prep school assesments support group

(43 Posts)
prepschoolinsanity Sat 08-Jan-11 18:46:11

hi everyone

Name change obviously!

I'm starting a support group for all those going through pre prep assessments for their DCs.

My DD has just finished her final assessment. She had assessments for JAPS, Alleyns, Rosemead, Sydenham High and Oakfield.

I have absolutely no idea how she has done! Does anyone have a sense of how well their kid has done? if you think they were successful, why? I'm a bit lost to be honest?

Did anyone get any sense out their DD about what went on? the most I could get was they were read a story, did a jigsaw and played. Anyone get any more info?

My DD is very sporty, not so in to sitting reading so I think she doesn't have a hope in hell...

Anyone want to 'fess up to the madness? I actually took my DD (yes! aged 4! I know!) to a tutor blush primarily to see if she had a hope in hell as she is not the usual precocious well spoken intelligent child. I have to say, I was none the wiser.

Looking forward to your stories.

horsemadmom Sun 09-Jan-11 10:25:09

Hi,
Breathe! We survived the experience 2 yrs ago with DD2. Sat 3 assessments. The SHHS told us (after application and cheque had been posted) that they didn't take dyslexic girls (she got in), DD came out crying from CLSG because one member of her activity group refused to participate and she spent the whole of the allotted time trying to negotiate with this child and had nothing to show at the end of the activity (she got in). NLCS (DD1's school) was the only no.
Don't assume that your DD's impression of how it went is what the school thinks to be the case. It will all be ok. DD2 happy as a clam at CLSG.

Again, Breathe!

prepschoolinsanity Sun 09-Jan-11 12:01:55

Hi Horsemadmom!

thanks for the message. I'll try to remember to breathe.

gosh, its terrifying

zzlondongirlzz Sun 09-Jan-11 14:07:37

we are only doing two schools but not the really academic ones like NLCS, SHHS etc and I'm a bit nervous that my DD will either think it's just an opportunity to run riot (new toys, lots of children etc) or will clam up and just be miserable and not want to go into the room!! I hope I've done the right thing by 'biging' the whole thing up as isn't she lucky to be invited to play at a big school? etc etc..just hope it works. Interestingly my MIL (ex girls London prep teacher) and heads of some other schools told me it's virtually impossible to tell whether a 3/4 year old is 'academic' or not - if this is the case then why do these schools do these assessments?? what can they tell at aged 3/4? I'd be interested to know

prepschoolinsanity Sun 09-Jan-11 16:32:02

exactly! if you had any idea what they were looking for, you'd know if your DC stood any chance, or not, and could save yourself some of the angst.

anyone know what they are looking for?

shellye Sun 09-Jan-11 16:42:40

LOL! Assessments for a 4 year old. Now I have heard everything. You have a long school life ahead of you if you are worried about these at 4 years of age. I should think you will need to be sectioned by the time they do 11+.

prepschoolinsanity Sun 09-Jan-11 18:28:07

I'm worrying now so I don't need to when tey are 11 - ie getting her in to a prep school that goes automatically up to a senior school - I reckoned it'd be a lot less stressful for her now when she doesn't really know, rather than knowing exactly what the stress is all about at 11.

as it is, she;s in blissful ignorance, and if she gets in, there will be no other entrance related stress through out the whole school career.

hence my stress, don;t really fancy going through this again

montysorry Sun 09-Jan-11 18:32:47

They are generally looking for a mix of outgoing sporty types and quieter more studious types.

They will be looking for children who share and will socialise in a small group (as much as 4yr olds do!)

They will probably read a story and check that your child can sit and listen without too much fidgeting (again, within the realms of a 4yr old)

-Recognising and writing of name
-Correct scissor use
_regognise different expressions on face photos
-Draw family and say who is who.
-Share toys
-Regonise numbers to 10 and count beads to 10 (I have heard of one London Preprep who asked the girls to thread the beads!)
-I have also heard tale of the London school which sat 5 children down with 4 toys to see how the children would react.

Different schools may fill their quiet/bolshy quotas early so a schoolo may reject a child they would have offered to the previous year simply because they already have 12 confident ones.

It's as much luck as anything. Good luck and try not to stress too much. Oh and tutoring will do absolutely nothing at 4. Even the most academic schools like NLCS will take girls who are not yet reading. They are looking for potential not what the child have been cramming at home.

pawsnclaws Mon 10-Jan-11 18:50:51

IME (of two prep schools for ds1 and ds2) the assessments are all about behaviour - taking turns to answer questions, sharing at play, listening. Both schools essentially followed the same format - read the boys a story then asked them questions in turn. They also had a play session and a drawing session. Just bear in mind that you may be the most intelligent and gifted child they see, but if you can't sit quietly and listen to the teacher (or even worse disrupt the other children from learning) then you're unlikely to be popular!

LadyInPink Mon 10-Jan-11 19:01:31

My DD had a comfort blanket and being just 3 i thought it okay to bring along for her assessment at her prep school. The teacher took it away from her and she grabbed it back and cried from what i remember her telling me (she's year 2 now) and she got in no problem but i was a bit nervous tbh until i was sent the okay letter and our cheque was cashed.

I unfortunately have to go through this again when she is 11 which is a bit nerve racking.

All the best OP and remember worrying won't help the outcome but just stay positive and don't let your DC know you are concerned - hard i know smile

zzlondongirlzz Mon 10-Jan-11 21:08:48

just did one today - can't say I can get any good info out of DD about what they did other than painting (she had plenty of purple and pink on her hands!) and I think some kind of toy/dolly picnic - she had lots of fun and asked when she would get to go to another school (sweet). I noticed that they asked her to find her name on a list of names....thankfully she found it! Other than that I am none the wiser about the whole thing, fingers crossed.

mumteacher Tue 11-Jan-11 13:55:50

The most stressful time of my life I think was when our DD sat all these assessments - and I'm a teacher! DD did really well mind and got into to every school we applied. If I can help with anything pls message me.

