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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:04 pm
Posts: 18
Location: croydon
Hi this is my first post and I am considering appealing my son's failure to pass local grammar exam by one half mark. He scored well in maths and vr but his english let him down. His teacher says he is capable of level 5 performance but thinks he probably let himself down under exam conditions by not checking etc etc. This rings true and has been a long-standing problem with him. All other areas excellent. His academic record to date has been outstanding and he is predicted level 5s everywhere else. His HT was surprised he did not pass and has agreed to support an appeal if I go ahead. I just wonder if I should try and come up with a reason why he did not do well, or whether to just be honest and say that he had a bad day and try to demonstrate his ability by submitting his classwork, some of which is really great. Any advice would be great, thanks.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:49 pm
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Location: berkshire
My personal opinion would be to go with HT support and the academic evidence.
I would think you would be asked if there was any reason that he did not achieve the pass mark. At this point you can say that you cannot be sure but possibly due to exam conditions he most probably didn't go back and check his work on the English paper.

To miss it on half a mark is very unfortunate but it means that there isn't a big discrepancy to explain.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:04 pm
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Location: croydon
Hi Chad, thanks for your reply. I always believe it's best to be honest, rather than try and invent a reason. but 'nerves' just feels like a feeble excuse and surely nerves affect most boys? It's so frustrating as I know how creative and imaginative his writing can be, and how good he is at grasping the essence of a piece of prose, but I can just picture the rambling scrawl on his exam paper and want to cry!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:55 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:49 pm
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Location: berkshire
Quote:
I know how creative and imaginative his writing can be, and how good he is at grasping the essence of a piece of prose,


Exactly... and this is the evidence that needs to be presented to the panel. I don't know the make up of the 11+ in your area but please include factors that are tested. If there is comprehension then evidence from the school of high ability in comprehension is needed.... if this is backed up by the teacher indicating top group in school..... high Sats predictions in English then all the better.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:25 pm
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DJ wrote:
Hi Chad, thanks for your reply. I always believe it's best to be honest, rather than try and invent a reason. but 'nerves' just feels like a feeble excuse and surely nerves affect most boys?

Just because nerves affected yours, doesn't mean they affected all boys - I say this not to squash you, but encourage you! Meaning: I think it's got to be worth a shot. My sons were both, in their own ways sublimely indifferent and un-nervous - one chipper and cheery, the other determined with a steely core. Thank God!! But, being the nervous type myself, I very much know how utterly crippling they can be; I cannot interview for toffee and become a complete wreck - brain empties, shaking, feelings of intense inadequacy, immediate assumption that everyone else more capable and worthy than you. Very dispiriting and, in my case, all but impossible to overcome. Surely succumbing to feelings such as this has to have some validity??


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
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Quote:
Surely succumbing to feelings such as this has to have some validity??
I agree. The difficulty for an appeal panel is that 'nerves' are frequently raised as an issue. Ideally they need some sort of evidence to help distinguish between routine 'butterflies in the tummy' and a serious case of nerves - for example, a letter from the class teacher confirming that the child has a nervous disposition, and citing some instances when this has been apparent.

_________________
Etienne


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:04 pm
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Location: croydon
Thank you Etienne, Milla and Chad for being kind enough to help. Feeling worn out with thinking about it all. Spoke with the school today, last year 36 appeals, only one upheld, and that boy had passed the exam anyway; no precedent for turning a fail into a pass. To be honest, I don't know if he was nervous anyway- he came out saying it was really tough and he wished he could do it again, but I think that was because he wanted it so much. I just don't think he realised how hard he had to try - his junior school plays lip-service to SATS and the only two exams he has ever taken in his life he sailed through. I've spent the last few weeks reading all the posts on this website and can't believe how hard people try for their children - I had no idea there was all this activity and preparation going on. I guess I was niave and thought that if he was clever enough, had a little bit of coaching to get him used to papers, and had enough sleep, that would be enough (in a massive nutshell). I'm grappling with a huge sense that I have let him down by not pushing him enough, and wonder if I should take on this massive battle with such low odds to try to rectify what I failed to do before.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:23 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:33 am
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I would have a go. You have nothing to lose.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:01 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:25 pm
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DJ wrote:
I've spent the last few weeks reading all the posts on this website and can't believe how hard people try for their children - I had no idea there was all this activity and preparation going on. I guess I was niave and thought that if he was clever enough, had a little bit of coaching to get him used to papers, and had enough sleep, that would be enough (in a massive nutshell).

Tell me about it, it's a whole parallel universe, the knows and the know-nots and I so agree with you - I was pretty naive first time round and this site came as one huge revelation when it came to DS2. A twilight zone of sussed people, the likes of which you never meet in Real Life!
Feeling guilty that I let my DS1 off as pretty much lamb to the slaughter. He DID have tutoring, but it was a group thing and low key cf lots here. I read on one strand recently something like, "even doing just one hour a day during the summer holidays or 2 half days ..." It was that "even" and that "just." Even (!) with DS2 we only did about 40 minutes a week because, frankly, life has to go on and running around / slouching about was preferable to more b****y VR!
What's the option like that you've been given? A school you could be happy with?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 3:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:04 pm
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Location: croydon
Thanks Milla. I've spoken with my HT and she happy to support so have decided to go ahead. Showing my ignorance here, can I use his high VR score to support my claim of his ability in English? Does it help to demonstrate his capability, or will I make myself look stupid by using it as evidence (I'm thinking of the actual appeal panel rather than the appeal document that I submit).


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