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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:57 pm 
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Many parents have been telling me that a) distance and b) maths are the main criteria for selection of King Edwards schools . To find out the truth I have written to them and they replied back telling me that both were incorrect.
The letter read " In response to your query Grammar schools do not have any catchment area. Admission is based upon a child's test score and after the test, children are ranked according to their age-standardised marks. Where children are equal on test score,priority is given to children in public care and then those who live near to the school.The distance element tends only really have a bearing on those at the cut off mark i.e. if there are 5 places and 8 children on the next point then the 5 who live nearest to the school would be offered the remaining places.
Regarding the subject criteria all 4 subjects are currently used to calculate the overall scores. Maths is not given priority nor is it the only subject considered".
Hope this info. helps.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:32 pm 
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Hi Anxious Mother

Thanks for passing on the info. I think most of the posts in this forum highlight that the child needs to be competent in all the areas, but I have noted that it is not that maths is a greater criteria, but it is of a more advanced level than they are likely to be doing at school (at least a state school). For example, I think algebra is usually not touched upon until later in Year 6 - after the 11 plus exam. Also decimals, fractions etc seem to be of a much higher standard than they have done so far.

If you are like me and new to all this, it does feel as if you hear all sorts of conflicting information from other parents - not only about the exams but the quality of the schools in the area, the choices allowed and allocation process. I did not know anything about the secondary schools in our area and assumed if primaries were ok so were secondaries. I got a shock at the beginning of year 5!

Good luck in your prep, are you preparing for November, 2011?

UmSusu

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:29 pm 
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From quite a few tutors that I have, in past years, spoken to or heard of from friends, it seems that many of those delivering 11 plus tuition actually have a Maths background themselves.
Therefore their tuition and classes sometimes don't cover literacy/English skills in a very meaningful way. I understand that they will emphasise the need for a strong Maths level - but some sadly don't seem to grasp the level of literacy,vocabulary and comprehension that is in the exam.
In fact, a few years ago when searching for tutors for ds1 I came across more than one who couldn't even get their own spelling and grammar correct. As literacy was ds1's weakest point, this was a problem for me - most of these (large) tuition schools didn't have the confidence to put that right.
I think there is still a banner in Small Heath offering 'Grammer school tuition'(sic).

There are a lot of myths around 11 plus - giving priority to siblings is one that I have even heard school teachers mention (siblings actually have no priority), and hopefully this website can clarify some of these untruths so thanks for posting, anxious mother.


Last edited by um on Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:10 pm 
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Yes um,
We are preparing our DS at home for Nov 2011 and I dont think siblings are given any special preference. Sadly we also have the same problem with our son, he is weak in English.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:51 pm 
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Thanks for posting anxious_mother.

Quote:
Regarding the subject criteria all 4 subjects are currently used to calculate the overall scores. Maths is not given priority nor is it the only subject considered".


Now I'm wondering how they break it down into 4 subjects? English, Maths, NVR and what else? Or is English further broken down into comprehension and vocab perhaps?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:13 pm 
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It's not quite correct that 4 subjects are used to calculate the overall scores. Details are in the sticky about exam scores near the top of this section:-

Quote:
Further information on how the total candidate score is calculated:-

There are 2 papers. All of the questions in both tests are consolidated into either an English/VR, NVR or Numerical classification and marked. The raw scores are then converted into 3 standardised scores for each respective category and then Age Standardised. (See article on Age Standardisation linked from the home page of this site).


The actual number of questions may vary year by year, but in 2005 for example there were 100 Eng/VR questions, 82 Numerical questions and 70 NVR questions.

The 3 Age Standardised Scores are then added together to give a total composite score. You can see, for example, that the minimum composite pass score was 347 for Camp Hill Boys in 2005 - this was the lowest total score for the last child to enter the school in Sept 2005. This is equivalent to an average Age Standardised score of 116 for each of the categories. (3 x 116=348). Obviously 347 (or 348) is the key and you can achieve this via a variety of ways e.g. 107+ 112+ 129

An Age Standarded score of 116 is equivalent to about 86th candidate percentile for each particular paper. ie 14% of candidates taking that paper achieve a score of 116 or higher.

For typical 11+ exams, the maximum standardised score is usually 140, however for the KE exam set by the Univ of Durham this can be higher. The minimum is 70 and the average (50th percentile) is 100.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:20 pm 
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Thanks for the speedy response KenR


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:50 am 
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[quote="um"]I think there is still a banner in Small Heath offering 'Grammer school tuition'(sic).


I had to read that 3 times before I spotted it - It says a lot about my standard of English! Perhaps I am not the best one to tutor DS.

On a slightly different note, DS recently wrote, 'The other children got in to the car before him and there wasn't mushroom left for me.' He laughed when I asked him to read it back to me, so I guess I should be grateful of that

umsusu

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 7:33 pm 
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My ds2 was spelling 'tutor' as 'chouter' until I pointed this out to him, so what can I say...

We did however receive an newsletter before the holiday from school with a section on school lunch's. (aaargh).

I'd just been teaching my 7 year old that particular spelling rule (which, to put it clearly. is: FOR GODS SAKE WILL YOU NOT PUT APOSTROPHES IN WHERE THEY ARE NOT NEEDED)


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