How exactly do you know that your DC should go to grammar school?

(318 Posts)
plus3 Fri 05-Oct-12 11:06:38

Sorry for the ridiculous question, but I am going slightly bonkers.

DS is in yr 4 and has unspecified learning difficulties - mainly with attention and processing instructions. He is bright & remembers incredibly well. Literacy & science are his favourite subjects, and thinks he struggles with Maths but is actually above average. He craves structure and routine

My problem is that I am aware of some children in his class already doing extra work out of school (such as explore & kumon etc) and I now feel like I am letting him down hugely.

Should we be jumping on the treadmill of extra work etc to give him an even playing field? I don't really believe in excesses coaching to pass the 11+

So how do we tell if Grammer could be the place for him? When I have spoken to school, they always imply that academically he will be fine (whatever that means)

Sorry if this long & rambling, it all seems so very competitive around here (Bucks) thanks.

TalkinPeace2 Fri 05-Oct-12 22:34:56

LaQueen
not just round you .... DH goes to over 100 schools a year all over the UK of every type
his views of grammar schools are unprintable

we bought a house in the catchment of a dire school, but were able to send our kids to the next comp along
if we'd turned out to be in a grammar area I suspect we WOULD have moved

plus3 Fri 05-Oct-12 22:39:54

Back again. The upper school choice is better than expected - parents who visited for this year were pleasantly surprised, but are still pinning their hopes on the grammar place.

LaQueen where does DD1 want to go? Could you give her the choice?

My DS has been described as a lateral thinker who constantly surprises the teachers with the depth of his questions.....shame that it can take him best part of 10 minutes to even write his name down.

LaQueen Fri 05-Oct-12 22:43:04

Yellow I have to agree. But, if all the other competent kids are being tutored, and you decide to not have your equally competent kid tutored on principle, you are really disadvantaging them.

LaQueen Fri 05-Oct-12 22:44:04

Talkin around here the GS are pretty much stuffed with the children of middle class, professional parents.

LaQueen Fri 05-Oct-12 22:45:42

plus she's actually perfectly happy to go to the GS, as it's where she assumes all of her friends will go. If she went to the secondary modern (which is in our village) she wouldn't know a soul there, because she goes to a school in another village.

plus3 Fri 05-Oct-12 22:48:27

She will probably do extremely well then!

Narked Fri 05-Oct-12 22:48:49

'tutoring already competent kids simply means the parents are burning their money'

Lots of parents (who can afford it) in grammar school areas will send their children to independent schools if they fail the 11+. At around £3,500/term for 5 years that's £52,500. Spending a couple of grand to make sure they're prepared is a sound financial investment - it wouldn't even cover the fees for one term.

seeker Fri 05-Oct-12 22:51:43

"'a nasty MC ghetto of tutored kids' indeed. That is not a universal truth, that's for sure."

That's not an accurate description. However, a "a MC ghetto of kids" is.

LaQueen Fri 05-Oct-12 22:54:37

I hope so plus. I need to stop fretting about it, because I'm just stressing myself out and possibly she might pick up on that hmm

I just need to trust in her teachers and her tutor to mold her potential a bit.

Yellowtip Fri 05-Oct-12 22:54:51

Narked if they don't get in, it's clearly money wasted, isn't it though? It's either £X for the indie, or £X + £2k = £2k burnt.

Yellowtip Fri 05-Oct-12 22:56:31

Not down here it isn't seeker. Maybe in Kent.

TalkinPeace2 Fri 05-Oct-12 22:56:36

Yellowtip
DH has worked at several grammars in different counties in the last couple of years - among the dozens and dozens of other schools he works at.
He makes his living (and no, he's not an Ofsted inspector) getting the measure of a school quickly.
Grammars tend to either be complacent or stressed - because of the distortions in the selection system

Arisbottle Fri 05-Oct-12 22:59:00

I have taught in grammar schools and it put me off ever sending my children to one . If I had the choice between a poor comp and a grammar I would choose a grammar but otherwise it would be comprehensive in most situations. .

