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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 10:06 am 
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Location: Amersham
Dear Forum,
My daughter goes to a Herts school. We live in catchment for a Bucks Grammar so she took the 11+. Scores were 119 and 120. We are going to appeal on academic grounds and have been strongly supported by Headteacher.
Predicted level 5 KS2 with CATS of 113,124 and 130. Recent reading test shows age greater than 15yrs.

We think we have a strong case, but would be grateful for some advice on what to write in our letter for the appeal.
DD was born Nov 30th. Would her score have been higher if she had been born one day later? or been a boy? If so, is this worth mentioning?
As she doesn't go to Bucks school, we got her some coaching.
She had one hour a week from Jan last year up to test date. I know we will get asked this question. Would this amount sound like alot?
I have loads of questions, but will stop for now! Thank you!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 12:19 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi YAK 52

Please look at the Appeal Q&As, Sections B & E. You will find them very informative. The link is at the top of this section.

YAK 52 wrote:
Scores were 119 and 120. We are going to appeal on academic grounds and have been strongly supported by Headteacher.
Predicted level 5 KS2 with CATS of 113,124 and 130. Recent reading test shows age greater than 15yrs.

Which CATs scores are which? If the first is VR then you can argue that the 11+ format would not necessarily reveal your daughter's full ability.

Quote:
LJ was born Nov 30th. Would her score have been higher if she had been born one day later? or been a boy? If so, is this worth mentioning?

There is no difference in the standardisation between boys and girls - it was abolished many years ago. Anyone could argue that a day or two here or there might have made a difference, but it only really makes a difference with very late August birthdays. Focus on your academic evidence instead of quibbling with the system.

Quote:
As she doesn't go to Bucks school, we got her some coaching.
She had one hour a week from Jan last year up to test date. I know we will get asked this question.

Bucks state schools do not coach for the 11+. Did she do the official familiarisation provided by Bucks CC? You are actually not likely to get asked that question, although it might possibly turn up, but in the form of "did you do any other preparation?" The Appeal Q&As will give you some thoughts on how to reply.

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 2:57 pm 
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Thank you Sally Anne,

DD's CATS were Verbal 124 Quantative 113 Non Verbal 130

She did the Bucks prep with us at home.

How will that look, and what should I put as an argument?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 3:38 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi YAK

The Bucks test consists of 18 verbal type questions, 4 maths questions and no non-verbal questions. If your daughter is slightly weaker at maths, it could be that those were her Achilles heel and cost her the one or two missing marks.

The VR test would not have reflected her superior non-verbal ability at all. (130 plus is superior/gifted.)

Hope that helps
S-A


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 4:34 pm 
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Thats very helpful. Thank you for clearing up my other questions. My letter to the panel will be short as you suggest with all the scores as bullet points. I would be very grateful for your thoughts on my short speech at the end......
"Aware as we are of DD's abilities, and taking into account all of the above scores, we were vey surprised that she didn't pass the 11+. We are at a loss to explain why! We can offer no extenuating circcumstances. She is a very happy and stable little girl.
She has matured rapidly in character and outlook over the last year, and we feel confident that she would cope well with the level of commitment, and the academic standards required of her at a Grammar school. We hope that the evidence we are presenting will help to confirm this view.
We look forward to meeting with you, and would be glad to answer your questions".

What do you think?? Sorry to take up so much of your Sunday!!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:02 pm 
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Hi YAK

It is often best to refer back to the educational evidence, rather than fall back on your feelings about your child. The panel know that you think she is wonderful. May I suggest something along these lines instead?

"Although we cannot explain the shortfall of 1 mark on her final VR score, the Head has written that ... and we hope that the panel will feel that his/her statement carries sufficient weight to be able allow our appeal.

Thank you for considering our case and we look forward to answering your questions at the hearing."

S-A


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:56 pm 
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Thank you, that does sound better.

Just latching on to your remark about the 130 Non Verbal score being a gifted level. I expect the panel will know that fact? I wonder why Bucks only test Verbal?

Do you think there is any value in highlighting this in particular? Or are they really only interested in the Verbal as it is the same exam as 11+.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:08 pm 
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YAK 52 wrote:
Just latching on to your remark about the 130 Non Verbal score being a gifted level. I expect the panel will know that fact? I wonder why Bucks only test Verbal?

The panel will know that 130 is the starting point of the "gifted range". Bucks only test verbal because they cling to the belief that it is a good predictor of ability in the great majority of children. There have been a number of discussions about this on the Bucks section of the Forum over several years.

Quote:
Or are they really only interested in the Verbal as it is the same exam as 11+.

The panel will always look at a mis-match between CATs and 11+ scores, but they are not directly comparable. CATs are another type of ability test and the VR CAT is not the same as the Bucks VR test.

S-A


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:39 pm 
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Thank you again.

The Head teacher and other members of DD's teaching year have said very good things of her.They have given an overall assessment of 2 and 2.
Do you agree that we have a strong case?? Very nevous about the whole thing!

I guess we will just give it our best shot!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 7:40 pm 
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Hi YAK

A 2:2 recommendation is fine. Look at the criteria for each of those on the Head's summary sheet.

Keep reminding yourself of the scores. 119, 120, ... They are going in the right direction and the panel will be thinking "what would have happened if there was a third test?" (There used to be three tests some years ago.)

As I said, on two very close scores you do not have a great deal to prove. The success rate for appeals on 119 last year was 65% and on 120 it was 81%.

Sally-Anne


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