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 Post subject: Tommies/Crypt Quandary
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:53 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:01 pm
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Hi everyone
I would be really grateful if someone can advise me as to how the system will work if your ds has low scores, and I freely admit that I have probably let my ds2 down pretty badly, so really I'm looking for reassurance that maybe I haven't ruined everything for him.
Basically, ds1 is at Tommies, and when he sat the test we honestly just bought 2 packs of verbal reasoning papers for him to practise. His lowest mark was 98% so we lost no sleep over that at all as he preferred Tommies to Pate's and it really didn't seem to be that complicated back then. It transpired that he attained a very high mark and he has continued to thrive there and enjoy school.
Unfortunately, it now appears that our approach is a bit (or a LOT) too laissez-faire. We honestly did not realise quite how essential a more sustained and organised tutoring system has become. I have only just discovered this website and we both work pretty long hours, so have little idea of what is going on with other parents, unfortunately. I am ashamed to say that it is all a bit of a revelation to us. I feel utterly ashamed of my lack of input and endeavour to ensure that things would be easier for ds2.
At our initial meeting with ds2's head we were told that ds2 is of similar high academic ability as ds1, slightly stronger on maths and that he should try some practise papers but was definitely a very academically able child etc etc. We didn't think that there would be much more to it.
Consequently, we purchased some NFER papers and downloaded the Pate's ones, all of which he flew through. On the day though, he found the second test pretty hard, and guessed nine of them. He left in tears. It was awful. We have since received notification that he has scored just 212 for Tommies and 113.5 for Crypt.
So, our problem now is that we don't know whether he genuinely has a chance with Tommies without appealing, and the letter from Crypt has confused us with its reference to putting Crypt first to ensure a place, whereas we understood that the first preference first method no longer stood.
I have spoken to his school and they were shocked at his result, particularly when another boy in his year who has had a problem with our ds2 throughout his school life because he was always behind ds2 academically (I'm talking screaming tantrums on a regular basis) is high on the waiting list for Pates!
I know many of you will be reading this thinking that we are ignorant clots, and you are right. We should have prepared him better. But he has been a consistently high achiever, and his school report would confirm this if we went to appeal. Will this and his very high scores in year 5 (88 out of 90 in the maths also similar high score in English etc) be of any serious use in a an appeal?
Ultimately, do we stand a chance of him getting into Tommies so he can go with his brother? Or should we opt for Crypt as first choice to ensure that he gets a grammar school place, although it is one heck of a trek for us? Unfortunately we aren't in a great comprehensive catchment either.
Sorry this is a bit long-winded. Am just desperate to share the burden - sorry! :(


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:00 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:04 am
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As Tommies is your first preference it goes top. If they are unable to offer your ds a place then your second choice school(in this case Crypt) becomes your first effective preference. So you will not lose anything by putting Crypt second,they will not even know where you placed it on the CAF. Please put a safe choice(catchment school) on the form in space 3 or 4 though or you could (worst case scenario) find yourself at a school you havent considered.

_________________
Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will think it is stupid.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:39 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2007 4:14 pm
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Location: Gloucester
As has been said,Tommies is still your first choice,after all,your DS has passed.Whether or not it will be enough to get a place,well unfortunately that's in the hands of the gods until March 1st.So I would advise Tommies 1st choice and Crypt second on the CAF.The head at Crypt I think is trying to say that the only way of guaranteeing a place is to put the school 1st,in his own funny way!

Tommies admitted up to 215 last year I think.I do feel for you in your predicament-it does seems to get harder and harder each year to get a pass.It is an undeniable fact that more parents do tutor their children for the 11+,raising the bar every year to pass.Whether that is a fair situation who can say?

Good luck with your choices-it does seem fairly certain that your DS will get a grammar place of some sort if you choose to pick Crypt on your CAF.

GM


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:25 pm
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First of all, congrats to your boy on achieving a pass - no mean feat these days. It is an unpleasant truth universally acknoweldged that the road to GS is littered with the corpses of parents whose children Should Have Done Better. There's no sarkiness in this, just an acceptance that it CAN go wrong on the day and since the number who can secure high passes either for Pate's or for a feeling of safety during the vile limbo period is so small cf the cohort who sat the exam then this is a period of great misery really.
There's no saying that he won't get Tommy's first off. All manner of factors come into play - in the past Crypt has been undersubscribed, the poor relation so to speak, but in recent years it is really coming into its own so whereas it might, a few years ago, have been seen as the third option, that's not the case now. It's had a real burst of new life and great results making it not only a school to feel proud of getting into but also more likely to be culling from the numbers of passes, rather than being the also ran at the end of the process, if you get me.
Capers can explain the appeal process but it seems to me that you wouldn't be appealing on non qualification but over subscription should he not get in to Tommy's and should you decide that this is the one you want. This means that you don't have to prove his academic worth (since he is passed and proved himself) but that the school would not suffer from exceeding PAN (allocated places). Here things are in your favour in that the PAN is lower than say Pate's or DRd, at 108 (cf 120) and Mr Kellie had gone for being allowed 116 (denied) meaning that he knows that the school can accommodate more. I don't get how you prove the over subscription thing. But better minds than mine can. Not until March 1st, though since you can only appeal re a place not the marks. So you're going to have to do the horrible and let it bide for a few months.
Turtle's right about the CAF thing. What Crypt will mean is don't put it second and then think, when you're given your first choice, "Oh, I meant to put Crypt first, can I have my place please?" Use your choices wisely. Put them in true order of what you want. Fill up the gaps with feasible alternatives - leaving them blank will give the LEA carte blanche to ship you anywhere that needs filling should the worst happen and he not get either (which he will!)
Good Luck!
(have cross posted with gloucestermum)


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:58 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2007 4:14 pm
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Location: Gloucester
Couldn't have put it better myself Milla!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:25 pm
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Don't say that! They'll turn my name green.
(don't be silly, mila)


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:55 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:25 pm
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Smithy, try not to beat yourself up too much over this. I was in the same boat last year. DS2's score was and still is enigma to me as I did practice with him and because his scores were so much better than DS1 we took the summer off and did next to nothing over half term. His brother scored in the 230's he scored that famous 215 that just got him in on first round.

Anyway you are stuck in twilight no getting away from it but the time passes quickly and September is so far away that it makes no difference whether you know then or now. Also this year 15 boys less than last year passed so add that to the 8 places that should be available for appeals. Plus I was told that a boy in DS's class got in with 213 last year. Even if you don't get in on first round you can safely accept your Crypt place go on Tommies waiting list plus appeal.

So congrats to you and your DS he got a pass and that is the main thing.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:56 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:01 pm
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Just wanted to say a huge 'THANK YOU' to everyone for your kind words ( I started to yesterday but think I neglected to actually submit it as in emotional override!!). All of your comments and advice really do help so much.

We will definitely put Crypt down, despite the travelling involved. We really were very taken with it's inclusive, warm vibe and the fact that having happily achieving pupils is so important to them. Their impressive results are clearly a direct consequence of this holistic approach which may well suit ds2 better than a slightly more traditional grammar ethos! With Tommies, for us it is simply a case of it being ds2's preference, familiarity, sibling convenience and ds2's friends also attending. Plus it is much less of a journey.

Thanks to your replies, and having read around the rest of the forum, I am now much less concerned that ds2 could end up at neither of what are essentially two truly excellent schools. I was a naive numpty going into this, and this forum may well have saved my sanity!

Thanks again and good luck to all of you and your kids :D


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