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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:12 am 
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Location: London
I think not but a few mumsnetters are getting on their high horses about this. It would be interesting to hear about experiences here.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:45 am 
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Location: Warwickshire
At Dd2's gs, a few girls are struggling across the board, one wants to leave, the others get low marks and extra help at school, in groups at lunchtime or from sixth formers.

As many had tutoring and most are on the same sort of levels now, I don't think on the whole tutored children do struggle.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:02 pm 
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I think you have to look at the bigger picture- a child who is otherwise doing very well in school under their own steam - probably getting to higher level 5's by KS2 and has 6-9 months of test familiarisation/ tutoring is likely to do really well - That is my experience with 2 children - one with a reasonable but not stellar test score and one that failed but has a place on appeal.

Many of the children who are doing years of extra prep probably are bright and do fine too but a child who is maybe more average at school and is having extra maths and english and test prep for years may not do so well or need more support to get keep up and I am not sure what the pressure of so much work does for their health and wellbeing either.

I know that some parts of the country are incredibly competitive for GS places so I can sort of understand how it happens but I am glad I have not had to go down those extremes as I don't think my mental health would have stood the strain never mind the children.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:09 pm 
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On the whole I think it would be pretty hard to get a child into GS that wasn't bright enough to cope. OK, so a few borderlines may get in with help from coaching, but I believe that they are then set to cope in the future as any good coach doesn't just cover questions to get through the 11+ but covers all kinds of curriculum subjects.

Personally I think its an urban myth put about by people who don't think they coach (but do, as they do work themselves with their children) or feel sour grapes about their child not getting in. There are always exceptions, but I think its rare for a coached child to leave because they can't cope (if looked at carefully, sure it would be manay other reasons) and if a child qualifies for GS then they are as deserving to be there as any other child, however they reached the qualifying mark.

Two coached but robust qualifying marks here, so not justifying a borderline mark, just my opinion.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:14 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
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Location: Essex
DC17C wrote:
I think you have to look at the bigger picture- a child who is otherwise doing very well in school under their own steam - probably getting to higher level 5's by KS2 and has 6-9 months of test familiarisation/ tutoring is likely to do really well - That is my experience with 2 children - one with a reasonable but not stellar test score and one that failed but has a place on appeal.

Many of the children who are doing years of extra prep probably are bright and do fine too but a child who is maybe more average at school and is having extra maths and english and test prep for years may not do so well or need more support to get keep up and I am not sure what the pressure of so much work does for their health and wellbeing either.

I know that some parts of the country are incredibly competitive for GS places so I can sort of understand how it happens but I am glad I have not had to go down those extremes as I don't think my mental health would have stood the strain never mind the children.


Somewhere back in the annals, so to speak - not sure which section of the forum but possibly Essex - there was a post from a grammar school teacher who said something along the lines of, they can tell what category a child falls into (being bright and tutored / not tutored and bright / not very bright but heavily tutored. I am paraphrasing here but that was the drift).

DS2 has commented on a fellow year 7 whose 'amusing' answers are beginning to make other boys think that he might fall into the third category :( .

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:17 pm 
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Over the years I have come across a very small number of students that just haven't coped; most have been from a private school that spoon-fed them.

In my mind there is nothing worse than being at the bottom of a GS and to struggle every lesson. I find it heartbreaking that parents allow this to go on and ask for restricted curriculum e.g. only sitting 5 GCSEs rather than reconsider whether a GS is best for their child.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:28 pm 
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
So few aren't tutored in some way.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:33 pm 
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It is unusual these days with the competitive nature of GS entrance for children not to be tutored at all, whether DIY or with a paid tutor. So I don't think you can say tutored children struggle as they are pretty much all tutored! However I still feel some are pushed (over tutored) beyond their capability. From my children's point of view, at their schools, there is a small number of children who are not up to the level of the rest of the cohort. I have heard from GS teachers in the past that these are likely to be more average ability kids who are drilled and drilled and pushed to get through the exam and then suffer as they really can't work as quickly in all subjects as the majority. The percentage seems to be small but I do feel sorry for them.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:42 pm 
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Location: London
How about private schools, is it the same picture?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:49 pm 
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I think it depends on why they are being tutored. My dd was tutored for the exam-style questions and because she needed to learn more maths for the exams than she would have learned in school. But I knew she was perfectly able - she was all level 5s by halfway through year 5 - but someone needed to go through VR with her and teach her the more advanced maths skills (and that someone wasn't going to be her parents for the sake of all of our sanity). I can't imagine many children getting in to the very selective schools around here without some level of tutoring but they all seem to be coping very well. My dd is definitely holding her own in her school now...
However there are some children who appear to be over-tutored (working most nights of the week etc) and I would worry about their ability to cope once they arrive - I held the view that if she couldn't get in with relatively low levels of help then I didn't want her going there and struggling.


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