To ditch the idea of Grammar as DD isn't good at maths?

(237 Posts)
ICameOnTheJitney Sat 05-Oct-13 12:46:41

despite the fact that she's extremely good at literacy? She's in year 5 and one of the youngest but just flew through a test paper for verbal reasoning in literacy but the maths made her go confused

I COULD get a tutor couldn't I....she's "ok" in maths but finds it a struggle...her grade is as expected for her age....but she'd need a BIG leap in the coming year.

Considering we have excellent state secondarys here shall I just forget Grammar or put her through a year's worth of hothousing?

froken Sat 05-Oct-13 12:58:06

I would say just send her to a local non selective secondary.

Would you continue with the tutoring once she started the grammar school?

ICameOnTheJitney Sat 05-Oct-13 13:00:04

That's it isn't it...I suppose she'd possibly need a tutor still! I am considering the tutor anyway...I don't want her to fall behind when in state secodary either...

IslaValargeone Sat 05-Oct-13 13:02:42

You wouldn't necessarily have to continue with tutoring?
Sometimes there are a couple of particular issues in maths which stop other bits falling into place and once these are ironed out, the penny drops and confidence picks up.
If you can find a tutor who can be honest rather than just be interested in taking your cash, it is probably worth considering.

phantomnamechanger Sat 05-Oct-13 13:06:39

It depends - do you think it will all just "click" with a bit of tutoring and she will come on in leaps and bounds and be fine by Yr7? Or do you think she will mind being, maybe, bottom of the class in maths and struggling to keep up all the way through grammar?

Local boys' grammar school head spoke to all the Y7 parents at the first parents evening "it is already very clear to us which of your children were tutored to pass the 11+, we hope you intend to continue the extra tutoring to keep their grades up to scratch"

How is she otherwise academically - is she cut out for being self motivating and just getting on with homework for a couple of hours a night, or will it be a constant battle and make her miserable and you stressed? I have 2 DDs at grammar - both are A* students (I am not bragging, honest- they are totally self motivated and doing really really well) DDs friend on the other hand does not find any of it easy, despite initially being pleased to have got in. Grammar is not best for everyone.

bimbabirba Sat 05-Oct-13 13:16:03

How does she feel about it?
I would try the tutoring and have her take the exam at least. You can always turn down a place if she's offered it and you may have a better idea of what's the right thing to do by the end of the academic year

bimbabirba Sat 05-Oct-13 13:16:50

At the very least she will benefit from the tutoring

Nanny0gg Sat 05-Oct-13 13:24:39

Have you spoken to her current school?

IME tutoring is okay to teach exam/VR technique for the 11+, but if she needs tutoring in the actual subjects she may well struggle.

moustachio Sat 05-Oct-13 13:28:15

As a child who was clever at everything except maths, I didn't get into the local grammar. I was gutted and was really held back at the local comp. It is so hard to concentrate when in a shitty school. They put the naughty kids in with everyone else, which may help there behaviour, but it dramatically affected my level of education. How can a teacher teach when they're constantly telling certain kids off?

As a result, i'd get her a maths tutor for the exam, as long as you realise she may have to keep it up throughout school, which isn't a massive deal and would really help. Extra tutoring shouldn't be seen as a negative thing, she'll have to learn it either way, so why is it a big thing if you can afford to pay for her to be educated 'privately'?

Go for it smile

LaQueenForADay Sat 05-Oct-13 13:30:50

Depends on the child/GS...but general rule of themb around here is that a child needs to be a strong Level 5 in all three subjects in order to be comfortable at the grammar school. If they're not, then the consensus is they're perhaps going to struggle to keep up, and will need additional tutoring through out.

And, then many children (incl. our DD1) get some tutoring on top of their Level 5 abilities, iyswim - because it just teaches them technique, and timing etc.

curlew Sat 05-Oct-13 13:33:44

Comprehensive does not mean mixed ability teaching!

OP- what % go to grammar school in your area? And what NC levels is she working at now?

phantomnamechanger Sat 05-Oct-13 13:36:01

bimba- its not as easy as that - in many areas, if you even apply to grammar, regardless of whether you then think again and decide to decline the place you are offered, the local comps will NOT offer you a place. One of our local comps ONLY offers to those who put them as first choice. OP might therefore put grammar as first choice, get offered, but then decline - and NOT get her second choice but have to go right back to the bottom of the "clearing" process - and her child may end up in a sink school miles away. With no entitlement to free/subsidised transport.

SatinSandals Sat 05-Oct-13 13:42:19

I would choose a non selective one. She then has time to improve and move up the sets at her own pace.

Blu Sat 05-Oct-13 13:45:58

Are your local grammar schools part of a country wide grammar scheme which take all the pupils who pass the 11+ , or are they 'super selectives' to which people from miles around apply and often tutor madly?

It seems to me that one of the problems with grammars is that children need to be equally strong across subjects to get in, whereas at a good set / streamed comp they can be in a top set for a strong subject and learn at a more suitable pace in subjects wheree they need more help. But for a local grammar, maybe give her some practice at the Maths and then what's the harm in allowing her to take the 11+ if you think the grammar, as a school will suit her?

