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PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2021 10:43 pm 
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Hello ElevenPlus Community
I am a parent to three children. My eldest boy is in an independent and did his 11+ in 2019. My middle daughter has her exams in 2022/23 for entry in year 7 in 2023 and my youngest boy is age 7. They are both at a local state primary.

For my daughter, I am hoping she will be able to win a place at the Henrietta Barnett School (HBS). Whilst she is quite capable, she could just have a bad day, on the day and the dream is over. We have a safe back up in a local girls grammar school (need 78% score to get in) but the two don’t really compare.

I hope this thread can be a support for all those also aspiring for HBS 2023 entry (exams in Sep and Oct 2022). Ultimately there will only be 100 of us lucky enough to join the club that year. Apparently there are 3000 trying to earn/win a spot but if you know how it works, probably only a quarter genuinely want it as a first choice - many use the exam as a free mock test either for another school or just simply to get back at their underperforming child and to wake them up to exam pressure, early on.

From what I know, there is no catchment and people all over London and beyond apply. The first exam is sat by all in September and consists of the typical GL style 2 hour, multiple choice exam on english, verbal and non verbal reasoning (and maths?). This would be all that is usually expected for a grammar school entrance exam and the offers are made ranking each child’s score and usually for around 150-180 places. HBS however, selects only the highest 300 scores (lowest score is probably 85% ?) and then invites them back for round 2 a month later in October and consists of written comprehension and creative writing for English and more advanced maths. They only have 100 places (so 1 in 30 sitting the first stage test gets a place). Of the 300 called back, many of these would not accept a place if offered as they will have a preference for another school and so chances of a place are much more realistic if through to this stage. The stage 2 test is likened to the independent school tests which are taken a few months later in January. So to get in here, you can’t just master one kind of test - you need to master the grammar school tests and the independent school tests!

For those that have recently gone through the tests for HBS ..... Have things changed because of covid?

Let’s support one another on this journey we are embarking upon for the next 12-18 months, all the way to the sep/oct 2022 tests, the offers and the waiting list places - for 2023 entry. Try and enjoy the ride. Make learning fun.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2021 8:34 am 
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 6:27 pm
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Location: london
Parent2022/23 wrote:
From what I know, there is no catchment and people all over London and beyond apply.

Do take note of the admissions policy, particularly oversubscription category 3.
Parent2022/23 wrote:
... selects only the highest 300 scores (lowest score is probably 85% ?) and then invites them back for round 2 a month later in October
Remember the scores are standardised and so are not really percentage scores.
Parent2022/23 wrote:
Let’s support one another on this journey we are embarking upon for the next 12-18 months, all the way to the sep/oct 2022 tests, the offers and the waiting list places - for 2023 entry. Try and enjoy the ride. Make learning fun.
Good luck and wish you all the best.

_________________
mad?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2021 11:55 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:01 pm
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Location: Herts
There is no catchment for first round but is for second round.

Around about 30% of the 104 places currently go to those in the three mile catchment and this number has increased each year. Catchment applicants only have to pass the first round and sit the second round but automatically are offered a place if they apply.

First round is one hour, vr, nvr and mc english, no maths.

Many grammar schools use the same format as the second round, it is not the prerogative of private schools.

What is your local grammar school that does not compare? What format does it use for its exams?

Is there any reason you chose private for your son but are choosing state for your daughter?

DG


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2021 1:11 pm 
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Mad? and Daogroupie - thanks for the clarification.

Thankfully, despite living in Loughton, we are able to have a shot at a place at HBS. If my daughter does get a place, there is a good private bus service not far from where we live and I would drop/collect her to/from the bus stop by car.

It’s very surprising they do not test maths to get from 3000 to 300 contenders. Quite shocking actually. Maths is where my daughter makes the most “silly” mistakes but she is very good at English and reasoning. I will be preparing her to a very high standard by next September and she will be prepared for and sit the tests for all different kind of schools.

My eldest son was at Chigwell School for Year 3-6 and sat 11+ exams and did interviews for 13 schools and was offered at 10 of them (he had a bad day at Dulwich College where his computer crashed apparently and in the ISEB pre test he got 90% which was 2% off of what was needed for the second round at Westminster and St Paul’s for the circa 40 11+ places; they have many more places for 13+). He did get offered at City (scholarship), Bancroft’s (10% scholarship), Forest (maximum 50% scholarship), Highgate, Habs, UCS, QE, Wilson’s, KEGS, Ilford County. We chose to send him to City.
He had been at independents from year 3 and did not like the vibe at grammar schools. He is very sporty so is impressed by big fields etc and appreciates a good school lunch.
My daughter is at a poorly performing local state school, despite many 7+ offers, but not only do I want to save the money to spend elsewhere, she will fit well with a single sex grammar school be it HBS or Woodford County or Chelmsford County. My youngest son will ideally get in to QE and then we can move to north London.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2021 6:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:01 pm
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Location: Herts
It has always been about the English and not the Maths at HBS.

We know three of the girls who came 1st at HBS in the past 7 years and it was always about the English.

We know other girls quite poor at Maths but great at English who all secured places at HBS.

Many of the girls who clear the first round just do not have the inference skills to cope with the second round English paper at HBS.

I do not think there is one vibe at Grammar schools or private schools, there are just great schools and not so great schools.

