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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 1:31 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:46 pm
Posts: 6
Hi I am quite new to posting here
but I don't know where else to ask
In spring we are planning to move to Amersham
Would anyone know what schools are good and supportive of 11+
I've glanced at St Mary's , Chesham Bois, Our Lady and Elangeni so far.
I am thinking of Chesham Bois at the moment but OFSTED says it has satisfactory results for that school. Is the headteacher supportive of 11+, how do children perform? I've got 10y.o twins (year 5), who attend an excellent school at the moment and perform at the top of the class. I want them to carry on and be encouraged by the school like they are at the moment. I would like to hear parent's opinion of Chesham Bois in terms of support for bright pupils and 11+ attitude. I have heard that Elangeni is the best school there, but its so oversubscribed that we would have no chances with 2 kids at once as well!
So far I've looked at results and OFSTED reports but sometimes they contradict each other so I don't know what to believe. I would appreciate any opninion of the above schools or perhaps some other school I have missed in Amersham.
It would help me greately in making a decision of where to move.
Sorry for such a long post :roll:
Many Thanks
Maria


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 1:58 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 374
Location: Bucks
Hi Maria, I can't comment on the particular schools you mentioned as I am in N.Bucks, but to generalise, schools in Bucks do not actively encourage or get involved with the 11+.

Obviously all primary schools in Bucks have to familiarise their pupils with the question types over a period of 5 lessons during June/July time and occassionally heads really get involved in the familiarisation papers and diligently work through them with their pupils, however, others merely read through the question booklet and go through the motions - pot luck really.

But whether we like it or not, however, enthusiastic a head/school might or might not be, a child will only get through the Bucks 11+ if they undergo tutoring with a dedicated 11+ tutor or have parents/family help (DIY) via this site or similar.

Schools, in theory, have no knowledge which pupils are preparing for the 11+ and what method they are using.

As you probably know, for many children, the question types are not that hard to master, but the children need practice to complete 80 of them in 50 mins, no mean feat at 10 (or at any age!!) and this is what needs the practice, exam technique more than anything.

I think you need to ask around. It's hard because 11+ is quite often a taboo word, tutors names are guarded secrets and parents will quite often say 'my child wasn't tutored' - they don't count helping at home with practice tests etc, vocab etc. as preparation!!! It's a bit of a minefield and I don't think you should look for a school with your main priority being 11+ passes.

My advice would be to look for a school with enthusiastic and bright teachers, happy children, bright buildings with outdoor space, school trips and of course good SATS results and then ask (some won't tell) how many children are successful at 11+ to see if you can join a like-minded local ' 11+ gang' :lol:

You also need to think about what grammar school you would like your children to attend if they get lucky and ensure you are in the right catchment area and also if they are not lucky, what will be Plan B and are those schools appropriate.....

I am sure someone will come by soon with comments on the particular schools you mention, so good luck.

Ambridge x


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 2:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi cupovt

That is sound advice from Ambridge.

I don't have personal experience of any of the schools, but, as you rightly say, Elangeni is the gold standard for the area. I believe that the other 3 are also good schools, and tend to be oversubscribed. The weakest of the four is probably St. Mary's, but it is still a good school when compared with many others.

I think your problem is going to be finding a school with 2 vacancies. Looking at the most recent numbers I have for the current Year 5 (Jan 2008, so for last year's Year 4) every school appears to be full. :(

I strongly suggest that you call Admissions to discuss the problem, and ask them for a more up-to-date idea of where there might be 2 spaces. Do make sure that you are put through to the Admissions Department itself - the "Customer Contact Centre" (who answer the phones) will not have the specific information that you need.

Do you know which your catchment school will be yet?

Sally-Anne


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 Post subject: Buckinghamshire
PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 2:58 pm 
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Hi Maria,
My family have been in Amersham for nearly 14 years and I was myself brought up in South Bucks so know the area well.

Elangeni is indeed an excellent school in may respects (I have one child in Year 6, the other now Year 8 but used to go there). Their 11+ success rate is around 50%. However, the HT, who is very good in very many ways, does not agree with selective education and would rather all her children went to the local secondary school – a point to bear in mind, perhaps.

Also, as you rightly say it’s very difficult to get into.

St Mary’s has a lower success rate for the 11+, but everyone who goes there seems to really enjoy it. I’ve rarely heard either a parent or a child be critical of it except for the fact that they do quite often teach children in mixed age classes, so if your twins are particularly bright that may not challenge them enough.

Chesham Bois School is also very good, but it is a C of E Church School with a pretty tiny catchment area. It’s probably only worth applying if you’re going to be in the catchment area or you have particularly close ties to the church.

Our Lady’s is a Catholic School, again with quite a small catchment area.

As Ambridge says, you should think about 11+ tuition – nobody talks about it, but (almost) everybody does it because the standard school familiarisation papers aren’t sufficient for most children to get both the technique and the timing mastered.

HTH


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7063
Quote:
I think your problem is going to be finding a school with 2 vacancies
I agree with Sally-Anne - and winning an appeal for two places in an oversubscribed year group isn't going to be easy ......

For oversubscription appeals, see:
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/11plus ... #section-C

_________________
Etienne


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 4:30 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:46 pm
Posts: 6
Thank you all for your good advice and time
I am aware of prepearing for 11+ and I have been doing so with the help of this website, CDs and WHsmith bought papers advised by Patricia. We know the types and practicing speed at the moment. I would really like to hear of personal experiences of the schools in Amersham. I think I am looking for a school that will continue to motivate, where being clever is "cool" and appreciated. Having had both experiences of good and bad schools, I don't want to make the same mistake again.
I want to make my mind up and narrow it down to say 2 choices. Enquire with the schools for availability of places or possibility of them coming up or waiting lists etc. Pick the best chance and move within the catchment. So far that's the best I can come up with.
Your personal views and experience are most appreciated and will influence my decision.
Many Thanks
Maria


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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For numbers in ecach year group look at Y4 in the Jan 20008 census - obvioulsy this is nearly a year out of date:

https://schoolsweb.buckscc.gov.uk/schoo ... n_roll.asp


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