Go to navigation
It is currently Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:27 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Birmingham Preferences
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 6:08 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 5:45 pm
Posts: 56
Hi everyone,
I'm new to the forum and just looking for a bit of advice.
My DD is nearing the end of Yr4 and I've been doing some research on 11+ entry and secondary schools.
Just from experience, how many grammar schools did you put on the Birmingham forms? I'm thinking at the moment 4 grammars, and 2 catholic schools (1 is a feeder school for her primary). Looking at the worst case scenario, I'm thinking if none of these options panned out then she may be offered the nearest secondary :roll: . Am I right in this thinking?
What options did you choose? Thanks.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 9:43 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2008 1:26 pm
Posts: 31
If your dd were not offered a place at any of your 6 choices, she would be offered a place at the nearest secondary school with places left after all of the allocations have been made. ie. if your nearest secondary is over subscribed, she won't be offered a place. It would be wise therefore to ensure that your dd has a good chance of qualifying for at least one school on your list. It would be worth finding out more about the Catholic school which for which your primary is a feeder, as the criteria for admission from feeder schools varies from school to school, as does the admission criteria to catholic schools, so I would check as you may find that she is virtually guaranteed a place at this school. For each of my children, our last choice on the form was the local secondary school which we knew they were likely to qualify for. This wasn't the nearest, but based on feeder status of their primary school and historical information regarding the qualifying distance of children who had been offered a place, we felt it was a safe bet. In the end they were each offered their first choice, but children living further away were offered places so we know that they would have got in to that school. Although they put several grammars on their list, I wouldn't have jeopardised that seconday place by gambling an extra grammar, relying on performance in a single test is, in my view too risky unless you have a genuine plan B! This is a bit of a ramble but hope it makes some sense! Good luck!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 9:47 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2008 1:26 pm
Posts: 31
Not sure what happened to the asterisk bit above - should have said 'adding' an extra grammar - not sure if this is automated sensoring and I've made a dreadful typo - or did I press asterisk by mistake?!!!!! Just curious!!!!!!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 9:57 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
Posts: 8113
Hi FC - there are certain words that the forum software filters out .... in the context
g a m b l i n g
was quite a reasonable word to use! always rather alarming when they just get turned into asterisks!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:34 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:38 pm
Posts: 109
Quote:
I'm thinking at the moment 4 grammars, and 2 catholic schools (1 is a feeder school for her primary). Looking at the worst case scenario, I'm thinking if none of these options panned out then she may be offered the nearest secondary . Am I right in this thinking?


No, you are not. As fingerscrossed says, were you not to be offered a place by any of your listed schools, you would be allocated a place at the nearest school that has places available after everyone who expressed a preference has been dealt with, even if you live next door to another school that you would have got into had you expressed a preference. The secondary schools that have spare places when the allocation process concludes may be miles from where you live and usually have spaces available for a good reason (historically in SW Birmingham it was Shenley and Harborne Hill; that may have changed since they got Academy status). If you have a local secondary that you would be prepared to send your child and where you live close enough that you will get a place, put it down as the last entry on the form, or be willing to accept a random school somewhere in the city instead.

Also, be certain that if you are putting multiple grammars down, you place them in "last child admitted mark" rank order. For example, if you put "KE Handsworth, KECHGS, KEFW" on a girl's admission form, the second and third entries are a waste of ink: there is no imaginable scenario, absent seismic shifts in Birmingham's demographics over the space of twelve months, in which a child with that on their form is going anywhere other than Handsworth or wherever they put fourth or later on the form.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:39 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:38 pm
Posts: 109
Oh, and when people talk about "feeder" primaries, make sure you have the facts and not playground gossip. There are very few such relationships in Birmingham outside Catholic schools, and even for the Catholic schools it is only one skein in the process. But people still talk about them because (a) of folk memory of the situation in the past --- there were designated feeders in the 1970s and I think 1980s, which many parents will think still exist --- or (b) an intuition that most pupils from primary A happen to live in the right place to get into secondary B.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:53 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 9:51 pm
Posts: 2237
I agree about the need to look very carefully at the entry requirements for the Catholic schools. As already said, if you don't get a GS place or a place at one of your RC choices, you will be offered the nearest school that still has places available after everyone else's preferences have been allocated. The phrase used in the secondary school transfer booklet is "places were offered to all applicants". If you aspire to a GS place for your child then it's not likely to be the kind of school that ticks many boxes for you.

