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

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    (Original post by Coolcat16)
    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.
    It's not necessary, and I think the added pressure/stress of uprooting and moving just to "benefit" your daughter could end up being counter-productive.

    My son went to a reasonably good local comp after missing out (narrowly) on grammar school places at Y7 and again for Y12/13. We refused to go down the additional 11+/entrance tutoring that seems to be the norm.

    He's now at Cambridge, after self-studying STEP (although for Engineering not Maths). He also changed his mind at least 3 times about his course during the year before applying.

    I would be very wary about pushing (or encouraging her to push herself) down a specialised path at this early stage. Of course give her any encouragement she needs, and help her to take advantage of any opportunities, but please don't invest too emotionally in Cambridge as the be-all and end-all. There be dragons down that path...
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    (Original post by Coolcat16)
    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 ?
    If a student who has not received any extra tuition, mentoring, training or support performs equally as well as someone who has these advantages, the admission tutor might reasonably conclude that they have greater potential.
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    (Original post by Coolcat16)
    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 ?
    They review every application holistically and also "in context". So a strong application by a pupil in a poor school *can* be more impressive than an equally strong application from an "outstanding" school.

    How they use contextual data: http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.a...ontextual-data

    They also spend literally hours assessing each applicant, including (usually) multiple interviews with (usually) a couple of leading academics in the subject.

    What are they looking for?
    http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.a...we-looking-for

    And have a read of this: https://www.theguardian.com/educatio...ns-really-work

    By the way, the current A-level requirement for Maths is 2 A*s (in Maths & Further Maths) plus an A in a 3rd subject (usually but not necessarily Physics), plus grade 1 in STEP papers II and III (STEP is a rather hard maths exam taken at the same time as the A-levels). Nobody needs to have 5 A-levels.

    These requirements may well evolve between now and 2023...
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    (Original post by Coolcat16)
    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 ?
    I'm currently going through he university admissions process and that is actually the case. I don't know about the test scores themselves having lower pass requirements but they will lower their standards if someone comes from a school that gets generally bad scores, and raise their standards for the opposite.

    It's not viewed as penalising though. Oxbridge want people who are the best from those around them because it shows that they have achieved more than they have been given the opportunity to achieve. Like students in private schools will ALL get top grades, because of their higher standard of education. It favours those who overachieve based on the hands that they've been dealt, as those people are clearly the ones who have gone above and beyond. Oxbridge don't want to continue the perpetual circle of privileged people being the only ones who can get to the top. (Though lets be honest, this is most often the case...this sort of just evens the playing field slightly)
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    There's really no need to plan so ahead. Although there is nothing wrong with having that ambition, a lot of things can change in a small amount of time. At this age your daughter should be able to explore and experiment in various areas. Pushing her to do something may just end up causing her to hate it.

    At that age my friend was dead set on going to cambridge but fast forward to now, her interests have changed and has realised that sometimes a prestigious uni isnt everything.
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    (Original post by A_Human_Being)
    I'm currently going through he university admissions process and that is actually the case. I don't know about the test scores themselves having lower pass requirements but they will lower their standards if someone comes from a school that gets generally bad scores, and raise their standards for the opposite.
    Just to be clear - Cambridge doesn't have pass/fail marks for it's pre-interview or at-interview admissions assessments. A "poor" performance in one area can potentially be offset by strengths elsewhere

    Also they don't really "lower their standards" in that case - but they might indeed raise them for some.
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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?
    Let's put it this way: student 2 would have packed their bags, been given a full scholarship and sent to live in the nicest dorms possible.... Before student 1 has even had an interview. Also, she'll be doing 3 A levels and want to be getting minimum one A*.
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    When I was in primary school I had a real flair for English and got some of the best results in the country in my English SATs and I used to bang on all the time about going to Oxford to study English. The thing is, you only really focus on maths, English and science in primary school so your child hasn't actually tried enough subjects to already have a lifelong commitment to maths. I ended up getting my best GCSES in physics, geography, ict and business studies before changing my mind again at A-Level and applying to do a degree in film and television at the university of Nottingham, where I have just finished my first year with a 1st. I did all of this while going to one of the worst state schools and sixth forms in Manchester, and I know plenty of people who have ended up at Oxbridge . I suppose my overall point is, she's too young to truly know what she will study at degree level and even if she does stick with maths, if she has a true talent it does not matter where she goes to high school
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    It's not necessary, and I think the added pressure/stress of uprooting and moving just to "benefit" your daughter could end up being counter-productive.

