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 Post subject: latymer
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:16 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:51 pm
Posts: 25
Unsure if I have misintepreted Latymer's home page on their website , but it seems they have replaced previous VR test papers with a longer literacy task. I'm glad my ds's won't be sitting tests in 2010 as english is his weakness. What are your rhoughts?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:33 pm 
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Location: London
you are correct - apparently so much tutoring has meant that an extremely large cohort get near maximum marks and so their will be a more traditional comprehension and essay paper in future


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:53 am 
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Jimmispud,

Did the school tell you this about the tutoring effects? Do you mean particularly in the VR or across the board? I would have thought that a large number do extremely well in the NVR, but perhaps the school think you can only tutor a child to get maximum marks in the NVR if they have the potential anyway. Are there changes ahead for the NVR? Would a Durham CEM type test would be more appropriate, but perhaps Latymer is happy scooping up the tutored middle class kids.

I feel sorry for the bright child who does not have access to tutoring or significant numbers of practice papers for the NVR, and it remains a mystery to me why Latymer continues to sell Athey NVR papers for practice and only informs parents at the last minute that that the actual papers are NFER. To my mind this plays into the hands of the tutors who know the score.

Interested to hear others views on the Latymer process.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:13 pm 
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Totally agree about the Athey/NFer issue on NVR. First time round we had no knowledge of this. Second time we were in the know and dc did much better as a result!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:06 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:42 pm
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Location: London
Not sure if the school will offer this as an official explanation but I know quite a few of the teaching staff and this is the unofficial explanation - the NVR and Maths have a much bigger spread of marks. On the contrary to the previous post, one gets the impression that Latymer wants to scoop up more of the non-tutored candidates and that they rather dispair at the degree of coaching....remember that not so long ago they selected by NVR alone. I have one child at the school and I would say there is a broad range of backgrounds re class/privelege/ethnicity - the current selection method does seem to favour boys however - the form groups have roughly 17/13 split in their favour ... I wonder if a more rigorous English rather than a Literacy/NVR component is an attempt to balance things out?.....


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:58 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 8:51 am
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Jimmispud,

Your post is encouraging regarding the mix. It is easy to get the impression at our primary school that it is impossible to get in without tutoring. I shall be interested to see the outcome in March as quite a few children sat the second round and most, but not all, were tutored.

Regarding the NVR perhaps there is a greater spread of marks intially because the test is open to all. I must admit you've now got me worried about the VR as despite practice my DS would probably only be looking at a score of about 80%.

Good luck everyone.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:01 pm
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Location: Herts
This development is very interesting. It could make quite an impact on the other three. Has Lattymer completely abandoned VR? We are not in the catchment area but certainly would have sat if we could. This will make quite a dent in the WH Smith VR sales in Enfield and Barnet. DAO use VR to reduce the amount of Eng and Maths papers they have to mark as they only mark those who get over 115 in VR. It is also true to say that their VR marks tend to be in a very narrow range and because it is out of 140 and the eng and maths is out of 50, except for this year when the maths will be out of 49, the VR actually carries more weight so can be the deciding factor in many cases. So will this mean that very able VR candidates will stop getting in Lattimer and get into DAO instead?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:36 pm 
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Dunno about anyone else, but it seems to me that VR is "just easy" compared to all the other papers. I don't see that it adds much to the breadth of 11+ assessment and I quite agree with the decision to dump it. The weighting of existing tests can be adjusted to suit.

I was well aware of Athey/NFER from my first investigations, but my wife wasn't and indeed suggested that I was totally barking in suggesting that the papers they sell aren't the same as those they do!

I think the effects of tutoring are slightly over-stated and it seems to me that the primary schools are doing a lousy job by and large (including ours, an independent "prep school") and it's really up to the parents to organise things. Also, is it "tutoring" when the parents are doing it? The idea of "professional tutors" can be quite intimidating, but many of those that I've encountered have been pretty rubbish in my view.

This is just the same argument that the press are getting involved in with regard to university entrance - i.e. positive discrimination for students from poorer schools. I brought this matter up with Bernice McCabe of NLCS the other day and she said that the universities that she's spoken to don't pay a blind bit of notice to this stuff.

One way in which schools could try and get in more of the disadvantaged-with-potential would be to do more face to face interviews, but I think that's (a) impractical due to numbers applying and (b) is frowned upon by various meddling do-gooders as being too subjective.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:26 pm 
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Location: Herts
The ability to interview has been removed from state schools, they are not allowed to just in case they prefer the middle class candidate.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:34 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:51 pm
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Well, there's trust for you!


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