Her acedemic results have been consistently good thoughout her schooling, including 3s at KS1 and improving to her last report at the end of Yr5 - 5C in writing plus mainly 4As and a VR score of 125. The school are 100% behind us appealing and are preparing her report after my wife's meeting with the Head today. He wasn't sure of her predicted grades but going on past improvements, told us that he would expect them to be mostly 5s.
This looks quite good - and it helps to have the VR score of 125!
He also gave us her score as 2:1.
That could be good too (depending on how the panel view his overall recommendations).
In the last few months before the tests, her home practice paper scores were nearly all within a few marks of 100% correct and some with all answers correct. She also passed easily her three school practice papers.
Reassuring, although I'm afraid practice papers won't count as evidence.
We have some extenuating circumstances but having read the Q&As are not sure how best to include them. Firstly, and most importantly, we lost our elder, severely disabled daughter in December last year. As our DD was part-carer to her for most of her life they were incredibly close, so this has, understandably, had a profound impact on her life. Despite all this our DD has continued to perform well until it seems, she came to take the real tests, but we're not sure how much this will be taken into account in the appeal process or how we can prove any link to the pressure suddenly getting the better of her.
Words seem so inadequate. My heart goes out to you. I'm sure all our 'regulars' on the forum will feel the same way and will be supporting you.
The difficulty, as you realise, is that there doesn't appear to be any obvious link between December 2010 and September/October 2011 - but I do think the panel need to be made aware of the background.
Other, less significant factors include her not sleeping well before each test and waking at 4:30 am on the day of the second test with a sore throat. As we sent her into the tests, we don't believe this will have much relevance as we didn't make the school aware until the day after.
It's worth a mention.
We also made them aware that the boy next to her kept asking to borrow her eraser and kept giggling with another boy near them. Our DD obviously found this very distracting and hard to concentrate when checking her answers.
I'm afraid this is not usually a strong argument at appeal, but it does help that you reported it.
My advice would be to say little or nothing about extenuating circumstances in your written submission or in your presentation. Someone is bound to ask you during the Question & Answer session. Let them gradually draw the information out of you.
The way you have worded things above makes me immediately sympathise with your case. If you were to say to the panel "We're not sure how much this can be taken into account or how we can prove any direct link to the pressure suddenly getting the better of her ......... As we sent her into the tests, we don't believe this will have much relevance as we didn't make the school aware until the day after ........ We did report this to the school, but we do understand that some distractions in an exam room full of 10 year olds is inevitable
," I'm sure there will be a lot of sympathy for you on the panel. The mistake most people make with extenuating circumstances is to overplay them - much better to underplay them!
It's inconceivable to me that no one will ask whether you can think of any reasons why your daughter might have underperformed, but in the unlikely event that this should happen, and you sense that the hearing is drawing to a close, then you would need to take the initiative and say "We weren't sure whether to mention this, but ..........
I would be less than honest if I didn't say that, with scores of 113 and 109, it's uphill all the way, and the panel will need a lot of convincing. However, the academic case you've outlined could be a good one, depending the total picture - e.g. the exact words used by the head to support you, the KS2 predictions, and on how the panel view his overall recommendations (details of the latter will be made available in the appeal papers a week or so before the hearing).
Good luck - and please let us know if we can be of any further help.