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 Post subject: advice regarding 12+
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:33 pm
Posts: 323
This forum has been useful over the last 18 months so I will post some advice for anyone who may benefit from it.

Last year, my child missed out on 11+ qualification by one mark. Naturally we were disappointed but we genuinely did no coaching, only practice at home, and we were not convinced that our daughter was absolutely suited to a GS. We used the appeal more to confirm this for ourselves than to try and win a place. She had predicted SATs of 5b and 4a for English and Maths respectively so appealing was always likely to fail. The panel were very nice but it was clear from the hearing (we were totally transparent and took all her school work in - some good, some not so good) that the academic evidence wasn't there. Our daughter duly started at an upper school last September and is thriving.

Having got 5as in both SATs in Y6 after all (which was a bit galling!)We then made a tactical decision to register her for the 12+. We realised that you can pull out at any time but registration bought time to see how she progressed in Y8 and whether there was an appetite or need to move to a GS. After one and a half terms in Y7 at an upper school, we knew that a GS was the right place, with SATs levels in the 6s and 7s already. She duly sat the 12+ three weeks ago, again with no coaching and only 5 minutes' practice 5 times a week since December. We got the result yesterday and she flew through with almost full marks. The extra 15 months' "brain maturity" made all the difference. We live within 3 miles of two GSs so are hopeful of a place but you never know.

Our daughter was always a late developer and the system (hopefully) will work to move her to the most suitable place for her. I'm glad she has had the time so far at the upper school because it has done her confidence the power of good to be in the top sets for most subjects and we would have been worried had she joined GS in Y7 because she may have struggled.

The lesson? In my opinion, register for the 12+ if you are at all unsure - it just might prove to be a good decision. You can always not proceed with the test or even turn down a GS place if your child is settled and doing well at an upper school.


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 Post subject: Re: advice regarding 12+
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
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I'm sure that is really good advice. I know several children who have taken, and passed, the 12plus and have chosen not to move, but it has boosted their confidence to know that they passed. I think it is valid until the end of key stage 3, so it does keep the options open for a while longer.


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 Post subject: Re: advice regarding 12+
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:59 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:33 pm
Posts: 323
Really? Does that mean that if a child has a qualifying score from the 12+, s/he is able to apply for a place in year 9, a year later?


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 Post subject: Re: advice regarding 12+
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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It's not a good idea to wait - a place might not be available next year. Also some GS choose options in Year 8 and you might not get the choices you want.


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 Post subject: Re: advice regarding 12+
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:33 pm
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Thanks Guest55. If offered, we will make the decision one way or another. As you say, if she is to move, the sooner the better so she's settled in before choices are made.


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 Post subject: Re: advice regarding 12+
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:58 am 
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I hope you get the GS you want ... and thanks for posting your good news.


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 Post subject: Re: advice regarding 12+
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:17 am 
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Thanks. It's a difficult balance between providing advice and not being seen to crow. I know that a lot of disappointed and upset people frequent these forums, many of whom don't post I suspect. Personally, I find some of the self-congratulatory posts on here a bit tactless and self-indulgent, and they only serve to heighten the myth of "grammar or bust". Of course parents should be delighted that their child has qualified but in some posts, the fear of upper school education shines through which I suspect isn't particularly reassuring for those disappointed with their results. One noticeable trait is the use of "not qualified" to describe a sub-121 score yet "passed" for those of 121 and over.

I know that these sentiments won't be appreciated by some, but I'm afraid it's how I see it.


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 Post subject: Re: advice regarding 12+
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:59 pm
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Quote:
You can always not proceed with the test or even turn down a GS place if your child is settled and doing well at an upper school.


anotherdad, I think your posts are very sensitive and offer sensible advice.

FWIW, we were in exactly this position – entered DD for 12+ so we could keep our options open but in the event decided to withdraw her because she settled so well at her upper school, was enjoying it and doing well. So it does happen :D


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 Post subject: Re: advice regarding 12+
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:54 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:33 pm
Posts: 323
I'm glad to hear it Rob. We will face the same decision in May if offered a place. Academically, my daughter is suited to a GS and our concern is whether the US can maintain the differentiation in classes to keep her engaged and stretched. Outside pure academic levels, she is happy, has some good new friends, is participating in clubs, has some school responsibilities and is popular with the staff. As a parent, one cannot put a price on those things and we will have to be very confident that she could have all those things at a GS before we move her.

In many ways, the decision is cause for more anxiety than the tests and results ever were! I certainly don't feel that a qualifying score is "mission accomplished". That would be grossly complacent.


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 Post subject: Re: advice regarding 12+
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:12 pm 
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Our son gained a GS place at the end of year 7 and moved at the start of year 8. He was also doing well and was happy at his original school and yes, it was a big leap of faith to move him. However, he had always loved the GS and really wanted to go there. I had sleepless nights over whether we had done the Right Thing, in even entering him for the second test, let alone taking up the place. He is off on an INSET day today as it turns out and I asked him what he would say to anyone in this position. Let's just say it was an unequivocal "go for it", basically. We have not regretted it for one second, which if you knew what a worrier I am would tell you more than it seems to. For us it has definitely been the right decision - he should have been there in the first place but because of my ignorance in the tutoring department, he wasn't. To say he is coping would be understating it - he is flying, and enjoying the pacey lessons and the GS atmosphere. Like your DD, the results of the second test were very clear so we didn't worry about him being 'borderline' which actually now is laughable really as once they are in there, no one knows or cares about scores.
It is a big thing to do, absolutely. But someone once said to me you only regret things you don't do, not those you do....and there is probably a way back too if it all goes wrong. You know your child...have faith!


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