Just how hard is it to get into a private secondary school in SW London?

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Hedger
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Just how hard is it to get into a private secondary school in SW London?

Postby Hedger » Sun Jun 05, 2022 1:05 pm

My son is currently at Belleville and I am really starting to worry about secondary schools.  We would love for him to got to Emanuel but I am not sure he will get in - I would say he in the top half of his class academically, but not by much.  

Did anyone with a child who is academically average not get into any of the SW London private day schools? If so, what did you do?  I am not sure what other options there are...

Would love to hear your stories/views!
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2009Kat
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Re: Just how hard is it to get into a private secondary school in SW London?

Postby 2009Kat » Sun Jun 05, 2022 9:31 pm

My child didn’t get into the school we wanted for them. Probably academically able enough but absolutely no interest in extra studying for the entrance exams and tbh they didn’t really want to go.
Now at Bolingbroke, very happy and a changed child in terms of motivation for school work (actually trying hard!).
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aa_mummy
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Re: Just how hard is it to get into a private secondary school in SW London?

Postby aa_mummy » Mon Jun 06, 2022 9:28 am

It is VERY hard because there is so much competition but the one thing that does help is to do the practice papers repeatedly so they get used to actually sitting exams and learn how to answer questions and use their time. You will need to time them which helps as well as they know they are only doing it for a set time. You can find past papers from lots of schools online, some are easier than others. You can get the verbal & non verbal reasoning books as well from Amazon or Waterstones. Our son was highly motivated to go and did one in morning before school and one after school. Two on Saturday and had Sunday off to relax. They won’t want to do it so may need something to motivate them to get it done. We were at Honeywell and got offered 4 out of 5 places. Little bit of hard work from now to January. Good luck!
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Scottov
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Re: Just how hard is it to get into a private secondary school in SW London?

Postby Scottov » Mon Jun 06, 2022 1:17 pm

Why do you want them to get into a private school? As in why is it so important?

Emmanuel is a nice school, but it’s not overly academic and it’s not full either
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Hedger
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Re: Just how hard is it to get into a private secondary school in SW London?

Postby Hedger » Mon Jun 06, 2022 5:08 pm

My son isn’t overly academic either so that would suit! I’m surprised that Emanuel isn’t full…

I want my son to go to a private school because of the smaller class sizes, better facilities, more sport (in particular I think he would love the rowing at Emanuel) and lower likelihood of disruptive behaviour. I think the state primaries are great but I’m not so keen on the state secondaries. I didn’t have a great experience at a London state secondary myself.
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Justfortonight
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Re: Just how hard is it to get into a private secondary school in SW London?

Postby Justfortonight » Mon Jun 06, 2022 9:47 pm

Emmanuel is a tricky one - it is only partially about academics. So much more seems to be on "feeder" schools - they love Hornsby and some other private schools over state and interview / non academics also important. Very over subscribed and hard to predict who will get in. At our school - they very rarely get offers despite the same kids being offered Kings, Alleyns etc.

Others place more emphasis on the test and less on interview, feeder school etc and so easier to judge if you will get a place. Epsom College, Dulwich and Whitgift seem to take slightly above average academically (but not as far above average as say Kings or Alleyns) but as someone else said, key is lots of practice papers!

What I will say is that over the last 3 years, across a range of schools, I only know of one child that didn't get a place. In the end they joined a prep school that went through to 13 instead and have now landed a good 13+ place. Everyone else has landed on their feet and been happy. So whilst it is a stressful time, and I say this as a year 6 parent who has just come out the other side, you will be ok! We have some amazing state and private options and there are lots more schools worth exploring that you might not hear about e.g Thames Christian, Northwood Senior, Royal Russell, Epsom College.
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mylifestory
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Re: Just how hard is it to get into a private secondary school in SW London?

Postby mylifestory » Tue Jun 07, 2022 11:26 am

Scottov wrote:
Mon Jun 06, 2022 1:17 pm
Why do you want them to get into a private school? As in why is it so important?

Emmanuel is a nice school, but it’s not overly academic and it’s not full either

where on earth did you get that information from that Emanuel isnt full??  its the most oversuscribed school we have very nearby especially for boys where there isnt much choice for them.
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Starr
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Re: Just how hard is it to get into a private secondary school in SW London?

Postby Starr » Tue Jun 07, 2022 12:23 pm

It's very oversubscribed and popular. But someone above said its difficult for state school children to get a place which is wrong. They take plenty from state schools too. As many children get rejected from preps as state and they don't select based on exams only.
It is worth a shot - Good luck!
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Guest
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Re: Just how hard is it to get into a private secondary school in SW London?

