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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 4:37 pm 
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Hello everyone.
Got the results for the 11+ today and they are not quite as expected - nice surprise though :-)!
Extremely happy with the results but it raised lots of questions as well.
We are out of catchment area, my DS scored 247 and is ranked 71st out of all boys. I guess it means he has a very good chance to be offered a place in KES, that we did not consider previously.
My question is - how does KES deal with the children who are not very strong linguists?
He is the top literacy group in a strong primary, but has a very messy handwriting. And I think he will find foreign languages studying to be quite challenging.
So I wonder if he will fit in the school like KES? Any thoughts/feedback on that matter would be very much appreciated.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 4:59 pm 
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If you are out of catchment, you will not be offered a place in the first round offers (i.e. in March) but you are like to be near the top of the waiting list.

Children have all sorts of weird and wonderful handwriting - most secondary schools will tell them that they need to learn to write clearly so that an examiner can understand the point they are trying to make. KES requires all children to learn French and Latin in Y7 and then add an additional third language in Y8 (either Spanish or German). The way the options are set, most boys study at least 2 of these to GCSE so he will have to study languages! But, up until recently, most state primary schools did very little modern foreign languages, so it is mainly the private school kids who have a slight advantage there. Most children have not experienced Latin before but a high proportion go on to take this at GCSE (partly because of the way the options are designed.

KES has boys who are brilliant at drama, music, sport and others that are good at lots of those things but not brilliant. It is unashamedly a rugby school, with all of Y7 playing and has lots of other opportunities such as fencing. It is, however, single sex, which does not suit everyone and has the feel of a private school with strong discipline and standards, which, again, does not suit everyone.

Unfortunately you will not now be able to visit the school in session before the CAF form has to be in - personally I couldn't consider selecting a school for my child that I hadn't visited at least a couple of times.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:47 pm 
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Thank you for your reply, kenyancowgirl, we've been through the process with my daughter (she is currently in SGGS), so I am familiar with it. We have not visited KES for multiple reasons and coincidences - too many and long to go through, but the facts now are that
DS has got a score allowing a strong hope for a place in KES and indicating that he is able enough,
he wants to go to KES,
it is the most convenient school for us,
it is the most desirable school in the area,
we can't visit the school prior October 31st,
we have to make a decision

So I wonder how is it handled in KES if a child find one or more subjects particularly tricky.

And after your reply I have another question - how a child who is not particularly sporty would fit in KES?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:06 pm 
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I-am wrote:
And after your reply I have another question - how a child who is not particularly sporty would fit in KES?

He's just fine thanks :D

JD


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:10 pm 
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I'm sorry - how can you say a school is the most "desirable" in the area if you haven't visited it!! :shock: :shock: It could be completely wrong for your son, so how can he want to go there if he hasn't ever been. Don't get me wrong, I am very happy with the school for my boys but EVERY school feels very different - it is not just about how difficult it is to get in or the results - it has a completely different feel to Alcester Grammar School for example (and Shottery for that matter - and not just because it is all boys!) We know people who walked into KES on an Open Day and walked out hating it, but conversely loved AGS....we felt the opposite - a school is so much more than results and where people perceive its' local standing is...!

KES does not suit everyone - some friends describe it as a marmite school - you may be one of the ones who hate it. However, although I genuinely think it is ridiculous to entertain a school that you have never visited, I will endeavour to answer your questions:

KES have high expectations that all boys will try their hardest and work hard. Like any school there are boys who are brilliant at some subjects, find others harder and a majority who are just generally good at all of them. Not doing homework is a cardinal sin and massively frowned upon and will result in detentions! High standards are expected in all areas of the school. Boys are tracked constantly so that everyone can see if they are ahead of challenge grades, on target or below target. There are a number of ways they are supported if they need help - lunchtime clubs, academic mentors etc - regular testing in all subjects goes on - boys are expected to try hard and achieve well and test results are reported back to parents at parents evenings - I am aware of occasions where some boys were required to resit a Latin exam as they had done poorly.

