Academic level for entry at 11

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kittykat
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Academic level for entry at 11

Post by kittykat » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:54 pm

My son is currently in Year 5 and I have the CH form in front of me ready to fill out...

I'm curious what sort of academic level should he be predicted at the end of Year 6 in order to be in with half a chance? I understand that he should be at 'the higher end of the ability range' but what does this equate to in National Curriculum levels? I don't want to fill in a form just to set him up for a failure, if you see what I mean. Conversely, I also don't want to be wasting the time of the school if he hasn't got a hope.

CH seems a remarkable school and would really benefit him in so many ways. I'd really appreciate your advice and feedback!

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Jade
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Re: Academic level for entry at 11

Post by Jade » Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:04 pm

Hi Kitty, I'm pretty sure that a level 4 in maths and english is expected.
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poppy
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Re: Academic level for entry at 11

Post by poppy » Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:11 pm

I seem to think we were advised level 5.

lonelymom
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Re: Academic level for entry at 11

Post by lonelymom » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:14 pm

I think it's 'comfortably' at the top of a level 4, although I would say that level 5 is probably required for competitive entry. It will depend on what means of entry you are going for I suppose.
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kittykat
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Re: Academic level for entry at 11

Post by kittykat » Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:48 pm

Thank you for your replies; it looks like we could be in with half a chance then.

Are some of the methods of entry considered 'easier' than any other then? I had assumed that they would all be competitive and would demand the same high academic standard. I was looking at Wests' Gift places, having read about them some time ago in the local newspaper, though I am not entirely sure if we qualify - we live just over the bridge from Twickenham. I am not sure if Wests' Gift places are for children for children from the 'Twickenham area' or more specifically for children with a Twickenham address. Does anyone know either way?

How does anyone go about getting a hallowed presentation that I have read about on this [very excellent] forum? On what are the relative merits of getting one?

Apologies for so many questions, I'm just a little confused so early in the application process :? Any support very welcome!

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Re: Academic level for entry at 11

Post by lonelymom » Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:10 pm

When you start the application process for CH you will be told what entry method you will be considered for, so if you are within the area for a West's Gift place etc you will be told. You will also be asked if you wish to be considered for a governor presentation, and if you do you will be sent a list of suitable governors, who you then write to personally. The governor presentations can be very specific, ie a boy who excels in sport, a girl from a single-parent family and likes music, a boy/girl who lives within a 20-mile radius of <somewhere>, some are more general. And you just write and tell them about your family, your child, their interests, why they want to go to CH etc.

I think the following is correct, if it's not I'm sure someone will correct me:

If your son is lucky enough to get a governor presentation or any other means of entry (other than competitive) then he will have to achieve the required level in the tests. If, however, he is being considered for competitive entry then he will be doing just that, competing, which means that he will probably have to achieve a much higher level in the tests than is required for the presentations.

I have the worst memory in the world, so if I've remembered that wrong can someone correct me please because I'd hate to misinform kittykat :?
Last edited by lonelymom on Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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DavidRawlins
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Re: Academic level for entry at 11

Post by DavidRawlins » Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:15 pm

Some Governors get the school office to do most of the work; the office will give the Governor 3 to 4 applicants that meet the Governor's criteria, and he or she will choose between them.
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onewestguncopse
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Re: Academic level for entry at 11

Post by onewestguncopse » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:20 pm

In my experience, most competitive entry pupils are SAT level 5B or above in at least English or Maths. Entry is harder than it has been in recent years, not least because the number of applicants is rising. We expect 1000 families here on Saturday. When you add the new Day pupils, it will make it very competitive indeed. Go for it though as if you do not try you cannot even hope to succeed.

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Re: Academic level for entry at 11

Post by Fjgrogan » Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:52 am

Purely from memory (so definitely not infallible!) I believe the West Gift qualifications included the words 'or contiguous to' - ie if there are not enough applicants from (eg) Twickenham, you might qualify if you live in a neighbouring parish, such as Richmond - but it would be a bit of a long shot!!
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kittykat
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Re: Academic level for entry at 11

Post by kittykat » Wed Sep 15, 2010 1:14 pm

Thank you all so very, very much for your replies and PMs. What a credit you all are to CH! It means a great deal that someone has taken the time to reply. Thank you so much. :D

This is my first - and will be only - encounter with an independent school so I am feeling a little out of my depth.

Bolstered by your messages I am going to fill in the form and return it to CH. We have absolutely nothing to lose and potentially everything to gain. Fingers crossed! :)

Would it be recommended to advise the primary school headteacher that I am applying to CH? When do CH contact primary schools for references - on receipt of forms? Or later on in Year 6?

