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 Post subject: What are your views
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:52 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:39 am
Posts: 4
From recent mock exams it seems that my child may just scrape into their school of choice if the wind is in the right direction on the day of the test. My dilemma is, is it better to just get into a grammar by the skin of their teeth with the potential to be in bottom sets in a highly academic environment or go to a good comp and be in top sets in a more rounded, less academic environment?


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 Post subject: Re: What are your views
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:04 pm
Posts: 726
For me the answer to that would entirely depend on the schools in question. Some grammar schools are extremely nurturing and a child in the bottom set could achieve their potential very well. Some comprehensives work better with pupils in the middle range than those at either end.
However personally (and knowing my child's personality) I would rather they were at the top of a good comprehensive than the bottom of a good grammar, assuming that both schools would meet her needs in all other ways.


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 Post subject: Re: What are your views
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 12:24 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11956
I can only think of one pupil that was truly 'at the bottom' in everything in my GS. Everyone else might have been weaker in English but were in the top Maths group or a talented actor.

A borderline score does not mean they will struggle - some of the brightest I've taught have got in an appeal or at 12+.

edited because of typos!


Last edited by Guest55 on Sat Jul 18, 2015 12:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: What are your views
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 12:39 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:59 am
Posts: 3579
Agree with guest55 here, appeal son is doing extremely well at gs, in some areas much better than nearly full marks son!

We are in a similar situation with youngest, he passed fine with an ok, not scrape, not fab score, he got v good sats, but struggles in some areas. We have decided to go for it and let him try gs, with the thought we can always shift him down, but harder to shift up later.

We will report back in 6 months. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: What are your views
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 12:59 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:25 pm
Posts: 2610
I agree with G55 and would add that a high scorer can just as easily struggle when the get to GS school but nobody tends comments about that.


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 Post subject: Re: What are your views
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 4:02 pm
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I have two children, both thriving at (different) grammar schools. One just scraped in; one got a very high score. The difference between their scores would lead an observer to believe that one should be doing far better than the other but it's just not the case. Many of their peers I know who got scores at the lower end, including some who got in from the waiting list, are doing equally well, whereas some of the top scorers are not - perhaps they peaked too early? Or pushed beyond their real capabilities? Who knows.


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 Post subject: Re: What are your views
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:22 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:19 pm
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I don't know what the alternative to your grammar school is like so can't advise you on the best choice for your DS. I also don't know how your DS reacts to being in lower sets and whether he would be happier being nearer the top of the non-GS.

However, I can tell you that ds1 has always been in the bottom set for maths in his SS GS and is still predicted to get an extremely good grade in his maths GCSE this summer - time will tell if this is the case! The bottom set has been taught exactly the same syllabus but at their pace and his panic when faced with maths has disappeared. In the same vein he has flourished in other subjects and is in top or second sets for these.

Wherever there is setting there will always be a bottom set and somebody has to be in it! I don't care what the label or title of the set is as long as my children are happy and learning and let's face it you don't have to put "bottom set for maths, top set for French" on your cv do you :lol: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: What are your views
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:25 pm
Posts: 2610
My DS was put in bottom set Maths at GS. He quickly got up to speed but despite being given the opportunity to move up he chose to stay put as he preferred being in a smaller class.

For some DC it is probably better to be near the higher end of achievers due to confidence issues, so non- selectives suit them better, some really couldn't care or need the extra push and strongly academic enviroment of a Grammar.

That is a seperate issue altogether though. The crux of it is scores don't necessarily relate to ability so the decision on whether you'd prefer them to be a high flier in a non- selective is better made before sitting the test not after. That way you don't have to deal with the worry of them not achieving the qualifying score and the negative effect that could have.


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 Post subject: Re: What are your views
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:05 pm
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My DD got into her preferred Grammar school last year, passing only by 1 mark. She was assessed using CATS tests when she got there and found to to be in the top 5% nationally so was set very challenging targets for year 7 . She has just finished Year 7 with very high grades in all subjects and has already surpassed some of her target grades. She has been put in the top set for maths next year (the only subject they ability set for) and this was the section of the entrance exam she scored lowest on.
So ... no in my opinion, having a low pass mark does not mean you go on to struggle at Grammar School.


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 Post subject: Re: What are your views
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:34 pm
Posts: 230
An important issue not touched upon yet is whether you feel the child is diligent at their work and would cope with the more fast-paced setting of a grammar school.

Getting through the test is just one aspect. The child has to go to school, day in, day out, and if you feel they do not like being pressurised or pushed academically, then I would have reservations. Of course, children mature and develop and may acquire a better work ethic as they get older. However, an hour and a half of homework each night for Year 7 definitely wouldn't suit all children.


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