone's ideal is rather different and to some degree will depend on what their peers and neighbours are doing. Our friends went down the home ed route (requires a lot of effort, loss of income but is highly individualised care) and they have very articulate intelligent kids. The eldest is off to Oxford. Another family we know who probably fall into the category of working class value education and have used local state schools - their child is off to Cambridge.

I think they got their places Mainly because they were bright but Also because they didn't choose the "ideal" route they were treated favourably by uni admissions. It Has been a good eye opener for me about how many different paths there are to get to the same place.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:20 pm 
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Location: kingston upon thames
That trajectory is funny. We happened to have followed it but I think our motivations were slightly different:

Indie Nursery - state provision not enough hours for two working parents

State Primary - state school selected as with other siblings independent was unaffordable plus the expense at that stage questionable for the value of the results at KS1&2

Secondary - living in the shadow of superselective meant grammar school was by no means a given even for bright children. Offer at top indie was too good to turn down

State Sixth form - ever growing family and simpler entrance criteria for grammar schools at sixth form plus desire to save for University fees which were not in place when embarking on our indie journey six years ago.

Every child/ circumstance/ area is different. Go with what is right for your child and you won't go far wrong. Plus no point sending them to a weak sixth form just so they can hit some magical adjustment criteria if a) they went to a top indie for GCSEs which will show up anyway and b) they are unable to hit or get very close to the needed grade IMHO.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:04 pm 
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fantasyvn2008 wrote:
• 6th form: state, to take advantage of the benchmarks set for each university to recruit a certain number of students from state schools


Talk about playing the system! :shock:

Perhaps if just before university applications are submitted parents also contrive to get themselves fired from their jobs, relocate to an inner city council estate and start claiming benefits it might further improve their privately educated little darlings chances of getting into Oxbridge? :roll:


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 5:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
Indeed. Postcodes are also taken into account. I really need to try and stop those posh houses down the road from having massive extensions and dragging my postcode to a level that will disadvantage all us oiks in the diddy houses!

We know of several families who have moved their students from local private schools to Hills Road sixth form in Cambridge for their A levels.

Are there parents already chasing the postcodes that will boost their dc's chance of winning a university place? DG


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