Good Luck, Remember the school has got to be right for your DD and your DD be right for that school - it works both ways.

sometimesinthefall Tue 11-Jan-11 14:21:16

Well, since this is a support thread -
My DD took a couple of 4+ assessments in Nov-Dec, and was turned down by the first school and waitlisted by the second one. Admittedly, these are very selective schools, but I suspect she would have done quite well at most of the tasks listed above, so the whole thing has remained both puzzling and rather upsetting, frankly. She is not very articulate but this is probably due to her being bilingual; she cannot read but knows her alphabet and is very good at counting. She is usually very well-behaved at nursery.
Regarding the assessments, she didn't say much about what they had done, but came back with some craft toys (paper crowns, stickers)and colourings. The girls were told stories and interacted with other children at nursery-type activities (sandpit, toy tea-set etc). One school made her count little snacks to check she could count up to 5.

Good luck with 'your' assessments!

zzlondongirlzz Tue 11-Jan-11 19:34:14

thanks for that sometimesinthefall, you reminded me of two people I met recently whose DDs didn't get through the first round of assessments at one particular prep and these girls IMO are incredible - so confident, so able etc they make my DD look like a baby in comparison - they too are puzzled and no doubt upset by why they didn't even get another shot. I personally find the whole thing a bit ludicrous...they are 3 and 4...., but if this is what you have to do to get into these schools then so be it.

sometimesinthefall Tue 11-Jan-11 20:45:57

Zzlondongirlzz - feels good to hear I'm not alone! Forget about even taking those assessments - being rejected is the ultimate taboo! The whole thing is indeed quite ridiculous, and we felt stupid and ashamed for putting her through this even before the results came through.
On the plus side, it has made us think a lot about the type of education we want for her and realize she is not the hot-house type after all. One of the mothers I met during the assessments was already taking her DD to countless extra-curriculars even during weekends, and I suspect this is what the school was after (okay, this sounds bitter!)

prepschoolinsanity Tue 11-Jan-11 22:22:40

our first lot of letters come out next week. I feel she won't get into any - she's very ordinary as are we!

I'll keep you posted...

zzlondongirlzz Wed 12-Jan-11 19:19:57

well good luck everyone! we have another assessment tomorrow - my DD is really excited at getting to go to another 'big school' (just hope she wakes up in an equally positive mood!), this is the one we think we want (nice not too hot housey type girls school) but they still do all this play assessment malarky...I wish I could be a fly on the wall, would love to see if my DD talks about poo the whole time!!!

sometimesinthefall Thu 13-Jan-11 10:26:29

prepschoolinsanity - I am sure you will get lots of positive results. Trying with several schools is the right way to set about this, and as one headteacher told me, 'everybody gets sorted in the end'.
Still, the process is usually good fun for DDs, but not for their parents, so good luck everyone!

mumteacher Sun 27-Feb-11 21:39:11

Hi just wondering how you all are the other-side of these assessments?

zzlondongirlzz Mon 28-Feb-11 13:19:23

hi, nothing for us! DD was waitlisted for both schools we tried for. Its a shame not to have a firm offer as it would make life easier and mean we could relax about it all but we no doubt didn't apply to enough schools. The little feedback we got was very positive on our DD's performance at the assessments and (they may have been fobbing us off of course) said that application numbers were higher than ever?! We are not gutted but it has made us very nervous that we are now at the mercy of the London state primary school places bun fight.....just heard on the grapevine that our local C of E school received 140 applications for 15 reception places.....

wahwah1270 Wed 18-Jan-12 12:40:37

Bitterly disappointed and quite astounded here - we heard from Sydenham yesterday and it was a very ott no - they cite my dd was not numerate and little language - she's a summer birthday and everything at nursery has always pointed to her being both highly numerate and her language seems great for someone her age - a feeling that has been confirmed by proffesionals even recently. So I'm left thinking well we clearly wont have got Alleyns if Sydenham were that rude and we will have to resign ourselves to local RC primary sad

Michaelahpurple Wed 18-Jan-12 15:05:37

The whole thing is a nightmare! I saw the crowds of little people waiting outside DS2's school earlier this week awaiting their turn. About 300 children apply for a 21 child class, but generally half the places have already gone to sibs (in DS2's class there are 13 sibs, such that there were probably only 2 boys' places actually on offer). These issues distort the results.
Observations:
- apply to lots
- generally the streets (in our case) of Chelsea aren't full of feral receptioneers so for most people it sorts out in the end
- remember it is generally much easier to get in on an occasional place in year 1 or 2 as people move so much and schools have to fill places, so what happens now is not necessarily the end of the road if you find you still pine after a particular school.
good luck all

soandsosmummy Wed 18-Jan-12 17:43:14

Prepschoolinsanity - are you sure they automatically go to senior school from prep? DD's prep has an attached senior school but they still have to do the entrance exam to get in its not automatic

Summersoon Wed 18-Jan-12 18:50:40

@ shellye - this is London for you!

@ prepschoolinsanity and others: I am a little confused - are we talking about 4+ or 7+ entry on this thread? Or both? Because these are two very different kettles of fish. CLSG, as far as I am aware, starts at 7+ and not before.

I agree with soandsomummy that moving on to the senior is not automatic in many schools. CLSG definitely let people know - not sure when, probably in Year 5, possibly as early as Year 4 - if they don't think a girl is suitable.

EdithWeston Wed 18-Jan-12 18:54:34

You might also want to note that this is a revived thread - all but the last 4 posts is nearly a year old. Which I suppose goes to show that the pressures of London continue unabated.

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