Son saying he won't take 11+ next year(5 Posts)
DS currently in Y4. Is very bright across the board, particularly in maths where he is currently a 5A pushing towards a 6.
We have a pretty selective 11+ process (probably top 5-10% get in) but I am confident that with practise and the right attitude from him he would get in. It's a mixed grammar with 4 form entry.
DS however is saying he doesn't want to do it and just wants to go to the local 9 form entry high school, mainly on the basis of 1 of his friends going there.
DS is socially a bit 'different' - asks questions most kids won't have thought of, converses better with adults and can generally come across as quite geeky, although he loves playing sports which has helped him make friends in our village school.
I am 100% sure that the grammar is the right school for him, as are his teachers. I think at the high school he's be seen as a bit of a geek freak, and I am sure this 1 friend will drop him like a ton of bricks to join the cool kids, which my son will never be! The grammar I feel will stretch him more academically but also provide a group of children for him to be friends with who are likely to 'get' him.
My question is - how do I get him to see this school as being his best option? Obviously he has to want to go there himself as I can't take his 11+ for him!!!!!
His sister is taking it this September and my current initial plan is to get her a laptop if she passes (although she may be more borderline to pass)!
What can I do??!!
I would say on the later point don't reward the passing (because this penalises a child who isn't academic enough, through no fault of their own). Instead, reward your daughter for her effort - if she has worked hard and tried her best she deserves the laptop. It may also then encourage your son to put in the same effort. Also if possible take your son round the school open evenings in September/ October as well as your daughter. My DS2 decided he wanted to go the Grammar School when he had to come to some with me for DS1, after seeing the science labs and IT provision.
A lot of changes take place in Y5 and it may be that by the time your DS is due to sit the 11+ in the Autumn term 2014 he will feel quite differently.
In the next 14 months he will mature and may come to see the benefits of a grammar school education, and his friendships may change too (could you ask school to encourage friendships with other children who are likely to try for the grammar, through seating/grouping or a g&t club or something).
In the meantime, try to find out what he is worried about - does he think he will have to have an 11+ tutor, or is he worried that everyone will expect him to pass easily, or are his friends criticising the grammar school?
Take him to look at both schools, read each prospectus, talk about the things the grammar school does well and which might interest your DS (even if it's a lunchtime club or a particular sport).
If he is dead against it you will have to back off and avoid direct discussion for awhile I think.
Take him to see both schools- the open days will be earlt autumn, you'll need to find out yourself as he'll only be year 5 and wont be notified about them.
If it's anything like here, the grammar will have such exciting stuff going on and so many exciting people to talk to that it'll make the choice for him. If he's into maths have a really good chat with the maths teacher and th kids in the maths room. There may be quizzes etc too .Science will enthuse him too as there will be bangs/smells and other fun stuff.
Our comps I'm afraid were a bit "flat" apart from the one we were too far away from for the girls!
If your grammar with it's top X% of kids etc can't sell it's self well then maybe your son is right.... For us it was clear that the kids were geeky (in a nice way) and knew their stuff, they imparted that to the primary kids coming through.
Initially DS was cool to the idea of going to the selective that we had our eye on. However, at the open day he recognized one of the kids showing parents from his swimming club and they got talking about the Warhammer Club and the Simpson's Club. As we walked around DS got to see the facilities, talk to the teachers and the other kids doing the rounds. On the car trip home afterwards DS said that he changed his mind about the school being full of kids cleverer than him and teachers that were 'mega strict'.
In DS's mind the selective was full of kids smarter than him and very stern teachers. Once he saw for himself what it was really like he was on board.
As people has suggested, take your DS to the open day. If it is the 'right' school for him then he will see it.
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