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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:37 pm 
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Location: Bucks
Our DS scored 112 and 117 respectively. No strong extenuating circumstances

Despite this, we strongly believe he's GS material, reinforced after talking to the HT, so we are going to appeal. Given all this upset and stress we just wouldn't go through it all if we didn't think he would thrive there.

Year 6 (C) CAT scores (Oct 2010) were VR 130 QA 141 NVR 124 mean 132
Year 5 (B) CAT scores (Oct 2009) were VR 123 QA 131 NVR 128 mean 127

QCA optional SATS 2010 reading 125, maths 131
QCA optional SATS 2009 reading 140+, maths 127
KS2 Sats predictions are (I understand, although need to get in writing) : English 5b, Maths 5a, Science 5a
Strong HT support: 2.2

Goes without saying that the school expected a qualification. It is upsetting that he isn't part of the ~30% who will go on to GS, sigh. As they say, he just didn't make the grade :-(

Q: We'll take his school books to the appeal - Do we take them all?

Historically he is stronger in Maths than English but he's definately developing in English as he matures. His vocab and spelling could be better, but his love of reading has grown significantly over the last year. I think that shows in his CATS. Overall he seems to have a consistent record of good academic achievement, all backed up by his school reports.

He sat the 2nd test later the following week as he wasn't well (very heavy cold and hacking cough). Symptoms appeared the Friday after the first test and he took several days off the following week. He did say he found it hard to concentrate on the 1st test, so he might well have been under the weather for that. A blip? He also may not have been 100% for the 2nd test taken a few days later than his peers, but we thought he was, as did he. He was very anxious about sitting it late though as all his school friends had already finished. He seemed relieved to get it done, as did we. With hindsight it's easy for us to think we probably should have delayed the 2nd test but the process is so stressful for all concerned we all just wanted it finished and of course we thought he had recovered. Of course we have no medical evidence for what was just a heavy cold and slight chest infection, sigh.

Obviously he's devastated and I think a tad embarrased amongst his peer group which we've tried to help him deal with as best we can :cry: I feel stupid providing illness as an excuse when we are told beforehand that it can't be used, but I guess it's a fine balance between being under the weather and feeling 100% and who knows, that could be the difference, a few raw score marks due to speed or clarity of thought? So frustrating. Can I bring this up? Will it count against us if I do? Other than that we don't have an explanation.

Q: Is there a template that I can borrow/plagiarise from someone for putting together the appeal?

There's an awful lot of very useful info on here to wade through - thanks to everyone for the all previous input as it's already worth it's weight.
Any more advice will be gratefully received.

thx, wels.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:59 pm 
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welbury wrote:
Year 6 (C) CAT scores (Oct 2010) were VR 130 QA 141 NVR 124 mean 132
Year 5 (B) CAT scores (Oct 2009) were VR 123 QA 131 NVR 128 mean 127

Extremely good - anything over 130 places him in the gifted range, and all the scores are comfortably within the top 25%. Very strong evidence.

Quote:
QCA optional SATS 2010 reading 125, maths 131
QCA optional SATS 2009 reading 140+, maths 127
KS2 Sats predictions are (I understand, although need to get in writing) : English 5b, Maths 5a, Science 5a
Strong HT support: 2.2

Those look fine. I am slightly surprised that the Head has only rated him a 2:2. On the basis of all that information I would have thought a 1:2 might have been more appropriate. You might like to ask the Head what prevented him/her from giving him a "1" for academic ability.

Quote:
Q: We'll take his school books to the appeal - Do we take them all?

Year 5 and Year 6 for Maths, English and Science, plus others that may help the panel to see a good, consistent standard. You do not have to take books that will not help your case.

Quote:
Historically he is stronger in Maths than English but he's definately developing in English as he matures. His vocab and spelling could be better, but his love of reading has grown significantly over the last year. I think that shows in his CATS. Overall he seems to have a consistent record of good academic achievement, all backed up by his school reports.
Good.

Quote:
He sat the 2nd test later the following week as he wasn't well (very heavy cold and hacking cough). Symptoms appeared the Friday after the first test and he took several days off the following week. He did say he found it hard to concentrate on the 1st test, so he might well have been under the weather for that.

Worth a mention.

Quote:
He also may not have been 100% for the 2nd test taken a few days later than his peers, but we thought he was, as did he. He was very anxious about sitting it late though as all his school friends had already finished. He seemed relieved to get it done, as did we. With hindsight it's easy for us to think we probably should have delayed the 2nd test

Tread carefully - the rules are clear that a child should not take the test if he is unwell. You might be better saying that "obviously the cold could have lingered a at least a week or more, so he took the second test when we judged that he was fit to return to school, although he did of course still have a few symptoms - a blocked nose, a bit of a cough ... nothing that would prevent him attending school normally though".

Were there any problems with administration or invigilation of the 2nd test?

