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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:01 pm 
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Hi All

DS just has had a shock fail in bucks cc 11 plus with scores of 118 and 119. I would really value any help and advice on the appeal.

He was considered by us and his coach (yes we coached!) to be as close to a dead cert as there ever is- SAS scores of 128, 130 and 135 in the school run cognitive abilities tests in the spring and sailed the 3 mock tests in September (cant find the results as I wasnt expecting to have to appeal!).

His grandfather had a sudden health decline in the 2 weeks before the first test so I was away trying to sort him out as elderly mum couldnt cope and they live far too far away for day trips. Came home to be with DS at the weekend and grandfather died the next day -2 days before the first 11 plus test. No sleep and lots of tears and tantrums from me DS and younger sibling. I was then a bit useless for a few days and then had to zoom off again leaving him with his dad for the whole week (during the second test) as his elderly gandmother just couldnt cope with funeral arrangements etc.

DS was also the victim of 2 reported bullying events at the school in the week before (reported to the school and 1 witnessed by a staff member) which hugely upset him.

Overall I think we have a strong case on the both the academic record and the extenuating circs, but I would really value suggestions as to how to get this across well, and experience of the team to give me some idea of how hopeful I should be?

Suggestions?


Last edited by rubyrubyruby on Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:42 pm 
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So sorry to hear your news, rubyrubyruby.

The CATs look very respectable, but would really need to know more about what other academic evidence - KS2 predictions, for example - you hope to be putting forward, as it's the academic evidence as a whole that is likely to determine the outcome of your appeal.

See academic indicators:
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/11plus ... rs.php#b11

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:57 pm 
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thanks for reply- I dont currently know about any of the predictions- DS is at a private school and I dont know if they even do sats, certainly have never been mentioned. Headmaster gave out a recommendation for whether they were suited to a GS education prior to signing up for the 11 plus as "probably suitable" which doesnt fit any of the listed categories in your E9 list, but we did ask him about it at the time as it seemed surprising and he said it was "not unequivocal but nevertheless a very strong recommendation"

The academic record is pretty strong, with straight a's in maths and science (bar 1 B+) and in fact anything that doesnt require too much writing (like history and geography which are largely B's), but the equivocation is around the fact that he has mild dyslexia/dyspraxia and his writing/secretarial skills are relatively weaker. He has now, on the advice of an OT and with the school's support swapped to using a laptop for almost all written work, which is helping his scores (73% for an english composition exam this term!) but it is early days, and he only has been doing this in all subjects for ths term, and in exams for the first time this October. Thus the 11-plus actually plays to his strengths and should have be a simpler way though.

The story around this is therefore rather more complex and my real quandary is whether to go into this other stuff at all since it is hard to do in a snappy way (he is not formally statemented as it was never required, although we do have reports from specialists and he completed 2 years of regular work with them), or since he was very close and has good relevant test scores and clear extenuating circumstances, we would be better to stick to a simple and straighforward story around that?

many thanks for the wonderful resource here and all who post

R


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:28 pm 
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Quote:
my real quandary is whether to go into this other stuff at all since it is hard to do in a snappy way
Very wise of you - I agree there's a risk of getting bogged down in too much unnecessary detail.

For extenuating circumstances, you need only write a single sentence mentioning grandfather, bullying, and mild dyslexia/dyspraxia. Take any evidence with you to the hearing, but leave it up to the panel to ask questions if they wish to know more. To be honest, with scores of 118/119 you don't need much in the way of extenuating circumstances.

My main concern is the extent of the academic evidence. You have one set of CATs, all of which are good. You don't have any more by chance?

I note the A for maths & science, but it can be difficult for a panel to interpret what that means. No doubt it's defined as 'excellent or 'very good', but one private school' s internal A grade could be another school's B ......
What are the comments like? Are there many references to high achievement?

I think we need to see exactly what the headteacher writes by way of support for the appeal.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:32 pm 
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thanks again for replying..

yes there is more...we will have the 3 11-plus mocks taken at the school in september which were all easy passes, but I can't remember the scores ( I can get them from the school tomorrow). The school reports are pretty good and there are plenty of strong comments ("in his examination he achieved a wonderful result" from his maths teacher in the summer, ...very articulate pupil and orally his language skills are highly developed... excellent reading skills...prodigious reading...in english and "mature pupil who grasps scientific concepts quickly and easily...in science) but we get a booklet with a page per subject each twice a year and each subject broken into separate marks out of 5 for a range of things like content, presentation, effort as well as the exam mark and a paragraph of commentay so there is a great deal of material and I am wary of appearing selective.

It sounds as if I should make the last 3 available (haven't seen the autumn 2010 one yet!) and perhaps draw attention to their positive overall tone. Most of the negative comments are around presentation/documentation skills so there is a consistent theme.

It sounds as if the Headmaster is absolutely key so we will get to him asap. Should we be asking for statements from the maths, english and science teachers to address the above do you think?

I really appreciate your input- have been going mad this weekend

R


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:07 pm 
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Quote:
we will have the 3 11-plus mocks taken at the school in september which were all easy passes
Are these the official practice papers? If so, I'm afraid they won't count as evidence, as the same papers are used every year (they're usually taken home and can be 'circulated'!), and the results are not standardised.

Quote:
Should we be asking for statements from the maths, english and science teachers
This tends to be the norm at private schools. Worth asking - to see what they say.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:52 pm 
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no I dont think they were- they were administered by the school but I have no idea where they came from- I will ask the HM

thanks

R


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:16 pm 
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Saw headmaster today and am relieved to say he has offered his "strongest possible support". DS was graded 2:2 before the exam, and his is clear that they expected him to pass. With good academic data and extenuating circs he feels we have a strong case so I feel less completely panicked. I found it incredibly helpful to have waded through the data here before seeing the HM- gave me much greater specificity in the questions I could ask so thanks.

We now have to focus on pulling it all together..wish us luck and keep sharing- I pick up little tips every day..talking to a relevant professional yesterday she re-iterated the need for data data data, also said to prepare for every question you might get- even the dreaded "have you coached". Also not to get too bogged down in the extenuating circs, particularly if they are very emotive and personal- they may be a really big deal for us, but a brief description and separate personal statement would almost certainly be better than lots of emoting. The academic support is the critical bit.

good luck to all


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:51 pm 
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Sounds positive! :D


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:56 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
rubyrubyruby wrote:
We now have to focus on pulling it all together..wish us luck and keep sharing- I pick up little tips every day..talking to a relevant professional yesterday she re-iterated the need for data data data, also said to prepare for every question you might get- even the dreaded "have you coached". Also not to get too bogged down in the extenuating circs, particularly if they are very emotive and personal- they may be a really big deal for us, but a brief description and separate personal statement would almost certainly be better than lots of emoting. The academic support is the critical bit.

Spot on. :)


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