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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 1:24 pm 
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Sorry to begin with such a dispondant sounding title but I'm confused. DD is a bright well adjusted 9 year old who reads like a demon, plays the guitar well, does judo, is fab swimmer, is social and happy etc etc (has a halo of course) and wants to go to our local comprehensive very much. Her teacher says she's grammar material. Next year is year 5 and possibly the begining coaching her for 11+ (that huge treadmill of prepping and testing, prepping and testing for Tiffin Girls.

OR she could just be at the top of the very good comprehensive school 10 mins walk down the road where she can excel and grow. I doubt she'd be at the top of Tiffin - she may be at the bottom who knows? Will that be good for her? Just wondering if the effort, expense and travel involved in sending her to Tiffin, even if she does get in (and 90% of kids who apply dont get in, or 10% do), is really worth it in the end? Is it better to have her at an excellent school where she may be a tiny fish or send her to comp where she could be a bigger one arguably a happier one?

Will her chances be that much better afterwards in life that's the question?? Those of you who felt this way but then DID choose the 11+ route shed any light on this condundrum please. Thank you very much :shock:


Last edited by Doblinski on Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 1:31 pm 
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I'd go round both on the Open evenings in Y5 - don't wait until Y6 - there may be other factors you need to look at e.g. extra-curricular opportunities (sometimes better at a GS)

What about the curriculum? How much choice is there? (e.g. free choice at GCSE or blocks) Is there a choice of separate sciences?

By the way - you can tutor with the resouces on this site - so not so expensive.


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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 2:57 pm 
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I think you need to look at both schools and be guide by your dd's opinion of them. We took our dd (who is now in Y7 at a grammar) to the open evenings in Y5 so that we could see her preference. I didn't want to prepare her for the 11+ if she didn't even like the school. She fell instantly in love with the grammar school and didn't like our catchment comprehensive. We went back again in Y6 and she said she loved the grammar even more than she had the year before.

As regards to whether it is best to be at the top of a comp or average in a grammar, I think that all depends on your daughter's personality. I was in the first group and that suited me being quite quiet and not overly confident. Dd is a totally different being to me - very outgoing and confident and throws herself into everything. She loves the grammar and being surrounded by other bright girls. She always had plenty of friends at primary but her new friends are more on her wavelength and she is one very happy girl!


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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 4:37 pm 
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Location: Solihull, West Midlands
We didn't go down the 11-plus route for ours for very similar reasons - we have a good comp locally, where the majority of the local children go to from the same primaries, and seems to get the results for the brightest too, without the hour-plus each way commute . Remember it is often possible to transfer to grammar schools for A levels when perhaps there is no scope for setting by ability in a comprehensive and the commute seems less onerous


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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 4:50 pm 
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If we'd had the option of a really good comprehesive or secondary school we PROBABLY wouldn't have gone down the 11+ route.

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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 7:45 pm 
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Location: Finchley - Barnet
The counterfactual plays an enormous role. If the comprehensive school is excellent then I see little point to a grammar position unless the transport to GS is feasible and your daughter wants the GS. If this the case then taking the exams for Tiffin will not be a stressful experience nor one of acute dissapointment if you have as a fall back option a good comprehesive which you all like. One can only wish that all parents in this country had to face choices of this nature.

Good luck,

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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 9:39 pm 
In my opinion you cannot really do better than a very good comprehensive, and if it is within walking distance and you're confident of a place then why bother with all the hassle and expense of 11+ prep? She is also less likely to be disadvantaged at university entry by your choice of school for her, a very important thing to bear in mind even at this stage of her education.


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PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 8:37 am 
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Doblinski wrote:
....Tiffin Girls...


You should make sure you visit the open evenings of both schools and talk to the students when you do, albeit knowing that the best behaved/motivated students are the ones likely to be present.

After the open evenings it was really obvious which schools we liked. It was a big motivator.

DD now at TG and loves it.

Regards
SVE

PS

We haven't reached the end yet... tell you in a few years...

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PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 10:32 am 
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Location: Poole
We had choice between very good mixed comprehensive within 5 min walk or local all girls grammar. Took DD to both open evenings and left desicion very much to her. Once we'd been to the comp I never heard another word about it and she was totally focussed on the Grammar. Pleased to say she got in and is so looking forward to starting in Sept.
I know the Grammar is the right environment for her.
Yes I paid for tutoring and yes it was stressful- all of which I could have avoided had we gone down the comp route but her delight at getting a place made it all worth while.
We're just looking forward to the next stage of the adventure in Sept and then in Nov we begin the whole process again with younger DD.


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PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 2:53 pm 
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Location: surrey
I think, and it is only my small opinion, that if you don't try the tutoring/ try for the grammar route you will always wonder "what if".
You are very lucky to have the choice of a good comp that she is keen to go to, but it would be nice to have a choice of the grammar as well.
As has been mentioned the tutoring needn't cost the earth and, in the end, you may have two schools to choose from. If you don't get a place then at least you will know that it was never meant to be. to be.

I am a (small) believer in fate!! At least I like to think it exists. :)


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