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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 12:37 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:29 pm
Posts: 247
My DD has said a few times, "what if I don't pass ?" I just say "well you have a great alternative, a little bit of travelling, but great all the same." I don't want to heap pressure on her so I just look at it as have a go, and see what happens.

However, as her friends are coming over for playdates and I am chatting to them, they have started asking me the same question ! hmm :shock: well I don't really know what their parents plans are, or in some cases, it is the local comp, which most aren't keen to go to, so what is best to say ? "I'm sure you'll be okay" or "cross that bridge when you come to it ?"or "you could always appeal !" tricky huh ! :roll:

I wondered if you had started having this question asked, and what your responses are.

Thanks :D

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 12:43 pm 
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Location: Reading
DD had this when a few months before she took the test.

I said 'what's the worst that can happen'
"I won't get in"
"So what happens then?"
"I'll go to such and such a school instead"
"And is that a bad school?"
"no"
"So what's the worst that could happen?"
"I will be going to that school rather than this school"

Was a little more detailed than that, but not much.

I also asked her if she would rather not try instead. She said no.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 12:44 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:30 am
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Sunshine 11 wrote:
My DD has said a few times, "what if I don't pass ?" I just say "well you have a great alternative, a little bit of travelling, but great all the same." I don't want to heap pressure on her so I just look at it as have a go, and see what happens.

However, as her friends are coming over for playdates and I am chatting to them, they have started asking me the same question ! hmm :shock: well I don't really know what their parents plans are, or in some cases, it is the local comp, which most aren't keen to go to, so what is best to say ? "I'm sure you'll be okay" or "cross that bridge when you come to it ?"or "you could always appeal !" tricky huh ! :roll:

I wondered if you had started having this question asked, and what your responses are.

Thanks :D


Don't know where you are and therefore whether it is pass or fail or whether like ours is, there is a qualifying score. If the latter, then we never talked about pass or fail, and we said that the exam was merely to decide which school they would be most suited to, so if they didn't qualify then it was because the other school is more suitable for them. We had 2 go through and both qualified, but there was a lot of talk, esp with one of them, about not qualifying, so we had to do this many times. I never wanted them to feel they would ever be considered as a fail, so I always avoided that term and used qualify instead.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:51 pm 
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I say the same as you, he doesn't need extra pressure.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:22 pm
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It's even more difficult here as our local alternative really isn't good (less than 40% scoring 5 A-Cs at GCSE). I find it hard to be positive about it :(


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 9:10 pm 
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With bucks we have 25% ish go to grammar and the rest go to upper school, so we pointed out these stats right from the start, so they knew it was not a given.

With all our boys we have always taken the route of "what if you do pass" really glad we did this as son number two did not get selected for grammar, but was fully prepared and although he is disappointed he was never beside himself, or hiding away in his room etc.

We thought it was really important to remind them that the majority of people do not pass, but if they did get the grade then they could choose which school they wanted to go to, if not then they would go to the local upper and have no choice. We told/tell them to look around the class, in every group of four of their pals, only one will go to grammar school ( in state primary anyway).

Sadly many of their friends would say they were going to this or that grammar, they did not even look round the upper school and were devastated with their results.

We may be over cautious, or we may have lived with this stupid two tier system for so long and have parents and grandparents, friends, aunties, cousins, who all have stories of shock fails and happy shock passes, that we are wise to reality.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:53 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:48 am
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With my daughter, we did the same. We pointed out that only 30% qualify for grammar school. We did only 3 months DIY tutoring, so we were more realistic about our chances. We told her that we were proud of her for trying and whatever mark she got was a reflection of that day's performance. We also repeatedly told her that we knew she would always do her best irrespective of which school she went to. We also made sure that she attended the open days of 3 upper schools that would have been our choices if she hadn't qualified. She saw only 2 grammar schools. Luckily, she liked one of the uppers and knew that she would go there if she didn't qualify.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 7:23 pm 
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I don't use the 'pass' word - it isn't appropriate imho. I always talk about qualifying for a Grammar or Upper.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:42 pm 
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Thanks for the reply guys. Last year at our school 80% of the year group passed for gram ear so hard act to follow especially with the new test ! :roll:

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
Posts: 8228
Yep, it is hard, because whatever you say at home they may draw their own conclusions, falsely, about their ability.

I stress again and again that it's working hard at school etc that is important and that in a lot of ways it's down to "luck" on the day whether you pass or not e.g. feeling good, not distracted, your favourite types of questions coming up etc etc. If you don't pass / qualify you could have had a different result on a different day.

We haven't really looked or though about schools much (yikes) so the alternatives don't really hold much meaning for my child. I just say you'll get more choice if you do pass / qualify but that's about the only "advantage".

I think maybe that, at that age, some children are deep down worrying more that you might love them or like them less if they don't "pass" rather than about the alternative schools.


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