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Which secondary school to target? DD wants to study Maths at Uni Watch

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    Hi all,
    My daughter is currently in Year5 at a local state primary school. She is good at maths and enjoys it. Her long term goal is to study maths at Cambridge.

    11 plus exams are fast approaching. We must now decide which schools we want to aim for. I have a nagging feeling somewhere that we didn't do a thorough research to help DD choose a school that suits her. We live in Croydon, but we are happy to move anywhere (commutable to London) for the right school. So far, we've been considering Tonbridge Grammar School, Newstead Wood School and Henrietta Barnett school.

    Henrietta Barnett is our #1 choice. Why? Because its the only state school that stands in the top10 alongside top privates. Because they have a impressive Oxbridge record.

    Please can I ask the wise people of this forum to help my daughter choose the right school ?

    1. DD plans to start preparing for UKMT Junior challenge soon. Does Henrietta Barnett school offer support /guidance if she wants to work towards BMO?

    2. Which secondary schools would you recommends we consider for her?

    3. We haven't looked at private secondaries at all. We can afford to send her to one of those top secondaries but that means major compromises on lifestyle for us. In your opinion, do you think sending her private is worth it ? Do private schools really make a difference in terms of polish etc or are top state secondaries as good?

    Any other relevant advise is gratefully received.
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    (Original post by Coolcat16)
    Hi all,
    My daughter is currently in Year5 at a local state primary school. She is good at maths and enjoys it. Her long term goal is to study maths at Cambridge.

    11 plus exams are fast approaching. We must now decide which schools we want to aim for. I have a nagging feeling somewhere that we didn't do a thorough research to help DD choose a school that suits her. We live in Croydon, but we are happy to move anywhere (commutable to London) for the right school. So far, we've been considering Tonbridge Grammar School, Newstead Wood School and Henrietta Barnett school.

    Henrietta Barnett is our #1 choice. Why? Because its the only state school that stands in the top10 alongside top privates. Because they have a impressive Oxbridge record.

    Please can I ask the wise people of this forum to help my daughter choose the right school ?

    1. DD plans to start preparing for UKMT Junior challenge soon. Does Henrietta Barnett school offer support /guidance if she wants to work towards BMO?

    2. Which secondary schools would you recommends we consider for her?

    3. We haven't looked at private secondaries at all. We can afford to send her to one of those top secondaries but that means major compromises on lifestyle for us. In your opinion, do you think sending her private is worth it ? Do private schools really make a difference in terms of polish etc or are top state secondaries as good?

    Any other relevant advise is gratefully received.
    Hi! I'm not in the Croydon area but hopefully can offer some general advice. I'm currently holding a Cambridge offer for Natural Sciences subject to A-level grades this summer. I've been at my local secondary school, which is widely regarded as the worst school in my area, since year 7 and stayed on for Sixth Form. When I was researching Cambridge, a lot of what i heard was that, in reality, it doesn't matter what school you go to. They take into account the track record of your school with regards to applications when assessing a student's application. As far as i know, the applicant to offer ratio is in fact lower at the top school in my area than in my school. And they also expect schools with high numbers of applicants and offers to prepare students slightly more thoroughly than at schools where offers are somewhat rarer.

    I guess what I'm trying to say to you is that if your daughter is good enough to go to Cambridge and applies, she will get an offer - the reputation of her secondary school isn't that important. I actually turned down a place at a top local sixth form college to stay where i was and it hasn't done me any harm.
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    Hi I don't know much about schools near London but it doesn't really matter where she studies, as long as she gets the grades ,which is ultimately all down to her. I guess pretty much all grammar schools would provide the support she needs. Even normal state schools have students who get into oxbridge. Paying for a private school is pointless when you can go to a free grammar school, especially if it will impact your lifestyle. People in my school generally got higher grades than our local private schools. You could always just pay for extra tuition if she needs support with math challenges and schools usually offer classes/clubs for these if there are children interested(my school did anyway) . I wouldn't recommend a long commute to school because it would get tiring over the years, and its a waste because she could use that time to be studying/resting at home or doing extra curricular activities.
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    (Original post by Coolcat16)
    Hi all,
    My daughter is currently in Year5 at a local state primary school. She is good at maths and enjoys it. Her long term goal is to study maths at Cambridge.

