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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:36 pm
Posts: 37
Hello - I'm very confused! Please can someone shed some light.

We are due to move to Gloucestershire in the next year, assuming all goes well with DH's transfer!

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? :?

I've just bought IPS verbal reasoning = method and technique. Is everything in there likely to come up in the exam? DS had been doing an age-appropriate Bond 10 minute test book but I read somewhere on here that that was no good.

think I've got information overload :oops:


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:52 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
welcome to the forum Ginnie

is this any good?

http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/school ... re-11-plus


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:39 am 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:03 pm
Posts: 1827
Location: Gloucestershire
Ginnie71 wrote:
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).

_________________
Capers


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 11:51 am 
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Dear Yoyo123 and Capers123, Thank you very much for replying. I did, in fact, find some information on the Gloucestershire website after I'd posted my message which made things a bit clearer for me!

Capers123, do Marling, or the other grammars, have a sibling policy? That completely passed me by. I have another DS waiting in the wings! I wondered whether, if we liked Marling, we should be moving near there if they had a distance criteria, but perhaps it doesn't matter where we live (assuming he scores highly enough!). I'm also beginning to wonder what the transport is like in Gloucestershire to get to these various schools (adds another query to ever-growing list ... :roll: :wink: ).

I'm not exactly sure where we will be moving to yet. I don't know the area terribly well. DH is going to be working in Cheltenham but I don't know much about primary schools/ houses etc. I'd started to think about secondaries where we currently live for DS1 and now that we're moving sometime soon, that had been my first thought. But, actually, there's a lot of complicated planning to be done, once DC are back at school!

Thanks for the offer of Pming you Capers123. I'd like to do that, if I may, once I'm clear what next I have to ask about! Thanks again for replying :)


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:14 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:28 pm
Posts: 417
If you can manage a visit then all the schools will be having open eves/days in September or you could just arrange to visit when it suits you best and look round the schools to get a feel. If your DH will be in Cheltenham then transport to Pates, Sir Thomas Rich or Crypt is easy by bus from there. Lots of boys will be getting the bus into the Gloucester schools or if you decide to live nr Gloucester then getting to Cheltenham is straight forward.

The IPS papers are good but as your DS is only going into y4 I wouldn't worry to much about starting 11+ work yet. If it was me I would check out the primary schools/ house areas you like because an easy school run is nice when they are younger and you can go to the grammar schools from anywhere - you don't even have to live in the same county. Most people start 11+ prep in y5 just make sure your DS is reading a range of books for vocabulary and learning his x tables.

Good luck with the move. I think there have been threads about where to live in Gloucestershire and Primary schools before so you might find some useful info.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:48 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:36 pm
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Thanks for all that helpful info, Mum23*. I think we will try and come up for September then because I think it will take a while to go round all the various, possible areas and see what will work, so probably a number of trips will be needed.

Where we live in London, DC take exams in both VR and NVR (and one school has recently introduced an English exam) for grammar school, so it has been interesting seeing that different areas operate different systems. There is quite a tutor industry here - our DS is down on a tutor waiting list for year 5; but we won't now be here in year 5. Is there a similar network of tutors in Gloucestershire? Or do parents do it themselves? Or do primary schools do this as there is such a strong grammar system in Gloucestershire?

Luckily both DS love reading. Consequently, their timestables could do with some attention .... :roll: :)


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:28 pm 
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Hi Ginnie. Just to pick up on one thing you said there about there being 'such a strong grammar school system in Gloucestershire.' There isn't really. Fewer than 5% of local children go to GS and in fact the system is an opt-in one so not all that many children even take the exam. For example at my son's primary school, in a year of 60, 7 took the exam. 4 of those gained entry to one of the county GSs. So in short, there will not be any preparation within school. Most people use a tutor.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:48 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:36 pm
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Hi Amber, Thanks for that clarification. I'd made an assumption, based on the fact that there were 7 (i think) grammars in 1 county (though I now realise one can apply from outside the county), whereas, in London, they are thinly sprinkled about with no catchment area at all. I have a better picture now from the stats you gave.

I'm beginning to think I may be tutoring the DC myself, as I suppose (though, perhaps, another assumption!) that I'll be too late to put DS1 on a tutor's list. This website makes that prospect a little less daunting though.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:03 pm 
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It's a big county, but the grammars are concentrated within a fairly small part of it: 2 in Stroud, 4 in Gloucester and one in Cheltenham. As you note, they are superselectives; no catchment areas and people do send children, certainly to take the test, from neighbouring and even further counties.

On the plus side, there are some excellent 'comprehensive' schools, and if check out results for schools like Balcarras and Cleeve, among others, you will see that they actually outperform some of the grammars, by quite a margin, certainly at 'A' level.

I don't think all that many people start tutoring as early as year 4 - some do, but we certainly didn't, and I don't think you will find the tutoring industry quite so well developed as in London.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:14 pm 
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Yes, I've taken a look at the websites of Balcarras and Cleeve - they both look like great schools (I see that there is some sort of test one has to take for Cleeve?) and I was thinking, also, that I suppose they do have catchment areas, and that is something to consider when moving. My head's swimming a bit. I'd had Romantic notions of living in a Gloucestershire village, having a dog etc. etc. but perhaps we should be thinking of actually living in Cheltenham itself (if I'm right that that's where Balcarras and Cleeve are?), which would make it easy for DH to get to work as well. He has a hellish commute at the moment.

That's interesting that the comprehensives outperform the grammars at A'level. Why is that? Or is that just as complicated an answer as sorting out our move? :lol:


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