So how is it handled? The support is there in spades but equally KES expects your boy to put the effort in and work harder at subjects he finds tricky. Hard work and effort are rewarded.

Sport is a huge part of life at KES and 50-75% of each year group regularly represent the school in some sport or another, but there are boys who are not so good at sport (James Dean will always cite their DS as this but actually he loves participating!!) but brilliant at drama or brilliant at music, so your son can flourish in another arena.

Convenience of a school is important but think carefully about applying for a school that you know very little about - your son's score may indicate that he is able enough but the school may not be the best fit for him. What school were you considering before the results came out - or has he always wanted to go to KES yet you never took him to look round?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:46 pm 
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I am not sure if this goes any way to answering your question I-am, but I have DS1 at KES and he is academically bright (he came 7th in southern boys for 2015 entry) but is crap (not that I would ever tell him) at Music and Drama and so so at sports and it really does not matter. There are so many things to choose from for them to do things other than lessons that aren't just sports and drama and even the sports things aren't just basic.

The only thing they try and start you off doing is Rugby in Year 7 and they try and get 4 teams out for matches but in Year 8,it mainly is just an Aand a B team so no pressure on those boys that don't want to do it.

The teachers are great at being all inclusive and all the boys I know who have differnt talens are just flourishing there.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 9:38 pm 
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JamesDean wrote:
I-am wrote:
And after your reply I have another question - how a child who is not particularly sporty would fit in KES?

He's just fine thanks :D

JD


That is great to know :-)


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 11:30 pm 
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Bect1969 wrote:
The teachers are great at being all inclusive and all the boys I know who have differnt talens are just flourishing there.


Thank you , Best1969, that's very encouraging to hear. I know a couple of boys who were made to feel very uncomfortable and subsequently left a good private school because they weren't sporty enough, didn't fit with the rest of the cohort for that reason. I am glad to hear that KES have more inclusive approach.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 11:56 pm 
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kenyancowgirl wrote:
... There are a number of ways they are supported if they need help - lunchtime clubs, academic mentors etc - regular testing in all subjects goes on - boys are expected to try hard and achieve well and test results are reported back to parents at parents evenings - I am aware of occasions where some boys were required to resit a Latin exam as they had done poorly.

So how is it handled? The support is there in spades but equally KES expects your boy to put the effort in and work harder at subjects he finds tricky. Hard work and effort are rewarded...

Thank you, kenyancowgirl, for your input. It was very helpful to find out about the support available, procedures and the expectations at the school. I will make my DS son aware of the expectations and the rules in place.
We were lucky enough so far with my DD not to need any academic support, so I wasn't even aware of lunchtime clubs support or the mentors. I hope it is not too unacceptable for you :-), kenyancowgirl.

Well, what is to the rest - why we have not visited the school - it is a long story, I wouldn't like to bore you with it.
Of course we are going to visit it ASAP, but it will be after the half term break.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 1:02 am 
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kenyancowgirl wrote:
...I genuinely think it is ridiculous to entertain a school that you have never visited...
..What school were you considering before the results came out - or has he always wanted to go to KES yet you never took him to look round?

We favoured Lawrence Sheriff very much(even the journey would be much more complicated). I didn’t think he would do well enough to get to KES and I didn’t feel that KES (based on what I’ve heard about it) was for him. There were lots of other complications and circumstances (including moving out of area all together) that combined resulted in us not visiting KES. But DS has done well in the 11+ and is adamant he wants to go to KES (not through my input), the move is postponed and we’ve ended up considering KES.
I told him about my concerns about languages studies, so he wants to take private lessons this year to help him with the studies.
So I am trying to air out my concerns here on the forum as we can’t see the school till November.
Thank you again everyone for replying.
I would really appreciate to hear more experience based opinions!


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