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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 6:56 pm 
hi can anyone help me with this subject...have been in touch with planning & admissions, but they seem unable to give a clear answer....suppose we put the following schools down in this order
1.girls high
2.Chelmer Valley
3.John Payne
4. Moulsham

if daughter does not pass 11+, will she have the same chance at a place at our 2nd choice as someone else that had decided not to take 11+ in the first place and had put Chelmer as their 1st choice? We are not in the Catchment area for schools in places 2-4. Could we end up with a school not even on our list?

 Post subject: Response to Mickey
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 7:18 pm 
Hi Mickey,

I will do some research and come back with a response shortly.

 Post subject: Response to Mickey
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 7:40 pm 
Mickey, have done some research. First some figures

The secondary admission booklet for Essex shows the following figures:

The first column is the number of applicants. The second column is the number of available places.

Chelmsford Girls 609 120
Chelmer Valley 484 185
John Payne 389 180
Moulsham 717 268

You can see that the number of applicants for each school significantly outweighs the number of places. Last year, the last applicant gaining a place at Chelmer Valley came under admissions criteria 4 for that school. For this school you may therefore have a chance of admission, criteria 4 being "other children". However, it would depend how far from the catchment area you are, because it is likely that not all children from criteria 4 were admitted, those living closer (as the crow flys) being given a higher priority.

The same situation as above applies to Moulsham.

As far as John Payne is concerned, you may as well forget this school unless you are catholic. If you are a catholic and preferably practicing, then you will almost certainly gain a place.

Therefore, the best that can be said is that you stand some chance of admission to these schools but, as you live outside the catchment areas, there is a chance that you will be allocated to none of them and end up being given the nearest school with spaces available. It is for this reason that applicants are always advised to put down their catchment school.

It might be beneficial to ask the LEA the following question:

"What was the exact distance school to home, of the last person admitted to school *** for the last two years. This would give you some idea of what your chances are.

Another of your questions is related to practice papers. There are loads available and the more practice the better. The English is comprehension and is almost almost always a bit of a nightmare.

Anyway, if you require any further assistance, please feel free to ask.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 8:20 pm 
I had 2 friends last year who both live in Chelmsford and didn't get offered any of their 4 options. they were both offered St Peters and it is the only school in Chelmsford where the number of places available outweighs the number of people applying.

Mickey, Where in relation to Chelmer Valley High do you live?

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:06 pm 
hi we live between the school and the town centre but st peters is our catchment, and the only school i am desparate to avoid.

many thank to essex girl for her research....

 Post subject: Allocations
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:58 pm 
Hi Guest and all,

I didn't realise Chelmsford had a St. Peters so I had to look it up. I see what you mean!

I would recommend that you apply for a school/s with specialist status that operates an entrance exam. St. Martins in Hutton is one example. Tests are taken in maths and non-verbal reasoning but other schools also operate a test, Billericay and Shenfield are two of them.

To add to your chances, you probably ought to prepare your child for the non verbal reasoning. These tests are available in the same way that VR tests are available. Personally, I am hopeless at them but you can get booklets which explain how they work. The tests arranged by these schools are very different from the 11+ and we have a child who had been prepared for the 11+, verbal reasoning and all but who did not get a grammar school place and was successful in gaining a place via one of these tests (even though the said child had not had experience of non verbal reasoning). Admittedly the child is very observant and differs from siblings in that child can pick out and notices details and differences in things much more quickly. (The siblings are at a grammar). Anyway this success goes to show that these tests can pick out children with this kind of talent and I have no doubt that some NVR work would be of real benefit , even if it does mean that your child has to practice both VR and NVR.

Do look at the transport situation with regard to these schools. Shenfield might be a good option for you because your child could get the train to Shenfield and it is easily walkable. St. Martins is between Billericay and Shenfield (in Hutton) and is a bit more difficult but there may be a special bus service. Billericay school is also reachable but not quite as easy, perhaps, as Shenfield. The mentioned schools have the following specialisms:

Shenfield: Business enterprise
Billericay: Maths and computing
St. Martins: Technology and humanities

Each of the schools I mention is very different and offers different subject choices, etc. In terms of results, they are all quite reasonable and certainly far better than St. Peters but St. Martins has the best, followed by Shenfield and then Billericay.

Have a look at the school web sites. I know children at all of these schools and all seem happy and are doing their best.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 6:52 pm 
once again many thanks for your help.....think we will persevere with the chelmer option at the moment as a second choice but only in view of travel/siblings etc & keep fingers crossed for high school!!!

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