We talk freely about the large numbers who sit and the improbable odds. I drew a normal distribution curve and showed on it how - given a scarce number of places - the super selectives choose to fill from the right of the curve. We haven't had any results yet, but as a way of managing the expectations, I want the odds to be clear.
We also had a discussion today about the strengths of the various schools we've visited. There are lots of schools near us, but no guaranteed place in any of them. Even if the main strength is proximity, at least play that one up! DD said her ideal
school would have:
The only principal who didn't bore her socks off during the open evenings - he happens to be running a massive comp that was in special measures a couple of years ago
The dynamic, friendly and enthusiastic young music teacher with the ukuleles from a non-denominational single sex school that probably can't field an orchestra
Me as the language teacher (!)
The Maths department of the nearest comprehensive (which is rather better than its English results)
A school where lots of girls do physics
A school where she would know a dozen or so from her primary
It's an entertaining way to look on the bright side. Even if you genuinely have only one other school choice, big up the fact that other kids from the primary will be there, there will be less travel, more time for sleep / activities, etc.
What I also found interesting is that she identified aspects she liked from a very mixed bag of schools. None of the teachers on her list were from the super selectives we saw (not because they were bad, but they were really too busy to engage with kids on the open days). I have no crystal ball, but I'm hoping we'll be able to put a positive spin on the outcome. No matter how she does, I want her to understand the context - thousands will be rejected. The real measure of success will be how they demonstrate resilience, pick themselves up, move on and continue to work hard.
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