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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:22 pm 
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Hello.
Can you help please?
Can you tell me how important are achievements in subjects other than those tested at 11+ are likely to be when going through the appeals procedure for Grammar school suitability?
Can I give an example:
1. A child who has failed to reach the threshold mark in the 11+ test (result not through yet) but shows real talent as a musician (plays at county and national level already) and reached Grade 6 (Grade 4/5 is acceptable for GCSE practical).
2. Also predicted 5s in the SAT's to be taken this summer.
3. Shows achievement in various sports - i.e. badges, awards, certificates etc.

I would have thought that the above candidate would be looked on favourably knowing that there is a well known link between Maths and Music ability.

Thanks
kjpt


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:32 pm 
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Hi kjpt, and welcome!

The musical ability is outstanding for the child's age and is most definitely relevant. A recent discussion on the Forum suggested that Grade 4/5 by age 11 was exceptional, and this goes much further than that.

The predicted Level 5 SATs are good academic evidence and a standard part of the evidence for and appeal.

The sports achievement is not really relevant unless it is also exceptional, but you can mention it at the hearing as a very brief afterthought at the hearing itself. It can't do any harm, and coming alongside the high standard of the music, might help to persuade a panel that the child is committed to high achievement. Don't go into too much detail though!

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:34 am 
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Hello, and welcome.

I'm going to back up Sally-Anne.

When I'm sitting on grammar appeals panels, I tend to pick on musical ability. I know enough to realise that a grade 1 after 3 years of studying isn't remarkable. Grade 4 is pretty good, and grade 6 is unusual. I would be also looking for some kind of correlation between the music and maths - be it in day to day school work, SATS or whatever else you have - forinstance, DD1 (Y6) will be doing G4 flute this year, but she's not a brilliant mathematician - just a good all rounder, whereas DD2 (Y4) has just been given her G3 piano music and I would expect her to be grade 5 or 6 by the time she moves up to grammar - and she is very good at maths. You would not win an appeal just on the strength of musical ability alone, but it helps. It is down to you to prove the link between music and ability - don't assume the panel will know

Quote:
2. Also predicted 5s in the SAT's to be taken this summer.

Again, you wouldn't win the appeal just on this, but they are what I would expect to see from a child of grammar standard.

Quote:
3. Shows achievement in various sports - i.e. badges, awards, certificates etc.

These are what I think of as 'filler' material, to show that the child has a life outside school. We tend to recommend not making a big thing about them, as quite often we'll skim through them when we read through the appeals documents. This is because there's not much of a link between sporting ability, or being in the cubs, and academic ability. Sometimes we get clippings from the local paper showing how well the child did in a football match or swimming tournament. Example: DD1 is a seasoned folk / morris dancer, and performs at festivals all over the world, but that's not of much use to an appeals panel.

You don't say where in the country you live.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:45 am 
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Just out of interest, Sally-Anne and Caper, why would you pay more attention to a child being a talented musician than to their being talented at a sport – is it purely because of the link between musical and mathematical ability?

Of course, you COULD make the argument that a child who is extremely talented at either music or sport might not be of benefit to a school (other than via reflected glory) because they’ll almost certainly be pursuing that activity outside school – and possibly to the detriment of their studies.

Sorry, a bit OT, but an interesting subject for discussion…


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:31 am 
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Hi Rob

Rob Clark wrote:
Sorry, a bit OT, but an interesting subject for discussion…

It is, so let's not get carried away, however ...

Rob Clark wrote:
Just out of interest, Sally-Anne and Caper, why would you pay more attention to a child being a talented musician than to their being talented at a sport – is it purely because of the link between musical and mathematical ability?

To achieve such a high standard at this age, the child is clearly gifted and talented at music. Music at this level requires considerable mental and visual processing ability, hence the link with mathematical ability. The child will also, at the very least, have passed Grade V theory. It therefore moves into the realm of being an intellectual pursuit, and worthy of inclusion at an appeal.

A talent at this level might also be of particular relevance at an over-subscription appeal for a school with specialist arts status.

A child who is G&T at sport might show immense dedication to their sport and be very hard-working, but there isn't much intellectual ability required. Think Premier League footballers! :lol:

It is a fairly subtle difference, but an important one. It will never be more important than good academic evidence, which must still be of the required standard, but in this case it is strong supplementary evidence.

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:34 am 
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I love the phrase 'might not be of benefit to the school'. It's not unusual for parents to try and prove how much benefit their child will be to the school ("he'll easily make captain of the Stool-ball team, and help the school up the league table, and will probably be lead fiddle in the orchestra within a week"), yet that 's not what an appeal is about - it's more about 'what benefit the school will be to the child, and why that child needs to go to that school'.

With music, to me it can help to confirm academic ability, and that's as far as it goes. It's not down to me to consider how the child will be able to fit in training / practice / performance with homework schedules - they may give up their hobby before they even start at the school. Likewise, we don't consider if parents take their children out of school for holidays, which would also be to the detriment of their studies.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:53 am 
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I've just noticed that Rob's LA has changed the wording in its guidance for selection appeals. My recollection is that it used to suggest a child's interests might be part of the parent's case, but it now says "Evidence of any intellectual or academic interests".
http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/bcc/get/asset ... let_09.pdf

Oh dear, I sense a debate coming on about what qualifies as an intellectual/academic interest ....... :D

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:46 pm 
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The change to the wording of the evidence for Bucks appeals was long overdue, IMHO.

The previous wording was leading parents (and Head teachers) to believe that every interest their child pursued outside school could be relevant at an appeal, which is far from being the case.

Etienne wrote:
Oh dear, I sense a debate coming on about what qualifies as an intellectual/academic interest ....... :D


I did consider splitting this topic, but as kjpt has asked the question in relatively general terms, rather than as part of a wider request for help with his/her child's case, I feel that we can pursue the discussion here. It is certainly a debate worth having for future reference!

Kjpt - if you would like further specific help with your case, you are welcome to either continue to post here, or start a new thread for it. The latter might be preferable.

As to my view on what constitutes an "intellectual or academic interest"?

YES - Provided they are at an exceptionally good standard, such as County level or national achievement - science, music, creative writing, chess.

NO - Sport, I.T. (unless clearly proven to be the child's work), Scouts/Guides and other youth groups, dance, drama, general outdoor pursuits.

I am undecided on Art, but tend to feel that it is a NO, unless the achievement is truly outstanding.

Just my thoughts!

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:54 pm 
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Quote:
As to my view on what constitutes an "intellectual or academic interest" .....

I just knew you would rise to the challenge, dear Sally-Anne! :D

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:57 pm 
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Or take the bait? :wink:


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