Good luck to all of you who are thinking of going for an appeal. I hope my experience helps.
Many thanks to all on the forum for their help.
-My DS appeal was for non qualification. Failed by 1 mark
-Hearing took place Feb09
-Rec'd case papers 7 days before hearing
-Appeal was held in St Andrews Methodist Church in Slough
-The hearing started on time
-The panel were VA school panel
-The panel introduced themselves and then the case for the school was heard which was over in 2 minutes
-Then it was my turn. I was on my own because my husband was away on business.
-I made copies of my presentation and gave them to the Clerk of Appeal
-The presentation I made is as followsPresentation
Good evening my name *****and I am here on behalf of my son ******
As per my letter my son had a shortfall of 1 mark, which made him ineligible to be considered for Slough Grammar. I am really surprised he failed
During the period that DS has been studying for these tests, he has managed to maintain his focus whilst having to deal with the stress of moving house. Throughout this time, he has remained committed to studying for these tests. Even though my husband travels a lot due to work commitments, and I am in full time work, DS has proved himself to be very self motivated. I feel that if, as parents we had been able to give him more of our support we are confident that his abilities would be fully reflected in his results.
DS Verbal Reasoning results lowered his overall score, which surprised us, as at home he was consistently passing practice papers with scores of 85% and above. One thing I do remember vividly was DS feedback on completing the test. He was thrown by the fact that he was not allowed to write on the exam paper which is not what he was accustomed to. Therefore he said it took a bit more time.
Another reason for our surprise is that we know that DS has a real love of reading and so although some of the language he came across through his VR practice was alien to him, as he would not have come across it either at home or at school, we felt confident that his interest in reading beyond his age (13) would carry him through. Examples of books read include Shakespeare, Michael Morpugo, Spiderwick Chronicles etc
In addition, we felt DS’s weaker subject was Maths and this is the area on which we concentrated.
-DS’s headmaster, Mr ***** believes he has the potential and ability to succeed at Grammar school, he is predicted to get Level 5’s in the core subjects, is a determined learner and is not afraid of challenging work. Although Mr ***** does not personally advocate Grammar Schools, he was happy to support DS in his endeavours.
-He is in the top sets in Maths and English
-I sent in copies of his Year 5/6 work, which illustrate DS’s positive attitude to learning as mentioned in his reports. For example, he has been given certificates for his effort and has been sent around the school to show all the teachers his work. He likes his work to be special and is often willing to give up his playtimes in order to make it so. (Appendix 3- Spider and the Fly). He is particularly proud to have had a poem published. As parents we noticed this to be a turning point in his attitude towards learning.
-DS has taken on board the feedback from his Year 5 teacher and has become more focused in Year 6. This has come through in the teacher’s comments on his work. (Appendix 3 has examples). In his Yr5 report it is mentioned that he is aware of the more complex historical events. A year on DS interest in history has meant that he no longer gets up early to watch football but the history channel. He is especially interested in World War II documentaries as well as Romans, Vikings, Genghis Khan etc. This is reflected in reading material and games (ie Michael Morpugo books). He is still an ordinary boy with interest in sports.
Why Slough Grammar?
As mentioned in my letter DS is interested in languages. He is working towards a GCSE in Hindi, and is doing well in French. Just recently he got 15 house points for conversational French. Both my husband and I work for international companies and know that languages are important. Slough Grammar offers a wider variety of languages than most schools.
DS has been studying for these tests through a lot of family upheaval, and regardless of the outcome, he has done himself and us proud. He is self-motivated and works hard because he enjoys it and now better understands the rewards that hard work can bring. Slough Grammar is an ideal environment for DS, he will thrive in a place where his peers will bring out his competitive spirit, and where his inquisitive nature will be nurtured. He is looking for a school that looks for high expectations from him and is supported through effective teaching.
Many thanks for your time and hope that this appeal has a positive outcome
Link to questions they asked me at appeal hearinghttp://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/forum/11plus/viewtopic.php?t=9164