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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:53 pm 
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A good article from Andrew Halls, head master of King's College School, Wimbledon

Quote:
So what advice can heads give to parents who are still wondering what to do about the unwelcome 11+ letter? The most important advice of all is to make sure your son or daughter does not feel that you see them any differently. Pass or fail, they are still the same child. No child who has lived a mere ten years on planet earth should feel that not getting into St Paul's Girls' or Tiffin Boys' has in any way defined them in the eyes of their family. As a headmaster, some of the unhappiest sights I have seen are those of parents who, in the presence of their own children, appear quite traumatised by their child's "failure". So often, I want to say - I know I have spent every open day telling everyone how marvellous my school is, but, in the end, it is just a school. There are many other brilliant schools in this country, as well as, admittedly, many awful ones.

Sometimes the school that parents think was the perfect fit for their child simply isn't. Headteachers of very academic schools all know that academically much weaker boys or girls who have gained a place, perhaps after intensive tuition or sometimes special pleading, are at high risk of an unhappy school career. Parental, or indeed school, expectations are simply too high, too unrealistic, and bit by bit the child either fades into low-profile apathy, or reacts with anger and anguish, sensing somehow the injustice of being expected to achieve in a way that he simply cannot.

This is where the 11+ bombshell can, after all, be constructive. A school that had barely been considered before swims into view, and bit by bit, a family realises it might fit their child far more completely. In this way, cruel and hard-edged though the 11+ can be, it can also help parents find the school where their child can thrive,fulfil themselves - and be happy. That is worth celebrating, too.


Full article here https://beta.kcs.org.uk/system/files/page/1399/adh%20st120311.pdf

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:27 pm 
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Sherry d ,
All I can say to children in this situation, is that it truly is possible that a child in a less than ideal school can still do really well.Yes realistically the school takes more monitoring but ...I was that child and I have taught "that child" and many of them.
So my humble advice to those in this situation would be stay vigilant to what the school is doing and know, as it is the truth, that with parental help behind the child - they will do well.xxxxx <3


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:14 am 
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What I really dislike about patronising articles like this one is the assumption that for some reason the parent got it wrong, and the child was never destined for a grammar school education. What utter twaddle. I have three who qualified and one who didn’t. The one who did not qualify is currently predicted to achieve 10 As or A*s at GCSE level, none of the others came anywhere close to that despite their privileged secondary schooling. Comparisons are odious, I know, but the feeling that my youngest has been let down by a system, rather than his ability is something I will be annoyed about for a long time to come.
My son came to terms with the disappointment very quickly, and has managed the transition to secondary pretty well. I am fairly happy with the school he is at, as it is truly comprehensive, and not a secondary modern, but still feel that he has been denied the opportunity because of a weak testing system open to abuse through overcoaching, and the inability to determine who is ‘suitable’ if in fact that’s the correct description.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:27 am 
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LFH - whereas i do agree with you about the system one may say that your dc ended up at the most suitable school for him - we know this as he is predicted such great results - maybe he would not have acheived this at a grammar?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:36 am 
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Tiredmum, not sure where you're coming from, I though the point about grammars were they're supposed to take the top 23% of the population. My son is clearly there


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:47 am 
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Sherry - what is the latest regarding your DD's school - are you happy with your offer, or still considering options?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:53 am 
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Looking for help wrote:
Tiredmum, not sure where you're coming from, I though the point about grammars were they're supposed to take the top 23% of the population. My son is clearly there

Oh yes i agree they are supposed to take the top 23% and the system dosnt work that well to acheive this - your son clearly should have passed and gone to grammar and so was let down by the system. However what i was saying is the quote from the article -
it can also help parents find the school where their child can thrive,fulfil themselves
could apply to your dc - as he obviosuly has thrived at his current school and as you say has done better than your other dc's who went to grammar. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:07 am 
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......meaning maybe that the grammar your others went to might not actually be as good a school as it likes to think it is, and the non-selective your DS went to is better!! There are definitely some grammars in Kent that don't get the results they should do from the calibre of child they take in - resting on their laurels etc. So it's not a case that failing the silly test save him from a grammar education for which he was not suited, but failing the silly test saved him from a not very good school that happened to be a grammar school?

Look at what happens in some of the Kent grammar sixth forms - some children fail to make the grade to get into the sixth form (but some of these will be let in anyhow) and children with super grades from some of the non-selectives come to increase the sixth form size. Which school served the children best up to GCSE?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:42 pm 
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rubyhettybetty wrote:
Sherry - what is the latest regarding your DD's school - are you happy with your offer, or still considering options?


I still need a crystal ball Ruby but should know after Easter which way we are going.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:45 pm 
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sherry_d wrote:
rubyhettybetty wrote:
Sherry - what is the latest regarding your DD's school - are you happy with your offer, or still considering options?


I still need a crystal ball Ruby but should know after Easter which way we are going.



OK, well - fingers crossed for you x


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