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PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:19 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 10:01 am
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Location: Slough, Berks
Changes to the Consortium 11+ have been communicated to parents in Castleview today other primarys should also have had or should get a letter 4 pages detailing all. Once I know further details I will post :(

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:14 pm 
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Location: Slough, Berks
11+ Testing Consortium of Herschel Grammar School, Langley Grammar School,
St Bernard’s Catholic Grammar School and Upton Court Grammar School
Changes to the 11+ test in September 2014
What changes are planned?
The Slough Consortium of Grammar Schools will be making changes to the format and content of the 11+ test.
When will the changes take effect?
The new test will be used for the first time in September 2014. This will therefore affect children currently in Year 5, who will be transferring to secondary school in September 2015 and may be considering applying to one or more of the consortium grammar schools.
Who is providing the new test?
The new test will be provided by CEM, the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring at the University of Durham. CEM has a long and successful track record of developing tests for use in selection (for both independent and state schools) and for monitoring and analysing pupil progress (mainly in secondary schools).
What will the test consist of?
Children will sit two papers of approximately 45-50 minutes duration. Each paper will contain a mixture of questions which will test verbal, numerical and non-verbal ability. The definition of verbal ability is wide and includes comprehension and reading skills.
How can parents best help their children to prepare for the tests?
There are a number of things that parents can do to help their children. They can ensure that they have experience of working quietly on their own, uninterrupted by noise or distractions. They can ensure that they do any homework that is set. They can help their children to read with understanding, for example by asking them what certain words mean and what is happening in the passage or book that they are reading. They can encourage them to solve problems by themselves or to look up things for themselves.
Will the eligibility score change?
No. A child’s scores on the two tests will be added together and that total score will then be age-standardised. This will give an overall view of the child’s abilities. The eligibility score of 111 will remain unchanged; children scoring 111 or above will be eligible for consideration by the grammar schools.
Will the tests be harder?
The new 11+ test will assess children’s abilities in slightly different ways to the previous test. The questions will be rooted in the normal work that children will have done in primary school, and will therefore provide a fairer assessment of their ability. We will continue to use the test to identify the highest-scoring 30% of the cohort.
Herschel Grammar School Northampton Avenue, Slough SL1 3BW 01753 520950
Langley Grammar School Reddington Drive, Langley SL3 7QS 01753 598300
St Bernard’s Catholic Grammar School Langley Road, Slough SL3 7AF 01753 527020
Upton Court Grammar School Lascelles Road, Slough SL3 7PR 01753 522892
Will there be practice papers available?
No. Unlike the previous test provider, CEM do not provide any commercially available practice materials, nor do they recommend any other commercially available materials. Children will receive a leaflet familiarising them with the testing procedure, providing them with some test-taking advice and giving them a few example questions. Neither the grammar schools, the local authority, nor the test provider will publish any practice papers.
Will the verbal, numerical and non-verbal elements of the tests be equally weighted?
The exact weighting of the three elements will be decided at a later date. It is likely that the assessment of verbal ability will form approximately 50% of the marks.
When do children need to register to take the tests?
Registration for the Slough Consortium 11+ test will close on Friday 20 June 2014.
Why do you think that the new test will reduce the impact of coaching?
The changes are intended to reduce any impact – either perceived or real – of ‘coaching’ for the 11+. CEM advise that some of their verbal question types are more difficult to coach than others that are commonly used in verbal reasoning tests. CEM also advise that good preparation for the tests is to develop a child’s ability to read with understanding and to solve problems using their numerical skills: this is what primary schools are doing with all their pupils.
How will the tests be administered?
Each child will have a question booklet and a separate answer sheet. The question booklet will contain all the necessary instructions about taking the test and all the test questions. The invigilators will use a CD to take the children through the initial example questions, to play the instructions about starting and finishing the test, and to time any sub-sections of the test.
When will more information be available?
The Slough Consortium of Grammar schools will publish information about the testing process in the Slough Consortium - Guide to the 11+ booklet. This will be available on the websites of the four grammar schools in April 2014. Information evenings will be held in the summer term to explain the testing procedures.
When will parents find out the results?
The School Admissions Code requires the outcomes of selection tests to be made available to parents before the deadline for the submission of the Common Application Form.
Will a score of 111 guarantee a grammar school place?
Children who achieve a score of 111 or above are in the highest 30% of the cohort taking the test and would be eligible for consideration for a place at any Slough grammar school named on the Common Application Form. However, this does not guarantee a place as the schools may be oversubscribed. Each school’s admissions policy will describe how places are allocated in the event of oversubscription.
Can parents appeal if a child scores below 111?
Yes. Parents can appeal against the non-allocation of a place at any school they have named on the Common Application Form and where the child has not been placed. In order to appeal on the grounds that the test result below 111 does not reflect the child’s ability, at least one grammar school must be named on the Common Application Form.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 10:01 am
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Location: Slough, Berks
11+ Testing Consortium of Herschel Grammar School, Langley Grammar School,
St Bernard’s Catholic Grammar School and Upton Court Grammar School
10 December 2013
Dear Parents
Slough Consortium of Grammar Schools – 11+ testing for 2015 entry
We are writing to tell you about changes to the Slough Consortium of Grammar Schools 11+ test which are planned for the autumn of 2014. These changes will affect children currently in Year 5 or below.
Like many grammar schools across the country we have become very concerned at the level of coaching to which many pupils are subjected as preparation for the 11+ tests. After careful consideration we have taken the decision to change our test provider for the next round of testing.
The 11+ test in September 2014 will therefore be set by CEM, the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring at the University of Durham. The content of the tests will assess performance in verbal, numerical and non-verbal reasoning; the interpretation of verbal reasoning is broad and includes comprehension and reading skills.
CEM’s assessments are designed to enable all children to demonstrate their natural ability and achievement without excessive preparation. In order to maintain the fairness of the tests CEM do not provide any commercially available practice materials, nor do they recommend any other commercially available materials.
Most aspects of the 11+ testing process will remain unchanged. Testing will still take place in the grammar schools in September, and parents will still be required to register their children for the test during the summer term. Children will continue to sit two papers, and the overall length of the testing process is very similar. Parents will continue to receive notification of the test outcome prior to the completion of the Common Application Form. The tests themselves will continue to identify the top 30% of the cohort as eligible for consideration for entry to grammar school; the eligibility mark will remain unchanged at 111.
Along with this letter we have provided a set of what we expect to be ‘frequently asked questions’ about the changes. More detailed information about the arrangements for testing will be available in the Spring term when the Slough Consortium – Guide to the 11+ Test booklet will be updated and made available through our websites. We will also be holding information evenings in the summer term to explain the test process and how to register your child for the tests. As all the information you will need will be provided in due course, please note that we are unable to answer individual queries from parents in any more detail at this stage.
Herschel Grammar School Northampton Avenue, Slough SL1 3BW 01753 520950
Langley Grammar School Reddington Drive, Langley SL3 7QS 01753 598300
St Bernard’s Catholic Grammar School Langley Road, Slough SL3 7AF 01753 527020
Upton Court Grammar School Lascelles Road, Slough SL3 7PR 01753 522892
We understand that any change to the 11+ process may be unsettling. However, we are committed to introducing the new testing arrangements in such a way as to minimise any anxiety for you or your children.
Yours sincerely
Jo Rockall
John Constable
Headteacher
Headteacher
Herschel Grammar School
Langley Grammar School
Michael Stimpson
Mercedes Hernandez Estrada
Headteacher
Principal
St Bernard’s Catholic Grammar School
Upton Court Grammar School

