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 Post subject: Are we mad?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:44 pm
Posts: 357
Someone asked on another post whether we were a late sitter. I have been scouring this websie for the past few weeks to glean as much information as I can.

Yes. We are a late sitter. And terrified. We live in Bedfordshire (DS currently goes to one of the Bedford Indies). In November it was decided that due to family reasons (I am a single parent and my family live near Maidenhead) that we were going to move to live near them. My mother has been in hospital and there are other family reasons.

Having been through the selective indie exams for Year 3 entrance, I had been assuming DS would be going through the same school until 6th year. None of the Bedford schools have 11+ and the school he is in does not do SATs either. So we are coming at this from a very poor angle!

I found out in November that we had missed all the deadlines, but were able to take the late sitting due to extenuating circumstances. However, we are starting from scratch with the VR and NVR side of things. DS is getting tuition a couple of times a week from one of his old teachers which is great - but she has never done this type of tuition before, so some of the "on the day" and exam hints for how to make the most of your 50 minutes is lacking.

So, basically, he is working at school very hard towards his senior school entrance exam on 6th January for his current school, whilst trying to learn everything there is to know about VR and NVR (7 weeks from when he saw his first GL Assessment paper to sitting the exam). Oh yes - and Christmas inbetween where he is spending half of the holiday with his father who thinks that any old school will be good enough - in fact, why is he not already in full time employment, it was good enough for him ....

Oh - and plus being in and out of hospital due to a sudden hip problem (DS, not his father). Perfect preparation.

Do we have ANY chance at all?


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 Post subject: Re: Are we mad?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:44 pm
Posts: 357
OK. He did his first VR paper in full tonight. Scored 77%, finished all the questions well within the timescales and this was the problem, as he made some silly mistakes due to not checking his answers - and totally did not get one whole section (every question wrong!)

We have nearly 5 weeks before the exam - I have booked several sessions with a tutor -

Clearly with the lack of response you ALL think I have lost the plot!


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 Post subject: Re: Are we mad?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:12 am
Posts: 3758
Location: Berkshire
No, not true.....I think the Berkshire forum is very quiet at the best of times. I've only just read your post, and want to wish you all the best of luck, it sounds like you are having a horrendous time, and hope the exams go well for your son.

Which school are you hoping for?


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 Post subject: Re: Are we mad?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:15 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:06 am
Posts: 73
Hi

It sounds very hard and I don't envy you, but I don't think you are mad. I know people who have tutored at home for the Slough exam in a short timescale like yourself and had a good result. Which school are you looking at in Slough?

Also Maidenhead based people often seem to do the Bucks exam as well (different paper, just VR) - Burnham or Borlase (both are mixed schools) have taken DC from Maidenhead in recent years (there is a very helpful sheet showing allocation distances for the last few years on the Bucks forum that you might check, I'm sorry that I can't reference it for you, but a quick search should find it). It might be worth seeing if you could takethe Bucks VR test as a late sitter while you are on the case, to keep your options open?

I did feel for you having read your post, it sounds like you have have a lot on your plate, without 11 plus prep on top :? . But thats seems a good early score, esp if you got all of one section wrong. Lots of luck :) .

J


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 Post subject: Re: Are we mad?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:49 pm
Posts: 1647
Location: berkshire
Nope..... first of all you are not mad.......when ds took the slough consortium test way back in......2005 i think, we only decided in the august for the exams in the first week of november. He had no idea of VR/NVR and still got through (just).
This site was not available then ... so you are one step ahead.

Have you looked at
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/prepar ... e-starters

Remember you only have to look at VR and NVR and there are some good tips on how to use those precious weeks.

:)


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 Post subject: Re: Are we mad?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
Posts: 4601
Isn't Desborough in Maidenhead a reasonable comprehensive, or have thing changed recently? Useful as a back up?


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 Post subject: Re: Are we mad?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:06 am
Posts: 73
FWIW, we have a close family friend with DS in 6th form at Desboro at the moment, they are very happy with it.


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 Post subject: Re: Are we mad?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:43 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:44 pm
Posts: 357
Thank you all for your replies - I don't feel quite as alone now!

I am looking to move to Holyport - which is just outside the "out of catchment" allowable area (if that makes sense). So although Borlase is 5 minutes drive and Langley (which I am trying for) is about 25 minutes drive, I am not eligible to try for Borlase. I think that Borlase would be the more suitable school for my son as it is very similar to where he is at the moment - but Langley looks very good and clearly has excellent results.

And I don't have an address, so even if we do get through, we won't get an offer as I have not sold my house. If my house does not sell by June 2012, then I shall rent it out and go into rented near the family. So whatever happens we will be moving. Just another problem(ette) to add into the equation.

If only I had been the proud owner of a crystal ball 12 months ago and I would be a lot further advanced than I am at the moment!

Interesting info re Desboro - as I am not in the area I have no clue at all about any of the schools. I simply selected Langley as the admissions lady was really helpful and gave me some great advice. Oh dear.

Oh - I also think I have done something wrong on the forms. I only put down Langley, Herschel and Slough on my forms for Bedford Council to do the transfer thing (can't remember the name) - so basically only put grammar schools as options. If we don't get into the grammar school, then I am not sure what happens - do we just get allocated whatever is left? Is this based on results or distance from school?


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 Post subject: Re: Are we mad?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:48 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:12 am
Posts: 3758
Location: Berkshire
Unfortunately as you have only put grammars down, if your child is not successful in the test you will be allocated the nearest school to where you live that will have spaces. I'm not sure how that's going to work if you don't have an actual address in the area, I'd imagine you will be allocated a school in Bedford, and will then have to make a transfer appeal once you have an address in the area.


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 Post subject: Re: Are we mad?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:00 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:06 am
Posts: 73
Quote:
I am not eligible to try for Borlase
Quote:


You do not have to be in the catchment to get a place at the bucks schools, you are just slightly further down the list if you are OA (out of area). You would not have got into Borlase last year, but it changes from year to year. You would, I think (and forgive me because I haven't checked a map) have got into Burnham and John Hampden. Not suggesting that Langley isn't a good school btw (fantastic maths and its on my DCs form too!), more a case of helping you to cover all your bases just in case!

Curses ...I had found that bucks school allocation profile link but have lost it again...will try and get it for you.

J


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