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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:09 pm 
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David Boyle's report for the Cabinet Office has now been published and would interest parents thinking of sending children to the grammar schools.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-21180679

Although the news headlines mention support for the poor children, there are parts of the report which deals with the involvement of schools in the local community.

It suggests that "state-funded schools which do not adopt some responsibility for the wider well-being of their neighbourhood may not be fulfilling the social contract that people might reasonably expect of them".

Most of the Tiffins intake is anything but local.

It is no secret that most children coming to super-selectives such as Tiffins are intensively coached and heavily prepared for the entrance tests, as they are expected to score higher and higher each year.

On the other hand, if the Kent model is adopted whereby admission is given by distance subject to passing the test i.e. achieving a minimum standard, the need for coaching would reduce and make it more affordable to prepare for the entrance tests of the grammar schools.

While the DIY option is always open to all children alike (poor, not-so-poor, well-offs and mega-rich), coaching will not go away. But sensible admission policies would make the need for it a lot less than at present.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:44 pm 
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On the other hand, if the Kent model is adopted whereby admission is given by distance subject to passing the test i.e. achieving a minimum standard, the need for coaching would reduce and make it more affordable to prepare for the entrance tests of the grammar schools.

This is the model in Bucks where coaching has increased to such an extent that very high scores were needed this year to pass and now they are changing the cam in an effort to attempt to make it more "tutor proof".


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:18 pm 
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My understanding is that the Bucks model is based on catchment area. Place is offered to highest scorer (thereby, a need to perform strongly) who lives in the catchment area and has also scored atleast 121 average. Another difference is Bucks is opt-out model i.e. all the year 6 children are automatically enrolled for the selection tests.

CEM is not tutor proof; it may be at present, relatively tutor-proof. It's VR is more of English and requires more thorough understanding of grammar, vocab, cloze and comprehension. It's also a test of speed and accuracy. You will see that for CEM, coaching and practice will start much earlier than that for GL, as it will have a different focus.


Last edited by tiffinboys on Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:58 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:24 pm 
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tiffinboys wrote:
My understanding is that the Bucks model is based on catchment area. Place is offered to highest scorer (thereby, a need to perform strongly) who lives in the catchment area and has also scored atleast 121 average.

Score (other than a qualifying mark of 121) plays no part in the allocation of places in Bucks. The test used until this year was not the average of 2 papers - a qualifying mark on either paper was all that was required.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:28 pm 
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Thanks, Sally-Anne.

Does distance from school matters, if one gets 121 in any of the 2 papers and lives within the catchment of the grammar school?

Would it be correct to say that there is no pressure to score as high as possible, unlike super-selectives like Tiffin?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:43 pm 
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tiffinboys wrote:
Does distance from school matters, if one gets 121 in any of the 2 papers and lives within the catchment of the grammar school?

Yes, distance does matter for some schools. In most cases all children in catchment will get a place at their first preference catchment school, but some are over-subscribed even within catchment.

Quote:
Would it be correct to say that there is no pressure to score as high as possible, unlike super-selectives like Tiffin?

Absolutely correct. That is why we don't allow posting of scores on the Bucks section (other than for specific reasons) because otherwise we would get a stream of people posting "so proud of DD - 141/141", which is just bragging in the context of the Bucks system.

When referring to the Kent model it is worth remembering that half the system works like Bucks, and the other half is super-selective.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:49 pm 
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Sally-Anne wrote:
When referring to the Kent model it is worth remembering that half the system works like Bucks, and the other half is super-selective.


Kent has, I believe, 34 grammar schools. Only 3 (Skinners/Judds/Dartford) are super-selectives. I believe the rest follow distance/minimum core (360/420) policy, but I will check that again.


Last edited by tiffinboys on Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:06 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:02 pm 
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I was curious about this. From the information about different regions section:

Quote:
The minimum qualifying score in 2011 was an aggregate score of 360 across the VR, NVR and maths papers, with no paper scoring less than 119. Schools in East Kent allocate places by distance and therefore any mark over 360 is irrelevant beyond the fact that the child has qualified. Schools in West Kent (many of them the so-called “super-selectives”) allocate school places by score, in descending order and therefore the child’s final score is of critical importance.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:07 pm 
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tiffinboys wrote:
Kent has, I believe, 34 grammar schools. Most follow distance/minimum score policy and only 3 (Skinners/Judds/Dartford) are super-selectives.

I think there's a few more - Tonbridge is one that comes to mind. "Half" was more because East Kent/West Kent is the usual description of the split.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:28 am 
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Sally-Anne, you are right that Tonbridge also gave admissions on highest score basis, but 115 places to the girls residing within Kent selective admission area, and upto 35 seats to girls from outer areas; also from 2014, they are narrowing their catchment area to 3 councils only within Kent County.

In fact, as this school is in the middle of the proposed catchment area and a large number of Kent children score 420/420, only the girls from the immediate area outside of Tonbridge council catchment (towards Horley to the West and Staplehurst to the East) are likely to be eligible for the OOC places from 2014.

http://www.tgs.kent.sch.uk/admissions/


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