So its impossible to get into Colyton Grammar ?

(186 Posts)
HoratioHappened Fri 06-Nov-09 16:20:01

My middle child came home from school and told me some of her friends are going to take the 11 plus for Colyton next year. She said she wants to do it as well. We decided she could have a go if she wanted.

However, I was having a coffee with a friend with kids at a local private school who told me it was hopless as they only take kids from private schools these days and she would never get in. Is this really true ? Do they not have to make sure they take at least a few from state schools ?

JollyPirate Fri 06-Nov-09 16:26:04

Is this Colyton in Somerset/Dorset area? If so I only know one person who got their child in there recently and she was from a private school. Everyone seems to hothouse their children for the exam and as far as I am aware the pressure is on right from the word go once the child starts the school.
My other friend's son had a go at the exam and he is bright but was not hothoused so didn't make the grade. He is thriving in a normal secondary though - top sets for everything.

Lilymaid Fri 06-Nov-09 16:29:44

Have a look on the 11+ Forums (Colyton is in East Devon).

HoratioHappened Fri 06-Nov-09 17:07:24

Thanks I have had a look but can't find anything relevant. She is level five for everything at the moment and her teacher thought it was a good idea, but suppose I had better tell her not to get her hopes up. sad

MintyCane Sat 07-Nov-09 13:27:09


selectivememory Sat 07-Nov-09 14:18:39

My DCs are/were at a grammar school very similar to Colyton in the league tables, different part of the country. They were state educated, and there is a huge private intake there too.

I wouldn't take any notice of local gossip. I would go for it, but make sure your daughter is adequately prepared, ie practice the test papers or whatever. That is the advantage the private schools have over the state sector, nothing more than that.

MintyCane Sun 08-Nov-09 08:10:41

Very interesting is it a nice school. Is there anyone out there with a kid at the school ?

GunpowderTreasonAndDragons Sun 08-Nov-09 08:16:59

I suspect it is not that they only take private schools but that they take the top performers in the exam. Those top performers are likely to be from private schools.

It is certainly the case here that of those successfully passing the entrance exam for neighbouring borough grammar schools (out of borough for the 11+) the majority will be tutored private school pupils.

MintyCane Sun 08-Nov-09 08:55:09

wow that is really sad.

selectivememory Sun 08-Nov-09 10:49:08

It is sad but it's not impossible to get into these schools from state primaries!!

All it needs is a bit of preparation, the ones at the private schools aren't automatically brighter, they are just more 'in the know' as to what is required. If the OP's daughter wants to have a go, then she should. I certainly wouldn't be put off by remarks from competitive parents, it just perpetuates the myth that only privately educated children are 'clever' enough to go to a grammar school. Nonsense.

Jux Sun 08-Nov-09 11:04:30

It's not impossible (dd did the practise paper y'day morning). If your child gets a high enough result in the exam then they're in.

However, many of the children are from private/preps where they are much much better prepared; some are tutored to death for a long time before and I've even heard of kids whose tutoring starts when they're still in nursery.

My dd is a bright girl. She will learn wherever she goes, but will learn better at Colyton because the facilities are better, and the attitudes to learning are keen if not eager!

However, it is definitely not the end of the world if she doesn't get in. Just make sure your dd knows that it's not the be-all and end-all.

cherryblossoms Sun 08-Nov-09 11:09:20

Have a go.

We're in a different area (London), ds is in a top-performing gs. Only about 6 in his class are from private schools (I think - I'm basing that on the number who have studied Latin at primary).

My warning would be to get a tutor just to make sure that your dd's maths and english is where it should be.

Different here (we're in London) but what I would advise anyone whose dc is sitting maths and english papers (not so much VR and NVR,) is that there is just SUCH a variability between primaries (that goes for between state schools, not just state/private,), that you CANNOT assume your dc's primary will have covered the basics, let alone the more advanced stuff, in enough depth, to be certain they can have a go at all the questions.

Might be different outside of London, but here it's actually so shocking it should be a national scandal.

Jux Sun 08-Nov-09 11:16:39

By the way, I know people from round here (in East Devon) who say similar things. They do tend to be the ones whose own children have failed. (TBH, without wishing to be or being judgeywink, there was at least one whose child really wasn't that bright, so I wasn't too surprised she didn't make the grade - I wouldn't have even put her in for it, if she'd been mine.)

On a brighter note, there were 3 girls from dd's school (local state primary) who started at Colyton this year.

SeeYouAtDartsDarling Sun 08-Nov-09 11:27:14

Is it true that Colyton get their own under achievers to sit their exams at Sidmouth in order to preserve the league table results?

It's seems odd to put Colyton and under achievement in the same sentence but apparently sometimes early bloomers fail to flower wherever they are planted.

Jux Sun 08-Nov-09 11:43:53

I shouldn't think they're allowed to do that. It sounds like yet another of the rumours that run around here.

MintyCane Sun 08-Nov-09 13:29:58

Jux did you tutor your dd at home for the exam. I have a dd who wants to go there and I have heard that the stuff in the exam is not even touched in state school. I know dd is considered extremely bright by the school but that is not enough really is it ?

Jux Sun 08-Nov-09 15:57:24

I got some Bond papers from Smith's. DD wasn't v interested tbh. She had a go at the NVR stuff because she'd never seen anything like it before and it was therefore interesting.

I certainly didn't even start until the summer holidays, and then my mum died and since then events rather overtook me, and we did very little indeed.

DD will pass or fail on what she is rather than on what she's done. smile

grammar Mon 09-Nov-09 11:26:22

We were encouraged to put my middle son in for Colyton by his state school year 5/6 teacher. We now considere ourselves a little naive since although we've done practise papers with him at home, we haven't tutored. Some of the questions cover work they simply haven't, modes medians, averages etc..How on earth is a state school child albeit bright expected to stand a chance against intensively tutored or privately educated children. When I went into school to speak to his teacher and see if she could target his learning to the expectations of the exam, she simply murmured about doing equations etc.. in a few weeks and gave me a mathe book that was nearly 30 years old, this from the person who suggested Colyton.Sorry for the rant. Who else has not tutored; is it wrong to tutor, ie hothouse? Any comments welcome

Francasaysrelax Mon 09-Nov-09 11:34:14

Actually I know of a kid who got a place there some 3 yrs ago, the kid came from a state primary. I don't think the kid had been tutored.

MissAnneElk Mon 09-Nov-09 11:43:14

A child from DDs state school got a place there a few years ago. We're nowhere near it but the parents wanted to relocate. State schools don't practise the papers, but many prep schools do. It's certainly not true that prep school pupils are cleverer, they just have more practise and are usually encouraged more by their parents who want to avoid fees after 11.

Grammar - I'm very surprised that your DCs school has not covered modes and medians - it is part of the maths curriculum.

MintyCane Mon 09-Nov-09 13:45:12

Jux so sorry to hear about your mum and good luck to your dd in the exam.

Good luck also to grammars son smile

MintyCane Mon 09-Nov-09 13:49:24

BTW modes and medians etc is part of the curriculum but is often not covered until after the exam would be taken in Nov.

InTheMix Mon 09-Nov-09 14:40:24

apparently 480 sat on saturday for the familiarisation exam - 120 places available. About 100 more than usual

grammar Mon 09-Nov-09 16:37:46

what a very lovely, kind comment to Jux and myself.
Thank you
and good luck to all the souls who sat/are sitting 11+

Jux Mon 09-Nov-09 18:46:50

Thank you MintyCane. As it happens, my brother then died last Monday, and then dd's two guinea pigs died at the w/e.

grin I have to laugh or I don't know where I'll end up.

We've sent dd away to a cousin's who will look after her beautifully, give her quiet time, talk to her gently and be very very kind. DD will be the centre of attention, there is a horse and some chickens and she'll be kept well occupied.

She may actually have a chance after that smile

MintyCane Tue 10-Nov-09 09:19:28

Wow Jux that is awful. sad You poor things I hope someone is looking after you as well? Wishing you huge amounts of luck for the future.

LadyMuck Wed 11-Nov-09 15:59:35

Sorry to hear your news.

The dcs are at prep schools, and a number of boys do sit for the grammar schools each year. But relatively few actually end up taking a place there as if you are that good you will typically have got a decent scholarship at an independent school. Last year of the 17 boys who got a grammar school place, 14 also got scholarships elsewhere and only 4 ended up at the grammar schools. So I definitely wouldn't assume that lots of private school pupils are taking all the places.

MintyCane Thu 12-Nov-09 14:34:29

Have they done it yet ? Let us know how it goes.

WomanwiththeYellowHat Thu 12-Nov-09 14:49:06

Haven't read all of this but just wanted to say that I know the school and it is really good but also that I grew up in an area with 11 plus and went to state primary school. We had a brilliant headmaster who understood 11 plus and made sure we were trained to think in the patterns they are testing. Lots of the school always got in to the grammar. He left in my penultimate year and was replaced by another headteacher who didn't 'agree' with grammar schools and stopped the special lessons he had given the two oldest years. result - in my year there was a massive shock as only about 6 of us got in to the grammar. I just think it shows that there is a system and it is performance based but that, as with all systems, you can influence it either way. I, even 20 years ago, had tutoring for 11 plus and private school entry and loved it (but I was quite sad like that!). My sister hated it. I think it depends on the child but, without outstanding teaching, I think the far extremes of the spectrum will always suffer in a mixed ability group and, if grammar shcool entry matters to you, you just have to find a way of helping your child to know what is expected in the exams, as they do in prep schools and in the state primaries who are most focused on grammar school entry,while also giving them the perspective to realise that it is not the be-all-and-end-all.

