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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:12 pm 
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I hope you may be able to provide some advice as to how we approach our son’s 11+ appeal which is being held later this month.

He scored 116 and 117 in the Bucks test. His HT recommended him as a 3:2 but says that we should appeal because she feels he has made good progress over KS2 and has shown an aptitude that she believes will develop more in the future. In her words, she feels he would flourish in a Grammar school environment.

With regard to the HTs selection appeal form, we’ve got good comments from his Y6 teacher re the core curriculum areas. His predicted KS2 results are 5c Maths, English 5b and Science 5 and he is in the top set for maths (there are no sets for English).

He was capable of passing but knew that his score would be close to the pass mark, and his scores for the familiarisation papers at school confirmed this.

We have no significant mitigating circumstances other than he had been full of cold the weekend before the first test and was off school on the Monday. He knew that the first paper wasn’t as good as it could have been because he wasn’t 100% and was a bit nervous. However, he was absolutely convinced that he had done enough in the second paper (had finished in time) and was absolutely devastated when the results came through.

Our concern is how much information to include in our appeal . He is a younger member of the class (birthday end of May) and has had good school reports each year, with positive comments. However, unlike most other cases I’ve read about on the forum, he has just scored steadily on the yearly SAT results – either achieving the average or the next sub-level (i.e. 4b instead of 4c). The HT recommends not showing the Yr 5 SATs results (4b maths, 4c writing, 4b maths) and to just focus on the predicted SATS instead. At the moment, we’ve not actually provided any other results/school reports to support our appeal. Any advice on whether or not to include the SATs results would be useful, i.e. are they likely to adversely affect the appeal?

For information, Yr 5 proved to be a disappointment because his teacher had prolonged periods of absence which resulted in supply teachers taking the class. Most parents complained because the children did not make much progress and there was a lot of disruption from some members of the class. The HT doesn’t perceive that this would have had an effect on the 11+ scores. We want to keep our son’s appeal positive so should this be mentioned?

Any comments would be appreciated.

Alison


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 4:08 pm 
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Welcome to the forum, Alison!

I'm sure you're right to appeal if the head encouraged you to do so, but I think it only fair to warn that the panel may be uneasy about the "3" recommendation. It begs the question "What exactly are the head's reservations?" If good progress has been made during KS2, was this not evident when the recommendations were done (early November?), or is the head saying that there has been a rapid improvement between the date of the recommendation and the date of the headteacher summary sheet? And when she says "aptitude," it begs the question "what sort of aptitude?".

It's very helpful that you've given us as much information as you have - I don't know if you feel able to print the headteacher's comments so that we can see whether the "3" recommendation is satisfactorily explained?

Do the good comments from his Y6 teacher re the core curriculum areas relate to ability or attitude?

It would also be useful to know if you have any non-curriculum evidence of ability, e.g. CAT scores.

Quote:
he had been full of cold the weekend before the first test and was off school on the Monday. He knew that the first paper wasn’t as good as it could have been because he wasn’t 100%
You're on dangerous ground here - the usual rule of thumb is: if he was fit enough to attend school, he was fit enough. If there was any doubt about his being fit to sit the test, he shouldn't have done so.

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For information, Yr 5 proved to be a disappointment because his teacher had prolonged periods of absence which resulted in supply teachers taking the class. Most parents complained because the children did not make much progress and there was a lot of disruption from some members of the class. The HT doesn’t perceive that this would have had an effect on the 11+ scores. We want to keep our son’s appeal positive so should this be mentioned?
The head is right that one would expect the impact to be most obvious where the curriculum is concerned, but it's worth a mention. His progress in English would have been even better - you might have hoped for a 5a prediction - and you could try arguing that if, as part of that, he had developed a more extensive vocabulary, it would almost certainly have helped him with verbal reasoning. Do you have any proof of the disruption or of parents' complaints?

I'll gladly try to answer your question about year 5 SATs, but could I ask which month they were done? Presumably one of the Maths results is meant to be Reading?

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Etienne


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