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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:17 pm 
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Hi
We are in the process of appealing for our son who scored 113 and then 119 in the recent bucks 11+ test. I was wondering if someone could give us some advise on how best to present our case. The details are as follows:
He is a late summer born boy. He has historically been very strong at maths, but has shown a vast improvement and interest in literacy over the past 6 months. He is rated 2:1 by his headteacher who has offered full support. Her words on summary sheet: He has my total and absolute support for a grammar school education. He exhibites all the qualities necessary to indicate that a selective education would be most appropriate for him.
His previous verbal reasoning NFER scores - 2009 - 125, 2010 - 123. He did extremely well in all 3 school familiarisation tests, which maybe gave him false hope!
His sats results in year 5 were - Maths 5c, Writing 4B, Reading 4C. His reading age in the summer was 11y10m (his age was 9y11m at the time) He is predicted level 5s at end of year 6.
He is a very competitive child, who lacks confidence within himself ( this has been noted on the heads summary as they have witnessed at school him making himself ill from putting too much pressure upon himself). After the 1st test he was very critical and dissapointed with his performance, which we feel affected his attitude towards the second test.
Other than his lack of self cofidence, we dont have any extenuating circumstances. We would be very grateful for any advise on how to put this info forward, and also if there is anything else we should be including or excluding.
We look forward to hearing from you. Many Thanks in advance


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 7:20 pm 
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Quote:
He is a late summer born boy. He has historically been very strong at maths, but has shown a vast improvement and interest in literacy over the past 6 months. He is rated 2:1 by his headteacher who has offered full support. Her words on summary sheet: He has my total and absolute support for a grammar school education. He exhibites all the qualities necessary to indicate that a selective education would be most appropriate for him.
His previous verbal reasoning NFER scores - 2009 - 125, 2010 - 123. He did extremely well in all 3 school familiarisation tests, which maybe gave him false hope!
His sats results in year 5 were - Maths 5c, Writing 4B, Reading 4C. His reading age in the summer was 11y10m (his age was 9y11m at the time) He is predicted level 5s at end of year 6.
He is a very competitive child, who lacks confidence within himself ( this has been noted on the heads summary as they have witnessed at school him making himself ill from putting too much pressure upon himself). After the 1st test he was very critical and dissapointed with his performance, which we feel affected his attitude towards the second test.
Other than his lack of self cofidence, we dont have any extenuating circumstances.
Welcome, margo

You don't really need to worry much about how to put forward your case. The evidence should speak for itself.
However, what you've written above should do nicely! :)
You've kept the focus on the important points, you've introduced an extenuating circumstance without overplaying it, and have avoided irrelevant matters.

There are factors outside your control which might possibly affect the decision (e.g. what view the panel take of the headteacher's recommendations as a whole), but I don't think there's any more you can do other than to present your case in this concise, honest, straightforward way.

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:05 pm 
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Etienne
Many thanks for your quick response.
As you say, we will keep it brief and direct. I was worried how they would view the 1st score. Also on the point of the headteachers comments. I know they are all compared to check how genuine the support is, but would you think the wording on our summary sounds very strong?
Thanks again


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:51 pm 
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The 113 doesn't help, but it seems to be counterbalanced by some good academic evidence.

The head's comments sound fine to me. In fact, they're so strong you might even be asked why you think he wasn't rated as a '1'. (Perhaps it's the confidence issue?)

What some panels might focus on is how many of the school's '2' recommendations actually qualified. (These figures will be in the appeal papers.) Assuming there's a meaningful number of candidates, a success rate of more than 40-50% would probably be viewed as reasonable, whereas 0% probably would not!

Quote:
He has historically been very strong at maths, but has shown a vast improvement and interest in literacy over the past 6 months.
Could be a useful point to make, with the unspoken suggestion that the VR format of the 11+ may not have fully shown his overall ability.
Try and ensure you have as much evidence as possible of recent rapid improvement in literacy, as this could strengthen your case.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:19 am 
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Etienne
Thanks once again for you reply and advise. :)
We should receive our appeal pack in the next week, so will give the head teachers recommendations a good read to see how reliable they look.
Thanks again, I will keep you informed.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 2:31 pm 
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Hi Etienne

I have just received our appeal papers and have been reading the school recommendations. Our headteacher ratings were:
2:1 6 recommended 0 passed
2:2 6 recommended 2 passed
2:3 2 recommended 1 passed
Theses dont look briliant to me! What do you think?
Thanks once again
I look forward to hearing from you.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:42 pm 
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Dear margo

Could you give the figures for the '1's and '3's as well, so that we have the overall picture?

No need to break them down this time, just the totals will do -
for example:
'1's - 10 recommended - 7 qualified
'3's - 5 recommended - 1 qualified

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:54 pm 
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Etienne

Here are the other break downs:
1s recommended 22 qualified 13
3s recommended 3 qualified 0

Also on the sheet it says there were 29 children not recommended of which none qualified.
Thanks for your help


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:40 pm 
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The school does appear on the surface to have been over-generous. However, there is no longer a direct link between the recommendation and the score, and they could argue that they strongly believe their '2' recommendations to be well-suited to grammar school, while accepting that some of them might have been rather borderline in terms of the 11+ score.

My own view would be that this does nothing to help your case, but nor does it invalidate your other strong points.

It is of course for the individual panel to decide what they think of a head’s recommendations, and some might not even look closely at the appendix to the appeal papers.



    [I've answered Margo's question as best I can, as she was the first to ask this year - but I would not want to get drawn into providing a running commentary on every school's recommendations. Our advice on Bucks recommendations can be found in the Q&As, E9.]

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:53 pm 
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Etienne

Many thanks for your reply, I really appreciate your thoughts.
Only time will tell!!
Happy new year.


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