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 Post subject: 11+ Dilemma - Poole
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 10:24 am 
Hello there - I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice regarding SATS, 11+ and entry to grammar.
My daughter has just received her SATS results and got two 4's and a 5.
She is desperate to go to the grammar, but I have a feeling that it is mainly to do with the fact that she has heard negative things about the local comp. My feeling is obviously that I want what is best for her, but do not want to spend the summer cramming in practice 11+ papers in the event that she might scrape through and then struggle once she's there, or worse, not get in and then feel an absolute failure.
She is the youngest in her year which personally I think has a huge impact on her recent results, and keep wishing I'd planned her arrival in this World with the school year more in mind!! However not much I can do about that now.
My dilemma is : Do I give her a shot at this exam and risk losing a place at the comp. which would be her 2nd choice or spare her (and us) the pressure and anxiety and try talking up the comp. to her?

 Post subject: 11+ Diemma
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 12:36 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Birmingham
I afraid I don't know about the Grammar Scchools in your area, but it's a poor show if the LEA penalises you at your 2nd choice Comp if you put a Grammar School down as your first choice.

In the Birmingham LEA schools do not know the priority order that parents make.

Regarding your dilemma, I think the key thing is that your child wants to go to the Grammar school and if you decide not to enter her for the exam you may find that it has a negative impact on her attitude to academic study in year 6 and throughout her secondary education. If I was in your position, I would discuss it with her and allow her to take the exam if she really wants to, but try to be relaxed with her about any outcome.

In respect of age, this will be definite advantage for her. 11+ exams are marked using a Standardised Score (see other postings elsewhere in the forum) and for the youngest child in the year this can be worth an allowance of up to say 8% in marks over the oldest candidates. (it varies year by year and also by exam).

For bright younger children this can be real advantage - the downside is that younger children often lack the maturity to concentrate for long periods in an 11+ exam environment. This is where some form of coaching is very useful (either at home or using a tutor).

It's fair to say that some form of practice, tutoring or coaching is essential to tackle the 11+; perhaps more importantly is the need to avoid them going to seed over the long summer holidays. In the case of my son and daughter, we took a few 11+ practice papers on holiday with us just to keep them ticking over. They didn't have a problem with this and treated it as a necessary commitment on their part to get throught the 11+.

If you aren't sure, why not buy a few sample 11+ papers and she how she copes?

Best of luck

 Post subject: 11+ dilemma
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 8:49 am 
Many thanks Ken - v.sound advice. Would you happen to know what sort of scores she should be achieving in the 11+ practice papers to be in with a chance? Also do you know if the pass mark is adjusted after marking according to the standard on the day or is the pass mark set?
Any more advice gratefully received.

 Post subject: 11+ Dilemma - for Judith
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 9:29 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Birmingham
Hi Judith

The pass marks vary depending on the LEA - Am I correct in thinking that Poole comes under Dorset? If so it's worthwhile checking the forum postings under Dorset to find out a bit about about the test, scores and standardised scores.

Standardised scores as the name suggests are always adjusted - again check some of the other general postings on the subject but also take a look at some of the other material on the site.

The key factors from your perspective will be
(a) how many Grammar places are available,
(b) how many children typically take the test,
(c) who sets the paper (NFER or others), and
(d) what are the allocation rules set by the school or LEA (ie is this purely on test results or is there a distance rule as well)

Worthwhile buying a few papers (at discount from this site) or downloading a few practice papers. The downloads are good as you can save them as a PDF and print them out more than once so they can repeat the test at a later time. Saves many enjoyable! hours of rubbing out used NFER scripts.

For info we had a mass burning of old 11+ papers after my son's 11+ exams last year, he invited lots of friends around and the children loved it!

best of luck


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 2:05 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 4:07 pm
Posts: 2668
Dear Ken R

Your last paragraph made me chuckle......

As the Bucks tests take place early October...I tell all my tutored children that bonfire night is just round the corner and they can burn their file, full of tests/times table grids/vocab cards/exta practice questions......their little eyes light up with excitement!!!

I know a few have taken up my advice!!


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