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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:51 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:05 am
Posts: 28
Hi need some advise from more experienced FMs. Our primary school has decided to book the week ending 19th of September as a PGL holiday/residential. The kids will be exhausted after their week away and not in the right frame of mind for exam on Saturday. The school has been asked to think again by parents but says it cannot change dates ( booked ages ago apparently even though the date has just been announced). The head however has said that he has contacted CSSE and they have agreed to book any children from our primary on the second sitting on the 30th!. My concerns are: What if dear children are sick, there is then no recourse to another sitting? Is the exam the same for the second sitting? Will it be held at the same venues. We could of course just not let DD go on trip she will be devastated but I'm not endangering her chances. What advise or opinions can anyone offer ? I seem to remember this problem cropping up last year.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:20 pm
Posts: 52
Hi,
This happened for my son last year. We applied for the second date and sat it about 10 days after everyone else. Yes, there is the risk that your child will be ill, but my son was adamant that he didn't want to kiss any of the residential trip and I didn't want him to try and sit the usual date when I knew he would be exhausted.
They definitely used a different English paper last year for the second sitting. Not sure about the other papers.
Good luck with whatever you decide!
FF2002


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:04 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:08 pm
Posts: 1225
I cant answer all your questions but the two I know are: no it should not be the same papers (it never has been in the past), no not all schools have a second sitting as the numbers do not require it. In Colchester for instance there will be a sitting at CRGS or ColCHSG not both.I believe they take it in turns to host the second date.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
Posts: 4587
Location: Essex
Possibly a minority of one here, but we have had 3 go through the CSSE test and to be honest, we would just have sent ours on the residential and aimed for the normal test date, rather than get our Ks (or theirs) in a T about it. What child ever is in the mood for an exam? At least they will have had a nice week away and should they have managed to do something awful to themselves for which your GP is willing to sign a certificate, you do always have the back-up date to come.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:32 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:52 pm
Posts: 737
Can I just say TYPICAL of the attitude of so many schools to the 11 plus :(

Four years ago I would have gone for the Toadmum option but after all the fallout and recriminations after DD didn't get into the grammar (mostly from my mother) I'm not so sure ....


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:51 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:10 pm
Posts: 522
More and more schools seem to be opting for having PGL in Sept which I can't understand especially when they know that the 11+ is in Sept.

We deferred to the second sitting last year for the CEM exam because my dd was ill and I spent a long time deliberating if it was the right thing to do. In the end, we decided that it was silly for her to do an exam when she had a fever and she was well for the deferral date so it all worked out in the end.

I would say that if this were me, knowing what I know now about how taxing the exam is, I would opt for the deferred date. My feeling is that you've come so far, you've worked so hard, you don't want to fall at the final hurdle. I guess a lot of it depends on your child. My dd would be exhausted after a week away. She wouldn't be getting her usual 11 hours sleep per night and after 4 or 5 nights of that, she'd be shattered. Far too tired to do her best on an exam that IMO is quite demanding.

While I can see the argument for just doing it on the scheduled date and seeing what happens, my feeling would be to defer to the later date and hope that your child isn't ill for that date.

Good luck with whatever you choose, I think it's quite unfair of the school to have put you in this position,


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:12 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:31 pm
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Our DD had the same situation with her CCHS Exam last year. She had the morning exam on Saturday and only arrived home at 9:30pm the night before.

I found it relaxed her more than put her off, she had a good week and really, if she didn't know anything by then it was too late.

I'll admit if I could have changed it I probably would have but it turned out ok.

Not good planning and really highlighted the lack of 11+ focus that her school showed. She was the only girl to sit any 11+ exam and 1 of 3 out in her whole year.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:23 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:59 am
Posts: 3579
The decision probably depends on your dc' s physiology (if that is the right word)?

My ds2 turns into a toast munching (or sugary sweets if I don't watch him), grumpy zombie, who visibly starts nodding off after losing out on sleep for a few nights. Whereas his little bruv can keep going and going and going.....

Personally I would be spitting bricks, they knew the test was in September...is this the first year they have booked it? I love the way schools are now stinging us for a week's residential in year 6, whilst fining parents for in term holidays. You are being asked to pay £300 (the September cost of renting a family cottage) for one dc to spend a week having an absolute blast with their friends, doing fun activities and some activities loosely based on the curriculum to justify it being in school time. Yes lovely for the kids...but as the 11+ is very important to some of their cohort the school head has been extremely inconsiderate, would it have hurt to ensure the trip was at the end of the month?

The only thing I can suggest is to go with the flow, let dc relax, and keep her happy and healthy on her return until the second test date. She will undoubtedly have a lovely time and clear her mind of any stress or woes. I think personally if you let her take it the immediate Saturday, you will be stressing yourself until result day about whether you did the right thing...not worth it, better to wait.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:46 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:33 pm
Posts: 125
Arghh how stressful , it's a stressful enough journey without this added stress (((hugs)))
I personally would not postpone test I would see I felt my child was on their return! Everyone advises differently but my dd tutor recommended no 11+ work the week before test anyway ! Dd had friends who worked all week before test revising and eating special diets of fish ect but didn't pass :-( you know your child so do what you feel is best good luck x


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:05 am
Posts: 28
Thanks for all your thoughts and suggestions. I honestly don't know what we will do ! My daughter is of the type that will need at least a couple of nights to catch up on her sleep and until then will pretty much be in a grouchy zombie like state. My options then would seem to be not allowing her to go ( she will be upset and she will miss out on the bonding experience) and going for the first sitting or letting her go and booking the the second sitting ( then my perhaps irrational fear of her being ill comes into play). Yep not great forward planning by the school, this is the first time they have announced September dates the change ironically being justified by the old dates interfering with the long run up to SATs!
So still some hard thinking to do. Also I agree with others re why do they have to plan such long expensive residentials anyway!


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