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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 8:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:47 pm
Posts: 100
Yr6 DD1 starts at WGSG in September this year but we also have DD2 in Year 5, so she has been having tutoring as we didn't know if DD1 had a place until a couple of months ago.
When DD1 got a place we decided to continue with the tutor we were using. We reasoned it was good for DD2's progress in school and she could sit the 11+ anyhow, just so she feels like she has had to work for a place like her sister did. DD2 is certainly very capable, but a July baby and not as applied as her 19 month older sibling and we feel that the tutor is not putting as much effort into her as she did with DD1; after all, she already has a place, doesn't she?
DD2 doesn't seem to be progressing very well and I suspect she is not trying her hardest because she knows she doesn't have to!
We are tempted to give up the formal tutoring and just do some at home ourselves from the recommended books and papers.
Has anyone else been in this position? What did/ would you do?


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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 10:04 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:22 pm
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Hi K1w1 mum,
Like you, my dd will start WGGS in September.She has a younger sister, who is Year 2 at present and will hopefully go to the same school, as long as the sibling rule remains unchanged in the next 4 years that is!
I too have given a lot of thought as to whether I will make DD2 sit the Watford Consortium tests. She is a bright girl, but not as academic as her older sister. Also, the family in general found the whole 11 plus preparation very stressful. DD1 worked extremely hard all last summer. We sacrificed our annual summer holiday as we felt that DD1 could not afford to miss out on 2 weeks of work.There were days when my daughter cried and didnt want to do any more work and to be honest I found it all very stressful. Do I want that pressure again? No Thanks! I don't have to put DD2 through that angst and stress so I won't!
We have found a really good tutor and we hope to start DD2 with her in Sept when she starts Year 3 as her Maths needs a helping hand. Her father and I will help with the other subjects, and keep a close eye on her progress up to Year 6. That's the plan anyway! Hope this helps but remember what a lovely position you are in. Whatever you decide, your DD2 will get a place regardless.


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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 9:01 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:45 am
Posts: 183
Location: Kingston upon Thames
Hi, this really depends on the sibling, there is no correct answer as everyone is different, they are not clones and what is good for one, might not be good for a sibling who has other talents.

Many of the selective schools don't operate a sibling policy anyway, and even when schools do, just because someone older went there doesn't automatically make it the best choice for younger DC. Its not like primary school where the journey needs supervision so its easiest to have them in same place so they go together. Most kids think its really un-cool to have your parent take you to secondary school. It will be irrelevant if you have DC and DS and schools are single sex.
In reality the only advantage is you will know the school better than other schools if one child is already there.

There is no point in making a child struggle if their heart is in other things like music or sport. In an odd way they will be happier (and consequently do better) where they are not always bottom of the class. Dont decide purely on academic ability, think of the whole picture including pastoral care etc. before deciding. One other thing to remember is picking a school miles away just means hours of hideous commuting and lack of friends/classmates who live nearby for next seven years.


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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 10:18 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:47 pm
Posts: 100
Thanks for the replies.
We have considered whether WGSG wold be right for our second DD but she is relatively academic ( top sets at a fairly academic primary) and loves music ( WGSG is good for music) so as far as we can tell, she'd do okay there. There are a lot of siblings who attend the school but I@m not sure if they usually sit the exams anyhow? I don't think she would be the only one who didn't?
We are aware we are lucky to be in this situation though. We also have a Year 2 DD and A younger son, so the things we are working through with DD2 will eventually have some bearing on what we do with them too!


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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 2:49 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:34 pm
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As friend of mine was in a similar position this year and she contacted WGSG to ask them and was told not to bother sitting the test as they had enough to mark! However my son will be going through the same process of tutoring in year 5 etc as his older sister a) just in case the cross sibling rule goes ( although we would likely get a distance place then) and b) to prepare him for the work involved and to get him up to the same standard as those who have to sit the test to get in. The tutoring my daughter had, although only aimed at the tests has helped enormously esp in maths with her achievement at school


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:33 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:53 am
Posts: 46
Late reply, but here's my view anyway...

