DD Distraught at having to go to,a Upper School (BUCKS)

(129 Posts)
edna1234 Mon 01-Apr-13 15:47:49

DD and i just drove past her new School, that she will be going to in September and she just Broke down,in tears. she started saying whats the point of going to School, i will just end up on the Dole like most of the kids from the Upper school,She just cried for 2 hrs two nights ago, i tried to reassure her,that she could still get to University,from a Upper School but she said i was lying, i cannot afford Private Education, how can i get DD to be more positive and optimistic about her future.

HarlotOTara Mon 01-Apr-13 18:21:52

If it helps, my dd's school was in special measures the year she sat her Gcses, she got 'A's and 'A*'s 3 'A's at A level and a first at a good university. Grammar and private education are not always the be all and end all of education.

Takver Mon 01-Apr-13 18:56:00

Edna, I would tactfully ask your dd where / why she is feeling like this and find out if she's getting it from her classmates at school.

Where we live there is a 'good' school, with better results / low nos on Free school meals, low nos with SEN etc, and an 'average' school which unsurprisingly has much worse results (and higher FSM / SEN etc).

The children going to the 'good' school are very aware of this fact, and I know from dd (plus parents of other children) that comments like 'only disabled people go to school X', 'school X is really rough', 'people at school X get rubbish results' are pretty common.

We're in the fortunate position that we actively chose school X (as did said other parents, for various reasons you can be sure of getting a place at either), which made it easier for dd to deal with.

But if you had wanted school Y, and ended up at school X by default, I think it would make you feel pretty shit, TBH.

Takver Mon 01-Apr-13 18:58:47

I was very proud of dd btw when she told me about the 'only disabled people' comments - she said 'I said to them, mum, that if people who need extra help are choosing to go to that school then it shows it is a good school, doesn't it because who knows if I might need extra help sometimes too'

(Much better than me, who would have probably told them to fuck off & not be so prejudiced grin )

BooksandaCuppa Mon 01-Apr-13 19:40:56

Wow, Takver's dd shows a great level of empathy and maturity. That's the kind of thing that will stand you in excellent stead in your life, much more so than where you went to school!

Takver Mon 01-Apr-13 19:50:36

Thanks, Booksand, she doesn't always get it right, but she has her heart in the right place. I think/hope she will be going to a good and caring school that looks to do well for all its pupils.

difficultpickle Mon 01-Apr-13 20:52:35

As a parent the thing that would concern me most with that school is the poor added value score and the poor quality teaching. If you have no other alternative (ie no hope of passing 12+) then you may need to consider external tutoring to support your dd's learning.

It is all very well saying that a bright child will achieve anywhere, they won't if the teaching is poor (which is what the latest Ofsted report says). I and my classmates had to teach ourselves our A level history syllabus because one teacher was writing a book and the other was deputy head and would spend the few lessons we had with him teaching us how to do the Times crossword. We were at a Bucks grammar that regularly got pupils into Oxbridge.

Tasmania Mon 01-Apr-13 21:55:23

High Wycombe is a difficult area - with the grammar schools and the excellent, internationally-known private schools...

... the place is great if you have money or are naturally bright. But not so, if you are just in the middle.

OP - plenty of kids there who get into GS have been tutored extensively or went to private schools for their primary years that plain and simple only had one aim in mind. Can you get her onto a school out of the county? I heard some people could (but not sure how)?!?

sashh Tue 02-Apr-13 09:10:34

because last year only 27% got 5A to C in English and Maths*
And your dd will be one of those who do get A* to C, and that's all that matters in the end.

CocoNutter Tue 02-Apr-13 09:38:46

This is why I hate the eleven plus! I've taught in grammar and uppers in Bucks, and I can honestly say that the school is largely what the hold makes of it. The uppers I taught at had kids going to Oxbridge and kids going on to do nothing, from the same teachers: what mattered most was the attitude of the students and their parents. I've seen shocking teaching at grammars and excellent teaching at uppers, and vice versa. Of course the grammars get better results - they cream off the top! I think the problem is worse in bucks than other grammar areas because the stigma seems to be so much worse.

Your DD will be fine if she keeps the right attitude. I got much better results than my DH, because I worked and he didn't. I went to a comprehensive in a grammar area. He went to a very highly regarded grammar.

seeker Tue 02-Apr-13 09:40:34

What % of kids get 5 A*-C GCSE with English and Maths at the school?

teacherwith2kids Tue 02-Apr-13 09:47:03

Seeker, you may be able to get useful information for the OP out of
School data - especially because I know that you are a governor at a SM elsewhere.

seeker Tue 02-Apr-13 09:59:18

I was wondering how much research the OP had done herself to help her daughter, teacher- before I started posting loads of stats!

