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 Post subject: Primary School Reports
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:18 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:30 pm
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How important is the school report in how schools make overall assessment of applicants?

One of the schools we’ve visited mentioned as guidance that children probably need to be at least level 5 at the end of Year 5 to stand a chance in exams/interviews. Is this something they cross check when they get the school reports from the primary school, or is this pure guidance for parents to understand what are realistic expectations? i.e. do primary school metrics work as some sort of tacit cut-off or are they exclusively looking at what they’ve seen from the child in exam/interview.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:52 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
It is all about how your dd performs in the exams and interview.

They are looking for students who will perform at GCSE and A Level.

Academically the exams tells them what they need to know. However there are other factors that might be mentioned in the reference. DG


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:46 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:35 am
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Our experience...

DS1 six years ago - the averagely selective school which was our number one choice said they expected him to be 'working towards Level 5'. He wasn't (maybe just about), but his Primary teacher said that they would make sure to include the same comment on the report.

DS2 just started Year 7 at a pretty selective hard to get in to school which was our number one choice - did mention in the invite to interview letter about his high exam performance and his 'equally good school report'.

I know the school reports do include their expected levels at the end of Year 6. I don't know how much, if any, real difference the reports make. DS2 was also going for, and received a scholarship, and the report may have helped slightly with that as it was all about his all round ability.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 1:31 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:47 am
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Since levels have been scrapped I don't know how it will work this year.
There is now no uniform way of reporting end of year 5 performance and the new Sats levels are still a blurry unknown to most teachers in year 6 so it is hard to say the equivalent of 'x is expected to achieve level 5/ 6 etc'. I have no idea how the reports from state schools will be meaningful to independent schools when it comes to judging academic performance now.


Last edited by anorthlondonparent1 on Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:07 pm 
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gotcha anorthlondonparent1

I guess, whether the school still uses levels or not (I believe some still do), my question was more broadly about how some primaries/preps write reports with the understanding they will be used (as per J50's DS1 example) and some don't give a damn. Curious to understand how much stock the selecting school puts into these.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:11 pm 
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I expect they put more stock in the ones from prep schools they know well. So for a feeder prep they will have experience and a relationship with the head and know whether he or she tends to be on the ball or not.

All that said they have to do well in the exams. The report is an extra layer and might allay or back up any concerns from the exams or interview.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:34 am 
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I think that it depends on the school. At Royal Masonic, they ask for a report from the head teacher of the junior school, and this complements the entrance tests, the group discussion with the head teacher and various other activities on the assessment day.

I would have thought that the entrance tests are designed to provide the strongest evidence on academic ability, and while the report should help support this, I would have thought that the purpose of th ereport is to get a better idea of what the girl is really like.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:54 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:14 pm
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Location: London
Our prep school told the parents of a very bright but incredibly naughty boy to apply to grammar schools as they wouldn't be able to give a good recommendation letter. Sure enough the boy didn't get any interviews after sitting the written exams at indies but passed the QE exam and is now at Tiffin boys since September. So I imagine he must have done well in the exams at indies too, but the damning letter was enough to put the schools off. I would imagine that a glowing letter might do the opposite, e.g. a borderline written exam might be invited for interview.


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