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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 9:18 pm 
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I'm just musing really.... I am a KS1 teacher and looking back over the last ten years or so, the children who I have taught in Y1 who have been the ones to pass their 11+ (looking back!) were the top half of both my highest maths/literacy groups. More importantly, the parents of these children are generally also extremely supportive and read daily with their child, take them out at the weekend and are academic themselves (mostly having attended the local grammars themselves). These children worked very hard, but interestingly, I feel that at the end of Y1-I could have made a little list of who I thought would pass and this would have been mostly correct. Generally, the (equally) able children whose parents were disinterested or not as academically successful, did not pass their 11+.

Do you, as parents/tutors/teachers who have had lots of experience with the 11+, feel that you could point out who would pass at an early age, when looking at their general ability plus parental support/academic ability or is this not particularly evident?


I just wondered how much parental 'cleverness' has an impact?

2 glasses of wine and I am rambling, I think! I am just starting the whole 11 journey with my eldest...


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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 9:47 pm 
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Location: Birmingham
I don't think it is parental 'cleverness' that has the most impact, but rather parental 'interestedness'!

Certainly here in Birmingham, competition is pretty fierce and from what I have seen, laid back parents have, with very few exceptions, little chance of their child going to a KE Grammar.
Parents have to be fully on board, interested, supportive and, admittedly, a little pushy, to gain success.

I have never heard of a child who has casually wandered into the exam and then passed for a KE Grammar. This is because of the competition and amount of prep so many children are doing.

As for Grammar school parents=Grammar school children, this seems to be the case. At parents' evenings, quite a few of the parents are old boys (and/or old girls of the sister school). My son says quite a few of his friends talk about how their parents went to the same school. Indeed, one was taught by the same venerable teacher his son has, who is now 74 years old!

Even now at 12, my son has said a few times that he wants his children to go to the same school as him :lol: .


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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 1:22 am 
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I agree with Um. I think it is unlikely for a child with disinterested parents to pass the 11+ with a high enough mark to get a place at a grammar. I have known a few parents with intelligent children who have underestimated the amount of competition there is for each place and unfortunately have regretted this. It seems vital that some preparation is needed and children require the support and encouragement of their parents. I too have not heard of a child who has just turned up on the day to sit the exam and got into a grammar.

Neither my husband, nor I attended a grammar school and neither of us went to University, however, we have two sons at a grammar school. Many of the parents we have got to know through our sons, are in the same position.


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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 11:13 am 
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I agree, it's parental support that is a key factor, although obviously the child has to have some ability also. I amazed at the lack of interest or knowledge of some parents about the whole 11+ process.


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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 11:23 am 
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Competition for grammar school places is fierce where I live also (Essex) particularly for the super-selective schools in Colchester and Chelmsford. My son was tutored for the 11+ and is nearly finishing his first year at the grammar in Colchester. We were very supportive of his learning and his previous Year 5/6 teacher knew that he had the potential to gain a place at grammar school. In my opinion, preparation is needed for the 11+ and parental support. Again, I personally do not know of a child that gained a place at the two Colchester grammars who was not tutored beforehand.

'Grammar school parents' do not always mean 'grammar school children'. Neither my husband or myself went to grammar school but we wanted to give our son the best chance of going to such a wonderful school. We were also fortunate that my son was very keen to go there as well. :)


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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 3:48 pm 
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ExDH and I both went to Grammar school so I think we just assumed our children would do likewise. Actually - it was much easier for us than it is now in Essex and DD will, in fact, be going to the non selective alternative - so I suppose that's a yes and no answer.
But a bit more on the 'no' side - ExDH isn't as keen on DS going to Grammar school because he reckons, from his own experience, that single sex education for boys isn't always the best option.


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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 4:30 pm 
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All my children were nearly scraping the barrel in yr1 and all were given the additional learning support....DS1 passed the 11 plus with a high score and is now level 5 and DS2 who is in yr 4 is teetering on the edge of level 4s although not as compliant as his brother when it comes to working hard.DD is in yr 2 and according to parents evening last week has suddenly improved from low level 2 to nudging level 3...in half a term ! So who knows what can happen...I think I am supportive and do a lot with my children, but I think things can suddenly click once they mature a bit ! I can see in DD class the children who appear to have that extra something and they invariably have parents who also seem to be quite sparky.I have posted before about the mother who has 2 boys who can barely read, but when it was suggested she did a bit with them she was furious at the idea she should do the teachers job !


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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 8:18 pm 
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Interesting.

I have 2 (almost) DC's at Essex Grammar schools. OH and I were both comprehensive educated because the areas we grew up in scrapped the 11 plus long before our time, whether we would have passed I have no idea. I think a certain amount of intelligence is inherited along with other traits but parental interest is certainly necessary. Although the children do not necessarily need professional tutoring some preparation is required and it helps to grow up in an atmosphere that encourages them to do their best. If a child grows up in a house with no books and is continually told that their future lies on the dole queue this unfortunately often becomes their destiny. Very few children have sufficient self motivation to achieve highly entirely on their own.

As for knowing that they are suitable at year 1 - I think some of them. We recently met one of DS's infant teachers (who retired after teaching him!), she spotted the lovely purple blazer and said to me that she was not surprised as he was obviously heading there when she taught him.
However many children (especially boys) are late developers. The cleverest guy I knew at school certainly wouldn't have passed at 11, was in middle sets at our comprehensive for everything till age 13 when something seemed to click. He got good O and A levels (showing my age!), went to medical school and became a GP.


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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 9:04 am 
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I think that it is the expectations of parents that matter more than the intelligence of the parents or the amount of support the parents can hand out.

My parents were immigrants to this country. Being uneducated and hardly speaking any English they were hardly in a position to support their children's education in terms of advice, tuition etc. All they knew was that we had to study and that we should aim for something beyond growing up and going to work in a takeaway.

This is not an attempt to pick any issue just so that I can blow the horn for the Chinese race. It is just that the 'experts' always goes on about how your economic and social class determines the path of your children or how educated parents = educated children. Yet the experts ignore the experiences of penniless and uneducated immigrants.


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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 9:43 am 
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Pushy Dad wrote:
It is just that the 'experts' always goes on about how your economic and social class determines the path of your children or how educated parents = educated children. Yet the experts ignore the experiences of penniless and uneducated immigrants.



It sounds like your parents were still supportive and encouraging even if they spoke little English/were uneducated and that's what must have made a difference for you ? Perhaps it's because they wanted better for you and the key to that can only be a good education plus lots of hard work !

My DD has a friend who is naturally bright, but has parents who , shall we say, are not interested in the least when it comes to schooling...but this little girl is determined to keep up with her peers and will write in her communication book herself and ask for extra books, it's quite inspiring as she's only 6.Maybe personality is also important ?


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