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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 4:09 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:49 pm
Posts: 7
Hi

I am a Mum of twins, both aged 1 in year 8. They have both been in an independent school, always.
They are boy and girl, and they are very different, what suits one does not suit the other! My son, is very bright, he has had a scholarship and he has won the academic prize etc, in his current school. So I am certain he is Grammar school material. My daughter however, is quite dyslexic and is average in her school. I am not so sure that the pressure of grammar school would be for her. However, she wants to try, which, if I am honest, is against my better judgment, as she does not thrive under any pressure, where as my son does! She is far from stupid however, but I just don't want her to feel stressed in a large school, after she has been in such a small school up until now.

Anyway, to get to the point, despite their current schools financial help (scholarship/bursary). We are in a very sorry state financially and have had no choice but to pull the kids out of their private school. They leave at Easter. I am trying to find out all about school applications and have not found the County Hall all that helpful to be honest! Unanswered emails etc.
Anyway, I have now been told I have to prove why I can no longer afford independent school, and they will then, subject to being happy with evidence, test my son for the Grammar school. I have no idea is if there are places or anything! We have not seen the schools, but we have got a Sir Henry Floyd prospectus now, and that would I think be ideal.

What my question really comes to, is there any advice or hope that anyone can give with this application? Should I have applied for my daughter too? I have not sent in an application for her as yet, but I have for my son.
I have no idea when we will be told what happens next etc, or how soon they are likely to test. I have filled no other forms that the test application form. Is that right?

I have purchased some 11+ practice papers, and my son has whizzed through those today getting just 3 wrong on one paper and 4 on another. This seems good, but he is now 13 (was in September) so no idea if this is ok or not. What is the pass rate and how do they mark in points etc?

I have read all the comments I can find on this very useful forum. But would really appreciate any input! We feel so overwhelmed with the red tape! I just have no idea is this is all futile, we may just find that there are no places even if he passes!
Its stressful enough for the kids having to leave their current school, without knowing where they are going to end up!
Thanks in advance!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 4:10 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:49 pm
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Meant to add, we are in a village, just 8 miles from Aylesbury. Our closest school otherwise is either Tring or Wing. However, I gather we are not in the Tring catchment area usually, though we know some kids that have got in there. Thanks


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 5:19 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:08 pm
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Hello Whats my name,

I am sure an expert will be here to answer your questions. However it may be worth checking the 12+/13+ thread. Your situation is very difficult and I wish you the best,
however you have come to the best place for help.

Kind Regards,
mum3b


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:02 pm 
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Thanks so much!
I have read the 12+ and 13+ thread. It just all sounds so daunting!

Many thanks indeed.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8201
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Whats my name, and welcome!

You face a very complex situation, and then it is doubled for twins. I don't envy you at all, but we will do what we can to help.

Before I (or anyone else) starts to answer it all, please could you tell me which Local Authority you live in - Bucks, Beds or Herts? It sounds as if you are in Bucks from your reference to County Hall, but if not it will make a difference.

Also, do you know which your catchment non-grammar school is? It sounds as though it is probably John Colet School at Wendover, but you can check here: http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/bcc/schools/e ... ecker.page?

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:16 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:49 pm
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Hi Sally Anne
Thanks so much for the support! Thanks also for the link to the schools. Yes, we are in bucks.....just! Well, actually a Leighton Buzzard address but we pay Bucks CC.
It appears from your link, that we actually have Cottesloe as our school as well as the Aylesbury Grammars.
The trouble is also, that everyone I know keeps telling me to try for Tring if we can't get the Grammars.

I have only currently applied for my son, and fear that if my daughter had a go (really not sure its for her) it may make it harder, if I had to try to get 2 kids in. So would make sense if possible, to try to get her into Tring if I can. I will be honest and say I have not even said anything about her to County Hall yet. Just working on my son at the moment. If I have to home educate her come Easter while we get her sorted so be it!! She is going to find the change very difficult, as she is not a confident child! Having a very bright brother has always been difficult for her so in some ways, separate schools now, would be a real blessing!
If she did take the 13+, would she get any extra time or anything with her dyslexia? We do have a psych Ed report fr her, though it could do with updating as its about 3 years old now.

thanks so much to all who offer advice. Its so much appreciated!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:52 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
This is going be pretty daunting, but here is a "starter for ten". Looking specifically at your son and the grammar option first, then the other options, this is what happens:

The grammar option

:: He has to be given the right to take the 13+, based on academic evidence submitted by his current school. From what you say I am guessing that you have already applied for that? If he is refused the right to take the test (which seems unlikely) you can appeal against that decision.

:: He then has to take the test and qualify.

:: If he doesn't qualify you can appeal against non-qualification. The Appeals Q&A Section B describes this process. http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... lification

:: If he qualifies he will be offered a place at the nearest grammar school that has an immediate vacancy. Hopefully that might be Sir Henry Floyd, and AGS might just turn up with something, but it could be another Bucks GS - even Burnham! Places in Year 8 are not that common, so it will be touch and go. I suggest that you call the schools, ask to speak to the Admissions Secretary and establish the current position to give you an idea of what might happen if he qualifies.

:: If there is no immediate vacancy you can ask for his name to be placed on the waiting list for your preferred schools in the hope that a place may turn up during the summer term.

