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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:42 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:20 am
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I would really appreciate some help on this problem. We are Bromley residents, and did the Kent tests with a view to going for Wilmington. Scores were VR 140, Maths 135, but....NVR 105.
A few years ago with the old-style NWKent tests my daughter failed Maths by 1 point, but was offered a place by Wilmington Girls, because her English was well above par. (She got Newstead but not Kent.....so it just shows that all these tests can conflict as to whether our darlings are selective or not - in other words she was superselective, but not selective!).
I have lurked and read most posts on the forum, and there seems to be some hope from things people are saying (though I might be deluding myself). Also in the Wilmington website they seem to say that exceptional performance overall in the aggregate scores will be taken into account in awarding a place for out-of-county students.
I am a bit confused as to what exceptional is. Could someone tell me, if we put down Wilmington, and appeal/go to waiting list, do we stand a snowball's chance?
As it is nvr that is a fail, we can't appeal on like-for-like school performance, or on the fact he has passed Bexley well (though not in top 180). So is 135/140 considered very good? Aaargh. Never again. Thanks for reading. All advice welcome.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:30 pm 
Hello Theresathought,
I'm sorry to hear of your disappointment. I'm afraid that under the Kent test procedure (unless it has changed this year) there are no "part passes". Grammar schools can only offer places to children who have passed and it sounds as though your son didn't.

You could still apply to the school and appeal when you are, inevitably, refused a place. At that stage his marks in the other papers could be considered.

I imagine that when Wilmington talk about "exceptional scores" they mean high passes. If these are similar to those required by the other boys' grammars which select on high performance, you are probably talking about aggregate marks of around 410 or above.

I'm sorry if this isn't what you want to hear. Can your primary school give you any advice? If not, could you speak to a KCC advisor or even phone Wilmington scool itself? Good luck whatever you decide.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:50 pm 
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Thanks - I know "part pass" is not a pass - and that it will initially be rejected, but from friends' experiences in the past (and my own as a teacher), I am aware that there is a fair amount of "horse-trading" between March and September in the school places game. As there are two good-to-middling local comps, as well as the outside possibility of a Bexley place, I just wanted to know if there was any wiggle-room at the scores I quoted. The system has changed radically in the last two years for the NW Kent schools, and even a forensic analysis of the school's website doesn't give a definitive answer. The letter says I can apply, and go to appeal - and I probably will, but I would be interested to know anything about the appeals process.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 3:20 pm 
I think the wriggle room comes in by way of the head teacher's appeal. If you were in Kent LEA, and your son was expected to pass, his primary head would probably have appealled on his behalf. If successful, he would have got the necessary "selective assessment" to allow the grammar schools to consider him. Although, obviously, his marks would have stayed the same. I assume that he has not in fact been the subject of a successful appeal?

Is this the first year in which Wilmington has operated this selection procedure? If not, they could probably tell you what last year's cut off mark was. Or someone on this forum may know. If they traditionally turn away a lot of boys with fairly high passes then you will know that you are going to need to demonstrate some fairly powerful extenuating circumstances in order for your son to effectively leap-frog those boys to get a place.

Maybe the question is whether you can spare a place on your CAF for this school; if so, you could name them and then decide whether to appeal once you know how oversubscribed they are this year. Friends' experiences suggest that schools are generally quite forthcoming about waiting list lengths and likely cut off points once the initial allocations have been announced.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:58 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:29 am
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Location: orpington
i'm in orpington..........my son passed both kent and bexley........but have been told that there is a low chance of him getting in bexley or wilmington grammar school, because of distance.

i'm proud of him, he is so keen to go to a grammar school! i keep thinking what if no one wants him?

(he's not a top 180 either)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:03 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 4:47 pm
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Hi daljit

We are also in Orpington and I rang Wilmington Grammar school for boys today and the Head's secretary told me historically we have a very good chance of getting in and that they take a lot of boys from Orpington. Where did you hear there was a slim chance of not getting in?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:23 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:29 am
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Location: orpington
thats great..........

i heard this from a parent of a child who didn't get wilmington last year. maybe she didn't put it as first or second choice.

we will be going to wilmington G tonight, (would be helpful).

thanks you made me feel better.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 5:27 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 4:47 pm
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Hi Daljit

Am not going to Wilmington tonight but would be interested to know what the Head says about boys coming from Orpington and also any idea of the top 10% mark. Would you let me know if she says anything interesting. Many thanks.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 9:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:29 am
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Location: orpington
Gercha,

i don't know how may of these school open days you've been to, as head teacher speeches go hers was one of the most interesting ones. Both DS hubby and i stayed awake! (i have been to about 10 as i have triplets of both gender)
They have boys coming from further than orpington, relief puff puff.
She said it would be a good thing to come see the school during daytime in full swing. she didn't go on and on about grades etc just about how they get the best out of all the boys, they also have good parent and school relationship. open 3 mornings after half term.
The head boy (6th form) and 3 year 8 students had a few words and they were very sweet and informative.
all i can say is that she one of the most normal head teachers i've met! (more like us, she has a 6 year old son so i suppose she can relate to parents)

i would recommend you take your DS after half term, they have a very good engineering dept, the teachers were very keen and the boys were lovely and well spoken. Might be different during a normal day.!
hope you have found this helpful.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 9:12 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 4:47 pm
Posts: 90
Hi daljit

Yes we did go and see Wilmington (during a normal school morning) and like you, my husband and I were very impressed with the Head. She's new and so enthusiastic and talks about the "whole" child not just the academic. We loved the feel of the school, the boys were very impressive, both 6th formers and year 7 and my son felt really comfortable there and would love to go.

The buildings are a bit tatty but I could see past that. One of my friend's sons started in year 7 this year and is enjoying it so much, she can't praise it enough. Hopefully our sons will have no problems getting in - fingers crossed for you. Good luck.


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