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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:38 am 
I was told by a farther who has a son at Camphill that the KEG foundation and the school Governors have a strong impact/influence to the admision. Is this true?, does knowing a Governor for one of the KEG schools help. I don't know any, but if someone out there did, is he or she better placed than me in having advantage.

I have become more suspicious, I will explain. I was at a local social function, part of my community, and I got talking to an old friend who has a child in year 6, as I do. He asked if I was entering my kid for the KEG tests and I said yes, we exchanged pleasentries regarding school choices etc, etc. He than made an interesting remark. He asked if I knew any KEG school governors to which I said no, and enquired why. He made the point, that you never know when you might need a freind if it came to appeals.

I only made the connection when the farther who has a child at Camphill made a similar point from earlier conversations. Surley these things don't go on do they?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:53 am 
I would ignore these types of comments and get on with the job in hand. Help your child and make sure he'she has all the love and support needed in the coming weeks. These people who abuse the system get found out eventually and their kids become failures !

Good luck and don't worry.!!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:22 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
Posts: 1301
Location: Birmingham
Dear Worrier

I think you can safely file this in the myths, rumours and legends bin for the following reasons:-

The exams are set and marked by the University of Durham Curriculum Centre.

The individual KE schools and Heads have no knowledge of the individual candidates and marks until after the Standarisation process and the allocation of potential names and places by Birmingham LEA and the Foundation. Certainly the Governors have no knowledge at all.

At some point the various KE heads have to set the pass mark - this is the only part of the process where the Heads have an input - they have to decide how many places to offer over their actual maximum intake - bearing in mind that some offers will be rejected by candidates in favour of say independent schools. (For example I know that Camp Hill boys set a pass mark that resulted in 114 offers in 2006 and 125 in 2006 - even though there were only 93 places)

I understand that the various KE Heads only get told the actual canadidate names and numbers once this process has been completed. If you get an offer from a KE Foundation Grammar, you will receive 2 letters on the 1st or 2nd March - 1 from the LEA giving your School allocation ( a KE Grammar) and 1 from the head of the School confirming the details and giving further information.

It amazes me what rubbish some parents come out with - there was a rumour going round my son's primary school that one child who didn't do particularly well in the 1st test was allowed to take a 2nd test on the reserve date and passed!

Regarding appeals - I am aware of only 1 or 2 that have been successful -normally this relates to children that have been allocated a place at one of the KE Schools but not their closest/local 1st choice.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 1:31 pm 
I have to agree wholeheartedly with Ken here. I have heard all sorts of rubbish over the years - tell them your child is ill on the day, because they always get in on the resit. I don't believe any of it. All KE care about is performance, so if they fiddle the results, they won't get the good results.

You need to focus on your child. I had lots of people telling me to pay Tudor House to do a mock test and also to go to Sutton with them both and have them sit those tests. I couldn't see the point in either of these, so I didn't do them. I truly think that some people at the primary school where my daughters went, thought my two kids wouldn't be successful because they didn't sit these additional tests. I didn't want to do anything more to disrupt their childhood or give them any stress.

Just relax and let them do the test on 6 November (or whenever it is). If they are going to be successful on that day, they will be - there is nothing you can do to influence the result. It is hard to feel this powerless, but you need to philosophical about it because you can't change anything.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 6:47 am 
Hello KeMum/KenR, on the subject of the Sutton school test. I met someone of Saturday who asked if my son was taking the test at Bishop Vessy, I sadi no only the KEG test in Nov. He said I should entered my son just as a dry run for the real thing. We live in Solihull and I had to choose 5 schools, 2 KEG and 3 Solihull schools. I could put Bishop Vessy as it is too far away. As a point, is the Sutton school under the b'ham LEA or is it seperate? What is the point of applying there if I have no intention sending my son there, it prevents parents who realy want to send their kids there. Also,, how does the Sutton test form a dry run for the KEG test, I don't know. Have I lost out?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 7:49 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
Posts: 1301
Location: Birmingham
Hi Guest,

Bishop Vesey comes under the Birmingham LEA who set the test - not sure if it NFER who actually administer the tests for the LEA.

Using the Bishop Vesey test as a dry run for the KE Foundation exam is an interesting dilema for parents - we decided to do this last year, but as you will see from the other postings KEMum didn't with her daugther.

There are pros and cons with both approaches:-

On the plus side, it's a real exam and they get chance to sample the conditions and real exam day issues.

On the negative side, the Bishop Veset exam is nothing like the KE Exam - the latter is very much harder. Most children who use the Bishop Vesey exam as a dry run find it easy but are then shocked at just how much harder the KE exam is. This can cause stress for the KE exam.

I think it's close call - on balance we were pleased we entered our son for the exam, he came from a very small school and needed to experience a large formal exam environment to build up his confidence.

Interestingly, you don't need to put Bishop Vesey down as a choice on the LEA form to enter the exam. Also entering the exam will in no way take a place away from another child - it just means that statistically other children have a better chance of passing if you haven't put this on the LEA form.

We live in Worcestershire LEA and there you do not have to complete the LEA form until the 3rd Nov - just before the KE exam date but after the Bishop Vesey exam. Worcs LEA do not inform Birmingham LEA of the 3 preferences (we get only 3 in Worcs) until after that date.

I don't think you have necessarily missed out by not entering your son for the Bishop Vesey exam.

A few tips for the KE Foundation exam though:-

Make sure your son understands that the KE exam is very much harder than the majority of practice 11+ papers and he will have time pressure. The important thing to remember is that the pass mark is very much lower and it's ok to leave out some questions - all candidates do. You can still pass, and in fact pass well, even if you have missed a few questions. You do not need to score anything like 90% to pass 70-75% is nearer the mark.

Try to practice vocabularly and comprehension during 1/2 term week. Not a bad idea to choose a couple of articles from Broadsheet newspapers every day and then make up a number of questions about the articles. Get them to read each article for say 10 mins only and then take the paper away. Make sure the articles contain a number of difficult words and that they fully understand the meaning of these words. Give them multiple choice options for the words to make it like the real exam. If they don't know the answer you can get them to use a dictionary to get the correct answer. We also did lots of mental vocab tests on car journeys.

Hope this helps - best of luck for the exam.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:35 am 
KenR, Thank you once again. I feel so much pressure, I can't express it in words. I am more nervous than when I was buying a house or going for job interview. The experience is similar to the day when my son was born, I was not in control of his destiny, the doctors were. The whole feeing is back again, this time in the hands of the education estbablishments. Stress in an understatement !!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 3:25 pm 
Hi Guest

You haven't missed out on anything, so please don't worry. Neither of my children sat the Sutton test - I just couldn't be done with it - and they both passed the KE test. I was told time and again that I was missing a trick by not putting them in for it, but I really didn't see the point in it. I even know someone who was offered a place at Sutton and they live in Moseley and were only using it for practise!

It is a terribly stressful time and I do have every sympathy because I know how much we worried last year.


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