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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 10:59 am 
My son will sit his 11+ in the Autumn, and I'm concerned that his level of achievement will be affected by his currently 'inadequate' primary education. He goes to the local Primary - and has lots of friends there - but the school got a damning Ofsted report, and has been placed in 'special measures'.

Although I knew the school wans't terrribly academically oriented, he seemed to be doing very well (and I made sure that I kept in regular contact with his teachers and the headteacher). However, it transpires that - apart from poor teaching, the school has been consistently 'over marking' pupils. This only came to light last summer, when the informal year 4 SATs tests were marked externally. My son excels in Maths - but it appears that he has actually made far les porgress in literacy than we had been led to believe. I'm really concerned that this could affect his 11+ (as the school we're looking at has a written paper).

I know that the test results are 'standardised' for age: might the officially recognised poor performance of his Primary be a 'mitigating' cirumstance? Should I make sure it's referred to on the application form - or would I have to wait to make a case for an appeal, if he's not offered a place?

Does anyone have experience of this?

Thanks


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 11:16 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8199
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Bonebird

Welcome to the Forum. I'm sorry to hear of the situation your son is in.

Can you let us know which County/area you are in please - it helps us to advise you better.

You have no opportunity to mention the current school on the Bucks application form, and I am sure the situation is the same everywhere else. The issue only becomesrelevant at an Appeal, should he not pass. Even then it may not necessarily be relevant at an Appeal.

I would focus on helping your son to improve his literacy skills between now and then. On the Home page of this site there are some free downloads from The Tutors and Patricia that give you 11+ vocab lists. They would be a valuable way to start helping him. Make sure he understands the meaning of all the words very clearly.

Have you done any 11+ preparation with him? There are plenty of materials available in the site bookshop and lots of free advice here on the Forum to help you.

Another thing that you might consider doing at this stage, if you can afford it, is to have an Educational Psycholgist's Report done to assess your son's ability. This could be of value at the Appeal, given that any academic evidence from the school is going to be highly questionable.

Take a look at the Forum for your area and at the General topics for more advice and come back to us for more help if you need it.

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 12:19 pm 
Hi Sally-Anne

Thanks for your reply. We're in Devon.

We've been doing a little general 11+ prep with our son, and have recently been doing more intensive literacy work with him. He's got a very good vocabulary, and we've been encouraging him to make more use of it in his writing - as well as working on helping him to structure his written work more clearly. I will look at the downloads....

Is there a register of Educational Psychologists - in case we feel we should get a report as potential 'insurance'?

Thanks again


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 1:27 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8199
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Bonebird

You can search the Directory of Chartered Psychologists here. A quick search for Educational Psychologists and South West brings up around 50 names.

http://www.bps.org.uk/e-services/find-a-psychologist/psychoindex.cfm

An assessment usually costs around £400, although that can vary a little by region and according to the reasons for it.

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 9:34 am 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:03 pm
Posts: 1827
Location: Gloucestershire
If you do get an Ed. Phsyc. report, only take it to the appeal if it shows your son has had problems.

I've had a few presented to my panel in the past that have been inconclusive to put it mildly - so if it says that your child is of average intelligence, it really is doing harm to the case!

If it says yur child is exceptionally bright, but underachieving due to poor schooling / not being given hard enough (or interesting) work, then do bring it - it's very useful to us on panels.

Capers

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Capers


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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 11:45 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8199
Location: Buckinghamshire
capers123 wrote:
If it says yur child is exceptionally bright, but underachieving due to poor schooling / not being given hard enough (or interesting) work, then do bring it - it's very useful to us on panels.


Sound advice on all points Capers. I am hopeful that this latter point is what a report might prove - I can't see how Bonebird could make a success of an Appeal without some independent evidence of academic ability.

Let's hope she doesn't need it in the final analysis!

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 9:01 am 
Capers and Sally-Anne

Thanks very much for the advice. I understand what you mean re the need for any Ed. Psych, report to demonstrate that a child is exceptionally bright (and therefore underachieving due to the examples you cite) if it's to do any good in appeal.

If I can find the money, is it worth getting that done now - or would I have time (if he is denied a place) to organise that for an appeal?

Thanks again
Bonebird


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:03 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8199
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Bonebird

If you can manage to do it beforehand (but not too long before) then I think it would be better. Ed Psychs can get very booked up a long way ahead, and trying to find one with a vacant appointment will only add to your stress in the hectic run-up to an Appeal.

A report that post-dates a "fail" in the 11+ can tend to look like a panic measure to a panel, although you could explain that you considered the idea some months earlier but didn't want to have to spend money you can ill-afford until you knew the report was needed.

One option might be to book a date with an Ed Psych now for an assessment within the week after the result is due, but on the understanding that if he passes, you will not need the appointment? A sympathetic Ed Psych might be willing to waive any cancellation fee (if they levy one, which no all of them do) if you explain the situation upfront.

With the current situation at the school, you might find the report valuable anyway, as you really have very little indication of where your son stands on ability or achievement. (However, it isn't a cheap way to find out! How frustrating for you!)

Best wishes
Sally-Anne


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