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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 6:08 pm 
does anyone one know what the pass mark for this school was for 2006 intake, just interested to know what my daughter should be aming for, also hear a lot of talk about standardising scores, does this apply to CC school, and how would i work it out?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:27 am 
mickey wrote:
does anyone one know what the pass mark for this school was for 2006 intake, just interested to know what my daughter should be aming for, also hear a lot of talk about standardising scores, does this apply to CC school, and how would i work it out?



My daughter got into CCHS this year but not sure of the pass mark as such. What I can tell you is that the VR is the most important paper - your daughter must aim to get 90% or so on this paper if she can as it carries the most weighting i.e. 50% as opposed to 25% for Maths and 25% for English. The English paper is always a shocker and usually A level text - my daughter's paper was on Mill on the Floss. Maths again is difficult. The one thing I would say is (I am sure others will agree) don't panic if she comes out of the test saying certain papers were very hard. If she finds it difficult the chances are most others have as well. When my daughter sat it, she came out saying she found the English hard, Maths OK and VR quite easy. When she started telling us some of her maths answers, we were disheartened as it seemed she had answered incorrectly! In the end she did enough to gain a place and we were delighted - she is thoroughly enjoying herself there. Good luck to your daughter - I hope she is successful.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 10:48 am 
In my humble opinion, the previous poster is correct in saying that a v. good score in the VR is very desirable but I disagree with the 90% mark and also, you do not need to have a v. good English AND Maths to get in if you've scored highly in VR.

As a rule-of-thumb, you need to score 82%+ overall approx. to get into CCHS. (that's from recent personal experience). I appreciate that they standardise scores so it's not quite as simple as taking 25% of your child’s Maths paper, 25% of English and 50% of VR but it's a close enough approximation.

If you get a score in the low 80s in VR, then you need to be getting in the low 80s or better in both English and Maths. By getting a high score in VR you can afford to have a weak English or Maths paper as, VR is worth double or 50% of the marks overall. A for instance is 87% VR, 82% English and 72% Maths gets you in. My daughter got 68% in Maths and got in comfortably.

The other thing I'm not sure about is that both Maths and English are always hard. I understood it that the papers alternate every year. So last year was a hard Maths and this year is scheduled to be a hard English paper. The Maths and English papers are set by the different grammar school heads in Essex on a rotating basis. I can say that with my children, the papers worked out this way and in doing all the past papers that did seem to be the pattern. It's just an opinion though. Does anyone else subscribe to this?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 11:13 am 
Anonymous wrote:
In my humble opinion, the previous poster is correct in saying that a v. good score in the VR is very desirable but I disagree with the 90% mark and also, you do not need to have a v. good English AND Maths to get in if you've scored highly in VR.

As a rule-of-thumb, you need to score 82%+ overall approx. to get into CCHS. (that's from recent personal experience). I appreciate that they standardise scores so it's not quite as simple as taking 25% of your child’s Maths paper, 25% of English and 50% of VR but it's a close enough approximation.

If you get a score in the low 80s in VR, then you need to be getting in the low 80s or better in both English and Maths. By getting a high score in VR you can afford to have a weak English or Maths paper as, VR is worth double or 50% of the marks overall. A for instance is 87% VR, 82% English and 72% Maths gets you in. My daughter got 68% in Maths and got in comfortably.

The other thing I'm not sure about is that both Maths and English are always hard. I understood it that the papers alternate every year. So last year was a hard Maths and this year is scheduled to be a hard English paper. The Maths and English papers are set by the different grammar school heads in Essex on a rotating basis. I can say that with my children, the papers worked out this way and in doing all the past papers that did seem to be the pattern. It's just an opinion though. Does anyone else subscribe to this?



