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?

sobbingmummy Thu 23-Jan-14 10:47:30

Its all my fault, isn't it

LongDeadMotherofHorrors Thu 23-Jan-14 10:49:01

Nerves? Exam technique? Worth you asking the school for a debrief.

Blueberrypots Thu 23-Jan-14 10:49:12

Does he have any other options? Are there any other schools he could try for? Not much help, but didn't want to read and run. You must be very disappointed. Did you get any feedback?

basildonbond Thu 23-Jan-14 10:49:52

If this has come as a total surprise to you and his current school then this is where your prep head should be getting to work.

Is this the only school you applied for or do you have other options?

NeedHoliday Thu 23-Jan-14 10:49:58

Def not you fault. The competition and pressure is immense there are hundreds sitting for so few places.

You say prep school can he stay until 13 and try again?

FrauMoose Thu 23-Jan-14 10:51:35

Um, there are parents whose children's life is really in danger of being thrown away.

Who are you upset for? Your child? Yourself?

Yes, you are distressed because you had assumed Plan A would work. Now it's time for Plan B. (Perhaps you hadn't though of Plan B?)

Time to get thinking...

sobbingmummy Thu 23-Jan-14 10:55:05

We applied for 3 others, not sure when the letters will arrive.
I just assumed he was fine, We only did a couple of practice papers.
I know it will be the same with the other schools as I didn't tutor enough.
He got around 90% on the practice papers.
Im so upset for him, he sobbed for hours last night and today he has to deal with the other boys who did get interviews.

craggyhollow Thu 23-Jan-14 10:55:19

I'd take it up with the current school

sobbingmummy Thu 23-Jan-14 10:58:38

Fraumoose, poor choice of words on my part.

Prep head has not been helpful as the school didn't want him to leave until 13. I dont want to stay at the school he attends as its going downhill.

craggyhollow Thu 23-Jan-14 10:59:58

oh dear

what a shame

this often happens with preps they have no vested intrest in 11+ candidates really, ours is very upfront about not doing anything special with those kids, they concentrate on CE in 7 and 8 instead

justfishing Thu 23-Jan-14 11:00:04

Definitely need to look forwards rather than back and to try and focus on positives. For example - your child may be a complete shining star in a less pressured school and flourish. My husband went to one of the most academic public schools and left at 17 having taken A levels a year early. He honestly thinks that it suits some, but not others - he feels he would have been better in a different enviornment.

The most important thing here is to not make your son feel like a failure

craggyhollow Thu 23-Jan-14 11:00:58

make a brew

what options do you have now?

FrauMoose Thu 23-Jan-14 11:01:06

I feel I am in an alien world here. My own very bright daughter is state educated. Clearly your world has its own (different) pressures. However doesn't the combination of enough money to pay for fees and an intelligent child mean that various avenues remain open, even if other schools - like this first one say no.

I can see it's very difficult if other classmates have had better news. But he's still the same able/gifted/bright child that he was. And surely it's a glitch - not a tragedy.

craggyhollow Thu 23-Jan-14 11:01:56

i think 11+ is very stressful though frau

curlew Thu 23-Jan-14 11:04:28

Please try not to make it into such a catastrophe. He needs you to be sensible and calm.

What are your options?

FrauMoose Thu 23-Jan-14 11:06:01

All three of my stepchildren/children did it. In the case of my own daughter, there were other schools that I liked. I just felt they were all rather different. Though the grammar school was obviously very highly favoured by most of the parents whose children took the test.

I do think that children's innate abilities and having supportive parents does count for a great deal in the long run.

sobbingmummy Thu 23-Jan-14 11:08:33

I do have options (I hope) he really is a good child, hes interested in everything so I am sure he will do well where ever he goes.

Its just upsetting when your little 10 year old gets rejected for the first time, especially as "he" thought he was bright now he feels hes not.

craggyhollow Thu 23-Jan-14 11:10:22

yes of course

and now you know how many people tutor for the test even though they all say they don't hmm

He will be fine
you will be fine

what is the back up school like?

