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 Post subject: Need to talk!!
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 9:38 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:31 pm
Posts: 119
I've read all the comments (and indeed am very pleased for) all the Bucks families who have done well.

Spare a thought for families such as mine whose child was not successful, but probably has also worked as hard as yours, for nearly two years, painstakingly spending Sunday afternoons working with the curtains closed so as not to see siblings out in the garden having a great time. Working out the common themes of questions, sussing out different ways of teaching a child who doesn't 'get it' first time round. Lots of practice papers, getting gradually increasing scores, using time management skills, learning to do 'easy' ones first, exam techniques, how to spot clues and to work out what 'they' are asking for, vocabulary, spelling, mastering lots of new skills that no doubt with come in handy in the future (not sure yet about last comment)

It really bothers me that we can do all this and get what feels like the lowest score on the forum!! I have an older child who passed with an excellent score - I've seen first hand the work that is required of him at Grammar school and am sure that current son is more than capable of it. It is so frustrating to witness him have to struggle with the concept of not being with his big brother and knowing that any other school we present him with will, ultimately, be considered a 'second' choice.

We don't have weighty extenuating circumstances - he has been bullied in the past (see other posts, another guilt trip for mum) but nothing major in the run-up to exams. No-one died, no pet run over, no parent upped and left, no language or social or learning problems. I feel that I have done my best for him and yet it doesn't seem enough. It is a terrible responsibility to cope with. I was so looking forward to opening my Bucks envelope, the time couldn't pass quickly enough. Now I am dreading the Berks result, and cannot bear the thought of opening that envelope and feeling all this again.

I'm sure I'll get over it. I know that others get through it and go on to do marvellous things. I know there are other schools out there, and that I have just got to find one that suits him best. (I have mentioned this on other posts.)

I know Grammar isn't the be-all and end-all, but at the moment I'm down in the dumps. Am I wallowing? Probably. But thanks for giving me the space to do it.

JuliaB


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 9:54 pm 
Dear Julia

I don't think you're wallowing at all. In fact, you've been very magnanimous in your praise for the success of other children.

I think the fact is that many with lower scores don't post - just browse. Most of the posts are from those with marks near to 121 who are considering appeals.

It is hard on your son. Our second daughter also tried really hard and really wanted to pass whereas our first daughter just sailed through (we'd just moved into Bucks and didn't even realise they took the 11+ until AFTER the event!). We've tried to emphasize her talents and laugh away her dislike of VR. She did get three level 5s in her SATs and that made her feel better.

A year on... it's REALLY not an issue. Everyone's happy and life goes on.
Have a large glass of wine and burn all those papers!

Jed


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 10:02 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:31 pm
Posts: 119
Ah Jed you're a tonic for the soul. I'd love to burn the papers but I have another child coming up through the ranks...... :shock:
I spent so long choosing my six schools on the CAF form, now I feel like I'm back to square one. What a pain having to troll through Ofsted reports and looking at schools. What to choose? Boys comprehensive, Prep School and do 12+ or even a boarding public school, mixed upper school, comprehensive in Maidenhead, move house to a town like Windsor where your only entry requirement is a Windsor postcode.....

But like you say, a year on and it won't matter. But at the moment it does, and I've just got to work through the process...
Valium, anyone?

JuliaB


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 10:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8208
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Julia

You are not alone! Wallow all you want, as long as you do it in the company of people who understand and can sympathise. Wallowing alone is pointless. I went through a dreadful time last year, feeling that the whole system is just horrid - a very blunt axe, and when the cut means that your child is left out "in the cold" it is so hard to take. (Not to mention the other parents whose kids passed, who then left me out in the cold, and that was where this forum became a lifeline.)

I have to claim copyright on the "burning of papers", as Jed will recall from last year!!! However, you are very wise to hold on to them if you have to go through all of this yet again.

Moving is a very drastic measure - someone suggested it last year, and I did some quick sums. The cost of moving house these days would probably pay for 7 years private schooling - and what about the disruption to your other children? But I will admit that when you're in the doldrums, running away is a good idea!!

Like Jed, I would say that a year on it really isn't such a big issue - our son is still in limbo at his prep school, but I feel so much more philosophic about everything. He is still doing well - better than ever before, in fact, now that he is "top of the heap". I got so tense and wound up over his appeal, and when I look back I realise what a dreadful waste of emotional energy it was.

