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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:58 am 
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Hi everyone

Newbie here (but been lurking a while). I'd appreciate thoughts in this situation:

My son will be sitting the 11+ for Sutton on September 18th. Between September 11th-14th his school (an independent) has organised a trip away - outdoor activities, bonding stuff etc. He's a bright lad and has a private diagnosis of Asperger's. We have been doing some practice every day during the hols - nothing full on or major, mainly on Spag stuff. There's been improvement but a lot of holes still need to be covered.

Usually I would say a break away would be great. But so close to the exams, I worry about him coming back physically exhausted with an extreme lack of sleep!

I would also say that although he has some good friends, his Asperger's can mean that sometimes it is better if things are less intense.
The usual give side of friendship is not always apparent to him and he can get very wound up about small things. Last year on a trip away, there was some feedback on how he found it challenging to share rooms, and I do wonder if instead of a 'bonding' exercise, the trip would have the opposite effect. The outdoors activities would be fun though.

So far, I have hinted to him that maybe the trip is a little too close for comfort. He didn't express a great desire to go but I probably need to be more explicit!

Would love to hear any thoughts. Many thanks!


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:30 am 
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He has three full days to 'recover' - let him go if he wants to.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:47 am 
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I agree. Trips such as these can have a lot of value and are good preparation for secondary schooling, where independence and the skills to adapt to working with a changing group of classmates become more important. There is a risk that you raise the perceived importance of the 11+ and the stress that goes with it if you eliminate all potential distractions leading up to the test day.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:44 pm 
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Don't let him go to the school trip pleaseee.

this is once in a lifetime chance and don't spoile it. do you think England football coach let his team to have night out 3 days before a game no chance unless he is Sven-Göran Eriksson.

don't listen anyone that advice to go, they don't do it for their child, those who did and will do are failed and will fail.

hope piggy didn't read this post otherwise I will get a kick for my grammar and English


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:57 pm 
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Actually, that isn't true, tomum....plenty of people let their children go on school trips before the 11+ and are successful with the 11+ (which is, after all, just one hurdle in a whole list of things!)

Your son will get so much out of a school trip, ojmum, which is especially important for Asperger's children as they generally find it harder to make friends - this means that every opportunity to be in groups is important - in secondary school they can self select more (meaning they get less and less opportunity to learn how to "be" with others), and they need these experiences. Three days is plenty of time to recover - the break from study will do him good. By removing him from the trip you are making the 11+ assume a significance that could be wholly detrimental if he is not successful, as well as depriving him of an opportunity to improve his social skills in the group.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:57 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
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Location: Essex
tomum wrote:
Don't let him go to the school trip pleaseee.

this is once in a lifetime chance and don't spoile it. do you think England football coach let his team to have night out 3 days before a game no chance unless he is Sven-Göran Eriksson.

don't listen anyone that advice to go, they don't do it for their child, those who did and will do are failed and will fail.


Blimey, not to mention, 'The Heavens will open up! And Blood will come Raining Down!

And that is the end of the Weather Forecast :D'


(With apologies to the late, great, Marty Feldman).

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:10 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
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Location: Essex
Oh yes, also just asked DS2, being the only one of the three to hand, if, in the circumstances, he would have expected to be told that he couldn't go on the residential.

Proper little rant, he went off on, bless him. Something along the lines of, since his whole '11+ prep' had consisted of practically nothing, what on earth did I think he was likely to miss by going away for a few days in the last week

(Standardised score of just shy of 379 in the CSSE - Essex - exam, 2014 entry. Given a pass mark for our local grammar schools of 303, I'll leave it up to you to work out how badly he is likely to have failed, had he had the opportunity to go away for a few days with his classmates at the time :) ).

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Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.Groucho Marx


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:25 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:33 pm
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tomum wrote:
Don't let him go to the school trip pleaseee.

this is once in a lifetime chance and don't spoile it. do you think England football coach let his team to have night out 3 days before a game no chance unless he is Sven-Göran Eriksson.

don't listen anyone that advice to go, they don't do it for their child, those who did and will do are failed and will fail.

I started typing a carefully-worded reply, gently refuting your rather astonishing allegation that any parent who has or would let their child go on a school trip a few days before an 11+ exam is a failure and is condemning their child to "fail". It's too much effort and is unwarranted, so I'll just go with this:

What utter rubbish.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:35 pm 
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Are others at the school sitting the test and going on the trip? A friend with children at one of the primary schools in the Sutton area said they'd moved the Yr 6 school trip to the spring because it was just before the second stage of the test and people were keeping their children at home. I don't know what the relative timings were though.

I'd say you know your own child best - there's only so much strangers on a talkboard can help.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:42 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:39 pm
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If he wants to go, do let him go. The worst thing that can happen is that he doesn't get the school of your choice. Far worse would be to want to go, not be allowed to go and then not qualify. Part of my job recently has been to keep an eye on pupils with mental health issues, often (not always) due to the pressure they feel they're under to be successful. It really is very scary. It certainly made me think about the message I wanted to give my DD. Sorry, OP, this isn't directed at you specifically as I know nothing of your circumstances / attitude, but I'm often amazed at the number of parents who didn't get stellar results themselves but who expect nothing short of exceptional from their own offspring. That doesn't mean that I haven't nagged my own kids to get things done, but I'd rather have a relatively calm slightly underachieving child if it means I don't have to deal with what some parents I know have had to deal with. On the day of DD's first English exam my good luck wishes to DD went along the lines of I'd rather have a polite child than a clever one. I was talking to her about this yesterday as I'd been feeling a little guilty about it, but she said she could barely remember anything I'd said. Think I've probably just overshared again.


Last edited by KS10 on Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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