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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 4:31 pm 
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Im really hoping someone might have some pearls of wisdom here.

My son is currently being tutored after school for 2 hours a week for the 11+ in Yorkshire. He’s been doing this throughtbyear 5 and will sit the exam in Sept. We’re in an area where the local secondary feeder school is pretty rubbish, so we’re hoping he will get into one of the free grammar schools.

He’s got several friends from school who are also Studying to take the 11+ exam, so he’s not alone. But there are 2 friends in particular who seem to have a lot of influence lately over my son and they are planning to go the local feeder school.

In the last few weeks DS’s scores with his tutor have gone down to 66% when he was achieving a lot higher before. (To pass the exam I think he needs to be aiming for 85% + in his work at this stage now)
We all know he’s capable and even his tutor is questioning what’s going on at the moment.

I’m worried that these 2 particular friends are swaying him to go to The feeder school. Maybe not directly swaying him but because these are the cool kids at school, I think he’s latched on to them and hangs off their every word. One kid even told my husband that he would just fail the entrance exam on purpose if his dad made him do it so he didn’t have to go to the grammar school !?!

Now don’t get me wrong, I just want my son to be happy. And if he didn’t pass the exam I wouldn’t be angry, but I’d like to feel that he’d at least given it 100% and didn’t just waste an opportunity.

The reason I don’t want him to go to the feeder school is because their GCSE grades are terrible each year, we’ve been to the school many times (for other stuff) and the facilities are always dirty ie toilets look like they haven’t been cleaned in months, there’s always food on the floor, and there have been incidents with kids taking knives into School. This isn’t the environment I want my son to be in an spend the next years of education.

I don’t know how I can encourage him and motivate him to want to pass the exam. We’ve been to look round the grammar School and he loved it! I am going to book a tour of the other school so he can hopefully see how bad it is for himself.

Is there anything else I can be doing?

I don’t want to be too pushy with him because he’ll just dig his heels in and have tantrums about doing any homework etc.
When his tutor and I have asked why he thinks he’s struggling now, he just says he doesn’t know.

I’m literally at a loss and feeling like I’m failing him now.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 5:23 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2015 8:09 am
Posts: 183
We had that issue and it was a pain. I just said to my daughter to take the exam, keep her options open. If she doesn't pass or doesn't want to go then we will let her go to the feeder school.

Take the pressure off but sell it as extra options


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:41 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
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Location: Essex
His new best friends, or their parents on their behalf, have decided that the local non-selective school is where they will be going. You have made the decision on your DS's behalf that he might be better served by a different school - hopefully he was also on board with this idea initially and that you have encouraged him to think of the 11+ as a means to (possibly) increasing his options? Not as, that school may be okay for those other boys, but it's not good enough for you - ?

Because if, despite all the coaching, he doesn't get a good enough score for a place at a grammar school, will he be heading for a local indie, or will the school where most of the other kids are going just have to be good enough for him, after all?

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Last edited by ToadMum on Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:43 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:54 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:21 pm
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I'd go on the 'keeping opens open / choices' route...

Also might be worth taking him to see both schools in quick succession & let him make the comparison about which environment he'd like to spend the next 5 years in?

Good luck


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:00 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 5:24 pm
Posts: 619
Yep go for the “you can choose your school anyway, we’ll do the form together. But take the exam because it gives you a greater number of choices.”

Find out those things that the grammar offers that the comp doesn’t if that could be an incentive for him. Does it have a particularly good music teacher/drama productions/different sports than the comp? My DD1 was impressed by the coding club offered at our local GS. Course she doesn’t actually go to that club.... but it definitely acted as an incentive to try...


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:05 pm
Posts: 59
Agree with Aethal,

If you find something about the school that sparks an interest in him he may well make the decision on his own which school he feels will be best for him. It may not work in your favour but given all the facts he can make a better informed choice, if his friends are influencing him then it’s difficult to counteract that and it’s then hard to motivate the child.

Also, if you know anyone that is in currently in the grammar school then that may help too, first hand experience especially from a child a similar age could hold a lot of weight.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:31 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:38 am
Posts: 50
Perhaps focus on the exam/tuition rather than the school. That is, give him a reward (something he wants) if his marks increase. Tell him what you will give him if he passes the exam.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:37 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
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bridge wrote:
give him a reward (something he wants) if his marks increase. Tell him what you will give him if he passes the exam.

Totally disagree with that. There are many reasons why it is a bad idea: he might not pass; he will expect a reward in future if he does something well; he will learn nothing about the personal responsibility involved in shaping his future; and most importantly he will not learn the notion of intrinsic reward - ie the reward being the results. There is actually some recent evidence suggesting that children who are bribed or rewarded tend to do worse anyway.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:44 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:25 pm
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bridge wrote:
Perhaps focus on the exam/tuition rather than the school. That is, give him a reward (something he wants) if his marks increase. Tell him what you will give him if he passes the exam.


Just No....


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:29 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:38 am
Posts: 50
Better to reward the effort rather than the result but different children respond differently. There are lots of variations on how this could be applied and it doesn't have to be explicit.


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