Thank you again!

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Re: Academic level for entry at 11

Post by wurzel » Wed Sep 15, 2010 1:32 pm

We have done the forms for exams this autumn/jan11 and CH i believe approaches the primary once you have completed and returned the application forms.

In terms of ability our son took "fake " SATS alongside those taking them last Summer as he had been accelerated a year (he is now retaking year 6) he got (an easy) 5a in maths and high 5c in English and we think he will need to work on that English to get through competitive. It definitely seems that the level of achievement expected by SATS in areas such as comprehension is currently far below what it was in the late 70's early 80's when i was at primary (being taught by Mrs Sillett a CH housemasters wife - which is how i ended up at CH). Although they get taught far more formal English grammar than we used to, hence if you are in the state system like our son you will have to do some extra work with him yourself to match those able to afford prep schools (way outside our means).

He did the same SATS paper as the others in his class but it was marked internally rather than externally as officially he should not have been doing it as not leaving for secondary school.

In terms of different forms of entry it is all very easy - you do the first batch of forms and the school works out what possible route of entry there are for you and sends you a briefing on them.

The only ones i found really onerous were the BSB (benevolent society of old blues) form as i have no idea what for example my yearly expenditure on clothing is (other than as little as possible which is c£0 some years).

Do not be scared by it all it becomes self explanatory once you enter the process

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Re: Academic level for entry at 11

Post by ailurophile » Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:39 pm

Onewestguncopse wrote:
Entry is harder than it has been in recent years, not least because the number of applicants is rising. We expect 1000 families here on Saturday. When you add the new Day pupils, it will make it very competitive indeed.
Does this mean that the number of competitive boarding places offered to families in need will reduce in proportion to the number of day places taken up by the affluent? I had imagined that the day pupils would be introduced in addition to the boarders...

Add to this Wurzel's concern that
if you are in the state system like our son you will have to do some extra work with him yourself to match those able to afford prep schools
, and it begins to look as though the traditional CH target demographic of families in need is in danger of being squeezed out of the picture altogether!

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Re: Academic level for entry at 11

Post by wurzel » Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:52 pm

I think i wrote that wrong then.

In 1981 my mum used all her savings and some money from my nan to send me to some private tuition with a lady in Billingshurst on the advice of Mrs Sillett so I could compete against prep school entrants (about 1/3 of my year i would guess). That is not something new just a sad fact of the difference between state and private primary schooling.

There is no way we could be considered not a family in need back then as they paid no fees for me over the entire 7 years

The only change is that now private tuition is so much more expensive due to supply and demand as many more people are demanding it due to perceived need. If i knew of a decent local tutor i might very well give up whatever it took to pay for it but without a personal recommendation it is all very hit and miss (and in Reading with some very selective schools like Kendrick Girls is is hugely oversubscribed).

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Re: Academic level for entry at 11

Post by wickedwitch » Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:58 pm

We were told level 5 and thats what we achieved. We were on the waiting list. Bel thoroughly flunked her 11+ so we thought we had no chance of her getting in here, but she did it. As far as i am aware they have an academic expectation but what is so nice is that they look for potential and, it seems, that weird little quirk that makes some kids have such difficulties in mainstream schools. Definitely go for it and the very best of luck.
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dinahcat
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Re: Academic level for entry at 11

Post by dinahcat » Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:35 pm

I agree with wickedwitch in that, if it is what you want -go for it. The process isn't as transparent to parents as it might be partly because of the Presentations and partly because of the 'need ' clause IMHO.thre foore you just have to follow the instructions and hope forthe best.
It is true that pupils who have Presentations have to reach a required standard rather than compete but I can imagine a situation where a parent with a very bright child might go for a Presentation in order to secure a place because they are determined that CH is the right school and they don't want to take a chance. The child could score the highest mark but still get in via a Presentation instead. I can also imagine that a number of parents will put a child forward for a selection of entrance exams . Maybe a local Grammar, St Paul's , Westminster and so on.They might be the top scorer on the CH exam but decline the place, so the second child on the competative list becomes the first. I believe the final selection takes many , many hours and everything is taken into account. I also think that the number of competative places will vary from year to year depending on how many Presentations there are. But I may have got this wrong.
The November English paper is the tricky one as it is impossible to prepare for except in the sense that the child will need a wide vocabulary and I believe at this stage there is just a cut off mark and no other circumstances are take in to account. Again, some one else might be able to correct me.

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