    11 plus exams are fast approaching. We must now decide which schools we want to aim for. I have a nagging feeling somewhere that we didn't do a thorough research to help DD choose a school that suits her. We live in Croydon, but we are happy to move anywhere (commutable to London) for the right school. So far, we've been considering Tonbridge Grammar School, Newstead Wood School and Henrietta Barnett school.

    Henrietta Barnett is our #1 choice. Why? Because its the only state school that stands in the top10 alongside top privates. Because they have a impressive Oxbridge record.

    Please can I ask the wise people of this forum to help my daughter choose the right school ?

    1. DD plans to start preparing for UKMT Junior challenge soon. Does Henrietta Barnett school offer support /guidance if she wants to work towards BMO?

    2. Which secondary schools would you recommends we consider for her?

    3. We haven't looked at private secondaries at all. We can afford to send her to one of those top secondaries but that means major compromises on lifestyle for us. In your opinion, do you think sending her private is worth it ? Do private schools really make a difference in terms of polish etc or are top state secondaries as good?

    Any other relevant advise is gratefully received.
    Do you like where you currently live?

    If so, what are the 3 nearest secondary schools with sixth forms to you?

    And "even" Henrieta Barnet only has a 50% success rate for applicants getting an offer vs the university average of 25%. And the Maths average offer rate is higher anyway (40%) because of their use of STEP as an entry requirement.

    Honestly I wouldn't recommend moving your family just for this.

    The best Maths support is right here on TSR
    Maths Forum: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=38
    And eventually she'll use this, well the 2023(?) version : https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=4275906


    Oh and the top state sixth form for Cambridge is Hills Road (in Cambridge) - I presume you don't fancy moving all the way there though...

    Edit to add: LB of Sutton has 11+ selective grammars. Closer than Hampstead, or Cambridge.
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    Your daughter is in year 5 and already has long term goals to study at Cambridge (maths no less as well). Am I the only one who thinks this is very weird. Why not just let her enjoy her childhood rather than planning 8 years ahead jeez send her to the best school for her and let her be.

    This thread is actually quite worrying imo. Seems like she is far too young to be thinking about this.
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    And please don't have your child tutored for the Maths Challenges - that is totally not in the spirit of the event. There are plenty of resources on the UKMT website in the form of past papers etc.

    As for secondary schools, HBS being a superselective, you have until the day your daughter starts there to move to somewhere more convenient than Croydon, so there is no penalty involved - other than the price differential between North and South London, the add-on costs of a house move etc -. in her having a go at the entrance exam (remember that it is in two parts and only a fairly low percentage of those sitting the first part will be deemed suitable to sit the second).

    But if your daughter is already in year 5, I would look very carefully at the residence requirements for any selective school which does not admit purely in score order, as you may have to have moved before October 31st (final date for submission of your CAF) - or even by the time of registering her for the exam - in order to be considered in catchment and therefore have a better chance of obtaining a place. You can, of course, take a gamble and apply for several schools as out of catchment (assuming that your daughter will have done well enough in the relevant entrance exams for this to be worth contemplating) and plan to move if she gets in somewhere, but remember to include a local school for which your DD will be eligible, should your more aspirational preferences fall through.

    If you are going to enter your daughter for 11+ exams, registration is already open at many, if not most, schools so be careful not to miss the closing dates.
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    (Original post by Coolcat16)
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    I routinely send students to Cambridge for maths from a "bog-standard" state comprehensive. Their location or availability of tuition is less important than their natural ability in my opinion. I suspect a student who is drilled to jump through hoops from an early age will find it quite difficult to cope with the removal of this scaffolding at university. If your daughter is a strong candidate for Cambridge maths, she will get there with only a moderate amount of parental support.
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    (Original post by poorform)
    Your daughter is in year 5 and already has long term goals to study at Cambridge (maths no less as well). Am I the only one who thinks this is very weird. Why not just let her enjoy her childhood rather than planning 8 years ahead jeez send her to the best school for her and let her be.

    This thread is actually quite worrying imo. Seems like she is far too young to be thinking about this.
    Why? Its never too young or never too old to have ambitions in life. She wants to study maths at cambridge - that doesnt mean she is doing GCSE maths already and is being tutored day and night. Nopes. She is a normal 10yr old who does loads of activities (that she likes) . Just that she LOVES maths and is slightly more mentally matured for her age.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Do you like where you currently live?

