You would have thought that having done this all before two years ago with DS it would be a straight forward thing to go through again with DD. Not so!
After putting me through months of agonies over her ability to pass the 11+ I was very relieved (and quite gobsmacked actually!) when she not only passed both Bexley and Kent Tests, but passed with exceptional scores. Ok, I thought, thats wonderful, the next step should be much easier than last time (DS passed, but not top 180 and we live in the north of the borough!). But how wrong I was.
We went to see all the Grammars and DD refused to say what she thought till we'd seen the very last on 22 October (by then I'd resigned myself to meeting the later CAF deadline). As of today the shortlist comprises of Bexley Grammar, Townley and Dartford. We have listed all the pros and cons of each school and 'scored' them, but it's still more or less a dead heat and DD won't make a decision and I don't want to impose one as I feel she need to go somewhere she wants to be.
Purely on the basis of first impressions and atmosphere DD favours Dartford above the rest, but this is the furthest distance for her to travel and I don't know if even with an exceptionally high test score she would have definite chance of getting a place if we put it first. If we failed would then also have lost our chance as a top 180 scorer of getting into the 2nd or 3rd choice bexley grammars as these would have been filled by people who put them top of their list? So is a risk worth taking purely on the feel' of Dartford???
My gut instinct is to go for Bexley Grammar because I found the school very positive and their academic programme seems really broad (I'm very much in favour of the IB). But then it's probably the kind of school that would have appealed to me at my DD's age and that isn't relevant here. DD is not so keen - in fact of the three she puts BG last.
So that leaves Townley. After mixed feedback on this school I am pleased to say I found the school, our guides, the pupils and the headmaster really very inpressive. I know some havent warmed to the new head but he struck a chord with me and the girls at the school seem to like him and what he's done so far. DD is a bit luke warm on this one though - she said she 'wasn't terribly impressed, but it was ok'.
So there we go - DD wants Dartford, but I'm not sure if its a risky choice. I would love to see her at BG, but DD is not at all keen. So that leaves Townley. But I just can't get DD to agree that I complete the CAF. Should I just go ahead and fill in T, BG,D or even T, D ,BG?
I can't think of any way to settle this until I know whether it is wise as North of borough bexley candidate to put Dartford Girls at top spot. Anyone got any ideas
I know many people would envy the position we are in and the choices we have, but it's still difficult to do the right thing. My sister is a very intelligent person, but she hated grammar school and ended up truanting and messing up her education. It was simply the wrong place for her (she sorted herself out later
!). I want DD to do well but to be happy too.
Sorry for going on and on - just needed to let it all out