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!