    If so, what are the 3 nearest secondary schools with sixth forms to you?

    And "even" Henrieta Barnet only has a 50% success rate for applicants getting an offer vs the university average of 25%. And the Maths average offer rate is higher anyway (40%) because of their use of STEP as an entry requirement.

    Honestly I wouldn't recommend moving your family just for this.

    The best Maths support is right here on TSR
    Maths Forum: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=38
    And eventually she'll use this, well the 2023(?) version : https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=4275906


    Oh and the top state sixth form for Cambridge is Hills Road (in Cambridge) - I presume you don't fancy moving all the way there though...

    Edit to add: LB of Sutton has 11+ selective grammars. Closer than Hampstead, or Cambridge.
    Thank you. Do grammars have specialisms at all? Are there any Maths specialism schools in and around London?
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    It doesn't matter, if she's smart enough, she'll get in, if she's not, she won't. So, the best school would be the worst one, because then she'd get grades that are above everyone else in her school and Cambridge would be more likely to accept her if he grades aren't great.
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    (Original post by Mr M)
    I routinely send students to Cambridge for maths from a "bog-standard" state comprehensive. Their location or availability of tuition is less important than their natural ability in my opinion. I suspect a student who is drilled to jump through hoops from an early age will find it quite difficult to cope with the removal of this scaffolding at university. If your daughter is a strong candidate for Cambridge maths, she will get there with only a moderate amount of parental support.
    this is the best advice. it is difficult to spot Cambridge-level ability at the tender age of year 5. the pupil could be the best at maths in their school and be totally ill-equipped for the Cambridge Tripos.
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    (Original post by rayofsunshine98)
    Hi! I'm not in the Croydon area but hopefully can offer some general advice. I'm currently holding a Cambridge offer for Natural Sciences subject to A-level grades this summer. I've been at my local secondary school, which is widely regarded as the worst school in my area, since year 7 and stayed on for Sixth Form. When I was researching Cambridge, a lot of what i heard was that, in reality, it doesn't matter what school you go to. They take into account the track record of your school with regards to applications when assessing a student's application. As far as i know, the applicant to offer ratio is in fact lower at the top school in my area than in my school. And they also expect schools with high numbers of applicants and offers to prepare students slightly more thoroughly than at schools where offers are somewhat rarer.

    I guess what I'm trying to say to you is that if your daughter is good enough to go to Cambridge and applies, she will get an offer - the reputation of her secondary school isn't that important. I actually turned down a place at a top local sixth form college to stay where i was and it hasn't done me any harm.
    Very impressive. Congratulations!

    Its not the reputation - its the quality of teaching and academic environment that I am thinking about. There are some really motivated children who do well no matter what. They are driven from inside. My daughter is like that NOW. But, when she gets into her teens, its her friends etc that will influence her greatly. In selective schools, the environment is very academic - so Im thinking it could be a better choice even if it means selling our home and moving.

    I'm happy to be corrected.
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    (Original post by Coolcat16)
    Thank you. Do grammars have specialisms at all? Are there any Maths specialism schools in and around London?
    There probably are but I would STRONGLY discourage it. At this age your child should aspire to be an, er, polymath... not (forgive me) a one trick pony.
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    (Original post by Coolcat16)
    Why? Its never too young or never too old to have ambitions in life. She wants to study maths at cambridge - that doesnt mean she is doing GCSE maths already and is being tutored day and night. Nopes. She is a normal 10yr old who does loads of activities (that she likes) . Just that she LOVES maths and is slightly more mentally matured for her age.
    I'm not sure if one can judge whether they absolutely adore a subject when they're studying at a very basic level. At your daughter's age, I'd say that they're just starting to be introduced to very basic elementary algebra, geometry, perhaps an introduction to the Cartesian coordinate system, with mathematics lessons still being largely based around arithmetic. Some people I've known, have absolutely adored mathematics in primary school, finding it easy, later coming to despise it, through finding it difficult or uninteresting. This may not happen here, but it is certainly a possibility that I feel you should be aware of. As she starts to cover her subjects in more depth, she may find that her passions lie elsewhere. Also, out of interest, has she defined this goal, or have you?
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    (Original post by Coolcat16)
    Why? Its never too young or never too old to have ambitions in life. She wants to study maths at cambridge - that doesnt mean she is doing GCSE maths already and is being tutored day and night. Nopes. She is a normal 10yr old who does loads of activities (that she likes) . Just that she LOVES maths and is slightly more mentally matured for her age.
    A 10 year old doesn't have sufficient experience/knowledge to be able to decide what they want and you looking at moving just to and try and get her into Cambridge maths seems ludicrous. Maybe in 5 years she will want to be a doctor or lawyer or historian or social worker or artist or actor or.....

