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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:55 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:10 pm
Posts: 4
Hi

I'm after some advice. DD scored 119 in both tests taken in Bucks and like many parents we were very surprised as DD was scoring between 85-90% at home. DD is in top sets for all subjects in school – 5a in English, 5b in Maths and reading age of 14 years (DD is 10 years old). DD’s teacher predicts that DD should be a level 6 at the end of year 6.

The school does not conduct CATs and do not have a gifted and talented programme.

I am going to try and keep the description of the extenuating circumstance brief:
We moved to Bucks about a year ago and found out about the 11 + around Easter this year. I have a severely disabled child who is younger than DD and before moving to Bucks it did not affect DD as I had a lot of family support – which I no longer had when we moved. Soon after moving to Bucks I had a baby who was unexpectedly a complete handful and as a result I relied a lot on DD to help me with DD’s special needs sibling over the last 10 months as my partner was working two jobs (e.g. help with dressing, feeding, toileting, going to appointments etc.). A couple of professionals who saw DD with sibling during appointments commented that DD should assessed to see if DD is a young carer – DD was assessed and in October DD was told that DD was a young carer and now has access to various services for emotional support and carer activites/advice.

DD’s school levels were not hugely affected, however the quality of work was affected and DD’s teacher commented that DD seemed to rush work so that DD could do something ‘fun’, I have a feeling that DD may have rushed the test paper – DD completed both papers and found them straightforward. I'm feeling very guilty about the situation as I know that DD is academically very capable and could have perhaps performed better had the additional pressure not been there - DD has been very upset since Friday.

I am not sure if I should briefly explain the above situation or just stick to academic evidence?

Thanks


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:04 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Happy mom wrote:
DD is in top sets for all subjects in school – 5a in English, 5b in Maths and reading age of 14 years (DD is 10 years old). DD’s teacher predicts that DD should be a level 6 at the end of year 6.

That is encouraging.

Quote:
The school does not conduct CATs and do not have a gifted and talented programme.

Schools that conduct CATs are in the minority, and G&T is not the currency it once was.

Quote:
A couple of professionals who saw DD with sibling during appointments commented that DD should assessed to see if DD is a young carer – DD was assessed and in October DD was told that DD was a young carer and now has access to various services for emotional support and carer activites/advice.

If this process was ongoing through the time of the 11+, and if it caused her distress/anxiety, and the professionals were aware of that, it is worth mentioning.

Quote:
DD’s school levels were not hugely affected, however the quality of work was affected and DD’s teacher commented that DD seemed to rush work

If the Head will comfirm the teacher's view in writing, then it is worth a mention on the summary sheet.
Quote:
I am not sure if I should briefly explain the above situation or just stick to academic evidence?

The academic evidence is paramount, but genuine extenuating circumstances that are verifiable are worth mentioning.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:33 pm
Posts: 329
Academic evidence is the most important and it appears you have some good SATs levels to draw on.

The extenuating circumstances are "good" (I hope you see what I mean) and are properly evidenced so they are definitely worth including.

On a non-11+ note, your daughter sounds amazing. I have a younger sibling with a severe disability so looking back to my childhood, I understand the demands on a family. The fact that your daughter has combined her "duties" at home with some excellent scores in the 11+ and a very impressive academic record is to her and your family's great credit. I hope that the situation results in her attending the school most suitable for her but even if it doesn't, she's already outshone most of her age group in more important aspects of life than the 11+. Young carers are the sort of children society should celebrate, more so than those who "pass" a test to attend a GS.

Good luck.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:57 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:10 pm
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Thank you so much for your replies.

What sort of evidence could I use to prove that DD was under a lot of pressure this year? I have contacted the people at Young carers and asked if they could forward me a copy of their assessment - do you think that would be sufficient?

anotherdad, you are so right children like my DD are amazing and do learn to balance home and school duties - I just feel extremely guilty that DD had to get to grips with being a carer for the first time during this important year. DD has also been learning hand on hand body sign language since April with us in an attempt to get her brother to communicate. Going to try my best to get her into the school she wants, fingers crossed :)


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:10 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Happy mom wrote:
What sort of evidence could I use to prove that DD was under a lot of pressure this year? I have contacted the people at Young carers and asked if they could forward me a copy of their assessment - do you think that would be sufficient?

That should certainly be enough to prove that she is designated as a Young Carer. You then need the school's view, rather than your own assertion, about how it affected her academically in the weeks leading up to the 11+. (The teacher's comment about rushing her work, and that it was out of character for her, and any other comments.)


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:33 pm
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You shouldn't feel guilty. Look at the positives - she will be a better, more caring and socially responsible adult as a result of a more rounded upbringing. I think we often underestimate how much kids can cope with and in our generally comfortable western society, the slightest inconvenience is seen as a major hindrance. Look at what amazing educational feats are achieved in parts of the world where they have limited access to basic things such as fresh water and electricity, or even a local school.

Back on topic, I was asked about other languages at appeal. My in-laws are not originally from the UK and the panel asked if my daughter had learned their original language or any other language? I also have an in-law who is totally deaf and uses sign language. I answered truthfully that no, my daughter had not learned the other language or sign language but it was interesting that I was asked. I have no idea if a panel would consider the touch-sign language as evidence (and of course in the review process you wouldn't be there to vocalise it) but it might be worth mentioning in your appeal. I'll let one of the other posters with more experience give a better answer but it might come into play. Either that, or my panel were just ensuring I felt that all stones had been overturned!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:01 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:10 pm
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From reading the advice/explanation on this website I feel as though a review would be very rushed and can have negative implications if we are then required to go to appeal; but if we dont go for a review and wait until the appeal it seems too far away - plus i'm not sure how likely it would be that we would then have to appeal to get a GS place after the initial appeal (confusing).

I know this will be a difficult question to answer, if you were in our position based on the information given would you go for review first or wait until the appeal?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:15 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:03 pm
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Location: Gloucestershire
Happy mom, can I ask where you moved from? Not exact details, but counties / countries.

I noticed the non-UK spelling of mom, and have known of children moving from overseas shortly before the 11+ whose English English was not up to speed - even if they've been brought up on the UK versions of Harry Potter / Hobbit.

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Capers


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7063
Quote:
I know this will be a difficult question to answer, if you were in our position based on the information given would you go for review first or wait until the appeal?
Sorry - I'm afraid it's not a question I feel I can answer for you. :(

Quote:
i'm not sure how likely it would be that we would then have to appeal to get a GS place after the initial appeal (confusing).
Not sure whether there would be two separate appeals for the same school. In other parts of the country, if you haven't been to review, then at each appeal for each grammar school that has been applied for, the following issues would be addressed at the same time:

      • the case for selection
      • reasons for wanting a place

In this situation, assuming parents have applied for more than one grammar school, they would get more than one opportunity .........

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:11 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:10 pm
Posts: 4
Got the good news yesterday, DD's review was a success - we're over the moon :D Thank you for the advice and comments, they were very helpful.

(capers123 - sorry havent been on here for a while. We moved to Bucks from Yorkshire - just spelt mom to have a differnt user name).

All the best :D


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