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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:18 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:26 pm
Posts: 4
Hello there,

We are likely though not definitely moving to the Gloucester area in the next six months. Its absolutely terrible timing for our year 6 son. He is bright. I've got his CAT (year 6) results from school today and he got 130 in verbal, 141 in quantative and 141 in non-verbal so a mean result of 137.

I really want (like all of us) him to be in a school where he can reach his potential. A grammar school would be great. A good comprehensive would be fine. But I am terrified he will only be given a place in schools with spare places which will be the worst ones.

I would really value any advice (even if it is not too hopeful) and also to know which are the best comprehensives. We have a modest housing budget so probably won't be able to afford the best areas for housing but not the worst either.

I just don't even know where to start. We are thinking gloucester or cheltenham for living.

I also have a year 5 girl who got 141 in all catagories for her CAT (year 5) tests. We don't have grammars in our area so they will have done no practice/coaching so far. I expect it is too late for my son anyway :(

I would prefer a co-ed school but not that bothered if it is good. I went to a girls grammar so know the big benefits (and a few drawbacks;) ) too.

Wow I think we are in a bit of a predicament!!

Thank you for your thoughts.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:26 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:49 pm
Posts: 41
cant offer you any advice on gloucestershire schools,but just wanted to share that i was facing a similar dilemma a few months ago.dd in yr6 (level 5a eng and 5b maths),currently aiming for level 6 in sats,and we decided to relocate to bolton.finding the right school for my dd and 2 ds(yr2 n reception) seemed quite a distressing ordeal.i had already anticipated that since we are moving in the middle of school term ,we would only be offered places in 'not so good' comprehensives.but the school that we have been offered is good.i have decided on an indie school for my dd for her secondary education(which i couldnt afford in london! ).
so ,relocation and finding the right school for your kids is not so daunting as it seems at first!
wishing you every bit of luck for the future!!!

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:39 am 

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 2:09 pm
Posts: 276
Didn't want to read and run so here's a few thoughts:

No doubt you know that your DC's mean CAT scores place them in the top 1% of the country, so they stand a very good chance of passing the 11+. Here in Gloucestershire we only have super-selective grammars (meaning there's no catchment: you can apply from anywhere and they take the highest scoring DCs who apply) which means that entry is very competitive. So even for intelligent DCs like yours, it would still be worthwhile (some would say imperative) for them to do some practice beforehand. The test is two multiple choice papers of verbal reasoning only, so there's no point practising anything else. I note your DS's VR score is lower than his others, though still high. The key thing is to work quickly through the exam papers. There's no time to ponder questions you are stuck on & so practising this is very helpful. You can get lots of practice materials from this website and/or bookshops. Once you know which part of Gloucs you'll be living in, no doubt you can get some recommendations of tutors if you want to go down that route.

The timetable is as follows. First you have to register to enter your child for the 11+ in the September of Y6. The primary schools will not do this for you (in fact most of them won't be in the slightest bit interested!) Then the exam is in October of Y6. Results come out 2 weeks later and armed with that information you then submit your application form for all secondary schools (you get 4 preferences). School allocations are on 1 March. Appeals for unsuccessful applicants take place in May - July. And then the DCs start their schools in Sept.

So for your DD, this all looks fine. As long as you remember to register her in Sept for the exam (which you can do from any part of the country) she will be in the system.

Your DS has missed the exam. I don't know what the procedure is for DCs who move into the county, but there must be one. Perhaps you can still appeal? I should ring Gloucestershire County Council and ask them. There must be some process you need to follow. Perhaps Capers (who sits on appeal panels) will be along shortly to offer advice?....

If you have to appeal, there's lots of helpful advice under the Appeals section of this website and though daunting, is not impossible. I would recommend you gather together as much evidence as you can of high ability from their current school. Get those CAT scores printed out on official paper for example and keep copies of their SATs scores and predicted end of Y6 SATs.

If you are not successful getting your DS a grammar school place for Y7, you can always try again in Y8. People do join quite happily at that stage.

As for the comprehensives, I know Balcarras in Cheltenham has an excellent reputation, but you do need to be living extremely close by and houses in the area are v.expensive. I think some of the comps in Cirencester have good reputations too.

We have 7 GSs in Gloucs. Pates (Cheltenham) is the only co-ed and is the hardest to get into. There are 2 boys and 2 girls GS in Gloucester and 1 boys and 1 girls GS in Stroud. You can apply for all 4 which are relevant for your DC and the schools will share the results.

Sorry this is a bit of a rush - didn't want you to go into half-term without any feedback. Hopefully other people will be along with further info shortly. :D

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:59 am 

Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:23 am
Posts: 4
Here is the information from Pate's website regarding late sitters:

Parents moving into the area who wish their child to be considered for admission to Pate’s into Years 7-11, should contact the Admissions Officer at the school, who will arrange for the pupil to take a late test and a report to be sent from the pupil’s current school. The pupil will be placed on the relevant waiting list in the position determined by the score achieved in a late Test.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:37 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:26 pm
Posts: 4
Thank you all for replying. I appreciate you taking the time :)

I only realised quite how high the CAT scores were yesterday. I knew they were in stanine 9 before. So I need to get some past papers and think I saw something about VR 21 on here. I am absolutely brand new to all this so will try and find them on this website. Are there online sites they can practise on?

