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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:45 am 
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I'm very new to all this and feeling slightly out of my depth! I'd really appreciate some advice from more experienced folk.

In short, my daughter took the Kent test last month and achieved the following scores:
VR-137, Maths-128, NVR-110, Agg.-375

The school have advised that we only need to appeal on NVR and that the only evidence I need to provide is a letter stating her current SATs levels, although I'm concerned about looking complacent and not providing enough!

In addition I feel as though we have extenuating circumstances but don't want to appear as if I'm making excuses.
We only decided to move to Folkestone from the Midlands a few months ago and submitted a casual in year application for entry to yr 7. Unexpectedly we had a call from the school bringing our test date forward, this turned out to be on 16th May, which was the Friday of the SATs week, and giving us only 2 weeks notice to prepare. Although I bitterly regret it now, I agreed.

My daughter was entered for level 6 SATs in all subjects, so had already taken double exams all week. After school Thursday I had to drive her 4 hours to a hotel in order to get her to the test for 9am Friday. Needless to say we were both exhausted! She sat the entire Kent test in the morning with only a 5 min break in between.

I feel awful for putting her through that, although she was more than happy to do it, and really don't want to let her down on appeal day. She was working so hard towards her level 6 I was concerned about putting too much extra pressure on her to prepare for the Kent Test too. She hasn't had any coaching and in effect only spent approx 1.5hrs in the 2 weeks we had looking at NVR style questions.

I have a letter from her current headteacher fully supporting her application and stating that she is consistently working at level 5a in all subjects. Will this be enough?

I'm disinclined to go to appeal making apologies and excuses for my child's poor performance because the truth is I couldn't be more proud of what she achieved on that day given the circumstances, but equally I will humbly do whatever it takes to get the best for her.

If anybody is able to advise on how I should go about proving that my child would ordinarily be competent in NVR it would all be gratefully received!! All the information I can find seems to be geared towards VR & Maths.

Thanks in advance for any help offered and sorry about the waffle!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 12:47 pm 
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I think, and I am willing to be corrected here, that NVR is supposedly something which you're not meant to be able to coach for, so I think maybe it wouldn't be a great idea to play the 'not enough prep time' card. NVR is used at a local school here for 'fair banding' on the basis that it reflects an innate ability rather than something learned.

I think (and am sure someone better than me will come and either support or refute this) your best bet is to appeal on the grounds of high academic ability and not make much reference to the NVR at all. Maybe if she did the NVR last you could explain that because of her exhaustion she was getting very tired by then and this was reflected in a lower score. One of the CATs tests is NVR so maybe if you had evidence that she did well in that you could submit it?

Good luck.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 12:56 pm 
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That's really helpful, thank you.

Yes she sat the tests in the same order as reflected in the scores.

Thank you for taking the time to reply.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:00 pm 
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You need to evidence the high ability - taking all the level 6 papers (if she is Teacher assessed as working at level 6) is great evidence.

The travel down, staying in strange place and shear exhaustion are all evidence that NVR score is a blip.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:13 pm 
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That's really reassuring thanks!

I will definitely focus mainly on her academic ability. She has already been teacher assessed and moderated at level 6 for writing and we're awaiting the results for the others.

I feel awful because the first test date was set for 3rd July, we'd been given 2 days leave from school and it all would've been a lot less stressful! I'm sure she would've aced it all if I'd not agreed to have it brought forward, if I could kick myself I would but I don't want to come across as making excuses :?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 3:34 pm 
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My daughter has arrived home from school today and informed me that her teacher has told her he's assessed her as level 6 in all subjects :)

I should have something available in writing by the day of the appeal and will focus mainly on that, fingers crossed it will be enough to sway the panel.

Thanks so much for all your advice :)


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 3:37 pm 
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That's great - get it on headed paper and with a mention of the fact that writing was moderated externally.

Good luck :D

Do read the appeals section for further advice ...


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 3:47 pm 
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I will thanks, in fairness her current school have bent over backwards to support her application. I have already received a "full support without reservation" letter from the head and they've told her the teacher assessments letter will be ready soon.

I spent many hours studying the appeals forum and it made me feel totally out of my depth! I had no idea this was all such an intricate process with a lot more dos & don'ts than I first thought :shock: I really appreciate being able to call on others' experience, thank you.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 6:19 pm 
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Welcome! :)

As G55 suggests - if you haven't already done so, do read the appeals Q&As:
viewtopic.php?f=35&t=35032

Quote:
The school have advised that we only need to appeal on NVR
Mmm. I'm not sure anyone is in a position to say what a panel will be looking for, because each panel is completely independent, and no one can tell it what to think or what criteria to use!

I tend to agree with what other posters have said about overall ability - but I'm also mindful that MostHappyDad in Kent won his appeal (a re-hearing, ordered by the ombudsman) largely by focusing on the one area of weakness in his child's 11+ scores (maths in this instance, rather than NVR). He provided not only an excellent maths report from the primary school, but the results of a number of CAT quantitative reasoning tests which impressed the panel:
      Quote:
      Take the case of MostHappyDad in Kent who had to prove at appeal that the 11+ maths result was a blip. He had the results of a series of CATs tests, taken over an extended period, where quantitative reasoning came out at the 99th, 98th, 98th and 95th percentile. Even allowing for confidence intervals, the sheer consistency of these excellent results made for a compelling academic case.
      http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... ication#b4

The ideal case would, of course, cover both aspects - i.e. evidence of high overall ability, and evidence that any particular weakness in the 11+ scores was most likely a blip!

_________________
Etienne


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:21 pm 
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Thanks so much for your input and warm welcome :)

Yes thank you I have read the Q&As and they have been immensely helpful.

I think I can somewhat understand what the school are getting at as she passed the VR and maths without a problem it was just the NVR she didn't make the mark on, although I wholeheartedly agree with you on that point!

The issue I'm struggling with most is how I would go about proving her ability in NVR or what evidence I could use, if it were any of the other two I would probably have a better idea. Unfortunately we don't have any alternative test scores, NVR reports or CATs to offer up :(
This is due partly to the fact that her current primary school was in the 'requires improvement' category for some time and they don't have anything to do with the grammar school processes as it isn't something that comes up very often for them. The idea of a grammar school for my daughter only came up as it was casually mentioned to me during a year 6 parent's evening, by which time it was too late. None of our local-ish grammar schools accept late entrants under any circumstances, hence the reason for the move. It's only because we've decided to move away and the school we're applying to is under-subscribed that we've got a second chance.

I'm really grateful for all advice given I desperately don't want to mess this up for her! We might be new to this but I really feel I owe her this opportunity given her achievements in spite of everything.


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