MintyCane Tue 24-Nov-09 12:40:50

So how did it go ? Is it all over ?

Kneazle Tue 02-Mar-10 14:05:40

Did anyone out there from a state school get in I know two that didn't.

Kneazle Tue 02-Mar-10 14:33:00

shame looks like it is true then

Kneazle Wed 03-Mar-10 16:13:00

I know two from a private school that did get in. I was told today.

sloppyjoppy Sat 20-Mar-10 05:29:24

Hi all - have learnt that quite a few kids have got in to Colyton from the local state primary near where we live. Private schooling is not necessary, but I suspect tutoring is.

thetasigmamum Mon 22-Mar-10 08:07:31

My child - who went to a state primary and wasn't tutored - is in year 7 at Colyton. One of two children from the primary school to get in. This year, 3 children from the primary school got in.

We were told more than 600 people applied last year - probably wasn't true, probably just local rumour. The 'normal' number of applicants is 400ish.

My child's new friends are primarily state school educated. But there are some children who had been private before, yes.

The primary my children attend/attended seems to have policy of finishing the curriculum at the end of year 5 as far as possible (and certainly for the top group). The kids sit the same SAT at the end of year 5 as the year 6 kids, and get marked as if they were year 6 kids. Interestingly, the primary is actually quite opposed to the idea of Colyton (it's some distance away) and prefers children to go the the secondary for which it is a feeder.

sloppyjoppy Tue 23-Mar-10 13:54:16

Well that's good to know, thetasigmamum - since have been wondering whether to gear up for the exam yet. My child would sit the test in November, if she takes it, and there is already quite a lot of discreet muttering in the playground about tutors/extra work and what happens if the children are not prepared.

Our school also not particularly keen on Colyton, but the parents are!

what do you think of the policy of taking GCSEs a year early? Do those with Summer birthdays suffer, since they can be nearly 2 years younger than the normal age for taking these exams?

thetasigmamum Wed 24-Mar-10 11:28:31

I think if your primary doesn't pretty much aim to have finished the curriculum by the end of year 5 then you will have to make sure you have covered the missing topics in maths at home. English should be fine. You should probably also practise some VR beforehand. That's the crucial component really.

Have you considered also applying to whichever of the Torquay grammars would be the right one for your child? My child and best friend applied to both, last year, and did both exams. My child (and another one we now know who came from a different (state) primary) both got in to Colyton - my child's best friend didn't get into Colyton but did get into Torquay. Because the way the system works is that you go to the highest school on your list you qualify for, it didn't make a difference to that child that Torquay was only second place on their list.

So far the accelerated workload doesn't seem to be an issue at all. Maybe it will be in the future. My child is a summer birth but currently is doing very well. The idea that they have a lot of homework is a total myth. They don't. What I think they do have though is very productive lessons - there is no faffing around in class, it's heads down and LEARN from kickoff.

sloppyjoppy Wed 24-Mar-10 15:27:04

Thanks again for this tsm.

We hadn't considered Torquay, because we live in East Devon, not that far from the border with Somerset. Torquay is well over an hour away (I don't think there's a coach that goes from near here to the school, but will check).

Have now bought some Bond books...

Don't favour the 11Plus tutor route very much, but the questions in the sample papers seem to have a very different focus to the national curriculum and certainly seem to be much harder than the year 6 SATS that I have seen and my child has already tried.

I fear I may need to spend a good few hours/months "familiarising" my daughter with the format/content!

westiefan Fri 09-Apr-10 13:06:56

Plenty of children get into Colyton Grammar from state primaries - more so than the private sector from what I can gather. I know of at least three primary schools in my area that usually have a good record of children passing the 11+ and gaining a place. Out of the six children that took it my son's year - three passed (including my son).

abgirl Fri 30-Apr-10 14:52:00

I went to Colyon (many many moons ago) and there was always a good proportion of students from state primary schools. tbh the stuff about making weaker students sit at sidmouth is tosh - I now work for an exam baord and it just wouldn't be possible.

abgirl Fri 30-Apr-10 14:52:29

ha ha ha board not baord!!!

sloppyjoppy Tue 19-Oct-10 13:39:17

Well, it's nearly time for the Big Test.

DC is fed up waiting to take it, and so am I, on her behalf!

Anyone else out there?

Yellowstone Wed 03-Nov-10 11:04:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sloppyjoppy Tue 09-Nov-10 13:40:09

Thanks for this Yellowstone - all of the children that I know at Colyton went from state primaries and I suspect only a handful go from private schools.

Don't know about tutoring/hothousing but suspect that quite a few of those that I know got in did have quite a bit of extra help.

Our daughter practised various 11 plus exam papers and we have gone over a few of the more difficult concepts covered in the papers, such as algebra, which have not (yet) been covered by our daughter's school.

Can't say any of us thought the test was fun (!) though my daughter was excited, then exhausted afterwards.

As we drove slowly up to the school (and then experienced the chaos of pick up) it did occur to us that 4 out of every 5 cars at the school then will never return after November....

That's quite a scary thought, so it's lucky our local comprehensive has such a good reputation.

darcymum Tue 09-Nov-10 14:01:44

Isn't West Hill the biggest feeder school for Colyton? That's a state school, although as I understand it they work with the intention of getting as many of their children into Colyton.

sloppyjoppy Tue 09-Nov-10 16:42:06

oh my - if only we'd known!

Unfortunately, there are no "feeder" schools to Colyton - the sole criterion for admission is ranking, the top 120 get a place and that's that.

This is regardless of the primary school they attend: there is no catchment area. Theoretically, you can take the exam and live in Scotland, then get in, and move down to within commuting distance.

Think it also very unlikely that any state school has the intention of getting their pupils into Colyton - although I'm sure it would be an accolade if lots did get in from any one year.

CardyMow Tue 09-Nov-10 22:05:06

Erm - my Y4 8yo DS1 has covered mean,mode and average as part of his extension work. In a state primary. He has also done simple algebra, can do square roots and squares, don't all state primaries give stuff like this as extension work for dc that need it? confused. Especially in areas where thse dc may be trying for GS?

Tikitikitembo Wed 10-Nov-10 10:26:04

My dd has covered those subjects in primary as well. However, it is not the case that any state primary does anything to help with grammar entry. They are not supposed to anyway. In some areas where there are lots of grammar schools at secondary level children may be given a past paper to look at. The children are not prepped for the exam in the same way as in private school even in these areas.

Most private schools have a verbal reasoning exam as part of the secondary entrace exam. Therefore, if you are in a private junior school you will being prepped for this kind of question all the time. These children have a greater chance of passing the 11 plus than state school children with no tutor. Sad but true. Colyton does have a high proportion of private school kids entering each year.

sloppyjoppy Wed 10-Nov-10 18:29:53

Well loudlass, I would think that the type of work that your child is getting is quite unusual.

My younger child is also in class 4, is also in the top "set", and was at level 4 in her SATS rating at the end of class 3.

However, she is not working on any algebra unless you consider the really simple stuff like 9=x+4,(in some of the mental maths she does). She certainly hasn't learnt about modes/means/medians or square roots, so I think that your school must have some maths whizzes in it!

Almost half of my elder child's class is sitting the Colyton exam, but the school is not allowed to provide extra support to them - it is left to us, if we think it to be necessary, but is generally discouraged.

Yellowstone Mon 29-Nov-10 22:02:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PinkElephantsOnParade Tue 30-Nov-10 09:53:15

At our local grammar there were 1400 applicants for 120 places, as there is no set catchment area.

That is scary. And a lot of the successful applicants are from private preps.

Those from state primary tend to have years of tutoring at £35 an hour.

Very few take the test without paying for outside preparation, though I do know of some who have done this successfully.

So in this case the entrance test DOES test how much money your parents have spare.

I think it is very wrong for this to be the case for a publicly funded school, but it IS the case.

Tikiinasantahat Tue 30-Nov-10 11:17:22

Yellowstone. Colyton are happy to tell people what percentage of pupils came from private schools. I was told at an open day. If you consider that only 7% of children are privately educated, anything above that level is too high. It is way above that level. I am not blaming the school they run everything perfectly fairly. It is the system that is not fair. The school also claim that many children have told them that they were not tutored. However, I know lot of parents who have told their children to lie about this, so that is irrelevant.

sloppyjoppy Tue 30-Nov-10 17:39:14

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

PinkElephantsOnParade Tue 30-Nov-10 23:59:50

Round here the other grammars all have catchment areas (which we are outside), hence the massive numbers going for our local grammar which is the only one with no catchment area.

The test is therefore insanely stressful and a complete lottery.

Actually, it annoys me that in this LEA there is a serious shortage of secondary places, yet the LEA is funding a grammar which benefits so few local kids.

Kids commute in to this school from 20 miles away or more. It is insane.

