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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:41 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:52 pm
Posts: 737
I was talking to some aquaintances (music class mums) about secondary school choices and 3 or 4 different parents make comments like "Oh, it wasn't worth entering {insert name here} for the 11 plus because he's an autumn baby," or "Well, {insert name here} should do alright if she was born in the summer." Also things like "Doesn't everyone have to get like 99.8% on the tests?" or "Oh, {insert name here} is bright enough but he's no good at story writing and things like that."

I was absolutely amazed at the general level of ignorance about how the system worked - and felt particularly sorry for children who had missed out on an opportunity just because their parents thought it would be harder for them to get in because they were autumn born, or didn't tick every Gifted and Talented box in the curriculum.

Do you think Essex Grammars should make more effort to advertise and make people aware of how the system works so that every child has a fair chance rather than just those who are born or pro-active/pushy/know-it-all parents like ourselves?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 3:55 pm
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I have had mixed response from parents especially one mum when I announced that my son was on waiting list for CRGS she was very critical of system that I was holding a comp place and should let it go . I responded that any child who sits the test can not be discriminated against as they have to have a school to go to. When my son finally got a place she was very awkward with me and trying to compete with me . At the end of the day I think some parents are frightened of failure if their son or daughter doesnt get in. I feel every child is a winner who sits the test there are no failures!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:53 pm 
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push-pull-mum wrote:
Do you think Essex Grammars should make more effort to advertise and make people aware of how the system works so that every child has a fair chance rather than just those who are born or pro-active/pushy/know-it-all parents like ourselves?



Yes. I wish I had more time for a longer post but it never ceases to amaze me how much disinformation there is out there :-

"Oh We have applied for grammar but put the church school first as they might not like being second, but if they get the score for grammar - they will get it anyway"

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh :( :( :( :( :( :(

Not forgetting things like (heard this last week) :-
" Bob/Bill is very bright but he is really good at sports.If he goes to Kegs - he will have to give them all up as he will get soooo much homework"
My personal favourite, lately doing the rounds:-
"I would never send my daughter to CCHS - I have heard they get 3 hours homework and have really high anorexia rates."

So not true :( :( Sadly the myths and mistakes prevent people from applying.
Could say more but have to go........


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:59 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
Not sure the schools could justify the advertising bill that would be required to rid the world of all of the myths we hear.

I think the homework depends on the child, but the girls certainly seem to have more than their counterparts at KEGS, who seem to have virtually none. But when I go to parents' evening I listen to how wonderful one child is and how the other could put in a little more effort! :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:27 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:14 pm
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Location: essex
KEGS ...homework...virtually none....!!!!!

My son in year 7 has had more homework in a term and a half than his big sister at the local comp did in her entire school career. He even had some for last half term and about three pieces for the Christmas holidays... I am very strict about him doing it on the day it is set but we still seem to have a battle of wills each Sunday night over the last little bit of RE or Maths. Obviously a huge variation between classes.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:56 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:29 pm
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Location: Chelmsford
It is certainly true.
And that is why I appreciate so much this website and forum, for its clarity and transparency.
When I have tried to gather some reliable and precise information last year, I have found it mission impossible :( .
Stuck between the reluctency of the school for the 11+ and the parents who do not want to pass over information... Where I am it is nearly as if it was taboo so, of course, information does not circulate and is getting distorted.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:20 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:18 pm
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Yes there certainly are a lot of misconceptions out there, but if you look in the right places (like this site) one can normally sift the wheat from the chaff. Coming from an out-lying area (relative to the GS's) in deepest south west Essex, I can safely say there is hardly any experience of GS and the processes of applying etc. However, being in the system so to speak, I was aware there were other choices available, did my research and was able set no.1 DS on route (hopefully - 4 weeks and counting!). At the end of year 5 a couple of the other parents from his class found out which schools he was applying for and showed some interest but didn't follow it up. One, of another particularly able boy, spoke to me about it recently saying that she was upset that the school had not told her earlier that her son was capable of passing the 11+ and now it was too late to do anything! I had offered to tell these Mum's everything I knew back in July! These are difficult decisions we have to make sometimes and some would rather avoid them, listen to all the tales and try to convince themselves that little Johnny would be best suited to the local comp and are therefore free to forget all about it and do nothing, blaming the school in the process!

It's true there are very different attitudes and levels of support from the different primary schools, and for different reasons. Whatever the stance of the school's Governing Body, leadership or staff, on Grammars, I feel that all parents should be informed of all their options, and in good time, so that they can make a well informed decision, and not one based on hearsay alone. The rest is up to the parents and the child.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:45 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:52 pm
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Heart breaking bit of misinformation - and a very interesting reflection on the 'age doesn't matter' principle. Neighbour's son, whose mother has slight special educational needs said to me last night - "How come {my daughter} has taken 11 plus? My mum told me you can't take it unless you're 11 before Christmas."

Further enquiry revealed that this misconception had come about partly because it is called 11 plus, but also because every child they knew who had gone to the grammar had been from the oldest cohort in the school and were therefore 11 on or around the date they took the exam! I hope this is just co-incidence as my own DD will not be 11 until the summer!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:01 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 8:59 am
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push-pull-mum wrote:
I hope this is just co-incidence as my own DD will not be 11 until the summer!

No, it's not a coincidence. The reason other regions use age standardisation is to remove the bias towards the older children.

From article in the FT: "Younger pupils fail grammars’ test"
*F.T wrote:
Some grammars in Essex, including Colchester Royal Grammar – the highest-performing state school in England in the FT’s rankings – also have a disproportionately low number of summer-born children.
*You need to register with the F.T to view the article

In my opinion age does matter in Essex!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
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It as a shame that so many primary schools have a negative attitude to the 11+
They would be ideally placed to hold an information evening at the beginning of year 5 to give all parents a understanding of the process.


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