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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:35 am 
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Hi! New here so please be gentle!

My DS has just gone into yr5 at state primary school and has expressed an interest in trying to get into one of our local grammars. This has not been prompted by us (mom and dad) at all, but as he appears to be very keen we have arrived at the conclusion that he should be given the opportunity. He is a bright child, who, at the moment is becoming more and more frustrated in class due to other less well behaved children and the disruption caused. As he puts it "I just want to get on with my work". I have just arranged a tutor, one to one, for an hour per week at home who will start with DS in a couple of weeks. Also enquired at the school what SATs level my son achieved at the end of year 4 and they're as follows: Maths 4A, Writing 4A and Reading 4A. Am I right in thinking this is a pretty good starting point for him? Whilst I appreciate SATs aren't really an indicator for whether or not he'll be successful - I am pleased that these grades appear to show that we should go down the grammar route.

Any opinions/comments would be appreciated as this is all very new to us - 1st child, and both parents chose not to sit 11+ many, many years ago!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:41 am 
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Hi Primrose - welcome!

Which area are you in? We might be able to point you in the right direction with more specific info if we know

herman


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:45 am 
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West Midlands area, would most likely look at Bishop Vesey, Sutton Coldfield or Queen Mary's, Walsall.

Thanks for replying.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:46 am 
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I'll move the post to the Birmingham / West Midlands section - the locals can you give you more specific advice there!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:51 am 
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Ok, thanks.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:36 am 
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To be honest, it sounds as though you know what you're doing already (although I personally wouldn't enter any son of mine for Sutton Coldfield - or to give it it's full name, Sutton Coldfield Grammar School for Girls :lol: ).

As you suspect, 4a in SATs is a good starting point. There are no guarantees though - there are many, many more children with 4a at the end of Y4 than there are GS places in/around B'ham, but equally there are many children with far less encouraging predictions that get GS places; they're measuring different things, so it's a good place to be but I'd advise that you make sure he really understands that there is no certainty of a place.

If you're considering QM and BV you're presumably also within reach of KE Aston, and you may also be within reach of KE Camp Hill and KE Five Ways if you're close to a Green Bus route (http://www.thegreenbus.co.uk.

Be warned that probably most tutors (well, we're on our second and definitely goes for both of them) appear oblivious to the style and content of the CEM tests that are used for both QM and BV/KE and will feed your son copious amounts of NFER-style Verbal Reasoning which is not very relevant (the maths and NVR they will provide will probably not be all that well matched either, come to that, but there's not much that's more appropriate as far as I can tell). However, I suspect that there's a lot of value simply in the "learning to think" that results (hopefully! it did for our son but I can't see much sign of it in our daughter :( ) so I wouldn't necessarily write off the idea of using a tutor, but I'd recommend you to read fm's posts on suitable test prep material and decide whether you want to either top up what the tutor does, DIY instead (assuming you can work with your child without World War 3 breaking out - I admire those who can), or accept what the tutor provides (perhaps with a little helpful advice!).

Mike


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:15 am 
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Thankyou for your reply Mike1880 and your advice which I have taken on board. My son is fully aware that there are no guarantees, we tend to perhaps underestimate his abilities to be honest, so I was very pleasantly surprised when given his latest grades. We have put a long list of pro's and con's together, almost to the point of us deciding it's not for him, but he still wants to go ahead so I think we should let him try. I initially considered self tutoring but my attempts at helping him with homework usually end up with him storming off and me getting cross and frustrated, a little like WW3 as you mentioned, so think the tutor is a better option. I will have a read through FM's posts and perhaps look to do extra work with him alongside what the tutor is doing (or get Dad to do it as this usually has a more peaceful outcome!). I'm just not sure he's got it in him to work hard enough at home, he seems to get by with doing the bare minimum, but somehow manages to still do ok. He rarely looks at his spellings for tests but still gets 10/10. He rarely does optional homework set by the school and I just wonder if he's got it in him to work hard enough. I've stressed to him that the prep for the test will mean a lot of hard work and also if he get's in to grammar it'll be tough too, despite this though he still wants to give it a go.

mike1880 wrote:
(although I personally wouldn't enter any son of mine for Sutton Coldfield - or to give it it's full name, Sutton Coldfield Grammar School for Girls ).
- I meant Biship Vesey in Sutton Coldfield :oops:


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:16 pm 
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primrose2000 wrote:
I meant Biship Vesey in Sutton Coldfield :oops:


Sorry, I couldn't resist the slender excuse :D !

Mike


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:24 pm 
Quote:
it's full name, Sutton Coldfield Grammar School for Girls
Quote:


Do you mean its (as in belonging to it) full name, Mike.

Sorry couldn't resist either, especially after dig about clueless tutors.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:36 pm 
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Now, fm, you know perfectly well that I'm not describing you when I talk about tutors' knowledge of the exam!

fm wrote:
Do you mean its (as in belonging to it) full name, Mike.


Oh dear, and there I was about to write a rude letter to school about the apostrophes in their latest newsletter :oops: .

Mike


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