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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:20 pm 
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hello everyone, can anyone advice me about the performance levels of grammar schools in southend. Are they of the same standard as the ones in chelmsford and colchester. Basically, since my daughter will be sitting for the 11+ exam this year, i just wanted to consider different options when filling up the form regarding my order of preferences. looking at the league tables over tle last few years, it appears to me that the grammar schools in chelmsford & colchester seem to be getting much better results than the ones in southend.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:44 pm 
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
The Chelmsford and Colchester grammars are more selective than those in Southend. If you look on the thread (now fixed) below you will get an idea of the scores required. Within the borough of Southend the scores can go down to as low as approximately 50%, whereas the Chelmsford grammars usually require a score of about 75%.

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=17740


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:45 pm 
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The thing you need to bear in mind is that the admissions criteria for the southend schools is not the same as the schools in Chelmsford and Colchester. Southend give priority to children in borough provided they reach a certain standard in the 11 plus and then offer remaining places out of area. The Chelmsford and Colchester schools are classed as super-selectives in that they take the highest scorers regardless of where they live.

It thus can be argued that the Chelmsford and Colchester's schools admit a slightly "brighter" cohort than the Southend schools. Having said that many bright children do not gain a place at all so the whole thing is somewhat of a lottery! I have never heard any suggestion that the Southend schools are in anyway second best. I personally did not apply for them as I was not prepared to consider the journey for either of my DC's from Colchester to Southend but I know others do.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:26 pm 
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You have to be a little careful when looking at the results and league tables, because they don't give a 'value added' view of each school. Chelmsford and Colchester are almost bound to have the top results, because the children they admit are the top ones taking the 11+. The Southend schools, in my opinion, are just as good schools, but have children of a slightly wider ability range and therefore their results are a little lower. Most children will do as well whichever of the schools they are in.

The best thing you can do is have a good look round the schools as they are all quite different and offer different things. They all have their own individual ethos and you may well walk into one and feel it is just the right place for your child, whereas another may not feel right at all.

Good luck with your decisions - if your daughter is lucky enough to get a place at any of the grammars then I'm sure you will be very happy with it!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:35 am 
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thanks for your input 'mum of boys.' can you please explain to me what are 'value added measures' as I keep coming across this term in the league tables but donot know what is really means. Most definitely, i will be very happy if my daughter gets into any of the grammar schools, but i think i will be happier if she gets into the ones in clemsford / colchester as they appear to be much more selective & tougher to get into.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:19 am 
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suffolkmum wrote:
thanks for your input 'mum of boys.' can you please explain to me what are 'value added measures' as I keep coming across this term in the league tables but donot know what is really means. Most definitely, i will be very happy if my daughter gets into any of the grammar schools, but i think i will be happier if she gets into the ones in clemsford / colchester as they appear to be much more selective & tougher to get into.

Put very straightforwardly, "value added" means how much improvement has been made.For example simply put , if a child enters secondary school on a 3A in English but gets to level 6 A by year 9, this would show better value added than a child entering secondary school on a 5A and getting to a 6A by year 9.(very hypothetical and random example)
At the top of the league tables all the top 20 - 30 schools are separated by a few A*s/A s.All the children at any of the Essex grammars stand an excellent chance of excellent results.
I would go and look around and go by the feel/ethos of each school.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:32 am 
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Chelmsford mum wrote:
At the top of the league tables all the top 20 - 30 schools are separated by a few A*s/A s.All the children at any of the Essex grammars stand an excellent chance of excellent results.
I would go and look around and go by the feel/ethos of each school.


Well said Chelmsford mum. Sometimes too much emphasize is put on league tables rather than what school best fits the individual child.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:48 am 
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And also please consider how your DC is going to get to school, the travelling time involved and how she would get home if she wishes join any after school clubs. Every year there are parents on here who have got places for their DC's at one of the Grammar schools and only then realising how difficult the journey would be. There are also reports of children pulling out a few weeks into year 7 as they can't cope with the journey.
Obviously I dont know your circumstances but if you still are a suffolk mum and living there, then Southend is a very long way!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:03 am 
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hi minesatea, yes we still live in suffolk, but will be moving to the area of the grammar school if my daughter gets in. so the journey should not be an issue for us. do you know if there are buses from the chelmsford area to the southend schools ? having spent the last 10 years living by the sea, we are now considering city life in chelmsford, or its outskirts for a change !!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:12 am 
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Yes there are contract buses from Chelmsford to the Colchester and Southend schools but not from Colchester.

Best of luck with the exam and the possible move!


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