At a good comp in a non grammar area the top sets are in effect the grammar set anyway.

curlew Sat 05-Oct-13 13:48:28

"bimba- its not as easy as that - in many areas, if you even apply to grammar, regardless of whether you then think again and decide to decline the place you are offered, the local comps will NOT offer you a place. One of our local comps ONLY offers to those who put them as first choice"

I don't think that can happen any more- "normal" state schools (as opposed to academies) do not process applications- the LEA does. So it can't matter where you put the school on the form- if there's a place and you fulfil the entry requirements, then you should get in.

phantomnamechanger Sat 05-Oct-13 13:51:54

well that's certainly NOT the case round here curlew, I can assure you.

kittens Sat 05-Oct-13 13:54:03

Hi Op,

I was in your situation a year ago. My DD is brilliant at literacy but finds Maths really hard we went down the tuition route, 1 hour a week plus homework. My DD was a 4b/a at the end of year 4 and a 5b across the board at the end of year 5 so certainly had the ability.

My DD didn't pass the GS exam. The tuition helped her get to grasp with Maths, but many of the other girls were getting intensively tutored (including full time over the holidays and withdrawn from school the week before the exam) so they were always going to be leaps and bounds ahead.
In hindsight I wish I hadn't put my precious child through this terrible process. I would have never considered the intensive tuition route. The local comp is great and they stream so she'll be with children of her ability and their results are really good.
Getting the results has left us with a 10 year old who has had her spirit crushed, she now has no confidence in her own abilities, it'll take time but we are working on building up her confidence again.

Hope this helps.

Blu Sat 05-Oct-13 13:57:21

"*One of our local comps ONLY offers to those who put them as first choice*." If you are in England and it is a state funded school, this is not legal. The Admissions procedures are statutory and all schools must operate an 'Equal preference' system - which means that the school never even knows where on your list you have put them.

Schools work through all applicants to their school, rank them strictly in accordance with their admissions policy (which cannot include 'aplicants who put us first on the list'!) and then tell the LA which children they can offer a place to. The LA then allocates you the school highest up your list which can offer you a place.

It is true that if on National Offer day you get allocated your first (or any choice) choice school and you have changed your mind and decide you prefer a school which you place dlower down the list then at that point you will have to go on the waiting list, no 'second choice' option will have been reserved for you.

However waiting lists are maintained in strict order against the admissions criteria, so if you live on the doorstep of your local comp you should be OK ish.

Many Grammar School areas release the results of the 11+ before you have to submit your CAF, so that you are not taking a complete gamble in using up places on your list for a school your child has already failed the test for.

Have you been to see the grammar school and the other local schools? It's a good idea to visit in Yr 5 and get an idea.

ICameOnTheJitney Sat 05-Oct-13 14:01:49

Kittens she's not a 4b...I can't remember what she is blush but I reckon 3 something at the end of year 4. She does struggle a bit with it. The grammars are no Super Selectives...don't know what % go.Her teacher was a bit vague...she said there's no reason she couldn't pass with tutoring.

The local comp is really excellent...3 went to Ozbridge last year and others to excellent unis....it's well supported by parents from what I can make out.

DD is sort of slef motivated and sort of not...she's a perfectionist and gets stressed if things are not VERY perfect. She's very literal...don't know if that helps or hinders in this type of exam...

ICameOnTheJitney Sat 05-Oct-13 14:04:17

Blu I've not been to visit yet....I keep putting it off as I'm so stressed by it all already. I suspect a minority of children in her class will sit 11+ I am so scared of not doing right by DD....of bottling it to save us the stress...when she COULD pass perhaps.

But then again some people would kill to have such good local state schools at secondary level....it seems that the kids with potential are pushed along and sent to the best unis from there anyway....

ICameOnTheJitney Sat 05-Oct-13 14:06:08

Also the idea of my just turned 11 year old going 14 miles on a bus every day is a bit worrying....whereas now, she could walk the mile to school if we send her locally.

Blu Sat 05-Oct-13 14:12:19

But it's not all about the exam, it's about the 7 years of education which follows the exam.

How will she fare in an environment where she may well be middle or bottomish of a very selective group, rather than being used to being top-ish in literacy in her primary school? How confident is she? How competitive or academically pressured is the grammar? As a child good at literacy might she want to do two MFLs, and is that possible at GCSE at the comps? Or the grammar? Might she want to do Latin - is that available at any of the schools? What is the pastoral supoprt and ethos of the various schools and what will suit her best? Music lessons if that is important to you?

It isn't a case of just assuming that the grammar is best for every bright child.

Blu Sat 05-Oct-13 14:13:38

You need to go and visit! no point in putting yourself in for a potentially stressful period of prep for 11+ if you visit all the schools and decide that actually one of the comps will suit her much better!

ICameOnTheJitney Sat 05-Oct-13 14:44:17

Blu that's right and it's what's bothering me most....if I am honest and go with my instinct I don't think it's right for her...she's very like me in that she gives her ALL to the subjects she's passionate about (art, drama and Literature) and everything else can go hang! Not great but hard to get out of....

I doubt she'll want Latin....but then again I don't know! She's interested in language....music isn't important. She's had opportunities and doesn't seem bothered. She just loves art and literacy above all and the comp has strong departments in both.

I can see her doing English Lit or some kind of creative thing...like me!

Blu Sat 05-Oct-13 14:58:31

We dithered a bit about putting DS in for the selective tests, and it's interesting, now that he is in the top sets of his comp (and the top scorer in several core subjects ) we realise that actually he might have been selective exam material - worth having a shot, anyway. But he was young in his year, and has only matured into some of the subjects in Yr 7, and we are very impressed with the comp (which is suiting him really well), and the selective is a bus ride away opposed to a short walk.

Sometimes you feel as if you should take the selective option, or jpin the compettion just because it's there, and everyone else is scrambling for it.

I would go and see the grammar, and either both you and DD will fall for it and see it as exactly the right school for her, worth the journey and worth a shot at the test with a bit of practice paper support, or you will wipe it off your list and you can stop fretting.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now