Notevenamouse Wed 01-Dec-10 11:17:26

The catchment area thing is insane. I have a friend who can see her local grammar from her house but her son didn't get in. He was G and T and vey bright BTW no tutor they couldn't afford it. However, families get in from london all the time and then buy a place as a term time base for the child. It is ridiculous. Meanwhile her child has to take a long bus journey to a sink comp. Then the london crowd wonder why the locals are pissy with them in the greengrocers. Its bloody outrageous thats why. They also have the nerve to go on about how "cheap little second properties down this way are" when local newly weds can't afford a mortgage. angry

GiddyPickle Thu 02-Dec-10 14:53:44

We also have no catchment areas and the situation where children in our local area lose out on Grammar School places (and are allocated schools 5 miles+) to children who beat them by as little as 1 or 2 percentage points travel but who live upto 30 miles away.

And that's not because local children are stupid. Its because for every 10 children who take the test only 1 will get a place, its because there is very little to choose from between those who get a place and those who don't (nobody even bothers sitting the test unless they are predicted all level 5's so all the kids who take the test are the brightest in their schools) and its because independent schools get doubly expensive at secondary school level so prep school parents treat the prep schools as money well spent for an increased chance of a free Grammar School place.

Notevenamouse Thu 02-Dec-10 15:58:02

I think they should at least have a county catchment area its ridiculous.

Notevenamouse Thu 02-Dec-10 16:02:32

"not because local children are stupid" agreed i hear the pass mark is a score of 97% in many schools, so if you get 96% you don't get in. Utterly insane.

GiddyPickle Thu 02-Dec-10 16:22:33

Notevenamouse - that is my objection too. The situation exists where a child living within 0.5 miles of a Grammar School gets 95% in the test and does not get a place or even feature on the waiting list at a high enough position to stand a chance.

Whereas a child who lives 25 miles away (and who would need to catch two trains and a bus to get to the school) gets 97% and wins a place.

Both of those children are Grammar School material. Both of them would benefit equally but instead both of them are condemned to 1.5 hour school journeys every day and one of them will end up in a sink school in a neighbouring borough whereas the other one's travel will at least result in a decent school place. And all of this on the judegment of one day of exams where on any other day their respective percentage scores could easily have been reversed since they are of almost identical ability.

Often people say "if your child isn't of selective ability........" but the fact is that over 1000 children of selctive ability apply to these schools (nobody on less than level 5's even sits the test) yet only 100 or so live locally and living locally gives no advantage.

Notevenamouse Thu 02-Dec-10 19:52:05

Indeed, all the schools I know of tell children not to even sit the test unless they are G and T or level five or above. Grammar schools are not what they used to be.

SomersetScrumpy Tue 04-Jan-11 12:07:57


Just thought you might like a first hand view of my son's experience of applying for Colyton Grammar School in East Devon. This is an honest no nonsense view of our opinion, as there is a lot of rubbish, rumour and heresay on this site.

My DS sat the entrance exam for Colyton in November 2009. He gained a place and started Year 7 in September 2010. Prior to attending Colyton Grammar, he went to an Independent fee paying school, but was in a state primary before that, where he was put in a gifted group with several other pupils in his class, all doing extension work. At independent school, he was placed in top sets for everything, and stayed in top sets, as well as being selected for the scholar's class.

My circumstances changed and I had no support, and so, although we could not really afford it, we moved him to the fee paying school for the pre and after school care, as we were running our own business and state Primary couldn't provide this.

As his mum, I tutored him at home,for nearly two years prior to the exam, using the mixed Bond paper packs from WHSmith in English, Maths and Verbal Reasoning. Our DS consistently got around 90% for these tests. We did NOT have a private tutor. He was not tutored by his independent school, as they would not have had a vested interest in doing so; being in the top two / three pupils in his year group, they wanted him to stay and go onto their senior school. We were actively discouraged from applying to Colyton Grammar, and were told that no one so far from the school had managed to pass the 11 plus to gain a place! That made my DS want to go to Colyton even more, just to be the first to get in!

My DS is bright, and got a silver, one mark off a gold in the Maths Challenge in Year 6, came top, getting 100% in both final Year 6 Maths exams. He was bored at his independent school, as he didn't feel that the work was challenging him enough, and with a few exceptions, his peers were generally not at the same standard academically, and so he was frustrated as he had no peer group to "bounce off" academically. Our experience of independent schooling is that, (like the state sector), there are a good percentage of disruptive pupils who do not want to learn, who are only there due to their parents ability to pay, not because their parents are passionate about education.

Our advice is that education begins at home. I am sure that if there were to be research into this, the single most important factor would be good sound parental support at home. I believe that our DS is very happy and in his position at Colyton, not just because of innate ability, but because of his up bringing; knowing the parameters and being loved, nurtured and cared for, teaching your child effective time management, getting into good routines, how to be organised, being organised yourselves as parents, and making sure that your children are brought up in a calm and happy environment. Knowing when to say "No" to your child and guiding them is also important. Sleep is important and routine bedtimes have always been a feature on school nights. Our DS comes home from school, has his supper, and goes upstairs to have a shower and get changed immediately after. He then goes into his bedroom, and does his homework in a relaxed and quiet environment with no distractions. He has had a study desk and lamp in his bedroom which he has had for 2 years and this has proved essential. Once homework is done he gets into PJ's and has leisure time before bed. Hot chocolate and snack, and in bed by 8 ish for reading, then lights out at 8.30pm. Our routine seems to work! Our DS needs 10 hours to be happy and effective in academics, sport, music etc, otherwise does not enjoy life and get 100% out of it.

My DS absolutely loves Colyton. He enjoys the lessons, the homework and has made some absolutely fantastic freinds. He feels that it is not a hot house environment, and most of his freinds and contemporaries are predominantly from state schools, and not from private. He much prefers Colyton Grammar to the private independent he attended before, for many reasons. At Colyton, a lot more progress is made as there are brighter children, and therefore with less distractions as pupils generally want to learn. He says the work is more challenging and therefore more interesting, but not hard, and he learns much more in one lesson at Colyton than he did in several lessons at his previous independent. The teachers are really good and make lessons exciting and learning fun, you are never bored!! They expect a lot of you in terms of attitude and commitment, so that expectation means that it is inevitable that good results will follow. The teachers are not afraid to advance you, and teach you more than the curriculum suggests, if you have finished the work that is provided in class.

The sport is really good, and so is the music. There are endless lunchtime clubs, academic, sporting etc.

Many of the parents are proffessionals and academics, (and many are not!), but all are very freindly, approachable, down to earth normal people who have chosen to send their children to a state selective school.

Don't listen to all the rumours, which come mainly from people who have, unfortunately, either not managed to get their children into Colyton, or those who, for various reasons, decided not to apply.

If you are considering Colyton for your child, give it a go, don't be in awe, as it is a wonderful and down to earth school. You may be pleasantly surprised, just have the confidence to "go for it!" I get the impression that it's often the parents, more than the children that are worried about applying.

Gook Luck!

KindleTheSky Tue 04-Jan-11 14:08:57

So basically you are saying it is true and that you do really need to go to a private Prep school to get into Colyton. In addition you need to home tutor for two years even if your child is gifted.

thetasigmamum Tue 04-Jan-11 14:25:11

My DD is in year 8 at Colyton now, we didn't tutor or home tutor (no time, too many music lessons and too many other children!), and she went to a state primary school. I wouldn't say SomersetScrumpy's experience was typical (especially not the bedtime thing. Since we live some distance from Colyton and the school bus is often erratic, DD often doesn't get home from school till well after 5 and two nights a week she has music lessons which mean she doesn't get home till nearly 7).

Where I would agree with Somersetscrumpy is that the school is excellent, and certainly all the kids I know there (my daughter's friends) are not finding it difficult or a hothouse.

kayah Tue 04-Jan-11 14:25:29

I just looked up modes, medians and average

and according to bbc website is on curriculum for ks2 median_mean/play.shtml

bar charts, handling data should be covered in primary school
some do it in science though not in maths...

sitting exams is a lot about technique

I don't know if you have English as a part of exam - if yo udo I recommend a good start is to get 2 books by David Malindine

the first two on the page

practicing story writing is about your child being able to write of top of their head a sstory or express their oppinion
those 2 fairly cheap books will allow you to get familiar with variety of possible topics and types of writing

I can go on and on about 11+ preparation - 2 kids gone through it recently, but in London/Surrey area

KindleTheSky Tue 04-Jan-11 14:45:08

They are on the curriculum but many schools don't teach them until year six. Grammar exams are often taken in September of year six before this is taught.

SomersetScrumpy Tue 04-Jan-11 16:35:56

No I'm not saying that KindleTheSky; Apologies if I sound patronising, not meant to be! - If you read again, I have said that the majority of my son's freinds are from ex state school primaries, with only a few from private/independents.

As I explained, If my circumstances hadn't changed, if my Mother hadn't passed away, our DS would not have gone to independent school, but stayed in the state system. Teachers told us that our DS is the kind of child who would have passed the 11 plus whichever school he had come from. As a parent I wanted to increase the chance of him getting in by making sure he covered everything, and was familiar with anything he should come up against. We have four sons, two of whom are currently at university and our third in A2 will go to uni in September, and so our resources are severely stretched, and we knew we could not afford to carry on paying school fees.