Postby Guest » Tue Jun 07, 2022 3:19 pm

I understand historically Emmanuel was not particularly competitive academically however that's no longer the case. 2-3 years ago a new head joined and the school is now very competitive, however, during the 11+ process last year Emmanuel told parents they aim to take 50% from state and 50% from private schools. It is indeed currently full with a waiting list. I don't believe they favour any particular private school and I know children from a wide range of schools (state and private 50/50) heading there in Sept.

In my opinion the major differentiator between state and private is the emphasis on verbal and non verbal reasoning prep from Y4. If you're in a state school you have to do that prep yourself. I know someone with a child top of their class at Honeywell who didn't get any private offers because they overlooked the verbal/non verbal reasoning prep. Atom Learning is an excellent resource although pricey. So definitely focus on that and/or workbooks in addition to the practice papers.

Good luck!
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betsyboop
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Re: Just how hard is it to get into a private secondary school in SW London?

Postby betsyboop » Tue Jun 07, 2022 9:45 pm

Emanuel had to literally create an extra form in the current year 7 as more families than expected took on their offers ! 
It is full all the way up and has been for many years in fact. It hasn't been a banker for a long time, we applied 7 years ago, and saw lots of kids not getting offers, but being accepted at DC, Whitgift or Putney high. 
They do put a lot of emphasise on the interview and quite like rounded kids, so worth a shot. 

It's a very friendly/community type of school, whilst aiming high academically since the current headmaster arrived from Kings Wimbledon.
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Bama
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Re: Just how hard is it to get into a private secondary school in SW London?

Postby Bama » Wed Jun 08, 2022 2:09 pm

My child went through the 11+ nightmare this year, so we have a good view of the 2021 assessment.

I am sorry but I totally do not believe that Emanuel added an extra form because too many family accepted their offer. I know first hand 2 kids on the waiting list who got offers in March after the acceptance cutoff. So if there is movement in the waiting list it means many have not accepted the place (all schools over offer by default).
If they have added a form they simply were planning to add it. At 22k+ per student, if a school have the space, why not?

As a matter of fact of all the kids we know who got offered a place this year (I can count at least 10) but had other options as well, only one has chosen Emanuel as their first choice.

We know few kids who got offended a place at Emanuel but not at Ibstock or Alleyns and viceversa.
There are so many factors to consider. First all our kids are not robots and they might perform very differently day over day. I would not read much into this.

I am not judging the quality of the school here, just stating something we have experienced.
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townieatheart
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Re: Just how hard is it to get into a private secondary school in SW London?

Postby townieatheart » Sun Jun 12, 2022 6:01 pm

Bama I think you misread Betsyboop - she is talking about the current year 7 so September ‘21 entry and you are referring to those going this September ‘22.
My friends child was told they were at the top of the waitlist for current year 7 but was never offered a place, guess this explains why.
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Normandie76
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Re: Just how hard is it to get into a private secondary school in SW London?

Postby Normandie76 » Mon Jun 13, 2022 8:56 am

It’s much harder than it used to be but only because of the birth bulge in London during 2006-2013.

You lucky lucky people if you didn’t have a kid during this period because your entry experience to these schools such as Emanuel etc will be an easier ride for sure.

Kingston Grammar for instance much like Emanuel used to be considered an easier school to get into. Not anymore.

I imagine it will all revert back as the pool of candidates shrink, starting in a couple of years time. Too late for me sadly!!

It may also be why they have laid on an extra class and they’re not the only ones to do so. Make hay while the sun shines. Some much leaner years are coming…
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dudette
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Re: Just how hard is it to get into a private secondary school in SW London?

Postby dudette » Mon Jun 13, 2022 9:00 am

Scottov wrote:
Mon Jun 06, 2022 1:17 pm
Why do you want them to get into a private school? As in why is it so important?

Emmanuel is a nice school, but it’s not overly academic and it’s not full either

How do you know that? My son tried for Emanuel at 13+ a few years ago and they had about 120 applicants for five places. Not surprisingly he didn’t get in.
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betsyboop
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Re: Just how hard is it to get into a private secondary school in SW London?

Postby betsyboop » Mon Jun 13, 2022 10:48 am

yes Townie :) my child is currently in year 7 at Emanuel, and had other options from schools slightly above in the 2019 league tables, such as Ipstock, and was also on WL in more academic schools, who told us they were not anticipating to call on their WL, and a year on we have never heard back.

Bulge year everywhere in London, at least, plus lots of parents disappointed by state schools provisions during lockdown who decided to jump ship to private  and I have no reason to think Emanuel had planned on adding a class, they just got caught in the risky game of deciding how many places to offer/popularity and demands, they have had to recruit teachers at a time when there is a serious shortage (especially in STEM, computing), carry out extra building work on a budget stretched by other  extensive plans for the sixth form centre and sports facilities.
it's well known that in the previous year, Alleyn's and KCS had under offer and had to go down quite deep into their waiting list, it's a punt.  

Anyway, we can only hope things will settle back over the next few years. 


 
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