A whistlestop tour of CLC, Brighton College and Cranleigh!

 I am in the UK for the first time in three years! As I go around the schools, I am amazed at how quickly boarding life has resumed. It is wonderful to see students making the most of the sunshine. As we are in exam season, libraries and studies are packed and (according to one house parent) restorative cakes and toast are in high demand...  I have made a few quick videos to record my impressions of...  Cheltenham Ladies' College (CLC),  Cranleigh ... and Brighton College.  Winchester, Wycombe, Downe and Wellington to come! 

School Interview Tips with Dr Jessica - the book question!

Interviewers love to ask students which books they are reading!  In this short video, you'll hear some of my top tips to tackle the question.   Click the image to get started.  

Focus on the day schools - options in the North West

 We have increasing number of parents looking for day schools around Manchester. Some of the parents are moving to the UK with the BNO passport scheme, others are thinking of moving closer to family.   To help you to understand the system, we have carried out research into the schools parents are looking at. All the information is taken from the school websites and is for guidance only!    Entry Points Entrance Exams Interview? Additional Information Sunday Times Ranking School Name Closest City 11+ 13+ 16+ VR NVR English Maths North West 1 Altrincham Grammar School for Girls Manchester Monday 19th September 2022 For 11+ Sixth Form requires four GCSE passes at grades 7 and above, plus two GCSE passes at grade 6. Grades 7, 8 or 9, are required in the relevant GCSE subject to be studied at A Level. 2 The Blue Coat School Liverpool Sept 2022 Coed. The minimum entry requirements for all icandidates are: Grade 6 in GCSE Mathematics and English Language or Literature ▪ 52 points from the bes

Scores on the doors - the Sunday Times Parent Power Rankings 2022

 As we all know, there is more to a school than rankings! They don't show the rich cultural or sporting lives of a school or indeed differentiate between schools with selective and unselective intakes.   Every year, the Sunday Times produces a ranking of all the schools in the UK based on GCSE and A level performance. This year, the 29th Sunday Times Parent Power rankings have taken an average of results from 2017 - 2019 for their 2021 results (formal exams were disrupted due to the pandemic so schools used centre assessed grades in 2021) and the top ten schools are:   1: St Paul's Girls 2: King's College School, Wimbledon 3: Wycombe Abbey School  4: Magdalen College School 5: Guildford High School  6: St Paul's School  7: Westminster School  8 (joint) Brighton College - City of London School for Girls 10: Sevenoaks We've had Brandon students going on to all schools! Also enormously popular this year for our students are Eton College (11th), Radley (58th) Downe Hou

Books... book.. books...

Searching for inspiration? In no particular order, books which might inspire  this Christmas. Buy them from a local independent bookshop and preserve our access to good reading. I loved the BBC series tracing world history through objects which is now available to pick through; this book is another way into a fascinating subject. Aimed at ages 8+ or so.      The idea of a poem a day isn't new but this new anthology has a varied range of styles and poets (Maya Angelou and Robert Burns!) Read a poem and journal or share your reactions. An inspiring workbook for 9+ boys and girls. Learn step by step how to develop confidence and be true to your talents.

Interview season - get ready now!

  Interview Season  If you child is going into year 6 and you are applying to UK selective schools, you will be heading into interview season! Remember these stages:  1: Create your timetable. The first step is going to be taking the ISEB Pre-test (Winchester, Eton, Westminster, St Paul's, Tonbridge) and you need to be ready for this. Try the mock tests on 2: Think about the different interview styles you might encounter. Will they be group interviews (Wycombe, Downe House, Wellington), individual sessions + testing (St Paul's, Eton) or even academic interviews (Westminster, Winchester). Talk to your child about what to expect. 3: AVOID memorising answers! Schools hate this... INSTEAD... start discussions with your child about their interests and try to encourage them to develop their answers.  4: Choose a book, reading it together and discuss ideas.  5: Look for experiences which will develop your child's interests: visit a museum or gallery, talk about

Almost there, but not quite - Waiting List Woes

You get through the ISEB Pre-test, fly through the interviews... only to get a waiting list offer.  Don't despair!  A waiting list place is NOT a rejection. You are still in the picture. In 2020, five of my boys moved from reserve to general places at Winchester. One of my boys moved from the Eton waiting list and one of my girls has just moved off the waiting list at Downe House to the delight of her parents.   Why do schools have waiting lists?  It is no secret that families apply to multiple schools. If a school makes 10 offers, they can assume that a proportion of the candidates will not accept, or may drop our later. Hence the waiting list.  Why do students move from the waiting list? Some students may have a couple of options to consider. Once they give up their places, the schools will go to the waiting list to fill the gaps.  Other places will become available after scholarship exams take place. For example, Winchester candidates for Election will generally be holding offe