NWgirls Thu 23-Jan-14 11:11:11

"Prep head has not been helpful as the school didn't want him to leave until 13"

I know little about prep vs. secondary politics, but willing to bet that this is a case of the two HTs talking, effectively agreeing a "no-poach" deal. If so, the question is whether your current HT has as much sway with the 3 other schools you have applied for.

curlew Thu 23-Jan-14 11:11:34

Well, frankly, his mother saying to she thinks somebody has taken his life and thrown it away is likely to make him feel a bit negative about the situation. And I know you are going to say you didn't say that to him- but it would be amazing if you managed to hide such strong feelings from him.

Hulahaha Thu 23-Jan-14 11:15:50

Please don't worry . I've been there and it totally sucks . My DS was rejected on interview at super selective - and told to try again next year as they felt he wasn't mature enough . It was totally heartbreaking to see him so upset at age 10 - especially as some boys less bright than him got offers . I put him down for a highly selective Boarding School , and he passed with flying colours . He also passed another super selective school which was our first choice. My point is that as low as you are , there will be other options . Boys can have wobbles at that age , it's not great . Good luck and be positive !

wordfactory Thu 23-Jan-14 11:16:56

sobbing it will sting of course it will, but it's not the end of the world and your DS will be fine grin.

It probably wasn't wise to send him into an entrance exam unprepared. Tell your DS that. Tell him you mucked up.

sobbingmummy Thu 23-Jan-14 11:19:32

You are so right Craggy !!

I think the head had a part in it the other boys had legit reasons to leave, I just wanted to get out.
The boys have been doing year 4/5 work since September so I have had to teach him the year 6/7 work and only had one practice paper from each school whereas some of the boys (from other schools) had papers going back years.

I just had a moment wallowing in self pity. I feel much better reading your comments.Thank you.

DS CATS test were all around 140. I am sure the school he ends up at will appreciate him.

I do really believe that these schools dont want the brightest they just want the best parents, the ones willing to tutor for two years before. I cant commit to that with four children so maybe it is for the best.

craggyhollow Thu 23-Jan-14 11:23:10

yes i do believe it is in the grammars interest to have tutoring parents

140 is amazing he is clearly very bright

my dds were 110 so a life of fee paying non selective awaits grin

sobbingmummy Thu 23-Jan-14 11:29:17

Of course I said all of those things to him. I was upbeat, told him its their loss, all my fault, not his fault etc. But its the first time in his little life hes had to deal with rejection, its a lot for any child at any age. Sitting four exams in just over a week is a lot of pressure for these young children.

JustAnotherUserName Thu 23-Jan-14 11:33:37

Oh for the joys of universal non-selective education (comprehensives!). Then none of us would have this angst.

sobbingmummy Thu 23-Jan-14 11:33:55

Thank you for your comments.

My Eldest has just called to say he got all A* in his mock GCSEs. yippy

Wishing everyone waiting for offer's the best of luck

wordfactory Thu 23-Jan-14 11:35:22

sobbing when we put our DC in for entrance exams to competitive selective schools we know the odds are against us. We know that we are setting our DC up for possible rejection.

No point crying after the event.

And no point getting all bitter and trying to tell yourself that the schools in question are in fact awful and stupid and cynical. If that were true then why apply?

Disappointment and rejection are a fact of life. And those of us who aim high will always face far more of it.

curlew Thu 23-Jan-14 11:36:57

Can I just say- please try not to talk about "fault"? And please don't blame yourself to him- however crap about it you feel. Children are very loyal to their mothers and it will upset him. It's nobody's fault- it's just one of those things. "Oh, well never mind. Onwards and upwards- what's next?" is the tone to take.

wordfactory Thu 23-Jan-14 11:38:46

I disagree curlew.

We are parents, not super humans. We make mistakes. We muck up. And we should admit it.

Fortunately most of these mistakes cause no lasting harm and everyone learns and moves on!

justfishing Thu 23-Jan-14 11:39:12

I don't think telling him it is your fault is a good strategy. It is no one's fault! I think that you need to refocus and talk about other schools and the positive aspects of them. By the way I think the pressure is not good and in time you will see that this though uncomfortable was absolutely the best thing

FrauMoose Thu 23-Jan-14 11:42:08

I remember deciding two exams were enough. One was for the grammar school 10 minutes walk away. One was for a comprehensive that could offer places out of area for ability in its specialist subject.

