Liverpool Bluecoats entrance, anyone know any info?

(25 Posts)
MrsShrek3 Wed 02-Oct-13 23:49:26

ds2 wants to apply, he is capable afaik. He's now y5, has level 5s in all core subjects and reading age beyond the scale for that particular test (so 16+) last year. He doesn't appear to know he's clever grin but likes the idea of that school and its opportunities. pointers would be most welcome smile

MrsShrek3 Thu 03-Oct-13 19:58:50

bumping at a more reasonable hour smile

Have you been to any open days? We went in summer. Last year they had over 800 take the entrance tests for 120 places - so very competitive. My ds is yr 5 too. I've been advised that ALL parents get a tutor to get their child into that school. I'm reluctant to do that myself and my son is not at the "level 5s at all core subjects" kind of level, although he is in top sets, so it's worth a try for him. Have got some Bond books which he's been working through - maths, English and non-verbal reasoning. They only give out past papers to parents who apply for a place.

I know of a few yr 6 children who sat the test last Saturday so it will be interesting to see how they so. I loved the school when I looked around but I am aware that ds is unlikely to get in but anyway....

pokesandprodsforthelasttime Thu 03-Oct-13 21:03:00

I've heard everyone gets a tutor too. Mainly because children are not familiar with the type of exam and the style of the questions and need a bit of experience beforehand if they're to do well. And yes it's very competitive. But it sounds like your DS has a good chance.

I'm not sure where you live, but quite a lot of secondary schools have entrance exams round here (south Lpool) so I've heard quite a few kids have tutors anyway even if they're not applying for Bluecoat.

MrsShrek3 Thu 03-Oct-13 21:24:19

Many thanks for replies. Definitely not getting him a tutor smile ( because I'm a teacher grin - might be well worth us doing an extra bit of polishing over the Easter and Summer holidays to keep his brain working though) Blimey - 800 taking the exam? shock that really is an incredible number!! We've been in there, but not to an open day. Most schools have them at this time of year - all except there it seems confused I'm not really decided about whether I'm keen for him to go there or not tbh but he wants to have a go. DS1 is at our local academy and doing very nicely, very good school. ds2 would get in automatically. I'm sure Bluecoat would be great for him, but not essential iyswim smile

pokesandprodsforthelasttime Thu 03-Oct-13 21:30:31

Well if you're a teacher you've saved yourself some £££ there grin

If he wants to go then why not let him try for it? I think it's admirable that he's so ambitious. I always think the children that do really well are the ones with inner drive and ambition rather than pushy parents grin

If you think 800 was a lot you should have seen the queues to get in on open day - it was nearly all the way down to Allerton Road. They had to let people in every so often, give them a head teacher hall in the hall, then let them through the door at the front of the hall while the next lot came in through the doors at the back of the Hall for the next talk etc. I've never seen anything like it!

Pokesandprods - I'm south liverpool and hadn't heard of other schools having entrance exams. Well, only st Margaret's, which has 15% of its intake from the top marks in the entrance test. The rest of the intake is church-based criteria.

Other schools like Liverpool college and Belvedere do have entrance tests, but they use the fair banding process, which means that their intake is not based on highest marks in the tests, but spread across the range of ability. As far as I know only Bluecoat selects based on highest performance in the entrance test.

Round here it's our best school - the alternatives for my ds are only average (which I suppose is better than "terrible"). You have a better choice if you are a girl or a church-goer!

Ps what I meant to say is that tutors are useless for the non-selective schools in south liverpool. It's only for bluecoat that they need to be cream of the crop, academically.

Myti Wed 16-Oct-13 12:09:31

MrsShrek3 I am a teacher myself and prepared my daughter for the blue coat admissions using the GL assessment packs. There are 8 packs which includes sample papers ( maths,english,NVR and VR) . She was practicing these papers along with some bond assessment papers . She got the results today, having been placed in the B category . Fingers crossed . All the best to your child!

MrsShrek3 Thu 17-Oct-13 07:17:00

great info myti, thank you. good luck to your dd smile

Gabby666 Tue 22-Oct-13 14:24:27

Hi all, we also found out last week that our son has gained a place in Blue Coat...we are delighted! My son has always been bright and got 2x5's and a 4 at the end of yr 5. It was only after we knew of these results that i thought it would be worth attending the open evening at Blue Coat (honestly hadn't given it a thought before then). At the end of July we arranged for him to have a tutor for one hour a week through the holidays...he actually only had 7 visits to her before he sat the entrance exam. We also got books for him to work through and he did work very hard for about an hour most mornings through the summer holidays. When we arrived for him to sit the test we nearly turned around and walked away, it really does put you off, I found myself looking at children and their families trying to make a judgement of whether they seemed as though they would of had tutors for a few years preparing for this. Really didn't hold out much hope of his getting into group A,B or C so when we got the email to say he was in group A it felt like winning the lottery. I've only joined this thread to urge parents who have a bright child to not be put off if you have never had tutors as we only had one for 7 hours but did work ourselves at home.

That's good to know, Gabby, as at the moment I haven't got a tutor for ds who is in yr 5. He has been doing the Bond Books. He is bright - (think he is on the gifted list for maths), but there are kids as clever as him in his class who are being tutored so I didn't know if I was disadvantaging him. Do you think those 7 lessons with the tutor made much difference?

Well done to your son! He was up against so many kids, you must be very proud.

Gabby666 Tue 22-Oct-13 15:38:23

Thanks, we are very proud...he is not a boaster and has took it all in his stride as we were doing loop de loops in the living room haha.

