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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:49 am 
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I have two children at grammar school and it's worth bearing in mind that they are tough, highly competitive schools . Passing the 11 plus is just the beginning. It gets much tougher. And grammars can be pretty ruthless when it comes to dealing with less able pupils. Grammars favour the brightest pupils and can let the more average ability ones fall by the wayside. You need to be on top of your child's performance and if you notice a drop in grades, loss of enthusiasm, signs of stress, tackle it quickly as the grammar schools won't often pick up problems such as dyslexia and will only have them assessed if you ask them for it. They can be given extra time in GCSE exams if they have identifiable problems and can be given a laptop instead of having to write answers in longhand. Support is there but you need to ask for it. Staying on at grammar to sixth form is also a challenge - they will need good grades - B or above in the majority of subjects to be allowed to carry on. And grammars can be ruthless at rejecting pupils that haven't made the grade. I saw a few tears on results day. That said, the standard of teaching has been excellent and the peer pressure to achieve and keep up with more able colleagues has encouraged them to work hard. And the school is extremely tough on bad behaviour. Kids are encouraged to be model citizens, kind and courteous. It's just worth bearing in mind that grammars are not for everyone and average pupils who squeaked in through the 11 plus can find it very challenging and daunting - especially the rapid pace of learning. But celebrating my average ability DS's GCSE results this week, I would make the same journey again - although I would be more vigilant about his progress and not just take his word for it that everything is going swimmingly! Good luck


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:02 am 
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Grammar schools are certainly not carbon copies of each other. We did not choose our catchment GS as we recognised that another GS did value all its students more and, more importantly, supported SEN students particularly well.

Some may well be as you describe but surely you can find this out before you submit the CAF?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:03 am 
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And can I just say - very much like it does in any school in the country - it DEPENDS ON THE SCHOOL!!!

Our school is pastorally superb. We, as a family, have sadly, had to access the pastoral support several times and they have been brilliant. Supportive, friendly, accessible, proactive and reactive. And they do notice when someone is struggling - either academically or pastorally. Yes, the pace is fast - but it is not just children who scrape through the 11+ who struggle - this is a commonly peddled myth - children develop at different ages and plateau at others - a superstar at primary school is not necessarily a superstar in secondary - subjects get harder and there are more of them - and more pulls on time - and at a time where, generally parents have less of an influence.

And I work in state schools - you know, "bog standard" schools - comprehensives - and I can honestly say I have never seen a school try and encourage kids to be anything BUT model citizens, kind and courteous. In fact, they all do some form of PSHE or citizenship now, would you believe? Not just at grammar school....But SOME kids won't grow up to be that - and shock horror - those kids might be at a grammar school or...faint...at a private school. That probably says more about the kids than the the school they are at though.

Please don't make this about GS success - all schools do their best. It's great that your child has done well but that is not to say he would not have done well wherever.

Crossed with Guest!


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:12 am 
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Taking up KSG's point, PSHE appeared first in Comprehensives and GS were slow to introduce it. It was one of my first jobs when I moved schools in the 1990s to introduce it into the GS ... I approached the LA for advice and they referred me to our local <shocked gasp> Secondary Modern :shock: :lol:

All schools teach citizenship and British values as its part of the Ofsted framework ...


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:24 am 
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Guest, out of interest, (and a slight digression), are private schools required to teach citizenship/British values? I know some do, but as most fall outside of Ofsted, wondered if that was still compulsory for them?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:29 am 
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I know this is 2014 guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/guid ... -published

It says: "The guidance aims to help both independent and state-maintained schools understand their responsibilities in this area. All have a duty to ‘actively promote’ the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. These values were first set out by the government in the ‘Prevent’ strategy in 2011."

https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... nt-schools

I'm not sure how it this interpreted as Private schools are somewhere I keep clear of!


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:37 am 
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crashtestdummy wrote:
grammars can be pretty ruthless when it comes to dealing with less able pupils. Grammars favour the brightest pupils and can let the more average ability ones fall by the wayside.


Speak for yourself. My dd has just completed Y11 at one of the London SS and her school has been fantastically supportive, both academically for girls having problems with certain subjects, and also pastorally (including having to deal with the death of a fellow student in Y10 which was utterly horrendous). It is complete rubbish to claim that 'grammars favour the brightest pupils'. Clearly this is YOUR experience, OP, but it certainly isn't my dd's. She is at HBS.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:41 am 
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I only know one school which makes pupils feel even remotely like this. It's a comprehensive school.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:42 am 
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Guest55 wrote:
I know this is 2014 guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/guid ... -published

It says: "The guidance aims to help both independent and state-maintained schools understand their responsibilities in this area. All have a duty to ‘actively promote’ the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. These values were first set out by the government in the ‘Prevent’ strategy in 2011."

https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... nt-schools

I'm not sure how it this interpreted as Private schools are somewhere I keep clear of!


Thanks! I suspect they interpret it differently, depending on the school.....which, getting back to the OPs original point, is what we are all saying - many things depend on the individual school, not what “type” of school it is....!


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:43 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:33 pm
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I'm another who disagrees with the notion that "pupils who squeaked in through the 11+ can find it challenging". I believe there is no correlation between 11+ score and eventual results at GCSE and A level. In my daughter's year there are a number of "11+ failures" who joined the school through the 12+ or at sixth form (there are approximately 30 of them) and their results are entirely typical and indistinguishable from those of the majority who joined in year seven. I know someone who taught in grammar schools for 30 years and their experience was the same.


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