What does prep offer in terms of study skills?

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Checked pyjamas
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What does prep offer in terms of study skills?

Postby Checked pyjamas » Fri Mar 29, 2024 10:43 am

Hello, I am hoping someone can offer some advice. We are starting to think about schools for our very young children.

I had assumed that we would save our money for older years education but my husband seems determined for them to go from the beginning. He seems to be under the impression that they they will learn important study skills which he thinks will set them up for their academic life as well as have more access to extra-curricular activities.

I am not sure that this is necessary at such a young age and given end to end private education will be a stretch, I want to make sure that these skills are actually necessary at this age or if they can be learned at a later stage? Would anyone please be able to share any thoughts and if possible, experiences.

Much appreciated!
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Pregnancyandbeyond
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Re: What does prep offer in terms of study skills?

Postby Pregnancyandbeyond » Sun Mar 31, 2024 8:04 pm

You would be welcome to book in a free discovery call - www.esbconsulting.co.uk
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Mummy2014
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Re: What does prep offer in terms of study skills?

Postby Mummy2014 » Tue Apr 02, 2024 7:05 am

I remember the Headmistress at my daughter’s prep school telling the parents at one of the introductory sessions that if money is going to be tight, save it for high school. It’s not just the fees at prep school, it’s the extras - clubs, donations, events and activities. Uniform is also expensive and it does seem to be one thing after another money-wise.

That said, I think it’s been entirely worth it. My daughter is extremely happy and the girls are taught at a level ahead of the national standard. They are assessed differently and reports note the difference between standards at the school and the national standard. The teachers are excellent. Her current year teacher is just incredible- all the girls rave. They have excursions, residential camps and ski trips, which are wonderful bonding experiences.

There is also wraparound (breakfast club and afterschool/after club care) that can be booked at very short notice too, which is very helpful for working parents.

If you can afford it, it would recommend it.
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Hannah102
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Re: What does prep offer in terms of study skills?

Postby Hannah102 » Tue Apr 02, 2024 8:01 am

If you can get your child into a good state primary school I think it is a fantastic option. You often find that there are so wonderful teachers who are dedicated to state education and bring a wealth of expertise and commitment to your child’s education. It is extremely healthy for children to mix with children from different cultural and economic backgrounds and helps them understand so much better what the real world is like. You can always get a great tutor if you feel you need to boost what they’re learning at school and there are tons of after school sports activities you can send your child to. If you were clever and invested even 50% of the money you save, it would give your child an incredible leg up on the property ladder as it is now almost impossible for young adults to enter the market. As the post above said, there are many extra expenses at private schools, not just the fees and it is really stressful to be stretched especially if you have a good alternative state option - not to mention that the labour government will be adding VAT to school fees so you will be looking at a minimum of 10% on top of the current fees.
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HightreesHouse
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Re: What does prep offer in terms of study skills?

Postby HightreesHouse » Tue Apr 02, 2024 9:01 am

This is not a question about study skills.

First it is a question about money. We are just about to pay our last terms school fees for our second and last child. It has been a very long haul. Unless you are asset rich, in a high paid job and cash rich or have help from grandparents it is a bloody struggle which will affect your standard of living, experiences as a family ( holidays and so forth) and your old age ( pension). Over the last twelve years our school fees ( London Day ) have doubled. So the question is how rich do you feel? How affordable are fees?

If the answer is doable but not comfortable, i would plan to do state until 8 or 11. That will mean you can save for later and you must.

In part I say this because you can supplement state primary with tutoring and activities which cost a fraction of fees. You may need to work harder slightly as a parent - on reading maybe - but in the early years not so much.

Early years private education is very frilly but not that substantive. It is of course delightful. As a parent you would be reassured that you had bought the best whilst probably tipping money down the drain in relative terms.

The academic difference to kids is in soft education. Not too much screens at home. Family meals and discussions. Outings and trips to museums with parents. Private education does not make up for the lack of these.

If the state primary turns out to be deficient - highly unlikely and REMEMBER London Day Schools take approximately 50 percent of pupils from state systems at 11 and you cannot tell the difference - then you can go to a private prep at 8 on an occasional place. This is often done and unlikely to be a problem sadly with VAT on fees.

You don’t really want to be swapping from private to state because you run out of cash.

