11 Plus Exams Forum

St Columba's St Albans
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Author:  Soup Dragon [ Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:40 pm ]
Post subject:  St Columba's St Albans

Has anyone's son sat the St Columba's College entrance exam and could give me an idea on how difficult it is? I don't want him to sit it and fail and yet I'm having second thoughts anyway. Is it over-subscribed? My son has dyslexia and has received good support at primary - what is their SEN support like?

Son is in good state primary and will be sitting entrance exam for 11+ St Columba's, although I'm beginning to have second thoughts on a) Sending him to an all boys school
b) Catholic school when I'm not a catholic
c) Moving him from state to private when most of his class will go together to our good local comprehensive.
d) Is it really worth £16,000 per year plus extras (which will be a real struggle for us) and will he fit in, coming from our different financial and social background? Are private schools just an artificial "bubble"?

As you can tell, I'm having a huge secondary school wobble!

Author:  Daogroupie [ Wed Oct 16, 2019 1:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: St Columba's St Albans

What are your reasons for considering this school?

As you rightly comment what are you actually gaining for your money?

Have you arranged a meeting with their SEN department to check out what they have to offer?

You need to compare GCSE and A level results with your local comp to see if they are stronger.

In your shoes I would be sending my dc to the local comp with their friends. DG

Author:  loobylou [ Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: St Columba's St Albans

I don't have inside knowledge about St Columba's but I've been told the exam is really to ensure no one is below average ability on admission to the school. The friends I have who applied there have bright boys who came close to doing well enough for places at the local state selectives.
Only one actually went there (other went to a more academic indie) and he did extremely well at GCSE (then leaving for sixth form). However his siblings went to the good local comprehensive (there were reasons for the choices his parents made) and achieved almost exactly the same results.
Obviously no one can predict how he would have done at a different school and he was very happy there. I'm not sure what you'd be paying for though unless you know that the school would be best able to manage your particular child's needs.

Author:  Soup Dragon [ Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: St Columba's St Albans

Thanks for replying. The only reason we are considering St Columba's is smaller class sizes and so more personal attention, he's average ability, but does need a bit of a push to achieve, and doesn't enjoy school, he'd rather be playing football as he is very sporty. But we could get a lot of extra 1:1 tuition and have plenty of change from £16,000 + per year.

Author:  Daogroupie [ Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: St Columba's St Albans

Absolutely. Lots and lots of focused one to one support geared towards keeping him interested.

Cherry pick support at key times. DG

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