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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:42 pm 
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Since half term DD and a small group of others have been taken out of class - for as much as 4 hours in a week - to do extension work. Apparently this is because they are already at the upper limits of level 5 and the other children in the class are working to acheive level 4 or 'boost' to a 5.

DD and friends (7 of them all together) all took 11 plus and failed to get grammar school places. I am now wondering if this extra effort had been put in last year rather than this they might have all done a lot better. Most of them were level 5 across the board before the end of year 5 but the school had told all the parents that they did not teach to the level of the test in English and Maths or teach any Verbal Reasoning.

I am glad that DD will not be spending the rest of term marking time and waiting for the rest of the class to catch up but I can't help but feel that the school could have done more for the able children in the past - and makes me wonder how best to make sure DS (another 'able table' type still in KS1) gets the best out of the school before November 2014.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
state schools would not teach verbal reasoning (as such) , I think it is good that they are trying to extend them, many schools would not bother


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:53 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:43 am
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I don't know which county you are in push-pull mum but I would say for Bucks that the best thing you can do for DS is make sure he reads avidly. The verbal reasoning has some tricky vocabulary and that is what catches some children out.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:49 am 
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
I would recommend that you DIY and teach your DS at home. For all three subjects there is quite a lot of suitable material available. I know parents of KS1 children who use the Bond starter books. With DC I ended up believing that primary school was for their social/broad education, but any work needed to extend/challenge them would have to be provided by me at home. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:23 am 
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Yep, I don't know what county you are in. But I'd say that if you're in a county where the top 25% get GS places (like Kent) and you've seen one child go through the school on the able table and not achieve an 11+ pass then you are definitely into DIY / tutoring territory.

However, if you're in an area where there are very few grammar schools so you are talking about a much more elite few going to grammar school, then even more reason to make a good start now.

I am always trying to find a way forward that involves the school (see the Scarlett-Mystery show on Everything Else) and I have made a small amount of headway. But the returns are ever-diminishing compared the struggle it is to get any meaningful dialogue with school. Scarlett does what she calls Health Days - the child is well, but you tell them they are looking peaky, you do extra work at home in the morning and take them out to a museum in the afternoon. I am strongly considering adopting these, although they grate on my school attendance principles, as when a child is at school all day every day it is hard to find the time to put in the extra academic graft that might be necessary.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:02 am 
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Actually, Ds2 received a certificate last year for outstanding attendance !!

I won't go on and on...supposed to be going cold turkey this week :lol: ,but really if you want something doing well....you just have to do it yourself .

On a positive note, at least dd will be even more brainy ( and confident ) when she starts secondary..... :)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:06 pm 
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My mum did put pressure on me to do a 'health day' type route with DD. I couldn't square that with my conscience (although I certainly wouldn't criticise anyone else for making that choice.) I didn't mind finding time to work with her on VR but was shocked to discover how much of the Maths and English on the 11 plus had never been covered in school. Maybe if we had cut back on DD's extra curricular activities (she plays 2 instruments [in 2 orchestras] and takes 3 dance classes a week - as well as being very active in church activities) the end result might have been different. No regrets there, however - music becomes more important to DD every week and she is convinced that, at a less academic school, she will be able to concentrate more on the arts/performing arts subjects that are dear to her. (Ha! Little does she know - I plan to keep the homework pressure up to make sure she doesn't start coasting :lol: :evil: )

Anyway - moving on ... DS is a whole different type of child. He wants to be one of the lads, never breaks a sweat on lessons or homework, and is much less focused on any activity (normal rising 7 year old then!) He's possibily brighter than his sister (because he acheives easily what she always had to work at) and I think that he would benefit from going to the grammar.

I know now it's about much more than 9 months of doing VR papers - I'm going to have to boost the schools' imput in Maths and English, probably starting yesterday! And I may need to start elasticating my conscience about those 'health days' .... :?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:17 pm 
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Hey yes I was going to go cold turkey this week but needing a fix!!

Do you think loads more people do the "health day" idea in some shape or form?

Our schools needs 100% attendance to get a certificate. How did your son manage that one Scarlett?

DD1 never had time off ill last year. Just realised we took a holiday during termtime !!!! - which is why she didn't get a certificate. It's a pity you can fill in a form for term-time holiday permission but not to do some extra work at home! Just realised that my attendance principles are already a little a bit shot-through!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:31 pm 
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He received a certificate with 98 % or something....I don't feel guilty because they are never sick, we don't take holidays in term time and go to the dentist etc after school...so actually their attendance is better then most other children even with health days !!!

I don't think many people do health days actually. All my friends are horrified on my behalf but only because they think it is hideous to have their child at home ...but I like spending time with my children plus with 3 I think it's essential to spend one to one with them ...it's special !!!! :D


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:19 pm 
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Ah no I don't think you should feel guilty at all. It's me taking term-time holidays and then worrying about "health days" that should!! :oops:

98% sounds like a much better threshold for an attendance certificate. A requirement of 100% seems to be inviting your child to go back the day after a weekend DandV bug etc which is exactly what they don't want.


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