hindsight's a wonderful thing! Post 11+ thoughts

(103 Posts)
minecraftfansmum Sat 02-Feb-13 13:14:58

My little minecraft fan managed 100% in his non-verbal reasoning test - giving him an IQ of 131+. However he missed out on the 11+ by 3 points in September 2012, the pass mark was 236 he scored 233 - which I think is fantastic since verbal reasoning isn't his strongest area. The appeal by the headmistress of his school was unsuccessful. He's always been a shy little dreamer - head in the clouds and chatterbox in class (only child) and his Y5 sats results were level 4s (he's a young end of July birthday). His new Y6 teacher called me up to school a few times to complain about his talking in class and moved him to sit with a group of girls for a while. This upset him a lot, hours of sobbing at home, however his sats practice tests have shown a big jump in his ability and I'm thinking he needed the kick up the proverbial! He's passed for St Anselm's, which is wonderful, managing 77% in their English papers and 81% in the maths. I'm wondering if it's worth appealing to the grammar admissions board on March 1st - or whether to leave it as St Anselm's seems to be a great school? Does anyone have any advice? (ps if your practicing for the 11+ do lots of timed work - don't let them diddle daddle!)

annsdoodles Thu 28-Feb-13 14:24:10

(started above thread and changed name - being useless can't seem to work out how to go back to previous name) Apparently, it may the case since I've had it on good advice, that DS (- missed 11+ by couple of points and was rejected by grammar school panel) - this may have been because he passed the Catholic grammar exam and they therefore expect him to take that place - same happened to a female pupil whose case was taken to appeal by her headteacher.

Role on Saturday morning (I didn't fill in the online allocation form - have to wait for the post!) Can take in a deep breath and appeal with help of school if he has missed out on a grammar place.

Have gained a lot from reading all of your messages, good luck! (by the way - the grammars here on the Wirral will take new pupils through the year groups to replace pupils who have left - if there are say 6 places available within a year they will take the top 6 children who apply for those places - competition could be less severe.)

minecraftfansmum Sun 17-Feb-13 21:24:47

I've looked up the league tables for local Wirral and West Cheshire secondary schools going on the GCSE results for 2012: the grammars (including St Anselms) between 97% and 99%; the girls comprehensives between 60% and 71%; mixed comprehensives or all boys secondary modern between 47% and 60%.

Apparently the top 25% go to the grammars although I believe that figure reflects the top 25% of extensively tutored children - all of whom from DS's school who have passed the 11+ being level the average level 5s. I know of children who were not tutored who have non verbal reasoning scores of over 120 (grammar is supposed to be 117+) who failed the 11+ by 20+ marks. I think just hard graft and commitment will help the 11+ successes continue to succeed.

Having said all of that I work with quite a few young people who have had a grammar school education and have degrees, even first class degrees, and they work as support workers - they appreciate their jobs. One of the young men from the Wirral Grammar was encouraged by the grammar to take a degree however he opted for employment instead. He has worked formerly caring for a young disabled man. He wants to take the NVQ in social care and move into management. He has friends with degrees, huge debts and not altogether promising prospects.

So really what skills are needed today? If your DS is fairly good at maths and art - what can he do with it? Really it's the direction you head off in that's important.

I was educated abroad, we had history, geography, science, maths and english language tests from Y4 on, every couple of weeks! - all the kids were fluent we weren't trying to achieve level this or that in English, we all had them already!

NewFerry Wed 13-Feb-13 07:54:56

Prosopon I think op is talking about Wirral lea as she mentions both st anselms and pensby schools

seeker Tue 12-Feb-13 22:18:12

Of course being a tradesman is a good thing to be. And so is being a particle physicist.

What's not good is putting children in either box at the age of 10, and making them self fulfilling prophecies.

Erebus Tue 12-Feb-13 20:26:38

See, with all due respect, what you've just said, Red, is what I'm talking about! I see being a tradesman as being a good, solid, decent thing to be, there is no shame in it, there is no 'failure' in it; I believe there should be an understanding that not everyone can or should go to Oxbridge, that his future productivity and probable happiness will be met by being a good tradesman or its equivalent.

I see the idea that my recognition of this likelihood is 'doing him down' symptomatic of how we only value the 12 A* at GCSE.

Of course he will decided what he wants to do, but I won't have him, at 15, imagining he's off to Cambridge to the Rutherford labs to study particle physics, if he's studying Applied Science, foundation paper. I would far rather he recognised his strengths and weaknesses at 13 and chose the exam courses that will keep as many realistic options open for him rather than have him fail most of the GCSEs he might be forced into taking!

RedHelenB Tue 12-Feb-13 14:01:07

Erebus - you are doing him down - let him decide what he wants to do, there are many jobs other than "tradesmen" you know, some that we don't yet know about.

prosopon Sat 09-Feb-13 17:47:00

minecraftfansmum league tables tell you more about the type of pupil a school attracts than about the quality of the school, don't think they are the same thing. When chosing a school what matters is what they can draw out of your child, not what exam results they achieve for other children.

