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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2016 7:22 am 

Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:21 pm
Posts: 361
Dear all

So here we are in October and in a fortnight those of you who've sat the 11+ with the state Grammar schools in Birmingham will know how your child has done.

By this point last year I was checking this forum daily, wondering why days go so slowly and so hoping it would be good news. I had been through this once with little fish (2013 exam) and knew when the result arrived she hadn't quite done enough to do what she wanted (she was set on KEFW). So I was pretty nervous and worried about what small fry's result would be.

Results will come and kids will talk

The first thing to appreciate is that within days (possibly minutes) your child's classmates will know or pretty clearly guess how your child has done. Depending on how your child has done there will be various reactions.

Solid scores in safe territory - these kids and parents will naturally be happy and want to talk all about it. If it isn't good news for you try your best to be happy for them.

Borderline score - may just make it or may be high on the waitlist
These parents will be worried and uncertain what to do for best. They'll be upset it isn't all settled and confused about what to do next. If you have been through this before do give them advice and try to keep them hopeful. Remind them to look at last year's wait list offer data at the top of the Birmingham, Walsall, Wolverhampton and Wrekin forum. It's important to be hopeful at this stage because nobody knows what the cut off will actually turn out to be. Cut off scores do go down as well as up - I give you

Not a good result
There are always kids - tutored or not - who just didn't do well. There are so many factors - stress, stressed parents, illness, nerves, poor time management, spending too long on the tricky question..... these kids and parents will go through various feelings - disappointment, anger or jealousy, despair....ultimately they will accept. If you have done well be careful not to crow too much in front of the disappointed. If you are disappointed be careful not to let this make you bitter or mean toward those who have had better luck.

If you are disappointed try not to turn it against those who have done well. Please, please try and remember that luck does come into this - it is that they were well on the day, it is that their parents said exactly the right thing as they dropped them off, it was that they wore their lucky socks.... sometimes it just isn't your day.


The waiting continues....

After the scores are known you will fill in your secondary choices with your local LEA - and then the wait until national allocation day is March begins.

My main advice on this is that if you don't put down a grammar school above your local comprehensives you won't get offered any grammar school place. Try and be realistic - put down your neareast local non-selective school, but keep grammar options open too.

Waiting for national offers of school places day in March is a long old wait and there is no making it any faster. My advice is take advantage of school half-terms and breaks. Make it a nice family time because whilst you are waiting your y6 child is coming to the end of their primary years and although y7 does involve you a bit - secondary is different and we Mums and Dads become less necessary and deeply uncool. I have become something to be tolerated because small fry or little fish need a lift to a friend's house or want us to pay for a school trip. Enjoy your last days with a primary aged kid too parents! The hugs are fewer and further between and the moods are bigger in secondary!


Now this may just be our experience, but after results day odd things started to happen to small fry. Favourite pencil case items went missing, her glasses disappeared off her class table only to be found broken under a book case weeks later, several of her PE kit items 'went missing' - I truly hope this was just our bad luck but want to warn those who have done well there may be angry/ hurt kids out there who will take it out on your child.

There was only a few days of this kind of furore and then October half term sort of cleared the air. It was quite a storm at the time, but it passed. I think the hard part was seeing former friends turn against small fry - we just decided to ignore it and forgive them their petulance- they had been good friends and after the storm of the 11+ passed remain good friends and neighbours. It was just a very bad time for those who hadn't done as well as they hoped.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2016 9:14 am 

Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2015 6:44 am
Posts: 1440
We found it difficult to explain to DD that there was not enough margin of safety, even though we were above the previous years cut off. She hated it, as all she wanted to know was if she had got a place or not and where she was going.

Our caution proved well founded, because it was closer run than we thought. I don't see any way round this, other than trying to switch off once the initial assessment has been made and the CAF completed.

That said I know for a fact that there are kids at KEVIHS this year, who are there because of possible misunderstandings regarding the completion of the CAF form by other parents. Not a criticism, as we changed first and second preferences around a few times, and then someone on here put me straight as to how I should actually complete the order of preferences. Some definitely got mixed up and even though they had good entry scores they lost their place by putting another school in between two grammars for example, not getting the first grammar and then being offered the comp, even though 3rd choice grammar, would have been a safe score and a definite place.

If your in catchment for a good comp, then you really really need to think carefully whether you want it. If you put it first and you get it, then it matters not whether you are safe or borderline from a scores perspective. Nothing wrong with choosing a comp over a grammar and many did do that deliberately, but it is a pressured time and you have to be clear in your thinking and align that with the way the CAF process works.

In terms of friends - Iphones etc are quite good. We have a much better inside view of at least 6 or 7 different schools, based on DD's keep in touch video conferences i.e. who has got a detention, who is finding it difficult in their new school etc. For DD1 nothing I have heard or seen has altered my view that she needed a grammar. The only joke is that a very able girl could easily have missed out on it, because of the vagaries of doing a snapshot test on one specific day.

For DD2 were looking at options that are more nurturing. It feels like she needs a 12+ exam, but we live in a world where it is 11+, so we are happy to consider a wider array of options.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2016 2:18 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:21 pm
Posts: 361
Petitpois wrote:
For DD2 were looking at options that are more nurturing. It feels like she needs a 12+ exam, but we live in a world where it is 11+, so we are happy to consider a wider array of options.

Oh Petitpois - have so been there. Little fish was definitely not ready in Sept 2013 - physically yes, but emotionally and educationally we were behind by 6 months +. She just didn't get why it was that important - maybe she had the right attitude. She is doing well at her state non-selective and is ridiculously happy having lots of free time for outside interests. It also didn't help that this was all new to me and papa trout. We just had no real idea what the 11+ was all about.

I don't have a crystal ball but I have begun to feel over the years that, sure, prepare for these big exams but in terms of getting in (whether that's grammar school, sixth form or uni) - if it's meant to be it will happen.

For all of you going through this and potentially facing disappointment or an anxious wait - keep your patience, think through your options but, most importantly, don't treat not getting into a grammar as the end of the world. It puts too many expectations on your child - and there are too many factors and too many children sitting the Birmingham grammar schools entrance exam (11+) to ever make this just about your child's performance.

I sincerely believe anyone scoring > 200 on the 11+ could thrive at a grammar - the KE Consortium must also think so as PP cut offs aren't that much higher. The problem in Birmingham at least, is they could never offer places to all the children scoring >200. So there is a cut off.

Everyone is different, but we're incredibly proud little fish nearly got into a grammar in 2013 ( for 2014 entry). She came very close and we know how far she travelled and how hard she worked to achieve that. We still celebrate that achievement as much as small fry getting into CHG (2015 exam for 2016 entry).

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