:: You can also appeal for a place at AGS and SHF (two separate appeals) - an over-subscription or "transfer" appeal. Appeals Q&A Section C: http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... bed-school

:: Even if neither appeal is successful his name can remain on the waiting list for both schools.

:: Now to the biggest problem. If a GS place does not turn up by the end of the summer term, he will lose his priority as an in-year admission and be joined by all the children who have qualified in the main round of 13+ testing this year. (The test is taking place next weekend.) As you live 8 miles from Aylesbury, there are likely to be a lot of children who live closer to SHF and AGS, and he may drop quite a long way down the waiting list.

:: As a last warning, a 13+ qualification is valid until the end of Key Stage 3. In some schools that is the end of Year 9, but there are schools where KS4 starts in the summer term of Year 9. However that is more than a year away, so let's put it to one side at the moment!

The upper school/comprehensive option

:: If he qualifies in the 13+ but there is no GS place available, Bucks CC will automatically allocate him a place at the nearest available Upper School. That might be The Cottesloe, but it might be a less appetising option.

:: You can appeal for a place at a different Bucks Upper School (or schools) if you wish, and you can also add his name to the waiting list for any Upper Schools that you prefer to the allocated school.

However at this stage, the Herts schools become relevant. People are suggesting Tring for a good reason. It is a sought-after comprehensive school and probably better than any of the Upper Schools in the Aylesbury area. So:

:: You should call Herts CC and apply for a place through them, with Tring as your first choice. The school is likely to be full, so once again the next steps would be an appeal & the waiting list. As you are very close to the edge of the catchment area you will probably find that he would be pretty high on the waiting list.

:: I am not sure which school would be the alternative one allocated in Herts, but it is worth asking Herts which the nearest school to you with vacancies is.

Lastly, for now at least, everything above applies to your daughter as well, but AGS becomes AHS.
Quote:
If she did take the 13+, would she get any extra time or anything with her dyslexia? We do have a psych Ed report fr her, though it could do with updating as its about 3 years old now.
You can apply for extra time, but the EP report would need to be renewed before you did so. Extra time is not given readily, so don't pin your hopes on it.

I would ask around/call the schools and talk to the SENCOs to establish which ones have the best resources for dyslexic children before making a shortlist of where to apply. I believe that Tring might be top of the list on that front.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:57 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:49 pm
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Sally-Anne,
You are such a treasure! This is a huge huge help! Thanks so much!
I have no idea about the "academic evidence" from his current school! I saw nothing about that in the form I had to fill in. However, I did have to send proof of our need to change school. I therefore had to send both my husband and my P60, as evidence of our low income and thus inability to fund his school. I also sent a covering letter with it, explaining that.

I sent it all recorded, and have checked and seen it has been signed for!

So, do I need to get a letter from his school now? or will they write to the school direct? I would just like to for warn his head teacher, to pre advise him!

Gosh, this is such a terrifying minefield!

Thanks so much!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
I see what I think has happened - there is another step that I assumed you had been advised on, but evidently not.

You have completed the "In-year application form for a school place", which will put your son into the Bucks system, but it will only secure him a guarantee of an Upper School place.

The other form that you should have been advised to complete is the "In-year admission to grammar schools: Testing registration form". That form is available to download at the bottom of this page on the BCC website: http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/bcc/schools/a ... sions.page?

I was mistaken in saying that you will need to send academic evidence, because your son did not take the 11+ or 12+. Only children who have previously taken the test need to prove their ability to gain the right to take a further test - you will see that on the form. My apologies for the error - we get so few queries about in-year admissions on here, and I should have checked the BCC site before replying to you.

So, that second form is your "task for the day". Once the form is submitted he should be able to take the test within around a month, so you might like to do some familiarisation work with him. The materials you will receive from BCC are notoriously inadequate, so take a look at Patricia's Sticky on DIY/Home tutoring on this section and ask for more advice.

There is a parent on here (midgetman) who successfully prepared her son for the 11+ in 3 weeks, so she may be able to help you with details of what materials she used.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:27 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:50 am
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Hello,

I live in Bucks, however for practical reasons at the time (communting Tring to London) my DS went to a Tring primary school. Natural progression from that school would have been Tring School but living out of catchment (only 4 miles away) I did my research including contacting the school and was told there was a fair chance he would not get a place, so then there was the problem of whether to take the risk knowing his younger DD would be yet to follow.

After hearing tales of various people not getting a place at Tring (6 years ago and I believe it's more oversubscribed now) we moved DS to our local Bucks primary, I was leaving my job so the commuting thing no longer an issue. His DS followed him to the Bucks primary and they would both be eligible for our local upper. In the event, he went to the upper where he is happy and doing very well, and his DS recently got through 11+ so will go to a different school anyway.

Interestingly I kept in touch with parents after we left Tring primary and over the years there have been mixed opinions over the school, I think it's fair to say all schools have their ups and down, none of them perfect. Remember also there is no GS system in Herts which means they have the mix of abilities which can account for results not necessarily comparable to those of a Bucks school. You have a lot to consider so don't make things more difficult than they need to be - check how people know a particular school is great before you set your mind on anything.

You've a lot to consider very carefully, Best of Luck with whatever you decide!


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