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 Post subject: Types of school
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 4:43 pm 
Hi

What is the difference between grammar schools and comprehensives. The comparison I have in mind is between schools like Dr Challoners and Watford grammar, Parmiters which are top comprehensives.

Watford grammar and Parmiters have some selection in their admission criteria, but does the similarities with Dr Challoners and other grammar school end there. Or is there a curriculum based difference between these comprehensives and Grammar schools.

Thanks


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:25 pm 
Challoner's is entirely selective (the normal definition of a grammar school).

Watford "Grammar", Parmiters etc were once grammars but are now neither grammar nor comprehensive: they select ~30% on an academic test, ~10% on musical aptitude and the remainder on sibling rules and proximity, so they end up with a strange mix, albeit very good exam results.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:28 pm 
And one problem with the Watford schools is that they don't stream in year 7 (not sure about thereafter) as I haven't spoken to my friend who's son is now in year 8 for a month or two), so the very able children tend to find it dull and easy, and the general atmosphere is not necessarily as academic as a fully selective school.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:31 pm 
All the schools mentioned are very oversubscribed and you won't be in catchment for all of them.

Beware of wasting choices by applying to schools your child has no chance of getting into by reading the relevant local education authority information and school prospectuses etc.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 7:56 am 
Hi
If given a choice between a grammar and a partially selective comprehensive what would be the choice.
I am inclined to go to the grammar, but I am worried I will have no fall back options if my child does not get good scores.
How successful are appeals to grammar school.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 12:11 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8208
Location: Buckinghamshire
Dear Guest

The success rate for Grammar School Appeals in Bucks is around 40% at 11+.

If your child has a very strong academic record, strong support from the Head Teacher (they rank the candidates in order of suitability, so a ranking within the top 20) then an appeal might succeed. There may also be extenuating circumstances on the day/days of the test which affected the child.

The first question is whther your child might pass the 11+. If you feel that they have a chance, and would thrive in a GS, then get them to do the 11+. I rather wonder whether you have that confidence, as you are already asking about appeals? Is there a reason for that?

If you go for the 11+, then a partially selective comprehensive is your fallback option. I see no reason why that should not be possible, as that is the route that many parents take, and the comps are well aware of it.

However, if your child is unlikely to pass the 11+ set your sights firmly on the comp and do all you can to get them in there.

Have you spoken to the Head Teacher about this? They will often give you very sound advice on which schools you should be considering, based on what they know of your child.

Sally-Anne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 12:18 pm 
You can't rely on one of the Watford partially selectives as a fall back. If your child fails to get in on academic grounds and doesn't have a sibling there you have to live VERY CLOSE indeed. Whereas the Bucks grammars take from a much wider area - but of course the only way to get into them is by passing 11+.

I don't know how imminent any of this, but it's crucial you look at catchment areas and admissons criteria so you know what is realistic.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 6:39 pm 
Hi

Firstly thanks for all the information. I am not doubting the ability of my child to pass the 11+, but I feel comfortable if I have a good fall back option. The non grammar schools in Bucks don't give me any confidence. Hence the need to look for other partially selective schools .

Thanks


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 8:59 pm 
That's the nub of the problem with a two-tier grammar system in Bucks.

You need to be in the catchment for a decent chance of getting into the grammars (some more than others), but if you're in the catchment for them and your child fails 11+, you won't be close enough to have any chance of the the Watford schools, therefore you'll end up with a Bucks "community school".

Personally, I would want to be pretty sure of my child passing, or else I'd move out of Bucks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 10:29 am 
hi I am a child who failed my 11+ in bucks three years ago, please think before posting all the negative comments about the secondary schools. I go to Chalfont Community College and it is a good school school. Over 60% of us leave with good GCSEs and the teaching is excellent. Not bad for a school with all the dunces. You do not need to move out of Bucks if your child is not going to pass his 11+. Plenty of bright kids fail it and others might find work easier as the get older.


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