LEH entrance exam for senior school

(12 Posts)
Positiveperson90 Wed 09-Oct-13 13:40:45

I wonder if anyone out there can help me? My daughter is currently in Y6 and we are considering Lady Eleanor Holles School for her. One big problem... she has not been tutored. She is bright and at the top of her class but listening to other mums in the area, I am now under the impression that unless she is tutored, she'll stand no chance of getting in. Does anyone have any advice or experience of the entrance procedure for the senior school? Am I wasting my time or is it worth sitting the exam. At this late stage, all I could do would be to do some Bond papers as preparation. I would be grateful to hear from anyone who has a daughter in the senior school and how they prepared for the exam. Thank you.

pixelchick10 Wed 09-Oct-13 14:17:39

Is she at a state or prep school because prep schools would prepare her for the exam anyway ...

Shootingatpigeons Thu 10-Oct-13 01:42:28

I think you have to do some preparation if there is none at school, they may not have covered the whole curriculum, and they will benefit from having experience of working in timed test conditions, and practising VR questions. I have a DD who was not at a prep but the overseas equivalent of a good state primary school that didn't prepare them at all. We did nothing to prepare until after this half term, then I did some Maths papers with her (they were not Bond but the ones then used at the end of Year 6 to measure ability and attainment, NFR?) and we then worked on anything she didn't know or was weak on (the school hadn't yet covered the entire Year. 6 curriculum). No formal timetable, no more than an hour / 30 mins when we could, we were in a lovely warm country with a communal playground beneath our flat so often I just couldn't bear for her to be stuck calculating the area of a football pitch when she could be out playing. She had about 8 one hour weekly sessions with a favourite teacher to work on her literacy, which was her weakness. And she did lots of logic puzzles and problems which she enjoyed (and still does )

Fortunately I was completely unaware of all the playground Chinese whispers etc that get everyone wound up over here!

They are looking for bright DDs with potential, not attainment and tutoring, and so the maths paper seems to test a basic level of knowledge but then has problems that test familiar concepts but in unfamiliar ways so that they have to apply logic and lateral thinking skills. It is similar to Godolphin and Latymer's and they have sample papers on their website.

The English paper is straightforward. Both DDs are dyslexic, so they had eccentric literacy skills but in both cases comments were made about their lively, imaginative and original stories.

LEH also have a general paper with Verbal Reasoning questions, so worth doing a few practise papers, and general knowledge questions, the general knowledge questions are ones that any reasonably well read DD will be able to answer. Eg on DDs paper there was a question that gave you one out of title and characters from children's classics and they had to provide the other and the books were from memory, Harry Potter, Swallows and Amazons (titty), The Silver Sword, Little Women, and one other contemporary one that they were all reading at the time. Please don't now work your poor DD through Penguins children's classics because I am sure they didn't expect them to know them all but rather it gives them an idea.

They do interview quite a large percentage who show they have something across those papers.

I hope this helps. Also stay away from the playground scaremongering! Quite a few parents in my younger DDs year seemed to think that tutoring was the magic key but I tend to think it is having a bright, interesting and stimulated DD.

MiniMonty Thu 10-Oct-13 02:22:08

LOL...
You live in Richmond Borough (where I grew up and went to school).
Where the state schools outstrip the privates every time.
Don't burden her with private eduction and don't spend the money !
The "private school" tag is not a good one once they get to uni.
Richmond spends more on education than any other borough in the country and the kids from LEH or Hampton are left behind when it comes to Oxbridge or Russell group.
Check the numbers.
Think hard about who you want your child to be...

Shootingatpigeons Thu 10-Oct-13 03:01:18

* mini * perhaps when you lived here you could get into the fantastic schools. Check out the admissions statistics, Teddington, Orleans, Waldegrave 1000 parents making each of them first preference, and only 200 places at each. That is why the borough has one of the highest proportions of Year 6s going on to private schools in the country.