    As already noted by Mr M if she is good enough and still wants to go there in 7/8 years then she will be be free to apply.

    You seem like one of those parents who pushes there children too hard quite frankly. How do you even know she is capable of Cambridge maths? They must reject a lot of very talented people every year.

    Seriously though do you honestly think your 10 year old has ambitions to go to Cambridge maths or is that something you are pushing on her. I would be very surprised if the former. (Maybe some people are only ever out for maths from a very young age people like Tao for instance but you're daughter is not on that level or even close sorry to say)

    Anyway if she likes maths as much as you make out then it is a gift imo and you should look at helping her explore things she is interested in at her own pace rather than shoving things like training for maths challenges down her throat.
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    I'm just saying that I'm 16, and I'm focusing on my GCSEs, not where I'm going to for university! Don't look ahead, look and focus on what is happening NOW!
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    (Original post by That'sGreat)
    So, the best school would be the worst one, because then she'd get grades that are above everyone else in her school and Cambridge would be more likely to accept her if he grades aren't great.

    Is is all relative in uni admissions ? (please forgive my ignorance, I'm totally new to all this, but addicted to TSR at the moment)

    Student1 : 5 As from a top grammar school
    Student 2: 5 As from a local comprehensive

    Are you saying student 2 stands better chance? Are you sure?
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    (Original post by Coolcat16)
    Is is all relative in uni admissions ? (please forgive my ignorance, I'm totally new to all this, but addicted to TSR at the moment)

    Student1 : 5 As from a top grammar school
    Student 2: 5 As from a local comprehensive

    Are you saying student 2 stands better chance? Are you sure?
    Certainly it used to be the case that if a school/college hadn't sent many students to Cambridge, their students might typically get a STEP (maths entrance test) offer of 1, 2 rather than 1, 1. These lower offers are no longer so common.
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    (Original post by poorform)
    A 10 year old doesn't have sufficient experience/knowledge to be able to decide what they want and you looking at moving just to and try and get her into Cambridge maths seems ludicrous. Maybe in 5 years she will want to be a doctor or lawyer or historian or social worker or artist or actor or.....

    As already noted by Mr M if she is good enough and still wants to go there in 7/8 years then she will be be free to apply.

    You seem like one of those parents who pushes there children too hard quite frankly. How do you even know she is capable of Cambridge maths? They must reject a lot of very talented people every year.

    Seriously though do you honestly think your 10 year old has ambitions to go to Cambridge maths or is that something you are pushing on her. I would be very surprised if the former. (Maybe some people are only ever out for maths from a very young age people like Tao for instance but you're daughter is not on that level or even close sorry to say)

    Anyway if she likes maths as much as you make out then it is a gift imo and you should look at helping her explore things she is interested in at her own pace rather than shoving things like training for maths challenges down her throat.
    You know nothing about me or my daugher. Why are you attacking me?

    Why should she not have ambitions to go to cambridge maths ? Its beyond me? I totally know that things could change. Why should I not plan ahead and do the best for my child, esp when she loves the subject?

    Seriously, if a child told you she wants to be a rocket scientist, will you say all this? Why is cambridge maths so wrong?

    You go on to say my daughter is not even close to whatever Tao level you say. How do you know?? Are ALL cambridge math people at that level at year5?

    Please, can you stay away from my thread? You seem like a very negative person. Whatever made you so negative, hope you will make peace with it one day.
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    (Original post by Mr M)
    Certainly it used to be the case that if a school/college hadn't sent many students to Cambridge, their students might typically get a STEP (maths entrance test) offer of 1, 2 rather than 1, 1. These lower offers are no longer so common.
    Not lower scores, but if they get the same scores, would they choose student2? Is that not penalizing student 1 for just going to a top school ?
 
 
 
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