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:00 pm
Posts: 5420
Location: RBK
Vow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Let's see if Tiffins also follow CEM or continue with GL.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:24 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:51 am
Posts: 865
Still plenty of time for us all to adjust guys!!!

Thanks for posting this info THOM

I too will be interested to see if any of the other Berks schools follow this :o


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 10:01 am
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Location: Slough, Berks
This obv applies to the four Grammar Schools in Slough, they wanted to implement it last year but I blieve it was vetoed due to the change of venue i.e. all kids including locals taking it in grammar schools this year as prev local kids took it in in primary schools and they did not want to freak the kids out.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:49 pm
Posts: 1647
Location: berkshire
Thanks for the info....

Here is the DIY CEM preparation thread posted by Patricia in Bucks.

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=30079

I will put this as a 'sticky' post so it doesn't drop down the Berks forum


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:09 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:59 am
Posts: 3579
Why on earth do they not just merge with their old county bucks for testing purposes? The amount taking slough consortium and bucks...to extend their options to include burnham grammar, must surely be worthy of this simple piece of cost saving administration. They can use the same exam, but adjust the weighting for slough by dividing the cohort before marking. ( if they still want to continue the pretence that the bucks test is designed to allow a greater number of local passes for entry into gs that is) All those kids sitting two exams completely unnecessarily, due to local politics and administration...nonsense.
I bet there will be arguments over who gets the first slot in the calendar as the first test is definitely going to be used as a practice exam by hundreds, if they do not plan very very carefully, and whatever they decide will be wrong for someone.

Hey ho. :?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:16 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
Posts: 2826
I agree, south bucks - CEM/Durham seems to be "taking over the country" - unless they announce that the test will be "different" for each county they have contracted with, (if the tests are on different days), I suspect we will see children being ferried around the country taking the test at various centres, before they take their "real" one, unless they also announce a National 11+ Testing Day.

In Warwickshire, we already have people using the test as practice for Birmingham, as their test date has traditionally been later (although, I suspect, this will be changing from Sept 2014 as all the signs appear to point towards a Warks/B'ham consortium type thing).


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:31 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
Posts: 4608
Have they consulted on this, or don't they have to? Just curious.


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