Once you deal with a great school you really know the difference.

All your dc's are very lucky to have a parent so focused on their education even if you do let your eldest ds make decisions made on issues that most parents would feel are less important! DG

HBS has really terrible admin but for the students it is a great school and that is the most important thing.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2021 7:59 pm 
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Daogroupie,
Thanks for your reply and your kind words.
Its very surprising that the first round is just an hour and does not include maths (even though I should know this from publicly available information). I am very curious as to what the age standardised minimum score/percentage for the 300th child is? It must be very high. The ISEB pre test used by most independent schools is 2.5 hours long, computerised and adaptive. Its very demanding. Most children sit it at their posh pre schools with the teachers guiding and often do it over a couple of days or more as you can do each section in parts. My son had to go in to Westminster School and do it all in one go with a small break of 15 minutes in the middle. My daughter will be prepped for the same test and hopefully the HBS one will be much less demanding in comparison.

Re grammar vs indies, if your child has not been exposed to indies like my daughter has not been s/he will think grammars are amazing, coming from a state primary. If money was not an issue I would prefer to send her to an independent also, but unfortunately it is. Grammars would be ideal if they had smaller class sizes but as far as I am aware it is always 30 in a class? HBS is quite ethnically diverse which is great. We didn’t see this at QE and Wilson’s and Ilford County and don’t expect to see it at Woodford County. If my daughter does not get in to HBS and we have a choice between Woodford County (5 min drive) and Chelmsford County (an hour on a private bus) I wonder where we should send her? Are there any other girls grammar schools we should be applying to, considering we live in Loughton and we would be willing to put her on a private bus service, as long as the drop/collection stop is not too far from where we live (15 min drive). If a school has better results and more oxbridge offers to me that means better kids selection, better teaching and stronger historical links/reputation with oxbridge - and therefore worth the hour each way on a bus. I don’t think too much about this. It’s a good time to stick some headphones on and listen and learn.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2021 8:57 pm 
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The more selective schools get very good results because at 11 they select children who are good at exams. Those children, not surprisingly carry on being good at exams at GCSE & A level. It isn't so much about teaching or some magic ingredient at the school, it's about who they select in the first place. A bright child will do well at any school. My advice would be to send your child to a local school - you are very lucky to have local grammar schools. That way they will have time to enjoy extra curricular activities out of school & have local friends.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2021 9:57 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:01 pm
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Location: Herts
Oxford has just been voted the Number One University in the world for the 6th year in a row.

This would not be happening if admission tutors set any store at all by "historical links and reputation."

They need the top students and they are not to be found through "historical links and reputation."

Oxbridge wants the student, not the alumni and they identify them for themselves.

Take a look at my posts on Brampton Manor, securing those 55 Oxbridge places on merit alone, many the first in their family to go to University.

See also my posts on the the ISEB. It certainly is not a very demanding test compared to the first round grammar school tests but it amazes me that prep schools are allowed to split the sections over separate days while those from state schools have to do it in one go. It amazes me that private selective secondary schools meet with the Heads of Maths and English at preps and discuss the previous year's paper with them.

But the Brampton figures should tell you which way the wind is blowing.

68.6% of Oxford offers this year were to students from state schools. DG


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2021 3:59 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2020 8:23 pm
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Parent2022/23 wrote:
Daogroupie,
Thanks for your reply and your kind words.
Its very surprising that the first round is just an hour and does not include maths (even though I should know this from publicly available information). I am very curious as to what the age standardised minimum score/percentage for the 300th child is? It must be very high. The ISEB pre test used by most independent schools is 2.5 hours long, computerised and adaptive. Its very demanding. Most children sit it at their posh pre schools with the teachers guiding and often do it over a couple of days or more as you can do each section in parts. My son had to go in to Westminster School and do it all in one go with a small break of 15 minutes in the middle. My daughter will be prepped for the same test and hopefully the HBS one will be much less demanding in comparison.

Re grammar vs indies, if your child has not been exposed to indies like my daughter has not been s/he will think grammars are amazing, coming from a state primary. If money was not an issue I would prefer to send her to an independent also, but unfortunately it is. Grammars would be ideal if they had smaller class sizes but as far as I am aware it is always 30 in a class? HBS is quite ethnically diverse which is great. We didn’t see this at QE and Wilson’s and Ilford County and don’t expect to see it at Woodford County. If my daughter does not get in to HBS and we have a choice between Woodford County (5 min drive) and Chelmsford County (an hour on a private bus) I wonder where we should send her? Are there any other girls grammar schools we should be applying to, considering we live in Loughton and we would be willing to put her on a private bus service, as long as the drop/collection stop is not too far from where we live (15 min drive). If a school has better results and more oxbridge offers to me that means better kids selection, better teaching and stronger historical links/reputation with oxbridge - and therefore worth the hour each way on a bus. I don’t think too much about this. It’s a good time to stick some headphones on and listen and learn.


The question re: the age standardised score for 300th child. From a FOI somebody made recently, it appeared to be about 349, with the maximum score being 141 x 3 (ie 141 for each of English, NVR and VR).


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2021 4:11 pm 
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The score of the 300th (and last) applicant to reach the second round of HBS last year was 349.03.

So they have to go to two decimal points to identify the top 300 candidates. DG


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