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 Post subject: Alone in Torbay
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 6:21 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 9:25 am
Posts: 229
Hello to anyone viewing in Torbay - IT desert of the U.K


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 Post subject: IT desert
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 12:31 am 
Hi Katie,
I have to agree with you. I am from Devon but currently living in the Channel Islands, with a son undergoing the 11+ in November. I am intrigued as to why the Devon site is so quiet. Maybe because its such a backwater I don't think anyone has wised up to this brilliant forum with so much information and advice!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 3:57 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:54 pm
Posts: 27
Location: London/Devon
I don't live in Devon yet either but am planning to move there next summer with my family - so my elder son is going to sit for TBGS. It is much more difficult not knowing the "on-the-ground" stuff and having him currently in a London school where 11+ is not an option.

And of course he has to travel to Devon to take the test on two consecutive Saturdays - as if it wasn't stressful enough!

I fell over the site by accident and wonder if the Devon grammar schools could be persuaded to mention it at their Open Days?

I'd be interested to know what Katie and Surfwidow are planning as fallbacks for their children in case they don't pass????


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 Post subject: Devon
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 12:19 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 9:25 am
Posts: 229
Hi Fiona,

We've spoken before and I wish you good luck with the TQBG tests - remember - they also do a "puzzle paper", so I hope you've been practising with your son!
Unfortunately our son failed to be allocated a place at CFGS. Read all the posts under the "Appeals" section if you have a spare three days with nothing to do!
The alternative was completely unacceptable!
Our child managed to win a full academic bursary for an independent school which we are thrilled with. We would have much preferred to send him the the grammar school that the rest of his family attend. Never mind.
He's now in a class of between 7 and 15 children, and to be honest - we didn't think that this kind of school existed. Zero bullying - happy as Larry!
Do let us know how you get on. If you need help with appealing should your application be unsuccessful - do contact me. I'd be very gald to help anyone who has suffered the treatment we have!


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 Post subject: Devon
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 12:23 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 9:25 am
Posts: 229
Hi Surfwidow.

Thank goodness you replied. I really had begun to wonder if elevenplusforum was a figent of my tired and weary imagination. The stress of the appeal was beginning to get to me when I read your post and realised that others in the west country do have computer access and it skills!
Lovely to hear from you. I am mainly posting under "appeals", but have just entered rehab which I thoroughly recommend!
Party in five....just changing my outfit!


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 2:17 pm 
Hello Katie and Fiona,

As I said before currently living in Guernsey but will be returning to live in Devon in two years time. I have two children at the Grammar School here and about to go through it again with my son. His alternative school is the local secondary school which I shall be happy to send him too, but I am hoping he will pass.

On transer back to the Devon, we have already been told that we will not be able to go into the Grammar system - we are in between Colyton Grammar and the Torquay Grammars - equal distance between the two due to bums on seats. Thinking ahead we are planning for our children to go to a very good comp in our area.

My view is that neither my husband or myself passed the 11+ but have made a good life for ourselves - hence living it up out here, so we believe that we have done the best for our children within our capability and financial budget and given them the best that we could afford with regards to their sports and musical interests ... and the rest ... well that will have to come from them as they have the brains and moral guidance from us, so in theory the world should be their oysters!

Let's hope its all pans out.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 3:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:54 pm
Posts: 27
Location: London/Devon
Katie; thanks for replying. I have been to TBGS twice and looked at the website in detail and I have never heard of a puzzle paper!! Worried now obviously but I hope this is a term for one of the papers we are preparing for - they say that they do Verbal Reasoning (twice), Maths (KS2 stuff) and English (comprehension and essay). Maybe you mean Verbal Reasoning as the questions are quite "puzzle-like"??

It does sound like you had a horrible time; I can imagine the appeals process is ghastly. But it sounds like it has worked out well in the end - and I am sure the independent sector offers more off-curriculum stuff. My logical self says that Surfwidow is right and that all kids will do well with some support in any half decent school but I went to a grammar school and my middle class mother self just wants him to get that chance too.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 4:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2007 7:16 pm
Posts: 38
hi fionagb

would be good to hear how your son gets on, and his experience of the entrance exam. We may be applying next year but from what i hear the exam format is changing, so we shall wait and see :?


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 Post subject: Torbay
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 5:32 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 9:25 am
Posts: 229
Hi Fiona, Bec and surfwidow,
Fiona, - I would ring the school if I were you. I called them to ask about the 11+ this year and was told that there were the papers that you mention plus a short "puzzle paper". I ask that that meant and was told that it was to test skills that the other three didn't cover - "thinking skills that might be used to play chess for instance. It's probably worth a telephone call just to check it out.
Re - entering the system later from Guernsey. It's not worth putting your children through a 13 / 14+ exam if you have a good suitable alternative on offer. Unfortunately it was a case of no other choice for us. All our other children are already at the grammar school - and this was our last child to enter the process. Unfortunately in light of his failure to secure a place - he was offered a school which my eldest child (now at college)had attended. His tutor used to open registration each morning with "Anybody who doesn't want to be here can get out now". The school is regularly featured in the namtional media for teenage pregnancy / bullying issues. A child received a broken arm at this school earlier this year. We also know of a serious ******** assault which took place (off campus) but by two boys against another boy. Their results are roughly 75% below those of our chosen school in GCSE attainment. I'm afraid that these things have all affected our decision to appeal. We submitted evidence of all of this to our appeal panel and subsequently to the Ombudsman. The clerk of the panel astonishingly told direct lies to try to cover the facts about the alternative school. We're just amazed that anyone in a professional position would actively try to pull the wool over the eyes of a government office. We must be naive - but you live and learn!
Good luck to all of you with your choices of schools. We are lucky to have good comprehensives in Devon - unfortunately our little chap didn't get offered a place at one of them!
Keep in touch.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 8:51 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:54 pm
Posts: 27
Location: London/Devon
Hi Katie

You are right - their Maths paper incorporates puzzles - from their web site: "In addition the paper will contain questions of a more general puzzle type nature to test the pupils’ problem solving skills". They have refused to let me see past papers so can only hope our general practice will cover such things - sounds like NonVerbal Reasoning type questions to me.
The meetings at the school were all very reassuring - they maintain that there is a 50% pass mark on most of the papers for example. This doesn't fit with what you hear on the forum, so my early complacency has been replaced by frantic practicing panic :?
Still, my maths is improving daily.
Good to be in touch; thanks for all your contributions.
Fiona


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