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 Post subject: New to 11plus
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:09 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2013 1:39 am
Posts: 6
Hi all, I am new here, or rather I have been hiding in the wings reading and trying to understand the whole 11+ thing.
Unlike many I have no aspirations of my child passing or going to grammar. We let her take the exam because she wanted to (all her friends were taking it) school said she had the potential to pass it. She didnt. But its not as cut and dried as all that. She got a score of 201 out of 220 and her school want us to appeal. They are willing to support, and be at the appeal with all daughters work plus scores and stuff to back up their feeling that she should be going into the grammar stream next year.
This has taken us by surprise somewhat, she is very studious and loves learning and is a sponge for all knowledge but at no time did we think this was above average.
I cant quote scores and stuff because I dont understand any of it (sorry but I dont) and we were more than happy for her to go to the secondary school of her choice,but this grammar thing has now come up and we dont know if we should pursue it or not. We have spoken to the secondary of our choice since we got her results and they have assured us that she will get a well rounded education with them, but thats it, no real excellence towards those who excell. So far I have followed the headteachers advice and put down the schools in order to include the grammar but thats it really. oh her school expect her to get a 5a or b by the end of year 6, her reading age is for 12 y/o and her maths is also a year ahead.Thats really all I understand about it.


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 Post subject: Re: New to 11plus
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:25 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:30 am
Posts: 2248
First of all, how does your child feel about all this? Does she want to go to the grammar? Do you want her to? You sound kind of luke warm. It sounds like her school think she would thrive there, but still, it's a challenging environment and it would be horrid if she felt shed gone there under the amiable pressure of a school that wanted he to and parents who went along with it. You know her best, if you and she are happy with the local non selective (is it good?) then maybe this is a road you don't want to go along and you should feel happy to say so, depending what your daughter wants. If she first of all, and you, DO want her to go to GS, you are in he he right place for lots of advice, and lots of luck!


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 Post subject: Re: New to 11plus
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:56 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
Posts: 2809
Is the GS right for her in terms of size, facilities etc? Does the secondary school meet these needs better? It sounds like she would be one of the lower kids in the GS - how would she feel about this? (Most GS kids are L6/5A and it sounds like you are thinking 5A/B). As the other poster commented - you sound a bit lacklustre about it all - don't just go along with it because the primary school says you should - an appeal is a massive thing - very stressful - you need to know what you are letting yourself in for! On the other hand, this attitude will really help you not get too overwhelmed if the appeal doesn't go your way!!


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 Post subject: Re: New to 11plus
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:45 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:10 pm
Posts: 1068
Location: Lincolnshire
Welcome!

The success rate of appeals varies significantly between different schools in different parts of the county. Very generally speaking, it would be an extremely uphill slog to get through appeal for a Grammar school in the west of the county with a score of 201 even with excellent academic evidence and compelling mitigating circumstances to explain underperformance in the tests. Almost all successful appeals have scores of 216+.

However, falling rolls and changing demographics in the east of the county have made someschools there more willing to accept alternative academic evidence and the success rate for some of these schools is very much higher.

Much would depend on which school(s) you were considering, how much your child wants to go the grammar school (there is also the chance to try again later on) and how good your alternative school is. Your primary school's willingness to support is a big bonus and I am guesssing that they may have a good idea of the success rate of appeals in your area?


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 Post subject: Re: New to 11plus
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:56 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2013 1:39 am
Posts: 6
Thank you for your responses :)

Yamin, you asked how my daughter feels about all this. She knows that her head teacher want us to appeal because they feel she would be better off at grammar rather than one of the local secondary schools/academies.She is ok with this, although she liked the school on the open evening, she was more concerned to know if any of her friends would be going, and that has been the underlying theme. I have had conversations with various parents and mostly they will go to the same school. She just says she wants to go to a school where there are no boys messing around and where everyone wants to learn,play music (she plays trumpet so wants to go to a school that she will be able to play within the curriculum)and can have hot dinners!

The chosen secondary school is on a par with the others in the area. We are rural so effectively if we exclude the GS we have only one to choose from in the DTA. She doesn't want to go to this one and so we have chosen the further away one which is not in the DTA so we will have to pay if she goes there. The grammar is in the DTA. The school she has chosen is academically ok, but has a better reputation, and I think this is what's behind the Head Teachers request we appeal the 11+. Ofsted stated that 'teaching does not challenge all students, especially the more able...' and that does have me worried because when we visited the school for a chat, we didn't get the feeling that this had changed.. they did say that some of children go on to grammar later on.

Kenyancowgirl, Hi, thanks for your response. The grammar did not seem any better than the chosen secondary school, if anything, they emphasised the exam rates for the school. In the course work we were allowed to see, I didnt see anything that struck me any better than the non selective schools. Daughter liked the school, and thought the children were very polite and nice. We (husband and I) were very underwhelmed by it, but I am not sure what we expected to find, maybe just.. 'more'

Alex, thank you for the welcome.
We are in the East of the county, you sound like you know the county very well. My daughters head teacher says that the grammar is usually under subscribed, but with the changes in population, that is likely to change in years to come. We made a decision not to coach or tutor for our daughter, so the only mitigating circumstance (one I know the head teacher will be mentioning) is that the examiner didn't remind the children how long they had left in the first test. None of the children finished the paper. I only mentioned this to the HT because daughter told me the man forgot to tell them how long they had left. (they had been doing mocks in school and had been told to expect a time reminder) The HT checked with the others who all said the same, and when they came to the second test, they were reminded. I thought the exam was designed like that. The HT is keen to impress upon the appeal board that daughter would have finished/passed that paper had they been reminded of the time. Daughter however told me that if she had rushed, she would not have done it properly! :)

Right now, we are still sitting on the fence, we want the best education we can have for our daughter, and so far I have yet to be convinced that any local school can do this, grammar other otherwise. I dont know enough about the grammar school system or the usual sort to compare differences and make an informed decision and I dont want to make a mistake,my daughters education is far too important to get it wrong.


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 Post subject: Re: New to 11plus
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:32 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:10 am
Posts: 7
If you are thinking of appeal then it might be worth asking the school to have a look at your daughters paper and see how many questions she missed out because of lack of time. This might make a huge difference to your case. I'm also not sure if your primary school can 'be at the appeal' with you. I understood that the Head writes a letter and can provide evidence of academic excellence for you take but not actually be there with you - but I might be wrong. Like others have said GS is a challenging environment and is not for everyone so if you were underwhelmed by it then perhaps look at alternatives.

Also have a look at the Department of Education tables on what mid and high attainers achieve at both schools and you might be surprised at the grades. I was when I looked into them for our area. If Ofsted have highlighted that in the secondary school the teaching doesn't challenge the more able students then I would suggest this is something they are working on and have probably improved on.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do. I assume you have made the GS your first choice and will decide in March whether to appeal or not.


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 Post subject: Re: New to 11plus
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:07 pm
Posts: 501
Chester wrote:
I'm also not sure if your primary school can 'be at the appeal' with you.


The primary school can most definitely be at an appeal and our Head makes a point of attending. You can take anyone to support you though.

You have obviously had a good look round the schools - gut feeling is usually best. But what is interesting here is that the primary school have suggested an appeal. What reason have they given? - They may know a bit more about the chosen school than they have let on. Also in an appeal I would totally disregard the score as unrepresentative of the child's ability. It is not a near miss and it would be difficult to argue that it is, so simply focus on history of attainment and expected attainment.


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 Post subject: Re: New to 11plus
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:47 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:10 pm
Posts: 1068
Location: Lincolnshire
I have sent you a Private Message - pick up at the top left of the forum page where it says "1 new message"


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 Post subject: Re: New to 11plus
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:53 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2013 1:39 am
Posts: 6
Alex wrote:
I have sent you a Private Message - pick up at the top left of the forum page where it says "1 new message"

Hi, I am not sure you were meaning me or another poster? I do not see any new messages at all, my count reads 0.


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 Post subject: Re: New to 11plus
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:55 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2013 1:39 am
Posts: 6
Chester wrote:
I'm also not sure if your primary school can 'be at the appeal' with you. .

Hi Chester, in this area, the Head Teachers do attend appeals with the parents. Ours has already joked about taking up residency at the place where the appeals will be heard for that week. I guess its a case of been there done that, before :)


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