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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:06 pm 
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DD has had a tutor since Easter, but although DD likes her, I am not impressed and don't feel she is very organised. She seems to be in it for the money. She has given me very little feedback on DD's progress until I raised the issue of stopping sessions - she now says DD is one of her 'weaker' pupils, but has great potential, so stopping before the summer would greatly reduce her chances in September :roll:

I'm now starting to doubt myself and wonder if DD is capable of passing 11+. Is it worth it? She is not overly concerned which school she goes to and doesn't have her heart set on a Grammar. We are north Gloucestershire so our catchment school is Tewkesbury. Is it that bad? Is it too late to find another tutor??

I guess I'm wondering if anyone else has been put off by their tutor. What did you do? And if my DD ended up at Tewkesbury would she be ok?!

Any feedback much appreciated!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:31 am 
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I can't comment on the tutor thing - she clearly is in it for the money but then so are all 11+ tutors I imagine and most others too. But I can share some anecdotes about Tewkesbury school:

1. I used to work with a service for children with medical needs and this involved liaising with individual schools so I had contacts in almost all the local schools. Tewkesbury was brilliant at supporting its young people. Possibly the best and certainly far better than several grammar schools.

2. Two of my children's good friends went to that school. They were not considered 'bright' and no way would have taken the 11+. Just the other day I asked my DC what had happened to them and both are now at top universities studying serious academic subjects.

3. I know of 2 very bright little sparks who I worked with at primary level whose parents both opted for Tewkesbury rather than the Gloucester grammar schools to avoid the journey in one case, and an all-girl environment in another. Both are doing exceptionally well.

So in answer to your question about whether your child will 'be all right' at Tewkesbury, I think you have as much chance of that as you do at any other school, maybe even more so. I have only heard good things and my experience spans the last 10 years.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:32 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:34 pm
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Penguin55 wrote:
DD has had a tutor since Easter, but although DD likes her, I am not impressed and don't feel she is very organised. She seems to be in it for the money. She has given me very little feedback on DD's progress until I raised the issue of stopping sessions - she now says DD is one of her 'weaker' pupils, but has great potential, so stopping before the summer would greatly reduce her chances in September :roll:

I'm now starting to doubt myself and wonder if DD is capable of passing 11+. Is it worth it? She is not overly concerned which school she goes to and doesn't have her heart set on a Grammar. We are north Gloucestershire so our catchment school is Tewkesbury. Is it that bad? Is it too late to find another tutor??

I guess I'm wondering if anyone else has been put off by their tutor. What did you do? And if my DD ended up at Tewkesbury would she be ok?!

Any feedback much appreciated!

It’s a tricky one...and very difficult to say...it may be the tutor is not the right person to work with your dd....or if dd is happy...tutor is being honest that your dd and finds it difficult to feed back something likely to disappoint you

Things to consider ..how does your dd feel about the long journeys she will be doing if she gets in? Is she going to be happier at a local school with a bunch of local friends...what are her skills and what feedback have you had from primary school reports?
I don’t know Tewkesbury School...Id make sure I have been to have a look round, look at results...do a reasonable proportion of children get top grades? How enthusiastic are the teachers? What are facilities like?
I know children who have attended schools which appear pretty poor on paper but with good family support behind them can get good results...


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:08 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
Posts: 7605
Location: Essex
DC17C wrote:
Penguin55 wrote:
DD has had a tutor since Easter, but although DD likes her, I am not impressed and don't feel she is very organised. She seems to be in it for the money. She has given me very little feedback on DD's progress until I raised the issue of stopping sessions - she now says DD is one of her 'weaker' pupils, but has great potential, so stopping before the summer would greatly reduce her chances in September :roll:

I'm now starting to doubt myself and wonder if DD is capable of passing 11+. Is it worth it? She is not overly concerned which school she goes to and doesn't have her heart set on a Grammar. We are north Gloucestershire so our catchment school is Tewkesbury. Is it that bad? Is it too late to find another tutor??

I guess I'm wondering if anyone else has been put off by their tutor. What did you do? And if my DD ended up at Tewkesbury would she be ok?!

Any feedback much appreciated!

It’s a tricky one...and very difficult to say...it may be the tutor is not the right person to work with your dd....or if dd is happy...tutor is being honest that your dd and finds it difficult to feed back something likely to disappoint you

Things to consider ..how does your dd feel about the long journeys she will be doing if she gets in? Is she going to be happier at a local school with a bunch of local friends...what are her skills and what feedback have you had from primary school reports?
I don’t know Tewkesbury School...Id make sure I have been to have a look round, look at results...do a reasonable proportion of children get top grades? How enthusiastic are the teachers? What are facilities like?
I know children who have attended schools which appear pretty poor on paper but with good family support behind them can get good results...


How students do when it comes to public exams is as much a question of their own ability and willingness to work as it is of the school's input. So when you are looking at a school's GCSE results, also look at that cohort's levels on entry. If 'only' 60% of students last year gotthe magic however many A*-C grades or whatever, but only 50% were at least middle attainers at KS2, then they have done well. I'm plucking figures out of the air here, but you should get my drift.

I'm not saying that your tutor is necessarily right - like Amber, I'm sure she is in it mainly for the money, particularly from the insistence that keeping up the tutoring through the stones is the answer :shock: - but turning it round, what makes you think that your DD is'grammar material'? Is she consistently top of the year in a high performing primary school? Or are you looking to tutoring to make her suitable for an academically selective school?

