Transition to fairly selective school at age 11 for children previously labelled G&T at primary school(11 Posts)
My dc are on G&T registers but as we all know that just means that they are in the top 10% in their year 6 cohort.
Thinking ahead to the school that dd1 will be starting at in September, I am mindful of the fact that a great many of the Y7s will also be of the same ilk academically and don't want her to find it too much of a shock to suddenly not be the one who always gets a comparatively high grade/score without having to work that hard.
She has experienced work beyond that of Y6 level and not struggled, it's just finding everyone else is in the same boat and she's nothing out of the ordinary basically in line with her Y7 classmates/peers goes that I worry about as primary school staff do rather sing her praises a little loudly and I want to bring her back down to earth a bit before September but without making her worried about starting at a new school which she is very much looking forward too.
Any shared experiences or suggestions would be appreciated.
I moved to selective school at the age of 14 and it was one of the best decisions we ever made. I think as long as you make her aware that it is a selective school and everyone there will be expected to get good grades, it shouldn't be a problem.
It didn't just end the bullying, the teaching was more targeted - which is important. In a mixed class that is truly mixed, most of the attention goes to the struggling students. In one that is entirely above average, you are more stretched and less likely to mess around. <ahem>.
My dd brought this up today-how she won't be anything special at her selective secondary.
I told her that all year 6s have to deal with going from being the heros to the zeros in year 7. She might however find more new things to be good at since there are so many more opportunities to try things at secondary. Also being part of a team, I.e. Sports, etc. means she is trying to help the team not just be number one.
She seemed surprisingly pleased with this and said she can't wait to go.
Everytime I moved to a more selective school/stage, I was made to expect
a) that I would have to work hard to get good grades, and
b) that the other kids would be at the same level as me. Would be kids/students who are there because they enjoy learning/the subject, rather than because they have to.
And every time I was disappointed when I found out that I still didn't need to work (hard), and that most of the other kids were there because they had been heavily tutored or had wealthy parents enabling them or whatever. (I wasn't particularly gifted but just happened to be in cohorts where no-one was particularly gifted, so as reasonably smart I was always at the top.)
I'd definitely prepare your DC for the possibility that she will no longer be 'special' in the way she is now, but don't state it as a given!
My DD on starting at a superselective liked the fact that all the girls were clever. She really appreciated the higher level of debate and not being picked on by the teacher continually to answer the difficult questions.
I don't think she ever felt that she was no longer "special".
Don't over think it! You don't know how she will fit into her new class " academic pecking order" . As long as she knows she might not be top and will start getting stuff wrong sometimes - because they will give harder and harder tasks to stretch her and find out where she's at ,the all will be fine.
She still will, as long as she works hard get lovely feedback and complements.
And yes, opportunities to excell in areas other than academia will be available and she should dive in and grasp them - and if it's a good school there will be " fun stuff " and support for what she isn't good at too. My " form prize" academic DD1 at a superselective went to gym club for a year- with some who competed actively for county etc - and still couldn't do a forward roll at the end of a year. But she was never made to feel useless or silly And still wanted to go to gym club. Hats off to the pe staff!
I would say that now is the time to sing her praises and join in loud and hearty with the school, so your DD has no doubt about your confidence in her and confidence in her own abilities. Have a lot of fun too.
When the work starts in Y7, and if she finds she is not in the G&T group in secomdary school, then deal with it when it happens and continue to celebrate her own achievements.
DD2 was 'G&T' at 3 different schools from Y3 to Y6 (we moved twice) but not in the superselective school she has been in from Y7. But as she is predicted as heading for A/A* for every subject she's going to be taking for GCSE, so what! She didn't get tutored and so hadn't sat a NVR paper before the CAT tests that G&T was based on, unlike most of the rest of her peers. She came top of her year in 2 core subjects in the end of year tests in Y7, won an art prize and competed for her area in a sport (not related to school) but not G&T... It meant she missed out on a great trip to a London museum the others went on, which was a shame as she loves art, but otherwise has made good friends and enjoys school life. Some of the children who were in the G&T group are not doing as well academically now, but the school expects this and they help them with extra lessons here and there and an open door policy.
I thought this this and prepared my sons accordingly. They are still top or near top in all subjects. Leave her be - you don't know yet where she will end up!
My DS went to a very selective school at 13. One of my main drivers was that he would be normal and ordinary and no longer 'special'. He loves it. DD went mixed ablity at 11 and has frankly loved being the 'special' one but of her own accord has decided to leave at 16 for her DS school. She can see that it offers more.
I went to a v selective school at 11 having been effortlessly top of the class at primary. The first year was a bit of a shock to the system as it was the first time I'd been surrounded by children of a similar academic ability but I quickly adjusted and was back to being top sets for everything and loved it
Ds2 is in the accelerated set at his super-selective and is miles happier than in primary
I think it's often more of a shock to the parents' systems
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