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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:54 pm 
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Hello, I am new to this forum and having come from a completely different school system - to the whole 11+ stress.

My daughter is currently in Year 5 at a North London prep school and I am now going through the awful 11+ preparation process.

As my daughter is in a highly academic independent school with very ambitious kids (and parents), they are all focused on the highly selective North London grammars and independent schools (where my understanding is the entrance exams are even more challenging!). My daughter is keeping up fine in her insanely pushy school, but is not one of the super-bright academic kids.

She wants to sit most of the grammar and independent school exams (to keep up with her friends who are all discussing schools at the moment) and I got her tutoring to at least give her a fair chance at the tests.

However, given that she is not an academic genius, I realise that her chances of getting into one of the super-selective grammar or independent schools are very slim. Although I am happy to let her sit all the tests she wants, I am already panicking how this amount of (potential) rejection will affect her.

I am therefore looking at schools that are less selective in their intake. Can anyone offer any advice? I have heard Mount House are non-selective and we absolutely loved the school. Are there any others anyone could recommend?

I would prefer a co-ed school, but am also open to all-girls schools. I just want the school to be a nice friendly environment for my daughter rather than an awful pressure-cooker.

Any help or advice is much appreciated.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:00 pm 
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Welcome to the forum.

I think it is sometimes harder to get into the state grammar schools than the independents, they certainly have a lot more people sitting the tests.
Are you looking at exclusively independent schools for your back ups? If so, you might be better off in the Independent Schools section - I can move your post if you would like me to?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:01 pm 
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Welcome - I am going to ask mods to move this to the independent section of the forum as you may get more help!

(But also wanted to say: "I just want the school to be a nice friendly environment for my daughter rather than an awful pressure-cooker."....this! Please hold onto this....!!)

(crossed with scary!!)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:10 pm 
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Location: london
With reference to indies it might be helpful to give more of a steer as to where you are in North London, ie where could your DC easily get to?
The grammars and indies are generally very selective but there are exceptions. Also, depending on where you live, do not discount some excellent non grammar state options in North London.
As Scarymum said, let us now if you want this moved to the indie section.

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mad?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:11 pm 
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Thank you! I appreciate moving the thread to a more appropriate place.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:12 pm 
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mad? wrote:
With reference to indies it might be helpful to give more of a steer as to where you are in North London, ie where could your DC easily get to?
The grammars and indies are generally very selective but there are exceptions. Also, depending on where you live, do not discount some excellent non grammar state options in North London.
As Scarymum said, let us now if you want this moved to the indie section.


We are in Haringey and our two closest schools are Woodside and St. Thomas More - both outstanding rated and I would not be at all unhappy for her to go to either, but my daughter did not even want to go to the open days. She went to the Greig Academy open day and hated it (for whatever reason).

I think it's her friends talking about all the selective schools that makes her think that unless she passes an entrance exam - she has somehow failed.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:22 pm 
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Indies like to think that they are very hard to get into but as someone suggested earlier, they can often be easier than state selective and the exam is often taken as a back up and then the places not taken up. The school may either significantly over offer as they know that many will not take up the places or take quite a few off waiting lists.
Very hard to know what to do as it can be very disheartening if friends are being offered places and you aren't - what has school said about suitable places?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:22 pm 
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I think sometimes we have to take the lead as adults. I do believe that at 10 they are too young to make a rational decision. Of course you don't want to send them somewhere they hate on sight, but they can't understand all the nuances (travel, proximity to home etc etc). One of my sons wanted to go to a particular school because the food tech department served up good snacks on the open evening.
Good for you to want a school she will be happy in, and not a pressure cooker environment. School is about so much more than exam results.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:23 pm 
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Location: Herts
The North London Grammars are a lot harder to get into than any of the independent schools.

Your dd may be able to get into many more of the independent schools than you might think.

What is the opinion of your tutor on this? I expect you would have chosen a tutor with experience in the school your dd is interested in.

You must have had some focus previously or your daughter would not have got a place at her highly academic prep school.

Have you met with the school for advice? After all this is a lot of what you have been paying for all these years.

Both the school and your tutor should know your dd well enough to be able to give you an idea of what schools she can get into.

The North London consortium has a non English and maths (CEM) exam that was supposed to be online but is still on paper.

You are lucky to have a dd who wants to succeed. I know many parents who are in despair about their dcs lack of ambition and drive.

Aldenham is another more accessible school that I would recommend.DG


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:48 pm 
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Daogroupie wrote:
The North London Grammars are a lot harder to get into than any of the independent schools.

Your dd may be able to get into many more of the independent schools than you might think.

What is the opinion of your tutor on this? I expect you would have chosen a tutor with experience in the school your dd is interested in.

You must have had some focus previously or your daughter would not have got a place at her highly academic prep school.

Have you met with the school for advice? After all this is a lot of what you have been paying for all these years.

Both the school and your tutor should know your dd well enough to be able to give you an idea of what schools she can get into.

The North London consortium has a non English and maths (CEM) exam that was supposed to be online but is still on paper.

You are lucky to have a dd who wants to succeed. I know many parents who are in despair about their dcs lack of ambition and drive.

Aldenham is another more accessible school that I would recommend.DG


Thank you! Aldenham is definitely one I want to have a look at. Unfortunately, their open day clashed with Highgate, so we will have to visit it another day.

I got the two(!) tutors apparently most of her class go to. She goes to a small group session at one of them for two hours once a week and the other comes to our house for a 1-2-1 session again once a week for two hours. I am scared to cancel either, as they both know each other and are apparently over-subscribed and very touchy. As ridiculous as this sounds... She has also started the Explore learning 11+ and creative writing courses. I wanted to cancel at least Explore Learning (mainly for financial reasons and to give her a break!) but she wants to continue with it.

Her tutors say she is bright and quite good at maths, NVB and VB, but her English grammar and spelling are awful (in my personal opinion).

We are having a meeting with the Headmistress in March 2020, but she has already indicated that although I should let my daughter sit all the super-selective exams, she is more likely to get into the less selective schools. She has recommended numerous independent schools to us, but many of them are all-girls schools, which I would rather avoid.

Here is a list I have compiled (based on recommendations from the Head of her prep and my own research)... Any thoughts are highly appreciated!

The highly academic schools my daughter wants to sit but is unlikely to pass:

1. Latymer
2. Henrietta Barnet (I don't even know if there is any point sitting this one and it's an all-girls school, but it is one she wants)
3. Habs Girls
4. Highgate

The independent schools she might have a better chance of getting into:

1. Mount House
2. Aldenham
3. Northbridge House
4. Princess Helena (recommendation from the Head at her school)

We are also looking at:

1. Queenswood
2. St Christopher
3. Kew House
4. Bales College
5. Prince Gardens Prep School (a new school as I understand it)
6. Royal Alexandra and Albert School (because my daughter is quite serious about her horse riding and I think this school offered it, but it's mostly a boarding school so a real long shot)

P.S. I also forgot to mention Mill Hill County High School and North London Grammar. I don't know about North London Grammar, but I have heard that the Mill Hill County High School exam is easier to prepare for (although they only offer 24 places!)


Last edited by XelaM on Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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