12+ 2024 Bucks

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12+ 2024
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2023 4:55 pm

12+ 2024 Bucks

Post by 12+ 2024 »

We have a DD who qualified for GS a few years ago. We live in Bucks, well within catchment for 3 GSs and she got her first choice GS.

Fast forward and our DS scored 115 in this year's 11+. He has been working at GDS for reading and maths for years 3-5 and writing is at upper end of EXS. Top set for maths (strongest subject, very able), GDS for computing (I know this doesn't count), significantly higher scores in GL practice papers. Got his 11+ result on Fri 13th, cried himself to sleep for days; utterly heartbreaking.

We clicked the link for a SR which resulted in a 2:1 recommendation from his HT with 111-120 predictions for end of year 6 in reading and maths, and EXS for writing. HT is very highly regarded, outstanding LA school, sits on the SR panels and has been candid; he's a lovely, kind boy (so proud to hear this) BUT he will not be successful at SR.

HT statement is nice to read and whilst positive, it is not effusive, which I gather is like writing in code to SR panel members. His only extenuating circ from our point of view is that he tied himself up into knots and self doubt due to comparison with his sister by "helpful" others, resulting in many nights of worry and poor sleep. There were a couple of disruptions on the day recorded by the invigilator but not mentioned in the HT form, as I suppose what occurred was not unexpected for 10/11 year olds unaccustomed to exams. He did mention the disruptions when he got home on test day. We realise his case is weak, his score is low (but still respectable as he is undoubtedly intelligent in an academic sense), but will proceed with SR regardless because HT supplied their form and we have submitted our letter. I hope that I am not being selfish and wasting the SRP's time, but the prep work is done so, so be it. I fear all hope is gone.

His HT has told us that, should we apply, based on current performance our DS will pass the 12+. As our DD attends one of our catchment GSs sibling rule would apply. Our closest catchment GS is 0.5 miles away, our furthest is within 1.5 miles. We know exactly what is expected of GS pupils in terms of workload, behaviour and parental support required to help them to achieve their goals. We know getting into GS is not the end of the line, there is a long way to go yet. We are not chasing unicorns. If he has a successful 12+ result, assuming there are places to be had, in theory he stands a good chance of a year 8 place at our catchment GSs.

Unfortunately I can't actually find much information about the 12+. Can anyone tell me more about it (other than what is on the BC website)? Would anyone be willing to share their lived experience of the 12+? Is it impossible to get a space in year 8 at the Aylesbury GSs? We will not mention the 12+ to him again until just before the application deadline (next Oct) but is it worth it and will there be places at our GSs? Or is it just the exceptional odd places here and there if you're exceedingly lucky?

I also wanted to generally thank the forum commenters and moderators. I have tied myself up in knots due to guilt, sadness and feeling that I have failed my DS. But the positive stories of what comes after unsuccessful SRs have put things into perspective somewhat.
hermanmunster
Posts: 12522
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 9:51 am
Location: The Seaside

Re: 12+ 2024 Bucks

Post by hermanmunster »

Welcome to the forum - I'll move your post to the Bucks section, you might get a bit more advice there
Etienne
Posts: 8978
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 6:26 pm

Re: 12+ 2024 Bucks

Post by Etienne »

Welcome!
12+ 2024 wrote: Mon Nov 06, 2023 11:04 pm Is it impossible to get a space in year 8 at the Aylesbury GSs? ..... will there be places at our GSs? Or is it just the exceptional odd places here and there if you're exceedingly lucky?
Chances are there may not be any vacancies - at least, not at first.

According to the LA:
  • "Our grammar schools are very popular. Think carefully before you apply for a place. Many children go through the process of preparation, testing, and qualify at testing, but are disappointed when there are no places to offer to them.

    For September 2023 entry, no places were offered at for either Year 8 or Year 9 in the first round of allocations in March.

    For those who qualify, the qualification remains valid for one year following the test for most of the grammar schools. A child must be qualified before they can be added to a grammar school waiting list.

    For the Royal Latin School the qualification gained for year 8 entry remains valid for the academic year. Your child would need to be tested again for year 9 entry, by the school.

    For Aylesbury Grammar School, Aylesbury High School and Burnham Grammar School, the qualification remains valid until the end of year 9.
    "

Note that it says above "no places were offered at for either Year 8 or Year 9 in the first round of allocations in March" - which suggests some places may have become available subsequently from the waiting list.

If son were to qualify, if there's a sibling link he could be quite high up on the waiting list. (Of course, distance could be a factor if there are other children also with siblings on the WL.)

The other possibility is to appeal. Chances are not high unless you have very good reasons for wanting a place at the school in question:
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... -school#c2

is it worth it
If it were me I would pursue both avenues - the waiting list (if qualified) and an appeal - but there's bound to be a degree of uncertainty and stress.
Ultimately only you can say if it's worth it.
If you don't try, might you always wonder what would have happened?
We will not mention the 12+ to him again until just before the application deadline (next Oct)
Very wise. I think the important thing is to manage son's expectations.

