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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:42 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:16 am
Posts: 2
I'm really hoping that I can get some good advice on what the best course of action is. Here is our situation.

We plan to move to Bucks from Northern Ireland in the next few weeks. We have 4 children, the two oldest boys are Year 7 and Year 6 (Bucks years, not NI).

The oldest of the two last year sat the Grammar School entrance exams in Northern Ireland, obtained an excellent score and has been placed in a very good Grammar (>99% obtaining A*-C in 5 or more GCSEs). We got his first report last week following exams which gave 'A's for effort and behaviour in all subjects and above average scores in almost all subjects including first in year for Maths.

Having just been through the process and clearly excelling at a Grammar is there any way to avoid putting him through what will no doubt be a stressful process on top of a move? Most importantly he has not had any verbal reasoning prep, as the entrance exams in NI are Maths and English based. Surely testing at short notice puts him at a huge disadvantage against other children due to the lack of prep time? I understand that many local children are coached on the 21 question types for up to 2 years. I have also read of evidence apparently proving how coaching over a period of time increases results.

The second oldest, currently Year 6, has literally just sat the Grammar entrance exams in NI and obtained a score sufficient to enter the same Grammar School as his older brother. Our concerns are increased for this son as he has spent the past 6-9 months preparing for and then passing his current exams. To then go through a similar process again for a totally different type of test, but this time with no real preparation time, seems all a little too much.

Our kids schooling is at the top of our agenda and we are even sadly considering aborting the move if we can't get this sorted.

We just don't know if we can put our children through the process again especially with so little prep. We know at the end they may not even get a Grammar School place.

We really feel that our children are proven to be of Grammar School ability, is there any other way that will be accepted which will avoid putting through this process all over again?

Sorry for the long post. Any help and advice would be hugely appreciated.

Thank you...


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:15 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:50 am
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Surely testing at short notice puts him at a huge disadvantage against other children due to the lack of prep time? I understand that many local children are coached on the 21 question types for up to 2 years

Hi jimeddiejoe, just wanted to say yes most DC'S are tutored, very few for 2 years that's too long, and don't give up hope if your DS's need to do the VR test; we did a month's DIY practice with DD (must admit I had originally planned to do more, all credit to dd). Your boys are clearly bright so this is achievable. I don't know how the rules work in this situation but I'm sure someone will be here soon to advise you. Good Luck!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:35 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6963
Location: East Kent
it's worth having a look at some VR papers, the test in Bucks is very different to the NI 11 plus


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:51 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
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My understanding is that there is no way to avoid taking entrance tests for Bucks Grammar schools even though they have passed another 11 plus. It might be worth checking whether the schools you are interested in have places, particluarly the one who would be going into year 7 - it would be a shame to put him through the tests and find there are no places anyway. I have no idea how quickly they can get these things organised, but presumably this must happen reasonable often. My DC is in year 7 at a Bucks grammar school and they have just had someone them this week. I have no idea when they took the test etc.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:55 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:16 am
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Thanks for the encouragement gertie. I think that they are bright enough it's just that one process is stressful enough for them but two in such a short time makes us feel like we are in someway being cruel to them, if you understand what I mean!

Thanks yoyo123. Already researched the papers in detail and had them have a go at them for fun. They did fairly good but I know they'll need a lot more prep to get the kind of scores required for a 121 pass.

Thanks 'scary mum'! I've been told that the order is tests then placement. I worry about the point you've raised, stress and then no places anyway.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:22 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
Posts: 4604
They will be able to tell you where places are available though, surely? Do you know which schools you would be looking at? People on here should be able to give you a good idea of how full they are. There are other people on here who have prepared for the 11 plus in a very short time (search on midget man), so it is certainly possible if your child is bright and willing. There is lots of info on here about which books to use etc.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:31 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:28 pm
Posts: 950
Location: Bucks
Hi. Yes it was my Midget who learnt the whole thing and then passed in 2 weeks and 5 days :shock: If your boys are very bright, already have a sound vocabulary/spelling then it may just be a case of showing them the methods of VR and them just practising getting it down on paper quicker and hopefully get them to finally get it done within the timescale you are allowed.

I can't help on what schools are available or anything, but teach yourself VR methods online(Is what I had to do one whole night) then remain calm and start teaching them, all the best :D

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