Brighton College

(9 Posts)
Goujonsarefingers Thu 01-Sep-16 21:36:14

Hello all,

We currently live in South London but are seriously contemplating a move to Brighton and are very interested in Brighton College for ds who is now year 5.

We're booked in for the open day but I had a few questions and was hoping someone could help. I get the impression that BC is very academic, my question is, how difficult to get into? Does anyone have an idea of how many children apply for each place? In terms of entrance do you have an idea of how tough the exam is and the kind of percentages needed? As far as I know there are no past papers available for BC, but I'm keen to get ds some practice in advance. We don't have a tutor but will self-tutor at home to help ds get to grips with exam technique etc.

Ds is currently at a state school and in his last school report he was doing really well in English - top of his year and won a national writing competition his teacher entered him for so I'm fairly relaxed about English, he's doing pretty well in Maths too, at the end of Year 4 he was 'exceeding expectations' and I was told he was an old NC level 4A. I'm not sure if that's good enough so just trying to get an idea of whether we're being realistic. He's dyspraxic so terrible at sport but considered scholarship material in Art.

I went to university in Brighton (decades ago!) so have a real affinity for the town and would love to move back, any advice very gratefully received!

Thanks in advance!

sasspuss17 Mon 05-Sep-16 19:01:58

Hi, my Dd joined BC at age 11, so after finishing at her primary. You probably know this already, but a child can join the Prep school ( 8-13) or Third Form (11-13). My Dd joined the Third Form and tells me that this is the better route in terms of teaching and facilities.

Richard Cairns, the Head, says that BC takes on children 'on the bright side of average'; I don't know how true that is but it's certainly easier to get into than a super selective grammar. If your Ds is an all-rounder, as he appears to be, then he should be fine. I've known children who had exceptional abilities in sport or music, for example, who were turned down because they failed the maths test. They won't take you if they believe that you will struggle in a specific area-sport excepted!

You'll hear stories about BC being a highly pressurised environment, I honestly don't understand why it has this reputation. My impressions have always been of a very happy school with wonderful pastoral care. Good luck to your Ds.

Goujonsarefingers Wed 07-Sep-16 21:50:30

Hi Sasspuss thanks very much for this! That is really reassuring.

I'd say ds is bright and enquiring but not boffin material, if that makes sense. I wasn't sure if we were aiming too high as the London schools we are considering are Alleyns and possibly Latymer Upper (both co-ed, academic but not ultra-academic schools). The only school I can compare with BC in terms of results around here is Kings College School but I've already ruled that out because it's not co-ed and they have so many applicants that they cream off the exceedingly academic, so even if ds did get in (which I doubt he would tbh), I think it would be a too pressured environment for him in the long term.

BC sounds like a much warmer school and ds is quite happy working hard, he enjoys learning and is actually very self-motivated and keen to do well - I think in ds's case a very pressured school would probably do more harm than good.

I have another question - did your dd do any extra prep for BC? I'm really not keen on the idea of tutoring but would like ds to have some idea of what to expect in terms of question formats and how to approach things so wondering whether we should think about tutoring for a short time or go the Bond books route. The other thing was do you know what the pass mark was on BC's entrance papers? I know for Common Entrance it's 60% but wondering if it's around the same for 11+.

I'd read some negative things re pastoral but they do seem to be from parents of kids who were at the prep but would have struggled at 11+. The report in the Good Schools' guide is positively glowing. It sounds like a truly wonderful school so well done on your dd for getting a place and I hope ds can join her there!

sasspuss17 Thu 08-Sep-16 11:38:12

You're welcome! Is your Ds thinking of joining the Prep or the Lower Third at the College? My Dd joined Lower Third (year 7) so took an entrance exam which included maths, English, both creative and comprehension, verbal and non-verbal reasoning. I'm afraid I don't know details re pass levels but I can tell you that Dd is not a genius! She's pretty bright but certainly not super-grammar material. My motivation for sending her was that she's inclined to be lazy and needed a (loving!) boot up the backside.

She flatly refused any tutoring so we didn't go there. She does know kids who were intensively tutored and then gained scholarships; the problem with that approach is that many have now lost their scholarships without the tutoring! I instinctively think that they're better off going into the exam as their normal selves iyswim.

After the exam the pupil will have an interview, it's very relaxed and friendly so tell your Ds not to worry. I asked Dd about boys who don't much enjoy sport; she said that there are teams from A to E and all abilities are given loads of encouragement, that's certainly true from what I've witnessed.

It's an amazing school! Both friendly and high-achieving, my Dd ( she's 15 btw) loves it. Let me know if I can be of further help and good luck to Ds!

Goujonsarefingers Thu 08-Sep-16 13:27:58

This info is dangerous as am getting increasingly set on BC as it sounds even better than I thought! Yes ds will be applying at 11+ and honestly I think he is doing well enough at school so we will probably just practice answering questions under pressure/with limited time as it sounds like the schools curriculum will cover everything else. As it is he's at a great primary and doing well so I don't really want him to do masses of unnecessary work.

We're booked in to take a look around on the 24th and can't wait! I will keep you posted, thanks so much for all the info! x

sasspuss17 Sun 25-Sep-16 16:55:58

Did you all enjoy the Open Day?

Brightonhome Mon 26-Sep-16 15:58:17

Hi, I have a DD in Y9 at Brighton College, having come up through the Pre-Prep and Prep. There were quite a few state school kids that joined the lower school that are now in Y9 (lower 4th) with my girl. It is a wonderful place to be and I simply can't speak highly enough of it. There were about 65 kids in my girl's Y8, about 10 of whom didn't go to BC. The CE pass rate is 55% for maths and English, plus an average of 60% for all other subjects. These pass rates went up by 5% to their current level two years ago, and they may still go higher. If your child is deemed more academic, then they sit the scholarship exams which have varying pass marks. If you fail any of these exams, then you are usually asked to do CE. The scholarship exams take place a month before CE. This is all info concerning Y8 at BCPS. I don't have any knowledge of the Lower School's entry requirements except for the fact that acceptance into the Lower School is also acceptance into the senior school, whereas the Prep School kids have to take exams to get in to the senior school. Anything in particular you'd like to know, just ask smile

Maarias Sat 05-Nov-16 14:28:16

Hope it's ok to tag onto this thread. My DS is in yr 6 now and I wanted to register him for the 11+ at BC even though I think he's missed the open day??
Anyone know the registration deadline at all?
Thanks

Maarias Sat 05-Nov-16 14:29:07

Sorry just to add: I know the school a little bit and we know boys who go there so not a compete shot in the dark!

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