Anyone else in a super-selective grammar area NOT putting your DC in for the 11+?

(27 Posts)
LynetteScavo England Thu 29-Aug-13 19:30:56

Every friend of DS2 we've seen this week has talked about the 11+, and how after the test they won't have to have their tutor any more (on inquiring it seems they've seen their tutor once or twice a week for two or three years).

They talk about how they really want to go to the grammar school, and how their parents ^really want to go to the grammar school.

DS2 looks like this confused. We decided not to put him in for the 11+ as we want him to go to the Catholic comprehensive in the next town, where his brother goes to school.

Anyone else feeling left out, although they really shouldn't be? (Maybe I should just count have much I've saved from not paying a tutor grin)

eatyourveg Thu 29-Aug-13 20:21:45

We're in a superselective area with a catholic comprehensive in the next town. When ds1 was in Y5 and Y6 all the talk was of going to grammar (most of his friends went either to the superselective in our town or to the normal grammar and another superselective in the next town). It was almost as if there weren't any other schools around when in fact he could theoretically have applied to any of 3 grammars 2 church comprehensives, 1 high school and 1 technology college.

I'm afraid its a culture that seems to be getting worse and is fuelled by the parents and the schools themselves. When we went to the open day at the superselective in our town, I came back and told ds that even if he was the brainiest boy in the county I wouldn't ever send him there where the head had given a talk all about how elitist the school was and only the very best would get accepted. Not all the grammars were like that though, the superselective in the next town was lovely but so was the C of E comprehensive we looked at too. I think I would have been happy with either, they both had different things to offer. In the end, ds won a scholarship to go private so the grammar issue wasn't an issue.

As for feeling left out - there are plenty of other parents around here who shun the 11+ simply because they don't want their children to become part of the rat race.

When ds3's turn came around there were sufficient numbers going from his primary to both church schools in the next town to boost their kudos amongst his peer group. All his friends ended up going to different schools. 6 boys all from the same small town going to 6 different schools - Mad!!

muminlondon Thu 29-Aug-13 20:25:00

I know how you feel. Sometimes I'd like to ask parents 'But what if they don't get in?' yet it never seems appropriate to rain on their parade. You certainly can't say that to a child convinced of getting in, who has never experienced failure, when you know there are ten applicants for every place - all delightful, bright children likely to get Level 5 SATs.

Count yourself lucky you are protecting your child from that stress!

LynetteScavo England Thu 29-Aug-13 20:34:35

When we went to the open day at the superselective in our town, I came back and told ds that even if he was the brainiest boy in the county I wouldn't ever send him there where the head had given a talk all about how elitist the school was and only the very best would get accepted.

That is exactly what DH said to DS1 (who, if we'd tutored him could have got in.)

I am actually starting to worry for DS2's friends....they and their families will be gutted if they are offered a place at the (good) high school near by, rather than the grammar school. And obviously, a lot of them will be disappointed...not everybody can be offered place.

I've told DH we should take DS2 somewhere fun important on the day of the 11+ test, so he doesn't feel left out.

Nerfmother Thu 29-Aug-13 20:37:32

Won't he be at school? Ours do it over two days, term time. The ones that don't still go in those days.

LynetteScavo England Thu 29-Aug-13 20:45:21

No, it's just on a Saturday morning.

The schools are not supposed to get involved at all. (Although the deputy head did nod a bit too enthusiastically when I said there was no point putting DS2 in for it....grin)

eatyourveg Thu 29-Aug-13 20:53:48

I'm wondering if you are in the same town as me OP. Does your eldest wear a royal blue tie with a red and white stripe?

LynetteScavo England Thu 29-Aug-13 21:03:08

No, DS1's tie was purple and gold in DS3, and will be plain blue when he goes into Y10.

Fairdene Thu 29-Aug-13 22:00:10

I'm not at all sure about the 'best of the best' talk from a HT. But your report of parental attitudes in your area does seem a bit MN caricature. I live in an area with a single very successful superselective and it's nothing like that. No resemblance at all.

Farewelltoarms Fri 30-Aug-13 10:34:04

But you're opting for a selective school too - a Catholic one. Maybe you'd be a bit less laissez faire if you genuinely had no choices.

As an agnostic, that's not an option for me, but fortunately in our area, our nearest primaries are community ones. However, I see for secondary and in other areas, that where you've a grammar school and a regarded faith school (or two), then the remaining schools becomes disproportionately filled with potential lower-attainers or disruptive pupils. Once surrounding schools have sucked up the very clever kids and the ones with motivated parents prepared to go to church every week, then that means that children from chaotic families will all go to the remaining school.

In that situation I might be desperate to get mine into the grammar school too, much as I'd prefer a genuine comprehensive option.

Ladymuck Fri 30-Aug-13 10:54:23

I would be surprised if the children weren't at least aware of the risk of failing. But at this point in the run-up, with the tests taking place over the next 4 weeks in many locations, many children are gearing up, and that tends to involve a fair amount of positive thinking. These schools tend to take the well-prepared, not merely the brightest.

Ds2 decided at the end of June that he wanted to sit the 11+ because the only children in his class who weren't going to sit it were the not so bright ones. He doesn't seem to be so bothered about passing it, especially as the superselectives near us are single sex. He is doing some work for it, which I assume will mean that year 6 will be easier for him.

LynetteScavo England Fri 30-Aug-13 18:02:34

Farewelltoarms the Catholic school DS1 goes to is not super selective. Last year it was very undersubscribed.

