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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:35 am 
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Hi, I was wondering which schools are considered to be super selective? My DS will be sitting for the Trafford Grammar schools, i was curious to know if any of these were considered to be? It seems a little more preparation is required for these schools and wanted to be sure i was on the game , particularly as he needs to gain an out of area score to be successful. Thanks in advance of any replies.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:43 am 
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Location: Essex
If there is an "in area" score which means that it is easier to get a place if you live within a defined catchment area, then I don't think that a school can be termed "superselective".

"Superselective" implies that the only criterion for gaining admission is by score, i.e. that applications are accepted from anywhere and places awarded according to score achieved, without consideration of place of residence.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:24 pm 
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Oooh not sure. Tonbridge Grammar School for Girls has two different cut-offs each year - one "in area" and one "out of area". But they are both high standardised scores which only quite a low percentage of the population could attain. So it is commonly known as "superselective". Maybe it's superselective if you have to be in the top x% of the population to get into it ---- but how to define x ---- I don't know.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:56 pm 
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If you look at the Sunday Times Parent Power top 500 State Schools, the superselectives are the top ones!

http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/Parent_Power/


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:04 pm 
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The bucks grammars feature very prominently in the top 100 but are the absolute opposite of superselective, with local catchment areas and accepting top 30% of those tested. Funny how many of the most elevated bucks grammars in the list happen to have catchments that correspond directly with the telegraph 's most affluent villages list. :?

For my part I would say ignore "superselective" handles, ignore newspaper lists, and listen to locals, parents, this forum, and your gut instinct. Some children need sitting on in a high pressure environment, some children perform better in a more relaxed atmosphere. Basically if your child is bright and happy and have access to good teaching and resources, whether the children surrounding them were in the top 5% of a selection test when they were 10/11years old, should make zero difference to their success at gcse level and above.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:11 pm 
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My understanding has always been the same as ToadMum's - that some areas (like Gloucestershire) allow anyone to sit their GS tests and then offer places to the top scorers, whether they live next door to the school or in the Himalayan foothills. There tends to be an 'opt in' system for tests and most parents don't, for various reasons. I think generally the spread of provision is also smaller - here only about 5% of children go to GS as there aren't many of them (schools not children), versus 30% in Bucks.

It is a horrible term, though, isn't it? Very snooty.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:34 pm 
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I'm in a superselective area (North London) and there are often 10+ times the number of children sitting for each place. Raw percentages are high 80's to mid 90's for a place...


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:13 pm 
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2Girlsmum wrote:
If you look at the Sunday Times Parent Power top 500 State Schools, the superselectives are the top ones!

As of course they should be if they're superselective :wink:

Some people set such store by these schools that they seem willing to uproot their entire family for the sake of the 1 child who has got a place at such a school, or alternatively to make said child travel ridiculous distances on a daily basis.

However, as a parent with one DC at a GS and one at an upper school I can vouch for the fact that there isn't, in fact, a different set of GCSEs and A levels which only GS pupils are allowed to take :D


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:51 pm 
2Girlsmum wrote:
If you look at the Sunday Times Parent Power top 500 State Schools, the superselectives are the top ones!

Altrincham Grammar School for Girls is defininately not superselective and is always in the top 5 but CVA > 1032-probably the best state school in the U.K
The boys' school in partially super-selective and has never reached these dizzy heights, don't know why? but one would assume has the same demographics but just more selective, my point being that just becuase a school is SS does not mean it is the best, and some SS schools e.g EB have brutal culling at 6th form to maintain league position, AGGS has hardly any students thrown out on their ear after GSCE. I have no daughters so no axe to grind! or children in the state sector.
"Students enter the school with well above average levels of attainment overall when compared to all schools nationally, although the school’s admission policy results in a lower than average attainment on entry when compared to most other grammar schools." my emphasis
from schools OFSTED report
remarkable!
The only other school I know that adds that kind of value to a childs education is The Grange in cheshire, I often regret not sending my boy there, but like most I was suduced by league tables!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:39 pm 
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Yes, but it's the only one in the top 20 which isn't!

I agree that it's common practice to 'cull' after GCSE (see the entertaining thread about QE Boys :lol: ) but they all don't. Latymer, and St Michael's Grammar (where I have a dd in Y9, and the other due to start in 2014) don't, and it's this year's 'State School of the Year' in the Sunday Times (Latymer was several years ago). I'd love to know what makes Altrincham Grammar School for Girls such a successful school?


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