A nice carefree primary time would not get you into any state or private selective around here. My dd's worked at primary school and are now reaping the rewards. They have opportunities available to them that do not exist in our local state schools. Many of their classmates who laughed at them at the time are not laughing now. If you spend seven years not being stretched and challenged at primary school you will emerge literally years behind your cohort. I applaud the OP for having a strategy. I had one and have one still! DG
Well OK final word then - my children gained access to what are called 'superselective' grammar schools here after not even seven years of not
being stretched and challenged as we took them out to travel for a year and 2 of them started school late as well. The school my DD is at is regularly in the top 5 English state schools, if you like that kind of measure, and the one my sons are at not far behind. The intake is roughly 5% here. DD gained a clean run of top grade GCSEs and AS levels and is not 'literally years behind her cohort'. The only thing anyone ever laughed at me for (or rather, took pity on my children for) was not being stretched and challenged when they were tiny, but being allowed to run free, away from school. No one is laughing at mine now either, and some of my detractors now say that they wish they had done the same.
We are happily all different; there are many ways to skin a cat/raise a child, and I absolutely do not buy into the argument that small children must be challenged at all times in order to get a good education. Inner resources beat the swankiest school provision hands down, every single time.
OP - I hope you get some other views now to help with the decision you have to make. Best of luck.
Yes of course we are all different, and maybe both sides of this debate are generalising too much. There are a few children who get through highly rigorous selection tests at 11 from poor primary schools (meaning ones that don't teach them very much at all) and from non-graduate family backgrounds. But these children are few and far between I would have thought.
Mostly these tough tests are passed by children who have had a good primary school education and / or lots of time talking and doing things with well educated parents.
Going to a not very good primary school can make a huge difference. OFSTED reports are not the be all and end all in assessing this either - some relaxed looking primaries are teaching a lot more than others that provide something that looks superficially thorough but isn't. My children's primary school got "good" a few years back but the maths and english (and most other things) teaching is hideous. It doesn't tick any of the boxes of fun, creative, independent, child-centred or "challenging", rigorous etc. Children barely ever are in the "zone of proximal development".
I don't remember everything people have said on here (fortunately) but didn't you say at one time Amber that your DD got level 4s at primary? Did she get straight to a superselective at 11 with this?
I know children who have been very well served by their primaries and children who haven't - similar levels of intelligence. It can even happen within the same primary - and not always because of reasons internal to the child.