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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:55 am 
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Hi there.

I wondered if someone could help. My daughter got 120.75. She is a twin and her twin sister passed. I obviously need to speak to the head of her primary school but I intend to go to a selection review. She goes to a private school and, whilst I know she works very hard and did well in the last set of school exams I am unclear as to how much academic support there will be from the head (I will hopefully find out on Tuesday). I would be very grateful for your support.

She did CATs in years 3, 4 and 5 at school and the results are as follows:

Yr 3
Verbal reasoning (VR) - 118
Non-Verbal reasoning (NVR) - 118

Yr4
VR - 112
Quantative (Quant.) - 107
NVR - 107
Spatial - 110

Yr 5
VR - 128
Quant. - 115
NVR - 114
Spatial - 102

I don't know if these will really be of much assistance despite really good general classwork (As in English and maths). She is top set English in what is undoubtedly a very high performing school (great 11+ success not sure actual numbers but very high percentage). I am quite worried that she could miss out passing by 0.25 marks and then selection review not working due to poor CATS. The real problem is that she is not great in exams but does well in classwork and is highly motivated and hard working and quite bright (top set English and performs near the top of the class in maths in a very high-achieving primary).

She does have extenuating circumstances - she had a number of visits to the GP prior to the exam (terrible stomach pains, constipation and a rash) and just afterwards and then a trip to emergency care with stomach pains she has just been diagnosed as a celiac. I can provide proof from the GP about this. Any thoughts would be great but I will come back in a few days with info on what the head has to say.
Thank you for your time.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
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Welcome to Appeals! :)

I'm sorry to say the CAT scores don't look high enough for a successful review or appeal (but I think you suspect that already).

However, with those CAT scores, even allowing for the different standardisation, I wouldn't have expected 120.75 in the test!

Unfortunately, I get the impression that with many more review cases at 120 last year, the decisions in those cases were somewhat "tougher" than we might have expected.

A letter from the GP would be worth including, but to be honest you shouldn't need much in the way of extenuating circumstances with a score of 120.75. What matters is the academic evidence.

Let's see what the headteacher is prepared to do.
See:
https://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appea ... cation#b48

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:05 pm 
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Thanks Etienne. I suppose that is the question I am driving it, how good does the academic evidence need to be when you have missed qualifying by only 0.125% or 0.25 of a mark? Do you get more leeway than you might otherwise do? Is the head obliged to mention the CAT scores (as they are off the general school performance which is I think good)? If my daughter had been in a state school she never would have taken the CATs and suspect due to her general good work and attainment (did well in maths and English exams at school as well) would reach the required predicted grades for end of KS2. Think state schools focus much more on general standard of school work and small class tests (which she excels in) than big exams.

I suppose as you say we need to wait to see what the head said in his assessment before we took the exam (its a Bucks partner school - most of the children take and pass the 11+). I am thinking it might work with a 1:2 or a 1:1 (unlikely to have been given that) but if he has given us a 1:3 probably not much chance. Suspect the head's predictions will be well respected as, AFAIK, the vast majority of the children that took the exam (roughly 45) passed. Thank you for your time.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:33 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Generally speaking, the further away from the qualifying score you are, the stronger the academic evidence needs to be to convince a panel of suitability for grammar school. You are as close as you can practically get without qualifying (last year I knew of a 120.98) but as Etienne has pointed out, your academic evidence isn't as strong as it ideally needs to be for a review to succeed. A pragmatic panel might simply infer that your daughter over-performed in the test and qualification was not expected.

In your cover letter, don't make reference to 0.125% because you cannot calculate the score that way. The 120.75 is a standardised score, it's not out of anything and it cannot be equated to a percentage. The panel will see how close the score is so they will be looking for evidence that your daughter was expected to qualify and that the score was a surprise. You really need your HT to have come up with a strong recommendation and as you say, if their track record of recommendations is good, that will help too.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:29 pm 
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Some Bucks Primaries do take CATs and they give additional evidence. What other 'external' evidence does the Head have? NFER tests? Reading age?

How similar were the twins CATs scores? You don't need to tell us but it might be interesting.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
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Quote:
I suppose that is the question I am driving it, how good does the academic evidence need to be when you have missed qualifying by only 0.125% or 0.25 of a mark? Do you get more leeway than you might otherwise do?
I see where you're coming from - but no, I don't think so. The academic evidence as a whole does need to demonstrate grammar school ability to the panel's satisfaction. In other words, just a little bit of good academic evidence is unlikely to suffice.
Of course, 120.75 is part of your overall evidence, and a definite plus point.

A similar case to yours last year (no review), but sadly not successful at appeal on grounds that there was not enough academic evidence to support 111-120 and GDS at KS2:
viewtopic.php?f=35&t=52537
(Child went on to achieve 111-120 and GDS!)

Quote:
Is the head obliged to mention the CAT scores
There is usually a question on the form asking the head to provide any alternative standardised test scores.
Only the head can say, but I would have thought a partner school, wishing to retain its status, would most likely feel obliged to comply.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:48 pm 
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I saw the post but hadnt realised they had been unsuccessful at appeal. This is presumably despite school knowing other twin was in. Her yr 5 CAT scores do show a mark of 121 if you ignore the spatial (which head said to do). We practised loads of different types of test papers and she was generally gaining higher marks than twin who passed on day. (Not terribly relevant but no result on day wasn't a fluke, in fact it was considerably down on where she seemed to be by the end of the Summer.) I'll see what if anything we can get off the head and come back to you. Thank you


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:09 pm 
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I think a review panel will expect to see all CATS sections higher than 121.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:15 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Guest55 wrote:
I think a review panel will expect to see all CATS sections higher than 121.

That's my concern too. Something to discuss with the Head. If there is other evidence to show that she has excellent attainment then you need to with the HT to include it. Otherwise, the CAT scores tell the same story as the standardised score, which is a near miss. That's how I think a panel would view it.

Sorry mcarnegie, it seems I'm being harsh but I hope you understand that constructive criticism of your case will help you draw out the best possible available evidence.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:24 pm 
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Guest55 wrote:
I think a review panel will expect to see all CATS sections higher than 121.
I tend to agree. It's rather difficult to say precisely what an acceptable CAT score would be, because CATs are standardised nationally, and so are not directly comparable with the Bucks transfer test.
https://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appea ... cation#b57

mcarnegie wrote:
I saw the post but hadnt realised they had been unsuccessful at appeal. This is presumably despite school knowing other twin was in.
A twin can't be considered where qualification is the issue (unless perhaps there are extenuating circumstances involving the twin).
Because the appeal failed at the qualification hurdle, unfortunately the panel weren't able to go on to the oversubscription stage where a twin might have been a very good argument for a place at the school.

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