The comment that helped me most from this forum last year was this:

"Cream will always rise to the top".

Think on that, and then just take one step at a time. I know today has seen you crash to earth after a very emotional weekend. You have been so positive about everyone else's success or near misses (as I tried to be last year), but as Jed and many others will agree, you have every right to come on here and wallow in what is frankly a really miserable experience.

Time for one last session of comfort eating perhaps?

Take care - come back whenever you need us. PM me if you want to.
Sally-Anne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 10:23 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:10 pm
Posts: 1068
Location: Lincolnshire
Dear Julia,

My heart goes out to you. And I am full of admiration for your generosity of spirit when you find it in yourself to take the time and trouble to congratulate and celebrate with others the success which has not happened for you this time.

As for wallowing, perhaps you need to allow yourself a bit of a wallow! You need to swim through the waters to emerge on the other side. It is, after all a grieving process, for the lost hopes and dreams, and you have to go through the process to come out the other end of it, as you know you will eventually.

Wish you all the very best with whatever you decide to do, and I for one will be looking out to see how things work out for you.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 10:27 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:49 pm
Posts: 1647
Location: berkshire
Julia

I don't post often on the site (usually only on threads that I may have some relevant opinions) but was an 11 plus 'first timer' last year.

Of course you are going to feel disappointed for your son . He put in the hard work and as his parent you can see that he is suitable for a grammar education.
You have been magnanimous with your support and congratulations to other parents on the forum and are allowed a wallow(good word wallow...... reminds me of hippos and mud). :wink:
Usually a 'wallow' in my household precedes a large glass of wine and a very determined mindset that can overcome anything and everything. :twisted:

Remember (as posted on a similar thread last year) The cream always rises to the top.

I did post on another thread that my son was abysmal at VR (just didn't 'get' it) but passed the Slough 11 plus due to higher scores on Maths & NV. I hope this proves the case with your son.

I wish you and your son all the best with the 'slough' results


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 10:32 pm 
JuliaB

Please take heart from Jed's posting.

Living in Maidenhead the comprehensives you refer to are our local catchment schools and whilst my son was fortunate enough to pass the 11+ last year, of course we put these schools as our 2nd/3rd choices.

If it is of any help, I know of many of my son's friends (who didn't enter for the 11+ even though I suspect were more than capable) who are in the top sets and are thriving.

Good luck with whatever you decide


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 10:46 pm 
Glad to hear the comps in Maidenhead are of a good standard. Our daughter's at a good Oxfordshire comp and thriving.

A good comp is always worth considering, particularly with a child who has a definite bias (towards Maths or English). They can be right at the top in their best subject, while not feeling completely useless in the other.

Good luck anyway, Julia.

Jed

PS Can't you just burn a symbolic paper?!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 10:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8208
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Chad

Nice to have you back! I think we were posting on this thread simultaneously, and wasn't that the most telling comment of all last year?

"Cream always rises to the Top".

I have never forgotten it, and I still believe it.

I hope your son is happy and doing well.

Best wishes
Sally-Anne

P.S. JuliaB - there is an old "11+ forum" reunion going on in the background here, with Jed, Chad and others. This will be you next year - catching up with old friends, and telling us all that it is fine, despite the result.


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 Post subject: need to talk
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 11:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 7:32 pm
Posts: 410
Dear Julia

I am so sorry for your son and for you. I won't patronise by saying it's not the end of the world because it must seem like it is at present. However I will say, you clearly worked as hard as you could and you and your son should be very proud.

Don't discount the Slough test as your son may do it particuarly if he is strong on maths.

On a practical note you may want to prepare yourself and your son just incase it doesn't go right. Start by looking at the details of the other non-grammar shcools you have selected. Talk to your son about them the uniform, what the school is like , all the postives. You see I think the last thing your son needs now is to think he HAS to have passed the other one in order to make things right as that is an awful lot of pressure far more even then before.

I have read lots of your postings and it is obvious that you so want the best for your son and you clearly feel responsible too for him not getting the pass mark in te Bucks test but like I said you did all you could so now try to realx a bit.

If you can take your son for a drive to the other school, remind him why its second choice. Ensure he knows that whatever happens now it really is NOT the end of the world.

Very best of luck with the Slough one, I really hope it goes right for you and your son.

MelX


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