I also wanted to generally thank the forum commenters and moderators.
Thank you! :D

I have tied myself up in knots due to guilt, sadness and feeling that I have failed my DS.
You shouldn't feel guilty for one moment. The 11+ is a snapshot, a moment in time. On a different day son might have scored 121.
But the positive stories of what comes after unsuccessful SRs have put things into perspective somewhat.
We get so many positive stories.
https://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/advic ... cation#b54
Etienne
12+ 2024
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2023 4:55 pm

Re: 12+ 2024 Bucks

Post by 12+ 2024 »

Thank you Etienne, I feel honoured that you have taken the time to reply as I have read a great number of your posts/comments over the last 2.5 weeks.

I have read that LA webpage several times and until your comment, I would not have considered what it doesn't say about in year admissions and waiting lists.

Thank you for signposting me to the relevant resources. It's been an emotional time and I have been quite moved by the positive stories re: life after the 11+. Thank you again to all contributors who have taken the time to report back.

You are quite right; if we don't try we will never know. We have a long road to travel, but you have provided perspective and broken what felt like an overwhelming set of obstacles into more manageable chunks. Our options are clearer.

Thank you for all that you do for others who find themselves in similar situations.
Aethel
Posts: 1122
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 6:24 pm

Re: 12+ 2024 Bucks

Post by Aethel »

12+, don’t lose hope! You have put in the Selection Review, which will chuntle through the system verrrrry slowly…..

You are realistic that a 115 without exenuating circumstances can be slim at SR, but it’s not impossible.

Your HT recommendation of 2:1 is fine.

Yes EXS at writing isn’t ideal but the other two are 110-120.

You don’t include the mark breakdown: the SR panel will feed back a “reason” if he doesn’t make it, one of the apparent dropdown menu choices is “didn’t pass in more than one section”, don’t know if that applies, or if he just dropped marks in VR (which counts double weighting compared to the marks in Maths or NVR).

Your HT is probably trying to match your expectations too:
the panel on the day may look at the information and make a different decision: no way to tell.

Good luck and try to put it out of mind for now: you’ve advocated your best for your DS and that’s what’s important.

there are very few 12+ entrants nowadays (people take and pass it but there are no dedicated y8 spaces anywhere now in the Bucks GS: you rely on someone leaving which only really happens when families leave the area completely). By all means try, as it may happen occasionally, but don’t view it as likely, he may “pass” (good for morale perhaps) but then sit on a waiting list. Hopefully you have a decent CAF backup option you’ve named below the GS you want him to go if SR works.

Good luck!
12+ 2024
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2023 4:55 pm

Re: 12+ 2024 Bucks

Post by 12+ 2024 »

Hi Aethel

Thank you for your kind words. He passed the Maths section but not the other sections. :( He had an off day.

We've done the work so will not withdraw the SR request. We have just had his parents evening and his teachers have said the most amazing things about him. He's enthusiastic in all subjects, he listens actively and helps those who haven't understood well, he's engaged, he shares his ideas, which are always well thought out, and he respects and validates the ideas of others. He comes into class every day with a smile on his face and clearly LOVES learning. He is also a MH 'buddy', who look out for pupils who are lonely, sad or just need a friendly word and he takes this responsibility very seriously (he put himself forward for the role without our knowledge). He is incredibly resilient and so brave - he stood up to another child who said something that he felt was racist. He's 10! How did we get so lucky?

So yet again I am shedding tears because he is a clever boy, but he is also manifests all these other amazing character traits. But they don't matter for this process, all that matters is that he did not make the magic 121.

The non selective options are not good. I can't fix this for him, which is heartbreaking.

Thank you again for your kind words.
Aethel
Posts: 1122
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 6:24 pm

Re: 12+ 2024 Bucks

Post by Aethel »

it’s okay, lots of us have been there. My DD2 didn’t make the 11+ and ended up in the top sets of the local non selective which did wonders for her confidence as she went through secondary feeling she was one of the more capable ones. They gave her excellent SEN support (she’s dyslexic) and she has done very well and importantly is happy.

If you’re successful in the SR, brilliant and he will love the grammar. What school did you put for backup in case he doesn’t get it? if it’s not one you are sure you want, give it a try and see how he settles in, you may be surprised and find he loves it. very few schools are THAT bad in Bucks. Othereise have a thimk about whether you’d be willing to drive him further afield, pay or if there’s no other option, move (that should not be needed though, hopefully)
12+ 2024
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2023 4:55 pm

Re: 12+ 2024 Bucks

Post by 12+ 2024 »

Thank you and well done to your DD2!

You are right, when they have an inquisitive nature and a love of learning, they will do well pretty much wherever they end up. Also, there's quite a bit of healthy sibling rivalry between him and his GS attending sister, which will be a big motivation for him! ;)

Moving is an option but that will cause significant upheaval for all of us, including our cat! Also, enormously expensive.

I will wait for the SR outcome, then see what happens on 1 March and take it from there. Things have a way of working out, especially as he's so positive and resilient, (more so than me at the moment.)

Apologies that it's turned into a mini therapy session, but thank you again for sharing your experience with me.
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