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 Post subject: How likely?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:59 am 
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Hi my daughter is due to sit the 11+ this year for King Edwards five ways. She is quite keen on Grammar school though she also likes schools in our area so it's not the end of the world if she didn't get in. We're still unsure whether to actually go through with the exam for a couple of reasons. She is quite an anxious child and I don't want to put her under unnecessary pressure and also if she doesn't pass I feel it may affect her confidence, however sensitively its handled.
So she is working above expectations of yr 5 in reading, science and maths and in line with expectations in writing and speaking and listening. She is in top group for everything but is in mid set within the high group for writing and s&l.
She has had no tutoring or preparation as if she got in I wanted it to be because she is able enough to cope with the level of work and don't want her to struggle to keep up. Though we will be doing some basic preparation for the exam over the coming months.
I just wanted to know if anyone can give me an idea of how likely she may be to get a place? People in my area have suggested that there is little chance if she has had no tutoring and isn't in the very top sets for everything. If this is the case I will probably not put her through the exam for the reasons I mentioned earlier. There are a couple of good secondary schools in the area, although the ofsteads aren't outstanding, I know lots of parents with children there who are more than happy and have said their children are achieving very highly. At the same time I don't want to deny her the opportunity if she has a chance of getting in! Any thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: How likely?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:41 am 
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The secret to the CEM 11+ is speed - yes she will have to have a good knowledge, but she also needs to know to move on if she cannot answer a question, as there are more questions than there is time to answer them. And, also, you have to be in it to win it, so to speak. If you give it a go, you always have a chance of passing (and every year there are kids who "expected" to pass but didn't, and vice versa) and if you keep it low key then her anxiety levels should remain low - the fact that it is not the be all and end all in terms of your choice of schools, helps.

There is also no pass or fail with CEM. You may not get a high enough rank to get a place in your most preferred school (but there are a few GS in the Birmingham area so you may get a place in your second or third) but that is not to say you failed the test.

Nobody can say whether she is likely to get a place or not - because even the brightest kids in some schools are below the middle kids in another school - you have no idea how bright or not the cohort is. As long as it does not cause her any undue pressure, go for it, in an understated relaxed way - tell her that she is just sitting for it to give her more options of schools to choose from when you fill in your CAF in October.


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 Post subject: Re: How likely?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 1:47 pm 
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Location: Birmingham
It really would be impossible to make a prediction on such limited information.

It also depends which primary school she is at - top sets in one school could be working at quite a different level to top sets in a school in another part of the city for example.
Have you tried 11+ CEM papers with her? Or a mock test? That might give you more understanding of her ability to gain a grammar school place.

If she's able and enjoys a challenge and working at a higher level than average, she might really enjoy completing her secondary education at a grammar school. However I fully understand your dilemma about taking the test and not getting a place. Every year this is the outcome for the vast majority of the children who sit the exam, and I'm afraid it affects them in different ways. It isn't an easy one to negotiate, but maintaining a non-pressured attitude (and you are clearly doing) can help a lot.


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 Post subject: Re: How likely?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:22 pm 
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Location: Essex
OP, as you have already said that your DD likes some of your available non-selective schools, why not just give it a go? Even if she gets a good score, what that is doing is widening the field she has to chose from. If she doesn't get a good score, she will just have the same options as she will have without taking the 11+ (or you can decide to put a grammar school on your CAF anyway and appeal the inevitable response). It has oft been said that one regrets not doing things, not doing things. Just don't make a big deal of it.

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 Post subject: Re: How likely?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:42 am 
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Yes have a go.
I agree with kenyancowgirl, help your ds with speed, not missing pages, if u don't know the answer don't leave it blank etc.
I know someone who was in top sets and was "tutored" in the summer before the exams and those lessons were teaching the kid exam technique as the knowledge was there already.
Even if you get a place and decide not to go, you will know it was an option.


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 Post subject: Re: How likely?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:39 pm 
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if it helps, tracyj, my DS didn't score the required marks when he sat for DAO. I've written about this elsewhere so apologies for repeating myself. Whilst he was really upset on the day, and when I saw his face crumple, my heart broke, I really believe that the experience was beneficial for him. He had always been lacking in confidence, often choosing not to do something rather than fail at it. However, trying and failing to get into grammar school made him realise that the world keeps turning even if your plans are thrown off track! he is now much more likely to take risks, intellectually and physically, and is flourishing at secondary. So, given that you have some quality options, give it a go (having done some familiarisation work) and let your child have the experience.


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 Post subject: Re: How likely?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 8:35 am 
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Go for it. DD1 got into SCGSG 3 years ago with no tutor and hardly any practise. DD2 just got late offer at SCGSG with no tutor and only did a few practice books over summer holidays. We just saw it as a good experience of exam situation. They weren't pushed so neither had any nerves on the day and were both told not a pass or fail test, just depended on how others did on the day. DD2 originally offered Arthur Terry comprehensive. She was more than happy to go there with her friends and certainly not gutted to not be offered place where DD1 goes. Any practise done will also be good when comes to SATs so will not go to waste. I found practising the maths definitely a bonus as had already done a lot of year 6 work prior to year 6 so ahead of the game.


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 Post subject: Re: How likely?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 8:39 am
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tracyj wrote:
So she is working above expectations of yr 5 in reading, science and maths and in line with expectations in writing and speaking and listening. She is in top group for everything but is in mid set within the high group for writing and s&l.

People in my area have suggested that there is little chance if she has had no tutoring and isn't in the very top sets for everything.


People in your area may also have children, relatives and the children of better friends sitting the test. One competitor less is one less to worry about.

Or they may have chosen a different route for their child for good reason and think it would be fine for yours too. Admitting that you should try for a grammar school might seem disloyal to their own child.

Is your daughter aware of the grammars? Does she know anyone there? Is SHE at all interested in going to a grammar school? If so, give it a go, but definitely do some timed papers at home to get her used to the technique. I drew a bell curve for DD to explain the odds and that she'd still be fine and do well somewhere else. She understood that and chose to give it a shot on that basis. Say nice things about loads of schools, so she knows the advantages of each one. Keep negatives to yourself about any school there's any chance you'll be allocated.

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