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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:34 am 
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I've noticed that several of the independant schools' application forms provide no opportunity to provide any information about interests or achievements and apparently rely upon this to be provided exclusively via the school reference. See http://www.caterhamschool.co.uk/assets/docs/admissions/application-form/Day%20Application%20Form.pdf, for example.

Given that in many cases the school might not even be aware of all the child's interests and achievements (I'm obviously thinking of those which occur outside school), would sending a covering letter along with the application form be appropriate? Or do they simply not care about such things?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:38 am 
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maybe best to chat to the child's current head about what they do out of school / achievements etc - they may be grateful for the info


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:57 am 
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+1...although I would actually bullet point in writing everything your child does out of school, that you think the independent school would be interested in (particularly anything that is relevant to the strengths of the school), and arrange to see the head of your current school to tell them you are applying to such and such school and you thought they might find the bullet pointed list helpful, and give them a copy.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:20 pm 
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I always did a concise covering form, where I mainly put across why we though our child would be a good fit to the school.

But, as you've used Caterham as an example, they send out an additional information form prior to the interviews in November which covers this, and of course they do interview every applicant. I think we had to provide similar information for each independent school we applied for, though at different times.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 5:13 pm 
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DS's prep asked us to provide a write-up which they attached to their reference.
In the first instance, ask your current school what they do.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 9:46 pm 
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As KCG said.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 4:42 pm 
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Location: Petts Wood, Bromley, Kent
When we applied, the application form was just the start of the process. They sent a form later on asking about interests etc. All schools will be different so do speak with the admissions team.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 5:44 pm 
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Some of the requests for references to primary school heads are just A4 questionnaires though. They're not expecting eloquent character descriptions. They want to know whether fees are up to date, SEN issues and possibly standard test scores. Have a chat with your head if you want, but recently many senior schools don't even ask for a reference from state schools (who have better things to do), and instead ask to see copies of the school report to parents. Agree with Pettswood - the registration form is just the start of a possibly lengthy process.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:12 am 
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Thanks for all the advice. Given that we're not 100% sure of the nature of the reference our DD's current school will provide (it's a "through" independent school - i.e. junior and senior - so it's not really going to be in their interests to "market" her to potential competitor schools) we've decided to include a brief (mostly bullet-point) covering letter with the application to act as a "highlight reel" for her accomplishments both within school and without.

If the application form leads to other requests for more detailed information, that that's fine - but we don't want to risk a potential new school not being aware of awards etc. to which we'd like to draw their attention at the outset.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:42 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:43 pm
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Goodheart wrote:
Thanks for all the advice. Given that we're not 100% sure of the nature of the reference our DD's current school will provide (it's a "through" independent school - i.e. junior and senior - so it's not really going to be in their interests to "market" her to potential competitor schools) we've decided to include a brief (mostly bullet-point) covering letter with the application to act as a "highlight reel" for her accomplishments both within school and without.

If the application form leads to other requests for more detailed information, that that's fine - but we don't want to risk a potential new school not being aware of awards etc. to which we'd like to draw their attention at the outset.


That is a good idea if the school does not have a strong motivation to market the child's case.


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