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:42 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:20 am
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I "used" a tutor for my DD. I say "used" because I wanted to know what a tutor would do that I wouldn't have thought of.

The tutor made me book and pay for a minimum of 4 sessions, gave me a list of books to purchase and told me I had to stay during the sessions (which were at her house) because she was not a baby sitter :roll: She did no more than I would have done myself except she gave DD homework - eg. make lists of words she didn't know when reading and look them up in a dictionary (I just explained to DD the meanings when she was reading), read "Cargoes" by John Masefield and write a short essay what it was all about etc.

When I told her we weren't having any more sessions I was told DD "was the weakest link in her cohort, not to expect her to qualify and I was being unjust to my daughter for not giving the education she deserved". We continued to use the books at home and booked one mock test for DD so she could familiarise herself with test conditions. This resulted in DD qualifying for the girls schools.

Talk to your DD and ask yourself/DD some questions...How is your DD performing at Primary School? Is she above average? Why do you think she needs a tutor? Why do you want her to go to a GS? Why is her heart not set on a GS? Does she want to stay local? Have you looked a the 11+ material she has been working on - is she flourishing?

Other things to consider when choosing a school - transport available (inc. time and cost), after school activities, parents attendance at events, impressions when visiting schools, attitude of teachers, content (and honesty) of Head's talk, facilities, subjects offered, pastoral care and support, GCSE/A-level results and everyone's bug-bear - Ofstead reports.

I have no experience of Tewkesbury School, but whichever school she goes to, she will only "get out, what she puts in". I know Comprehensive educated children who have achieved fantastic degrees at Uni, just as I know GS educated children who have dismal GCSE results, no ambition and are drifting from job-to-job.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:07 pm
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Thanks so much for the input everyone, I really appreciate it :D

DD is doing well at primary (it's a good school with some very smart kids) and while I can't say she's the best, she's definitely in the top few. Her teacher (who went to a Glos Grammar) says that DD should take the 11+ and would do well at GS. I trust the teacher's judgement more than the tutor! The tutor was more to help with exam prep/awareness, rather than the academic side.

So there lies my dilemma. DD is a bit of a 'jack of all trades' and doesn't have any strong stand out skills/interests, although she loves reading and does like science. We visited several of the grammars last autumn, plus Tewkesbury, and DD didn't have a strong preference for any.

MY preference for grammar? 1) I'm thinking that it might give her more opportunities to find her interests and develop them, as I worry she would just 'drift' if not encouraged. 2) I may be projecting my experiences here, but I went to my local comp and hated it. Was bullied for two years until my parents took me out and put me in singled sexed private school, which I loved. Tewkesbury has had a varying reputation, I quite liked it at the open day but it's hard not to get swayed by Ofsted, local gossip etc. It's great to hear some positive feedback, Amber, thanks!

We are meeting with another tutor over the weekend, so that might help sort my head out. DD and I are also going to the HSFG open day in a couple of weeks, so will see how DD feels after that...


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:21 pm 
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I'd stop the tutoring and DIY ... tutor sounds very unpleasant.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:01 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2017 5:42 pm
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Hi Penguin,

I live in Tewkesbury with a DS in Y5, and am DIY tutoring him to take the exam in September. I’ve got quite mixed feelings about the whole thing at the moment! DS seems to be bright and is coping well with the work we’re doing, so I feel he’s got a decent chance of making the standard, but I suppose I might be way off the mark and that’s the risk with DIYing it I guess. We loved Crypt and STRS when we looked round, and are seeing Pate’s later this month.

But I also feel he’d do fine at Tewkesbury - I went there myself (in the 90s so quite a while ago!) and did well, as did lots of my friends (RG unis and Oxbridge after 6th form). I’ve got friends with children at the school now and they all seem happy with it. It has an extension stream for the more able kids, and if you have a look at the FB page, there seems to be lots going on, sport, trips overseas - lots of opportunities.

But, I’ve just got this feeling that won’t go away, that DS is more suited to and would be happier in a grammar. My main worries are the travel and lack of local friends.

We are going to keep on with the preparation as he wants to do the exam and then we’ll make a decision. I’m hoping visiting all the schools again in the autumn will help us to make up our minds, and then we’ll see if he meets the standard for any of them!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:05 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:21 pm
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I think we were very lucky with the tutor we used. She came recommended from friends & only takes a small few each year. She shared with us her plans - covering the content, then working on speed & exam technic. Each week DD had homework & DD got feedback in the session as to how to improve & also feedback to us as parents. It was honest but relevant & specific to DD. I think in your circumstance I'd stop the tutor. You've got to feel as though you're getting value from it otherwise what is the point?

As for the school alternatives - we took our DD to see both GS & non GS. We did it in very close proximity - like day or two apart to enable her to make a comparison & which one she felt best. I was very careful to keep my opinions out of it as I wanted her perspective.

No idea how your DD's primary is organised but my DD has for sometime known which is the 'top' table in the class even though her teacher moves them all around frequently...she knows who is able & where is against them.

I think you're also lucky to have a teacher who is encouraging you - our primary teachers deny all knowledge that the schools even exist even though there is a good amount that go to grammars each year....

Best of luck with whatever you decide


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:20 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:38 am
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Penguin55 wrote:
She is not overly concerned which school she goes to and doesn't have her heart set on a Grammar.


If you can sort this out then it becomes easier. As DD's friends all wanted places at grammars she was very motivated from the off, DS has only just realised that his friends all want grammar places so suddenly he is motivated and more focused in his work. I wonder if your DD's lack of concern has been picked up by the tutor?


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