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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:53 pm 
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Hi

Firstly - hello! I have read so much of this site, lurking when my ds took the 11+ two years ago and has dyslexia so lots of helpful information, and now as my dd has just taken her 11+. So I thank you so much for being here.

My dd scored 101 but had it not been for her start to the year, was expected to pass. VR - 45.34, Maths - 30.92 and NVR - 25.07.

The Headmaster has put her down as a 2:2. He told me all the children he gave a 1 to passed (7 passed in total and it's a large primary with about 70 taking test at a guess) - all achieving very high scores. She has expected high 5s at end of year 6, has a reading age of almost 4 years ahead. KS1 results were level 3s. Her CATs overall mean was 119 in May this year (but again, the extenuating circumstances below may well have affected this too).

The headmaster has strongly recommended going to a selection review and will strongly support us. We have decided against an appeal because the local grammars are oversubscribed and we are only in the catchment area for one as well. The academic evidence seems OK to me - is there anything there that would cause you concern?

The extenuating circumstances are:
1. A traumatic Christmas last year. An aunt - who was like a Mum to me/grandma to dd fell outside our house christmas morning and sustained a bad head injury. I did all I could to keep my Aunt with us, but she lost consciousness and had fits - all of which my dd witnessed. The ambulance finally arrived and she was taken to ITU and put on life support. She died 2nd January. What I'm trying to convey here is that though this was a few months ago, this seriously affected my daughter, this aunt was a huge part of our lives. My dd has carried a lot of guilt over these events.
2. A few weeks later her Nan on her Dad's side of the family died - which she had not been prepared for at all. She was then not allowed to the funeral and feels she hasn't said goodbye.
3. Her Dad (who she doesn't live with) has struggled and is now a lot less involved in my dds life, so she feels she has also lost her Dad in addition to her two grandmothers.
4. My ds has many issues including an anxiety disorder which is at it's worst in September at the start of a new school year. He was throwing tantrums etc and making life in dds home extremely difficult for dd at the time of the 11+
5. My dd has been receiving counselling from the child bereavement charity and is starting to make progress.
6. Her 'get up and go' has been sucked out of her, and I feel she will not have been working as fast and confidently for a few months. She is quieter, and self-reflecting.

The question is do I put this all down? And the information on this site talks of getting evidence. I can provide evidence of her academic achievements, but how do I provide evidence of the above? Or will they just believe me?! The head is going to submit a letter I wrote shortly before the 11+ where I express concern with whether she is capable of meeting her potential in the test due to the bereavements. What also didn't help was the talk of Christmas straight into the new school year which has triggered bad dreams and dd worries that she is going to lose someone else close to her this Christmas (me being top of her worry list :(). She was off school with stomach pains the day before the 11+ - probably due to anxiety from her bad dreams. It's heartbreaking to see her broken like this, but I know she would flourish in a grammar school, she has her heart set on a grammar school and the head teacher backs me on this.

Any advice greatly received!

Bernadette


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
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Welcome!

Quote:
The headmaster has strongly recommended going to a selection review and will strongly support us. We have decided against an appeal because the local grammars are oversubscribed and we are only in the catchment area for one as well. The academic evidence seems OK to me - is there anything there that would cause you concern?
It looks good.
I wonder how well the head did with his '2' recommendations?

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The question is do I put this all down?
With extenuating circumstances, I think what really matters is any evidence of the impact on the individual child. You should be able to provide confirmation that she has been receiving counselling.
Will the school confirm there were signs that she was not her usual self, and some deterioration in the normal standard of school work?

Unless she seriously underperformed in year 5, try to avoid what looks like a long list of extenuating circumstances extending over a long period of time - or it begs the question 'How come the curriculum evidence is so good?'

Some of your points could probably be combined into one.

Anything specific to September, such as point 4, might carry most weight - especially if the school noted signs of anxiety disorder, or if there has been some GP involvement.

Was there a counselling session in the lead up to the 11+ in September?

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:28 am 
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Hi Etienne

Thank-you for your reply. I didn't see this straight away because I asked the website to email me when there was a reply, and I got an email on Sat that points me to a different reply! Confused, but anyway ....

I don't know how the headmaster did in his '2' recommendations. He said he'd done well in his '1' recommendations and that he hadn't made many '2's either so hopefully he's done good! He sits on review panels himself, so hoping he's well respected!

