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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 8:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:51 pm
Posts: 80
Help,
Had a letter from Westcliff today to say that there is a Y7 place become available and my DS has to sit entry test in English, Maths, Science and French. Our DS was on waiting list at no1 so just missed entry at Sept 2010 at Y7 so went ro local comp, he is very happy and has achieved excellent grades........so what do we do, HELP has anyone experienced this before?? any advice greatly appreciated :D


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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 7:09 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Posts: 3817
Location: Chelmsford and pleased
I know a family, whose son I tutored since the beginning of year 7, moved into grammar during year 9. One parent was very pro, one against and the boy himself undecided. They decided against sitting the test, but on the day the son said that he would "give it a go" and gained the place.

Another child has taken the entry test each time a place has become available and never got through. It doesn't seem to bother her as she is happy in her current school.

There are usually about 20 children competing for the place so entry is far from guaranteed.

What does your DS want to do?


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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 8:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:51 pm
Posts: 80
Hi moved, thank you for your reply. Our DS is more than
Willing to attend for the test which will take
place this Thursday (19th May), but we are still
Undecided a's to what to do if he gets an offer.
DS loves his comp and is a very high achiever
With the school challenging him constantly with
extra more demanding work which he completes
and loves to do so, therefore, is extremely
confident. I am concerned that he may not be
'top of the class' at Westcliff and therefore lose
some confidence.
D


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 10:20 am 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 9:49 am
Posts: 4
I have watched this forum for years and you have just struck a cord with me because we went through this years ago. It is really tricky and only you know your DS well enough to judge.

My son was in a really good comp having just missed out on an out of catchment place at WHSB. I kept in contact with the school and discovered when he was in year 8 there were a couple of places coming up and he did the test and got in.

So, well first of all, at the top of WHSB you have some of the absolutely brightest boys in the country but the spread of ability at the school is very wide. At the bottom end they only have to get 303 if they live in Southend which I think is about the top 25%. This is different to the Chelmsford and Colchester Grammars where the ability range is tiny and they are all brilliant.

Also the 11plus is a snapshot of what happens on the day. There are posts here that say there is no direct link between where they come in the 11plus and outcome at 16. I think this is definitely true in the "super-grammars" but there will be a bit more correlation in WHSB because of the wider ability range.

What happened to my DS? Well like yours he was a super-star at the comp. They adored him and it was going really well but he felt disappointed not to be at a grammar and I have to admit when I saw other DCs in their grammar uniforms getting on their buses I felt he had missed out too. The big thing was that when I asked him whether he wanted to the do the test he said he did. I must admit we had a lot more notice than you and he did cram and we got some tests and things from curriculum books which we bought.

And how did he do? Well very well but he was not a super-star any more. Lets be frank, if there had been a good reason to explain his, and I presume your son's, underpormance in the original test we would have appealed but there wasn't. He had underperformed and his results were a shock but that happens to lots of them. So, when he got to WHSB while he was not bouncing along the bottom he wasn't right up at the top either. Was this hard for him to deal with? Well probably no harder than it would have been going from his Primary where he was one of the 2 or 3 top DCs straight there in year 7. Any dent to his confidence at not being top any more was countered by the confidence gained by winning this coveted and competed for place at an excellent grammar.

Fitting in was definitely tricky, the culture was very different to his comp, there is no question that WHSB is very very traditional. Having compared the culture with friends with DSs in the other grammars it doesn't have the lovely soft touch you get at CRGS and it isn't as pushy as KEGS but, they are expected to tow the line and this is very different to most comps. The up-side is that he can work well in a class of other incredibly focussed boys without some of the distractions which exist in comps.

Was it a good move? Well in many ways he would have probably done just as well at the comp but I do think it might have been harder. The big thing is the incredible pride he got from winning the place and then discovering he was right in the middle. This of all things demonstrated the complete inability of the 11 plus to get it right. He did find the first year very hard but is glad he did it. He did find it hard to make friends but it did all settle down in year 10 when there was a good old mix up when they went into their GCSE groups. From then on it was a lot easier.

He went to a top 10 uni and last year graduated with a good degree and is so so proud of his old school.

I don't know if this helps but I hope you and your DS find the route that's best for you.


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 5:41 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:20 pm
Posts: 313
Wonderful news Maymum that your son has an opportunity to sit the exam this week. I remember reading your previous posts and felt really sorry for the situation that you were in. I have no direct experience of this apart from to say that, if I were in your position, I would let him sit the exam. My son was fortunate to be offered a grammar school place last year and it's a wonderful learning environment for him; he is happy and I would not change anything. If your son is keen to sit the exam, that's brilliant and I am a firm believer in 'what will be, will be'. He can always decide (if he is successful) whether he wants the place or not, but if he doesn't sit the exam, he may always wonder. I wish you both all the very best of luck whatever you decide to do. :)


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 11:53 am 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 9:49 am
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How did it go Maymum?

Have been thinking of your DS all day, I remember how nervous I was, far worse that the 11plus

Good luck


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 3:35 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:09 am
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Wow Bonnyboys, I love the end to that saga and i wish Maymum has an even better ending!

Well done to the kids for just trying to succeed in such a competitive enviroment.

It shall be well with them all..


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 7:03 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
Good luck for tomorrow. Hope all goes well.


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 8:58 am 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 9:49 am
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Oops wrong day. All that vicarious stress for nothing!

Hope it all goes well do do let us all know how it goes. I've just gone back and read your past posts so I can see why you might not have wanted to put yourselves through all this, I really hope it all works out for you and your DS.


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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 4:56 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:51 pm
Posts: 80
Thank you to everyone for your good wishes and invaluable advice, it is greatly appreciated :D
We all went to test day at Westcliff on Thursday 19th May, I was told by Westcliff that 20 letters have been sent out but only 12 actually came along including our DS. Our DS was so pleased to have received the invitation letter last weekend and could not wait to get to Westcliff, once we arrived he was not at all worried or stressed and could not wait to get on with it. Firstly he sat Science then Maths then English then French (our DS best subjects). We eventually collected our DS 12.45. When he came into the collection room he had a beaming smile on his face, he obviously felt very confident with what he had done and pleased that he had made the most of this opportunity, and I felt very proud of our DS.
We, apparently, have to wait about 'a week' for results.
I will, of course, keep you all informed of any furhter news and hope that this is our turn for a place :lol:


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