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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 8:53 am 
Hi

I am a parent from Warwickshire. My child is in Infants school and is among the most brightest amongst the cohort.

I am having a dilema, can anyone share any opinions please. I need to choose between a seemingly ok'ish State Primary (that does KS2 SATS) aganinst a Prep School that does not do SATS but prepares pupils for Common Entrance Exams in Jnauary of Yr 6.

State Primary achieved in 2006 Eng (L4 85%, L5 38%) and Maths (L4 82%, L5 38%). It also achieved an "outstanding" in its 2007 OFSTED report. About a 1% have succeeded in getting into the local grammar schools, and about the same amount into the local popular independent senior school. Majority tend to stay in the school.

The Prep School eschews the KS2 and prepares students for 11+ CE exams (CE exams are marked by the destination school) and are not reliable indicators of academic performance. Students do the Bond Assessment Books in Yrs 3, 4, 5 and 6.


The Prep School does get almost most students into Independent Secondary School with about 5% winning scholarships. About a 1% have succeeded in getting into the local grammar schools. We also know that up to and including 2006, the 11+ examiniations that the papers-types have been Moray tests. From Nov 2007 NFER test are used, and are generally assumed to be more difficult.

Whichever school is chosen, I know I will have to supplement with coaching/tutoring as my child would need to be at a Level 5b by the end of Yr 5- in order to stand a chance of being successful in an 11+ exam (which as you know is taken in the first tem of Yr 6)

We also know that immigrant children will also start to trickle into the stte primary school, in the coming years. It is likley that little or no extra resources will be provided to cater for this, and it is also likley that brighter children may be left to work autonmously so that the less able are brought up to sctratch - thus minimising the possibility of the teacher providing the brightest children with more stretching work.


My questions are therefore to gain opinions from those who have children to who gone through the 11+ process:

1) Which sounds the better school to give my child a more stretching foundation to prepare for the 11+.

2) The CE syllabus would appear to more traditional than KS2 SATS, and as Grammar School 11+ papers are more traditional. Would the CE syllabus be more relevant = or does ity not matter whether a child does KS" or CE - and if they are bright they will excel no matter what?

3) Do state primaries use CAT tests to track ptential, on a school-yearly basis?


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:42 am 
If you are definitely going to go for the grammar as a secondary I would stick with the state primary. Most people would be falling over themselves to go to an Ofsted rated "outstanding" school.

From personal experience my kids' independent school did not do SATS and just taught what they wanted, they did not cover huge areas of the National Curriculum. The eleven plus is a lot different to the Common Entrance and in my opinion it is easier to get into the majority of independents than it is to grammar school.

I don't think the predictions of the immigrant children swamping the school are necessarily true, probably just propaganda stirred up by idiots. Even if it were true, I went to a school where there were a high proportion of immigrants and got into grammar school. My kids are currently at very good schools where there also are a high proportion of recent immigrants and they are certainly not suffering as a result.

At the end of the day 11 plus is not rocket science. Your intelligent kid should be fine with the normal KS2 and practise at home with the NFER tests.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 10:28 am 
If I understand your post correctly, it seems that the same percentage of children from the state school get to grammar as do from the independent, and that you will getting an external tutor to prepare for the 11+. If this is the case then each schools results are almost irrelevent and you should be looking at what school would suit your child best.

Are you in a position to be able to afford to pay for an independent school and a tutor? Taking into account the fact that prices do rise, when we started our children at a pre-prep school, we estimated that by the time they were in their final years we would be paying about £12k for the both, taking into account inflation. As it was this figure ended up being £20k.

If you are in a position to pay independent at the primary level but then want your child to go to grammar, I would advise to try and find an independent school that only goes to Y6 and that prepare the children for the 11+.

That is the route we have taken, our eldest is now in Y7 of a very good grammar and our youngest is still in Y5 of the independent and they have just started preparing them for the 11+


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 10:57 am 
Hi

Thanks for the responses so far. Also, apologies for the spelling and grammatical errors - one can safely deduce that I did not attend grammar school....lol.

I take "Guest"'s point about using the State Primary as it has an outsanding OFSTED report. Can we take it that if the school produces 38% L5's in Eng and Maths, that this is a good foundation to start from - as opposed to the Prep School where we cannot quanitify its performance to the same degree.

Also "Guesti", I am fully aware of the limitation of the Prep School - its aim is to enter its pupils to Independent Senior schools - and let's face it most are easier to get into than Grammar Schools.

But I think my real concern is that I cannot determine which is the more stretching syllabi for Eng and Maths. Is it KS2 or CE? As "Guest" mentioned some Prep Schools miss out some sections of the CE.

The Prep School does traditional teaching, but I do not to what level, certainly they use the old-fashioned Eng and Maths textbooks from the 70's and 80's. I think I may have to weigh up the pros and cons, but I am now probably leaning more towards the State Primary. The State Primary is known to be markedly better at Eng than Maths. I also know that it is easier for parents to help children with Maths than Eng. I guess I can also teach VR and NVR at home as there are the Bond Papers to use.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:10 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Optimist

As the success rate for both schools or GS entry is similar, and the state school is rated Outstanding, I would be inclined to save my money. That is unless your fallback option is an independent school in which case the CE preparation will be very valuable.

I too wouldn't worry about the immigrant children - many immigrant families and their children have a superior work ethos to British children, and can actually raise standards in their schools.

Quote:
I guess I can also teach VR and NVR at home as there are the Bond Papers to use.


The change from Moray House papers to NFER also changes the type of practice material you need to use. We do not recommend Bond for NFER VR preparation. I haven't been following the Warwickshire changes in detail for the last couple of months, but please do go to the Warks section of the Forum and read the posts there so that you can make sure you are using the correct preparation materials.

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:41 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8203
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Optimist

Tis thread contains the latest inormation about the new NFER tests - such as Warks are willing to release. It also contains Patricia's invaluable guide to preparing for NFER:

http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/forum/11plus/viewtopic.php?t=2470&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 4:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
Posts: 1300
Location: Birmingham
Hi Optimist

Prep schools are not always the best for getting children through the state 11+ grammar exams - particularly if they have a senior school themselves. The best prep schools tend often to be those that only go up to year 6; their targets being to maximise the numbers getting through to grammar and independent.

Quite a few state primary schools in the west midlands/Warwickshire/Worcs area usually offer 11+ clubs or study skills coaching for those children/parents that are thinking about entering their children for grammar schools. I agree SATS are a distraction.

Not sure what part of Warwickshire you live in and what schools you are thinking about, but it might be worthwhile registering and dropping me a PM with your email address. I have a few facts and figures about Warwickshire which may be of interest.

Regards

Ken


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 4:43 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:30 pm
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I really don't think that a primary school with an outstanding OFSTED and 38% level 5s can under any circumstances be describes as OKish!


It looks a no-brainer to me - you have a brilliant primary school. Go for it!


Oh, and immigrant children more often than not come from families that are highly motivated and value education highly.


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