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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:23 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:23 pm
Posts: 435
Hello all,
People reading my posts may be forgiven for thinking I am delusional about the ability of my children. All three of them have failed the eleven plus. Here I am banging on about how they should be at Grammars etc, when, it must seem to outside observers that they clearly are not clever enough. However, we successfully appealed for our first child, who missed by 2 points, fully expecting to have to give him lots of support. In fact, he has consistently performed in the top three pupils in his class overall, and for German, Geography and History is in the top three or four pupils in the year group. He is on a gifted and talented programme and is taking GCSE French after school, taking the exam at the end of Year 10.
Those of you who followed the forum last year will know of my anguish relating to DC2 - who, as GS teachers ourselves, we know is the most academic of all three of our kids, and yet who failed by 19 marks. Again, you may think we've overestimated her ability, and yet at the end of Y6 she received a certificate for achieving the highest SATs scores in her primary school and in Y7 is one of the top performers in her year group across the board ( selective independent - she passed their 11+)
So, now going through it for the 3rd time (DC3 failed by 5 marks) does anyone know of any research relating to hereditary/familial reasons why children may not pass these tests? None of them are good at NVR, and yet they have all demonstrated problem solving ability, - being on school councils, taking decisions relating to forward movement of the school, - level 5s in Maths (DS got Level 8 in recent KS3 Maths SATs.)

Any help would be gratefully appreciated. Have also posted on 11 plus forum
Bouga


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:28 am 
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Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 1:45 pm
Posts: 73
Location: Wirral
Hi Bouga

Know you've been really through the mill, but you're still a great support to so many on this site.

My son - also G & T, just had letter from High school advising to register on the G & t website etc following excellent Cat tests at start of school year - also didn't pass 11+ despite school expecting him to sail through. My mum did research on G & T children for an OU degree when I was a child (but don't think this stuff dates too much) and she found IQ tests and the like to be poor predictors of success. She kept reminding me of this as we went through it earlier this year.

11 + tests are not an exact science, but schools clearly want a cut and dried method of selecting children. Presumably a school report from primary would be more accurate, but GS's want their own method. It is clear to me from various postings that, although some children can pass with flying colours under their own steam, others only pass with extensive coaching and others still don't pass despite being high achievers at their existing school. Would be interesting to follow them all up statistically. I have read that 11+ tests are supposed to be a good indicator of ability, but, like you, I have strong doubts!

Our children are brilliant, Bouga, and we shouldn't need a test to proove it!


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 Post subject: Agreed....
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:21 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:17 am
Posts: 62
My son is on the G&T maths program, reading by 3rd birthday, scored full marks in baseline assessments in reception, level 3 SATs in everything at the end of year 1 ... and came out of the Altrincham grammar school entrance exam saying he had only attempted 24 out of 40 NVR questions. In the end he passed but I did wonder whether, given that NVR questions, which he does find extremely hard, are meant to be a test of pure intelligence, they would take alternative evidence if necessary!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:02 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2006 8:33 pm
Posts: 90
Hi All

I would just like to add that I see myself as an intelligent person but when it came to exams I just FELL APART. My son has just started GS after an appeal and he is absolutely flying. Other kids in his class who passed 11+ no problem are now struggling at GS. All I can think is that on those 2 days he completely screwed it up! Thank heavens for the appeals system and all the support I received here.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:19 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:23 pm
Posts: 435
Thanks for the replies. We're hoping that the appeal will work this year, as it did for our son, and that we don't have a repetition of last year.
In fact we are going to use our other two children as examples in our appeal, but obviously not dwell on them too much.
The appeal won't be until January so we have plenty of time to prepare. However, I am not writing another speech and hope that speaking from the heart will do the trick
bouga


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:37 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 2:02 pm
Posts: 662
Location: Herts
Bouga

Just wanted to say how sorry I am you are here again. Good luck to you & your family.

T x


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 11:44 am
Posts: 57
I would like to wish you luck as well.
We were both going through the appeal process at the start of the year,I was unsucessful after a long hard road but im still glad I tried.
Luckily our dd has a place at a very good faith school and is on G&T reg and really flying and very happy,but it seems very hard that just those couple of mistakes on one day can affect them so much.
You really deserve to be succesful this time.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:42 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:23 pm
Posts: 435
Thanks heron, - I'm so glad it has turned out so well for your family. as you know, we went into the (selective) independent sector with DD1 and she seems to be performing at the top of her year group in most subjects.
I'm so proud of DD2 - we had a parents' evening last night at the primary school, two teachers volunteered to write personal letters about her and the Head said they will fight as hard as they can to maximise her chances at appeal. She has clearly impressed them, and it was all quite overwhelming - we didn't have that kind of reaction relating to DD1 who they all acknowledge is very bright - but they clearly think a lot of DD2 as a human being.
Bouga


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 5:29 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2007 3:32 pm
Posts: 67
Hello Bougalou

I remember you well from last year, as we were both in the same boat. I am so sorry to hear you've a similar story again. You know, the more I think about it, and the more stories I hear, the more that I have come to realise that NVR is such a complete irrelevance.

I'm sure you remember our story from last year (strikingly similar to yours) and we put my son into the private sector too, having passed the independent exam, and likewise he is flying there - infact he's just been asked to take part in a maths competition. As I'm sure you also remember, he did amazingly well in his SAT's, placing him in the top 11% of boys for the county. My eldest son only scraped the NVR when he did it, so he did get to the Grammar, and he consistently performs at the top of his year, coming 2nd in the year in the year end maths exam in July.

It's interesting to note that Kent are working on cumulative scores, rather than individual this year, which makes me think they are (finally!) beginning to understand the complete nonsense of the supposed significance of NVR.

I think that NVR tests 'suit' some children and not others - but the theory that it tests 'innate intelligence' is fundamentally flawed in my opinion. I appreciate my opinion is probably worth diddly-squat in the world of educationalists, but when what you see in practice so often seems to negate the theory, you really have to wonder.

Good luck again for your journey this year, and I feel for you that you have to face it once more - it's truly exhausting and stressful. Sorry, none of this answers your original question - it would be great if you could find some research - I tried last year to find something about the relevance of NVR to achievement, and I did find that it was far less correlated to achievement than verbal reasoning was. However, I didn't bring this up in the appeal, as it felt like I was criticising the system (never!)

Once again, all the best, and I really hope for a positive outcome x


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 5:57 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:23 pm
Posts: 435
Thanks for your input MGSMum, and I'm so glad your DS is doing so well. I was just about coming to the conclusion that if I do make reference to this it will not override the things I have to say about DD in particular. I don't want to be seen to be attacking the system.
bouga


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