Regardless of what you think, there will be parents out there for whom my opinions help and inform rather than patronise.

In reply to thetasigmamum, I agree that the bed time thing is sadly not typical as children do not seem to have adequate sleep anymore. Talking to many parents there seems to be a pattern that we have noticed, in that those who have routine bedtimes and adequate sleep on school nights at least tend to perform far better academically and on the sports field and get far better results than those that don't, that's all. Just our personal observations!

Over the years, bringing up 4 sons, running our business from home whilst renovating our property hasn't come easy with no help from family / grand parents, but we have still managed to help in the education of our children at home. We live a considerable distance from Colyton, but still manage to fit it all in, out of school music lessons, drama and sports clubs x 4 children! - looking back, I don't know how we've done it! But it has worked for us and our family, so just want to share it - if it benefits others it is worth it.

thetasigmamum Tue 04-Jan-11 17:42:49

SomersetScrumpy well, you clearly haven't talked to every Colyton parent since you haven't talked to me or any of the parents of my DDs friends none of whom go to bed at 8:30 (I'm not saying I don't think that would be a good idea, tbh, given the time she has to get up for the bus in the morning, but what with the music practice (she learns 5 instruments including voice) and the homework (for some reason her class never gets a balanced spread of HW, some nights they have none some nights they have 3 subjects)and the music lessons, it is never going to happen.

While it certainly wouldn't be impossible for my child to perform better academically - she doesn't get 100% in everything by a long chalk - she's doing 'fantastically' (in Colyton terms) so clearly whatever draconian measures are necessary for one child to do well isn't necessary for another one.

I honestly think posting messages implying the to do well at Colyton kids need to be in bed by 8:30 every night is just really unhelpful.

KindleTheSky Tue 04-Jan-11 18:16:39

5 instruments including voice ! The girl is super human, my goodness.

SomersetScrumpy Tue 04-Jan-11 18:24:30

thetasigmamum, no I haven't but I'm not referring to Colyton parents exclusively, but parents from many different schools whom i know and have met. I'm not implying either that to do well a child has to be in bed every night at 8.30pm! My experiences and observations are mine alone, and are obviously not meant for readers who make sweeping assumptions. The reason why I have posted on this site is to give others my perspective and I'm quite entitled to do that.

EdgarAleNPie Tue 04-Jan-11 18:43:30

i thought this was about The Archers.

as you were.

thetasigmamum Tue 04-Jan-11 18:44:01

Kindle - nah, she just likes music! grin She wants to go to a conservatoire and make it her career although obviously she is only 12 so who knows what will happen in the future. I think she is being a bit ambitious in her dreams tbh but she is super keen so as long as it doesn't impact on her school work and as long as I can afford the lessons I'm happy to let it go on. I'm a musician (although not professional) so I understand the tug it can have on you....

SomersetScrumpy - I didn't mean to imply that you weren't entitled to give your perspective, I'm sorry if you thought I was doing that, however you did make some sweeping statements about:

'....those who have routine bedtimes and adequate sleep on school nights at least tend to perform far better academically and on the sports field and get far better results than those that don't'

And while I don't necessarily disagree with the 'adequate sleep' thing I do disagree with the implication that a draconian bedtime regime is necessary to 'get far better results'. My daughter tends to 'get far better results' than most and she does not have what I could even begin to describe as a routine bedtime. I'm not saying this is good or even laudable, I wish she did go to sleep earlier but there you go. My concern is only to put my perspective and contrast it with yours, since I think it would be unfortunate if parents were put off applying for schools like Colyton if they thought the only way for a child to do well there and be happy was to be the sort of child that goes to bed at 8:30 each night, that is all.

KindleTheSky Tue 04-Jan-11 19:01:28

Well good luck to her, I hope she makes it. With that kind of dedication I would be surprised ir she didn't !

Yellowstone Thu 06-Jan-11 23:48:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rubyshoesblue Mon 17-Jan-11 21:01:41

I am having quite a giggle reading all these myths about Colyton, I have 2 children there, normal, bright children, who came from a very small local primary school, had no cramming ( I firmly believe children should be able to be comfortable within their own abilities and therefore should not then struggle at a school after being tutored to get in, in fact Colyton actively discourage parents and ask them not to tutor)
It is not a hothouse for children, it is the most relaxed school i have ever been to, the support within the school is second to none, in all respects, and the broad spectrum of children attending, give a lovely mix of friends! If your child is lucky enough to get a place, you can relax, and let them enjoy it!!

Yellowstone Wed 19-Jan-11 12:29:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sloppyjoppy Tue 01-Mar-11 21:51:11

Well it didn't put us off and our DD has just got a place at Colyton - so see you there in September!

Sportsmum Wed 02-Mar-11 09:38:47

I do have to have a giggle when I read some of the comments regarding private prep schools and grammar schools - as well as the age old - tutor or be damned! The argument regarding prep school kids being prepared for GS entrance may be true in some areas, ie certain Bucks schools, but for NW London - certainly not. NW London p schools are geared solely for the Indies. GS = dirty word!

As for tutoring - too many kids are tutored to take the exams and then come a cropper once they're in they start to struggle. I have seen it so many times.

For all those of you that have successfully achieved places for your kids congratulations and to those of you that were not so lucky I send my commiserations. I hope you all find the right places for your DCs. It's hard - I remember it well.

kitchensync Wed 02-Mar-11 10:49:38

sloppyjoppy mine is in as well, see you there. Congratulations.

Betsy8 Mon 20-Jun-11 21:09:22

actually your kids have to be in the top 30% of 'bright' to pass the private school entry exams in the first place so it is a given that they will probably pass the 11+ too. At least private schools offer subsidised places to bright kids from low income families, try getting tuition fee assistance from a grammar who will lie through its teeth and say you don't need it!!!

Fairley Mon 20-Jun-11 22:47:29

ruby says what I would have said had I got there first Betsy.

Your evidence that the Headteacher is 'lying through his teeth'?

Do you have a child or children at this school?

Or are you just anti-grammar and pro-indie?

Jux Mon 20-Jun-11 23:27:26

Congrats to those of you whose children got a place (and to the children themselves, of course).

DD didn't get a place ay Colyton, but has gone to Woodroffe, just over the border. It's a lovely school, and she's happy there; they've said she's one of the brightest in her year. We're relieved as she has been very badly stressed due to ghastly circumstances; the teachers have been great, and I was provided with a family support officer, as I was beginning to go under too. While I fully accept that Colyton is a better school, I am delighted with Woodroffe, and not just academically. I won't lie, though, I do have a tiny little pang that dd is not at Colyton, but also shrug philosophically - 'twas clearly not to be.

I'm sure your children will do well; good luck, and I'll raise a virtual glass to academia! wine

Capiche Mon 20-Jun-11 23:31:43

colyton has disappeared up its own jacksy
'tis only a grammar school - top 25% of cohort - what's the big deal?

Betsy8 Tue 21-Jun-11 00:19:28

Fairley I have two relations at Colyton and both came from the state sector. It is a great school and they enjoy it very much. However, it has been confirmed to me by a lot of Colyton parents (via my family) that if you want to pass the entrance exam you should get tuition. This is because of the 'verbal reasoning' I believe, might have got that wrong! Ruby has a lovely attitude but from what I have heard it is a minority, as most parents seem to be highly anxious and whipping themselves into a bit of a frenzy about it all. You don't 'have to' tutor your kids, no, but as so many parents do it raises the bar out of reach for most (not all Ruby) children who take the entrance without this advantage. I am pro-grammar but when I was younger everyone had a shot at it and that was just straight from your own school - I was state educated - and tutoring didn't exist and if it had my parents would not have been able to afford it. I think its a shame that it doesn't seem to be such a level playing field anymore, in that respect. Grammars can't tell people that they must have tutoring because it defeats the whole object of the system, but the truth is that an awful lot of children are tutored for a year or two before sitting the entrance. I just think that for anyone who can't afford the tutoring, this is an unfair advantage.

duchesse Tue 21-Jun-11 00:28:26

All three of mine failed to get in.

Child 1 subsequently achieved 2 A*, 5 As, 2 Bs and C without expending much energy, and is in top 2% of the ability range.

Child 2 is set for 10 As and A* and is in the top 5% of the ability range.

Too early to tell for Child 3 yet but she's also in the top 2% and doing very well at school, about to start GCSEs next year. Got full marks at the non-verbal reasoning for the Maynard. (ie 139+)

I think that Colyton likes a particular type of learner- it's not just about intelligence or achievement. I think they quite favour more compliant DC. Which would be where 2/3 of mine failed.

<meh> Has cost us a fortune but hey...

duchesse Tue 21-Jun-11 00:31:22

ps: your friend is wrong I think about the state/private school intake. The state schools around here seem to send two or three each per year to CGS. There are so few private schools left in Devon anyway- most smaller private schools have shut down in the last 5 years. fwiw ours were at private. I know DC who are there who have been at private, but most at state primaries.

Fairley Tue 21-Jun-11 08:05:36

duchesse how do you think the school assesses 'compliance' in the tests!!!! The school is brimming over with clever sparky students. My own are deeply uncompliant, couldn't be more uncompliant if they tried. I don't think you can justify yours not getting in on that basis, it must have been something else (or perhaps they all had a bad day).