We are in the catchment are of a "good" school which is also undersubscribed. Other people in DS2's class are in the catchment for a "good" school on their side of town, although that it oversubscribed. The CofE faith school down the road is is special measures, but for years has been a popular choice. We are out of catchment for the bi-lateral school, so would have to take the 11+ to get in, but I didn't think it was worth it. If I did, we would have just bought a house in the catchment area when we moved house.

Ladymuck, I'm looking for people whose DC aren't doing the 11+. I know enough people like you in RL. grin DS2 isn't completely thick, and is on target to get level 5's at the end of the year, but the grammar school really wouldn't have suited him.

LadyMilfordHaven Fri 30-Aug-13 18:03:46

i woldnt darken the door of a catholic school in a ZILLION years though - so horses for courses

LynetteScavo England Fri 30-Aug-13 18:17:33

grin

Horses for courses.

I love that my DC go to Catholic schools. smile

WhoreOfTheWorlds Fri 30-Aug-13 20:25:16

Time and again I see on Mumsnet dark hints that if a child gets into a grammar school it's only because they have been tutored to death and once at the grammar they will be miserable and struggle horribly.

Very few averagely intelligent get into grammars on the back of intensive tutoring. IME it seems to be already clever children just getting some added polish and technique through tutoring.

If you're clever enough to get into a grammar school then you have every chance of being perfectly clever enough not to find it an academic strain, and to thrive on the atmosphere.

I know so many girls who have attended our local GS and they're lovely, and speak so highly of the school and their teachers. At the open evenings the atmosphere is great, and there's obvious affection and rapport between pupils and staff.

BlackMogul Fri 30-Aug-13 20:49:19

Too many people waste too much money tutoring for Grammar school places.DD2 did not take 11+ as we wanted her to go to an independent school. She took their exams and was not tutored. A friend of mine paid for a tutor every week and seemed to receive encouraging reports as DD and tutor worked through the verbal reasoning questions. When results came out she scored 103. 121 needed for a grammar school place. She had the double whammy of being tutored AND failing. Verbal reasoning tutoring cannot make up for deficiencies in vocabulary, general knowledge and speed of answering the question ie thinking time. Some do struggle at the grammars around here but the schools are not "super" selective. The main problem is that it is so difficult for DCs to get in from families of less motivated parents. They cannot afford tutoring and the playing field is therefore very uneven! This makes me mad as grammars are a middle class preserve and we even have "ordinary" children who qualify but their parents do not send them because their DC would be out of place. My friend could not really afford the tutoring and was duped regarding her DDs chance of getting 121. She was not the sort of Mum to get chapter and verse about level 4 and 5 assessments so thought her DD was going to be selected. Fortunately this girl has thrived since in a secondary modern.

Elibean Sat 31-Aug-13 18:07:43

We're not in a superselective, or grammar of any sort, area.

Thank goodness smile

EarlyIntheMorning Wed 11-Sep-13 21:47:22

At least children get into grammar thanks to their own effort/merits/natural ability/hard work

To get into a Catholic school parents have to profess a religion/attend church

So it's still selective, albeit not academically selective

strokey Thu 12-Sep-13 13:41:46

Come off it, everyone would like their children in a grammar. Why on Earth would you CHOOSE the local comp?

It was one of the main reasons we chose this area. Although I can already tell that my 5 year old wont be in the running.

LibraryBook Thu 12-Sep-13 19:44:03

It's all become very complicated. I can't decide which sort of parent I dislike the least between those feigning religion to control admissions and those tutoring their children to procure an invitation to the grammar school party.

It makes paying the least hideous option.

Why don't we all go back to just going to our most local school. We've made life really shit with our sharp elbows.

LynetteScavo England Fri 13-Sep-13 20:52:09

Just checked back to this thread, and strokey while I may not have chosen the local comp (secondary modern, technically), I would choose the comp DS goes to over any school, of any type in our county.

I chose it for it's pastoral care. The head claimed their pastoral care was second to none. I thought "Yeah, right, I give you two weeks before you have no idea what to do with DS." I have been proven very wrong. smile

It also happens to be the only Dyslexia friendly school anywhere near us, which will be good for DD. smile

All children are different. Many sensible parents can see there are better options for their DC than a grammar school.

Why would you choose to live in a grammar area when, if your DC doesn't get in, they are then in a secondary modern with no 6th form? confused

teacherwith2kids Fri 13-Sep-13 20:58:00

Strokey,

I too would choose our local comp (technically secondary modern) - it gets better results than all our local privates save one 'international name'. It has far better added value than most of the 'residual grammars'.

muminlondon Sat 14-Sep-13 23:24:11

'Come off it, everyone would like their children in a grammar. Why on Earth would you CHOOSE the local comp? '

Depends where you live. I live near superselectives. But the comprehensives in the LA where I live are much better than in the LA where the grammars are grin

LaVolcan Sun 15-Sep-13 19:58:56

Come off it, everyone would like their children in a grammar. Why on Earth would you CHOOSE the local comp?

Depends whether it's really a comprehensive, or a secondary modern. Many parents are very happy to chose a genuine comprehensive.

I won't put dd1 in for it unless she wants to. Highly unlikely that she will want to
Ds on the other hand has already told me he is going. He somehow thinks its the best place for him. If he is sure when it's time to really start deciding, I will help him all I can. I will certainly offer a tutor.
Everyone I know who has got into grammar / selective school has had a tutor. It's big business round here.

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