Not sure about the years rotating but you could be right. I would still say aim high on the VR. My daughter too got high 60's in the maths but did well in the VR and OK in the English. When she was doing the practice papers she was getting 85%+ in the maths papers and 80%+ in English so it shows you how different it can be on the day. At least with the VR the NFER Nelson practice papers you know they are the people that set the VR on the day so you can get to know the patterns/types of problem questions that will come up. Good luck to anyone trying this year - I wish you all success!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 3:56 pm 
My understanding is that the Head of the Eng and Maths departments at all the schools in the consortium take it in turns to set the Eng and Maths paper, so it might not be as simple as 'rotating' hard Maths/English papers. Having tutored and taught Yr 6 for the last 10+ years in Essex schools, my experience is that the English paper is the hardest of the two. The maths tends to stick very much to Key Stage 2 Maths (although the child needs to be working at Level 5 to achieve a pass generally) but the English bears no relationship to Key Stage 2 English. In my humble opinion it is particularly unfair on state school children who will have mostly stuck to the National Literacy Strategy, whereas independent schools can, and do, teach to the test.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 4:38 pm 
The NFER sets all three tests, the staff at the schools have nothing to do with it. NFER says that they ensure that no single year is any harder than any other, although that depends on your point of view. Would you find a contemporary text about travel as easy as Silas Marner or Mill on the Floss? The maths test has some tricky moments every year, but the real killer is the VR. While most children make it through the first two tests, there are lots of hands up for the toilet in the third - and believe me, you need the time.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 12:10 pm 
My daughter started at Chelmsford this year. She came about half way in the offers, so we were really pleased. She scored high 90's in the VR and 80's in both Maths and English. But time is of the essence, they must finish the paper. A lot of her friends that were scoring really high in practise papers, didn't finish the Maths or VR paper on the day and none of them got offers.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 3:00 pm 
Anonymous wrote:
My daughter started at Chelmsford this year. She came about half way in the offers, so we were really pleased. She scored high 90's in the VR and 80's in both Maths and English. But time is of the essence, they must finish the paper. A lot of her friends that were scoring really high in practise papers, didn't finish the Maths or VR paper on the day and none of them got offers.



I completely agree with your comments. You have to finish the papers, especially the VR. I always told me daughter to answer all the questions she knew or was sure of first then go back to the others. If she answered some of the questions in a matter of seconds, then at the end she would have hopefully accumulated enough time to go back and spend time of the more difficult ones. She did this and said it really worked for her. Is your daughter enjoying CCHS? I was a bit concerned as my daughter was the only one from her school, but she loves it.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 4:39 pm 
I was told by the Head of Kegs, previous Headmistress at CCHS and the secretary of the consortium that run the 11+ in Essex that the VR is a NFER paper but that the English and Maths papers are always set by members of staff at the various grammar schools in Essex.

Here is a quote from the consortiums guide to the 2007 11+

OPTION 1 (Complete pack of 5 papers)
Maths and English Papers for 2005 Entry
Maths and English Papers for 2006 Entry
1 Verbal Reasoning Practice Paper
NB. The Maths and English papers are actual papers sat in
previous years. We are unable to sell the Verbal Reasoning
Exam Paper as copyright is owned by NFER Nelson.
The practice paper resembles the exam.


But they can sell English and Maths papers because they own the copyright as they wrote them.

I strongly recommend that anyone planning a strategy for their child on the basis of the suggestion by an earlier poster, that the English and Maths papers are also NFER papers, should contact the consortium for clarification. 01245 348257.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 6:32 pm 
[quote="Anonymous"]I was told by the Head of Kegs, previous Headmistress at CCHS and the secretary of the consortium that run the 11+ in Essex that the VR is a NFER paper but that the English and Maths papers are always set by members of staff at the various grammar schools in Essex.

Thanks, guest, for this. I was fairly sure I was correct in thinking that the schools are involved in writing the test as I got it from someone who works for the consortium! And, to bang on again about how ridiculous I find the English paper (and I'm an English graduate), I just didn't see how NFER could be responsible for it, as it does not bear any relationship to what children are expected to have covered in KS2 Literacy....and NFER are supposed to be experts in children's levels of achievement.


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