Both were in a week and my daughter was tearful in the car coming back from the second one, when she remembered a question that she might have answered incorrectly.

I told her it didn't matter. None of this mattered. She said it did because everyone at school thought she was clever and expected her to get a place at one of these secondary schools, and would be surprised if she didn't.

At that point I remember feeling angry with the whole system, and the fact that we were caught up in it. (Although my daughter had herself identified both schools as ones that she wanted to attend.)

Children's unhappiness does pass, fortunately. They tend to get a lot happier when they do know where they are going, and feel confident that it's a place where they will make new friends.

curlew Thu 23-Jan-14 11:43:33

We are parents, not super humans. We make mistakes. We muck up. And we should admit it."

I absolutely agree with that. I just don't think so in this case, because you don't want to get into a "it was all my fault, darling" "no it wasn't mummy,I should have done better" cycle. No post mortems or breast beating- just "what's next?"

sobbingmummy Thu 23-Jan-14 11:45:14

Wordfactory, I really didn't give much thought to the final result that's why it was a bit of a shock.
I was a bit hysterical Mother earlier. now I'm rational again.
Thank you Curlew but DS took pleasure in the fact that it was all my fault and nothing to do with him, all children are different I suppose.

VerlaineChasedRimbauds Thu 23-Jan-14 11:45:56

He may well bounce back much more quickly than you anticipate. I understand completely that when your child is sobbing you feel absolutely dreadful and want to take the hurt away - and that it makes you hurt dreadfully too.

It isn't the end of the world though. Perhaps he just needs to get the disappointment out of his system - or just maybe, pressure and expectation are not things he really thrives on - so this could even be a blessing in disguise and you know to take your foot off the pedal and let things unfold as they will? If he is bright, nerdy and yet street smart then it sounds to me as if he will do well in all sorts of environments.

sobbingmummy Thu 23-Jan-14 11:52:03

Frau,I told her it didn't matter. None of this mattered. She said it did because everyone at school thought she was clever and expected her to get a place at one of these secondary schools, and would be surprised if she didn't.

This is exactly how my son felt. To be perceived as the cleverest in the class and then fail the first round. They all know 200/400 get interviews so its quite embarrassing

FrauMoose Thu 23-Jan-14 11:57:19

One of the things that I loathe most is the idea that it's all the parents responsibility. They must choose the 'right' schools, employ the 'right' tutors, purchase the 'right' test papers. Etc etc.

A genuinely intelligent child might be encouraged to start seeing that it's about an arbitrary system of testing, in which results can be skewed by income and privilege and very influenced by how a child might happen to feel on any particular day.

Encouraging a bright child to believe that these factors should be ignored in favour of the 'all Mum's fault' approach seems rather short-sighted to me.

Quinteszilla Thu 23-Jan-14 11:57:36

Well, it is competitive.

My son sat 3 exams last year, one for a super selective where they had 6 spaces and hundreds of applicants (due to 10+ sat the year before, and children moving up from prep), the other two more realistic with around 100 places for 500/600 applicants. My son was realistic, and he knew his own work. After the super selective exam he said straight out "mum, I did not get in, and that is ok. I saw the odds, so many children for so few places, I know I would need a 100% for both numeracy and literacy, and I mucked up one question. At least" So he just shrugged when he was not selected for interview.

He did get to interview stage and got offers from the other two. He is however now thriving at one of those schools, a selective independent, not super selective. Mine was state educated, and with big holes in his learning owing to having lived 3 years in Norway where they start school at 6, and follow a much slower pace. He saw a tutor for an hour a week for a year prior to exams, but this was more to help him bridge the gaps in his knowledge. Going private was a last minute choice when we realized he would not get into the RC secondaries we wanted.

Look at it this way, it is not just about finding which boy is right for the different schools, but what school is right for your boy.

