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 Post subject: 11 + results
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 6:43 pm 
Hi, I am new to this forum. I have been reading the comments on the site for some months. My daughter has just received her results. She did not get into her local grammar Woodford county. Shes really gutted, she really believed she would pass!! i must say I have hidden my feelings from her pretty well, saying that she worked very hard, and if she didnt get in then it was not the right school for her. However I feel completely devasted, and am now thinking it was my fault. I enrolled her in tuition last May, 8 months before the exams. Most people in our area start about 2 years before! Maybe if i had, she would have stood a better chance!! Her total position in was 304 out of 872 girls. Is there any way i can ask the LEA to review her papers and check they did not make a mistake? PLEASE PLEASE any parents who have been through this, i would really welcome your advice and support. She was 11 in Jan. She is such a bright girl, and was scoring 93-95% in VR NFER practice papers.
Any comments would be appreciated. :roll:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 8:43 pm 
I am sure everyone on here feels for you totally distraught...

I have not been through what are you are going through and I don't know the Woodford area, but I wanted to pass on my thoughts...

You can't blame yourself for what has happened. The system has big problems with it and the whole thing is stressful for everyone.

As parents, we all try to do the best for our children and we take decisions accordingly. Its impossible to know what would have happened if you had started earlier or later, or a different tutor or self-tutored.

In the Essex section of the forums, there is another parent who just missed Woodford. I don't know how close you are to the borderline of getting in and whether you may get in on the waiting list. Its probably good to ask there.

It sounds like your daughter is intelligent and was getting high scores in the test papers. On the day, anything can happen and it also sounds like Essex is very competitive and hard to get into the grammar schools there.

There's probably very little people can say to comfort you at the moment, but I am sure its not your fault.

She sounds like the kind of girl who is intelligent enough to do well wherever she goes ... and I wish you both the best of luck with it ....

A Lurking Dad


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 8:56 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:47 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Berks,Bucks
Your post is heart-breaking totally-distraught. But please don't feel that it is your fault. You surely did what you thought was best at the time!

Is there an appeal system in your area? you must have received a bit of litterature with your allocation pack.

As A Lurking Dad said, if your daughter is bright enough to get 95% with practice papers, she will probably do well anywhere.

I hope it turns out well for her.

Catherine


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 9:16 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8199
Location: Buckinghamshire
Dear TD

I am so very sad for you. My son failed the 11+ in Bucks by just a few marks (we get the results in December) and we then appealed and didn't get that either.

I really do understand how you're feeling at the moment. Firstly, please try not to "beat yourself up" over this, as a friend of mine warned me. There is no-one to blame, especially not you or your daughter.

Some children will have got places without virtually any coaching, some will have been coached for two years and still not got a place. If it helps you, I don't know anyone in Bucks who coached for more than 8 months, so I don't think that it would have made any difference. There is a strong whiff of "lottery" about the process right across the country!

Do take a look at the Essex section of the forum for more specific advice on what you might be able to do next. I am sure there is a formal appeal procedure, and if you decide to go that route, take a look at the lengthy thread on the Bucks section on appeals for some general hints and tips.

You must be prepared for another emotional roller-coaster if you appeal, but if your daughter is bright, and the alternative school is really dire, then it could be worth it. From our experience I would suggest that you don't discuss an appeal with your daughter - the children have lived with uncertainty for long enough, and the appeal process here is at best a 40% chance. If you get lucky, then it will be a wonderful surprise for her.

If everyone else around her is going to be talking about their results you could spend time with her "rehearsing" what she is going to say to them.
When my son failed we had a special meal anyway to congratulate him on all his hard work, so that might also help your daughter to come to terms with the result as well.

Also, spend some time with her building her confidence in the future. Ask her teachers for highlights of her current performance and pass them on to her whenever she has a low moment. They will also help remind you that the system is to blame, not you or your daughter.

When my son failed, the loveliest comment made by someone on this site was "cream will always rise to the top". Your daughter is bright and hard-working and I am sure that she will do very well in future.

The next few days will be hard for both of you. Well done for keeping your own disappointment under wraps - it sounds as though you've done better than I did. (Caught crying into the washing up water, I'm afraid!)Concentrate on your wonderful daughter for now, have a nice meal at the weekend and start to think of the future on Monday. Try not to look back, as it just takes longer to let go of the anger and frustration.

