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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:59 pm
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This is our first time going through the secondary school application process, and we are bewildered, to say the least. If any of you 'experienced' parents can shed some light on our situation, it would be much appreciated! :D

Our daughter did much better than expected in the 11+ and her headmaster suggested we consider TOGS as an option. He explained that her score is unlikely to guarantee a place, but she should be in with a chance, depending on number of applicants and cut-offs this year. As we live relatively close to WOK, she would almost certainly be offered a place there, if we applied. To make matters more complicated, a friend just suggested we also look as TWGGS, as our daughter may be in with a chance of a governor's place there.

My question is: Does the order of choice in which we list schools on the application form, have any bearing on how likely DD is to be offered a place? I.e. if we put TOGS or TWGGS 1st, and WOK 2nd, and don't get offered 1st choice, as 11+score not high enough for this year's cut-off, might we miss out on 2nd choice, as WOK will have been allocated to girls putting it 1st? Or does each school make an offer independently, and KCC then allocate according to choice preference indicated on SCAF? I hope this makes sense to someone!

(I realise this is a 'technical' question, but don't want to bore you with our deliberations over which school would actually suit DD best! :roll: Just want to make sure we don't jeopardise a place at a great school, by going for a 'risky' option).


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:20 pm
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Location: Warwickshire
It makes no difference to your chances to your chances of getting your second choice if you put another school which you then don't get a place at above it on the form.

The schools get to know who has listed them as a preference - any preference - in order to create a ranking list according to their admissions policies. But they don't even get to know whereabouts you placed them on the form. If you get your first preference you get struck off the lists of all the lower ones. If you don't you have exactly the same chance for your next choice as if you'd placed it first. And so on until you are allocated a place, at which point you are removed from the lists of all your lower preference schools.

Golden rule #1 is to put them down in your true order of preference - so grammars in order of preference above comps in order of preference as you'll be offered the first one that has a place for you.

Golden rule #2 is to make sure you put down somewhere on your form (last if needs be) a school you are sure you'll get a place at (usually your local school). Fail to do this and you risk ending up with no place at all, and just being allocated one at wherever is nearest and has spaces left after everyone else's preferences have been met. Every year there are some people who fall for the trap of thinking that if they only list one or two schools they must be given one of them - this is a fallacy!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:40 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:59 pm
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Thank you! That's really helpful and has made the whole process much clearer.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:55 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:17 pm
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Hi, this is our first time too and we are in a similar position to you. Our DD has a borderline score for TGS, probably dependent on whether they decide to have an additional class again this year. I didn't want to risk putting TGS, not meeting the scores then missing out on our second choice (Invicta) to others who had put it first. I spoke to KCC (and the admissions officer at TGS who was very helpful) and have been told that this would not happen so effectively there's nothing to lose by putting it first, if it is actually your preference.

Having gone through all this angst though, I'm actually questioning if my preference is skewed by the fact that it is a super selective, and not because it is our favourite school, and whether we might just put Invicta first after all!! Will make final decision after open evening tonight.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:14 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:16 am
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anothermummy wrote:
I'm actually questioning if my preference is skewed by the fact that it is a super selective, and not because it is our favourite school, and whether we might just put Invicta first after all!! Will make final decision after open evening tonight


Please go with your favourite school and which ever you DD loves...my DD scored high enough to go to TGS but she loved Invicta more, attended workshops which she enjoyed and Invicta is closer to our home. The fact that she got full marks is not influencing me to go TGS because it is a superselective school...Both schools are equally very good and my personal opinion is that your DD will flourish in either school.

Also think about if your DD 'just' get in and then start struggling to keep up with her newly found friends (it may not happen but it does happen)at TGS as a higher percentage of the girls would have score very high whereas in Invicta it will be a mix bag-girls with various level of ability, so she might feel happier there and it will not matter if she is top in some subjects and average in other, whereas at TGS she might feel unhappy because she is average in most subjects and bottom for some - don't let the "super selective" status cloud your judgement.

