What if one child passes the 11+ and other fails?

(46 Posts)
Decisionsagain Wed 05-Feb-14 22:16:38

We have five children and are debating moving to an area with grammar schools. Our two eldest would have a good chance. But I wonder how the others would be if they don't pass.

People who have had one child pass and the other fail, how did it pan out? Was there bitterness, jealousy? I would hate to be the instigator of that but as as ex-grammar girl I do have an appreciation of what they can offer. I also appreciate that some fab secondary schools are out there to be considered.

curlew Mon 10-Feb-14 21:32:15

Although, as you say, horrible for everyone. Awful, awful system.

curlew Mon 10-Feb-14 21:31:14

Actually, in my experience, it's worst for the child who passes.

Pushka2 Mon 10-Feb-14 21:12:12

Curlew I agree that is absolutely horrible for the child who doesn't pass and it is an experience I never want to repeat (and never will do). Having a child pass is a great feeling however having a child not pass is a dreadful feeling. Getting that perceived rejection at 10 is awful awful awful for your child. Trying for the grammar route isn't for the fainthearted.

MillyMollyMama Mon 10-Feb-14 18:28:40

Just to clarify, Bucks is a Grammar School/Secondary Modern selective County. The 11+ exam can be sat by all children and there is a set pass score which guarantees a place at, usually, the Grammar School in whose catchment area you live.

There are no comprehensives here and, generally, the town secondary schools are not as good as the village ones. That is why I did not mention any of them in my earlier post. A good comprehensive school may be the perfect solution but if anyone moves to Bucks it is important to know how the system works so parents do not have to go through endless appeals to get the school they want. The results at Waddesdon School , for example, are way better than many comprehensive schools but you would also get the choice of the fantastic Aylesbury High School for Girls or Aylesbury Grammar School for Boys if DC was selected via the 11+.

curlew Mon 10-Feb-14 16:38:50

I have one who passed and one who failed. It was horrible-and don't believe anyone who says it isn't. They are either out the other side for so long they've forgotten or in denial. grin. There is nothing a grammar school can offer that a good comprehensive can't. Stay where you are!!!!!!!

GreenShadow Mon 10-Feb-14 15:23:50

Our oldest two DS both passed the 11+ and are at grammars.

DS3 is very different and has had mild literacy issues. He's been tested for dyslexia twice, but that doesn't appear to be the cause.
We'd never seen him as being likely to get to a grammar and bore this in mind when house hunting a few years ago when he was part way through primary school.
He was very keen to take the 11+ however and despite the older two not having had tutoring, did arrange for him to have a few sessions with a tutor.
He didn't pass and is now at a very good comp which seems to suit him.

What seemed to be hardest for him however, was not the fact that both his siblings had passed, but that ALL his friends from primary got to the grammar. He was quite upset about that for a while but predictably, once he had settled down at his new school and found some nice friends he was quite happy.

We're now at the stage of looking for somewhere to go at 16 and he could have the chance to join the grammar school for A levels (subject to getting the grades), but he has decided not to even look at it.

IdRatherPlayHereWithAllTheMadM Sun 09-Feb-14 01:02:54

What are the Bucks grammers, I thought grammers went on distance and exams.....

ashtrayheart Sat 08-Feb-14 23:29:41

I'm in Bucks, if you pass or live in one of the villages it's fine...otherwise avoid!

tallulah Sat 08-Feb-14 23:20:32

venturabay at the time (1990s- I believe it is different now) the school entered the pupils for the test and had to say whether in their opinion the child was suited to a Grammar or a High school, or was borderline. What we didn't know at the time was that unless the HT ticked Grammar you had no hope of getting in.

DD was "spirited" and not liked by the HT. HT told us she was putting her down as borderline, then entered her as High school. DD got the highest marks she could have got in the 11+. We appealed - HT counter-appealed that she wasn't suitable. Luckily the class teacher was on our side and wrote the report for the private school.

HT didn't agree with grammar schools and up to that year only 2 -3 pupils got through every year. We went to Governors with our experience, and after us the number of pupils getting to grammar went up. By that time we didn't care because we took our younger children out.

venturabay Sat 08-Feb-14 22:48:40

At our school (top 5%?) there are a large number of families with all siblings in - at least three families that I know of with five siblings in since my DC have been at the school and plenty with three or four. It really isn't that unusual at all. But perhaps those parents manage expectations sensibly and don't pile the pressure on.

tiggytape Sat 08-Feb-14 17:07:27

But there would have to be an excellent outstanding secondary nearby. And I keep hearing that is rare when grammar schools cream off a number of children.

The best way to get a grammar school area with an excellent local comp nearby is to choose a grammar that only takes the top 2 - 8% of local children as opposed to one that takes the top 25%
This means a lot of very bright children won't go to the grammar and end up at comp instead but then the comps cater well for their needs eg choice of foreign languages, ability sets for many subjects etc
Of course the downside of that is it decreases the liklihood of 1 child let alone 5 from the same family all passing because so few bright children get selected.

Bemused33 Sat 08-Feb-14 16:47:37

I know a family whose daughter passed. Put the son under such a lot of pressure! He has been tutored for three years, developed school phobia and failed the 11 plus. I think it's how you approach it. Dd has passed. Ds will be given the option but I have a few years and we will not treat it as a be all and end all and pile anymore pressure on him.

