I write this not to gloat but to give hope to other parents who go through the horror that is the 11+. If you're reading the Devon board then the chances are you have a basic understanding of the system. Torbay has changed this year in that the system is not as devisive; ie children are not penalised for choosing to sit the 11+ as they were in previous years (ie if you did not pass then the likely alternative would not have been your second choice school) this was reflected in the huge number of chlidren who sat the tests this year.
So our child passed, the promised E Mail arrived at 16.08, just the 8 minutes of pressing send/receive countless times. Gathered around the computer, we opened the E Mail, I must read faster than the others as mine was the first whoop of delight. There it was in black & white; Preference 1 school allocated. After the obligatory hugs etc we finally ended up in Pizza Express for a celebration; there seemed to be other parents there celebrating, with pleased looking children.
So, the point of this post? As I wrote earlier, not to gloat. We thought long & hard about our school preference. Obviously there are league tables available. We have had 3 different children at three different schools as we are strong believers in 'the right school for the right child'. We chose not to tutor, we did do some practice papers but again, our personal view was that we only wanted our child to go the grammar if she was up to it. Our view was that by practicing a few papers (I quite enjoyed revisiting the world of mean, medians & modes) we could give our child the understanding of what the tests involved & give her the opportunity to show her ability. Personally I feel uncertain that heavy tutoring will do little more than, possibly, get them through the test but then leave them 'exposed' in their later school lives. Yes, grammar schools are tough academically; it's how they get the results parents crave. Everyone wants the best for their child, my point is that a grammar school education is not necessarily the best for every child. I strongly believe (in this pc world) that every child should have every opportunity to reach their potential, sometimes soul searching is necessary as to what that potential is. I remember expressing an interest in medicine when I was 14/15, I am eternally grateful to the teachers who, quite rightly, persuaded me otherwise, based on my academic ability. Needless to say, I am NOT now a medic, I wasn't bright enough!
To all those parents who have received allocations they did not want, my thoughts are with you. I can only imagine the heartache, it ran through my mind many times prior to the results. We were not confident our daughter would get in, we just hoped she would do her best & her best would be good enough.
There is a history of unsuccessful appeals in Devon; to those considering it, there are some truly heart wrenching stories on this board which, I hope, makes you not take this decision lightly. Sometimes in life, what seems an enormous set back just opens other doors.
To those parents who did get the allocation they wanted; well, enjoy the moment with your child.
Selection based on two days of testing is unkind but so is life.
Please, please, please do not view this as a smug, self satisfied post. We were lucky- & there is an enormous amount of luck on the day, I believe.
For those of you who were unlucky, good luck in the future whatever route you take for your child.