If it is the St Anselm's I googled they don't have their exam results on their website. They would cause me some concern. It makes it more difficult to see what subjects they offer, how well they do in them and whether they contract or expand in the sixth form.

Without knowing the name of the grammar I wouldn't be sure I'd find the right one. If you want to make an appeal you might want to find out what adjustment was made in the admission tests for your child's sex and July birthday. It is well known that less physically developed children are at a disadvantage in our educational system. This obviously affects summer born children and boys. You would find this article and the others listed interesting www.telegraph.co.uk/education/9843971/Summer-born-children-at-bottom-of-the-class-warn-experts-and-parents.html

If no adjustment was made you might have a better case for appeal, if one was made you might want to consider if it was sufficient.

As for the Salisbury debate - they take a lot of extra pupils into their sixth form and offer a wide range of subjects. That probably contributes to their less spectacular performance at A level. However it suggests a school that pupils are keen to attend and that is willing to accomodate young people with obscure interests.

seeker Sat 09-Feb-13 11:37:23

There was an apocryphal story about doctors' acronyms- one was NFN- Normal for Norfolk. At least I hope it was apocryphal! I hereby propose an new one -NFm - Normal for Mumsnet!

Erebus Fri 08-Feb-13 21:35:27

But seeker he IS average! He really is. He struggles along in the just-below-middle group in maths & science. He tries hard, is well behaved but quiet. His speech is possibly that of an 8 year old, I'd say -there's no sophistication in it! So yes, despite his level 5s in science and Maths, I hereby guarantee he will do no more than double maths and Eng Lang come the day.

In fact, it irritates me beyond measure when I am accused of 'doing DS2 down' when I declare he'll make an excellent tradesman as everyone assumes I'm being coy and really he'll go to Oxbridge!

No.

seeker Fri 08-Feb-13 20:17:40

Ah. There's another one.

A level 5 at KS2 is "average"! grin

Erebus Fri 08-Feb-13 18:35:23

grin seeker

My name is Erebus, I have one 'above average' DS (but 'B' grade, not necessarily 'A') and another who is average writ large. Yes, he got 5s in his KS2 SATS for Maths and Science, 4 for English but he is average as KS2 SATS are not a good measure, IMHO. He will make a fantastic plumber, come the day, a fact I am very, very relaxed about, incidentally!

I deliberately live within the catchment of the best academically performing comp in the county (where they both go).

So I am not MN demographic! Must I hie me to NMs??!

JoanByers Fri 08-Feb-13 13:29:52

Most probably most MNers have got above average children. Netmums OTOH.....

seeker Fri 08-Feb-13 13:26:38

As an aside. There are some very interesting statistics about mumsnetters.

The first one is that practically all of them have children that are above average. The second is that they all seem to live next door to a failing comprehensive school. Which, considering that there are only, I think, about 120 or so failing schools must make for some very crowded neighbourhoods!

Erebus Fri 08-Feb-13 13:20:24

Admittedly, the government discovering from the last census there are actually 500,000 more people living in the UK than they'd accounted for probably doesn't help...

The city concerned is actually building definitely one new primary very soon (as the bulge is at 4/5 year olds), but DC are bussed into the city from designated villages as always and I know of a couple of DCs who've got places at the first comp this year who live 10 miles away, as much of its catchment is fields!

tiggytape Fri 08-Feb-13 12:19:41

Erebus - I agree with you. Unless the comps are horribly oversubscribed I suppose and some children are being forced to go to other ones miles away.

That's what can happen here - people live very near a lovely comp but can't actually get a place there as it is too full of siblings and people who live closer than they do. On paper it might look like there are plenty of decent schools but that's not much help when you realise there are far more children than there are places at them.

Erebus Fri 08-Feb-13 12:02:01

There is a Free School proposal going in near me right now. The 2 comps in the city's results are:
77%/40% (% GCSEs inc Maths & eng/ E. Bacc)
74%/33%

-which really aren't that bad, are they? We are watching with interest! Though my DCs go to a comp 7 miles from this city where the results are:
92%/58% - So I don't think our area will lose any DC to the new Free School.

tiggytape Fri 08-Feb-13 11:41:10

I think the reason people worry about education is much greater than any perceived disparity between what a traditional private school can offer compared to a grammar.

For most people neither is an option (or a longshot) and they do just want a good education for their children. Not better than everyone else - just good.
The reason it all gets a bit middle-class-angst-y is so many regions have perfectly lovely schools nestled right next to shockingly awful ones. This might be a city / London problem though, I don't know.
The options if they don't get into grammar for some people in London is a really dire comp whereas, if they had the chance to go to a half decent comp all along, they wouldn't be quite for obsessive keen to get a grammar school place.

It is the same with Free Schools - most people would much prefer a tried and tested, decent comp. But if you live nextdoor to the sort of school that barely gets any kids (however bright the intake) through GCSEs, has poor expectations of behaviour and / or worrying knife or drug or racism or gang related issues, any school looks attractive even if it is some fanciful set-up that's still half built and run by a vast parent body who think that vividly coloured striped blazers is the way to go!