Betsy your information is very indirect and very weak. I think parents such as ruby and me probably have a better handle on what's required than people whose children haven't got in or who rely on chinese whispers to slag of a school they have no connection with! You're wrong on the tutoring front, mine weren't and neither were most of their friends.

Maybe Capiche has loads of DC there, she didn't say.

beechbabe Tue 21-Jun-11 08:20:29

Jux you're needed on the Woodroffe thread!

Agree about people without kids at the school sounding off about it. Half the time they haven't a clue. Not many private school kids at the school: less than 10%.

oakman Tue 21-Jun-11 09:03:40

beechbebe I totally agree that a lot of parents without DC at Colyton seem to know more about the statistic regarding the origins of where the children come from, if they were tutored or not etc,etc,etc than the parents with children there. I have never read another thread about another grammar that causes so much underlined anger towards a, the school or b, the successful pupils as the ones relating to CGS., I had a thread removed a few weeks ago due to a controversial poster. I don't know what the problem is with some people who find it hard to celebrate in others success, we need to take a leaf out of the American's book.

Jux Tue 21-Jun-11 09:11:20

Thanks for the heads up, beechbabe

Betsy8 Tue 21-Jun-11 13:53:44

Fairley if this particular forum was only posted by people who are already in the school it would defeat the object. There are parents out there who are very daunted by the grammar system who hear stories as I have from my own family about it being very competitive. They worry about putting their children through undue stress and loss of self esteem if, unlike yours, they don't get in. These are all issues that people like me who have children coming up to grammar school age are interested in. Why can't we share what we have heard on the grapevine? We probably are voicing are worries so that nice folk like you can come along and dampen them, which is good. Keep reassuring us that we are wrong but please do it in a polite fashion!

Fairley Tue 21-Jun-11 14:40:50

Betsy I was at a loss as to why someone with no apparent connection to the school would revive a very old thread to make a pretty off the wall criticism of Colyton, namely the social iniquity of the school failing to offer bursaries for tuition which you claim to know is essential to passing the test. The accusation that the HT is 'lying through his teeth' when he says tutoring is not required is quite a big accusation and not very prettily phrased.

I understand now that you might be considering the school for your own children, despite it's gross moral turpitude. I admire your flexibilty.

I'm sure that current parents would be very happy to share what info we can, but it's just so odd that those without children there or whose children haven't passed the test are rarely positive and far too often are extremely negative.

Betsy8 Tue 21-Jun-11 14:50:53

Yes. I am sure you are right Fairley. Turpitude is a great word and it has cheered me up just hearing it. I am off to dead-head my lupins.

duchesse Tue 21-Jun-11 23:58:35

Fairley- pretty unlikely they all had a bad day on three separate days years apart... They went (untutored) to the entrance exam, they failed to get in. Simples.

Child 1 and Child 3 were flatly refused. The only one who stood even an outside chance of getting in after the exam was middle child currently on course for 10A/A*. They asked to see her exercise books. She also failed to get in.

Tbh it would have been worse if one had got in and the others not because we'd have had a massive holiday date clash.

beechbabe Wed 22-Jun-11 00:08:54

I'm not quite sure what your point is duchesse. You think all three missed a place because they weren't tutored? Bad day is a better excuse.

And I'm curious to know how you can say categorically that each is in the top X% ability range despite their exam results not measuring up.

This site gets woolier each time I log on.

duchesse Wed 22-Jun-11 00:30:44

They've taken a number of ability/IQ type tests over the years. At the school they went to, there were a number of children with SEN who needed these tests administered for various reasons, mostly to do with entry into another school. The head of their wonderful school refused to administer such tests to isolated children so as not to stigmatise them so he made the whole class take them each time he was called upon to do so. This is what I am basing my statement of their abilities (along with my knowledge of the ability range as a former teacher) combined with their non-verbal reasoning papers for entry into their current schools, on which they all scored extremely highly.

I'm just saying that pure ability does not appear to be the only selection criterion, which arguably it should be so as not to disadvantage children who've had a poor primary experience. This happens even at college level in the States, no reason why it can't be implemented for 11+. It would also remove the need some people feel to have their children tutored heavily to get into grammar school (all of them, not just CGS).

duchesse Wed 22-Jun-11 00:32:44

And O-Kaay about their "exam results not measuring". Shall we just say they're doing being "well" and "extremely well" in their current schools at national exams and leave it at that? Plus doing a shed-load of extracurricular stuff.

beechbabe Wed 22-Jun-11 08:28:32

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duchesse Wed 22-Jun-11 09:33:32

<feels like she is going around in circles beating her head against a brick wall>

duchesse Wed 22-Jun-11 09:35:06

Hm, yes, the Maynard and Exeter School, well known for their gentler pace and more nurturing teaching methods...

beechbabe Wed 22-Jun-11 09:49:04

If you mean not convincing someone in possession of the facts that white is black then yes, you've hit a brick wall (why are you circling too?).


1. The tests test ability, not compliance or anything else (love this idea of non-compliance).

2. Able students get in without tutoring.

3. Any student in the top 2% of the ability range should get in to CGS without any problem at all.

4. Any student in the top 2% of the ability range should flourish with reams of A* at GCSE, unless their school is particularly challenged or unless the student has particular problems of his or her own.

duchesse Wed 22-Jun-11 10:21:21

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oakman Wed 22-Jun-11 10:38:11

That suggests that you place more importance on a parents point of view than if that school is or isn't right for your children.

beechbabe Wed 22-Jun-11 11:04:53

duchesse perhaps those CGS parents that you do know get irritated by your irritating comments about a school you really don't know.

They aren't overhelmingly pathologically competitive. They probably don't need to be on the whole.

duchesse Wed 22-Jun-11 11:22:32

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beechbabe Wed 22-Jun-11 11:37:16

My 'attitude'? Correcting the baseless things being said by a non-parent who appears to have an axe to grind? You claimed something about the entrance test which was wholly incorrect (that the school tests for things other than ability and that's why your three didn't get in).

Prospective parents need to hear it as it is, not a parent's retrospective justification purporting to account for why her children didn't get in.

There are probably enough places each year for those children for whom it's the right school. No doubt there are a few hard cases, but I doubt they amount to a lot.

student94 Wed 22-Jun-11 14:26:52

Dear the users of Mumsnet,

Just wanted to clear up a few rumours that have been going round on this post - more students at colyton come from state primary schools, and actually very few join from the private sector.
Also, the tests are designed to test the ability of each individual regardless of how much practise they have done - the papers are written specifically for the exam so different levels of preparation do not help you to answer the questions.

As students here at Colyton, we had absolutely no preparation at all and so all this talk about 'hothousing' students is complete and utter nonsense. JollyPirate, you say that "as far as I am aware the pressure is on right from the word go once the child starts the school", this is so not true - yes, the teachers want to challenge you but students at the school want to learn. Also, the pressure does not come from the school, its pressure we put on ourselves because WE want to do well.

Personally, we feel that you should not prejudice the school from what some people have been saying on here - it is a very friendly environment and everyone seems happy here.

In addition, the people who have been saying that 'most other CGS parents I encounter make me glad mine didn't get in', must have met the anomalies. Many parents are involved in the Parent's Association which has just helped to raise in excess of £20,000 for a new Music block, and are constantly supporting the school. Just thought we'd let you know...

GeraldineQ Wed 22-Jun-11 15:15:28

I can't help but disagree with many comments on this page. A lot of what many of you are saying is based on hearsay from other parents. Surely we shouldn't still be relying on chinese whispers at our age? I have had two of my children attend this school and they both attended state primary schools beforehand plus the vast majority of their friends also came from state primaries.

I believe the thing to remember is that private schools do prepare children a lot more for it after all that's what they're essentially paid to do. The school is extremely keen on disparaging any rumours that it accepts students based on their primary education. If your child is one of the hundred-and-twenty brightest students who take the test then they will get in regardless of where they were previously educated.

Furthermore, the school may push the children but that is because they have proved from the 11+ that they are capable of achieving good grades. Why not let your child be the best they can be?

Also, every school has those sorts of parents that you wish you'd never met. That's just life.

Finally, I just want to say that both my children have thoroughly enjoyed their time at Colyton. They fitted in well when I doubt they would have in other comprehensive schools. They've made friends I'm sure they will keep for a long time and achieved good grades as a result of excellent teaching, support and determination on their part as well. They worked hard and are now reaping the benefits but most importantly I don't think it is my husband and I that are most proud of my children but them themselves because they are the best they can be.

chooocolatefiend Wed 22-Jun-11 22:31:34

Have to say that I agree completely with student94 and GeraldineQ - the rumours were probably spread by those who know little of the school!

oakman Wed 22-Jun-11 22:46:58

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duchesse Wed 22-Jun-11 22:49:44


Fairley Wed 22-Jun-11 22:57:10

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Fairley Wed 22-Jun-11 23:25:52

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thetasigmamum Wed 22-Jun-11 23:26:23

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Fairley Wed 22-Jun-11 23:35:47

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Capiche Thu 23-Jun-11 00:43:10

not sure where top 2% comes into this
colyton quote top 25% of cohort ie not all geniuses

beechbabe Thu 23-Jun-11 08:18:20

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Capiche Thu 23-Jun-11 20:24:33

Competitive parenting gone mad

beechbabe Thu 23-Jun-11 22:29:31

Tell us about it! Bizarre! Why would anyone get into that detail!

