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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:37 am 

Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:28 pm
Posts: 2439
Help! We've done the 11+, failed, got given a place in non Gs, and now has successfully won an appeal. Now we are stuck. We have re visited both schools hoping that would solve the dilemma. Nope! Both seem right and wrong for different reasons.

Gs - outstanding ofsted, good feedback from parents, boys seem happy, but very old buildings, will dc be at lower end of spectrum, will he cope with work,

Non g s - feedback end mixed ie. good for Grammar stream, not for non. Gs, gcses taken a year early, high use of computers(good?bad?) for everyday work, shiney new building, plaza system ( big classes with more teachers, smaller groups taken off to other classrooms),

Hubby is non academic and is favouring one. I feel we would be stupid to miss the grammar opportunity. I think dc is erring towards non Gs.


(I"m sure local kent people will know which schools I a talking about, so any first hand experience , both good and bad would be gratefully received. Thanks).

PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:00 am 

Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:29 pm
Posts: 778
Location: East Kent
Hi PC, we had a similar situation here, excellent church school, then won our grammar appeal.

If you chose the grammar, and he hates it, how easy will it be to move him back to the Non GS? I suspect going the other way will be much harder.

Will he thrive better as a big fish in a small pond, or a small fish.......?

Then it comes down to ease of access, bus routes etc, friends going to which one.

We opted for the grammar school after many tears. I am now sure we made the right decision for DD.

I know people say its a lovely situation to be in, and it is, but its very difficult

Just to add, DD1 failed by a miniscule margin and we won her appeal for grammar school, she was more likely that DD2 to struggle in Grammar, but her offered option was awful, so no choice really. She is thriving at Grammar, we worried she`s struggle, far from it, she`s heading into year 10 in September with some fabulous levels under her belt.

Last edited by U400JB9 on Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:29 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
Posts: 8598
Don't worry about buildings - old ones have great vibes and new ones aren't all that they seem..

Also at DC's school there were several who got in via appeal - some hung around the lower end of the academic attainment while others were real high fliers -

thing is, you just don't know and can often think "what if??" whatever you choose

PS don't be attracted by early GCSEs :?

PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:03 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 14004
Early GCSEs are not a good idea - you need the most A/A*s you can get for choices later.

I've posted before that some of the brightest I've taught got in on appeal; you cannot assume your child will be near the bottom.

Look at pupil outcomes. Just how many top grades does the Grammar stream get?

What interests oes your child have? Which school will he enjoy?

Good luck with your decision ...

PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:23 am 

Joined: Fri May 17, 2013 12:32 pm
Posts: 12
Although not in Kent, our grammar school is very proud of the fact that it gets particularly good results from the children who are at the bottom end of its intake. Parents are often keen to get their children in because of this 'drawing up' effect. Having had a child who as attended both the high school and then moved on to the grammar school on appeal, the huge difference in the expectations of the teachers at the grammar seems to motivate and inspire the pupils and the effect of a more academic peer group seems to add to this. Certainly the lower end of pupils here do better academically than the top end of the local high school. Our school also does early GCSEs and still gets nationally notable fantastic results. Homework levels were probably more onerous but less productive at the high school. I would be swayed by the fact that you can try the grammar for a couple of years and if it doesn't work out it will probably be possible to move to the high school with a year in hand ready for GCSEs, but that will almost certainly not be possible the other way round.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 5:07 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:46 am
Posts: 421
PC all I can add is try to chose the school for your individual child and that's not as obvious as it sounds! You may remember I have had 4 DS's all going to different schools - 2 Grammar, 1 Comp and 1 Church and I hope we have chosen with each childs needs in mind as not every school has suited each child.
Try to look at what each school would bring to your child and how they would thrive as only you know their personality and needs.
Children need to be self motivated to get on well at SS and this doesn't suit all children - however, some work better for it. You know how your child ticks!
Its really tough. Would it go down to what they study at GCSE/A level maybe?

PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 8:43 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:08 pm
Posts: 1234
Are all gcses taken in year 10? If so, what do they do in year 11? 3 year sixth forms limit your ability to change school at this stage, if all other local sixth forms run a tradifional system.

PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 10:48 am 

Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
Posts: 8545
PM the school names?

PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:02 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 6911
I agree with tonbridgemum that you know your child best and whatever anyone else says about a school, or a type of school (and remember this is a forum dedicated to getting children into grammar schools, so likely to be skewed in favour of that), only you and your child can really make this decision. How much clout you give to your son is up to you - personally I think parents get to make that particular decision, but not the sixth form one as a lot of growing up goes on between 10 and 16. I think deep down you probably know what you want to do; if it isn't the same as your OH then you will have to have a very grown-up 3 way discussion with your son.

My daughter moved to GS for sixth form - we felt that it would have been very wrong for her at 11; and it is proving very right at 17 - it was her choice this time. So remember that in just a few short years your son will be able to think of moving if he isn't happy, and by then it will be his own decision to make. Arguably it doesn't matter so much before that which of these schools he is at.

Good luck - whatever you decide, don't beat yourself up with 'what ifs' - a life is what we make it, for good and bad, and no experience is wasted. You can't run it as an experiment so be kind to yourself - choice can be a great thing, but it can also be difficult to manage.
Best wishes.

PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:49 am 

Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:47 pm
Posts: 2151
Location: Warwickshire
Pheasantchick, I feel sorry for you - what a decision.

I have two at a non-gs school and one who is going to gs in September. The non-gs has a grammar stream. I invigilate there, all the dc do exams together (it's a big school with approx 250 a year). The grammar stream work hard throughout their exams, some of the non-gs give up writing, finish early, look bored. The grammar stream get good results, and so do most of the school. The grammar school gets fantastic results.

I've started invigilating at the gs. The difference in behaviour during exams is amazing. It's an all girls school. They all work flat out, no behaviour issues. I think these girls have always worked hard, they are expected to work hard, they probably don't know you can mess around in exams, and there is probably pressure on them to do well.

That is only in exams, of course. Another difference is that at the gs there are only girls. At the non g-s there are boys and different colours, cultures, religions - and I think it is very good for dc to mix with people from different backgrounds. That is here in Warwickshire. Many parents do choose the non g-s for their dc who have passed the 11+.

We are sending our dd to a gs because having looked round it she liked it and wants to go there even though her friends are not. I would honestly have been just as happy for her to go to the non g-s and in to the grammar stream. I believe academically dc in the grammar stream at the non-gs do just as well at GCSE; my concern would be for A levels.

Having said all that, her happiness is most important, and I believe for her, a competitive, smaller school will suit her better. Whilst by no means the cleverest in the class, she's a bit geeky. :D But in September she is willingly starting a Saturday drama class, because she wants to have friends outside school. She needs to learn to mix with other children.

Good luck with your decision. You know your child best. If you start with the gs, it is easy to change. Glad it's not my decision ...

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