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 Post subject: KS4 transfer
PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:19 pm
Posts: 517
Location: bucks
Hi all

Has anyone experienced transferring at year 10.

As far as I can see from the admissions booklet it seems to be related more to KS3 results than any kind of VR test is this correct?

my daughter is at an oxfordshire comp just started year 9 and is really happy in top set and on course for level 7s in english hum and science and level 8 maths + music and has a music scholarship at the aylesbury music centre and we live in bucks in catchment for ahs. I'm not sure if she/us really want to change but are considering our options in particular AHS offers triple science and possibly some more language and hum options.

So my questions are:

1 how many places are there on average and how do they decide who qualifies

2 how important is triple science if you're hoping to do science at A level (although the science A level results for her current school seem comparable to the aylesbury grammars)

3 has anyone experienced the process is it dificult and stressey

any feedback gratefully recieved


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:37 pm 
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We had the same thoughts as you last year (daughter now in Year 10). In fact, from your description I think it's the same comp!

If it helps your decision, there is much more streaming in Year 10 in the comp than the school let on in Year 9. Science, maths, English, IT, history and languages are ALL setted (well to be precise a top set and the rest is mixed ability).

It sounds like your daughter will be in the top sets where they are expected to get an A/A*, but warn her to revise for the end-of-year 9 tests. They set on the basis of these tests but don't make it clear to either the students or parents, and some bright students don't get into the top sets because they haven't bothered to revise thinking that they are not official SATs and so not significant.

On the other hand, languages are a bit of a weak point compared to AHS. If you want to join AHS in KS4 and there are spaces, there is a curriculum test. But when we mentioned the idea to our daughter she was horrified (but what about all my friends? I'd miss the boys, etc. etc.). I think 6th form is a more logical move since many go off in different directions anyway.

Jed


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:50 pm 
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Location: bucks
Hi Jed Thanks for that she's at Lord Williams. I wondered how they were going to set at upper school now there are no formal KS3 tests. Is it based purely on the tests or was there some teacher assesment? We did ask this last year but the answers were a bit vague! My worry is english and hum as she has been doing tests for maths and science as she has been going through but hasn't had any tests in these so maybe we should be practicing these?

Other peolpe have said it is v different at upper school it's a shame you don't get to see upper school as part of your year 6 look rounds. My daughter like yours doesn't really want to leave and is v happy so we probably won't apply but we wanted to keep our options open and it would save me driving to ahs three times a week with her for her bands.

Did you find out what the curriculum tests were like ie similar to ks3 tests or something else ?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:52 pm 
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Quote:
how do they decide who qualifies
Each school sets its own tests and takes its own decision about what is acceptable. I don't know about AHS in particular, but I would have thought most use curriculum tests to check whether the candidate would 'fit in' with their existing pupils (on target for level 7 sounds the right sort of standard!). A few might use reasoning tests.

_________________
Etienne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Jed wrote:
We had the same thoughts as you last year (daughter now in Year 10). In fact, from your description I think it's the same comp!

Good grief Jed! Is it really you? How surprised am I to see you back here?! :shock:

I am so pleased that your daughter is doing so well at her school.

My very best wishes to you and your daughter.

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:16 pm 
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I thought it was LW. Yes they DO also set for English but, as you say, they don't really advertise this. They have two equal top sets (on the X and Y side) and the rest are mixed ability. Since they do RE in their English sets, they are effectively also set for RE, and those that do history seem to largely be in the same groups as well (timetabling perhaps?). As far as I can tell the students who are assessed at a level 7/6a at the end of Year 9 are in the top English set (whereas in science you need to get level 7 in the test for the top set). The English assessments are based on some pieces they write in class throughout the year (Macbeth, I think, plus various descriptive writing about places?) and an end of year SAT-type test. In my daughter's year, the top sets are studying different texts for GCSE (The Crucible, for example, rather than An Inspector Calls).

We only discovered all this at the start of year 10! But I'm told some teachers tell their classes at the end of Year 9 ('these students are in top science/English, etc.') and some don't. My daughter only found out on the first day of term. We then got letters at the start of Year 10 congratulating her but warning her 'you can go down as well as up'. In fact the English letter specifically said that if you dip below a 'B' in any coursework, you're down!

You could say that they effectively have a mini-grammar running within the comp, but of course they wouldn't like to see it that way and I think that's why they aren't too explicit about it. However, there is flexibility for students to move around and be in different sets depending on their subject strengths. My advice - keep a low profile but tell your daughter to watch out for timed essays in class and mentions of 'assessed' pieces or tests and then gun for them to give herself the best opportunity to get in the top sets in Year 10.

Hope all this helps you see the bigger picture.

Jed

PS to SA: yes, I really do still skulk sometimes but don't usually post. However, as you can see I've become an expert on the local comp. It shows that everything is not always as it seems! Hope your son is thriving also. I still remember our joint angst in the early days of this forum. Keep up the good work!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:19 pm
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Location: bucks
Jed that is so helpful, I feel guilty even vaguely considering swapping as I think the school is great. I'm pretty sure were going to stay and your comments re upper school are very reasuring. I do wish they would be a little more transparent about the setting process, still I suppose it's a difficult line to tread between being seen to push the top sets to boost their results whilst maintaining the comprehensive ideal of pushing all levels. I'm sure that you're right that the top sets of 60-70 children representing about 25% of the year are working at a level equivalent to a grammer school; certainly 70 or so kids regularly get a*/a in maths and science.

However this is probably getting a little off topic for this forum; thanks so much jed and etienne for your help as always this forum is great.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 8:11 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:11 pm
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Tree

Don't mention it. Glad it was helpful. I hope it is also helpful to others on this forum. I don't think it does any harm to stress from time to time that good comps also do very well by many children. We have a child in the two systems (grammar and comp) and are equally happy with both (as are they).

SA: I'll go back to the occasional skulk now!

Jed


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