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 Post subject: Re: SHHS interviews?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:29 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:24 am
Posts: 17
In response to shootmenow, are you saying the head actually came out and spoke to/interviewed you during the process? We didn’t get to meet her this year at all, only the girls in the group interview with her, so must have changed since then!


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 Post subject: Re: SHHS interviews?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:39 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:23 am
Posts: 104
Shootmenow. But this is exactly the point I’m making. It is valid to ask about siblings in the context that you describe. You were given the opportunity to explain why you might feel the school was a better fit for your DD. There was no discussion of our thought process. This just did not happen this year. There was no opportunity to meet or discuss anything with the head. There was no discussion with the girls about the implications of siblings, they were just asked which schools they were at and how old they were.

I spoke to a friend who went through this process at Channing 3 years ago. What I described to her, including how they make offers, was nothing like her experience. She had an in depth interview with the head, with her DD, an offer day ‘decision’ session and felt the school had really personalised the whole process.


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 Post subject: Re: SHHS interviews?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:21 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:55 am
Posts: 47
The experience of the Channing interview is that they are very much about looking for the "Channing Girls".

The teachers don't tend to know scores and the interview forms a very significant part of the assessment. Confidence, immaculate behaviour, good eye-contact with interviewer and music all feature very strongly. Living locally and having a sibling likely to join the school also influence the decisions.

The school is trying to move to a more academic position so perhaps the entrance exams results might be more of an influence, especially with fewer places at 11+.


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 Post subject: Re: SHHS interviews?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:01 pm
Posts: 107
Ha that's my dd out then! She's a scruffy tomboy with no musical ability. Doesn't live locally and sibling at another school (though she came up with a good response as to why).

I slightly regret putting her in for Channing as I think she's more likely to get offered one we'd prefer. And then even if we do get offered it, there's the whole exploding thing too. But the consortium does encourage you to do more than you might have initially planned to do.

I agree that the consortium exam increased rather than decreased preparation for us. Older dd could forgo VR and nVR completely and I don't think extra maths and English is a bad thing generally. We didn't want to do just do consortium as we thought what if she blows it? It seems so easy to make a silly error like getting out of synch with the answers.


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 Post subject: Re: SHHS interviews?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:20 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:17 am
Posts: 4
We have had relatively poor success over this whole 11+ process overall. We applied to three indies based on the fact that we also are looking seriously at state selectives and banded comps with tight catchments for which we had to put our child forward for scholarships to stand a chance of entry. I was naive about the whole process - assuming we would get through some kind of scholarship or aptitude tests in the state system.

Thankfully, despite a thumbs down from NLCS we have an interview with SHHS and already had the personal interview with FHS NW1. This whole process has revealed so much about what each school is like - not in their proclamations in prospectuses but in what they unconciously communicate over their handling of the whole admissions process - from their transparency and organisation (or lack thereof), their warmth of language, sensitivity and approachability, their responsiveness to email and phone and the way they handle hiccups and blunders (their own and ours) - so much so that we have had to revise many of our perceptions. I have found that my initial goals and opinions have all chopped and changed considerably for my daughter as a result. Having a bright child who breezes through academically who is at the top of her class, I underestimated how much practice she would need to get through VR and NVR in tightly timed tests. I guess we have ourselves to blame as we pretty much just shunned the unpleasanter side of home practice. The result however, is that we did not get an interview with NLCS or make any progress with other state selective grammars. The most "successful" kids doing the 11+ out there are much more motivated and hungry (and so are their parents) and they are the ones getting first choice of the offers. If I am honest with myself, the issue is that I am not sure I want her to be that pushed or self-pressurised at such a tender age. I truly believe that head to head in a written paper, in a classroom environment or at interview I know my child can more than hold her own so I am pleased that schools like SHHS and FHS have stepped in to catch this kind of profile - happy, balanced, carefree kids with potential and personality.

Our experience of FHS was very different to that of a close friend - our read was that the head was very open, friendly, kind, approachable, witty - both with the girls and the parents. The girls and their families were given personal attention, the atmosphere was warm, the head shared past issues they had had getting their admissions stats/offers in balance etc.

We have SHHS soon and will be very curious to see what transpires. I always wonder how they order the interviews - if it is done by school or by score - thoughts? What I have been impressed with throughout this stressful debâcle has been the warm and kind tone in SHHS's comms, eg: "Congratulations on being invited to interview at South Hampstead High School. You have done very well to get this far."

and pre the exam:

"We are very much looking forward to welcoming your daughter(s) on Friday 11 January for the 11+ entrance examination. We aim to make the experience at South Hampstead as stress-free as possible for your daughter(s). Naturally, she may be nervous but there will be friendly staff and Sixth Form girls on hand to help.

We would like to remind you of a few key points:

- Please arrive by 9.00am. Parking outside the school is restricted and it is advisable to allow plenty of time. We will be running a drop-off service at the main entrance. If your daughter is ready to get out of the car when you pull up, a member of staff or Sixth Former will be there to help her out and take her.

- No specialist equipment is required, but please remember a pen or biro, a sharpened pencil and a rubber. If your daughter forgets any of these items, we will supply spares. We will provide snacks and lunch but if your daughter would like a small bottle of water for the exams, she should bring one with her.

- Please wear comfortable clothing, whatever your daughter feels happiest in.

- The girls will be having their lunch in three sittings and if possible it would be helpful if you could collect your daughter at 1:00. The phased collection will alleviate congestion but we understand if you have already arranged to collect at 1.30pm as stated in our initial letter.

- If your daughter is unwell and unable to attend on the day, please do ring the Receptionist on ......(from 7.45am onwards) to let us know.

And finally, a good night's sleep is one of the most important pieces of equipment!

We wish your daughter every success in the examinations."
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It is this kind of approachable language that can really transmit the goodwill within the school's ethos.


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 Post subject: Re: SHHS interviews?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:23 am
Posts: 104
Same here Mrs Chips! Not local and they have no idea that her Dads office is opposite the school. Interesting that they are looking for musical girls, my DD plays piano to grade 5, is in a band and 2 choirs, this was not touched upon in the interview. DD has interviews at NLC and STAHS coming up. Her HABS interview was a real exploration of her interests and personality and we had a lovely chat with the head teacher.


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 Post subject: Re: SHHS interviews?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:36 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:01 pm
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Oh god Serrano, our SHHS invitation email didn't congratulate her on getting that far! Argh, what does that mean?

I think they interview by school so as to minimise kids sharing the interview content with each other.


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 Post subject: Re: SHHS interviews?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:41 pm 
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Mrs Chips, this "congrats on getting this far" was in the "About me" form. Sorry for confusion.


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 Post subject: Re: SHHS interviews?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:01 pm
Posts: 107
Ha! Thanks for clarifying and I'm an idiot to have tizzed about it anyway.

I also liked the good-luck cards that they get y7s to do for entrants.

PS my ds did badly on state grammars and well on privates. The ones who do well in the state grammars seem generally to be more mature - they want it, understand the process and are compliant and so will be more likely hard working and consistent. My son was a baby.


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 Post subject: Re: SHHS interviews?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:33 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:59 am
Posts: 567
Location: N London
My DD has been very happy at Channing without any discernible musical talent and a brother! They are not looking for a type - her friends are all very different.


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