11+ exam is not be all, end all. The KS2 will be just around the corner after that. If you let your guard down based in sibling entry rule, the girls who studied for 11+ will have upper hand and would be placed in top sets for Maths and English in Y6, some even aiming for L6 achievement, with majority doing L5a easily. That means, if not guided, your DD could become academically backward, and upon entering WGSG, find herself behind others. That cannot be easily rectified and may place her in lower sets in future. Therefore, congratulations on her inevitable admission to WGSG, and I do hope your DD would not miss out on the level of academic achievement that could be naturally hers if guided appropriately.

By the way, I am not a believer of the dictum ' if they are good, they won't need coaching". That's probably 'thought poison' perpetuated by those who want you to lose out.

Best wishes.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:25 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:00 pm
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Location: RBK
Parent68 wrote:

By the way, I am not a believer of the dictum ' if they are good, they won't need coaching". That's probably 'thought poison' perpetuated by those who want you to lose out.

Best wishes.


Totally agree with the above opinion.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:33 pm 
I have a DS in Year 6 starting at WBGS in September, another DS in Year 5 and a younger one too. I have registered DS2 for the tests but he is having absolutely no tutoring at all. DS1 was not tutored externally; I coached him myself a bit. Both boys have similar innate academic ability and both are keen to work so to be honest, I am conducting a little social and educational experiment all of my own by entering DS2 into the tests with no coaching whatsoever. I have told him to sit the tests because they are good practice for later tests/exams, but that he probably won't be told his results if he's going to be offered a sibling place (covering myself -we won't tell him the results if they're not that great).

I will report back later on this year once we have his results and I am able to tell you (anecdotally, not scientifically) whether the tutoring I did with DS1/didn't do with DS2 seemed to affect their results much or not. RR


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:10 am 
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Hi there RationalityRules. Congratulations on the place:) Whether or not to sit the test or not and whether to tutor when a future sibling place is guaranteed is an interesting question....DAOgroupie extensively explained her views and experience of this a few years ago on this forum with her daughters, and it's interesting to follow a different approach. My only concern with this would be to your second daughters confidence if she does badly (not through lack of ability but lack of coaching), the suspicion that she will want to know her results (friends will know surely, and children talk), and the results used to assess ability by the school itself if they are unaware that she wasn't tutored. IMO roughly equal academic ability isn't a true scientific test as other factors are involved: the different cohort sitting, nerves on the day, illness on the day, the questions in the tests etc.

We live in North London where there is no sibling rule, and the schools have about 10:1 ratio sitting so are all 'superselectives' and children not extensively prepared have absolutely no chance of a place as they haven't learned the exam techniques and would be too slow in answering the questions. I know 2 very bright children who were privately tutored from Y4 who failed to gain places this year too, and I suspect they didn't do enough work at home to back up classes. My older daughter loves maths, scored 100% at KS2 and she sat a mock 11+ test at Redbridge scoring 96% the weekend before her first practice Latymer Maths paper. She ran out of time on question 30 or 31 (it was a long time ago!) and promptly had a tantrum. Six weeks of drilling with a stopwatch and she sailed through the actual test in just over 30 minutes, checked it twice and scored 44/50 in a test where the average score was 28. Six children sat tests at Latymer/St. Michael's/HBS that year in her class, all were home tutored, 4 were tutored quite heavily and gained places, 2 'did a bit of work with some papers' and didn't gain a place at any of the selective schools they applied for.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:28 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:50 pm
Posts: 533
This is an interesting topic. In all aspects of life I try to treat my kids the same if it is giving them money, opportunities or preparing them for exams. Number 2 is only a cross sibling so not guaranteed a place, however number 3 will qualify for a sibling place as the rules stand. I will watch your experiment with interest RR and who know by number 3 perhaps my opinions on this may have changed or I might just be plain worn out.


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