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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:23 pm
Posts: 148
Dear All,
One of our dear friends is relocating to Birmingham and is looking for a good school in Birmingham. My friend wants to know if there are schools is Birmingham that do 11+ coaching as well.

Reeyah and Mike,

both of you mentioned in a post that your schools do 11+ as well. Could you please let me know the names of the schools your DCs go to /went to ?
Thanks.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:15 pm
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Location: Birmingham
The schools that do 11+ coaching are the independents, but rest assured that the parents ( DIY or through tutors) do loads of work too. Even scholarship standard children often get extra tuition to try to guarantee a scholarship place. It is my belief that that it is the support and drive of the parents that is the factor that makes the difference. That is why this forum is such a wonderful resource.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:51 pm 
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No, I said they did an 11+ style test at one point, meaning it was an NVR/VR/maths type test, which I interpreted as probably being a CATS test. It was a one-off event.

Few if any state primary schools in England do 11+ prep to the best of my knowledge (and certainly none in B'ham). The only schools in B'ham that do any sort of 11+ coaching are the prep schools.

One or two forum members between them seem to have an exhaustive knowledge of all B'ham and Solihull primary schools, but it would probably help to know if there are any particular areas of the city your friend is interested in.

Mike


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:50 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
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Location: Birmingham
It would also help if you could define exactly what is meant by 'good'. If it is academics, a quick glance at the DFE performance tables for Birmingham could tell them what they need to know. Ofsted reports are also available for every school, and most schools have a prospectus and additional information on their website.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:05 am 
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Many Thanks Um and Mike,
I would not advise her to look at the league tables nor Ofsted bcoz the report they give is not true at all. The best example is my son's school. Both of them said the school was very good and the children behave very well etc etc. but when we entered we knew the true picture. By a good school my friend says the one which is academically oriented, there is good behavior from students and Staff. Also I heard that there is a school in Birmingham where most of the children go to Grammar School every year and all because the head teacher makes sure they get enough training during summer term. Can't remember the name though.
Mike was it you who mentioned long ago that 8 or 10 children from your DC's school that go to Grammar school ? Sorry to bother you with a lot of questions. I think I'm having a short term memory loss due to this waiting for results !


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:21 am 
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Hi Anxious_mother :-)

What Mike says is right. It's only the Indies which offer 11+ tuition.

You are also right to point out that Ofsted reports can be misleading and it is always better to know about a school from first hand experience by another parent.

Yes, our school offers 11+ tuition, but I fear it doesn't make that much difference. The parents are the main people behind these children. Most, if not all, have external tuition. Some of them have two to three different tutors!!!

Good luck to your friend. Right now I wish I lived out of Brum!!!! Think it would be fabulous to have no Grammar School stuff to think about. However, if my DS or DN passes, I will then become a firm advocate. I think that's fair enough ;-)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:13 am 
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I don't think I'd recommend our primary, it's under new leadership since our son was there and a lot has changed in the last couple of years, none of it for the better.

Mike


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:38 am 
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Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 5:45 pm
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reeyah wrote:

Think it would be fabulous to have no Grammar School stuff to think about.


Totally agree. It's a shame that we have to spend all this time preparing for the 11+. All schools should have good standards. :evil:

It would help to know what area your friend is moving to but as the others have said, Birmingham LA don't advocate any 11+ coaching in their schools. I'm more likely to know the ones to avoid :D


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:06 am 
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Location: Birmingham
The Good schools guide has a list of 'feeder' schools into each Grammar.

It does not, however, include prep (indie) schools who I imagine send a significant proportion of pupils to KE Grammars each year.

The state Primary school that sent the most pupils on balance was Harborne Primary.
Now undoubtedly it is a good school, but it is larger than average (90 per year) so is going to obviously send more pupils than a small school, and is also in an area where the alternative secondary choices are pretty dire, especially for boys, so parents will push the boat out and ensure good 11 plus support/tuition, because the stakes are far higher.

Similarly, there are excellent Primaries in Solihull who appear to send few children to Grammar - this is because they have excellent comprehensives nearby, so parents (and children!) will simply not be as motivated to strive for a Grammar school place. To be fair if I lived in the Arden or Tudor Grange catchment there is no way I would have tried as much as I did, nor, I guess, would my children.

If you're really interested, Moseley CE sends a lot of children to KE Grammars too. But I say this through gritted teeth as although I may half-heartedly support academic selection, I am very opposed to religious selection, and, in a fully multi-cultural area such as Moseley, having such segregated schools may work for the results, but doesn't strike me as right or natural.

Ultimately many of the children at Camp Hill and others, will be the only one from their school, or one of only two children. It draws children from a wide range of areas, backgrounds and Primary Schools. My friend's son was in a truly awful Primary School - at that time in special measures - in an area of poor council housing - yet he achieved a Camp Hill place without formal tuition (his older sister supported him though).
Whilst we obviously want to ensure our children's schools are not going to hinder them through very poor standards and expectations, as Mike1880 said, and I thoroughly agree, it is parental (or tutor!) support that makes the difference.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:21 am 
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If I may add my tuppence worth - We were relatively late on the 11+ scene and realised quite quickly how hard it would be to gain a grammar place for our DS. Naively we looked at the school for support but were met with expressions that belonged more to tweedledee and tweedledum.

We were given the ‘not in curriculum’ and ‘no resource’ - quite ironic as DS had spent the whole of the previous week painting/creating seasonal card masterpieces.

DS once asked if he could take popcorn into school - when quizzed unconcernedly stated ‘Oh were going to be watching movies today’. School confirmed these ‘treats’, (yes not a one off) in this case to ease the stress of preparing for a school play for the last 3 months.

DS homework is a single photocopy sheet of maths that has changed little in the time he has been there. We began investigating prep school but realised we did not have the funds and also it was too late, instead ended up doing some last minute prep thanks solely to this forum.

It is unfortunate that the SATs tests come after the 11+, otherwise we could bring an early halt to the waste of opportunity as seen in my DS Y5. Now that the SATs are in full force it is surprising that resource has magically appeared. The DVDs have been put away, school no longer spending months on plays and weeks on making and painting cards.

The 11+ has no impact on the school and all that drives our school in particular is the SAT scores, and it is crystal clear that anything that does not reflect on the school performance is of no concern.

Tight finances meant we could only afford one child, but if we did have another I would certainly not rely on any school to help prepare them for grammar school. Much of the 11+ success that I have witnessed by talking to parents of current grammar school children, is driven more so by the parents rather than the school, even those that were in prep school.

Good luck


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