- we noticed a change between 2013 and 2015 11+ exams in the amount of information sent out prior to the exam. I also felt that the handling of arrival/ exit was better organised in 2015 - so hopefully that holds true for everybody this year.
Somewhere in that pack you all should have information on how to fill in the answer sheet - and frankly if you disregard everything else - that's the important bit. And worth going over carefully with your child. Make sure they're clear on how to fill in their answer sheet/ handle mistaken entries - so that they do not unnecessarily miss out on gaining points.
My advice (for any exam centre) is arrive early: parking will be easier, reduces the time you & your child are waiting in a queue and avoids seeing large numbers of people.
Same applies for collecting your child. Arriving early helps - means you're standing near the front as they exit the building/ go to assigned collection areas.
In terms of the difference between qualifying score and cut-off score ....[apologies if you already understand this clearly - but this change in entrance rules has lead to some confusion and some parents/ posters here have felt that achieving the qualifying score meant that they had gained a place at one of the grammar schools - which wasn't the case - see below....]qualifying score
is the minimum score you must achieve to be eligible for entry (by waiting list presumably). In essence this score means your child how shown they are grammar school material - it doesn't however guarantee a place - places are offered by rank of score - so in theory you could qualify (say score 210, but because you're entering as an ordinary applicant (no pupil premium situation) and the last score offered was 235, you are only elligible for the wait list).cut-off score
- is the score for the last entrant of Pupil Premium applicants and also for the last entrant of ordinary applicants on national offers day. [don't panic about the score posted on results page of grammar schools in birmingham website https://www.birminghamgrammarschools.org/content/results-and-offers
- remember that all the schools will operate a wait list and the cut-off scores will drop for both ordinary and pupil premium applicants [see wait list discussion for 2015 11+/ 2016 entry here: http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/forum/11plus/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=46101
has very kindly kept a record of when offers are made so you get some sense of what movement occurred (and how far scores dropped) after national offers day.
It is important to understand that achieving the qualifying score does not
guarantee you entry into the grammar school of your choice - it merely means that your child is capable of attending a grammar school. An offer of a place is entirely dependent on the rank order of children's scores from the highest on downward (e.g. for 2016 entry at Camp Hill - the last offered score on offers day was 235, so pupil #120 scored 235 and all offers ranked 1 - 119 represents children with scores at or higher than 235.
Remember that a number of children can have the same exact score. There has been a lot of talk about how scores are distributed - but in short - the higher the score the fewer pupils will have achieved it. In essence it is likely that as you approach the cut-off score 20 to 30 children will have achieved that score.
The initial offer of places at a KE grammar school (state sector) is to PAN (pupil allocation number - i.e. the number of places officially available at the school for Year 7 as registered with Birmingham City Council/ OFSTED) - so for example in the case of Camp Hill Girls there are 150 places in total: 30 pupil premium places + 120 ordinary entrant places [info on other schools can be found in the table here: https://www.birminghamgrammarschools.org/content/eligibility
Last year, there was a lot of talk about Pupil Premium. I don't think it is worth revisiting the discussions but just to say that the pupil premium scheme relates entirely to additional places to those originally available in Birmingham grammar schools prior to 2013. I think it is important for ordinary applicants to understand that the actual number of places available in Birmingham grammar schools for ordinary applicants remains unchanged from that previously available prior to 2013 - all of the schools (with the possible exception of Handsworth Grammar School for Boys) have expanded the number of places they offer to accommodate these additional entrants. [Because I have daughters I'm unclear whether Handsworth Boys has expanded the number of places available there or not; however, they do not operate the scheme there because they have a high proporiton of pupil premium students anyway.] Also historically there have always been a small number of pupil premium students at these grammar schools - the expansion of places was to reflect that research has firmly established that FSM pupils are less likely to gain entry to a grammar school for a range of factors (financial, social, etc...).
Regardless of which school of the grammar schools in Birmingham is your first choice, the Pupil Premium scheme does not
negatively affect chances of entry there.
as you await your results letter on 14 OCTOBER (Health warning - our letter didn't arrive on the results letter day, but the day afterward, even though sent 1st class within Birmingham)
over the years friends and I have found a good rule of thumb is to presume that cut-off scores historically can rise 5 pts higher than the previous year. If your child is at that threshold or higher (so scoring 5pts+ higher than previous year's cut-off), it is very likely they will gain a place at their preferrred grammar school.
However, stranger things have happened, and this past year (so 2015 exam for 2016 entry) Camp Hill Boys cut-off score actually dropped (2015 entry cut-off 243/ 2016 cut-ff 239) and Five Ways (which had previously had a higher cut-off score than Camp Hill Girls) had a slightly lower cut-off score (2016 entry cut-off Five ways 233 - one point higher than previous year's exam cut-off of 232) but Camp Hill Cut-off was 235 (4 points higher than 2015 entry 231 cut off).edited the change some font colours from blue as this is reserved for Moderator use - Moderator