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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 5:18 pm 
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Quandary time. DS2 has managed to get a place at CLSB at 10+ (we were using it as a mock for DAO) and don't know whether to take it or pass and take our chance in sept. Anyone experienced this situation before?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 5:44 pm 
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You can do both. Take the place. Spend Y6 there and apply for DAO. Then if you don't get into DAO you can stay on at City. I know a student in Y6 there now who has a provisional place at Westminster and will move. He sat the 10 plus, took the place but only planning to stay until he can move to Westminster. I would point out that it will be a lot harder to get into DAO then City 10+ plus so please don't give up the place and then not get into DAO. I know a student who sat 10 plus and will be taking the slot and his parents are keen to meet other students starting in Sept so pm me if you are interested. DG


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:32 am 
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Daogroupie wrote:
You can do both. Take the place. Spend Y6 there and apply for DAO. Then if you don't get into DAO you can stay on at City. I know a student in Y6 there now who has a provisional place at Westminster and will move. He sat the 10 plus, took the place but only planning to stay until he can move to Westminster.
I am thinking that there are some ten year olds who would find two changes of school in two years difficult and unsettling. Personally I wouldn't countenance such a thing- children are still little people and can't necessarily be moved around in such an obviously pragmatic manner - there might be unforeseen consequences of this. If you like the school and can see him staying on there, then move him now. If not, I would be considering very carefully indeed whether to change your original strategy.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:34 am 
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Over 1,000 students sit for 65 places at DAO so having a strategy that is centred around gaining a place there would be unwise. You need a backup plan. Dc's are resilient creatures. My dd's are in Y9 and Y10 at DAO and there has been a steady stream of students joining their year from other schools as students leave to move countries or transfer to music or drama school. I know a student who did just half a term of Y7 at another school before getting a place. I expect the City 10 plus has several students who are planning to move onto other schools and City is probably gambling that the school will be able to secure them there. Students who win a 10 plus place at City have probably outgrown their primary school anyway. I constantly have students telling me that they are not being challenged enough at primary school. If City girls or any other selective school had had a 10 plus opportunity we would have certainly gone for it. Both my dd's who went into Y6 on 5a's were expected to spend their year partnered with students who were working at below a Level 4. My dd's go to school to learn, not teach. DG


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:02 am 
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Well that is a different point entirely. I suppose if one felt that the only way one's child was going to be excused the teaching of other children to the detriment of their own school experience was to pay for them to spend a year in another school, and one had the money, then that is what one would do.

I was different. I sent my children to a very mixed state primary school so that they could have a nice carefree primary school time. I wasn't bothered about levels or stretching or challenging, for me walking to school, having long evenings to play outside etc were the most important things in a primary school.

A backup plan for me in this scenario would be an alternative school to DAO for year 7, should the DC not gain admission, rather than moving schools twice, unless City was now the favoured school.

My point was only that 'strategies' are all very well for planning wars or assaults on the stock market. I am not sure they always transfer so well to the world of child care. That's all. :D

What do others think? No need for us to polarise this.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:34 am 
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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


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:43 am 
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Daogroupie wrote:
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.
OAO.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:10 am 
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"If you spend seven years not being stretched and challenged at primary school you will emerge literally years behind your cohort."

I can see that Amber has already replied but I will put my two cents in as well...I'm afraid this isn't always true DG and I think it is slightly disingenuous of you to state it as if it is fact. Both my boys went/go to a state primary, from reception, that has steadily got worse in the time they have been there. The head has recently been removed after three consecutive years of very poor Ofsted inspections with no improvements shown at each 3 month/12 month re-inspection. One of the major failings has been the constant inability of the school to challenge the most intelligent children.

Both my boys are in that category. One left with L6 Maths and a L6 exam result in English adjusted to a top Level 5 by TA. The other is on course for a L6 Maths and is the only child in the school ever that the teacher is considering a TA of Level 6 English. So bright but not actually being challenged by the school - and yes, they were doing the "helping the other children" thing too. We certainly don't sit at home with them giving them workbooks etc - we left them to it - they aren't being challenged particularly - and, yes, it's not ideal but, they are achieving easily and there is more to primary life than just nose to the grindstone, in my opinion.

But they have both attained and achieved places at a super-selective GS and one was offered a 100% scholarship at a prestigious boys indie because he "surpassed all expectation and blew them away with his performance on the entrance exam and scholarship interview" (the head's words not mine) and a 50% scholarship at another (we didn't enter the second son for indies as we knew he has a place at the GS). They weren't challenged by the school but they are both "naturally bright" and inquisitive - and I use the term deliberately as I know you don't believe in this but assume that only hard work will achieve results. They used time outside school to explore the world and question and investigate, not in a structured lesson type way but in the carefree happy way that children should do! We are not a museum visiting family and a no TV type family - we are the usual slightly dysfunctional, constantly broke, weekend sport loving "normals" who just get on with life.

My boys were not challenged by their school for 7 years and the school admits to this failing, and, yet, they have remained firmly ahead of their cohort. And we are not the only ones.

For the OP, if you are going to move your son at 10+ then why not move him to stay in that school? It appears to be very good and fits your criteria and once he has settled there he may very well not want to move anyway. Is the other school you are considering really that much better that if you got a place he would achieve and settle and enjoy life that much more in it?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:14 am 
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Sounds like it depends on the nature of the child and their situation in current school.

My 2 DDs are very bright and had/are having year 6 in two different primary schools. One moved mid-year 3 due to relocation and against my predictions (she is a bit shy) has thrived on moving. Her school suddenly improved with a new head and she loves aiming high for the SATS which dominate state year 6 like it or not.

I would happily have moved either of them in the way the OP describes with hindsight. They both enjoy school more and are generally happier when challenged-since school makes them sit and work on 3Rs for hours every day, it's important for their happiness that the work is not repetitive and boring more-of-the-same.


I agree that self-directed exploration and play is very valuable, but most schools don't follow that philosophy after nursery/reception. We could not afford a Steiner or Montessori private school which might allow such freedom, and DD2 likes formal lessons and structure.

So, OP what is year 6 like in your current school? How would the experience compare to CLSB Y6? What is your DS like? Does he complain work is too easy or too hard, or is he more interested in other aspects of life? Is he shy, outgoing, in-between?

And if you can send him to CLSB, but later got a DAO place, is it really worth moving?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:54 am 
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Amber wrote:
Daogroupie wrote:
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.
OAO.


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.


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