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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:20 pm 
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We have possibly landed on state Grammar for 11+ however reconsider the Pvt establishment again at 16+. Reasons for our thinking are:
1. 16+ means two years of pvts chool fees which will be less painful and more manageable than 7 years of fees.
2. student of pvt school when applying for uni means, access to services like- reputation of the school, their extensive networking opportunities, prep sessions laid out by the indies etc.
3. Dd much more matured by then hence independent travel by public service should be manageable.

we will be interested in exploring and if possible refuting some comments made by advocates of indies that entry at 16+ might be too late for developing aspects like confidence.

Do you think 11 to 16= DAO and 16-18= NLCS/ SPS might be a better idea?

look forward to your thoughts/observations particularly from some one who has done this with their dd.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:31 pm 
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No - a Private school sixth form is a bad idea - many swap to the state system after GCSEs.

With the 'widening access' agenda you'll be on the wrong side of the fence.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 3:27 pm 
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Location: london
grammar2012 wrote:
1. 16+ means two years of pvts chool fees which will be less painful and more manageable than 7 years of fees.

Yes, but less manageable than no fees at all
grammar2012 wrote:
2. student of pvt school when applying for uni means, access to services like- reputation of the school, their extensive networking opportunities, prep sessions laid out by the indies etc.

Good state schools provide this and don't overestimate the networking, those people probably all knew each other anyway.
grammar2012 wrote:
3. Dd much more matured by then hence independent travel by public service should be manageable.

DD will be capable of travelling on pubic transport well before then, heaven help her if she is not :shock:

grammar2012 wrote:
we will be interested in exploring and if possible refuting some comments made by advocates of indies that entry at 16+ might be too late for developing aspects like confidence.

Not sure what you mean by this but I would suggest that joining at 6th form brings none of the benefits and all of the disadvantages G55 referred to...albeit attending a strong state school would probably have a similar, albeit lesser effect. If DD lacks confidence launching her into an all girls private school at 16 is unlikely to help IMO. .

grammar2012 wrote:
Do you think 11 to 16= DAO and 16-18= NLCS/ SPS might be a better idea?
No, if anything the other way round might make more sense.

grammar2012 wrote:
look forward to your thoughts/observations particularly from some one who has done this with their dd.

Grammar2012 you appear to have made a number of assumptions on which you are basing a decision. I'm not sure your assumptions are correct so it is difficult to advise. DDs' highly selective indie takes in 40+ new joiners at 6th form and I can assure you, very few come from hugely successful states schools like DAO with existing 6th forms, but in common with their intake at 11+, over half come from state schools but with no 6th form or schools which are frankly dire.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:03 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 3:02 pm
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Location: S E London
DS moved to private sixth form from grammar and it has been a fantastic decision for him. We hadn't planned it like that, and had anticipated him staying at the grammar, but he was not happy with the teaching in the subject he wanted to study at uni so we moved him. His best friend stayed at the grammar, so we have been able to compare (almost doing the same subjects.)

Private school - much smaller classes (important for sciences in particular) - 10ish instead of 20ish. Much more inspired teaching which has not only covered the exam but has gone beyond it. A much smaller year group (80ish instead of 225ish) has meant much more individual attention re uni applications. Not done for him, but several different people he could go to for advice if he felt he needed it, which his friend has not had. The teachers know my son much better and were able to write a very detailed and accurate reference for him. The private school has had about 10 Oxbridge offers, and the grammar only one or two the last I heard.

There has also been a far richer extra-curricular offering at the private school. My son has been involved in a range of musical activities and concerts, at a far greater standard than the grammar were able to offer despite being much much bigger. He has also had to do games every week (which I think is a good thing although I'm sure not all the students would agree) and on another afternoon was involved in voluntary work all through the lower sixth, and other enrichment activities in the upper sixth (in his case philosophy, cooking and salsa!) He was able to visit a partner school in Tanzania, and go on a music tour, and visit CERN (actually going inside, rather than looking at the outside like a friend's son appeared to do, visiting with another grammar school) and has turned down several other opportunities. although there were some trips at the grammar the opportunities would have been far fewer.

Most importantly, he has enjoyed his sixth form far more than his friend has - it has been far more relaxed. whereas the grammar felt more like an exam factory when we went to the sixth form open evenings - it was pretty much all they focussed on.

The intake of new joiners at sixth form was mostly girls (into an all boys school) from some very good all girl indies and some of the local grammars.

