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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 5:27 pm 
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I understand that the Head of Habs girls urged parents to go on holiday over the summer and not prepare for the Entrance exam tests in January.

This was in the speech at Open day.

I am interested to know if any forum member managed to get any further clarification from her after the speech as there were no questions from the floor after the speech. DG


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:37 pm 
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Daogroupie wrote:
I understand that the Head of Habs girls urged parents to go on holiday over the summer and not prepare for the Entrance exam tests in January.

This was in the speech at Open day.

I am interested to know if any forum member managed to get any further clarification from her after the speech as there were no questions from the floor after the speech. DG


What kind of 'clarification' would be needed, if that is an accurate report of what she said?

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 8:26 pm 
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I suppose the Head's comments imply that they are getting very bored of children who are very obviously over tutored.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:06 pm 
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piggys wrote:
I suppose the Head's comments imply that they are getting very bored of children who are very obviously over tutored.


They could turn the selection process on its head - interview every applicant first, on a random day somewhere between registration and exam. Then only invite the ones who appear promising at interview to sit the written exam. Apparently the interview in the indie selection process is there to weed out the over-tutored? Not, of course, that there is actually any such thing as being over-tutored; those kids that we keep hearing of every time someone timorously suggests that perhaps their DC might actually have a holiday / only do a few odd half hours here and there are probably doing at least one practice paper every day from July to January because they really, really enjoy that kind of thing :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:26 pm 
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Habs have over 600 girls apply so it would be a huge job to interview them all. But there are some schools who interview first.

The clarification I was seeking was did she just mean have a long summer off or did she mean don't prepare at all? Was it about tutoring specifically or preparing generally? I do not think this was clear. Parents I know queued after the speech to ask about this but the queue was too long so they gave up. DG


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:27 am 
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I can imagine one of the questions asked at interview being "Now then, what did you do over the summer?"

It's not that I am, or have have a girl at Habs, nor that I expect that school would want to "catch anyone out" as such, but I do suspect that given that independent schools have free reign to select any of the children who apply, then they might be patricularly interested in children with great natural ability, evident potential and broad interests. i.e. not narrowly focussed on passing the 11/13+ (and that would most likely be a result of the parents' focus), which has its limitations in determining what I have imagined to be their target set.

Mostly speculation of course. That is, apart from a little experience.

It's all a sorting process isn't it, and not only on the academic level, but social and economic too.

It would be great if all bright children excelled in the exams without too much tuition or preparation, but of course some bright children don't pass, either because they were ill-prepared for the exam or that they didn't even get to take the exam.
On the other hand, some "less-able" children will get in due to heavy tutoring and practice and conditioning. Maybe they will continue to need these additional interventions too.
But the sotring goes on long after school years doesn't it. The only problem is when the result ends up as square pegs in round holes that won't budge!


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:33 am 
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I don't suppose it matters one jot what the Head of HABS said or meant. Parents and tutors of girls who are interested in targeting there will continue to spout the mantra that you have to work, work, work to get there and if you take a holiday you haven't got a hope etc etc as people have been preparing since they were in the womb.... Not true of course but unless, as TM suggests, they completely shake up the admissions process, then it will continue to be....


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 5:58 pm 
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We all have an idea of what we would do if we were in sole charge of an eleven plus selection process. Of course we do.

But the process is what it is and we are where we are. So here’s a real life story about a Head who has, so far, been a Deputy Head or Head of four famous private and state selective schools in Southern England.

Parents and prospective parents at their schools have loved their speeches, especially their Open Day speeches. They used to say that tutoring wasn’t necessary and that the best preparation was, wait for it, running around in the sunshine during the summer vacation after Year 5 and enjoying a relaxing, traditional Christmas break at home with the family just before the January entrance exams in Year 6. … Guess what? Their own kids were heavily tutored from Year 3 onwards, during term time and throughout each summer vacation. How do we know? Well, we have two family friends whose kids were in the same primary classes and the same tuition groups.

Nevertheless, let’s be kind and suggest that the Head of Habs Girls is concerned for the welfare of children and meant only that it is healthiest for girls to have a good break. This is especially the case in the build up to what is a tough challenge for any ten or eleven year old. She might even have implied that this will, if anything, make the candidate stronger in the coming January.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 6:31 am 
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Very interesting JB. Was perhaps one of the new Headships a move because one of the dcs did not actually get a place elsewhere and one was created for the dc of the new Head? DG


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