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 Post subject: Failed!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:33 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:27 am
Posts: 11
We've got the bad news we didn't get into Caterham. We can plee our case to the head in a letter. Of course I've included all the essentials like sibling in school already, support at home etc. how can I increase my chances to get into school. I've no idea how badly my son failed and I guess I won't but it really couldn't have been a bad fail as he was more than ready to sit that exam.


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 Post subject: Re: Failed!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:55 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
Posts: 8112
Hi Greeendragon and welcome

I have moved your post to the independent schools section as you are likely to get some more info there.

The problem with independent schools is that they don't usually have an appeals system as such, at least not a statutory defined one like state schools. Each independent school is their own admission authority and tp be honest if they say yes or no then they don't have to do any more.

However as you have another child at the school I would hope that is reasonable for the staff at Caterham to give you rather more information as to why your other DC hasn't got in.

Also you could perhaps discuss if there are other options eg admission at 13 and whether that would be worth considering, also whether they are running a waiting list for places.


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 Post subject: Re: Failed!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:06 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:17 pm
Posts: 21
Sorry to hear that Greendragon it's so stressful! I don't know the school that you are talking about but the only thing I can tell you is that it is always worth pushing with an Independent school especially if you have a sibling there. Even if you didn't get a place at all initially I know of cases where there has been a place a year later, either way it is really important to write and tell them that it is your top choice and that you would take the place up.


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 Post subject: Re: Failed!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:35 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:27 am
Posts: 11
Yes, I'm in middle of concocting a response to the rejection letter. In addition I've got my sons english tutor helping me. It like the hardest letter I've had to write as I feel everything depends on it. I've included his age, sibling, my connection with school as I'm an ex student, his recent grades which are all above average, his sports, his personality, how much support he gets and how active he will be in the school.
Apart from grovelling on hands and knees I just don't know what else to do.

Yes I'm going to express that any place that comes available at anytime of year we'd gratefully accept it.

Its crazy, we are 2 mins away from school and our reluctant 2 Nd choice is 30 mins drive away. I'm devestated. I shall do all I can though.


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 Post subject: Re: Failed!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:47 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:52 pm
Posts: 737
Greendragon, I am very sorry - what a horrible day for you all (been there, done that - DD now in Year 9 at a school I never would have thought of 4 years ago and doing well and is happy but still remember those dark 'rejection' days too vividly.) :(

I know Caterham School quite well - I have a relative there now and another who worked their 1970s-1990s. You are not the first person I have heard of who has had a sibling turned down.

Do you mind me asking, is the sibling doing well at the school or does she/he struggle and require a lot of additional help?


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 Post subject: Re: Failed!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:57 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:17 pm
Posts: 21
I have been there Greendragon and completely understand how hard it is. The school will take note I am sure! It took a year for me but now well settled into the school. What is rather galling now is that the child that didn't get in at 11+ is in the top set for Maths and at parent's evening told top band for English so just shows how crazy the system is. I think it really does make a difference if the school knows that you will take the place any time.... good luck!!


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 Post subject: Re: Failed!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:00 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
Posts: 8112
Hi Greendragon

Have they actually suggested that you right in response to the letter?

If not am just wondering if it is worth waiting until you can have a chat (if you haven't already) to see why he was not offered a place - then you may be able to target the letter better, rather than putting in everything at this stage. For example if it is that they are concerned about one subject , say English, then you can get the tutor to be more specific or speak to them.


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 Post subject: Re: Failed!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:54 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:27 am
Posts: 11
DS current Headmaster won't tell me what score he got but he may have scored badly cross the board. We've tutored for 6 months and his marks shot right up, nevertheless maths is something he struggles in but for let's say his creative writing, often he will get A*. He is an August child but i was told they mark according to age. Caterham told me this and also told me that if he's border line they will look at his school report and other factors, including interview. His current prep school actually told me they were going to recommend him as a Caterham candidate.

Yes Caterham have told me to plee my case via letter or email.

Older brother is doing OK, saying that he has done well in his iGCSE's got A* physics and A* biology, 2A's 3B's and a C(geog) He's now in caterham 6th form studying Maths, Physcis, English and Business studies. So actually I think he's doing blooming well considering I'm not exactly an academic myself nor his dad!

I can't beleive how badly I've taken it, seriously, I can burst into tears at any time! I've even told myself that as long as we are all healthy what does it matter, as there are far worse things that can happen in life!

My little boy is the sweetest boy you could ever meet! :(

Thank you everyone for responding.


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 Post subject: Re: Failed!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 3:32 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 5921
I know nothing of you, the school or your son: but that word 'failed!' is one of the saddest titles I have ever seen on this forum. :(

I do sympathise with you as one of my children some time ago did not reach the pass mark for a school we wanted; but please please don't let your son see this or think he has indeed 'failed' (I'm sure you won't, but...). These exams are brutally unfair sometimes and so much depends on one short day - they are very young to have to be put through it and live with the consequences, as well as seeing what effect it has on their poor parents. Maybe if you stress some of the 'lottery' aspects to him he can be helped to feel better and this in turn may help you too. Children are enormously, shockingly resilient, especially if we can support them to deal with disappointment; and sometimes a year or two down the line things look a little different. Life chucks all sort of **** at us and how we deal with it is often the making of us. It is more character-building quite often not to get what we want than to get it. I know it sounds trite but I do believe people who have suffered setbacks often make the best human beings.

Good luck to you all - I hope you find a way through that you are happy with.


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 Post subject: Re: Failed!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 3:47 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 6682
Location: Herts
Can't your Head at least give you some idea of what the situation is? It will be a lot easier to write the letter if you know what you are facing. What was the format of the exam? I have been involved in drafting two emails to different schools for candidates who did not get to interview and both have resulted in detailed responses from the school, one came personally from the Head and identified the paper that had been weaker and the second gave the candidate another option. So you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Does the school have past papers that you were able to use? Do you think the Maths was the problem? Do you know any other candidate who did get an offer this year?


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