Feeling deflated after rejection letter

(93 Posts)
sobbingmummy Thu 23-Jan-14 10:46:30

I feel like someone has taken my little boys life and thrown it away.
We just received a letter to say he wont be called for interview after his 11+ exam.
DS is super bright, nerdy but street smart too. He wins most academic at his prep every year, G&T in school, always gets top marks in tests.
I didn't do lots of tutoring because I thought he was okay.
I'm so upset for him. What went wrong?

summerends Thu 23-Jan-14 16:05:47

Sobbing if he did some VR (and found it easy) and he has has previous IQ tests, you have been tutoring him. He sounds very advanced but I doubt that at this stage he would have been rejected because if input from his headmaster.
It's probably that he made silly mistakes or was unable to work fast enough. At that age not all DC have the maturity that enabled them to concentrate for long enough and not be overly stressed in an exam situation.

LongDeadMotherofHorrors Thu 23-Jan-14 16:06:01

Worth waiting it out and going for 13 plus probably if they take any in at that age.

DalmationDots Thu 23-Jan-14 16:12:34

sobbingmummy, I am sorry. It must all feel very unfair. Some of these tests are so dependent on how tutored the child is and that can override a natural ability.
How does the school compare to the others you have applied to? Is it far better or just slightly?
It sounds like the prep school hasn't been preparing him much in comparison to other preps. I'd be speaking to the prep school and to the senior school to find out what went wrong.
My DS at 11 was so ready for a new school, he had 'grown out' of his prep and was in desperate need of change. For some boys two more years at prep are needed to help them mature and be ready, for others a move is needed to give them a fresh start and new challenges. Both routes lead to the same long term outcome IMO - it sounds like your DS is in need of a move?
I would just weigh up the other options and work out which is best. Wherever he ends up is more than likely to be for a reason and work out in the long term and be where he thrives. I wouldn't hold him back at prep school if your DS is against it. Sounds like a fresh environment is needed. Your DS can always potentially move later on for Sixth Form to this 1st choice school.
Good luck with the decisions.

ClaraMaugham Thu 23-Jan-14 16:21:58

I tell mine that she'll end up in the school she's meant to end up in, and if she doesn't get in somewhere it's because she'll be better off somewhere else. I do believe it too, and it seems to be keeping her cheerful.

It's worth remembering that this isn't a judgment on your DS and his worth. Its an impersonal exercise based on answers to standard tests given over a couple of hours on one particular day.

DS1 has just had a similar experience with one school and I wanted to go and say to them "can't you just talk to him, he's a great kid etc." But its not personal; its just numbers.

sobbingmummy Thu 23-Jan-14 18:41:12

DS is back to his normal self today and not the slightest bit bothered about not getting a interview.
Thanks for the supportive messages and advice. MN is great.

missinglalaland Thu 23-Jan-14 19:54:58

He sounds like a great kid. I am glad he is bouncing back quickly. I hope he gets some other offers, and if he does, please let us know!

Shootingatpigeons Thu 23-Jan-14 23:28:16

Summerends and Dalmations I don't know where you live or your experiences but really I do know parents who have broken ranks from what their Prep School Heads recommended and had this experience though their DCs were very bright and more than capable of passing the exams. In one case a Secondary Head did apologetically send a message via the informal (Catholic) network to say he would really welcome her son at 13 but could not poach. He knew he was going to be the loser and indeed her son went somewhere more academic on a scholarship. The reality is that these Prep Schools stand and fall by being able to show the scholarships that their pupils achieve at 13 and they are not viable if everyone jumps ship at 11, especially their brightest pupils. They have leverage over the Senior schools because they don't want to upset the apple cart. Frankly every day school I know acknowledges they would prefer to do away with the 13+ entry, it causes all sorts of problems, even in boy's schools.

LauraBridges Fri 24-Jan-14 13:22:58

The good pre schools are normally really good at giving you the right expectations. You will be told by the head if the child is likely to fail and is more likely to go for their second or third options. If he just did really badly on the day but brilliantly in the exams for the other schools he sat for perhaps that could be explained to the school.

If he's at a 13+ school they will be prepared for exams at 13+ only which is always a factor but every parent in a 13+ school is well aware of that.

Shootingatpigeons Fri 24-Jan-14 19:17:19

This doesn't sound like a good prep school though. Good prep schools educate, they don't decelerate so they don't lose pupils at 11 hmm

summerends Fri 24-Jan-14 21:15:41

Shooting I completely understand what you are saying about discouraging transfer at 11 and agreements between preps and senior schools. However I have always heard / assumed those factors including the reference would influence the outcome at the interview stage since exam pass marks are much more cut and dry, especially when computer marked.

Crowler Sat 25-Jan-14 07:19:04

Argh. We're waiting now too and I feel for you sobbingmummy. cake

Shootingatpigeons Sat 25-Jan-14 10:02:42

Summerends well certainly the ones I know were not even interviewed. I would have thought it would be difficult for a Head to decide to put a pupil through the stress of interview if they have already decided that they are not going to antagonise the Prep School Head, or agreed with them they won't poach. Exams are not marked in a first past the post way anyway, with attention paid to how questions are answered. If a pupil is not well prepared they will be looking for evidence of ability as opposed to accuracy in easier questions. I don't know of a single indie around here that would computer mark exam papers, that is something done by the Grammar Schools with thousands of entrants. I think I have heard of some Boarding Schools doing it but I assume that would be a low threshold pre test.

nkf Sat 25-Jan-14 10:06:05

He wasn't rejected. I hate that way of looking at schools. There wasn't a place for him after they'd given the other places away. Rejection is too harsh and personal a word. There were kids who got 100% and that's all there is to it. You should pick yourself up so you can help pick him up.

LauraBridges Sat 25-Jan-14 10:09:17

I really think parents should be careful how they present these things to children. I don't think any of mine would have known hardly which was the preferred school of various we tried so it would be no big deal if they didn't get into the top one and got into another one. If the parent is utterly relaxed about it the child tends to be.

nkf Sat 25-Jan-14 10:09:17

Sorry, I read a bit more. I see he's bounced back already. Good luck with the next step.

Shootingatpigeons Sat 25-Jan-14 10:10:57

nkf it would be a pretty rubbish entrance exam if pupils could get 100%. The indies design their papers to test all dimensions of a pupils ability and to test the brightest to the limit, and then they also take into account the schools reference, and clearly as I am almost certain happened here, their relationship with that school and protecting the quality of the pupils that Prep will recommend them to at 13.

nkf Sat 25-Jan-14 10:14:51

Sorry. I thought it was grammar. I didn't realise the sort of fiddling around that happens regarding 11+ and 13+.

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