I'm so glad this web-site is here because it has made me focus on what is obviously important and with it being so emotive for me, it really helps to have that pointed out! I looked up her counselling dates and they run from June to present, including one on 2Sep and 19 Sep (so either side of 11+ - I didn't think it wise the same week as 11+ as it opens her emotions up). She wasn't too bad until June, so hadn't needed counselling up to that point. Quite common they told me. So that helps support her good year 5 results (I am currently finding out when they took their SATs tests, CATs were in June) - and I wouldn't have thought about it really had you not asked. She improved over the summer hols, but crashed badly after the holidays and there was talk of Christmas. I should have a letter from her counsellor to collect tomorrow - ready to send for Friday. This will confirm the counselling dates too.

I've now reduced my extenuating circumstances in the main letter, but included more details in an appendix in case they want to see them.

Point 4 refers to my ds, not the dd we're looking at here. It's not easy being here for her though - and it certainly increased her stress having him throwing tantrums and creating a lot of tension in the house. No GP involvement - they've not ever been helpful, but have put in that ds will be at a more suitable school for him in September, so this won't be a problem for dd in the future!

One thing does concern me and that is the head has predicted dd for end of year 6 as only one level higher for Reading and Maths and no higher for Writing. He says it's because she has gone up 3 sub levels in Writing in year 5 AND year 4 and done almost this in Reading and Maths and so will likely consolidate her progress this year rather than increase her levels. He has reassured me that the review board won't take another 2 level+ increase seriously at this point - they will presume a consolidation too - especially with the extenuating circumstances affecting her more now than in year 5. Do you think I should explain this on my part of the review - or will they get this? They're sitting tests this week so it will be interesting to see what levels she gets!!

There is so much to think about - I'm exhausted. I can't wait until it's sent off and I can collapse and do the wait and see. Do you know when we hear by the way?

Thanks,

Bernadette


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:10 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7061
Bernadette2you wrote:
Thank-you for your reply. I didn't see this straight away because I asked the website to email me when there was a reply, and I got an email on Sat that points me to a different reply! Confused, but anyway ....
Glad my brief doesn't extend to managing the website ..... :lol:

Quote:
I don't know how the headmaster did in his '2' recommendations. He said he'd done well in his '1' recommendations and that he hadn't made many '2's either so hopefully he's done good! He sits on review panels himself, so hoping he's well respected!
Sounds promising.

Quote:
I'm so glad this web-site is here because it has made me focus on what is obviously important and with it being so emotive for me, it really helps to have that pointed out! I looked up her counselling dates and they run from June to present, including one on 2Sep and 19 Sep (so either side of 11+ - I didn't think it wise the same week as 11+ as it opens her emotions up). She wasn't too bad until June, so hadn't needed counselling up to that point. Quite common they told me. So that helps support her good year 5 results (I am currently finding out when they took their SATs tests, CATs were in June) - and I wouldn't have thought about it really had you not asked. She improved over the summer hols, but crashed badly after the holidays and there was talk of Christmas. I should have a letter from her counsellor to collect tomorrow - ready to send for Friday. This will confirm the counselling dates too.
Good.

Quote:
I've now reduced my extenuating circumstances in the main letter, but included more details in an appendix in case they want to see them.
Good idea!

Quote:
One thing does concern me and that is the head has predicted dd for end of year 6 as only one level higher for Reading and Maths and no higher for Writing. He says it's because she has gone up 3 sub levels in Writing in year 5 AND year 4 and done almost this in Reading and Maths and so will likely consolidate her progress this year rather than increase her levels. He has reassured me that the review board won't take another 2 level+ increase seriously at this point - they will presume a consolidation too - especially with the extenuating circumstances affecting her more now than in year 5. Do you think I should explain this on my part of the review - or will they get this?
I feel sure your headteacher's advice is correct - but you could refer to it very briefly.

Quote:
There is so much to think about - I'm exhausted. I can't wait until it's sent off and I can collapse and do the wait and see. Do you know when we hear by the way?
47guest mentions a date:
viewtopic.php?f=35&t=34353&p=407805#p407805

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:40 pm
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Letters are posted on Friday 7 Feb, should arrive (we hope) on 8 Feb


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:08 pm
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Thanks Etienne and 47Guest.

So we have to bust a gut trying to get all the evidence together within two weeks - and then wait for 3.5 months before we know the result!? I'm even driving to two places to pick up letters tomorrow so that I can get them in the bumph and in by Friday when I'm supposed to be working.

Glad I know though!

Grrrrr..... :mrgreen:

Bernadette


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