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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 10:06 am 
Hi there, my DS is very good at maths and his teacher have suggested he go for the Colyton exam next year. However, I am worried that he might not cope with the english part of the exam. His comprehension is good but he is not so good at creative writing.

What was the question like this year. Is is a long extended piece of writing or a comprehension ?

Also I have visions of a huge cold hall filled with 400 poor little ten year olds all shaking in their boots. Do they all take this exam in one huge room? Please would you let me know how it is all organised. Be honest is it a horrible experience ?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 10:52 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 10:58 am
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Hi Dartmoor Mum,
I can't comment on this year's test but my DD took it in 2008 and then the English paper consisted of writing a letter and extended creative writing (no choice of topic). I think there is usually comprehension though.

Both the practice and real tests are very well organised with a kind of drive-through system where your children are met from your car by 6th formers and taken to classrooms where approx 15 children per room take the test together, so no big hall. They have the same classroom/ children for the practice and real test. So the only time you see large numbers of children is when you collect them (and tbh it was quite a daunting sight the first time!).

My DD did look quite exhausted after the practice but was better after the real thing. She said the worst bit was she was starving and they only had soggy sausage rolls for the snack! I never really come on here any more, just checking back after my friend's DC took the test last week, but feel free to ask any q's in the next couple of days, or I'm sure there are others about who can help.
Good luck!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 12:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:40 pm
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Hi Dartmoor Mum
My DC sat the test this year. Kit is right - was in a room with about 10 others. The format for the practice and the real thing were identical. You are given a room number when you receive details of the test arrangements , and you just tell the 6th Former who meets and greets you. There were two writing tasks - a letter to the headteacher, explaining how a window at school had got broken(!) and a piece about 'a moment when I felt proud' No comprehension. The practice test also asked for a letter, I think it was to penfriend, telling them about your school ( yawn) and a creative piece, something about your dream holiday place I think, so was a pretty good guide to what to expect. They seemed to try to keep it all as relaxed and low-key as poss.
best wishes
Mj


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 Post subject: thank you
PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 12:10 pm 
Thank you so much for your help.

I cannot tell you how much better that makes me feel. I think I was imagining something from the 1950s really. I can't imagine how you cope with the stress. As soon as the teacher told me that it "would be a crime" if we didn't have a go, my blood pressure went up !

Do the tests happen at weekends or do they have to take a day off school ?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 12:16 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:40 pm
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No, they're on Saturday mornings. There was a fortnight between the practice one and the real thing. They had to be there at 8.40am and picked up again at 12.30pm Quite an intense morning! One break I think, for squash and snack - my DC adored the sausage roll!
Mj


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:39 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 1:55 pm
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A few of DS's friends took the test this time and I think that the school makes it as relaxed as they can do for the children. It all seems well run and relatively calm.

How far would your DS have to travel every day? Some of the children seem to have difficulty meeting up with friends after school when they live so far away, and after school clubs can be tricky too if they would miss their bus and then someone has to pick them up. Just something (else!) to think about if you are considering the school. Only going by your username - you may live in Colyford for all I know. :lol:


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 Post subject: Bus
PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 12:40 pm 
I hadn't thought about the bus journey. I suppose it would be long from here. We are in Exeter. What sort of after school activities do they have ?

My son is very non sporty so we wouldn't need to stay for Rugby or anything :D

He would like to do orchestra though is that after school ?

How much does the bus cost per year ?

Does anyone know how long it takes from Exeter ? It is very tiring to do that journey all week ?

Thank you so much to all of you for your help.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 9:23 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2007 10:55 pm
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Hi Dartmoormum

Many children go from Exeter, I believe, there are two buses that go at about 7.40 approx. One of the buses is an express one which is the favoured choice as it takes a good 35 mins on it whereas the other bus stops off at all the villages to do pickups. My friend's son attends and is on the express thoroughly enjoys the school, etc but says the only down side is the daily journey. I think many more would consider the school if it wasn't for the horrendous slog to get there. Good luck with your decision and go for it.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:28 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:01 pm
Posts: 21
you've heard about the buses already. There are several music things at lunchtime but there could be concerts that would require staying after school. Children can hang around after school on those days, some walk into Seaton to get fish and chips then walk or bus back.

Sometimes school trips have very early starts. Students may arrange their own sleepovers with friends or nearer relatives. As they get older they often meet up with friends in Exeter or Honiton. One or two students leave at the start of each year because they hate the travelling/ miss friends at other schools. If a child is ill it is a long trip to collect them and sick children are not escorted by staff to their buses.

There are advantages and disadvantages to the school.


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