But you seem very negative about the school Capiche, do you have kids there? What's your take?

student130 Thu 23-Jun-11 22:48:59

I am a student at Colyton too now in year 12. I'd just like to point out none of my friends or anyone in my whole year went to a private school. Everyone I know at Colyton went to a state school. I also only know of 3 people who received any tutoring prior to the 11+. The pressure is not intense. There is as much pressure as you as a student want there to be depending on the sort of results you want at the end of the day. People are listening to rumors too much.

Capiche Thu 23-Jun-11 22:54:31

at my kids grammar 90% kids tutored - so that's odd

oakman Thu 23-Jun-11 23:02:35

Some things are done differently in Devon!

Capiche Fri 24-Jun-11 00:15:35

for the better it seems

oakman Fri 24-Jun-11 00:22:18

Which Grammar is your DC at?

beechbabe Fri 24-Jun-11 08:52:28

Capiche lives up North in an area with good schools, so it's fairly easy to hazard a guess.

Obviously, she's well placed up there to make derogatory claims that 'Colyton has disappeared up it's own jacksy'. And to be cynical about how many Colyton students are tutored.

The problem is simply the school's success, that's what prompts these comments.

thetasigmamum Fri 24-Jun-11 10:01:56

And also, of course, the fact that entrance to the school cannot be bought. Which gets right up the noses of those who habitually expect to buy privilege.

Capiche Fri 24-Jun-11 10:04:09

No it's not beech! Its my personal experience of colyton so meh to your agatha christies

thetasigmamum Fri 24-Jun-11 10:10:46

Capiche, if you live up north how do you have a personal experience of Colyton? Or is beechbabe wrong about where you live?

beechbabe Fri 24-Jun-11 10:37:40

Capiche it doesn't require a sleuth to tap in your name on the search function!

You live up North in an area with good schools (Up North thread), have only one DC living at home (SAHM thread) who appears to be two years old (Washing thread) yet you also have a fairly indolent DD taking GCSE's (GCSE thread) and an extremely hard working DS at Cambridge (Oxbridge thread).

One can draw lots of conclusions from this.

If you do have personal experience of Colyton, does that include ever having been a parent at the school? You seem wonderfully coy about this.

rosar Fri 24-Jun-11 12:26:39

Since parents guide a child's values, it follows that Colyton must have children very similar in kind to the parents posting here.

I was fascinated by this school of geniuses, but a few clicks onto the FT 2011 list shows that in its best year ever it crawled up to 50th place, and only the 9th best grammar in the country. Perhaps it tops the league for bullies?

<<Don't normally post but the nastiness of this thread has moved me>>

thetasigmamum Fri 24-Jun-11 12:57:30

That FT list doesn't just consider exam results. The BBC list for 2010 has Colyton as the 5th Grammar school (based purely on points) for A levels and the 3rd for GCSE.

Crucially of course, the results Colyton gets are significantly better than the extremely expensive private schools in the area which is the source of the animosity.

I think most people would be annoyed to see people continually making untrue statements about something of which they clearly have no firsthand knowledge. Colyton is a great school with happy pupils, that's the bottom line. It is the people who continually peddle the lie that it is a dreadful hothouse where everyone is unhappy and stressed out and the entrance tests are fiddled anyway to let only 'compliant' children in who are the ones who should be criticised. Not the people who are just trying to set the record straight.

As it happens, I wouldn't be fussed if Colyton was 'just' the 9th best grammar school in the country. It would still be a great school, which is perfect for my DD. And she would still be very very happy there.

rosar Fri 24-Jun-11 13:11:43

Everyone leaves school/university at some point. So enjoy whatever it is that moves you to hound others while you can.

oakman Fri 24-Jun-11 13:28:21

Its only parents who do not have first hand knowledge of the school but porport to know so much and continue to peddle myth and untruth on this site about Colyton who have been hounded and rightly so.

thetasigmamum Fri 24-Jun-11 13:31:39

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beechbabe Fri 24-Jun-11 13:33:12

What's a sock puppet theta?

beechbabe Fri 24-Jun-11 14:44:43

Thanks for the PM theta. That explains why those two snippy posts popped up out of the blue.

Capiche are you going to tell us if and when you were a parent and what made you have a downer on the school?

So far the thread has a clear divide between parents of CGS students and CGS students themselves, all of whom seem very positive about their experience, and parents without kids at the school, almost all of whom are very negative.

I may be wrong about this, and I'm not a league table junkie, but isn't Colyton's surprisingly low ranking on the FT table to do with the three rather than four A level policy which has been the norm until now? If the school were ranked by last years A*'s at A2 in the core subjects it would be incredibly close to the top. A*'s at A2 are quite an interesting measure of the level of teaching and learning and what these schools and their students achieve.

I agree with oakman and theta that we are very obviously more hounded against than hounding.

oakman Fri 24-Jun-11 15:07:08

Also worth a mention is that the GCSE's have been taken at the end of year10 at Colyton unlike year 11 for most other schools.

thetasigmamum Fri 24-Jun-11 15:13:36

The only important thing really is that the kids are happy, not pressured, not stressed, not hothoused and the test is fair, not skewed. Everything else is just sound and fury signifying nothing. smile

Capiche Fri 24-Jun-11 19:33:03

For a mum you have an awful lot of time on your hands ... However 1dc at home is very very very very very wrong - time to namechange with folks like you analysing my every move

Capiche Fri 24-Jun-11 19:33:26

Sorry that's to beechbabe

beechbabe Fri 24-Jun-11 22:13:10

It took less than three minutes Capiche!

beechbabe Fri 24-Jun-11 22:20:50

Amazing number of posts deleted on this thread, at whose behest I wonder?!!!!

oakman has only just had a whole Colyton thread deleted for the weakest of reasons (a poster failed to name change competently having said some very harsh things so asked for the whole thread to go).

At least this thread has served a purpose: the students and parents at CGS have been positive, mutually supportive and loyal. The negative stuff comes overwhelmingly from outside, which matters far less, provided only that able applicants aren't deterred.

Capiche Fri 24-Jun-11 23:46:10

scary thread

beechbabe Sat 25-Jun-11 09:04:51

A thread consisting of defensive posts against a total of two posters with issues about a school their kids don't attend is hardly scary. There were no offensive posts from those on the defensive, in either sense of the term offensive.

Deploying the search function to see why a poster might hold particular views is hardly scary either - that's what it's there for!

Jux Sun 26-Jun-11 22:11:36

Actually beechbabe it's smacks of stalking. That's why it's a scary thread, because you and oakman don't seem to know how far to go or when to stop. Your enlistment of those I asume are your children is a little infra dig. You could just have asked them and relayed what they said, but to drag them into this is a little low. For all we know you are a pair hairy handed truckers called Dave, but we are polite enough to assume that you are who you say you are.

rosar Sun 26-Jun-11 22:20:15

Brave Jux, brace yourself for being deemed a sock puppet...

beechbabe Sun 26-Jun-11 22:21:21

Jux seems a pretty good egg duchesse.

beechbabe Sun 26-Jun-11 22:56:33

Jux no way on earth would my kids post on MN. I'm not so wet or so needy as to ask for an apology also proof would be quite hard to come by. I know I have the moral high ground and that's sufficient for me.

I believe I know who oakman is too and oakman would not ask a DC to post nor do I think the DC would agree to post (far too non-compliant).

I did however show my elder DC the thread and they immediately linked it to a conversation on fb in which other students said they had posted. What they're doing on MN God only knows. Anyhow, they appeared to be pretty p**d off with duchesse doing them down. She should just let it go.

I frequently see MNers saying they've looked at past posts. Dialling up past posts to see what credibilty a poster might have is eons away from stalking. Stalking is harrassing between threads surely, not pressing the search function to ascertain if a particular poster is merely trying to stir?

I still believe that bona fide parents have every right to challenge a non-parent who slags off a school.

beechbabe Mon 27-Jun-11 08:52:32

Actually Jux my eldest says you should apologise, though not to me and oakman but to the students who care sufficiently about their school to post entirely spontaneously and of their own accord.

I'm more irritated by your post than I was last night and I'm sure that MNHQ would be able to confirm that the student posters have entirely different surnames from my own, if you care to enquire.

The student posts were to their credit, they clearly like their school.

Your post was both unprovoked and offensive, unlike any of mine.

Jux Mon 27-Jun-11 10:05:49

I do apologise to those students. I am sorry and made an assumption that I really shouldn't have made.

HeidiCGS Thu 30-Jun-11 00:44:03

Hi, I just want to add a comment here about Colyton Grammar School (using my mother's account by the way). I'll try and be brief. smile

I am year 11 student at Colyton Grammar, and as it is, no, not everyone is rich and could afford private education, and that is what CGS offers, excellent education to those who are bright, not those who have money. My friend's father works for the school, and no selection is ever made on income, purely academic results in the 11+ exam.

Okay, it is true I had some tutoring for my 11+, but only for 4 sessions, costing about £50 in all, hardly a huge amount. All that is needed to get into CGS is cleverness.