Sally-Anne


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 Post subject: eleven + exams
PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 11:35 pm 
A heart felt thank you to lurking dad, catherine+ sally- ann. Your words of support were a real help to me. Today i feel better, and calmer. My daughter felt nervous about going into school today( the thought of telling her friends she hadnt got a place!!) but it turned out o.k. I hate to say it but only 4 boys and one girl passed. Her close friends did not get in and this kind of helped her deal with her own dissappointment. I would like some advice, I am thinking about getting her paper reviewed. Our LEA states that you can request a review, even if your child has not got into the borderzone, PROVIDED you feel there are extenuating circumstances.
When my daughter took the first exam NV in dec. she told me afterwards that she had been quite worried, she was the only one who did not have a pre printed answer sheet. Ater much referring by the staff, she was given a sheet to complet the detail herself. My daughter is quite a nervous and anxious person and this played on her terribly afterward. She kept saying 'what if the computer cant read my results because Ive hand written the details? Worried about this, I phoned the LEA,and they took the details, saying 'they would look out for her paper' Needless to say no-one got back to me. It was her NV paprer that scored lower than expected. Do you think this constitutes grounds for a review? Any ideas would help a great deal. Thank


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 7:39 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:47 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Berks,Bucks
I am glad you are feeling better.

There are very good posts in Bucks about appeals for this LEA. Bucks parents are lucky enough to have Etienne, an ex appeal panel member, and Patricia a experienced tutor, always willing to help on this forum.
Etienne seem to know everyting about Bucks appeals, including having your child paper re-marked. The best thread is called "Appeals", with Etienne posts starting in p3 where he introduces himself as Guest. The other recent threads are worth reading as well.

Best of luck,

Catherine


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 11:57 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8199
Location: Buckinghamshire
Glad to be of help, and also to hear that your daughter has taken it so well.

The kerfuffle over the answer sheet does sound as though it was very distressing for your daughter, and also sounds like "maladministration", which is certainly grounds for appeal here in Bucks. Perhaps you can look into it, without pinning your hopes on it?

Sally-Anne


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 Post subject: Ken to TD
PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 4:14 pm 
TD,

Sorry to read the various threads about your situation.

Just a few bits of advice if you do decide to Appeal.

Make sure you record full details of any telephone calls or correspondence you have with the LEA, particularly in relation to any actions they have agreed to.

Better still, send an email for the attention of the individual, recording the minutes with a request that they ackowledge and reply. Also make sure that you click the 'receipt required' and 'notified when received' buttons in Microsoft Outlook Tools/Options.

My wife who has invigilated and examined many GCSE and AS/A2 exams tells me that the invigilators MUST record any event in the exam hall that could impact the performance of any candidate. (For example, if a child is ill has is persistently coughing). Make a formal request by email to the LEA for the post exams record of the invigilator as they relate to your child. If they haven't recorded this - all the better. Your can then ask them to formally to review the papers and the hand written answer sheet for your child will confirm the facts.

If you do have to attend any meetings, make sure that you print of full transcripts of your emails. Try to stay calm (I know it's easier said than done), make your case and rationale clearly, stick to the facts.

Cool professionalism on your side and incompetence on behalf of the LEA or Exam invigilators will strengthen your case.

Hope this helps

Best of luck

Ken


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 7:14 pm 
Hi TD
Listen, the main thing in life is that your kids are healthy and happy.

I would take the view that if she has had 2 yrs tutoring, she may well have struggled when she got to the grammar school.
Better to be above average in a mainstream school than feeling worthless in a grammar school.
I did 8 weeks familiarisation papers with my child and she got 98%

I honestly believe if kids cannot pass with just a bit of familiarisation they really shouldn't be at grammar school. ( I have 2 friends who work in private schools who agree.)

i dont mean that to sound harsh. I am saying maybe it is for the best. I am sure she will go on to do very well in her new school, and like i said, you have a healthy happy child, and THAT is what is important in life.
Chin up. All the best to you both


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 10:02 pm 
I fully understand your comments Guest, ofcourse my childrens health and happiness go far beyond ANY exam they may do in life. With regards to your comments about tutoring, My child only enrolled in tutoring 8 months before the exam. She had been attending school in a borough that did not have a grammar school!! I say ONLY 8 months because everyone of the children who sat the exam in her school had been tutored for AT LEAST 2 years( with 2 tutions a week). She was not accepted by 3 tution centres because they said I had left it too late!! This is even after I asked them to assess her ability before making the decision. Unfortunately it has become almost as hard to get into 'the right' tution group, as it is to get a grammar place. Unfortunately, so many of these places run very rigid regimes, where there own success rate is much more important than providing the service for which they are being paid, ie to teach. In the end a local tutor did bother to test my child in May and found that, shock! horror! she did have the potential to succeed in this exam.
I am a firm believer that there should not be tutoring for the 11+, and all children should be tested 'cold'. However, working as a teaching assistant at a primary school, i am shocked to find people asking about the 11+ for their 6/ 7 year old. The level of competition and level of expectation is so great here. Parents don't just want their kids to pass, postions are just as important!! In my childs school, 5 out of 15 kids passed, and their positions ranged from 28 to 61!!

I would never wish my child to get a place, just to see her struggle academically, for the next 5 years, but I need to make sure that nothing prevented her from giving her best on the day, and re-checking her paper would give me that satisfaction. Bye for now


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