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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 6:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2016 5:19 pm
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Hi
Just wondered how other parents deal with a possible difference in preferred schools!
DD is sitting the Kent Test on 8th September. We have good grammars and a good local comp, so to be honest whether dd passes or fails it isn't too much of a problem. However, she is under the impression that all her friends are going to the comp - I've told her that at the moment no-one knows where they're going, and by doing her best in the exam, she is giving herself the best choice of schools - we want her to have as many options as possible. Also, I'm sure that friendships change a lot going into Year 7, and I actually wouldn't want her basing a decision on what her friends do, although I haven't said that to her.
I want her to do the best she can but without criticising the comprehensive option, firstly because it's a good school, and secondly because she might end up going there! She is doing excellent work at home, but I think she partly feels that it's wasted because she might not want to pass! I'm worried that she might not try her best because of the assumptions she is making about her friends and their possible results and choice of schools. I would prefer her to go to a grammar school if she was fortunate enough to pass, simply because I want her to be the best she can be.
I would love to hear how others manage this dilemma!
Thank you x


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:48 pm 
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I think I'd point out that she is being compared with peers from other schools, and some of her options at whichever senior school she ends up with may depend on what level she is at on entry. Being in lower sets at a comprehensive can be quite dull if she could be capable of more. [Of course a good school will ensure that she is stretched, but have a look at the comp site - it is likely that certain subjects will only be open to higher sets eg multiple MFL/triple science].


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:55 pm 
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In our case it was also the non-academic activities like a good orchestra and other music opportunities. The range of sports was also of interest and, yes, the triple science was certainly a plus.

I think just focusing on academic differences is less compelling to a ten year-old than showing a wider range of other opportunities.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:58 pm 
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Thank you for your replies. With regards to the extra-curricular activities, the comp has excellent sports facilities, and dd is extremely sporty. However there are 1500 pupils there and I've heard that getting selected for any of the teams is difficult because of the competition!
The comp also has limited science and language options, but due to dd's age this isn't really something she would be concerned about at the moment and pointing that out would fall on deaf ears!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:52 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
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Location: Essex
Ladymuck wrote:
I think I'd point out that she is being compared with peers from other schools, and some of her options at whichever senior school she ends up with may depend on what level she is at on entry. Being in lower sets at a comprehensive can be quite dull if she could be capable of more. [Of course a good school will ensure that she is stretched, but have a look at the comp site - it is likely that certain subjects will only be open to higher sets eg multiple MFL/triple science].


What set / stream she might find herself in at the comprehensive might depend on performance in SATs, or CATs / some other test once at the school, but it won't depend on how she does in the 11+. Equally, if it's likely that a pupil would naturally (i.e. without deliberately flunking whichever assessment) find themselves in low sets in a comprehensive school then it's unlikely that grammar school is a suitable environment for him / her.

Assuming that a place at the comprehensive is guaranteed anyway, I would acknowledge this, but push the 'passing the 11+ would just give more possibilities to consider' line (this is actually what we said to all of ours - apart from the guaranteed place at a comprehensive that we would have been happy with, which didn't actually apply, unfortunately).

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:14 am 
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Going to the same school as her friends also doesn't guarantee she will be with any of them when she gets there.
The girl next door goes to our catchment school and she was the only girl from our primary school in the class.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:23 am 
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Good point, I don't think she realises just how big the comp is, it's 300 pupils per year group.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:42 pm 
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My DD was like that. One day, we showed her the first test she did and compared it to her recent one. When she realised how far she had come, she didn't want to stop and make it lead to nothing.

I also agree with tinkers. Not all the children would have got into or chose to go to the same school so naturally would be split up anyway. Two of DD's best friends siblings used to be in the same class and best friends in primary school. Now, at GCSE, they barely know each other and they went to the same school in the same form at secondary.


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