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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 6:14 am 
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It looks like we will be moving to Bucks this summer, need to be in commuterable range of London. Ds1 will need to start 6th form. Ds2 will be y11 he is currently half way through an IGCSE program at an International school, on target to get B's and A's, Ds3 is due to start secondary school, he is bright but has dyslexia and dysgraphia and has been in a French school for the last two years. I also have another but happy to slot him into any available primary.

All I can say is help. I expect it is too late to get them into Grammars except Ds1, into a 6 th form and I am not optomistic that he will have good enough grades to get into one as he is an underachiever.

Ds2 was in a Gloucestershire gram when we left the country two years ago so he was academically Grammar standard.

If a grammar is out of tbe question we need to find an upper with a good reputation. I would also prefer co-ed.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:12 am 
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Hi again Bucks posters,
I am probably going to need to ask a lot of questions and think in-order to keep my peskiness to a minimum it is best to keep them in the same thread.
Been doing some investigating and getting some good advice behind the scenes which I am very grateful for, thank you.

Question 1, DS3 should be going into y7 this year. It is highly likely he would have been in the top 30% academically had we been living in England so would have sat the 11+ test last year with a strong possibility of gaining a grammar place. However his dyslexia may have had an impact on his VR score.

We now have 3 options open to us and I will be discussing these with the LEA today but would appreciate as much advice as possible as we have some big decisions to make that will affect my DSs future.

Option 1, We try to see if DS3 can take a late test for entry into Y7 and even if he is deemed Grammar material we run the risk of not being able to get him a place anyway as all the places will have been allocated. I am not prepared to put him into an upper and move him during the year if a place crops up.

Option 2, We put him straight into an Upper with a view to him sitting the 12+.

Option 3, We put him back a year, he is a June baby and small for his age. This means he would sit the test with the 2015 cohort this September and would be in the same boat as all the other children who sit the test.

My favourite is no 3 and he is fine about doing this as it would give him an opportunity to catch up with his English and any other areas he may have fallen behind in. My least favourite is no 1 as I think it would be selling him short and knock his confidence. In regards to option 2 when would he be tested? I am thinking it might give him more time to get up to speed with the VR than option 3 which gives us one month during which we will also have to be orchestrating an unexpected move back to the UK so stress levels not at their best for any of us.

Would love to hear your opinions please and to add that we really didn't expect to find ourselves in this rather desperate position.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:24 am 
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Hello Tolstoy. Be aware that option 3 may not be an option for you - in the state sector there is virtually no movement (someone correct me if I am wrong) regarding year groups. Children are put into a year group based on their actual age so your DC may have no choice but to go into year 7 - size of child is not a factor either.

Why are you so adverse to moving midway through the year, should anything crop up? It might be unsettling at first but children are very resilient and he would soon settle in and be part of the group. Just a thought ...

I would investigate as per Option 1, bearing in mind that Option 2 is the most likely outcome.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:30 am 
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I think the reason we are not all replying on forum is that your task seems huge.

Personally I think ds1,and ds2 are your biggest problems as the best 6th forms are attached to the best schools and year 11/12 spaces will be rare to find as well that offers his current subjects and has places in class for those subjects.

Ds3 I don't think will be able to re take year 6, so best bet is to,see about an in year transfer test. As there are barely any places left at the better upper schools, you need to ring or e mail both types of school individually as they are mostly academies and be quick as they are shutting up now for summer.
Sir Henry Floyd is your best bet for places in a co-ed grammar school.

Ds 4 will also be a struggle for a good primary you may have to appeal for a place in the area you choose to settle.

Personally I would opt for a comprehensive area and try and get all your older boys into the one school, are you restricted to south bucks?

Good luck, I am sure you will sort it all out, but I do not envy you.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:36 am 
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Location: Essex
I have no personal experience of schools in Bucks, I'm afraid, but in your situation I would probably go for your Option 2, given that it would promise your DS3 at least a year of stability - assuming that you don't have another move forced upon the family at short notice., that is.