IDK Thu 23-Jan-14 11:59:08

You have my sympathies OP. I've been there, got the t-shirt.sad
I thought that DS was a dead-cert seeing as he was amongst the top in a top prep school. Do look out for your DS because it is awful to have to face the other pupils who did get in. Everyone is bouncing around feeling very happy and pleased for themselves and you have to put on a brave face and pretend to be pleased for them.

DS went to a comp instead. Came out with decent enough results and is now at an RG University.

sobbingmummy Thu 23-Jan-14 12:25:25

I believe that the schools are not always looking for the brightest students. IMO they are looking for dedicated parents, parents that tutor their children for years to pass the entrance exam.
Why dont schools take CATs results into consideration? What is the point in the VR paper if a child can be taught to do it from a Bond book?
My DS just got Gold in the junior maths challenge but the other boys in his class only got the bronze.
It is my fault that he failed to get an interview. Had I had more time to tutor to that particular test rather that making what I was teaching him fun, I am sure he would have at least got an interview.

christine44 Thu 23-Jan-14 12:26:12

I have 2 dd the oldest got into ss grammar but younger only scored 98.5% not enough. We appealed still no joy so she went to local comp. She is so happy, loads of lovely freinds, teachers all love her enthusiasm and accademically she is thriving . Forcast A* in all subjects. Eldest dd loves her ssg school too and its a great school but has really long days. What works for one doesn't necessarily work for the other. Sometimes its nice to be the brightest rather than middle of the pack. I didn't tutor either and I was really cross with myself when she didnt get place but now it doesnt matter

sobbingmummy Thu 23-Jan-14 12:27:48

idk, DS went to a comp instead. Came out with decent enough results and is now at an RG University.

Having older children I do think that it is more to do with the child than the school they attend.

Well done to your DS, Idk.

IDK Thu 23-Jan-14 12:37:49


Going back to your original question - what went wrong? - I discovered years later that mine has a SpLD. As he got older it got blindingly obvious but I wish that I had known then what I know now.

Shootingatpigeons Thu 23-Jan-14 12:38:31

I know of a few very bright boys who were rejected by schools that would have been more than happy to have them at 11 or 13 because of this gentleman's agreement that exists between Prep School and Senior School Heads . They have gone on to more selective schools at 13. I could even tell you the Preps locally guilty of applying leverage, and frankly they are doing so in place of being so excellent the parents want to keep them there. I also think that some boys mature more quickly and outgrow a school. It can look quite ridiculous when you see a full grown 13 year old with stubble in that cute braided blazer that looked so sweet at 7. From the point of view of a mother of girls it is a restrictive practise / racket.

FWIW as I have girls I know of plenty of girls from state schools who got into very selective indies without tutoring, let alone from Prep Schools ( but then they do not keep their pupils back deliberately). They are looking for bright pupils with potential not cramming.

However all that has been said about keeping it low key here is right, present it that the school wasn't right for him at this stage, he didn't fail and helping your son develop resilience by getting some feedback and moving on will serve him well in the future.

sobbingmummy Thu 23-Jan-14 12:39:40

What is a SpLD? Sorry I am new here and not sure of all the abbreviations

IDK Thu 23-Jan-14 12:40:08

I believe that the schools are not always looking for the brightest students.

True. They are looking for the students who perform best in league tables exams. That does not always correlate with the brightest.

FrauMoose Thu 23-Jan-14 12:41:10

I assume you did what you felt was reasonable and right.

My partner's ex went down one particular route. (Paying for tutors to do lots of boring coaching.)

My Spouse and I went down a different road. (Buying a few test papers, saying our daughter could practise if she wanted.)

I think all the adults concerned took responsibility for these choices.

My stepkids were put in for entrance exams by their mother. My daughter basically opted to put herself in, though we filled in the application form. However all three children all understood that they gave a difficult exam their best shot, and that their parents were proud of them in a way that was not affected by the outcome.

Time to move forward.

IDK Thu 23-Jan-14 12:46:34

SpLD = Specific Learning Difficulty.
DS is quite bright but some wiring in his brain is not all there so it impairs his comprehension and his processing can be slow. Speed of processing is one of the things they test in the 11+

Applefallingfromthetree2 Thu 23-Jan-14 12:48:14

I'm not saying this is not important or distressing for you. But in the scale of things how important is it really? If your DS is bright he will make it with love support and encouragement, even if, heaven forbid ,he has to go to the local comp.