In B'ham RC schools currently have 6 categories of entrant, unless your child is a baptised Catholic then he/she will be in category 5 ("non-RC child at RC feeder primary"). Our local RC school doesn't get down to category 5 most years but this year they have (for the first time since at least 2007 as far as I'm aware - they've even offered at least one place in category 6). Birth rates were low in 2000 when this year's children were born, and that continued iirc until about 2002, so your child is probably more likely to have a chance of a place than in previous years, but I strongly recommend that you ask the schools you're considering what numbers they've taken in their various entry categories in recent years (especially for entry this year) and, if they've taken non-RC children, what distance they've gone out to in making offers to them.

tokyonambu wrote:
Also, be certain that if you are putting multiple grammars down, you place them in "last child admitted mark" rank order. For example, if you put "KE Handsworth, KECHGS, KEFW" on a girl's admission form, the second and third entries are a waste of ink: there is no imaginable scenario, absent seismic shifts in Birmingham's demographics over the space of twelve months, in which a child with that on their form is going anywhere other than Handsworth or wherever they put fourth or later on the form.


While that's broadly true I strongly disagree with the opening sentence. If KEFW is your preferred school, by all means put it first on your form, and if you also like CH and Handsworth then by all means put them on as well. But if Handsworth is your preferred school, it should be first on your form. IMO, when it comes to filling in your form you should take more account of geography and your own (or your child's) personal preferences than you should of everyone else's preferences (which is basically what the qualifying score represents).

As to what we put: for our son, 1 - KECHB, 2 - KE5W, 3 - BV, 4 - fairly decent, fairly local boys comp we had a moderate chance of getting into, 5 - local RC comp which we had no chance of getting into, 6 - Old Swinford Hospital (slightly cheaper than going straight to the independent sector if all else had failed - I bet we were the only people with OSH as last choice :oops: ). For our daughter we put 1 - KECHG, 2 - KE5W (yes, I know - wasted choice - but sometimes it's just not worth the argument :roll: ), 3 - good girls comp we were unlikely to get because of distance, 4 - local RC again (we might even have got it this year!), 5 - tolerable comp we would certainly have got. No 6th choice, I wasn't allowed to put Sexey's School in Somerset (nearest equivalent I could find to OSH) on pain of divorce.

Mike


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 4:54 pm 
I would not say that putting Camp Hill Girls before Five Ways would necessarily be a wasted choice. 10 years ago CHG was higher up than Five Ways, and, once in a while they have come to close to parity. It is not beyond possibility that one year CHG will again need a higher choice.

But I do agree with Mike. You should put the schools in your preference order, regardless of scores. One of my girls wanted Sutton this year so put it first but she would have qualified for them all, including CHB if she had been a boy. I would also agree that distance should be a factor in your decision. While it may start off as quite exciting travelling by bus to school, they soon get fed up off excessive commutes and the journey eats into leisure/homework time.


Top
  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:16 pm 
Go see all the schools and see which one (if any) your DC likes. Nothing more, nothing else.

In our case the school our DS liked was CH, realising that he had to work extra hard to get into this school.

His best friend on the other hand liked Queen Mary school (walsall I think)...Horses for courses.

Its very much a personal thing, this school selection thing. Put the schools in the order you would like your DC to go to. Changing your mind once the results are out is a very tough place to be.


Top
  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:55 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 5:45 pm
Posts: 56
Thanks for all your replies, they've been really helpful and informative. I've modified my thinking a bit. We'll probably go for 3 grammars, KE Handsworth, Sutton Girls and Queen Mary. With the other options it means a 7 o'clock bus pick up which makes for a very long day...the others are 8ish if we're fortunate to get any of those. Handsworth was always the first choice anyway. It leaves room for 2 RC Schools (one a published feeder school with good links) and a school she'll probably definitely get into which is just around the corner. I can't risk one where "places were offered to all applicants"..sends shivers down my spine! :shock:
Time will tell, we'll go and visit in September. Thanks again. x


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
CALL 020 8204 5060
   
Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright © 2004 – 2016