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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 10:22 am 
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Many will have just started or be starting their 11+ campaign for 2016, we are doing stuff, but nothing pressured, just reading and core maths skills as not doing it till year after.

You have all heard the advice about resources and materials, but this has surely got to be a must watch to set the context

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwVRIBg6iTg


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 1:43 am 
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There's an evening I'll never get back. Just watched them all in a binge you tube viewing...

Really interesting watching, thanks PP. Would love to see an update on those kids now. Had me in tears in places!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 3:16 am 
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It is one of those where there are multiple cues all over

1) The discussion about Jamiah's choices and how they are "supposedly" constrained by postcodes and gangs B21 Vs B19, plus the mindset of his mom. Needs to tune in so badly.
2) The abject despondency of the Sutton Coldfield mom, where her son ends up with the actually rather good choice of Plantsbrook comp, but that's seen as a failure. The discussion in the bistro in Sutton park where they all say they are not bothered where there sons go, and then simultaneously hammer College High (no shocks but they are all in catchment for Fairfax and Arthur Terry), apart from her son. Too close to Erdington.
3) Jamaih's aspiration to get college high, because his mom is trapped by a pretty negative attitude. I think he ends up at college high, or renamed NB academy.
4) The DIY tutoring relationship between Safia and her parents, particularly her dad. The primacy of reading in their household. I actually thought she was at private school, but looks like it was a good state primary in Hall Green. Are you shocked she ends up at Camp Hill, nah not really.
5) Thomas in Saltley who is the only white kid in his school. More importantly the level of language of of him and his peers. IMHO he would had no chance at 11+. He goes to Cockshut Hill.

If this documentary is not a clear indication of how unfair the education system is and the 11+ in particular. I do not know what is.

6) The wonderfully quirky and individual mixed race lad all in his own world, that ends up at Archbishop Grimshaw. What a brilliant tuned in Mom.
7) Julie from the council......mmmmh! Do I want to press this button to do the allocations...yes I do, oh shut up Julie and just press the flipping button.
8.) The eternally positive Pakistani / Bangladeshi father, working his socks of for his sons future. So pleasing to see him get a place at Handsworth, "If you cannot fly a plane in time of war, when are you going to fly"....brilliant way to describe the 11+ challenge
9) The Smug lot from Edgbaston whose son gets into Camp Hill Boys, just personal, but when the dad starts carping on about him being in the top 120 boys in Birmingham and the mom says if King Edwards doesn't happen then we will pay, made me cringe.

They did the first term at Yr 7, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZ7rWq3zvd0 school follow up.

In the dump comp (cockshut hill), the on site copper playing with his snake?? What! Depressing.

Everywhere else are you surprised, nope

It's raw viewing, but brutally honest. You cannot help but empathise with nearly all of them, but gosh what an abject system it is.


Last edited by Petitpois on Thu Oct 29, 2015 9:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 10:22 am 
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Petitpois wrote:
It is one of those where there are multiple cues all over

1) The discussion about Jamiah's choices and how they are "supposedly" constrained by postcodes and gangs B21 Vs B19, plus the mindset of his mom. Needs to tune in so badly, but she just can't see her own impact on her sons future.
2) The abject despondency of the Sutton Coldfield mom, where her son ends up with the actually rather good choice of Plantsbrook comp, but that's seen as a failure. The discussion in the bistro in Sutton park where they all say they are not bothered where there sons go, and then simultaneously hammer College High (no shocks but they are all in catchment for Fairfax and Arthur Terry), apart from her son. Too close to Erdington.
3) Jamaih's aspiration to get college high, but he get edmund campion, because his mom is trapped by no options and a pretty negative attitude. I think he ends up at college high, or renamed NB academy.
4) The DIY tutoring relationship between Sophia and her parents, particularly her dad. The primacy of reading in their household. I actually thought she was at private school, but looks like it was a good state primary in Hall Green. Are you shocked she ends up at Camp Hill, nah not really.
5) The white kid in Saltley who is the only white kid in his school. More importantly the level of language of of him and his peers. IMHO he would had no chance at 11+ PP or not.

If this documentary is not a clear indication of how unfair the education system is and the 11+ in particular. I do not know what is.

6) The wonderfully quirky and individual mixed race lad all in his own world, that ends up at Archbishop Grimshaw. What a brilliant tuned in Mom.
7) Julie from the council......mmmmh! Do I want to press this button to do the allocations...yes I do, oh shut up Julie and just press the flipping button.
8.) The eternally positive Pakistani / Bangladeshi father, working his socks of for his sons future. So pleasing to see him get a place at Handsworth, "If you cannot fly a plane in time of war, when are you going to fly"....brilliant way to describe the 11+ challenge
9) The Smug lot from Edgbaston whose son gets into Camp Hill Boys, just personal, but when the dad starts carping on about him being in the top 120 boys in Birmingham and the mom says if King Edwards doesn't happen then we will pay, made me cringe.