I do wish I'd have thought about Blue Coat last year, the same as what you are doing now, I still wouldn't have got a tutor at first but it would have given me alot more time to work through the books instead of cramming them in 7/8 weeks. My son has always been fab at maths and will be sitting level 6 in the Sats, his reading is brill but he is weaker in his Writing ...he is still very, very good at writing, achieved a high level 4 at end of yr5 but compared to his reading and maths that is the area we wanted to work on...the tutor was fab, she said after her first session that he stood a very good chance and that spurred us on.

She worked mostly on his writing and I wld say that it was so beneficial, she set him writing homework and that worked a treat as it was in him to be great but he doesn't enjoy it as much so was reluctant to put much effort in for me.

We only thought of a tutor when we were handed a flier whilst standing in the queue at the School's open evening...we had 4 fliers in the end but she was the only one I rung and we've had no regrets.

Maybe u cld do the bond books an hour on Sat and Sun for the moment and then maybe after christmas do an extra hour through the week and start thinking about a tutor then...if I had my time over that is what I would do.

What kept me going was the fact that I knew all this extra work was not going to be wasted but would still benefit him in year 6 and towards his Sats. But please don't be put off at hearing u don't stand a chance if you haven't had a tutor for years, some do but I didn't.

Also speak to the class teacher for predicted results for next year, if they mention any 5's (and that is just a guide ) then please give it a go.
Hope i've helped.

Gabby, that is fantastic advice - thanks so much! Your son sounds exactly like mine with regards to writing not being his strong point. He does find it more difficult - he only got a 3A+ the end of yr 4 in it so he has a way to go to get a level 5 next year. He got high 4s in the others so he is still in with a chance at this stage I think. He is extremely good at NVR - very quick. And I know they put a lot of emphasis on that for the Bluecoat, don't they? So that is something.

I do think a tutor will help him enormously in his writing, as it's not something I would feel confident helping him with myself.

Ps, I may PM you for the tutor's details.

Calderstones Tue 22-Oct-13 22:47:25

Dd also passed the Bluecoat exam this time. She had group tuition from Easter year 5 once a week. The tutor also gave her about 45 mins homework. She is on the 'top' table in school but many of her friends get similar results in class. Her school does not feature highly in the league tables. She was graded level 5s with 4c for writing at the last parents evening. The tutor did very little English with her and emphasised the need for speed in the NVR.

From our experience I would say the most important aspect is the child's ability to sit and concentrate for 3x45 minutes. A friend who invigilated the test said many of the children struggled to concentrate for the entire morning. I think this may be where the tutor helped.

I have seen your other thread in education and our circumstances re faith schools are similar. We felt we had everything to gain by letting her sit the exam and dd was keen. Obviously we are delighted with the outcome, but she did go through a very negative patch after the test when I doubted our decision.

MrsShriek Tue 22-Oct-13 23:23:39

well done all the dc who have got in. brilliant news!
thanks

I am starting the NVR this holiday with ds2. he is 4a across the maths/lit/science curriculum already, will definitely have level 5s by mid y5, but like dcs mentioned he often cba writing enough to do himself justice imho. clearly his teachers don't agree with my view confused but he is so keen to try getting into BC that it may just make him write at decent length. sigh.

Gabby666 Wed 23-Oct-13 00:04:47

Good luck to the children who are to try for next year,....as Calderstones said it is also about concentration and speed.

I went over NVR at home with ds, he worked through the books but I mostly sat with him to encourage/help so he didn't feel as though he was going through it totally on his own...as his confidence grew I just left him to it and found his speed got better....he really didn't like the cube net problems!

Writing is so hard to level as if a child is wring about something they like, have experienced or have an interest in then their ideas flow...if it's a topic they don't know much about then it alters their level considerably...teachers tend to keep most childrens writing levels down as alot are not consistent with what they produce...my ds was a little like this last year...his teacher showed me a piece of work at 5c and then another piece from a week earlier that was a 4c.

BC takes the childrens age into consideration so it is all standardised scoring, ds was only 10 in August so this would have helped a little for him.

Calderstones: I expect from your posting name that we are in the same area of Liverpool, hence the faith school issue.

"Suspect", not "expect".

Bella2501 Mon 13-Jan-14 19:52:24

Hi All
Please help !!!!!!!! I have been reading posts re Bluecoats entrance exam.
My daughter is in Year 5, i was wanting her to take the entrance exam, not sure how she will do but its worth a go. Mentioned on the treads are tutors , can anyone advise a good tutor still with contact details please? as i dont know where to start to be honest.
Kind Regards
Bella

Gabby111 Tue 04-Feb-14 17:58:33

Hi Bella,...where abouts are you in Liverpool...I only used a tutor during the summer hols but would highly recommend her. My son was lucky enough to make it into the 120 intake,...from 2015 they are becoming a 5 form entry and will take 150 children in group A so that will give your daughter a little more of a chance.

Gabby111 Tue 04-Feb-14 17:59:46

My old name on this thread was Gabby666 but for some reason it won't let me log in as that :0(

kdkay Wed 05-Feb-14 20:02:35

Hi south Liverpool mums. I am looking for a good tutor for my son to sit the Bluecoat entrance exam this year. Would really appreciate some recommendation/tips

TanyaMack Sat 08-Feb-14 11:17:41

Hi I'm north Liverpool, but happy to travel if need be, can anyone put me onto a good tutor for my son (year 5). He is passionate about getting into Bluecoat, and has been doing the Bond books and using other online resources for a while now, but his friends in school have tutors and he is desperately worried he needs one. We have decided to bite the bullet, tighten our belts and try and get on for him, but the ones his friends are using are, apparent, fully booked! Any help would be gratefully received smile

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