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Re: 7+ exams and selective schools generally

by Solmabe » Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:33 pm

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Re: 7+ exams and selective schools generally

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Re: 7+ exams and selective schools generally

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Re: 7+ exams and selective schools generally

by DulwichMum2019 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:11 am

Mimita, thank you for your reply. We are going to carry on preparing for the 7+ and if my daughter gets in, we can decide whether to send her to one of the selective schools, to a slightly less selective private school or to a state school for now (with a view to moving to a private school when she is a bit older).

I am sure your son will love Dulwich College. We drive past it almost every day, and even the grounds and the buildings are absolutely magnificent :)

Re: 7+ exams and selective schools generally

by Mimita » Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:34 pm

DulwichMum, I agree that in the early years a very bright child will probably do just as well in a state school as in an independent school. This is why I think if paying fees is a stretch, save the money for secondary school. As children get older, the gap between bright state school children and those privately educated (especially those in the top schools) widens. The breadth of the independent schools' curriculum, coupled with the huge numbers of activities outside the classroom means that you really will get value for money if your child is at JAGS. The league tables and the social mobility studies demonstrate this. However, a savvy parent can give their child a pretty fabulous education without spending much money. A friend whose daughter is now at Oxbridge only paid fees for Years 7-11. She went to a top London girls day school and left after her GCSEs. She then went to the local college.
The parents who feel the need to tutor their children through school are those who feel they must shoehorn their children into a name school as if at these schools you automatically get given A*s without doing any work. Their children then get into these highly academic schools and then promptly find themselves unable to keep up with the pace of the super bright.

Re: 7+ exams and selective schools generally

by DulwichMum2019 » Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:11 pm

Thank you Mimita and Exceptional Academics for your replies.

Mimita, the fact that your son has done so well at state school and has got into DC with just a couple of months' preparation means that he would most probably have done amazingly well at any school. Sounds compeletely awful that he was bullied at his current school though :(

I think Dulwich, Alley's and JAPS are all equally selective, so it's a credit to him and to you that he got in!

The 20k fees are a lot though. Having been through the private 'feeder school', I do think it was good, but almost all of the children who got into the selective schools were tutored in addition to going to school.

I also spoke to some parents of children currently at JAPS/ Alleyn's and apprently many of the parents tutor their children throughout school to make sure they stay top of the class/ do well for the 'internal' 7+/ 11+ exams... Which makes me wonder how much the good academic results are a credit to the school and how much they are down to the parents and the children... 

My daughter does know that the entrance exams are a test, and she has already sat the exam and got into another very selective school in SW London on an occassional vacancy. I am not sure we can go there though, as it would take almost an hour every morning to get to school.

If anyone else has any thoughts on the 7+ and the benefit of selective over state/ non-selective private schools, I would welcome them :)

I wonder whether going into a very good state school at 11 (say Graveney) would be just as good as say being at Alleyn's....

Thank you


Re: 7+ exams and selective schools generally

by ExceptionalAcademics » Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:26 am

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Re: 7+ exams and selective schools generally

by Mimita » Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:40 am

My son will start at Dulwich College Junior in September. He is currently in a state school. He decided at the end of Year 1 that he wanted to move schools because he had had enough of being bullied (yes the words of a 5 year old after 2 academic years, but I digress). I only registered him for Dulwich because we were offered the possibility of places at other prep schools and felt if he didn't get into Dulwich, he could go somewhere else great. We started preparation last October at the start of Year 2. We worked through several Schofield and Sims books. I rate them highly and also the Letts 7+ Creative Writing book. The Letts book was very useful in teaching him writing skills which he hadn't been taught at school. We didn't tell him it was a test or that he may not get a place there. We told him that he would spend a morning there and he would get to see what it's like there. He didn't visit the school before hand although I did. Because of the way we sold it to him, he was really looking forward to it. Caveats - I believe Dulwich is less selective. I may be wrong about that. Also, the way they set up their selection process, puts a child at ease. Nothing about both days stood out for my child. According to him, nothing special happened. They had lessons, one of the teachers asked him questions about words and he had a mental maths test. Finally, my son is very good at maths, so most of our preparation for the test was just making sure he had the creative writing skills that are required for such a test. I think if you don't make a fuss about its importance, you'll get the best from the child. The way I saw it, if Dulwich doesn't want my nearly 20 grand a year, there are plenty of good schools who would bite my hand to take it. Also with 20 grand a year to spend, I would get any state school child into a top Senior School so getting into Dulwich or Westminster at 7 is not as important as people make it out to be.

7+ exams and selective schools generally

by DulwichMum2019 » Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:39 am

I have a few 7+/ selective schools questions, which I hope people can help with.

How is everyone preparing for the 7+ exams? How much of the practice papers can your year 1s already do?

And does anyone know what the pass mark is for the exams?

Also, those whose children are at the selective schools (JAPS, ALLEYN's), do you feel that the quality of teaching is good and that your child knows the syllabus well (year 1s as well as those in years 2, 3 and 4)?

I am asking because my daughter was at one of the Dulwich 'feeder' schools for the selective schools for 2 years, but we have made the decision to take her out and go to a state schools and to tutor/ prepare for the 7+ at home.

Even though the quality of teaching and what was covered may have been better than in the state schools, I don't think it was worth the money and it was not anywhere near enough to prepare for the 7+.

My ever-present dilemma is (even if we get into one of the schools at 7+) should we try to sit the 11+ for grammars instead or even go for one of the good state schools at 11 (Charter, Kingsdale, Graveney etc) and how much of an advantage being at JAPs really gives at 7 and later on :shock: :shock: :shock: