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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:47 pm 
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Location: London
Just got back from the Wilsons open day. I was pleasantly surprised as to how we were able to move around the school at ease (compared to Tiffin last year)

Those of you who are first timers.. what are your thoughts on the school?

The head spoke about joint working with Wallington Grammar, as a result this year children will not be given their scores for either school but will receieve a standard letter saying whether your DC has passed or not. Both school letters will have the exact same wording.

I am a little disappointed about this, but I understand the reasoning behind this.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 7:17 am 
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Hello sm2

So i am confused,will they tell you whether your score is good enough for an offer? If not then i don't understand what the point of the early exams is then?

I didnt attend either tiffin or wilsons open days last year,but Wallington's was slow going and stuffy!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:04 am 
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All children will recieve a standard letter stating whether or not they have passed the test. This will not state how well they have passed the test or offer guarateed places.

I am not sure I like the new system and I think your right, what was the point.

I did hear through the grapevine that Wilson wanted to be in line with Wallington tests due to children failing wally tests and then working really hard and passing Wilsons. On the flip side children being offered a wally place and then relaxing before Wilsons test.

Both schools want the system to be fairer and ease the stress of having to still focus on testing 3 months later.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 5:47 pm 
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Sorry - I don't understand the reasoning behind this change. Knowing the test scores is very helpful in determining the likelihood or otherwise of being offered a place. More boys pass the test than will eventually be accepted to the schools so how does this aid parental decision making or aid the schools at all? I do not think the exam process will be any more or less daunting for the children on the back of this change either.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:52 am 
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I prefer the new process because applications will be made on behalf of boys who are deemed to be of selective ability.

It is impossible to know whether a place is likely to be offered based on the score because it is impossible to know how many boys took the test and what their scores were!

In any event Wilsons do not reveal the score as I am sure it would be a nightmare if the boys began discussing "who came where" once they started school.

When we went through the process I believe if you pass the test they do not tell you your score (just in case you end up at the school) however I know that Wallington do tell you what your score was if you did not pass.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:24 pm 
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Oh dear - at the risk of sounding very dim: as I understood it many more boys pass the test than will actually be offered a place. So if your child is deemed "of selective ability" this actually tells you very little about their chance of being offered a place and therefore your realistic options for naming schools on your preference sheet.

I thought the point of early testing was to establish whether or not your child was likely to be awarded a place so that you did not "waste" one of the preferences.

I am thinking (for example) of boroughs where you only get 3 choices. If your child is deemed "of selective ability" at all three boy's grammar schools, you would be foolish not to put all three down on your form. But equally your child might only have just scraped a pass mark in each test and not be in the final selection for any. You would then be in the position of having no Grammar School place and no preferred state school place either.

Have I missed something here - I am sure I must have?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:50 am 
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supermum2 wrote:
I am not sure I like the new system and I think your right, what was the point.
.

As both headmasters said in their speeches, it's so that people put their --real-- order of preference on the form. People, apparently, were putting the school where they got the highest score 1st on the list as they didn't understand the way the allocation system works.
This is fine for us as we can put down up to 6 schools but can see it could be a problem for people that can only put 3.
Early testing is good for us as we can get it over with well before xmas!


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 8:36 am 
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I am trying to think of any process that would allow a guarantee of a place but cannot. Even the sibling/church affilation advantages no longer apply!

As far as being left without a place this is a very real possibility and is the reason many parents apply to an independent school as "insurance".

I despair why in this country/day and age all children cannot have a suitable school.

I would like to see one boy's grammar, one girl's grammar and one mixed grammar school open in Croydon borough.

The state schools are just not up to scratch. The grammar systems works however there are not enough places for all who pass the test and those who just miss out also deserve a grammar school place!

What can we do?

My social conscience never sleeps as I know that if the parents on this forum put our children into the local comp, standards would definitely rise however I cannot bring myself to risk my son's education and why should you!

And so the gap widens......


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 11:12 am 
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lamum - I agree with you. I think most people are (rightly) so focused on just getting through the process and finding an acceptable school place that any thoughts of instigating wider changes are very much forgotten.

When my child was in Year 2 or 3, I had the strange notion that parents could choose a school. After all the schools have open evenings and I assumed that we would look at the 2 or 3 closest ones and decide which one best suited our child. I then found out that the one we liked (aside from the Grammar Schools) actually has, for all intents and purposes, a catchment area of about 1km because nobody living as far away as we do had ever got a place. We are within a mile of that school!

I also had the notion that any child in the top set at school would have a reasonable chance of achieving a Grammar School place. I then found out just how few children in each class get into Grammar School from our local state school, how high the standard has become and how many children from all over London apply for the relatively few places available.

It has come as quite a surprise and we have made decisions (a house move ensuring 6 choices on the preference sheet fpr example) on the back of what we have found out. Parents with much younger children still talk at the school gates about which schools they may or may not choose in the future with no idea at all that zero choice exists (unless you happen to live 600m or less from 2 different schools which is very unlikely here or have a child that is absolutely guaranteed a Grammar School place - again a very rare occurrence now)


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