In my family we all went to good universities, including Oxbridge, and not one of us went to private schools or took the 11 plus. I won't deny private education doesn't add value but IMHO this happens because this type of education builds confidence and a sense of entitlement.

Don't get too upset, it will only make him feel bad.

sobbingmummy Thu 23-Jan-14 12:48:58

Shooting,However all that has been said about keeping it low key here is right, present it that the school wasn't right for him at this stage, he didn't fail and helping your son develop resilience by getting some feedback and moving on will serve him well in the future.

Feedback? from the school?
I said to DS that he sat for four schools so he had a choice and that not every school is looking for the same type of child. I also gave him options of moving Prep or staying where he is. I think I will wait and see if he gets offers at the others. Waiting is awful too.

Blueberrypots Thu 23-Jan-14 12:52:14

Yes I think a few of us mentioned at the top of this thread getting feedback from the school that rejected him. I think it is important to know what it was that he didn't "pass"...so you know for the future?

sobbingmummy Thu 23-Jan-14 12:53:20

Apple, You are right. I didnt show him I was upset at all. My DH and I didn't get to go to Uni. I just wanted to give the children opportunities we didn't have. He is only 10 and I know its not the end of the world, I just had a little wobble this morning. I am happy and positive again now.

sobbingmummy Thu 23-Jan-14 12:55:35

Blueberry, thank you. I didn't know you could ask for feedback. That would be helpful.

Shootingatpigeons Thu 23-Jan-14 12:56:22

Specific Learning Difficulty. It covers a range of difficulties including Dyslexia and Dyspraxia. All these schools if they are worth their salt can spot the signs (eg silly errors, misreading questions) in the exam and will take into account the ability they have shown in answering more difficult questions that may be tests of lateral thinking / logic and the creativity shown in English (Those with SpLDs will often have these as strengths) even if pupils have not been diagnosed at 11 these schools are good at spotting the signs and usually by GCSE around 10 % will have had a diagnosis and support. (Sometimes difficulties do not become apparent until faced with the demands of organising themselves and coping with producing large amounts of info in timed conditions) That is what it should be since 10% of the population are affected regardless of ability. If a school does not meet that model run a mile because it suggests they are focused on results, not potential of their pupils. Some of the most selective schools in the country, the Westminsters etc. do admit boys with SpLDs and support them in this way.

Quinteszilla Thu 23-Jan-14 12:56:34

You are mentioning maths a lot. How is his literacy?
Has he been working on the format of the literacy test? Comprehension and essay writing? What about general knowledge? Verbal reasoning? Maths is only likely to have been a fraction of the exam.

Shootingatpigeons Thu 23-Jan-14 12:58:08

sobbing if they do not give it to you! and with hundreds applying they may not! any good Head should be using his relationship with the school to find out why his brightest boy did not get in.

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 23-Jan-14 12:59:25

My DD sits the 10+ for a very selective school next week. All along I have told it is not just about the exam results, headmasters report is important as is interview. I have also explained that the school will be looking for a 'type' of girl and she just not be what they are looking for.
My line is as long as does her best I will be proud of her not matter what happens. I 'failed' the 10+ and my mum and dad had said this all along I remember the day the letter arrived just as a 'oh well you haven't got a place, but we know you did your best and that is all we ask'.
Reassure him that you are so proud of him no matter is my advice.

Shootingatpigeons Thu 23-Jan-14 12:59:26

Sorry inappropriate use of exclamation marks by ipad (spot the dyslexic)

sobbingmummy Thu 23-Jan-14 13:04:45

Thank you Shooting.

His English is better than maths. He reads all the time he has just finished Wuthering Hights as he has read all the boys books in the house.
His essay writing is great he has great imagination. He found the VR really easy as it was similar to the Bond books. This is why I dont understand it.
I will ask for some feedback but I am really fine about not getting a interview. There were over 400 boys for 60 places.

sobbingmummy Thu 23-Jan-14 13:07:43

Heights not hights

Quinteszilla Thu 23-Jan-14 13:08:28

Also speak to the head of your sons school what HE thinks went wrong, and why your son had not been adequately prepared.

sobbingmummy Thu 23-Jan-14 13:15:38

DS head is not helpful. He wanted DS to stay until 13 and sit for CE Scholarship but I prefer my son to be in a secondary school and prepare for GCSEs rather than CE, needless to say he didn't share my views.

