Private school entry at P1(13 Posts)
My girl is currently only 1 but I'm already thinking ahead to school. We have decided to send her private from p1, we hasn't picked where yet, George Watson's, esms, heriots or ed academy will be the choices. Probably one of the first 2.
She's currently at private nursery and really happy there all we are planning I leaving her there until p1.
I've heard mixed things I how hard it is to get a place at private school in p1. Do most people get in or is it really competitive?
Does it make much difference if you do a nursery year at the school? I don't really want to take her out her nursery but if it's worth it to get a place I will.
Can you put their name down early or is it all I the entry exam at age 4?
My main question is - how likely is it she will get in at p1 - are they hugely over subscribed or not?
My eldest has just started P1. We put his name down for schools at 3 and had no problem getting him in, although many schools had already filled nursery places by then.
We put him in for a year in the nursery, mainly because he's not good with change and wanted him to get to know the school and other children in a familiar nursery setting, before the start of formal learning.
He was assessed before being offered a place, but it wasn't an exam, and he had absolutely no idea he was being tested. It was more a chat to check he didn't have any additional needs they weren't able to support.
He's not in any of the schools you list, but I do know other parents with children at these schools and from what they say the assessments were all similar.
He's at Loretto in Musselburgh.
My DD joined GWC in P1. Prior to that she was in a private nursery in Edinburgh. We dithered about whether to try and get into pre-school at GWC, but there were a couple of factors helped us to decide to keep her where she was - she was very happy at her nursery, and we felt she would cope better with a move a year down the line than at 4 years of age, and pre-school at GWC (this may also be the case at other private school nurseries) only operated during term time and term hours, so we would be stuck with trying to find care for her in the school holidays, and she would have been too young for any holiday clubs. We preferred to have the luxury of private nursery between 8am - 6pm, 50 weeks of the year!
We had heard all sorts of rumours about the intake and how much of that was skewed towards nursery. I still don't know the exact figures (and stand corrected if I'm incorrect), but P1 at GWC is 5 classes of approx 22 kids, so 110 kids altogether. Approx 70 kids will feed in from nursery, which leaves approx 40 spaces for new intake. We took the gamble and only applied for GWC (also looked and liked Heriots and ESMS) and luckily she got in. She had a 20 minute assessment in the Jan, and we heard pretty quickly that she had a place for that year.
The assessment was a chat with a teacher, doing a couple of puzzles and answering some basic questions. Nothing taxing and she wasn't fazed by any of it - it was just going off to play in another room for a bit! Plus they get a report from nusery too.
My DD is now in P3, and we could not be happier with GWC, it's a fantastic school and she's really thrived there. Our DS will be going next year and can't wait. Don't worry about the size of the school - it put me off at first, but p1-p3 are in a mini-school on campus and it has a very family feel to it, you do get the impression that every pupil is valued and treated as an individual.
Thank you. Now we've decided to send her I'm terrified I need to get her a nursery place or she won't get in but like you it would be much better to be able to leave her at current nursery until p1
I can't help with P1 entry as both my children joined Watson's in P7 but I wanted to ditto Starfish's comments about the school. Both my DC absolutely love it and it doesn't feel like a large school once you are in it. It does very much have a family feel and there's always so much going on and things for the children to join. The open morning is coming up soon- if you can go along, I'd recommend it.
I'd love to but I'm gutted we are on holiday that weekend
Just to point out that the wrap around care for GWC nursery is fab. Breakfast club from 7.45am and nursery plus till 6pm during term time and the nursery holiday club runs all year except 2 weeks over Christmas so pretty similar to private nursery hours. We felt that having the DCs at the nursery took some of the stress of getting them into P1 away.
Daisy was it easy to get a place in nursery? How early did you put name down
It was a few years ago now but the places were offered a year in advance of starting but things may have changed so it's worth checking. I think the nursery is full every year from the start of the session.
They are really helpful if you phone with any questions. There always so many rumours and myths around the intake ,when you can apply etc that it's always best to check directly with the school!
I put ds1 down at age 1 for the 3plus entry at 2 schools and got a place at one and not another but then a place came for the second school came through for 4plus. For DS2, he was down pretty much at birth and I got an email to say that he would definitely have a 3plus place (just paid the deposit for entry for next year).The places are more limited for p1 than for nursery and can depend on the existing balance between boys and girls and the number of deferrals. Places are still offered a year in advance.
For ESMS and GW most of their p1 places go to children in the nursery. At ESMS they say that they offer places by date of receipt of application although they do an informal assessment of the child. So I would guess that it is definitely easier to get your child a nursery place than a p1 place if you get in early enough - well over a year before you need it!
If you plan on having a child at either of these schools then they will make friends in nursery that they may keep throughout their school life.
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