Hope you enjoy your open evening and best of luck chosing the right school-I am nowhere near making a decison purely because my DD passed both Medway and Kent and she loved both Invicta and RGS equally. TGS will be our 3rd or 4th choice ...some people think I am mad because 423 is "super selective"!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:07 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:16 am
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My DD got really high score too but in the end she went for Invicta because she felt more at ease there and also she did not want to travel a lot anymore. I must say she made the right choice. Invicta has been fantastic and the extra curricular activities are amazing. He self confidence has grown so much. she is now in year 10 and really enjoying it. Invicta only put them in sets for Maths which she is in set 1 but she said it is good to be in mixed ability for other subjects because different girls are stronger in different topics/subjects and you get to learn from each other. It really depends on your DD. At first I thought "She has really high score so MUST go to a super selective" but open visiting the schools I realised, it doesn't have to be the case. Please do not be blinded by the fact that your DD scored really high. Let her chose and sit down and weigh the pros and cons. Invicta has also a good EXCEL program and STEM club that stretches the girl with high ability and my DD has benefited immensely from it. Good Luck!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:20 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:19 pm
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Thank you Jini, so helpful. Same dilemma choosing between Invicta and TOGS. Feel pressure to consider TOGS as DD scored high but at the same time really love Invicta. Never visited TOGS and going tomorrow. If you can PM me or post any information in Invicta that would be lovely as I think this is ultimately the one we will choose. My DD is smart but needs to be pushed to reach her potential. Does Invicta do this without pushing too far of course? Will DD be able to cope with the workload etc? Any views will be gratefully appreciated.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:26 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:38 pm
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It's quite frightening until you're 100% sure the order won't jeopardise a place! I have asked a similar question here after our headmaster didn't quite know and called KCC admission while I sat there. He still didn't fill me with confidence. I got much better advice here and will go on to speak with admissions officers to see what their gut feeling is about an appeal for a super selective. My son got a solid TWGSB score but wants Judd.

We're putting a super selective as 1st on the form in case the stars align and their pass mark drops (bulge class added, inner catchment for Judd, popularity of others schools, drop outs, cohort generally had a lower pass mark etc). It's worth doing as you might kick yourself when you see the published pass marks in March. You can't suddenly add a choice in 2018 - do it now and know that you have a back up on the form - a normal grammar and a comp too.

I'm happy of my son to go to TWGSB but he's a but down about it.....we're going to the open afternoon tour at TWGSB Thursday - he liked it the first time round but has since been influenced by high passing friends and the whole 'it's a lesser grammar' air of snobbery from some kids/parents. I'm trying to big up the fact TWGSB majors on football and not ruby, as he plays a lot of football, and I keep reminding him lots of families will be going through a stressful appeal JUST to get a TWGSB place.....and we're arguing over pushing for a super selective!

I thought a pass would rbing champagne corks but it's not been that way - everything feels muted and on hold....until my son realises that Judd in a less than 1% chance, I feel quite downbeat....


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:19 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:19 pm
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Hi inthemedia. My understanding (and correct me if I'm wrong anyone) is that it doesn't matter which order because each school will be treated as the 1st option. However it does matter when it comes to appeal. You will have a stronger case for appeal for the school ranked 1st on your CAF form. As when you appeal you are putting forward a case for why that school is the best for your child. It is hard to argue that case if the school was not your first choice. Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:19 pm
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In addition, I hear what you say about schools. We have a local grammar that is excellent and we had decided on it. DD got quite a high score but very borderline for a super selective out of area. All her friends (who got higher marks) are after the super selective which has influenced my DD who now says she wants to go there even though she has never seen it! We are going to open day this week but I am worried whether I should even take her and I am sure it will be lovely and then my DD will want it even more. It is so difficult and as you say, we thought all the stress revolved around passing and now there is added stress. But I am grateful to be in a position where our stress is over picking a school and not having to go through the whole appeal process because she didn't pass. We are very blessed and I am trying to focus on that.


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