    My son went to a reasonably good local comp after missing out (narrowly) on grammar school places at Y7 and again for Y12/13. We refused to go down the additional 11+/entrance tutoring that seems to be the norm.

    He's now at Cambridge, after self-studying STEP, etc (although for Engineering not Maths). He also changed his mind at least 3 times about his course during the year before applying.

    I would be very wary about pushing (or encouraging her to push herself) down a specialised path at this early stage. Of course give her any encouragement she needs, and help her to take advantage of any opportunities, but please don't invest too emotionally in Cambridge as the be-all and end-all. There be dragons down that path...
    Thank you for sharing this with me.

    Absolutely with you on this. We are not pushing her. The cambridge thingy started after her best friends sister got in there.

    We let her do what she likes, but all homework etc is done on time. We revise on the weekends and do a bit of maths everyday. No tuition or anything. She doesn maths with her best friend and her sister. Thats how she got to know about cambridge etc. I am usually fairly relaxed about her education - mums evening changed it all. Im so nervous now. We are far behind in tuitions, planning or even having a "strategy". We didnt even consider top private secondary schools. While people in my DDs school are neck deep into all this already.
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    (Original post by shaunnaob)
    When I was in primary school I had a real flair for English and got some of the best results in the country in my English SATs and I used to bang on all the time about going to Oxford to study English.
    Exactly this.

    The thing is, you only really focus on maths, English and science in primary school so your child hasn't actually tried enough subjects to already have a lifelong commitment to maths. I ended up getting my best GCSES in physics, geography, ict and business studies before changing my mind again at A-Level and applying to do a degree in film and television at the university of Nottingham, where I have just finished my first year with a 1st.
    Agree. But given the info at this time, isnt it wise to choose a school that will support her in maths (her strength). If she likes something else and changes her mind, thats fine. But I know maths will always be her strength.

    I did all of this while going to one of the worst state schools and sixth forms in Manchester, and I know plenty of people who have ended up at Oxbridge . I suppose my overall point is, she's too young to truly know what she will study at degree level and even if she does stick with maths, if she has a true talent it does not matter where she goes to high school
    I'm sure there were plenty of people in your school who were pretty talented but ended up in bad company and completely changed their destiny. That's what I'm worried about in my local comprehensive.
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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.
    This is too young to target someone on their maths ability. You need to remember doing cambridge at maths does not automatically equal success in life, however you define that as well. Have you ever asked your daughter, what she wants to do?

    Here is a quote from one of my heroes, legendary investor Warren Buffett:

    “There comes a time when you ought to start doing what you want. Take a job that you love. You will jump out of bed in the morning. I think you are out of your mind if you keep taking jobs that you don't like because you think it will look good on your resume. Isn't that a little like saving up sex for your old age?”

    Warren Buffett
    Chairman and CEO Berkshire Hathaway

    I am a PhD student in finance and that is what I enjoy doing. I invest in the markets and couldn't see myself doing anything else.
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    (Original post by finance_goy)
    . Have you ever asked your daughter, what she wants to do?
    Its amazing how people so determined to push me into the "horrible pushy parent" category, so they can just have a go.

    Did you even read my post correctly? I never asked my daughter what she wants to do. SHE TELLS ME EVERY SINGLE DAY "I want to study maths at university. I want to be a mathematician". Its because SHE ENJOYS MATHS. She can spend all day solving problems if I left her to it. Cambridge thing started when her BFFs sister got into Cambridge.
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    (Original post by Coolcat16)
    Its amazing how people so determined to push me into the "horrible pushy parent" category, so they can just have a go.

    Did you even read my post correctly? I never asked my daughter what she wants to do. SHE TELLS ME EVERY SINGLE DAY "I want to study maths at university. I want to be a mathematician". Its because SHE ENJOYS MATHS. She can spend all day solving problems if I left her to it. Cambridge thing started when her BFFs sister got into Cambridge.
    Ok, great, why does she have to go to cambridge? What does she want to do with the maths degree?

    When I was 10, I wanted to be a pilot, now I play the financial markets, times change and so do aspirations and hopes.

    Also there is no way to tell her ability at this age, whether she is capable of getting into cambridge. Remember it is not the end of the world if she doesn't, I'm not doing a phd at a top 10 university, but I still enjoy what I'm doing.
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    (Original post by Coolcat16)
    Thank you for sharing this with me.

    Absolutely with you on this. We are not pushing her. The cambridge thingy started after her best friends sister got in there.

