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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2007 10:47 pm 
To all hopeful and eager parents

two years ago I was a regulary visitor here. I did everything i could to get my daughter to pass. brought anything I could and gave her hours of private tutoring . She did pass with 112 marks and got into Herschel Grammar school. But this last year, her first year has been like **** for me. The work has been too hard for her to cope with, and I have been doing hours of homework for her every week. It has taken over my life , and the only choice I have is to do it or let her sink. I would never make the same mistake again and would advice all other parents out there that once you get your children into grammar its only the beginning and if they are really not capable , they and you will be in for a tough ride.
So think carefully before you make passing the eleven plus a mission like I did.

experienced mum.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 6:20 am 
It would be great to read more about your experiences on the Tips thread.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 10:05 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:47 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Berks,Bucks
Thank you for sharing this with us, experienced mum. It is very hard for many parents to judge how well our kids will cope with grammar school, and how much preparation to do. We should be able to rely on the primary school teachers for help and advice, but too often, it is not possible.

It is difficult to strike the right balance between overdoing it to make sure the child succeeds and not doing enough and denying them a genuine chance to succeed.

I was wondering what you are planning to do next, experienced mum, and whether you have discussed the situation with Herschel....


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 8:20 pm 
Hi Experienced Mum, As Catherine has said thank you so much for sharing this with us. Am interested in your thoughts - does you child also feel they are struggling, are they unhappy and where do you go from here - im sure you are no the only one in this position.

Thinking of you.......

Sam


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 8:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8208
Location: Buckinghamshire
Dear Experienced Mum

I am very sad to hear of the struggle you and your daughter are having, but I am so glad that you posted your experience on the Forum.

I am often contacted by PM (as Etienne, Patricia and others are) by parents who are desperate to help their child pass the 11+ or to win an Appeal. Although we always give our best advice, there are times when I feel that the parents should accept that the child is not GS material, and I have taken to hinting that of late. However, you have given a timely warning to others to be realistic about their child's ability.

That said, in your daughter's case, please don't lose sight of the fact that she did pass the 11+, and the jury is out for evermore on whether coaching makes any difference.

The first year at GS can be very tough - some of the children will have come from very high quality state schools, and others will have come from Prep schools where the expectations are higher and the children have more experience of the senior school modus operandi - moving around for lessons and all that, and have been used to mountains of homework (as have their long-suffering Mums! :lol:). Prep school children seem to have a definite advantage in that first year according to most reports.

The worst may be over for you and your daughter by now, and I do hope it is. Please do let us know how you get on - preferably on this thread, for the sake of continuity.

Best wishes
Sally-Anne
x


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:54 pm 
I would definitely recommend speaking to Herschel. I know they have literacy support lessons, for example, and that after Y7 they set the children, so things might well get easier for your daughter as I am sure her needs will be accurately assessed.

Some of my son's friends stuck with grammar until after their GCSEs, got reasonable results at Herschel, for example, but then made the decision to move to college and take vocational courses - they are doing very well, and do not regret their time at grammar, although they always knew they were not the 'high fliers'.

Likewise, my son has stayed on for grammar Sixth Form, but also knows he is far from the most able. However, he is managing to cope (famous last words, with AS results day looming!).

At the time of 11+ preparation, it is easy to lose sight of the enormous range of ability even within a grammar school class, so your daughter may well not be the only one struggling.

Good luck for Y8.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 10:18 pm 
I would advise that you do not do to much work on your daughters homework to avoid making the situation worse. When the children are set next year, homework marks have an important effect, even though exam marks take preference. If she gets set too highly then she may continue to struggle, which could lead to the morale lowering of moving down sets.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 2:09 pm
Posts: 875
Location: Solihull, West Midlands
I would echo the previous comment about not giving the school a false impression by doing the work yourself- and remember that a lot of children struggle with the first year of secondary school anyway, grammar or comp. There are a lot of new things to get used to , and sometimes the more conscientious girls in particular struggle with the volume of homework because they want it all to be perfect and can't cope with the organisation of their competing tasks rather than the difficulty of the work per se. I remember being anxious when a friend said she spent ages helping her eldest with homework in Yr 7 at our local comp - with my boys I tended to let them get on with it (her daughter did learn to sort herself out before long though and did very well at GCSE btw she's now at a grammar school for A levels!)


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:57 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:48 pm
Posts: 29
Dear Experience Mum - don't beat yourself up for wanting the best Berkshire education you can get in the Slough area. Many children struggle with Year 7 for many reasons - quite often their Year 6 preparation at local primaries is inadequate - they focus on the SATS and little else, if at all. The social pressures of a new school confound many children and, of course, they are maturing at different rates...despite what their parents say, it is my experience that parents won't own up to their children's struggles as it is perceived as a reflection on them. Remember that the NFER research published in 2004 highlighted that borderline children benefit the most from a grammar school - the super bright ones will shine wherever. The habit of hard work and achievement in a grammar is a hard lesson to learn, but with your support your child will be learning an even more important lesson for life :!:


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 4:21 pm
Posts: 77
Location: London
It is while ago now but I struggled in year 7 and was the bottom of the year in an independent school. I found the transition to a very big school very hard and didn't easily make friends. My parents wanted me to leave, but I insisted on staying. It took me years to catch up,but I eventually got an scholarship to Cambridge, one of 3 or 4 in my year, the only one in my subject. I think the point is that to do well, wanting to do well is at least as important as being clever.


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