Having said this our eldest son is in a grammar because he struggled socially in a comprehensive. That wasn't really about him being too clever for a comprehensive but the fact that there were not enough boys like him. Having said that he had a tough time at the grammar as well because he was not sporty. Looking back now I wonder if he would have been as well to stay at the comprehensive.

Our middle child wanted to sit the grammar exam because she is intensely competitive and needed to know if she could get in. She passed but did not take the place. I was surprised that she did not take the place as she is in my mind the typical grammar golden girl type. However she really stands out at her comprehensive which I suspect appeals to her competitive nature whereas at the grammar she would have been one of many very clever and very sporty girls . She also likes mixed friendship groups and I think that was a factor in Turning down a place at a single sex grammar.

Our youngest is in year 6 and working at a level 6 at least in the core subjects. She chose not to enter for the exam , to my relief , and I think that she would have been very unhappy at the grammar. She has had some quite intense friendship issues and I would have worried about her coping with the rife bullying at a single sex grammar school. She works quite hard on her homework and is always keen to be top of the class at everything but that is for herself only . She is quite low key about her academic success and I am not sure she would want to out herself - so to speak - by going to a grammar. Mind you having said that she has already chosen her university and career path at the age of 11!

I have refused to tutor any of my children, although tutoring is now rife. My dd is in an extension group in her primary school and is the only one who is not tutored . It is not necessarily the brightest that get into the grammar , I would say that my youngest dd is much brighter than my middle one who was offered a place an therefore theoretically could be at the grammar now.

Yellowtip Fri 05-Oct-12 22:59:30

In what capacity Talkin? You make these harsh sweeping statements, so it's cowardly to hide (money where mouth is etc.).

Arisbottle Fri 05-Oct-12 23:00:33

I am not sure I would use the word nasty but grammars have become a ghetto of middle class over tutored kids.

plus3 Fri 05-Oct-12 23:02:31

So rubbish grammars or mediocre secondarys.Super.

TalkinPeace2 Fri 05-Oct-12 23:03:00

Yellowtip
I have no intention of outing DH over your annoyance at the fact that his views agree with others.

Well informed posters (mainly teachers) on these forums have worked out from my posts who he is.

Arisbottle Fri 05-Oct-12 23:03:04

I do not feel that I have disadvantaged any of my children by not tutoring them, even though almost every child I know who is a grammar potential is tutored.

My children have a confidence from the fact that they can keep up with the tutored grammar students without the extra help. I suspect that confidence will get then far in life

seeker Fri 05-Oct-12 23:05:10

Grammars aren't rubbish. But the secondary schools in grammar areas are sometimes mediocre. It takes a special school to overcome the problems caused by an intake labelled failures at 10. And therein lies the problem.

Narked Fri 05-Oct-12 23:10:25

I've never understood the idea that tutoring is somehow cheating. It doesn't make children any brighter. It just prepares them for the test they'll face.

Narked Fri 05-Oct-12 23:11:13

Imagine if you were only allowed three driving lessons before your test!

Arisbottle Fri 05-Oct-12 23:15:07

I just think that children spend enough time on homework , I would far rather they read a book or we all went out for the day than I paid someone £30 an hour to prep my child for an exam for a school which is probably no better for them.

Tutoring does give you an advantage , an advantage directly linked to income.

Yellowtip Fri 05-Oct-12 23:17:10

Talkin I'm not in the least annoyed, I just find it faintly ridiculous to hide behind a shadowy DH who is adduced in evidence but who's job and therefore competence and veracity can't be named. I doubt that his experience is much more compelling than my own.

Narked Fri 05-Oct-12 23:26:12

You don't need a professional tutor! You need past papers and a desire to help!

Arisbottle Fri 05-Oct-12 23:30:15

I haven't even done past paper with my two that were offered places, does not mean I have no desire to help . Ironically the one that is quite certain that she does not want to go to the grammar loves those workbooks. She buys them with her pocket money

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