Does any one know if the appeals panel will know where I placed the school on my application form?
At an oversubscription appeal, an LA panel is quite likely to have a copy of your common application form. A foundation school panel is less likely to have a copy.
You shouldn't be penalised for listing the school 3rd, but it's important that you explain. If asked, point out that in your view they were equal preferences but you thought you had to list the grammar schools first. Go on to explain why you are not
appealing for the grammar schools, and why this
is the only school that matters.
The best thing to do would be to take a friend to the hearing. The friend doesn't have to say anything, but is just there for moral support and to make you feel more comfortable.
I don't think anyone should be on their own in such a stressful situation.