As to doing our GCSEs early, it is a great system. Although it may seem confusing and pushy to non Colytonians, it has helped me have a calm Alevel course so far, letting me do many other activies in and out of school, and Colyton has always supported me in everything I do, be it work experience or homework!

I know that Colyton is a great school, we are in the top 3 in the league tables every year, and top for mixed schools, and yes, you need to be intelligent here. I understand that many parents feel bitter about their child not getting into CGS, but with 3 students applying for every 1 place, you've just got to take into account that your child might not get a place.

So if this is you, please don't spread hate messages about my school, I can tell that they've only been written due to jealousy of other parents whose children have got a place.

For anyone thinking of sending their child to Colyton, my advice would be:
-buy a few past papers and sit down with your child and work through them
-if you can, get a tutor for 3 to 4 sessions, just to get use to how the 11+ works
-look at the website, our grades, what we do etc, get a feel for CGS
-visit us on an open day, or just call and someone will show you around
-and lastly, don't put huge amounts of pressure on your child. Stress does not work, especially for a 10 year old. Always be positive and just put in a few hours with them to talk to them and go through some papers. And if your child doesn't get in, there's still chances in year 8, and 11 to apply to get into Colyton.

I wish all kids doing the 11+ for Colyton Grammar the very best of luck, and I'll finish by saying I'm happy at CGS, I have the best teachers, friends, sites and resources I could ever want, and I'd never swap Colyton for the world. smile

Good luck to all the children taking the test soon, and parents, take some time to go to an open day, all the haters might just be suprised at how normal we all are :P

minibarrister Fri 08-Jul-11 11:45:11

Right, there seem to be an awful lot of myths being pedalled on this board, and primarily they are from people who fit into two categories:

1. People that have tried to get their children into CGS and failed;

2. People that are daunted by the prospect of their child trying and failing to get into CGS.

Now I want to tell you my story, as a past pupil at CGS, I am now entering the final vocational stage as embark on a career as a barrister, a career made possible by the excellent educational foundations at the school.

Firstly I need to point out a few things, I went to a state primary school, my parents didn't have huge amounts of money and I didn't have a tutor, I got in to Colyton after taking home just a small amount of extra homework. My brother on the other hand did have a tutor and he was borderline and didn't get in. So the extra help is by no means imperative. I should also mention that I have dyslexia and dyspraxia but I still thrived, this I attribute to a high IQ and an ability to grasp new topics quickly, it's this that the entry test seems to assess. In fact, the NVR test is not dissimilar to a lot of the on-line IQ tests out there, so perhaps start your child off with one of them.

Above all, CGS is selective and it will take the brightest students, now of course education will have a part to play however I found that a great deal of my friends were just naturally gifted. As a parent you're naturally biased towards your children's abilities but with only a quarter of children making the grade so to speak, it is possible that 50-75% of the parents are misguided. That's not to say their children aren't intelligent, but perhaps they are not as academically gifted as some of their peers.

If that's the case then CGS isn't the place for them any way. It is a school that pushes it's students to succeed in all areas but notably in the academic subjects. If your child doesn't get it then perhaps that's the best thing for them. I am one of 4 children and I can say with confidence that the educational style at the school would not have suited any of my siblings, even though all of them have gone on to have amazing careers in their chosen fields (Music, Photography and Catering). They are all intelligent but perhaps not academically gifted. I think it is important to make that distinction when your considering putting your child through the assessment process.

Finally I understand people's concern about the disparity between private and state school entry, however I would say that most of my year group came from local schools in Colyton, Axminster, Sidmouth and Seaton. That may well have changed since I took the exam! But even if it has don't blame Colyton, their entry requirements haven't changed, 95% of children that pass to the required level are offered a place. The problem (if there is one) lies in the education provided by the state schools.

When all is said and done CGS is an amazing school and my year group have gone on to do amazing things. I have friends who are doctors, musicians, lawyers, bankers, artists, musicians, high level civil servants, but please know that it's not for everyone. Its very competitive just because of the sheer number of high achievers and a great deal of emphasis is placed on success. If you think that will drive your child to be great then try sending them, if you think it will drive them crazy then perhaps look elsewhere.

Whatever you decide, good luck.

Fairley Fri 08-Jul-11 14:29:58

minibarrister take care that you don't do more harm than good!

My understanding is that there is no disparity between private and state school entry into Y7 and that it reflects the national picture almost exactly (7%ish: 93%ish).

I'm not sure about the statement that 95% of those who pass to the required level are offered a place.

And I emphatically disagree that the school will drive any student passing its test 'crazy'.

If you want to be a success at the Bar you will need to take more care with loose statements and words; too many things you say which purport to be positive in fact send a negative message.

thetasigmamum Fri 08-Jul-11 23:06:47

Fairley The figure of 95% is provided by the school on their website. It relates to the year7 admissions in 2010. In previous years the percentage had been higher - the percentage of applicants achieving a qualifying score and being offered a place was 100% the year before my DD started there.

Fairley Sun 10-Jul-11 22:52:41

Yes thetasigmamum I see that now. I'd got 2001 in my head as the last year that some of those with qualifying scores were turned away but I do now remember the letters sent out in 2010.

But the fact is that in almost every year in recent memory almost all pupils, if not all pupils, achieving a qualifying score have got in. From now on I understand that the top 120 scores will get in regardless of what they are so essentially a pupil will need to be in the top third of those sitting the test on the day, assuming numbers sitting the test stay roughly the same as they have been in the past few years.

giraffe21 Sat 05-Nov-11 23:49:10

It's not impossible to get into colyton. All my friends and I are from state primaries and the only practice we did was a few practice papers to get a feel for the exams. So it definitely isn't just people from privte schools who get in. Although a lot of people from west hill get in but that is still a state primary.

internationalmom Thu 13-Sep-12 11:55:44

At an information evening, the headmaster stated that 15% of intake were from independent schools and 6% admitted were out of catchment (catchment being East Devon and South Devon) last year. I understand that tutors are heavily utilised within the catchment area and that the primary schools feeding Colyton have the highest SATs marks in the county according to the league tables. I noted too that one pupil posting on this thread stated that she had access to past exam papers but, upon query, no past exam papers are available from the school so one has to question where she got these from. Hence, the school is not short in supply of highly studious pupils applying to the school both within and outside of catchment scoring high level 5s and 6s on SATs. It appears however that pupils do not necessarily need a very high score for admission. Other considerations are taken into account. The school admits pupils upon on recommendation of the DCC and the head of that school informed by test scores. It seems to admit circa 2 from each school out of catchment with pupils applying. Parents should be aware however that under the government's widening participation policies, grammar schools pupils need to attain AAA+ for courses for an increasing number of courses at UK universities. Whereas pupils from state schools can go to equivalent courses on scholarship for BBB (e.g. a pupil from Exeter College can be admitted to the same university programme at Colyton pupil would be requested AAA+ for). Hence, I would advise looking at university entrance requirements before taking the risk of sending a child to grammar school.

Yellowtip Thu 13-Sep-12 13:09:58

internationalmom what is the purpose of your post? Are you entering a child for the exam? Are you attempting to share useful information or attempting to scare? Either way, applications close tomorrow, so your post is a little bit late.

1.The school does not have a catchment area any more and hasn't done for many years. A pupil applying from anywhere in the world has the same chance of being offered a place as a child living opposite the school gate.
2. I'm not sure how good your sources are for the tutoring thing or for the SATs thing either. I was at a recent Open Day and didn't hear either being said. I'm even less sure about the validity of the inferences you draw.

Yellowtip Thu 13-Sep-12 13:17:51

Pressed Post by mistake.

3. Other considerations are absolutely not taken into account and students are not admitted through HT recommendation, let alone that of DCC.
4. Contextual data is being increasingly used in university admissions and a few universities are differentiating offers (though Cambridge has just published a statement saying it will not). But it would be very short sighted to send a child to a less academic school if the 'better' school suited the child in the vain hope of a less onerous offer for uni - very muddled thinking indeed!

MordionAgenos Thu 13-Sep-12 16:38:19

The bit about accepting 2 pupils from every school applying is particularly bogus IME.

Yellowtip Thu 13-Sep-12 18:08:37

internationalmom seems to have only ever posted once. I'd like to think that the level of sophistication amongst those members of the parent body who feel a strange need to minimise the competition by deterring others would be greater than this. Very gauche. Nil points internationalmom.

I'm not sure why I even replied to the post tbh, it's all rubbish.

MordionAgenos Thu 13-Sep-12 20:07:08

Blimey- dirty tricks? Do you think so? Goodness. sad I'm really not looking forward to being back in the mix again as a parent next year.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Thu 13-Sep-12 22:39:42

How bizarre confused

You get some right loons posting on threads about selective schools though. WTAF do they get their ideas from?

tellitasitisbluntly Mon 15-Oct-12 21:44:54

To anyone considering Colyton for entry in 2014 DON'T be put off by some of the random, bitter unfounded gossip included here. My boy, from a normal state primary school, with no private eduction or professional tutoring, has just done the 11+, and got into category A, i.e. the top 95 ... so he will be offered a place next March. Selection is based purely on ability, unless your child ties with another for the 120th place (then it is done on distance). So, if you have a bright child who is keen to give it a go: (1) help them prepare (2) get them some test papers and most importantly DO NOT put them under any pressure. if they are bright enough to go to Colyton and cope with it, then they will get in. If not, then they can still do very well at a comprehensive and have a hugely successful happy life ... I did.