    We let her do what she likes, but all homework etc is done on time. We revise on the weekends and do a bit of maths everyday. No tuition or anything. She doesn maths with her best friend and her sister. Thats how she got to know about cambridge etc. I am usually fairly relaxed about her education - mums evening changed it all. Im so nervous now. We are far behind in tuitions, planning or even having a "strategy". We didnt even consider top private secondary schools. While people in my DDs school are neck deep into all this already.
    I'll ask again, what are your 3 local reasonably good schools. According to Ofsted there's quite a few "good" or "outstanding" schools in Croydon.

    You don't need an elite specialist or grammar school.

    You don't need a private school.

    You don't need to sell up and move to a very expensive part of London.

    You don't need a strategy, just lots of common sense


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    (Original post by Coolcat16)
    I never asked my daughter what she wants to do. SHE TELLS ME EVERY SINGLE DAY "I want to study maths at university. I want to be a mathematician". Its because SHE ENJOYS MATHS. She can spend all day solving problems if I left her to it.
    Is she actually doing maths or just solving arithmetic problems?

    Your daughter might enjoy this website: https://nrich.maths.org/primary-upper

    She's possibly a tad young but might be suitable for SYMS: http://www.m-a.org.uk/syms
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    (Original post by finance_goy)
    Ok, great, why does she have to go to cambridge? What does she want to do with the maths degree?

    When I was 10, I wanted to be a pilot, now I play the financial markets, times change and so do aspirations and hopes.

    Also there is no way to tell her ability at this age, whether she is capable of getting into cambridge. Remember it is not the end of the world if she doesn't, I'm not doing a phd at a top 10 university, but I still enjoy what I'm doing.
    Did you know at 10 what you wanted to do with that pilot license ?

    ofcourse its hard to predict her ability at this age. Do you think I should say "stop being so stupid, you can never get into cambridge" ? .I wont. Even if she tells me she wants to be a supermodel, I wont ever tell her she cant do it. I will do everything I can to support her and help her get there. At this point, given the info we have, I know maths will be her strength even if she chooses biology at Uni. So, I am trying to get her into a school that supports her in her NATURALLY talented subject, even if she decides to do something else later on.
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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 wanted to be a "chemist" until I reached year 12.
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    (Original post by Coolcat16)
    Did you know at 10 what you wanted to do with that pilot license ?

    ofcourse its hard to predict her ability at this age. Do you think I should say "stop being so stupid, you can never get into cambridge" ? .I wont. Even if she tells me she wants to be a supermodel, I wont ever tell her she cant do it. I will do everything I can to support her and help her get there. At this point, given the info we have, I know maths will be her strength even if she chooses biology at Uni. So, I am trying to get her into a school that supports her in her NATURALLY talented subject, even if she decides to do something else later on.
    Let me tell you something and this is absolutely the truth. In schools she will learn nothing, most students learn from textbooks or wikipedia or YouTube. I learnt half my master's degree off YouTube from professors in India or at MIT. You can learn anything on YouTube. Kids these days go to school to meet friends. By Year 11 most kids stop doing homework and by Year 12, we used to regularly bunk lessons.

    We knew what we had to achieve and the time we had, so bunking lessons is not an issue. Not preparing for exams is. A couple of months before exams we would prepare and pass. You just need to be in control as a student.

    All you need to do is focus on getting her into a school where the environment is good, so she isn't surrounded by drug junkies and chavs. These people will hold her back and drag her down the wrong path. Though some of the smartest people I know came from the roughest schools, so the strong minded people do get out of the gutter.

    End of the day, it comes down to her. Being able to add fractions well does not mean being able to derive the Gauss Markov Theorem effectively. Education gets exponentially harder.
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    (Original post by Coolcat16)
    Did you know at 10 what you wanted to do with that pilot license ?

    ofcourse its hard to predict her ability at this age. Do you think I should say "stop being so stupid, you can never get into cambridge" ? .I wont. Even if she tells me she wants to be a supermodel, I wont ever tell her she cant do it. I will do everything I can to support her and help her get there. At this point, given the info we have, I know maths will be her strength even if she chooses biology at Uni. So, I am trying to get her into a school that supports her in her NATURALLY talented subject, even if she decides to do something else later on.
    I must note she needs to be passionate about whatever she does, if you want to know what passion looks like, have a look at this video. It's of hedge fund manager James Jim Cramer right before the financial crash, where banks were going under and the US federal reserve were sucking their thumb.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWksEJQEYVU&t=107s
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    This is fast turning into an unpleasant thread. Please try to hold a respectful discussion and go easy on the stereotypes.
 
 
 
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