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 Post subject: Order on Preference Form
PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:48 pm
Posts: 67
Hello, I'm new to all this, so apologies if this isn't posted in the right place.

My DS is taking the 11+ in November, but I'm not sure what order to list the KE schools in on the LEA form.

KECH seems the most popular, but hardest to get into. I had intended to put CH first, then FW, then Aston. Now I've been told that only 5 children who put FW second got a place there last year. Not sure if DS will get the marks for CH, so was putting FW as a back-up, as I know they take more children.

Now I think I'll have to leave CH off altogether and put FW first, so that I don't risk losing a place at FW.

Any advice anyone?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 4:26 pm 
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No, no, no, no, no! You will hear so much rubbish about this. Don't pay any attention to what friends, other kids' parents, teachers, primary school heads, anyone tells you - almost all of them have it totally wrong. If in doubt, talk to the people in Admissions - that's all, just Admissions.

The school does not knowwhereabouts on your form you've put them, all they know is that the LEA has given them a list of children who've put the school on the form "somewhere". The school then returns the list to the LEA ranked according to score in the test.

If you score highly enough for CH, the LEA will tell the school to offer you a place. If you don't, Five Ways automatically becomes your first choice and if you score highly enough, you'll be offered a place. If you don't, Aston becomes your first choice and so on until the LEA (the LEA, note) finds a school that you qualify for.

If the LEA gets through all 6 of your preferences without finding a school that can make you an offer, they will offer you a place at your nearest undersubscribed comp - but it's undersubscribed for a reason (i.e. no one wants to send their kids there) so it's wise to make sure there's a preference on your form that you're fairly certain of getting and that you can tolerate if you really have to.

Mike


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:23 pm 
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Thanks Mike,

Thats what I thought in the first place, then I went to FW open day and the 'admissions advisor' - one of the FW staff - said if FW wasn't at the top of the preferences, there was no chance of getting in.

But then, that's what the Head at CH said too, and I suppose the Head at Aston will say the same! I think I'll stick with CH, FW, Aston.

We are very lucky here in that both of the local comps are rated 'outstanding' and DS likes both of them.

I think getting these preferences right is almost as nerve-racking as the exam! Glad when its all over.

Thanks again


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:32 pm 
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I have to confess that we felt we could afford to give the FW head's speech a miss this time having seen him a couple of years ago and on TV so recently :wink: , we sent Miss 1880 up the climbing wall instead :D .

What did you think of FW? I wasn't happy with their approach to exams - too many and taken too early. And I don't like the idea of them doing both A-levels and IB in parallel.

Mike


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 7:48 am 
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What the advisor meant, I think, is that if your child scores well enough to get into ALL of the KE schools, then you will be offered a place only at the school you put highest up on the list. So put the KE school you really want your son to go to at the top of the list. If you prefer FW to CH then put FW first. How 'popular' the school is is neither here nor there. There's also no point in putting a competitive-entry grammar school down on the list below your local comp if you are certain your son will make it into the comp (you may as well leave that GS off the list) - unless, again, that comp is your first choice, in which case it should go at the top of the list.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:00 am 
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I imagine that's what they were trying to say, but without actually laying out the position clearly in plain English - for some reason no one will come out and say it in a straightforward way, although I can't think of anything that prohibits them. Plus of course, they want you to put their school first!

Mike


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:16 pm 
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I'll certainly be putting all the KE schools above the comps, we went to look at one of the local schools this morning, and although it is 'outstanding', it's nothing like the Grammars.

I thought FW was more like a very good comp than a traditional Grammar school, and yes I agree Mike, they do seem a bit over the top with the number of GCSE's they do - I think the CH Head said they do 10, and that's quite enough. I've read that the IB is a bit dull, maybe thats why they are keeping A levels too.

Saying that, my DS isn't a 'bookish' type of boy, he seems to get excellent marks by doing the bare minimum work required, so I don't know if he'd fit in too well at CH - FW seems more relaxed.

He hasn't looked round the schools yet, typical primary schools arranged district football trials for same dates as open days, we've got an appointment this Friday at FW, CH gave us an appointment after the cut-off date for forms to be submitted, I'm going to try to change it.

Has anyone any opinions about KE Aston? Particularly is it, or rather the surrounding area, okay regarding public transport (11 bus), just in case my DS should miss Green Bus?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 1:23 pm 
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CH have set up an extra open day tomorrow afternoon (you had to register by this morning), did they forget to contact you about that or does it still clash? If they've not contacted you and you could fit it in, I'd ring them immediately and try to get them register you (you can square things with your son's school in the morning!).

Regardless: Birmingham Admissions might like forms in by 1st Oct and might do their best to imply that you have to do it by then, but the Schools Adjudicator made a decision against them on that a couple of years ago and on top of that there is now a national closing date for forms - you have until 31st October (as you can just about tell if you read the transfer book carefully!).

I have an open mind about whether FW is more relaxed - I'll never have first hand experience, but from talking to parents I would say FW seems more driven than CH - even before day 1 (i.e. three hefty projects in the summer holidays before starting in Y7! :shock: - ours didn't have anything at all). "The bare minimum" would be an unimaginably intensive level of effort for our son but as far as I can tell he seems to be getting the hang of CH (at least, we haven't had any letters or phone calls...yet :oops: ).

Mike


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 7:07 pm 
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Hi Mike

I've been in touch with CH and managed to book in for tomorrow, thanks for letting me know about it. Its quite handy really as we'll be taking our son to see FW on Friday, so CH will still be fresh in his mind. I'm seeing Aston on Saturday, he'll be at football of course, so he'll just have to trust my judgement on this one :)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 7:51 am 
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Hi Brummum

Quote:
Saying that, my DS isn't a 'bookish' type of boy, he seems to get excellent marks by doing the bare minimum work required, so I don't know if he'd fit in too well at CH - FW seems more relaxed.



Usual complain with boys, we have been told for years at 5-ways that my DS is coasting - they do seem to come up to the mark by GCSE year-11 though.

The general concensus with parents with children at both KE schools is that 5-ways is more relaxed than CHB.

As parents, my only concern with 5-ways is that they are now offering IB in the sixth form alongside A Levels. I just wonder if they have bitten off too much with that. For info we have decided to stick with A Levels for my DS.


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