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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:56 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:05 pm
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Hello All,

Before I go on I'd just like to say it was a godsend to find this forum as the whole appeals process would appear to be a minefield and any advice is exceptionally welcome.

The background to our case is DD unfortuantely didn't get the magic 121 and we're going to appeal (we live in Bucks). We seem to have the right academic ability evidence, i.e:

• Both her Head Teacher and current Class Teacher strongly support her appeal (I have the HT report and will be speaking with CT tomorrow)
• In her Y5 VRTS she received a score of 121
• Her higher VRTS score was 118, although her second paper was lower at 108
• Her academic potential is rated as 1, with her attitude rated as 2, giving her a 1.2 recommendation
• She received Level 3 KS1 SATs
• She has consistently performed well in Reading and Writing scoring 4c for both at the end of Yr4 and improving on this grade to achieve her end of year target of 4a for both at the end of Yr5
• Her reading age has consistently been 2+ years higher since starting school in Reception and she always has a head in a book. Her favourite authors are Enid Blyton, Karen Macrombie, and she has even written a few short stories herself purely for fun
• In the past twelve months her maths grade has become much stronger, reflecting the effort she has put in to improve this, having risen from 3b at the end of Yr4 to 4b at the end of Y5
• She has predicted high level 5s for KS2 in English, Maths and Science
• She is in the top group for Maths and English

However, our biggest problem is we do not have any concrete mitigating circumstances to support our case. The only thing we have that is indisputable is she sat the second paper on her birthday and, by her own admission, the excitement meant she struggled to focus which goes partway to explaining such a lower score. Her HT has said that this demonstrates a degree of immaturity and wouldn't support our case so do we mention it or not?

The only other thing that was happening at the time was younger DD was having trouble settling into reception class (we have just the two girls) and eldest DD was concerned for her. During a break in the days leading up to the first test she'd taken YDD into library (EDD is school librarian) which was against the rules so she was severely reprimanded and was waiting to see if she was going to lose her position which was quite distressing but I'm not sure whether it's worth mentioning it - as it demonstrates she's not averse to flouting the rules, or whether we can prove it had any bearing on the test.

We're planning on getting an education assessment as we it can only help and, if it should be deemed that she's not grammar school material then we'll probably cancel our appeal anyway.

Any advice, tips or pointers would be very welcome.

Thank you


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
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Welcome!

The 121 in year 5 is a bit borderline, and I suspect the panel would like to see something in the mid-120s (to allow for any doubts about how an NFER test in a classroom setting can be compared with the 11+). Having said that, you've a lot of good evidence there, and it is worth appealing. There's also the possibility that the EP report will provide additional support.

Quote:
the excitement meant she struggled to focus which goes partway to explaining such a lower score. Her HT has said that this demonstrates a degree of immaturity and wouldn't support our case so do we mention it or not?
Well, I would have thought a degree of immaturity is an extenuating circumstance! It's certainly worth at least a brief mention.

Quote:
The only other thing that was happening at the time was younger DD was having trouble settling into reception class (we have just the two girls) and eldest DD was concerned for her. During a break in the days leading up to the first test she'd taken YDD into library (EDD is school librarian) which was against the rules so she was severely reprimanded and was waiting to see if she was going to lose her position which was quite distressing but I'm not sure whether it's worth mentioning it - as it demonstrates she's not averse to flouting the rules, or whether we can prove it had any bearing on the test.
The panel won't be concerned about any flouting of the rules.:)
You'll probably be asked exactly when the incident took place, and exactly when the consequences (or lack of them) were known. Obviously you can't prove whether it affected the 11+, but do you have any evidence that the incident occurred, or do you think the school would be willing to confirm it?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:56 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8200
Location: Buckinghamshire
I think it would probably not go amiss to point out the coincidence of the second test falling on her birthday, especially as the drop in scores is quite significant.

A 10 year old will still find birthdays tremendously exciting - cards and presents either just opened, or to be opened later, and possibly more arriving in the post during the day, perhaps a party in the offing, everyone saying "Happy Birthday!" when she arrived at school in the morning ...

Please don't overdo it (as I have just done) at the hearing, but it is worth giving the panel a very small whiff of the excitement, just to let their imagination start to work on it. Many panel members tend to be of "a certain vintage" and they may have forgotten how excited their own children were on their birthdays at the age of 10.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:49 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:05 pm
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Thank you both for your replies.

I will check with the school re the incident with YDD and the library to see if they're happy to confirm the event and timings involved.

Also your points about her birthday are taken on board. I'll mention it but won't harp on it - part of me thinks it only partly explains such a low score on the second paper but has no relevance on her performance in the first anyway.

Fingers crossed


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Dulcie1970 wrote:
Also your points about her birthday are taken on board. I'll mention it but won't harp on it - part of me thinks it only partly explains such a low score on the second paper but has no relevance on her performance in the first anyway.
Exactly, Dulcie. It helps to take the second, lower score out of the frame, and (perhaps) almost erase it.

Despite that her final VRTS was 118, and that is what you must work on, while keeping a weather eye open for the need to explain the lower score.


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