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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 4:57 pm 

Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 10:39 am
Posts: 8
OK, so there will be some who read the title and think "well, if they think she's going to fail, then why sit the exam?". I'll give you some background which hopefully will change your mind.

DD2 is sitting the exam this Saturday in Gloucestershire - 2 VR exams, sat at school that is likely to be first preference. She's looked round the school and loves it, lots of her friends will end up there and her big sister is also there and thriving.

She's a bright child, certainly grammar suitable. Y5 SATS were Eng: 4a, Maths 5b, so we expect 5's for Y6. Not sure of CAT score, though school will be issuing these at some point in the future.

She's had a bit of tutoring, not excessive, but we've noticed (as has the tutor) that she has problems with questions of the 'make a new word from elements of these two words', and 'move a letter from one word to the other to make 2 new words' type. Maths & code questions she just sails through, and gets - say 99% - correct. We're worried in case this years paper happens to be weighted heavier towards english than maths than usual.

If she either passes but doesn't get a high enough score to get in, or fails, we will have no hesitation in appealing.

When DD2 was little, she failed a hearing assessment on one ear, so the district nurse called us back the following week & it was all OK again. We though nothing more about it, but then she was a very, very late developer with speech, and when it did come, it was (to put it mildly) indistinct. The teachers at nursery couldn't understand her, but did suss that she was bright (she was reading all the name labels of the other children for coats).

We got a private speech therapist in, who did a long report saying essentially that she was very able, but had probably had glue ear, and that it had blocked her language development at a vital time (we still have the report).

Problems continued through infants, with DD2 going to speech therapy at the local health centre - she only stopped in Y4. The Y1 teacher couldn't understand her 90% of the time, though other teachers could. The school did offer her at one point 10 mins a week with a learning support worker just listening to her attempt & practice certain sounds, and at one point, they sent to the the SEN group for 1/2 hour a week - that didn't work out, as all the other children in the group were at the 'very less-able' end of the scale & DD2 was at the opposite. Her Y3 teacher had problems understanding her when she was excited.

Her literacy progress was a little odd. For spellings she was in a mid group, jumping to top group this year (only person to jump two steps), her written work was great. Her 11+ tutor thinks that she'd worked out strategies for coding & spelling words that are different to normal, so she's able to use them, but mentally pronounces them differently, hence doesn't hear in her head the new words that make the answer in the way most children do. She's brighter than DD1, and she passed OK. She's also reasonably musical - G4 piano later this term, G3 percussion soon after.

She still talks with a slight impediment but at least we can understand her now (even I couldn't do so a lot of the time until she was in Y4).

Hence, we're prepared to appeal should she not pass - she's bright enough, needs the support that a grammar can offer to bright children, will fit in, cope easily with the work...

Oh, and I'll be going to the local vets on Friday to pick up a poorly animal that's not expected to last the night - another useful appeal item. Sadly Granny died just over a year ago (I though a year on life support would be a little over-the-top), so no mileage in that one!

Your comments, please. (and there's a message in the drop box for Etienne)

PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 4:32 am 

Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:19 pm
Posts: 159
It is always worth trying an appeal, you have nothing to lose.
At appeal the onus is on you to prove that your daughter is Grammar school material and capable of coping with the work there.

But wait until you get the test results to see how near the pass mark she actually achieved. Better to demonstrate potential than come up with a lot of excuses for not achieving on the day .

My daughter failed to qualify for one of the Glos Grammars last year by 2 points. She had been educated overseas and we found the paper contained a lot of differences in vocabulary (English colloquialisms she was not familiar with).

She had good school reports, good results from state test assessments etc at her primary school. I put together an appeal on this basis and we were sucessful with the appeal.

She is now at the Girls Grammar, and coping very well with the work and enjoying herself immensely. My main concern is that the classes are very big and the girls do not get much individual attention. So they need to be well organised and well motivated in order to keep up with the pace of the work and not be lost among the masses.

Have you talked to the school about their ability to provide any in classroom support for her, should she need it ?

The appeal process does not start until May so you have plenty of time to prepare. Good Luck !

PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 6:54 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:25 pm
Posts: 2630
Surreydad my DS1 had problems with both of the types you mention plus another
two that involved spelling.

I got round the first problem by getting him to write out all the compound words before selecting his answer. The others probably cost him some marks despite the if in doubt write it out rule. He still managed to get a score in the 230's two years ago.

I can't believe this years exam will have more of those types than usual so your daughter should be fine.

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