However, different schools are of course different, as are our children, and in the end you need to decide what would suit your child and what your priorities are - we are less 'exam results at all costs' and more focussed on richness of experience, but for others the focus on exams would be more important.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:08 pm 
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For every point made above I'd disagree with the schools on offer locally - it depends on the two schools in question.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:25 pm 
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Which is exactly what I said in my last paragraph. Although the other grammars in this area (of which there are several) are pretty much the same as the one my son was at - one had 27 in their chemistry class, and none have anything like the extra curricular opportunities. We looked carefully at them all.

Look at the schools near you, look at your child, and consider your values. Different schools will suit different students. I was only sharing our experience of schools in our area with our son - it won't be the same for everyone


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 4:36 am 
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Our KS3-4 school is an outstanding non-grammar but we are moving to private for sixth form because the SUBJECTS that dd wants to pursue are not challenging enough and there is v little stimulation, relevant trips or clubs, or excitement about her subjects or any other interests she has developed. We never intended this but we think she needs a change, and she agrees as she is serious about a career in her passion subject.

You don't have to decide this until the autumn of year 11 - I would suggest keep an open mind, but expect she will be likely to stay happily at DAO for the whole of secondary and can skip the disruption of a move unless you have very compelling reasons. Have a look around nearer the time and make it a positive decision to go to the best place, rather than avoiding second-best.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:38 am 
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"....There has also been a far richer extra-curricular offering at the private school. My son has been involved in a range of musical activities and concerts, at a far greater standard than the grammar were able to offer despite being much much bigger. He has also had to do games every week (which I think is a good thing although I'm sure not all the students would agree) and on another afternoon was involved in voluntary work all through the lower sixth, and other enrichment activities in the upper sixth (in his case philosophy, cooking and salsa!) He was able to visit a partner school in Tanzania, and go on a music tour, and visit CERN (actually going inside, rather than looking at the outside like a friend's son appeared to do, visiting with another grammar school) and has turned down several other opportunities. although there were some trips at the grammar the opportunities would have been far fewer...."

Apologies - but the majority of this sentence could be summer up with: "we are able to afford to send my son on all these trips"....! A grammar school - which is a state school in terms of funding - has to restrict the number of whizzy opportunities it offers to those that are required by the curriculum and a few choice others, in order to widen participation as much as possible. For the curriculum required ones, they use the limited funds they have to ensure that as many people as possible can participate...this may mean having to charge slightly more per child to recoup some funds to assist others - private schools have the luxury of knowing that the majority of students can afford to contribute in some form or another and can offer a wider range.

Choose a school that suits your child's interests and future choices - this has always been true at 11+ and is true for 6th Form - it is also true for University - people get hung up about Oxbridge or Russell Group but sometimes the best courses for them are run at a less "in your face" institution. Just because a school looks like the "right" school on paper, it may be completely wrong for your child.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:05 am 
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The list of activities and care offered by this private school is very similar to those offered at my sons' state grammar.

I don't think this is a question about state vs private, it is about whether a child should move schools at 16. The answer in some cases will be yes and in others it will be no. Some parents see Oxbridge entry as the be-all and end-all of a school's worth, and if that is the case then it is probably best to ensure your child, who one assumes will play along with this parental ambition, is in a school where they hold a similar view - this is likely to be a private school. I felt rather strongly that the decision to stay in a school for sixth form should not be what I called 'a passive one' and encouraged my children to look at what else was around - I feel 16 is old enough to take this decision whereas I feel 11 is not and they didn't get a choice then, at least not in any meaningful way. However, their choice of sixth form was confined to the state sector I am afraid - not everyone is wealthy enough to offer this kind of thing; nor actually did we feel it was necessary even if we could, as the state provision here is perfectly adequate and we as parents have no Oxbridge ambitions for our children.

In short, you can't generalise, but for those with lots of disposable cash and perhaps a desire to milk the best of both systems, maybe it is worth a punt (though remember that universities are supposed to rather like state schools these days as taking from them improves their access figures). If you are rich enough to offer a choice and feel your child would be happier at another school, and they agree with you, then go for it.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:19 am 
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In my experience some parents feel that their DC might do better in another school for 6th form without really considering whether or not it is really going to make a difference.

OP - you have opted for grammar over private. Be happy with your decision. At this stage it is probably wise to assume your DD will be there until the end of Year 13; she is only 11 - you can't make decisions now based on what might or might not be.

Let your DD enjoy the fact that she is going to her chosen school rather than have a parent who is wavering and is unsure whether or not it is the right decision. I don't know the school personally - I know your rejected place very well - but maybe you and she could explore what her experience will be, come September.

If she wishes it, there will be the option to move schools for 6th form. Keep that in the back of your mind, not the front.

Your DD has done well. Enjoy DAO. All the best.


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