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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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bucksmum33 wrote:
I wrote a one page covering letter plus evidence. As I said, by no means was that necessarily the best way but it worked for us. The whole point of this thread was to offer people help if they wanted it not for me to justify myself!!


No-one is asking you to justify yourself but are just pointing out that 12 pages is not needed in the vast majority of cases. :D


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:49 pm
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Guest55 wrote:
bucksmum33 wrote:
I wrote a one page covering letter plus evidence. As I said, by no means was that necessarily the best way but it worked for us. The whole point of this thread was to offer people help if they wanted it not for me to justify myself!!


No-one is asking you to justify yourself but are just pointing out that 12 pages is not needed in the vast majority of cases. :D


1 page plus supporting material...:)


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7792
bucksmum33 wrote:
1 page plus supporting material...:)


...... which is fine! :)

_________________
Etienne


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:16 pm
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Thank you Bucksmum for giving up your time to help others.

My daughter got 120.75. She is a twin and her twin sister passed. I obviously need to speak to the head of her primary school but I intend to go to a selection review. She goes to a private school and, whilst I know she works very hard and did well in the last set of school exams I am unclear as to how much academic support there will be from the head. I would be very grateful for your support.

She did CATs in years 3, 4 and 5 at school and the results are as follows:

Yr 3
Verbal reasoning (VR) - 118
Non-Verbal reasoning (NVR) - 118

Yr4
VR - 112
Quantative (Quant.) - 107
NVR - 107
Spatial - 110

Yr 5
VR - 128
Quant. - 115
NVR - 114
Spatial - 102

I don't know if these will really be of much assistance despite really good general classwork (As in English and maths). I am quite worried that she could miss out passing by 0.25 marks and then selection review not working due to poor CATS. The real problem is that she is not great in exams but does well in classwork and is highly motivated and hard working and quite bright (top set English and performs near the top of the class in maths in a very high-achieving primary).

She does have extenuating circumstances - she had a number of visits to the GP prior to the exam (terrible stomach pains, constipation and a rash) and just afterwards and then a trip to emergency care with stomach pains she has just been diagnosed as a celiac. Any thoughts would be great but I will come back in a few days with info on what the head has to say.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:44 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:00 pm
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We don't have any real extenuating circumstances other than nerves and the pressure of expectation. It was however, a lower result than I expected as I was expecting about 130 based on very similar ability/aptitude to my other child. School reports show same levels for both. DS2 report this summer shows above expectation in maths and writing, teacher said he is a gifted child, reading age 14, doing higher complex word and number problems, writing shows maturity and sophistication, platinum award in maths times tables. Always making clear progress and achieving above expectation. I'm really worried we don't have any evidence of medical issues/bullying/family death/house move etc. Is it worth going for the selection review?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 6:49 am 
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Deb70 wrote:
We don't have any real extenuating circumstances other than nerves and the pressure of expectation. It was however, a lower result than I expected as I was expecting about 130 based on very similar ability/aptitude to my other child. School reports show same levels for both. DS2 report this summer shows above expectation in maths and writing, teacher said he is a gifted child, reading age 14, doing higher complex word and number problems, writing shows maturity and sophistication, platinum award in maths times tables. Always making clear progress and achieving above expectation. I'm really worried we don't have any evidence of medical issues/bullying/family death/house move etc. Is it worth going for the selection review?


Deb70 - that's how i feel. It's almost as if you must have extenuating circumstances to be successful in the selection review. We don't have any.

How this for extenuating circumstances: A brand new test was brought out and no one knew what to expect. Subsequent years will be fine because there's now test examples, especially with spatial reasoning lol.

My son's school have never done CATS tests (i have no idea what they are) and to be honest they're never very forth-coming with test results in general. They have never given parents the child's reading age and only since last year whilst DS was in year 5 did they start to give levels like 5.1, 5.2, 5.2+ and 5.3 and age standardised scores at the end of term reports (which are also new).

Feel completely out of my depth and like I predicted, this system is very much geared towards the private schools and schools out of catchment (they make the pass mark higher but can't actually get in due to admission policies). It is a flawed system and my son is the one paying the price. If he isn't successful at the selection review I'm almost at the point of saying to my husband we need to move to an area that has no Grammar schools.

I feel completely lost and finding it very hard to be positive.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:01 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:45 am
Posts: 119
Hello, everyone.
This thread is fine for general discussion and mutual support, but if you need expert help with your review or appeal case, please start your own thread on the Appeals forum which was set up specifically for this purpose.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:26 am 
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Hey lea 2124 - you know, I've had the most awful weekend with all this, but have decided to just go for it. I know my child is a clever child, and I know he wants to go to grammar school. He's just seen exactly what the workload and standard required for year 7 is, as his brother has just started year 8 there. I will rely on his academic record from junior school. I think nerves is a totally valid reason for under-performance in a ten year old child. This new test seems to be as much about speed and strategy as anything else. I don't think super speed is particularly necessary. They should just be clever kids who enjoy work. There's nothing to lose so let's just do it! Good luck x


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:43 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 6:36 pm
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Location: High Wycombe
Other more experienced appealers will be able to advise better, but based on anecdotal experience of friends I would counsel against mentioning nerves and pressure as extenuating circumstances. The response a few years ago from the panel was “grammar schools are pressurised environments, they need to be able to cope with an element of pressure (ie. they aren’t suited to a grammar school)”.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:25 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:33 pm
Posts: 1464
Location: Buckinghamshire
Sometimes, pressure might be mentioned as a valid point in a review or appeal but only if there's evidence of extraordinary pressure. You could argue that every child taking the test is under pressure, whether they are expected to qualify or not, because it's an unusual type of test for many done under unusual conditions. Therefore, that sort of general pressure is not extenuating or extraordinary. What might be considered unusual pressure is, for example, where a child has a few older siblings who all qualified and attend a grammar school. It's not a strong extenuating circumstance so it's worth mentioning, but not labouring!


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