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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:31 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:22 pm
Posts: 158
Location: Essex
Hi

Yet another concerned parent here! My son will sit the 11+ this year and both my wife and I would like him to go to a single-sex grammar school as that is the type of education we had ourselves (I'm a former SHSB pupil). We're not having him tutored (that's a whole other debate) but are doing some work with him ourselves as are the school. So far so good on that, but we will work more on the timings between now and the day of the test.

We live only 2 miles from KEGS in Chelmsford so that is an obvious 1st choice. We will also need to put down our catchment comp. (Chelmer Valley) as a fallback position. We therefore have 2 places left to choose and 3 schools to shoose from:- SHSB, WHSB and CRGS

We are Ok with him travelling to any of these so that is not an issue. What I would like to know is which ones does he stand the most chance of getting into given a lower score on his 11+ paper?

I know from visiting SHSB last week that they reserve 25 places for out of catchment boys, but last year took 45 (as not enough catchment boys met the pass mark). We are going to WHSB tonight and will glean the same info. from them. CRGS is, like KEGS, fully open and has 96 places.

My dilemma however is that given CRGS is fully open, does that mean the score to get in is normally as high as KEGS, in which case there seems little point in putting it on the list at all.

Does anyone have solid info. on the lowest mark obtained to get into KEGS and CRGS last year and the lowest mark from out of catchment boys for SHSB and WHSB? Do the consortium publish this info?

We know we want this kind of education for our son, and want to give him the maximum chance of getting it - wherever that may be.

Many thanks

Shrimpergarry


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 10:32 am 
Shrimpergarry wrote:
Hi

Yet another concerned parent here! My son will sit the 11+ this year and both my wife and I would like him to go to a single-gender grammar school as that is the type of education we had ourselves (I'm a former SHSB pupil). We're not having him tutored (that's a whole other debate) but are doing some work with him ourselves as are the school. So far so good on that, but we will work more on the timings between now and the day of the test.

We live only 2 miles from KEGS in Chelmsford so that is an obvious 1st choice. We will also need to put down our catchment comp. (Chelmer Valley) as a fallback position. We therefore have 2 places left to choose and 3 schools to shoose from:- SHSB, WHSB and CRGS

We are Ok with him travelling to any of these so that is not an issue. What I would like to know is which ones does he stand the most chance of getting into given a lower score on his 11+ paper?

I know from visiting SHSB last week that they reserve 25 places for out of catchment boys, but last year took 45 (as not enough catchment boys met the pass mark). We are going to WHSB tonight and will glean the same info. from them. CRGS is, like KEGS, fully open and has 96 places.

My dilemma however is that given CRGS is fully open, does that mean the score to get in is normally as high as KEGS, in which case there seems little point in putting it on the list at all.

Does anyone have solid info. on the lowest mark obtained to get into KEGS and CRGS last year and the lowest mark from out of catchment boys for SHSB and WHSB? Do the consortium publish this info?

We know we want this kind of education for our son, and want to give him the maximum chance of getting it - wherever that may be.

Many thanks

Shrimpergarry



Put KEGS first then the other 2 grammars (WHSB and SHSB) as if your son doesn't score high enough for KEGS they work their way down the list (he will need slightly more to get into WHSB than SHSB so put them first). I think you need to score higher for CRG than KEGS so you might be better leaving CRG out. If you don't do it in that order and put SHSB before WHSB but he scores high enough for WHSB, he will only be offered SHSB as that is second on his list. Saying that, he might prefer SHSB so it is up to you. Apparently the cut off point for KEGS last year was high (I think the last child in was in the 800's) but the consortium and county council do not publish this information and it is not given on the letter you receive when your son gets his letter confirming where he has been successful. I know the last girl into CCHS last year was 512 - of course this is out of the 4-6,000 that sat it (boys and girls) but this year (when my daughter started) the last place was something like 420 so it does vary quite a bit year to year. I would add that my son is in his final year at WHSB and has done very well and enjoyed his time there. Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 3:57 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:22 pm
Posts: 158
Location: Essex
Thanks for this - that's helpful.

We have visited both SHSB and WHSB now and have been impressed by both. I (as an old boy of SHSB) was slightly biased, but there are perhaps more compelling reasons for our son to go to Westcliff (he has a cousin there in yr 8 and also if our daughter ends up at a Southend grammar school in 2 years time, the Westcliff schools being next door to each other would be a big advantage).

We have now found out that SHSB reserves 25 places for out of catchment boys, whilst WHSB reserves 39. the reality is however that, due to the lack of catchment boys achieving the pass mark, SHSB usually takes 45 out of catchment and WHSB about 60 (both these figures were confirmed to me directly by the respective heads).

Because of this, I am slightly confused by you saying it is easier to get into SHSB? If the quality of the applicants is the same to both schools (a reasonable assumption), then surely WHSB would work their way further down the list of applicants than SHSB (given that they generally take more), hence a lower entrance score for WHSB?

What we don't know is if the schools have an equal number of applicants (we only get the Essex book, which tells you how many applied last year, but doesn't include the Southend schools!).

