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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 11:52 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 11:54 pm
Posts: 68
Location: wraysbury, middlesex
What a week (or has it been months?). I hope this may help people in a similar/future situation. We had our appeal Monday. Our daughter scored 112 and 120, had 554 at Year 5 sats and predicted high 5's in the summer. Full School support and a glowing reference/school report. No real mitigating circumstances (nerves and pressure mainly).

All weekend planning the appeal, bringing husband up to date with the last 3 months!! Should we take every certificate since 25 metres breaststroke and pre-school paintings or take nothing? Plan a big speech, or keep to the SATs predictions?! Opted for 3 school books, school report and list of hobbies, reading material etc. No sleep, shaking like leaves all the way there. The clerk, panel and LEA rep were very friendly, let us say our piece, then asked "how was she after the exams?... after the results?... what does she do in her spare time?" They asked questions that gave us the opportunity to go into detail about things we wouldn't have written on an appeal letter. 45 minutes later (!) we are out, and dissecting our answers. Did we lay it on too thick? Did my outbreak of red blotches scare them?!?
No sleep at all that night and feel like we are jetlagged! Who would put themselves through all this stress?
I couldn't even open the letter this morning, and when my husband's eyes welled up I thought it was all over. But it was relief... tears of joy.
I have read the letter three times, just checking and can't wait to see my daughter's face after school!
Being out of county and new to the experience we NEVER thought we had a chance. The percentages looked promising but I'm forever the pessimist. Lots of support from friends and this forum (thank you all SO much!) just about kept our heads above water. I have read EVERY link on the forum, the good news and the bad and my heart went out to every one of you.
This chance really will make a difference: our local comp at 35% GCSE vs Grammar School.
Our year 4 daughter now has a tough act to follow, but thankfully we've got a year break. I know where to come for advice, support and future questions. Best wishes and fingers crossed for everyone out there waiting and hoping.

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wraysburymum


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 11:56 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:47 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Berks,Bucks
Wraysbury mum, it's wonderful news.

Thank you for sharing it with us

All the best

Catherine


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 11:58 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:49 pm
Posts: 1647
Location: berkshire
Wraysbury mum..... congratulations..... excellent news. :D

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 12:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 12:13 pm
Posts: 65
Fantastic....well done!

Thanks so much for sharing your experience too....very helpful & generous of you & everyone else who, whether the news is good or not so good, does the same.

Bet you just can't wait for the end of school!!!
Best wishes,
Camden


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 12:57 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2008 8:01 pm
Posts: 194
Location: bucks
Dear Wraysbury Mum and familly

Well done to you all.

We have our appeal on Monday (it doesn't get any less nerve-wracking the second time around - our sone had successful appeal two years ago with 117 and 120).

Just wondered how you broached or answered the subject of the big difference between 112 and 120. Our daughter's scores were 112 and 118, so we would be in the same boat. Also, was your daughter one of the youngest in the year group?

Latching on to any crumbs of hope!

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dejavu


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 Post subject: Thank you...
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 1:14 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 11:54 pm
Posts: 68
Location: wraysbury, middlesex
Thank you for your kind replies. I know it could have easily been commiserations like after the initial results. It's amazing how much something like this takes over your life. I found out more about the exams AFTER the fact and wish I had found this website sooner. Next time (!) we will be in a more informed position: learn from our mistakes and hopefully not put so much pressure on our youngest daughter.
The fact still remains, if ALL schools were better and gave all children the chance to fulfill their potential, we wouldn't be stressing our children and ourselves through this awful process.
I was lucky enough to go to DCHS grammar, having moved from Suffolk and sitting entrance exams alone. I loved every minute and am proud to have attended the school. But how many kids like me didn't get that chance, couldn't pass the test on the day and their lives took and different direction?
I couldn't see how a conservative government could be against grammar schools, until now. There is the realisation that money/education does give you a leg-up, totally defeating the whole purpose of grammar schools giving the best education to those unable to pay for it. So we work hard with our children from day one and hope that the system works for us. Our bright kids just about scrape through but a few hundred/thousand pounds and the 11+ scores could read very differently.
This can't be right? But ask me what I'll do with my youngest... and I'll have to check with my bank manager!

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 Post subject: Re: Thank you...
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 1:28 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8199
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Wraysbury Mum

Very well done to you and many congratulations. A lovely post as well!

wraysburymum wrote:
I found out more about the exams AFTER the fact and wish I had found this website sooner. Next time (!) we will be in a more informed position


Oh, if I had a pound for every time someone has written that! That was my experience as well, so please keep telling people about the site and Forum. It is non-profit-making, so there is no ulterior motive, it's just that information is power! :D

Best wishes
Sally-Anne


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 Post subject: Dejavue reply
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 1:30 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 11:54 pm
Posts: 68
Location: wraysbury, middlesex
Hi Dejavu

We approached the discrepancy with scores with the only reason we had... nerves. Our daughter is a top performer in a familiar environment and was obviously carrying too much pressure (from me mainly!) to do well. I kept stressing about pushing her to finish, that becoming her overriding aim on the day. Having completed the test, the second test I believe she relaxed a bit more and READ the questions! I said that Maths was her strongest subject and perhaps there were more maths/code questions on the second paper. Her friends had done better on the first paper. She started year 6 very emotionally (I fear hormones having a lot to answer for!)
I don't know if what we said tipped the balance but I believe that we came across as truthful. One panel member said "you obviously care deeply about your daughter's education.." and that stuck out! They had our initial letter with highlighted areas to question, I don't believe that we could have said anything more, if we had been unsuccessful I would not have known what else we could have done (even though I went over every question that night wondering if I'd talked them out of a good decision!)
So my advice, BE HONEST and focus on the good things! SATs, CATs, school reports, reading age, piano lessons, girl guides, everything. Make them see her as a person, rather than a name on a piece of paper. As our school teacher said "go in there and SELL her to them!" Let them know she'll thrive at a grammar and this will make a difference to the rest of her life.

I wish you every luck in the world, and will look out for your posts.

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 Post subject: Dejavu again...
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 1:36 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 11:54 pm
Posts: 68
Location: wraysbury, middlesex
Sorry, last bit I missed.

My daughter is Feb born, so no indicator there. The only 2 of 11 to pass were both Sept/October girls. I mentioned to this to the LEA rep as I thought the pass rate didn't look very good. However, the two top girls I believe scored 130+, the next six scored 120, then 118 etc.
Funnily enough, all top 8 (except my daughter who totally went to pieces on the first test) then passed the Langley/Herschel tests with better scores.
So how the bucks/berks 11+ compares amazes me.

I am grateful that we had a chance at more than one paper, and more than one test. : )

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 Post subject: thanks for prompt answer
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 1:46 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2008 8:01 pm
Posts: 194
Location: bucks
Dear Wraysbury Mum

Thank you for replying so quickly. To be really honest, do any of us really know what happens in that exam. I suspect the same thing happened to my daughter in the first test as yours (particularly as mine was so young - born end of August). But you think that if you say it was pressure or nerves or being careless by not reading the questions properly, then you inevitably get "but how would they cope/perform under more pressure at a grammar school?" All of our academic evidence and OoS look good, we just feel this is the one question, about 112, where we will come unstuck.

Will obviously let everyone know how it turns out. Just this weekend to get through...........

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many thanks
dejavu


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