Yellowtip Mon 15-Oct-12 21:51:57

Seconded tellit. No idea what game internationalmom thought she was playing nor what she thought she could hope to achieve! Another Category A from a small rural primary here too.

tellitasitisbluntly Mon 15-Oct-12 21:54:34

just to clarify ... I meant the top 95 students (number), not percent. There are 120 places available for 2013. So, all of Cat A will be offered a place, plus the top half (ish) of those in Cat B.

tellitasitisbluntly Mon 15-Oct-12 21:56:06

Well done Yellowtip - bet you feel as proud as me grin.

MordionAgenos Tue 16-Oct-12 17:48:09

It's also probably worth remembering that most years some of the kids offered places end up going to the posh schools too (someone in our road did that after being offered a big enough bursary). So there might be more than 25 kids from Cat B who get in also. Well done to both of you, we have never regretted sending DD1 there, it's a wonderful school and the kids thrive. grin

HeidiCGS Sat 10-Nov-12 16:38:56

Hi, I was chatting with the headmaster about admissions (because I was helping out at the 11+ days) and he said that last year, about 100 students passed the test, so all got the place, and then the next 20 ish are accepted, with a few more put on the the waiting list in case people can't take up the place. The system works well. And well done to those who have kids here smile
It's my last year at Colyton now, and as I said when I posted a few years back, I would never swap my time here for the world. They've been incredibly supportive, and I've had the chance to do many things, especially in the realms of music and science.
My sister now also attends the school, and her personality is totally different to mine and CGS suits her down to the ground. Colyton works for everyone.
Ditto to MordionAgenos, students here thrive. smile

exlancs Thu 20-Dec-12 16:17:30

My son got into Colyton Grammar last year after attending a small village school (not a private one) in Lancashire, I think if you need to tutor your child to pass the test then they may struggle in year 8, but it is a personal choice. The mix of children that go is varied and not mainly kids from private schools as some might think, the only thing you need to get in is to pass the test. Most of the kids are not from rich backgrounds although there are some wealthy familys like at alot of schools. All in all we feel that the school is excellent and not at all snobby, the kids seem very friendly and happy , everyone is made welcome, the staff are aproachable to both parents and the kids. As you can tell, we love the school.

AvengingGerbil Thu 20-Dec-12 16:25:13

This is the Zombie-est thread ever - it just keeps coming back!

ilovecustard Sun 17-Feb-13 12:52:54

I came across this thread while looking for something else. As a current sixth form student at Colyton Grammar School (I registered on this because I saw the original post, and felt it was so totally wrong it necessitated a reply), I can clarify that it is NOT impossible to get in. I came from a very ordinary primary school in central Exeter, and had absolutely no tutoring for the 11+ whatsoever. Two other children from my year at primary school also passed the 11+, none with any form of tutoring. In fact, the children in my year who had private tutoring for the 11+ tend to be those who have struggled more with the work load and faster pace of lessons.

Maybe one or two of my friends did attend private primary schools, but they are by every means in the minority. Most people have come from small village schools, or very ordinary primary and home environments. The school base the admissions purely on success in the 11+, NOT on whether you have come from a private primary school.

I think the best piece of advice with Colyton is not to listen to the rumours, they tend to be started by people who know nothing about the school, or by competing schools.

hjall Wed 27-Mar-13 19:10:35

I'm in exactly the same situation as the person above. I came across this online and felt the need to speak out and stop the chatter about it being 'impossible to get in' and other rumours about the school. I, personally, am in sixth form and would not describe myself as either a high flyer nor a struggling student.

I joined the school in year 7 and I came from a private school but previous to that I came from a state school. I feel it is an even spread between private and state schools that children have come from, but I've been at school with people for 5years+ now, and I dont know what educational background they had came from. To be perfectly honest, it doesnt matter to anyone at the school!

Coming up to the test, I looked through various books to familliarise myself with styles of questions I would be asked in the test. I would like to stress that this gave me the ability to apply my brain to the questions- NOT to tutor myself up to the exams. There is a fine line between the two.

I find this to be an example of being a driven character who is eager to learn. That is the kind of child that should be in the school, as I have seen peers fall behind because they were not driven and were tutored to just pass the exam. People forget that- yes, it is a good school, but at the end of the day the child has to work to get the grades. Going to a good school doesnt automaticly get you there.

I would agree to not listen to romours because often parents think of their child as the best thing in the world, and rightfully so, but then take their plight to the internet and spread things about the school that simply are rediculous! It could be possible that other schools make up rumours, but I would hope that they have better things to do!

I find the school to be a great place which has the students futures in mind. Teachers are passionate about their subject, the welfare of the pupils and the pupils ability in the subject. I have found that they try their upmost to satisfy the needs of the kids (which is extremely commendable) and I think that no other schools can offer that to the standard Colyton does smile

UnlimitedWords Sun 15-Sep-13 15:24:22

I am also at Colyton and wanted to reinstate the points above, I am in year 10 and am in my second year of GCSEs.

I joined in year 7 like the majority but we had one girl arrive at the end of year 7/beginning of year 8 and two boys arrive in year 9. My mum had bought some Non-Verbal Reasoning practice papers from WHSmiths and that was all the preparation I had. The reason she got these was because none of us had even heard of Non-Verbal Reasoning beforehand and I was slightly confused, it helped me a lot but wouldn't have made the difference between getting in and not getting in.

I think it is such a good school and a great idea to try out for it, the school is prestigious and therefore many people are slightly scared or wary of it but the teaching standard is great and the people are so nice.

I came from a primary school in Somerset with 36 pupils, my friends came from similar ones all around, though none came from the same school. I admit some students come from private schools like Maynard's, St Leonard and Exeter but from what I have seen, the majority don't.

Please don't listen to the rumors, they are often unjustified and prejudiced.

bucket2000 Tue 11-Mar-14 16:13:27

I just wanted to say that you to the students who posted on this board. I have been desperately wanting to find students who attend Colyton as I really want my daughter to get into colyton if she is able but as long as Children enjoy it. I think the key is to support your child so they know what the exams will be about but not to be so tutored that when the tutoring stops they will find the school hell. Colyton do not actually agree with tutoring, I believe for that reason but they do have some recommended reading.

We do not want our daughter to go through school being the bottom so if she can get in with the recommended reading then so it will be.

I am glad the students are enjoying their time as I have heard a lot of people who say that students do not and I can only think it is the children who are finding it harder.

Its like anything i.e. we start running and we hate it, we hate it because we are unfit, a month later we enjoy it because we can do it

HercShipwright Tue 11-Mar-14 17:41:02

bucket I think you'll find that the people who say the kids hate it there are people whose kids don't go to the school.

MrsLeap Tue 08-Jul-14 17:16:43

Oh dear, what a lot of rubbish is being written on here about Colyton Grammar. One of my children has been at the school for 4 years. Let me set the record straight . Firstly, you don't need to have been educated in a private school but even if your child has, there is no obvious educational advantage when taking the entrance exam. Secondly, most do not coach their children to enter the school. Virtually all of the parents I know didn't and besides, those children that have will in all likelihood struggle once they are in the system unless they possess an ability to learn. Thirdly, I do not know one parent that has a child at the school that reports their child is unhappy. The school is fantastically supporting, is not in the least elitist and does what it says on the tin. The setting is fantastic, the staff are superb and my only regret is that my eldest didn't get the opportunity to go. My son would be mortified if he had to leave Colyton. Its an unfortunate trait of the British to sneer at success as is evident by some of the contributors on this page.

IdespairIreallydo Tue 08-Jul-14 21:49:29

Sidetracking this thread a little, does anyone commute to CGS from Taunton? Is it really too far ? Thinking of short dark winter nights I'm wondering if the whole thing is do able on a practical travelling basis?

IdespairIreallydo Sun 13-Jul-14 20:48:34


HercShipwright Mon 14-Jul-14 12:30:49

There isn't a bus (at least, none of the 'school buses' go to Taunton). No idea what it would be like to drive. I don't think there is a train (Axminster, the nearest station, is on the 'other line', isn't it? The waterloo one, which doesn't stop at Taunton)

From your other threads though I thought you were relocating to be very close to your preferred school so I don't quite understand...proximity to Colyton is only relevant for the 124th place...

IdespairIreallydo Mon 14-Jul-14 13:29:02

Thank you HercShipwright. At the open morning one of the pupils showing us around said that children come from Taunton - hence I wondered about a school bus. It is long journey but I know many others travel some distances/times for school. My query was re the practical logistics of the journey, not entry.

Yes, we are relocating. It was just to cover all options, I would have loved to try for Grammar if we lived nearer.

HercShipwright Mon 14-Jul-14 13:48:27

I expect some people do (I know some come from as far away as Torquay) but since there isn't an organised bus, it would be more tricky to organise, I suppose. Taunton is actually closer, in terms of miles, than where we are. But we have the bus which makes a huge difference.

ecps99 Sat 26-Jul-14 07:36:38

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

LetTheSunShine1 Tue 16-Sep-14 10:36:52

There is a bus from Cullompton. Taunton would be fine, kids travel from all over.

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