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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 3:52 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2016 2:16 pm
Posts: 1
I feel a little uncertain about the grammar school appeals I have lodged and would really appreciate some advice.

My son missed the 11 plus by a few marks. His (high achieving) primary school have strongly advised me to appeal for a grammar school place as they say he is most definitely of grammar ability and working at level 6. They are sending lots to grammar and he is still one of the top of the class. They expected him to pass with flying colours. They are providing a strong letter of support for the appeal.

However, what bothers me is that the CAT test they did in year 5 showed only average results. I read on the website of the CAT test provider (GL Assessment) that the CAT tests can accurately predict GCSE outcomes. So if my son is so bright in class and consistently doing so well in his work (all subjects) throughout the year, with the teachers confident in his abilities, why the average CAT results and why did he not pass the 11 plus? The school tell me that some children just don't perform well in these kinds of tests but he doesn't seem to have any sort of panic attack or meltdown so I feel this question is not adequately resolved in my mind. A friend suggested an Educational Psychologist might be able to give me a better insight but I got quotes and it is financially out of the question.

Does anyone have any child/ed psychology/teaching knowledge or experience that could shed light on this big discrepancy? My family say that the school know him best as they work with him every day over the course of years and across the different subjects, and I should forget the tests as a 'blip' and go for the grammar place. He is very keen on school and loves learning, so is it possible his attitude is carrying him beyond his 'natural' abilities? If so what are the implications for his future attainment. If the CATS are to be believed he can only expect modest GCSE results so will be under a lot of pressure at a grammar.

Also, what do I say in an appeal hearing if they ask about his CATs? I obviously haven't volunteered this information with the academic evidence I am providing as it undermines my case. But they may ask me! Is it acceptable to say 'I don't have that information with me' (which I won't!) to avoid having to answer the question or will they see through that? Is that morally wrong? If he truly deserves a grammar place because of his hard work and attainment I don't want him to miss out based on standardised tests that somehow don't give a proper account of his academic ability.

Sorry this is long winded. You can tell I have been agonising over this!!!

PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 10:44 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:36 am
Posts: 5
If the school thinks so highly and strongly about him please consider their advice. He could be the type that thinks deeply about questions and hence takes longer to answer them. This is the ability needed for later success and all the exams are trying to test this with limited success.

It is good to check his exam techniques. For example, he might not be used to the fact that he cannot answer all questions and spend a lot of time in one question and miss on the easier.

Appeal is certainly worth it but it he sounds like the type of pupil that will be successful anywhere.

Good Luck

PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 1:21 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 7869
Location: Herts
Which schools did he sit for and how much preparation did he do?

In our area many top table candidates are overtaken by candidates who have focused on exam format and technique.

Some schools offer misplaced advice. I know of schools this year and every year who have told students they will secure a place. This makes the parents feel that they can sit back and not prepare properly.

There is a difference between students who are capable of securing a place and those who actually do. If you do not prepare you are much less likely to succeed. You do not mention any preparation at all in your post.

As to GCSEs he will have the same opportunities as the other students to do well. Again he will need to prepare. The teaching from school will lay the foundation but preparation will be key. DG

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:14 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:59 am
Posts: 2281
Hi. Good points and good advice. I'd like to add that what matters now is whether he will be able to cope at the grammar you are appealing for. If his current teachers think so, then I would trust them.

As for CAT tests, well, whether they accurately measure a child's ability or not, I wouldn't worry. Whether your child's good results now are due to his love of learning and hard work or his natural "ability" all that matters is that he is achieving. I would not mention the CAT results, but if asked, I would say that my child does not have good exam technique, but is thriving at school.
Remember that you need to make a case so that the appealed for school is the only place where your child will thrive.
What region are you in?

Good luck.

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:17 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:32 pm
Posts: 971
I would appeal, especially if he was only just off getting through and didn't prepare much or at all.

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