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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2021 9:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:14 pm
Posts: 207
Hi. DD is not keen to sit the 11+ test for a school she's never been to see and knows very little about.
Due to Covid there were no open evenings in June, but the school aren't planning to host one this autumn either.
There is a 360 tour of the buildings - no commentary or any humans visible so it simply shows the building fabric.
No video of a head teacher's speech, no information from departments or typical GCSE offerings/limitations.
Latymer have put more on their website than WCHS and they must be just as oversubscribed.
In reality this means that DD would need to sit a test and put the school on our CAF without knowing anything about it.
It's all completely mad!
Does anyone have any information about what the school is actually like?
How is the pastoral care?
Is anyone else downgrading this as a choice on their CAF due to lack of information?
Thanks


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2021 6:14 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2021 8:31 am
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I haven't got experience of the school, it's really tough trying to decide on where to place all the schools without having visited any of them!

Hoping someone will come along soon with some first-hand experience, though it's tricky because you never know what you would feel instinctively if you could experience the vibe in person :(


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2021 11:55 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:14 pm
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Thanks. I don't think she is going to sit the test - despite my protestations.
I think the fact they only have a few pictures of their buildings and no head teacher's talk etc posted on their website is a pretty poor show.
So DD probably has a good point!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2021 4:29 am 
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When DD was taking 11plus there was only one GS and a couple of non selectives available.

Always a bit of a problem if a 10 year old doesn't like some smallish thing on an open day and there isn't much choice

We didn't visit, she was happy to be going there with friends and that was enough.
,


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2021 5:52 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:14 pm
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Any open day would have been good. There's nothing like walking through the space to get a feel for it.
We are in a superselective area so no possibility of encouragement from friends...
She's made up her mind, so we will have to go with it.
If we had some information then I might be able to talk her around, but the complete lack of info has rather put me off too.
Thanks for your replies.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2021 3:35 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:01 pm
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Location: Herts
I think you should try and persuade her to take the exam, especially if you have prepared for it.

When offer day arrives in March and other options have not materialised you may be very glad of it.

Choice is a great thing, but you can only have the choice if you sit the exams.

Several students sat Latymer this year and ended up moving into catchment and joining the school even though they had no intention of doing so back in September.

Other options did not materialise and they were very glad of the option to go to a great grammar school.

DG


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2021 6:14 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:41 pm
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Location: Essex
Surely worth trying to get in, to meet the famous Deputy Head, Mr Colin Jenkins (also teaches history and brought the one way system to this school)

(Well, he obviously made an impression on whoever wrote the school's Wikipedia entry :lol:. Given that very many secondary schools have a one way system in place somewhere about them and very few - ?no - others actually make a 'thing' of naming the teacher who instigated it).

On a more serious note, though, if you have a good school which your DD actually has seen and would be happy with and she stands a good chance of getting, then I would have another gentle try to change her mind, but not push it. However, in that gentle try, I would point out that by the time she hasn't gone in to sit the exam, it is too late to decide that she really would have liked to go there if she did well enough, this is one that Mummy cannot 'make better' and if she doesn't think she's grown-up enough to cope with that, it's absolutely okay, but then please let Mummy take the responsibility for making the decision and get her up on time on Saturday and get her to the school for her to sit the exam. With the promise that even if she gets the highest score of all, you won't actually make her go there if there is a better alternative.

Just a thought.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2021 12:55 am 
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My daughter did y7 at Woodford but left at end of the year as she did not like it.

Subjects were fairly standard apart from 2 languages, she did French and German. Alternative was Latin. I think the GCSEs are on website in the teaching and learning section.

Teaching was excellent though was all about a year ahead and a few students were having outside tutoring to keep up but generally fine. Results are excellent. Very heavy on homework, and it made it very work orientated.

Pastoral care for us was not great but it depended who you got and there was a lot of pressure on the kids from parents and teachers to do well.

It was about 90% Asian, only 6 white girls in the year and a similar number of black girls, all the girls were nice, most were quiet and studious, very obedient but could be isolating for those who were not Asian.

There were some clubs but for my daughter there was no socialising outside school as most lived miles from us and lots of homework.

Head is lovely but its very old fashioned like a school in the 1950s. This was 4 years ago now so things may have changed though it did appear in something of a timewarp with its knitting classes and ballroom dancing day, and very old fashioned newsletters. It was good on things like encouraging girls into science and computing but 28 out of my daughters class wanted to be doctors when they did careers survey which seemed odd.

Though it will vary by child and parent their views. Its best suited to a studious, quietish child who lives where most of girls come from which then was roughly Ilford but may have shifted. Pastoral care would say in any school its best if you check with your child regularly they are OK. The homework did reduce after parental feedback but not sure how long that would have lasted.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2021 7:38 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:01 pm
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Location: Herts
Very interesting, thank you for taking the time to write this.

I hope your dd is happy in her new school. DG


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2021 11:07 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:14 pm
Posts: 207
Thanks for all the replies. Very useful and reassuring. DD was adamant that she wasn't going to sit for the test so we have cancelled the slot. We hadn't prepared heavily for this test as we figured that CEM is not a good fit for her SEN/Dyslexia - it was only 2 weeks before the test that we discovered that she qualified for 25% extra time.... So it would have been a scramble and she wasn't motivated.

And after calming down a bit, I can see her point. She would rather go to our local comprehensive with all of her friends (even if that's not a great fit for her ability and SEN) than to go to a school she knows nothing about. On the other hand I have managed to persuade her to sit for our one local Indie in January - who are having in-person open days - so getting her interested in that will be much easier.

What a strange time Covid is creating - two years-worth of kids not able to visit a school before committing at least 5 years to it....?! I wonder whether the in-year transfer rates across the country will go up as a result?


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