In summary throw your weight into state primary and try to stick with it until 11. Supplement with tutoring and activities. Save the financial pressure for later years and enjoy your children.

My final thought - private schooling thrives on the fear factor. As long as you have an intelligent plan for the early years -and a decent state primary is available - do not be a victim of fear. It is unnecessary.

By the way I am a fan of private education but I also see its downsides.

Good luck in your decision.
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mememe
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Re: What does prep offer in terms of study skills?

Postby mememe » Tue Apr 02, 2024 9:23 am

If you can possibly afford private primary go for it. I know people who've changed at age 9 or 10 & say they wish theyd done it sooner as its a completely different world. Its not just academics, its everything else they instill in them. Theyre far ahead by this age so if you choose to change before 11 your kid will not be prepared for the huge slog. Dont do it if it'll be a huge strain for you though ..... have you visited the schools you're targetting? Have you put their name down as this needs to be done in their first few months. Good luck
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curly
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Re: What does prep offer in terms of study skills?

Postby curly » Tue Apr 02, 2024 9:35 am

Both my kids are now in private schools for secondary and I would say there is no difference between the kids that were educated in the state system until 11 and those privately educated.

If money is tight then go state (as long as the state option is good!) and either transition at 8 or 11.

The 11+ system of entry into secondary is brutal though!
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mrs_original
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Re: What does prep offer in terms of study skills?

Postby mrs_original » Tue Apr 02, 2024 9:52 am

HightreesHouse couldn't have said it better, thanks for sharing your experience.

For what I see, comparing my very clever summer child that goes to a state school with her nursery friends that went to independent, there's no difference at all in learning in the first years. I think learning to read at 4-5yo is ridiculous, they're not prepared at all and despite all the million extra books and exercises that her friends get, she's actually better at them with reading/writing/maths.

My husband and I believe that our children should have time to be children and not have planned activities all the time. They get too tired at this age and get to a point that they can't focus anymore.

That being said, the older they get the relaxed atmosphere in class changes, with more homework and more responsibilities and at that point we'll probably introduce more extra resources to prepare for the 11+.

Also keep in mind that independent schools have longer holidays, so you need to take all the extra money that will go to holiday camps into account.

The most important thing is to choose the best school for your child’s personality and I'm sure there are plenty of wonderful state schools in our area. If you choose to go independent, make sure you have enough money to not change your lifestyle and that your child won't feel they're the poorer of their friends as it could affect their mental health.
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School
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Re: What does prep offer in terms of study skills?

Postby School » Tue Apr 02, 2024 11:16 am

Hightrees spot on.

Please note they do not dispute that independent primary may be the better product but that actually the cost difference is largely not worth it.

Yes you'll need a bit of chiefly English tutoring for indie exams in y5/y6 but the idea that all indie kids are a year ahead at this age is for the birds. Several indie secondary schools try to actively recruit 50% state intake (as yourself why that is)
Math teaching often better in state for example at y3 you may be wondering why your state child isn't apparently doing the same topics as your indie friend but watch them catch up and exceed in KS2
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schoolstuff
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Re: What does prep offer in terms of study skills?

Postby schoolstuff » Tue Apr 02, 2024 5:25 pm

I'm a fan of education of any sort but its difficult to comment as we don't know anything about your childs level or whether you can or can't find a good state primary. It sounds like you are worried your child will fall behind in state school?

I do think generally its a waste of money to pay primary education if you think you are getting something better. I have noticed that in an attempt to get 'one-up' in some way, some parents go alternative or 'other private' and literacy and reading can actually fall below the average, which might give rise to issues at secondary.
And if we pay, it might mean the parent feel they can relax back and not do much reading and so on at home (not saying that's your case)
In my daughters state primary the parents were very supportive of their child, encouraged by the school, played a part in their education and keen for progress. They didn't assume everything of the school.

For basics or any child struggling, state schools provide reading support with volunteers and so on, if that's needed. A bright child won't be held back either. A good school will take this all very seriously.
So in my opinion it is not going to give any advantage and will deplete your savings.

Secondary, or post-GCSE for sure is a different matter.

