I am trying to make head and/ or tail of the grammar school system in this area (DS about to go into year 4). Can someone recommend a website page, or something, where I can find the precise details of what the admissions criteria are for each school? I see Marling has a distance criteria but then on here I have read about different scores/ rankings for different schools but, as I understand it, DC only sit one exam so how can they have different scores for different schools if only one exam, with one set of results, is sat?
Hello & welcome.
Firstly you can effectively ignore the distance criteria. That only comes into play to distinguish children who get the same score (along with siblings at school), so is a 'tie-breaker' for the children when they're allocating places 119 & 120...
There is only one exam (two papers on the same day) for all the Grammar schools in Gloucestershire. It makes no difference where your son sits the exam, as the raw scores will be shared with the other schools you've ask it to be shared with.
The 'raw score' is simply the number of correct answers in each test. Each school will then separately run a statistical analysis of the ages of all the children who have asked for their scores to be considered for that school (don't even bother asking what formula they use - no-one knows, but it's generally accepted that it's fair). The raw score is then adjusted so that a child born in October has the same 'weighted' score as a child born 9 months later in July (assuming they were of equal intelligence). It's not a big adjustment but on average should get 1/12th of the intake from each month. In other words, it makes it fair for all children.
My top tip - encourage your child to think that the 11+ papers / questions are fun - a bit of a challenge.
As you mentioned Marling, I'd also like to mention that, for the brighter child, the comprehensives in the Stroud area are also pretty good. One is recently out of special measures, but that was more to do with the outcomes for low-end SEN children and some of the governance. If your son is adversly affected by pressure during the exam, that knowledge can help ease the pressure of the exam. The comps are all fully mixed-gender, but Marling boys do get some interaction with the girls from Stroud High next door, especially if they're into playing music, and lots of the buildings are shared (not the individual classrooms, though).
Feel free to PM me if you want to know more about the schools in the area (I'm fairly unbiased).