BeckAndCall Thu 23-Jan-14 13:15:57

OP have you thought of the possibility of moving him to a different prep school for the next two years, then trying again at 13?

You should also ask for specific feedback on his papers, and maybe ask for a clerical check - did they mark the papers correctly and add up the marks right? ( these things do happen)

sobbingmummy Thu 23-Jan-14 13:18:39

Yes I gave DS that option but he really has his heart set on going to a big school with lots of clubs and more science.

JustAnotherUserName Thu 23-Jan-14 13:29:53

Wuthering Heights!! Through choice? A 10 year old boy! Wow.

JustAnotherUserName Thu 23-Jan-14 13:30:32

Boys at my DC's state primary just about manage Young Bond! I guess we should have gone private......

Quinteszilla Thu 23-Jan-14 13:39:13

Lol! when ds was in his state primary, the boys in Y6 were reading Michael Morpugo, Tom Palmer, Robert Westall, Terry Pratchet, etc. Now at a private secondary he is stuck on the Cherub series by Muchamore.... grin I would not judge a boy by what he reads...

sobbingmummy Thu 23-Jan-14 13:42:04

I said earlier he is a bookworm. Hes been through all the books for his age. He actually enjoyed WH he is going to watch the film at the weekend

JustAnotherUserName Thu 23-Jan-14 13:51:59

Cherub was in Year 5! And he too is a book worm (of sorts), but just re-reads and re-reads his favouraties (Cherub and Bond and Percy Jackson) over and over again.

Anyway, de-railing the thread....

Shootingatpigeons Thu 23-Jan-14 14:04:45

Sobbing Not the latest film adaptation, Dreadful, most of the dialogue is f****g, the only good thing is the long long long shots of scenery!

Shootingatpigeons Thu 23-Jan-14 14:06:48
nonicknameseemsavailable Thu 23-Jan-14 14:07:35

I honestly don't think you can blame yourself, after all if he had failed an exam but had tried his best and done what he thought was right you wouldn't blame him would you? Things happen and all experiences shape who you become and who you are so it is how you handle these events that is important not what the actual event is.

He is very bright obviously, he sounds hardworking and a good kid so he will do well.

What you need to do is build up his confidence and say 'look this has happened and we need to now look at what the options are and move forwards'.

Incidentally I was at a selective school, we all sat the 11+ to go up to the senior bit but 3 girls were advised to take the common entrance for another private school instead which was considered to be an easier exam for that school and our school felt they wouldn't pass the 11+. Those 3 girls would quite possibly have struggled had they gone on to our senior school partly because of the pressure but as it worked out they went to the other school and have all gone on to be very successful with exams and their lives.

IMO if a child has to be tutored to get into a school then it isn't the right school for them, either because they will struggle with the work or because the school is quite possibly a very pressurised environment and that isn't pleasant for most people.

Blueberrypots Thu 23-Jan-14 14:23:16

Not sure how I feel about tutoring/not tutoring, ask me next month when DS1 receives his letter....most parents seem to do a bit before an exam..

We did a bit of work with him, mainly in mental maths as it is a weak area. We didn't do any bond papers as he was scoring close to 100% first time (so no point, I thought) and reading he is very good at.

Although we scared ourselves as I asked him to write a short story - beginning, middle and an end two days ago and he didn't seem to be able to. I am hoping he won't have got writer's block today, but I am about to go and pick him up from his assessment and find out!!!!! I guess if he doesn't get in we'll know why....

sobbingmummy Thu 23-Jan-14 14:59:38

Shooting, his sister will only watch the black and white version so hes not got a choice. We always try to read the book and then watch the movie.

Blueberry, I think most parents do a lot more than we have. If I had to do it again I would tutor. Being bright does not guarantee a place.

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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