OP- it does look like a challenging school- but 27% get the magic A*-Cs in a catchment where the "top set" is off in another school, so it's doing something right. It's tough- no denying it- but there is no reason why your dd should not be in that 27%. You might have to be a bit more proactive than you would if she had gone to the grammar, but it's perfectly doable- if she wants to

teacherwith2kids Tue 02-Apr-13 10:17:02

I suppose another way to look at it would be to say that, if 30-35% of the cohort go to grammar, then the 'adjusted A*-C figures', taking into account the removed children, are around 60% - ie the 'equivalent comprehensive' sould get around 60% (which would not put it at the bottom of league tables in most comprehensive counties by any means), and therefore the apparently low 27% is much more a feature of the 'removed top set' than it is a reflection of the school's actual quality.

exoticfruits Tue 02-Apr-13 10:26:54

Your DD will be fine if she keeps the right attitude.

This is true. It is why I am so against the 11+ because it does make you feel a failure at a very young age, whatever anyone else tells you.
I failed and did fine and so did so many other successful people that I know.

What you need to do is foster an 'I will show them' attitude to prove that the exam was wrong.
My parents were in the same position-if they could have afforded private they would have done, but we had to go with the system. At the time we planned the alternate route which ended up at the 6th form of the grammar school and then university. That is what I followed -fuelled by the fact that I would do better than some that passed -and I did because many left at 16yrs which they used to do from grammar school in my time.
It is easy to find success stories-you can go to friends reunited-find old secondary moderns and find ex pupils with very high flying careers and use them as examples. Fire her up to refuse to accept the life that she thinks she has mapped out and aim for the top.
It is to do with attitude-if she gives in she will have a self fulfilling prophesy
see here
I have a friend at the moment whose son failed-he is in his final year of a maths degree at a very good university-he isn't unusual.
She has failed-she has the school chosen-she can't change that but she can certainly change the outcome. And there must be others like her in her chosen school-I am still friends with my two best friends that I met at secondary modern-both very successful women. I also have a friend from when I was younger (found on friends reunited) and she ended up in a 'sink' secondary modern and yet because a teacher specialising in dyslexia and has two daughters-one a dentist and one a vet.
Do not let her give in or they system has won-use the failure to spur her on. It can be a huge advantage when it comes to applying for university and jobs because it shows determination and grit.

exoticfruits Tue 02-Apr-13 10:28:34

became not because

CecilyP Tue 02-Apr-13 10:35:31

That would seem to be the case, as there are so few higher ability pupils, that their results cannot shown in the stats. Of the middle ability pupils, 45% get the 5 A*-C etc.

OP, I would also question your DD about where she got the 'just end up on the dole' idea. While, if she was hoping for the grammar school, it is reasonable for her to be disappointed, this just sounds like such an odd thing for an 11 year old to come out with.

seeker Tue 02-Apr-13 10:41:48

"OP, I would also question your DD about where she got the 'just end up on the dole' idea. While, if she was hoping for the grammar school, it is reasonable for her to be disappointed, this just sounds like such an odd thing for an 11 year old to come out with."

Sadly not, in a wholly selective area. People who haven't experienced it have no idea how awful can be.

pollypandemonium Tue 02-Apr-13 10:44:58

Have you considered trying to get her into a private school with a bursary?

JenaiMorris Tue 02-Apr-13 10:49:59

If it's children who have got into the grammar that are spouting the dole rubbish, I'd count my blessings that my child was going elsewhere.

seeker Tue 02-Apr-13 10:52:36

It's one of the things their parents will have said to many of them to get them to do practice papers. I kid you not.

tiggytape Tue 02-Apr-13 10:55:03

I have to admit - it seems a very dramatic division between grammar and the upper schools in that area.

In our nearest grammar school area, only the top 5% of children get to grammar school so the comps have plenty of children entering Year 7 with Level 5 and 6 SATS. The top group at the comp is the same as an average group at grammar.
In Bucks, the Upper schools seem entirely stripped of their top group so it is a very harsh system -harsh on the Upper schools who must comete on results and harsh on the children who only just miss the cut-off for grammar.

Have you spoken to the school to see how they deal with very bright students? They may not get many but they have a duty to cater for them and make sure they progress.
Have you explored other options - are there any? I understand Bucks has a hugely complex review and appeal process. Have you lookled at that? Are there out of county schools your DD could go on the waiting list for where there will be more of a mix of pupils?

I am sure your DD will be able to do well and get good grades wherever she goes but, if she is very unhappy, anything the school can do to reassure her or you can do to look at options might help her a bit?

teacherwith2kids Tue 02-Apr-13 10:59:24

Has she seen round the school? Met successful present and past pupils?

exoticfruits Tue 02-Apr-13 11:15:52

The grammar school does not give a direct route to work-I don't think that people realise that, at the moment, our shops, restaurants etc are staffed by graduates, with very good degrees from very good universities, who earning money while trying desperately to get onto the bottom rung of their chosen career.

seeker Tue 02-Apr-13 11:35:59

Edna- it's very important for your dd to work on her friendships between now and September- strengthening the ones with kids who are going to both schools. It is very difficult to maintain friendships when you go to different schools-so she may need to think about who among the ones going to the upper school she likes.

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 02-Apr-13 11:53:13

I've got an 11 year old girl who will be going to a selective private school. Sadly I suspect it us the exact sort if thing that would come out if the mouths of some of her classmates who would use it against other children. Hopefully not dd especially as she has a same age cousin who will be going to a very different type of school and will hopefully do well there.

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