I don't think it is about wanting the very best. It is more (in our area at least) seeking to avoid the very worst. For some a Grammar School place is their only hope of avoiding being forced to attend a failing school. People get very desperate about that. For others a Grammar School place would be a bonus but, since the alternative comp gets 75%+ decent GCSEs and offers triple science and 4 languages, they see it as not so essential.

Erebus Fri 08-Feb-13 11:21:54

The thing is, whatever system we English get, however 'good', we will strive to get 'better' for our own DCs. It is the way we are. We state we want an 'excellent education' for our 'neighbour's DC' providing our DCs' education is better thus our DC is advantaged over theirs.

There was an interesting programme on telly a few months ago which I think was called 'the secret life of the Grammar School' or similar, and within it the point was made that the Tory party closed grammars because they suddenly saw those Johnny-Upstarts emerge from GSs with qualifications better than their own son Henry was achieving at the public school he attends, as did daddy, as did grandad.... and it was also why the major public school quite suddenly 'went academic'. Beforehand all a chap needed was the right connections, right family, money. Now suddenly they needed qualifications, like Ernest was emerging from GS with.

It is why now we are seeing Free Schools being set up where no proven need exists- why? Because Gove knows that middle class parents was something 'special' for their DC and here's an opportunity to allow those parents to advantage their own DC ^on the public purse^- win/win! Happy MC parent, also happy ongoing Tory voter.

mummytime Fri 08-Feb-13 09:28:10

You won't get good comprehensives when the top are creamed off. In areas where there is little effect from Grammars then there can be excellent Comprehensives.

seeker Fri 08-Feb-13 09:19:08

"Until such time as a good comprehensive system, with a high proportion of excellent schooling prevails through the land I'm totally in favour of selective education. The education I had at SWGS is why I'm in favour of a selective system and want my DD's and everyone else's DC's to have the same here in Essex, at this point in time."

It wouldn't be very selective if everyone's DC got in, would it!grin

Erebus Fri 08-Feb-13 09:00:34

Q: "I'm totally in favour of selective education"

- so are you totally in favour of secondary moderns?

You can't be in favour of 'selecting in' unless you are also a supporter of 'selecting out'.

Would you be happy to send you DC to a SM? To be told at 11 they've 'failed'?

Me neither.

piggywigwig Fri 08-Feb-13 08:05:22

Erebus
"Personally I wish my DSs could be afforded the opportunities SWGS gave us girls back then but not at the expense of the 11+ 'failures'- which is why I am opposed to selective education where DC are educated in separate establishments according to intellect. It's not necessary and benefits the few over the majority. "

Until such time as a good comprehensive system, with a high proportion of excellent schooling prevails through the land I'm totally in favour of selective education. The education I had at SWGS is why I'm in favour of a selective system and want my DD's and everyone else's DC's to have the same here in Essex, at this point in time.

If the Education Fairy decides to dust off her magic wand and give a fairer system to all, then of course I'll seriously consider my stance wink

Erebus
"We weren't required to 'understand' them, were we, just their subject area."

Oh dear, I don't think I could have explained that very well; I don't mean that we needed to understand them then, as children, rather that a thread could be started to understand the idiosyncracies they showed at the time, now, as adults looking back, with all our life experience lol! wink

Erebus Thu 07-Feb-13 22:23:29

Yes, many of my teachers at SWGS were 'out there'- eccentric, oddball, inspired, driven, stupendously intelligent.

We weren't required to 'understand' them, were we, just their subject area.

I consider that we were very fortunate. But interestingly, Miss S didn't require any of us to have a post-PE shower once in the 7 years I was there!

Personally I wish my DSs could be afforded the opportunities SWGS gave us girls back then but not at the expense of the 11+ 'failures'- which is why I am opposed to selective education where DC are educated in separate establishments according to intellect. It's not necessary and benefits the few over the majority.

piggywigwig Thu 07-Feb-13 18:13:50

BTW - I think that on reflection, an entire thread could be devoted to documenting and trying to understand the idiosyncrasies, eccentricities and generally "interesting" behaviour of the teaching staff at SWGS. wink

piggywigwig Thu 07-Feb-13 18:08:00

Erebus
"21st for GCSEs is pretty good, isn't it? I mean, taking the very ablest DDs from miles away and turning out 21st across the country inc indies, hey?"

...but not quite "top 10". Its very low position in the Top 100 selective school table, given the fact it's a superselective and the only GS in the county (and for miles around) is a little disappointing. I'm also more than a little surprised about this, too, considering that it can potentially catch all those lovely top-flight brains from a wider geographic area, tbh. One could reasonably expect them to do better than schools in counties where there's more than one superselective GS but the tables tell a different story.

Anyway, I'm off to purge my memory of thoughts of a certain games mistress at SWGS who used to love to stand at the end of the showers in the changing rooms and watch each and every one of us walk through naked shock I wonder why Miss S did that?

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