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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:32 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:51 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Essex
Hi
This is my first post. My DD is in year 3 and as the infant stage of her education was a bit of a blur as it flew past. I have been thinking about her secondary education.
I know the competition for Grammar school places in Essex are fierce, there are a few good Independents and of course the good old comps. (there are a few good ones)
I would like her to try for a Grammar School place, if she wants to, I haven't discussed anything with her I just want her to enjoy growing up at the moment.
She is a good average academically at a good state primary and has been idenitfied as G&T at sport, music and art.
I guess I am looking for experiences of other parents, when did you decide to have a go at the 11 plus?
What made you choose the type school that you did?
Currently I keep changing my mind, I have put this down to her being too young to make such a decision.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:32 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:16 pm
Posts: 2113
I would say it is too young to firmly decide on grammar.However it is not going to do any harm to encourage as much as poss a love of reading, broaden her vocabulary and invest in some fun maths games.Even if you decide against , it won't be wasted and will be fun if done in the right way.

I decided to put my eldest in for the Chelmsford grammar about three months before the test as we discovered we were moving. I wouldn't say that was typical.Most people are thinking about it in year 4 and, if you want to go down that route, tutoring from Jan of year 5.

Where we used to live before, the head of a super selective grammar( no catchment/ sibling policy) said a very loose assessment of your child's potential would be level 5s in year 5 for a Super selective.( like Chelmsford) On average( again this is a very rough guide) a child moves up two sub levels a year so you could project your daughters NC levels.

But having said all that just to give you some background, I would hold off thinking about it until the end of year 4 and talk to her class teacher about it then too..


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:43 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:51 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Essex
Thank you Chelmsford Mum for replying and sharing your experience. I am not planning on doing anything now just doing some research of all the different options, Grammar is just one.
I know nothing of the process so was just interested in others experiences.
I am getting through the posts on this site.
Thank you again.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:05 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Posts: 3813
Location: Chelmsford and pleased
I would reiterate Chelmsford Mum's point of 5s in year 5 and enjoying reading, word games, etc.

You also have plenty of time to make sure that the basic maths skills such as tables are sorted without there being any pressure.

As a general aspiration I thought about the grammars when we returned to England. My children were entering yrs 3 and 4. We explicitly chose a grammar area, so as not to incur private school fees.

Regarding preparation for the test I was highly unaware of all the tutoring with my son and he did a few Bond books and a few past papers. Not many of his class mates were sitting the 11+ so playground info was sparse.

I realised during his year 6 that many children were tutored. With my daughter a year later I was tutoring many 11+ pupils and so I was very aware of the level of tuition that is undergone by the majority of pupils. My daughter worked hard from the summer of year 5 and attended my twice weekly summer exam clubs.

My hopes were that both children would go to the grammars, but not at the expense of happiness/breadth of education. Fortunately, the grammars offer breadth and the peer group has certainly lead to good friendships.

I didn't look at comps as we were lucky enough to have the Southend grammars as well as scholarship/bursary back up options. The private sector is very varied both academically and pastorally. Have a look at a few schools and decide which you like most.

DS is very academic and keen on music, he used to be sporty, but not enough to make it relevant to school choice.
DD is keen on sport and drama so we chose the grammar with her extra-curricular activities in mind as well as somewhere that could satisfy her academic needs.

The Chelmsford grammars do not hot house, whatever you may hear, there are plenty of non-curriculum days and the homework load is reasonably light. The pace of work is, however, fast and the year 7 begin the year with a maths book aimed at bright year 8 children.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:32 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:51 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Essex
Thank you Moving, your post was very helpful.
Her Infant school didn't suit her, so I guess thats why I don't want to make a terrible mistake again.
I am keen to avoid school fees too, although if it means finding the right school for her then I will go down that route.
Most of her peers will go into the local comps they are very very good. We are OOC for them and because she loves learning I would like her to be with like minded children.
Thank you for the advice. I will definately start looking at the schools in year 5 so that we can shortlist and look again in year 6.
I do like the look of Chelmsford, so I will keep you posted!


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