They did the first term at Yr 7, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZ7rWq3zvd0 school follow up.

In the dump comp, the on site copper playing with his snake?? What! Depressing.

Everywhere else are you surprised, nope

It's raw viewing, but brutally honest. You cannot help but empathise with nearly all of them, but gosh what an abject system it is.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 10:39 am 
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Sorry folks - my reply got lost and then it did the full quote - I took so long thinking it over I timed out.

Petit Pois - your post which is clearly heart felt got me thinking. Is the 11+ exam itself unfair? Could KE grammars do it any differently?

I kind of feel there really isn't any other option - it has to be a test which is changed yearly and is only first seen on test day.

Do I think the KE grammars could do more to explain to all parents (especially newbies) what is covered on the exam. YES!

But this forum is a great starting point - and it is a shame that parents often only find out about it late in the game. (I have told a number of Year 5 parents about it - so I'm doing my bit around here to level the playing field).

I think Big School programmes are essential viewing to anyone embarking on the 11+ journey because they show both outcomes - success and failure and how families cope with that.

What isn't fair is that each candidate taking the 11+ has come from different environments - educationally, socio-economically, parental academic aspirations/ background, etc....

I also think I have to come clean - having been through this once with little fish (2013 for 2014 entry) - small fry had a huge advantage because little fish would say things like 'Oh, don't worry about those net and cube things...they aren't on the test' - and so we didn't waste time/ effort on working them out. I also knew post 2013 exam that Cloze sections were really crucial and needed a bit more prep - little fish had said these really threw her - she'd never seen them before taking the exam. We also understood that paying attention to how to present answers was crucial - little fish was sure she'd messed up a NVR section which required two answers for two blanks by not indicating which answer went where.

The reality is that the 11+ is challenging - it's asking your child to be working to the highest possible standard - and competition for places is pretty fierce with easily >5000 kids taking the exam. The issue for all us parents is to determine how much we want our 11+ campaign to take over our lives. For us - it was DIY and 'not so much' - other parents go all out.

I don't feel I can judge - but I have to accept that my decisions in supporting my children to prepare for this (and in both cases it was them coming home saying they wanted to do this - not coming from me) - my level of support is also a factor in this equation - and I know that it was less than many at small fry's school.

Read the stickies on this forum - they have great advice and I truly believe it does level the playing field. But please accept as a parent - that each of these 5000+ candidates for the 11+ will be preparing in some way - some in a BIG WAY. Many children want to go to a grammar/ many parents desperately want a grammar for their child. The reasons are various but I suspect the reality is that all these children would benefit from a grammar school education but there are limited places.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 10:43 am 
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Oh and PP - you broke my resolution - and got me out of retirement

but I'll return to my deep pool and hang out now!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:12 am 
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I liked the documentary because it was not Grammar centric. It was showing, as you say, people from a wide range of backgrounds and the paths they were taking, in transitioning from primary to secondary. The 11+ was not even on the radar for a number of them.

I thought the Blue coat kid had it spot on when he mentions that they are being trained for the 11+ from day 1. Not overtly, but its all pushing that way, he says.

I am not ashamed for doing what I did to secure a grammar place for DD1 and I will try and do the same for DD2.

When I say the system is abject, I mean that not everyone that should get a chance does.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:30 am 
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BTW I have oscillated around on this issue of Fairness. Following Old Trout points

1) I now think the 11+ is fairer than it first looks. A petition (handed in by Ken R) to the FO, requesting greater analysis of SD scores, would really help with the public perception of fairness and transparency

2) I am now clearer in my mind that people get vexed about the 11+, because they know the pre-conditions before going into the exam are not fair. Frustrated, because there is no magic wand that will easily smooth out social inequalities, and thus give two equally bright kids an equal shot at a good education.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 1:47 pm 
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Drat - Petit Pois - you keep getting me thinking....

2) I am now clearer in my mind that people get vexed about the 11+, because they know the pre-conditions before going into the exam are not fair. Frustrated, because there is no magic wand that will easily smooth out social inequalities, and thus give two equally bright kids an equal shot at a good education.

I think something has to be added about inequality - what isn't fair is that in some schools staff are positive about the 11+, mention it as an option for parents/ children to consider and even help (either in school or by suggesting parents talk to families with successful 11+ pupils in Year 6) and other schools (like ours) absolutely refuse to discuss it whatsoever.

Is it the end of the world. Probably not.

But...

It certainly doesn't strike me as fair - and sometimes children need someone outside their immediate family showing them opporutnities/ looking out for them.

I'm an idealist I suppose - but wouldn't it be a lovely world if a teacher would mention to a parent that their child has the potential and they ought to consider going for the 11+ - especially if it is a situation where they are foreign to England or Birmingham (I say the latter because my DH is from another part of England and finds the Birmingham system very different).

I wonder about the kid with a chaotic homelife who is clearly very bright but totally unsupported....what happens to those kids if their primary teacher(s) doesn't talk openly to them about this possibility?

I shall return to my pond.....


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