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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:10 am 
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Hi,

I would like to know if anyone knows if there are any restrictions in what Primary a child comes from. DD is currently in Year 4 in a foreign embassy-run school in London. Most lessons are done in the foreign language, but English Literacy is taught 1 or 2 hours every day. They don't do SATs, they don't follow the English curriculum, and they don't evaluate performance with "levels".

I am very happy with the school, they teach maths at a higher level than the standard state school, and learning the foreign language is helpful as it could become a gcse option later.

I am looking at Grammar & Independent schools in reasonable distance from west London. I would not want DD to be at a disadvantage because she is coming from a different school (ie not state/private), but if needed I will have to move her at the start of Year 5 so that she has time to settle down.

Any thoughts on this would be much appreciated, thanks!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:30 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
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the senior schools will not mind what school she comes from - state / primary / foreign run embassy or home educated..

Lots of kids will be doing high level maths at assorted schools and also high level english, doesn't sound like the maths is a problem but - the main problem you may have is ensuring that the english vocab / grammar / understanding is up to speed.. Unless you do a lot at home then 1-2 hours of english literacy at school may not be covering it.

Moving at the beginning of year 5 is not great - the exams are often v early in year 6 so not too much time to settle down - what may be better is to some DIY homework concentrating on vocab / use of words / etc etc - there are quite a few resources around haven't got a list to hand but am sure someone will!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:48 pm 
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Considering some children are home schooled, I don't think it will matter. As long as your child passes the appropriate school entrance exam, then that should be good enough for the school. Good luck! :D


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:27 pm 
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hermanmunster & Pumpkin Pie thanks for your responses.

I started private tuition for literacy from the begining of Year 4. DD's first language is English, she attended the local state school since nursery and moved over to the current school last year.

I have read in this forum about a head teacher's report, this is the main area of concern for me, as this school won't be able to provide the levels for each subject.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:44 am
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Location: Reading
you would only need things like that for an appeal. If she gets the right score in the exam then it doesn't matter where she came from.
My DD's school does not do SATS so we would have had to do something else in the case of an appeal but thankfully it wasn't needed


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:38 pm 
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Reading Mum wrote:
you would only need things like that for an appeal.


ok! DD is doing private tuition, signed her up for a foundation course for yr4s, doing extra reading at home and working hard with cello - she is a very busy little girl... I don't want us to do all this just to discover that she cannot gain entry because has not been following the English curriculm!!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:42 pm 
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obviously depends on exactly which schools you are looking at but a great many of the year 6 entrance exams (particularly in the state sector) are not related to the primary school national curriculum


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:31 pm 
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We were in a similar position though the primary school in question was actually overseas, not national curriculum and not in English. We didn't do grammar entrance exams but did do indy exams.

Interesting that maths is good. In our case the curriculum was behind national curriculum but this may have been because wiht later continental school starting age my daughter was only in year 5 (going straight into year 7 in the UK system). I 'diy'ed maths. English obviously is potentially an issue even though my child was an avid reader (in both languages). I felt less confident of tutoring that as it's mcuh less clear to me what is being sought (maths questions are obviously rihgt or wrong and its obvious what is being tested). We found a good tutor who took her for an hour a week in the term before the indy exams (maybe 10 lessons). She learnt a lot in that time (quite a lot of homework). Even if you speak English at home and the child reading a lot I was surprised that bilingualism was enough to slow english grammar acquisition. Mine made mistakes with irregualar past tenses for a long time and possibly still makes mistakes with prepositions, clearly these two grammar componenets are not fully acquired at the age of 6/7, which is when my daughter changed systems.

The one warning I would give is look carefully at the requirements for any indies that you plan to apply for. Some have science papers. These may well be a non-starter if not following the national curriculum.

That said educationally I would never miss the language learning opportunity. It's not just the first foreign language - the others will come more quickly, though you may find that your child will be too far ahead to gain anything from secondary school language teaching in their first foreign language (mine focused on her second and has subsequently taken on a third). Beware though, bilingualism at 11 will not be retained unless you have a serious strategy (outside school) both to keep the language acquired and to go on building on the existing foundations to acquire the more complex language required to express abstract ideas. In French for instance an 11 year old will not have learnt all the literary tenses.

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