Also, money-wise, if they go to University, there is rental accommodation, living expenses,travel expense, clothing etc for 3-4 years after 18 regardless of whether your child takes available student loan (everyone does pretty much), but the loan does not cover everything and they need extra from parents.
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ACRSW18
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Re: What does prep offer in terms of study skills?

Postby ACRSW18 » Fri Apr 05, 2024 9:47 am

I come at this from two angles - 
1) As a Financial Adviser - if you have to think about the cost of a private primary school, you need to properly drill down into the numbers. As the others say above, it may be better save it for secondary school which will have a much greater impact on their life through their peers and ability to go to University.
2) As a Dad to two young daughters - there are some fantastic primary schools in SW London and the children benefit from experiencing a diversity of demographic that they will most likely miss at a fee paying school. 

If you want any help on point 1 please drop me a line, our cash flow modelling tool is extremely useful at mapping out the affordability of school fees. We can also help with putting a savings plan to assist with payment in future years.
Andrew Rankin Enquiries — Westminster Wealth Management (westminster-wealth.com) 

One more thing - bear in mind that fees are likely to go up 20% with a changing of the guard in Downing Street.
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The_Brainery
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Re: What does prep offer in terms of study skills?

Postby The_Brainery » Fri Apr 05, 2024 12:54 pm

Hi Checked Pyjamas,

As a parent and an educator, I understand how tricky this decision is - particularly if you and your partner are looking at it from different perspectives. 

My partner and I have stewed over this decision, and I'd love to offer a chat to support - both as a Mum and as someone who runs a tuition business. 

Either way, it's important that you remember that like every child is unique, every family is too; what works for others might not be the best bet for you and considerations such as the quality of the state schools, your child's learning style /birthday and other avenues you'd like to introduce them to should all be part of your decision.  If you'd like to chat, feel free to reach out to me: naomi@thebrainery.co.uk

Best,

Naomi
www.thebrainery.co.uk
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Sw12Balhammum
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Re: What does prep offer in terms of study skills?

Postby Sw12Balhammum » Sat Apr 06, 2024 10:35 am

I actually had to move mine from private to state because of financial reasons. I was really apprehensive about it. But we have a wonderful state primary and my kids have done brillantly in there. We still see a lot of our friends from the private school and the reality is that I see zero difference in levels.
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Mememe
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Re: What does prep offer in terms of study skills?

Postby Mememe » Mon Apr 08, 2024 11:20 am

School wrote:
> Hightrees spot on.
>
> Please note they do not dispute that independent primary may be the better
> product but that actually the cost difference is largely not worth it.
>
> Yes you'll need a bit of chiefly English tutoring for indie exams in y5/y6
> but the idea that all indie kids are a year ahead at this age is for the
> birds. Several indie secondary schools try to actively recruit 50% state
> intake (as yourself why that is)
> Math teaching often better in state for example at y3 you may be wondering
> why your state child isn't apparently doing the same topics as your indie
> friend but watch them catch up and exceed in KS2

TBH I disagree with all of this.

State schools do not prepare them for 11+ exams, nor do they give a reference for Yr chosen private secondary. They don't teach reasoning either which is a big part of the exam.

Private school kids are more than a year ahead, they do this to enable the last 12 months before exams to have already done all the work needed so it's just practice and techniques.

Private independents take 30-50% from state because they have to. Just think what percentage go to private primary and how much more likely they are to get in ....

Maths teaching and level,attained is more to do with the individual child. If they ate behind in private they will be taken and taught individually.

This does all depend on which private primary you choose, they're not all the same. Please visit and pick where you like and get a good feel for. Also check your local state primary destination schools, most have a very small percentage who go private - very important!

Msg me if you need, I went thru this myself locally and also my kids more recently.
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Londontownlady
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Re: What does prep offer in terms of study skills?

Postby Londontownlady » Mon Apr 08, 2024 9:47 pm

We had same debate at home.. and I was going to give a long explanation as to why we went private but ultimately the truth is if you can afford the fees then just do it. The kids get challenged and supported in a way that you can’t expect from a school that has 30 kids per class. Like your husband says it’s not just about education but also the attitude and outlook that school and the environment they’re in instills in them which is super informative during these early years where their personalities are forming.

By the way if you then decide to go private you then have to pick which school best suit your family.. education wise they’re similar in terms of results however they all provide different life experiences for sure. Good luck with your decision.
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