Does anyone know (or guess) whether the waiting list thing referred to on the Pate's website is the same as the appeals? I guess I am wondering if we really rush a test through whether he could be considered as an appeal? I would prefer a month or so to practice tests and to let him get his head around this whole upheaval/shock.

Its scary and exciting all at once.

Thank you again.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:05 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8763
Location: Buckinghamshire
mrschatterbox wrote:
Thank you all for replying. I appreciate you taking the time :)

I only realised quite how high the CAT scores were yesterday.
The CAT scores are truly exceptional for both children, and they will undoubtedly do well wherever they go, and they would certainly be suitable for a grammar school.

So I need to get some past papers and think I saw something about VR 21 on here. I am absolutely brand new to all this so will try and find them on this website.
The Gloucestershire test is in exactly the same format as the Bucks test, and all the advice of our Bucks VR guru Patricia on this thread applies: viewtopic.php?f=12&t=4782

There is also some general advice for late starters here: http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/prepar ... e-starters

You can view the "21 types" of VR question here: http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/advice ... t-a-glance

For your son I would buy the IPS Red book (Guide to VR), get a grip on the questions and techniques yourself, then take him through the IPS green book to practice each question type individually. Given his CAT scores, I would then move straight on to Susan Daughtrey's Bright Sparks papers (multiple choice version) and see what happens!

All the practice materials that are appropriate for the Bucks & Glos tests can be found in our bookshop here:

I will leave the locals to advise you on school places, appeals in Glos, etc.


PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:32 pm 

Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:03 pm
Posts: 1842
Location: Gloucestershire

Apply to several grammars, as I suspect that they won't share the scores of the tests with each other in the way they would with a 'normal' 11+. Your son will most likely pass the tests, but you won't get a place because the schools will be 'full'. Then you'll need to appeal against not being offered a place on grounds of oversubscription.

If your appeal gets heard with the rest of the appeals (for the exams taken last) then you'll have a slighly better chance of winning, especially for Pate's (who tend to have less appeals allowed).

If you apply to Crypt, you may well find you don't even need to appeal if they are undersubscribed. Some may say 'oh but Crypt / STR aren't as good as Pate's - they take children who aren't quite as bright' - this may be true, but they also have their fair share of 'rocket scientists' and all the children are well above average, otherwise wouldn't have passed the test.

Don't panic, as I think it's likely it'll all work out for you. But do contact the schools now, rather than leaving it.

As to housing, Gloucester is probably cheapest, Stroud is a little more, but lots of small villages & victorian terraces - quite trendy.

Good luck.


PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:29 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:26 pm
Posts: 4
Thank you Sally Anne for those links. They are great... I think my children will definitely need help in timing papers and in practising the types of questions so thank you :)

Thanks for being encouraging about their CAT scores too. I am a little surprised as they seem a little challenged on the common sense front at times!! But they've always excelled at school work.

Its really tough to encourage them without putting pressure or setting them up for disappointment isn't it. Still I am glad to give them a chance. I appreciated the standard of teaching at my grammar school and have mostly happy memories although there were a few disadvantages 20 years ago!!

Capers thank you too. As soon as our move is confirmed I will contact schools and in the mean time get on with the practising. Thanks for the advice about Crypts. I am not at all bothered by getting them into the "best" grammar school. I would prefer to find one where they feel safe and valued and which has good teaching and good work ethic. Sounds like all the GS would be good in these areas!

Thanks for this too:

Don't panic, as I think it's likely it'll all work out for you.
I hope so :)

I'm glad for your help here. Thanks for the tip off on Stroud too. It sounds nice. We'll need a good drive round I guess.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:53 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 6910
I just noticed that you also asked about comprehensive schools. I teach in one which would not be considered well regarded and if you want to pm me I will tell you some of those you might want to put lower down your list. In Cheltenham, Balcarras is well thought of and Bournside is also doing well at the moment. Cleeve is generally oversubscribed too and Pittville is improving enormously.

I think all the Gloucester/Cheltenham grammars are good and each has its own individual character. If I were you would do as Capers suggests and apply to all, then go and look. I know people with children at all of them and I have a child at one. Most seem happy with the choice they have made. I know less about the Stroud ones but again, most people are happy. You will always find naysayers for any school - so go and look! It sounds as though your children will do well wherever they go.

Best of luck and please pm me if you want more details.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:09 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2007 4:14 pm
Posts: 739
Location: Gloucester
Hi there,

Can't really add anything to the excellent advice already offered!
I have a son at Crypt in year 10 so if you need any advice please ask,



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