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 Post subject: KES queue & stress
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 12:43 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2014 3:13 pm
Posts: 28
Second time around for us. Second time of absolute chaos in the KES queue. Last time (DS1 is now Yr8) Shottery was closed and there were twice as many kids there. This time around it was still awful - queueing system absolutely not communicated, not allowed to settle DS2 in the gym, DS2 released 15-20 mins late. Is that a level playing field with other centres?


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 Post subject: Re: KES queue & stress
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 1:24 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
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We didn't sit at KES but both times we have not been allowed to take out child into the hall and have had to meet them outside as they are released...there was a delay after the test had endded as if any child needed the loo they were allowed to go before being released to meet their parents. KES is a very small venue in a very small school - quite often whole families descend on schools with their 11+ candidate which adds to the stress and confusion. I have seen parents start arguing with each other.... :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: KES queue & stress
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 1:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:29 am
Posts: 45
DS sat at Camp Hill Boys. We got there early and I'm glad we did as there was a steady stream of people going in even at that time. We weren't allowed into the school at all; we had to drop them at the door and there were current pupils there who took them through to get registered and show them where to go.

By the time I was walking back out, there were a LOT of people going in, so I'm not sure what experience those arriving later would have had.

We were told to be back for 11.55 and I got there at 11.50 - there were already loads of people there. They held us back at the end of the path/drive until nearly 12.20 before we were allowed to go and wait at the door where we had dropped them off. Then it was probably 5 minutes or so before the first boys starting coming out.

So we didn't have a bad experience of the queuing system because there were only three or four in the queue when we arrived but the rest of it sounds pretty much the same.


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 Post subject: Re: KES queue & stress
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 2:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2016 7:49 am
Posts: 26
Why would you expect to "settle him into the hall" when it states clearly on the letters that parents will not be allowed into the exam hall?
At the Benn Hall my DD said there was a mother having a full-on argument with the ladies on the door about getting to take her child in because the child "had been very stressed about it for weeks". Poor kid! DD commented how pleased she was that we aren't like that.
I've just retrieved the letter from the recycling
*Parents will not be allowed into the testing room.
Third point on the list.
We were there early, the test did not start until 10 as it took that long to get all the children in and to their desk. DD was therefore sat for an hour and 15 minutes before the test.


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 Post subject: Re: KES queue & stress
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 3:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:29 am
Posts: 45
DS also said they didn't start until gone 10 so he was in there for a good hour and a half before they started too. He was very glad he'd taken a book to read as suggested on the letter. I still think it was worth getting there early to avoid any queue hassle.


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 Post subject: Re: KES queue & stress
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 3:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2014 3:13 pm
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Hi - thanks for your reply. Seeing a number of people take their children in - and my DS being somewhat unreliable in terms of following instructions - I asked if I should take him in and was told 'we'd rather you didn't as there are so many parents in there'. I wasn't over fussed about it and he was fine - just seemed like a bit of a scrum.

I just don't understand why it's not possible to make it a smooth process when it's done every year and the number of people expected is predictable.


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 Post subject: Re: KES queue & stress
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 3:34 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:40 am
Posts: 44
Sorry you had a bad experience dobspoon. It's stressful enough for the kids without any added tension on the day.
Our first was in 2014 and held at Castle Sixth Form in Kenilworth and we were expected to take the children to their desks and wait until asked to leave. I thought it was a terrible idea as the kids had to sit with tense parents hovering over them whispering rapid lists of reminders. The tension was palpable!
This year DS2 was at Coleshill (we live in Kenilworth) and I found it pretty calm in comparison. The kids were shown to their seats by staff, and parents said goodbye at the door. We could then see them through the window chatting and laughing with their classmates before the test began, which must have been a huge stress relief for them. Much better than anxious parents hovering (and better for us parents too).
The only problem we encountered was that DS2 wasn't on the list when we got to the front of the queue, and we were brusquely told to go and wait at one side and 'explain what the problem was' to a colleague! Mild panic attack... and added to DS nerves no end unfortunately!!! (But that's a whole other thread about Warwickshire Admissions 'computer hiccups'!)
I'd heard from a few friends that the KES test on Saturday was a bit of a nightmare - parents arguing with staff and each other, and not being clear which rooms the kids were in, and then desk numbers and names being mixed up. I guess all you can do in those situations is think that all the children will be seated eventually, they won't start the test until they've sorted it, and try and stay calm for the kids' sake - guess the pressure got to a few parents!


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 Post subject: Re: KES queue & stress
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 4:08 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:30 am
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Location: Warwickshire
It was a long time ago now, but in the olden days we were allowed to go into the KES hall with DD for her 11+. I remember one mother's final words to her daughter were "No pressure - just remember it'll cost us £50,000 if you don't pass" - presumably to go to the local private school her brother attended! I'm sure that set her up well!


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 Post subject: Re: KES queue & stress
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:28 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:59 pm
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DS1 sat at Myton School 2013 and we were allowed to go into the hall and settle him in (took DS2 so he could see what it was like).

DS2 sat at Southam college and we were not allowed in, but thankfully he had seen the general set up at Myton.

Rules change and get tweaked as the years go by.....


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 Post subject: Re: KES queue & stress
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2015 4:17 pm
Posts: 163
Manon wrote:
DS sat at Camp Hill Boys. We got there early and I'm glad we did as there was a steady stream of people going in even at that time. We weren't allowed into the school at all; we had to drop them at the door and there were current pupils there who took them through to get registered and show them where to go.

By the time I was walking back out, there were a LOT of people going in, so I'm not sure what experience those arriving later would have had.

We were told to be back for 11.55 and I got there at 11.50 - there were already loads of people there. They held us back at the end of the path/drive until nearly 12.20 before we were allowed to go and wait at the door where we had dropped them off. Then it was probably 5 minutes or so before the first boys starting coming out.

So we didn't have a bad experience of the queuing system because there were only three or four in the queue when we arrived but the rest of it sounds pretty much the same.


Ditto for us Manon, we were in a school in Shirley. I wouldn't have expected (or wanted to) have gone in with DS. The system was the same (staff and older students took the candidates in, the queues to reach the gate were horrendous though!) at Queen Mary's exam too in July last year and as DS had taken that one too, he knew what to expect.

Dobspoon, you are right that as they have done it every year in the past, surely, it shouldn't be so chaotic. Nothing should add to the stress on the day! Fingers crossed for you all.


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