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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 8:01 am 

Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
Posts: 8545
I'm considering a girls' prep school which ends at year 6; there is a senior department too but many girls leave at the end of year 6 to go on to selective indies (the senior dept is not selective) and some do the Kent 11+ at the start of year 6 and go to Kent grammars. At the moment it's the latter route I would be envisaging for my DDs.

What sort of info is standard for a prep school to supply to prospective parents to enable you to judge whether standards in year 5 / 6 are high enough to give your child a fair chance in selective entry schools? At the moment all I have is their "word" that some children go to Kent grammars, others go to selective indies (and and I don't know how selective these particular schools are), and that the majority of children would be of level 5 standard by the end of year 6 (but they don't do the real SATs I don't think).

I have seen some written work and maths work at KS1 and had a vague feeling for reading standards, but I didn't think they were "flying" relative to the state primary my children are at. But there were other aspects of the school that greatly attracted me, and the wider curriculum seemed to have a lot to offer.

The ISC report is not particularly up to date - there has been a change in leadership of the school since then. Also I find ISC reports hard to get a grip on - the language is always very positive and I don't know what a mediocre kind of report looks like relative to a superb one if you see what I mean.

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 8:21 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
Posts: 8598
One of the things that indie preps are usually keen to show you is the "leavers list" - often for several years.... will be clear who is going where and also you can then see what the "selective" indies are like and how many go to GS etc. One concern I have though with these lists can be that some poor kids seem to have done (and passed) a stream of exams..... they may well have done just as well anywhere.

Must say when I chose indie primaries I hadn't a clue about the standard :oops: just liked the atmosphere and the set-up. One very specifically made the point that it had a non selective intake at age 3 and although many did well in exams at 11, they were confident that the kids were going to the schools right for them.

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 8:30 am 

Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 9:44 am
Posts: 49
Hi mystery, I've not come across a good school (especially fee-paying ones) not proud to list leavers' destinations. Also you probably have the best idea what sort of ethos will suit your daughter. We've always found the Head and children doing the tours to be a fair indicator of if DC would be happy.

The ISC report was useful for us to list where to visit, but in the end it was down to matching your knowledge of the child to the school.

Others may be able to help with Kent schools...

Happy hunting!

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 10:07 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:38 pm
Posts: 2083
Location: Maidstone
I think its going with gut Mystery, wish there was a magic ball.

You know your child best and if you can see her there then go for it. You can read every report under the sun, have several visits, see the work but it all comes down to what is right for your child. Its also worth thinking about what you will do post 11+ if she doesnt pass the Kent Test before committing. With ISC reports you have to read between the lines and you can dig a bit from their unspoken words.

Impossible is Nothing.

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