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Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.Groucho Marx


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:49 am 
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Hi Kingfisher,

Thank you for your response. I came up with option 3 because I read somewhere on the LEA site that in exceptional circumstances a child could sit the 11+ a year later and I am guessing that DS3 circumstances are pretty exceptional. Also it would be the best option for him in terms of catching up, less stressful as his maths is good anyway so he could spend the year focusing on getting up to speed in English.

Re moving during the year. We moved him from his primary school in Gloucestershire just two years ago where he had to leave friends and deal with being put into a french school without speaking the language, again this year we were set to move to a different area of France and he once again had the stress of leaving friends though in the knowledge that they would be only an hours drive away. He was excited though because on his own volition he sat a test to get into a well respected bilingual French school ( whilst happy to continue in a French setting he wanted to have some English speakers to talk to) and managed to get a sort after place in the English section, despite his dyslexia, but now the poor kid has to move back to England to an area where we don't know anybody so he will have to make new friends and catch up with the work he is behind in. I think he deserves at least a year to settle before starting again and if it is a good upper and he is doing well then I would be inclined to leave him in it.

The posts above have been added whilst I wrote this so will post anyway and then read them.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:14 am 
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ToadMum and southbucks3, we have chosen Bucks because it is commutable to London and also the right side of London for us as we have links with Wales and Gloucestershire. We could have relocated back to those areas but we know that would ultimately mean me having to live on my own all week whilst OH worked up in London. This is not something any of us want, we have done it in the past and it is the reason my OH took a job abroad in the first place. If we had moved up to the London area at that point we wouldn't be in this muddle now but cela vie hindsight and all that. In order to not risk what is a happening now happening again we just need to bite the bullet and live near London that way if my OH has to move jobs again he will have more options without having to move the family.

I think we will run into the same issue with Comprehensives, the best will be oversubscribed and the housing around them expensive.

Henry Floyd has been suggested to me and it does look like a good option especially as they have a 6th form IB programme which is not yet fully subscribed to.

Re primary a good one is an advantage but it is far easier to make up for a good primary at home than a good secondary and he only has two years left before he will moves to secondary anyway.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:40 am 
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Tolstoy wrote:
Re primary a good one is an advantage but it is far easier to make up for a good primary at home than a good secondary and he only has two years left before he will moves to secondary anyway.


Tolstoy, I think I would look at the situation in a slightly different way. As you DS has dyslexia, would it be better to establish which schools are stronger at supporting such students and helping them to gain the results they are capable of? Perhaps all schools in Bucks are exceptional in that respect but I would be asking the question to be sure.

I note that you have mentioned that you DS needs to catch up with his English. If he gained a place at a Grammar school is the pressure of catching up and maintaining the same level as his peers likely to affect his self esteem?

I would also be inclined to look for a good primary for your other DC as Grammars do not offer sibling priority so they are going to have to gain a place off their own merits. Granted you can supplement their learning at home, however, if you are having to tutor them for both their SATs and the 11 plus, it will increase the workload and the pressure.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:18 am 
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noonynunu, such good advice there.

This is why I really think the best thing for DS3 is to go into Y6 rather than Y7. In France he goes to a speech therapist for one to one support once a week. In the classroom he doesn't get or require any extra help. This has worked well for him and although he still doesn't like reading and his spelling will always be iffy he has improved a lot.

Also having been through the 11+ process with the eldest children in an opt in area I know it can be stressful. That said I have hindsight and experience on my side and am taking a very much what will be will be attitude and a grammar school place isn't always the best place. A good Upper can suit some children better.

Sats scores are for the school to stress about not me, they have become a nonsense in the UK as far as I can see but would love to proved wrong. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:25 am 
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I am sure it will all work out for you, keep us posted and good luck

Tolstoy wrote:
Sats scores are for the school to stress about not me, they have become a nonsense in the UK as far as I can see but would love to proved wrong. :)


I'm not sure about the Bucks schools but some of the Herts schools use SATs results for setting (alongside their own assessment tests). Also bear in mind that excellent SATs results may help support an appeal as they may demonstrate academic ability. As my DS is going into year 5 in September, I'm by no means an expert and could be wrong about this, in which case I stand corrected.


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