Decisionsagain Sat 08-Feb-14 14:17:30

Thanks so much for posting. Some really interesting points made. I think you've made me realise that it's not just about getting them to pass but about making sure the school is right for them. Kind of makes me think that the one school we have down the road is too narrow a choice and unlikely to fit all five. So perhaps grammar areas would be better. But there would have to be an excellent outstanding secondary nearby. And I keep hearing that is rare when grammar schools cream off a number of children.

MillyMollyMama - thanks for taking the time to post. Will look them up : ))

treaclesoda Fri 07-Feb-14 20:36:55

I'm in NI, so a bit different because in my area there are no comprehensive schools, so there isn't really the option to choose one school that might suit the entire family. But anyway, I know loads of sets of siblings who attended different schools due to one passing the transfer test and another not passing, in fact I'd guess about 50% of the people I know attended a different school to their siblings. Anyway, I don't know any of them who feel resentful about it, or that other siblings got some sort of preferential treatment, it's just accepted as the norm, no big deal.

ByTheSea Fri 07-Feb-14 20:28:46

Whilst DD2 did not fail the 11+, she did not get the score needed for a place at DD1's superselective. She is now thriving at a good comp that actually suits her better than the grammar would have.

I was not never sure she would enjoy a girls' school anyway (but she wanted to try) and she is more of an all-rounder than DD1. I personally think that where she is now offers better musical and sporting opportunities for her as the child she is. So it's all worked out fine.

newgirl Fri 07-Feb-14 20:01:17

Ah we live in an area with good comps so don't have to choose different schools

venturabay Fri 07-Feb-14 19:31:05

tallulah how did the HT 'block' your DD? And what possible motive could he have had for doing so? It sounds very odd.

venturabay Fri 07-Feb-14 19:29:24

newgirl says she'd rather her kids went to the same school but if you have DC who each might get in to a superselective then you simply have to put each one in and see how it goes. Not putting any of them in in case a subsequent child fails is very defeatist, and isn't it inherently unfair to the older child/ children? I was nervous of the outcome for my DC but nevertheless put them all in for the test, on the very simplistic grounds that the school was the best in the area.

MillyMollyMama Fri 07-Feb-14 18:23:00

Decisions. Hi!
Assuming you would be happy with any allocation of Grammar School, the best secondary moderns are Waddesdon C of E, John Colet School in Wendover, The Misbourne School in Great Missenden and Chalfonts Community College. Waddesdon has a tiny catchment area but property is cheaper than the other school locations. As it is C of E it selects many by Church attendance but not if you live in the catchment. The Misbourne had a blip a couple of years ago but has really pulled back up now. A look at the Bucks League tables will show you which schools to avoid. There are a huge number of appeals to get into the better secondary schools, so, to be sure, live in the catchment area! It will avoid sleepless nights.

Bucks CC has the catchment areas for its grammars and secondaries on its web site. The RC secondary does well in High Wycombe too and Holmer Green School is liked by many.

tallulah Fri 07-Feb-14 17:37:55

We had 4 children when we lived in Kent. DD1 passed her 11+ but the HT blocked her going to grammar. She went to an independent on an Assisted Place on the strength of her 11+ scores.

DS1 did not take the 11+ because he has SEN and we didn't think he'd manage. With hindsight he would have been fine, but he blossomed in the top sets of the local High school.

DS2 & DS3 both went to the boys grammar.

My only regret was having DS2 and DS3 at the same school. My DC are very competitive, plus you get the odious comparisons between them. DS2 has SEN and we really didn't want his teachers treating DS3 as if he was his clone. They went to different primary schools and that was much better.

skillsandtea Fri 07-Feb-14 16:16:39

I know when I was younger I walked to school from the age of 10 but I don't know why the thought of DS going to school on his own at 11 fills me with worry. He is mature for his age and sensible but I still take him to school even though it's only a mile down the road albeit a busy road. And if DS2 doesn't get into the same school, which is a high probability, that's even more of a worry as he's very immature!

smoothieooo Fri 07-Feb-14 15:34:44

skills DS1 gets the bus (public bus, not a school bus) for a 20 min journey and DS2 walks as his school is 5 mins away. It did mean that DS2 was at home by himself for a fair bit which wasn't ideal (DS1 has a longer school day) but it's not such an issue now he's older.

tiggytape Fri 07-Feb-14 15:06:23

gazza - sorry just saw your post.
I do agree with you totally but it will work out I am sure. Eventually there will be a point when the parents who are tutoring still will be forced to ease up a bit - even if this only happens when their child goes to Uni.
I went to a traditional Uni and was one of the people there who loved my subject but there were a lot of students - particularly in the fields you mention - who were only there because their parents had steered pushed them in that direction. Needless to say, it doesn't work in the long run and, whilst your DS may be feeling down about finding his feet right now, it does at least mean that when he finds his niche and his way a bit more, he won't need the constant prodding and prompting that too many other children get used to relying on.

tiggytape Fri 07-Feb-14 14:59:14

At secondary school, they make the journey alone so that's only an issue if you have 2 DCs at different primary schools.

Additional needs aside / extreme rural location aside, it is not expected that 11 year olds will be taken to school by their parents. Generally people would not choose a secondary school where public transport went much beyond 1 change of bus or train as, apart from being complicated, it would be a horrible commute.

skillsandtea Fri 07-Feb-14 14:42:27

This may sound like a silly problem but for those with DCs at different schools, how do you manage travel to & from school if the schools are in opposite directions and if public/school transport isn't straight forward?

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