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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:34 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2016 5:00 pm
Posts: 29
In the playground today, I received a snide remark from a parent who said that grammar schools are only for the privileged few. Fuelled by the media, she spewed out a ten minute rant about how only rich posh kids have the opportunity anyway so anyone at a normal primary is more or less stuffed from the start. Actually, I think the cost has a lot less to do with it than the aptitude, drive and pure determination needed to sit down and study. We are not well off, and we prioritised our finances and made sure our children had the study material that they needed to learn at home over the summer. It was hard. There were days when the children didn't want to do it. There were days when I didn't want to help them. There were days when all of us wanted to screw up all the papers and burn them slowly over simmering coals followed by half a bottle of wine, and a full box of Lindor.
Every child who is studying for grammar goes on a journey. And this, in itself, sets them up for a working ethos - something that's vital for every job. So, to all those AMAZING kids who sat and studied hard for their 11+. We're VERY PROUD of you. Some, of course, will get in. Some, of course won't. But all of them have shown that they have the determination and drive that will help them to succeed in life.
This is well worth celebrating, whatever the outcome. WELL DONE KIDS! and well done to all of us hard working parents who support our children through it.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:09 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:51 am
Posts: 6
Agree wholeheartedly and believe that DCs that undertake this journey learn very important study skills, which form the basis of their future academic careers. DPs that do not agree don't need to participate, simple. Families that go through the journey know how difficult it is and how much of a commitment it is!

PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 12:57 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:41 am
Posts: 86
I think we should all be proud of all the hard work we have put into this journey and whatever the outcome our DC will benefit from all this extra work we have put in. Snide remarks from other parents is often ignorance in that they don't know enough about grammar schools and think that parents who put their children in for them are some how thinking that the local comps aren't good enough for them.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 2:07 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:21 pm
Posts: 268
Just agreeing wholeheartedly with what aslongastheirhappy posted - there are definitely benefits to going on this journey regardless of outcome.

aslongastheirhappy - I think the thing to ask yourself about this playground comment you overheard is where is this coming from:

do they feel there's no point - their child would never pass and they're angry/ hurt by that fact?

do they feel that people buy their way in - by spending a fortune on support materials/ private tutors/ books?

do they feel that year after year they see children from better off/ better educated families get in but perhaps don't feel children from more modest backgrounds make it in.

The statistics on entry to grammar schools in England are hard reading for those seeking diversity - the entry is skewed to better off pupils, often tutored pupils. But I would argue that Birmingham is bucking that trend with pupil premium places and is at least trying to open access.

Many parents want this for their children but the reality is not everyone can have it - and no matter how much you do for your child in the run up to the exam - it is down to them on exam day.

Opting to sit the 11+ may be coming from parental aspiration or may be coming from the child - in my case both children wanted to start studying because friends were and they wanted to go to secondary with their friends. In my case both children starting preparing in Y5 - after Christmas. We certainly knew from the outset we couldn't afford tutors and didn't go all out buying tons of practice papers. I set aside £50 for small fry's campaign + bus fare for the Open Evening. I ended up using borrowed resources handed down from friends with older children. We encouraged lots of reading - as the grammar schools advise.

For some people this is very complicated - merging their own bad feelings from personal experience, political views and even fears about pushing their children too hard. Some friends truly feel that school at primary should be about play and should never involve study of any kind. Being foreign - I found this entire system of splitting up friendship groups for secondary (regardless of grammar or state comp) bizarre frankly. So for me - grammar schools weren't the issue per se - it was the stress of applying for a secondary place in Birmingham that I found weird.

In short, I strongly feel sitting the 11+ exam or not doing it is a personal choice and each person should feel entirely free to do as they see fit. I also know as a parent that this is a tough decision - and I had my concerns - especially about my children feeling they were failures if this didn't work out.


Whatever your result come October 14th - I hope you can step back and be proud of all the hard work, the improvement in your child as a pupil and the fact that no matter what by embarking on this process they have put themselves in a very good position to get off to a flying start in Y7, wherever they ultimately go to school.

best of luck everybody!


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