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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 12:45 pm 
Hi

I am looking at Prep School for my son to attend (Year 3 entry in September 2008). One such school enters children for Common Entrance Exams, but not for KS2 SATS.

My questions is, will such a school that follows a Common Entrance11+ curriculum provide a stretching English and Mathematics syllabuses that will prepare my son for 11+ Grammar Scool entrance examinations.

In short which is harder for pupils, Common Entrance or KS2?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 2:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 11:55 am
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My daughters went to a school that also boasted it prepared kids for the Common Entrance and did not do SATS, in their case they were partly taught by unqualified teachers and ended up years behind. They did four languages and but were not taught long multiplication or subtraction til year 6. If they had been taught "KS2" I would have realised sooner. My elder daughter did well in exams for the private schools but failed to get into a grammar school partly because she was completely unfamiliar with KS2 English and maths as taught in state schools. The bespoke exams in the grammar school she applied to were based on KS2.

I would check the school's claims carefully - what are the destination schools of the leavers? Is there a good mix of Grammar and competitive independent? The schools normally give out this information. Some schools do both KS2 exams and the Common Entrance.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 5:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:30 pm
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Why not go for a state school and spend the money on some specific 11+ coaching?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 11:07 am 
Sorry I do not know the specific answer to your question either. I do know that the "syllabuses" are different. Also, the score required to get into different independent schools varies. So although the entrance may be "common" in some way (not sure what) the standards required to get into particular schools varies enormously. For example, I can think of a Kent school which selects using the Common Entrance, but their percentage A*/A at GCSE is very low; therefore their cut-off point for entry is likely to be pretty low too.

I guess you need to find out as much as possible about the selection criteria and exams for the specific secondary schools you are interested in, and then about the primary / prep school's success at getting children into those schools, and the sort of exam preparation they do for the entrance. Even at the prep school you could find that a lot of it is done by parents paying for extra coaching outside the school; so Katel's suggestion is pertinent.

Good luck.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 12:02 pm 
Is your ideal situation for your child to go to State Grammar at 11 or to continue with Private education post 11? What's your preference?
Therein may lie your answer...
Private schools that finish at eleven years old coach very well for Grammar Schools and many are successful at 11+.
If however, the Private school is 3 to 18 yrs then I have heard from family and friends these schools are not so keen on children transferring away at 11 to go to State Grammar. It's just what I've heard from family and friends. Makes you think... Well versed in Latin from 9 yrs old but unable to do long multiplication until year 6. Undoubtedly a fantastic education - but the benefits revealing themselves at 18 and not 11 perhaps?


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