And all that government policy on fair admissions is doing is levelling the playing field. Universities want the brightest regardless of school. You are right, getting into an outstanding comp has given DDs friends the same chances as they have had of getting to good unis, and they have. Which is why the fair access strategy is focused on pupils who have experienced real disadvantage, poverty, managing to achieve whilst attending schools where average performance falls well short of average. Universities do not discriminate between state and private, they distinguish between good and poor schools. The middle classes cannot swing advantage by going to high performing state schools in leafy suburbs.

Positiveperson90 Thu 10-Oct-13 11:06:14

Thank you, especially shootingatpigeons. You are right, the scaremongering in the playground is immense and your message has reassured me somewhat. We are still deciding what to do but since I am against the notion of tutoring, I think we will just do some preparation ourselves and let fate take its course. Probably no other choice anyway at this late stage. I anticipate a huge number of applicants though as this is a bulge year. I am hoping that the entrance procedure can see through overly tutored children!

harrassedswlondonmum Fri 11-Oct-13 17:58:22

My state educated children did a mock exam in Sheen which was very helpful exam experience, and also gave a useful benchmark of how they were performing compared to the other participants. If you google "mock exam sheen" you will find details.

Lots of schools have sample 11+ papers on their websites which you can download for free and those are also good for practice.

Good luck, and don't listen to all the playground panic!

harrassedswlondonmum Fri 11-Oct-13 18:01:38

Mini - I'm not sure where you are getting your statistics but I would be interested to see them?

corlan Fri 11-Oct-13 19:30:12

I suspect Mini plucked her statistics straight out of the air because,unfortunately, they're complete fantasy.

Shootingatpigeons Fri 11-Oct-13 19:57:46

It would actually be very hard to compile numbers. Absolute figures for LBRUT V LEH/ Hampton show about 8-10 per year out of the 1350 pupils at Richmond College and around 16 from the 90 or so at LEH and a similar number for the 150 or so at Hampton. But you are comparing selected cohorts versus non selected and a lot of state pupils travel out of the borough, or indeed go to private schools for sixth form. They don't set at Richmond College so you can't even compare top sets as you could for GCSE. If you could then you would hope that if Oxbridge are doing their job that statistics would be quite similar.

happymoma1 Fri 11-Oct-13 20:43:41

Dear OP - just to reassure you were were in the same position as you and DD did absolutely no tutoring, was at a private school but NOT a prep school (the school went to 18 so assumed everyone would stay on and did not therefore prep for 11+) and we just threw her in for the test.
DD did get offered a place despite not having done most of the general paper - we were so clueless we didn't even realise she was going to have to sit a general paper. Because she basically didn't touch the general paper I came to the conclusion afterwards that it is really the maths and english papers that counted and they might use the general paper in marginal cases (I promise you she did hardly any of it!). I would sit your DD anyway... you never know.

Shootingatpigeons Fri 11-Oct-13 22:09:34

Positive I don't agree. The selection process is designed to give them, as far as any could, a picture of the whole child. So that if there is a weakness in any part of the exams / interview for whatever reason they have a chance to show strengths in others. I know they pay attention to the VR questions in the general paper as an indicator of ability, and like to see a score above the 95th percentile, and cross reference back subsequent testing to check it does the job (don't want to out myself by saying more although probably have already hmm). The Head said to me after interviewing my DD that the interview "tells us a lot" I did ring to check that my DDs were not going to struggle and their answers made it clear that there was no formula or first past the post but rather an appreciation of each candidates strengths and weaknesses and what made them think they would thrive and make the most of the opportunities offered. I am sure not finishing the general paper wouldn't scupper an applicant but also aceing it would also tell them something about a candidate.

Both my DDs being dyslexic messed bits of the Maths and English papers up with the usual misreading of questions and silly errors but they spotted that, and the underlying ability and imagination.

It is really dangerous to extrapolate anything from any of the process. At DDs interview she ended up having a bit of a barney with the Head over the issue of North Korea having nuclear weapons which instantly spread fear and panic over the playground about the need for DDs to have degree level understanding of international relations when in fact DD had Korean friends and that was just where the conversation went. DD argued that if America wanted North Korea to give up weapons then America should too. Typical bolshie 11 year old. I am pretty certain that issue hasn't come up since and DD2 spent most of her interview discussing Kevin Spacey, don't ask grin

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