Thanks for the info about CRGS - I think that's off the list now. Just still puzzling a bit about which is the optimum order to put the 2 Southend schools in. Maybe we should just follow the advice of every head that we've seen, that is to put them in our honest order of preference and not worry about the chances of getting in.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 10:31 am 
Shrimpergarry wrote:
Thanks for this - that's helpful.

We have visited both SHSB and WHSB now and have been impressed by both. I (as an old boy of SHSB) was slightly biased, but there are perhaps more compelling reasons for our son to go to Westcliff (he has a cousin there in yr 8 and also if our daughter ends up at a Southend grammar school in 2 years time, the Westcliff schools being next door to each other would be a big advantage).

We have now found out that SHSB reserves 25 places for out of catchment boys, whilst WHSB reserves 39. the reality is however that, due to the lack of catchment boys achieving the pass mark, SHSB usually takes 45 out of catchment and WHSB about 60 (both these figures were confirmed to me directly by the respective heads).

Because of this, I am slightly confused by you saying it is easier to get into SHSB? If the quality of the applicants is the same to both schools (a reasonable assumption), then surely WHSB would work their way further down the list of applicants than SHSB (given that they generally take more), hence a lower entrance score for WHSB?

What we don't know is if the schools have an equal number of applicants (we only get the Essex book, which tells you how many applied last year, but doesn't include the Southend schools!).

Thanks for the info about CRGS - I think that's off the list now. Just still puzzling a bit about which is the optimum order to put the 2 Southend schools in. Maybe we should just follow the advice of every head that we've seen, that is to put them in our honest order of preference and not worry about the chances of getting in.



I agree with your last comment as there is little between SHSB and WHSB - put the one he prefers. The reason I said put WHSB before SHSB is because you have to score higher to get into WHSB (don't know why!) and if he achieves the score he will get in. If he puts SHSB second he will get offered there even if he has achieved the score for WHSB - its just the way the system works. As there is little between them, why don't you let your son choose the one he prefers.

Good luck


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 10:40 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:22 pm
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Location: Essex
Thanks - but I still don't understand why generally you need to score higher for WHSB than SHSB. The only reason that could be true would be if there were far more applications (from a higher scoring boys) for Westcliff. Do you have some evidence for that?

Unfortunately we only have the guide to Essex schools (which gives the number of applcants last year) which doesn't include details for those in Southend.

If a similar number apply to both schools (of similar quality) then surely WHSB (through taking more boys) would work their way further down the rank order list of 11+ entrants and therefore you could get into Westcliff with a lower score than SHSB. That seems to tie in with what I was told by a CSSE rep. (former head of WHSG) at a meeting last year, but if you have evidence to the contrary I would be interested to hear.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 10:41 am 
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When we visited the Southend schools last week, we were told by both heads that Government guidelines stated that they had to offer a certain percentage of places to boys assessed as being within the top 24% (from memory) hence the passmark system for boys in the Borough of Southend.

Why does the same system not apply in Chelmsford and Colchester?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 11:48 am 
Shrimpergarry wrote:
Thanks - but I still don't understand why generally you need to score higher for WHSB than SHSB. The only reason that could be true would be if there were far more applications (from a higher scoring boys) for Westcliff. Do you have some evidence for that?

Unfortunately we only have the guide to Essex schools (which gives the number of applcants last year) which doesn't include details for those in Southend.

If a similar number apply to both schools (of similar quality) then surely WHSB (through taking more boys) would work their way further down the rank order list of 11+ entrants and therefore you could get into Westcliff with a lower score than SHSB. That seems to tie in with what I was told by a CSSE rep. (former head of WHSG) at a meeting last year, but if you have evidence to the contrary I would be interested to hear.



I don't have evidence as such but I know since before my son went there it has always been the case that WHSB is harder to get into. When my son applied - at that time they gave the cut off positions for each school - you had to achieve a higher place in the rankings for WHSB than for SHSB. I will take a look at his letter tonight (if I remember!!) and let you have the difference in positions if that helps?

Have you contacted the Southend Education Authority and asked them to send you their schools prospectus? They issue their own one as they are separate to Essex.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 11:50 am 
Shrimpergarry wrote:
When we visited the Southend schools last week, we were told by both heads that Government guidelines stated that they had to offer a certain percentage of places to boys assessed as being within the top 24% (from memory) hence the passmark system for boys in the Borough of Southend.

Why does the same system not apply in Chelmsford and Colchester?



Southend are classed as a separate borough and do not have to follow the system that Essex Education Authority follow. Southend Education Authority set their rules.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 1:15 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:22 pm
Posts: 158
Location: Essex
Anonymous wrote:
Shrimpergarry wrote:
Have you contacted the Southend Education Authority and asked them to send you their schools prospectus? They issue their own one as they are separate to Essex.


Have just rung for this, but nobody answering the phones at the moment! Can't find this info. anywhere else on the schools' websites or on the Council one, so I guess we'll just have to get the Southend LEA brochure and hope that it's in there. Are there any Southend parents lurking on here who can tell me (it's the number of applicants for SHSB and WHSB last year that I'm interested in)

Thanks


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 9:58 pm 
Total applicants for Westcliff boys last year was 689 - don't know about Southend, didn't apply there! Westcliff achieves slightly higher academic results so I would assume more parents are chosing it above Southend, so Westcliff get the boys with the higher pass mark, making it harder to get into.


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