Quote:
a few raw score marks due to speed or clarity of thought? So frustrating. Can I bring this up? Will it count against us if I do? Other than that we don't have an explanation.

There is little point in referring to raw scores. Panels work with standardised scores.

Quote:
Q: Is there a template that I can borrow/plagiarise from someone for putting together the appeal?
Please read the appeal Q&As http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/11plus ... nswers.php particularly E11.

Which month was he born in?

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:32 pm 
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Thanks so much Sally-Anne.
I like your approach to the cold issue - I don't want it to look like we are using it as an excuse really but tbh that's the only explanation we have.. so we need to tread carefully as you say.
It's a good point re the 2:2. I might ask. There was some discussion around it being a 2:1 but 1:2 wasn;t mentioned and it's all very new to us, so we tended to get led in the discussion.

There were no issues re the 2nd test - he was just releived it was over to be honest. He was very anxious beforehand but we got no mention from him of anything else. I've asked him and he says it was fine.

He's November born and small for his age, a slow developer.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:46 pm 
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Quote:
It's a good point re the 2:2. I might ask. There was some discussion around it being a 2:1 but 1:2 wasn;t mentioned and it's all very new to us, so we tended to get led in the discussion.

For ability, 1=exceptionally highly recommended, 2= highly recommended. For attitude to work, 1=Self-starter. Independent worker. Consistent. Highly motivated, 2=Independent. Hardworking. Reliable.

I suspect the Head has used the Year 5 VR CAT scores to produce the recommendations, and recommended anyone on 130+ as a 1, and the 120s as 2s. Heads are told specifically not to use one single measure, such as a test score to produce the recommendations, but they still persist in doing so.

I think you should definitely ask why the recommendation was only a 2.

Quote:
There were no issues re the 2nd test - he was just relieved it was over to be honest. He was very anxious beforehand but we got no mention from him of anything else. I've asked him and he says it was fine.

Perhaps he rushed it a little because he was so keen to get it over with?

Quote:
He's November born and small for his age, a slow developer.

He wasn't premature, by any chance?

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:14 pm 
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I've asked my other half and actually it was mentioned, as was the attitude mark. Apparently they rarely give out 1's unless really exceptional. Rightly or wrongly we didn't argue the point.

I wouldn't be surprised if he rushed things. Being anxious creates tension and that can lead to rushing, at least for me it does, so he's probably similar

He wasn't premature no but we do have medical evidence confirming delayed development from a test done in the previous year as part of a medical investigation. It's not something I'd thought about before and I can't go into it in detail on here but now you mention it, maybe the age standardisation has put him at a slight disadvantage in that regard? Hmm interesting. Not sure how that would go down with the panel? Do they take these things into consideration?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:44 pm 
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Quote:
Historically he is stronger in Maths than English but he's definately developing in English as he matures. His vocab and spelling could be better, but his love of reading has grown significantly over the last year. I think that shows in his CATS. Overall he seems to have a consistent record of good academic achievement, all backed up by his school reports.
That could be an excellent comment to put to the panel.

The subtext is that VR may not be the ideal measurement of your son's ability (but don't go so far as to say that!). Even so, he's making great strides with English now .....

It's a better extenuating circumstance than a cold .....

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 6:04 pm 
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welbury wrote:
He wasn't premature no but we do have medical evidence confirming delayed development from a test done in the previous year as part of a medical investigation. It's not something I'd thought about before and I can't go into it in detail on here

If you would like our views on this, please read about our AppealsBox facility:
viewtopic.php?t=9907


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 10:24 pm 
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Hi Sally-Anne/Etienne,

PM sent to appeals box. Thank you.

Etienne, thanks I agree. I'm not happy using a cold as an extenutating circumstance. The appeal must get that a lot. It was more than a basic cold tbh, more flu like, however we may just mention it if and when they ask as to whether we know any reason for the shortfall. I certainly do think that it's worth a mention for the 112 mark, as it's quite likely he wasn't 100% and symptoms weren't apparent, but I don't want to make a big thing of it. It wouldn't explain all the shortfall there IMO.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:03 am 
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Thanks for the additional information you sent in.
Quote:
I'm not sure what to do with this, if anything at all. I thought this evening that we could just take it along with us and mention it when inevitably asked if we had any explanation for the shortfall in marks. Almost just introducing it to sow the seed of an idea that he may have been at a slight disadvantage
I like your approach very much. It's preferable to submit any evidence in advance, so it might be better to include the letter in with your appeal submission but without comment. Let the panel question you about it if they wish (I think they will) - keep your replies low key.

Similarly with the cold. Worth a very brief mention, although this could be raised for the first time at the hearing. Same low key approach.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 6:57 pm 
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Thanks Etienne and Sally-Anne for looking at this. I'm going to take your advice and am putting it altogether now and we'll hope for the best.

thanks again, wels.


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