Apologies to Cambridge matmos.

(347 Posts)
grovel Fri 15-Feb-13 22:50:37

I just loved being number 1000. Such power!

pugsandseals Sat 16-Feb-13 20:51:21

So only the tough, highly tutored should take the test then? hmm 'Highly intelligent must not apply without extensive tutoring'...

TotallyBS Sat 16-Feb-13 21:04:11

Pugs - assuming that post was directed at me, I don't understand what you are saying. It seems a bit of a non sequitur

pugsandseals Sat 16-Feb-13 21:06:57

Gives up - obviously nobody wants to join me in my dream for the perfect education system so I shall go dream elsewhere.....

TotallyBS Sat 16-Feb-13 21:12:30

... and break open another bottle of wine perhaps? smile

Yellowtip Sat 16-Feb-13 21:19:27

pugs how much experience do you have of 11+ tests for grammars and indies? You do seem to generalise from the particular in other areas, so I was just wondering. Without meaning to be rude, obviously.

grovel Sat 16-Feb-13 22:22:07

These threads have been really instructive to me. I realise how much I don't know and am reminded how deeply personal our children's education is to all of us. We tend to justify our choices (if we are lucky enough to have them) because we can't bear to think that we've got it wrong. Those with no choice are either happy (because the state can be great) or profoundly "wronged" because the state, in their case, does not provide what their children need. pugs, you are right to want Utopia and to ask questions. We'll never get there but we'll only get closer by questioning.

grovel Sat 16-Feb-13 22:25:10

And the problem with "questioning" is that we create uncertainty for those charged with educating (teaching) our young.

Yellowtip Sat 16-Feb-13 22:32:34

Tbf 'questioning' in the sense you mean it grovel is of most use if the questioner is reasonably informed in the first place. Without a base level of information it's just a waste of everybody's time.

Perriwinkle Sat 16-Feb-13 22:36:13

Pugsandseals said:

I don't know what to think about the grammar system anymore! It helped DH hugely & he eventually got an Oxbridge place due to the connections of his grammar school. It means he (& I of course) have been lifted out of poverty & gave him opportunities he would otherwise never have had.

When the opportunity afforded to your DS is only afforded to other children depending on which county they live in, how can you think the grammar school system is anything other than iniquitous?

TotallyBS Sat 16-Feb-13 22:41:48

I agree Peri. We should afford children in other counties the opportunity to go to a grammar school?

Oh blush That wasn't your point was it?

grovel Sat 16-Feb-13 22:43:56

Well, Yellowtip, how do we (parents/ the electorate/ children) learn except by questioning? We've all got our personal, out-of-date experiences of our own education which tend to give us prejudices. They need to be challenged.

pugsandseals Sat 16-Feb-13 23:23:30

So easy to just let the politicians get on with bashing out these things for us. I agree grovel, we must know our ideals to be able to help the politicians make the right compromises on our behalf.

Never have I said I have any of the right answers, just that I would wish to explore all the options!

FillyPutty Sun 17-Feb-13 01:38:54

I choked a little, reading through the GSG (a couple of years old) earlier, to read this:

"Punctuality and attendance have been major issues but are now coming under control.... In the 2008-09 year, attendance improved to 92% from 87% when the head arrived. Head re-introduced uniform as part of his self-esteem-raising mission - raised middle class eyebrows and heckles" "Head claims few problems with drugs, alcohol etc., though lighting up as you leave is routine"

"We were disturbed on our tour to see and hear a number of classes which could most charitably be described as chatty and in which little work was evident, and a few more which could only be described as disorderly. Head's policy of 'non-shouting' not implemented by all and school's dependence on supply teachers may explain some of what we witnessed. Pupils ... admit to a level of classroom disruption which would make all but the most forebearing of potential parents have qualms."

I choked a little more reading this: "Pupils and Parents: From liberal, moneyed Hampstead to recent refugees in temporary housing"

Bearing in mind that 'moneyed' in Hampstead would certainly be plural millions, I struggled to see why people with the free choice would have chosen this.

TotallyBS Sun 17-Feb-13 08:20:00

Filly - Some people simply walk the walk instead of just talking the talk. Others, like these 'moneyed' parents, stand by their principles and refuse to go private or relocate to a better catchment.

Although I don't agree that one should sacrifice our DCs education on the altar of principles, I do respect the fact that they don't just go on about how schools can be improved only if moneyed parents stay and help fight to improve standards.

They walk the talk which is worthy of respect unlike those champagne socialist who say one thing then put their DCs into GS or relocate to a better catchment.

TotallyBS Sun 17-Feb-13 08:24:47

Oops. 'Others, like' shouldn't be there. Anyway the point is that some parents walk the talk and stay because they believe in trying to improve things rather than taking the easy option and relocating or going private.

seeker Sun 17-Feb-13 08:30:39

"I choked a little, reading through the GSG (a couple of years old) earlier, to read this:"

What's the GSG?

<worries that this is one of this questions where the answer is so obvious I'll be embarrassed for days for not knowing the answer>

Millais Sun 17-Feb-13 08:33:09

Good schools guide ?

seeker Sun 17-Feb-13 08:39:39

Ah, yes, it was one of those questions............!

Millais Sun 17-Feb-13 08:48:32

It seems logical that you can be against the Grammar system in principle but if that is the only option and the secondary schools in the area are not offering equal opportunities then you would prefer your dc to attend the grammar.

My father used to create 11+ papers and I can assure you that you can be tutored to do well in them. There are numerous "tricks" to be taught which enable you to spot what type of question it is and lead you to the answer. My siblings and I always scored ridiculously high scores when faced with these papers in school but sadly they had been warned to discount them!

TwistedReach Sun 17-Feb-13 09:03:00

Well, I think I may know the school that is being referred to - it can only be one of a few- and similarly condemning comments have been made about ds's school. However I could give you a completely different account. As a parent you have to be confident enough to believe that your child can manage and do well. You have to remember that children and teenagers are exactly that and not just scary other beings, however they are portrayed in the press or middle class private school parent set. DS is doing very well- is predicted gcse grades that you would expect from Westminster but I'm delighted that they can add to the record of his local school instead. I don't agree that choosing a school is simply a personal decision- i think it is very much, or should be also a social one.

seeker Sun 17-Feb-13 09:08:36

Filly putty- perhaps because different people see different things in a school?

TotallyBS Sun 17-Feb-13 09:19:58

Millais - I agree that there are 'tricks' but the point I am making is that they aren't secret tricks known only to expensive tutors who will only reveal them to well off parents.

And it's skills that come from repetition rather than tricks. After doing a few practice papers my DS was able to recognise which type of question he was looking at almost instantly. It made him faster but if he couldn't do the questions in the first place then all the tricks in the world wouldn't make a difference.

Millais Sun 17-Feb-13 09:34:15

Yes I agree children of clued up parents can do the practice papers and don't need expensive tuition. However, these "tricks" could be seen as "secret" to parents who have no experience of them- EAL parents or any other group who for whatever reason haven't had this type of education. In my area the number of EAL pupils tutored for the highly selctive grammars is ridiculous and they start at 6 or 7. I know of pupils doing 2 hours a night in years 5 and 6.
I think it is generally accepted that you can add approx 10 points by tuition which may well be enough to get into the schools.

pugsandseals Sun 17-Feb-13 09:59:27

I still maintain that it is wrong to tutor or prep for the 11+ or any entrance test. Surely there must be some way of changing the exam so that tutoring does not give an unfair advantage? I believe the top streams or grammar schools should be saved for those with the most potential not those with the most practice!

seeker Sun 17-Feb-13 09:59:32

And the children of non "clued up " parents?

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