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

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

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

chickensaladagain Mon 01-Apr-13 15:50:53

what's an upper school?

colditz Mon 01-Apr-13 15:51:23

Unfortunately, youARE lying if you are trying to convince that she will get just as good an education, or just as good a chance of going to university. She's not stupid, she knows that the statistics do not bear up to that.

If I were you, I would say tough, I can't afford it, work very hard, qualify in something useful, and move to America or Australia, which is more of a meritocracy.

pompompom Mon 01-Apr-13 15:53:58

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

colditz Mon 01-Apr-13 15:56:05

Gosh, pompompom, what an incredibly rude and unhelpful thing to say! You Win The Internet, well done, anything else to add? Help, advice? No?

pompompom Mon 01-Apr-13 15:58:11

Haha, thanks smile

I was just commenting that the OPs DD seems to be under the impression that unless she has a private education she won't be able to go to university and will end up on the dole.

edna1234 Mon 01-Apr-13 15:58:29


edna1234 Mon 01-Apr-13 16:02:18

The Schools try to call themselves Comprehensives,but there not.

tiggytape Mon 01-Apr-13 16:04:52

I presume an Upper School is a Secondary Modern in an area where a lot of children go to Grammar?
I don't know a lot about that situation but it seems a shame your DD is so upset about it. There must still be options for her?

We live somewhere that is accessible to grammars but only a tiny % of children actually go to a grammar school. There is no catchment or sibling policy for the grammars so even those who pass the 11+ cannot always get a place.
It isn't a problem though because the comps they get sent to instead will still be able to cater for their needs (separate sciences, language options, high grades expected, several going off to Oxbridge every year). That must be the case to some extent even if you live somewhere that takes the top 20% or so - it isn't just the top 20% of the population that goes to university?

Has she been to look around her new school. Has she checked out the prospectus and last years attainment figures? I guess her worry is that with the top set gone, the rest of them will be written off but so many people go to university now that there must still be loads from non grammars who get in?

JeanPaget Mon 01-Apr-13 16:05:16

I would tell her that her own attitude and hard work is just as important as the type of school she goes to.

Try and point out the positive aspects of the school - for example, perhaps it doesn't get the best results in the area but gets good results from a less able cohort.

I also think going a school where she will mix with kids with a range of backgrounds and ability levels will serve her well in life, and to be blunt, that seems to be a lesson she could do with learning.

chickensaladagain Mon 01-Apr-13 16:05:35


why the capitals?

my brother and my niece both went to secondary moderns and both went to university (Manchester & Leeds so REAL unis)

if you live in an area where there are still sec moderns then it was always going to be a posibility and you should have prepared her for that

it is going to be hard work for her but it's not the end of the world

Millais Mon 01-Apr-13 16:12:21

Are their results that bad? I presume she did the 11+ and didn't get through. If her not getting to grammar was a surprise I can't understand why she wouldn't be still likely to get As. Surely they have some pupils who do well? What is their university offer rate? If she is determined and you are backing her she does stand a chance, she might have to work harder/ be more single minded but having such a negative viewpoint to start off with is not going to help her.
Make appointments to see head of year 7, talk to them about your dd's anxieties, get her looking forward to something about the school and make sure she stops seeing this as the worst chance ever.

Millais Mon 01-Apr-13 16:12:23

Are their results that bad? I presume she did the 11+ and didn't get through. If her not getting to grammar was a surprise I can't understand why she wouldn't be still likely to get As. Surely they have some pupils who do well? What is their university offer rate? If she is determined and you are backing her she does stand a chance, she might have to work harder/ be more single minded but having such a negative viewpoint to start off with is not going to help her.
Make appointments to see head of year 7, talk to them about your dd's anxieties, get her looking forward to something about the school and make sure she stops seeing this as the worst chance ever.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Mon 01-Apr-13 16:14:13

Can you sit down together and research some famous people who have done well from a similar school? Thousands of people get into universities each year from less academic schools but I can see why a 12 year old would be worried.

LIZS Mon 01-Apr-13 16:17:47

Surely the majority of children in that area are not at grammars but many still get into FE/University. Does she know any others going there ? You need to be more positive if she is to.

BalloonSlayer Mon 01-Apr-13 16:26:48

she started saying whats the point of going to School, i will just end up on the Dole like most of the kids from the Upper school,

I think I'd be starting with - who the hell has told her that? Sounds to me like she is being teased/bullied by some people who have got into the grammar.

Then start doing some research on the School's results and see if you can find some statistics to prove that she can get good academic success at that school if she works hard.

If you are desperate, consider moving to a county where they don't have grammar schools and everyone goes to their local comp. There are quite a lot of counties like these.

Want an anecdote to cheer you up? I used to work with a bloke who was the cleverest guy I had ever met. He had a degree in Maths from Oxford and a PhD in Relativity from Cambridge. Stephen Hawking had been one of his lecturers. He [my colleague] was great fun, totally normal and extremely likeable. His secondary school was a bog standard comp in Essex. (His brother was a bouncer!) Your DD can do anything within her potential if she works hard.

AnnoyingOrange Mon 01-Apr-13 16:29:43

This table shows the results for Buckinghamshire schools. Look hers up and see how they do


AnnoyingOrange Mon 01-Apr-13 16:30:20
LIZS Mon 01-Apr-13 16:31:56

Does it have a 6th form , not all do and the various colleges / grammars may become an option at that stage.

7% of kids go to private school, 93% of adults are not on the dole. If she is conscientious she will do well regardless.

JenaiMorris Mon 01-Apr-13 16:33:24

Considering that what, 7% of children go to private schools and nowhere near 93% of adults of working age are on the dole, I suspect that someone has been talking utter bollocks to her.

The grammar system sucks imo but really, who on earth has been feeding her this tosh?

TidyDancer Mon 01-Apr-13 16:33:49

Yes, how and why would an 11 year old know that?

The smartest people I know went to schools that no one wanted their kids to go to. It's about attitude, discipline and ambition. I would personally say those things are as if not more important than the specific academic environment.

HeySoulSister Mon 01-Apr-13 16:37:14

My dd is from upper school and is off to uni in sept!!

For those who don't know, it's the 3 tier system still here, we have

Lower school year 1 -4
Middle school year 4-8
Upper school year 9-12

TidyDancer Mon 01-Apr-13 16:38:06

Just ftr, that includes DP who is now a published academic and lecturer and a friend who attended Cambridge and a friend who is a lawyer in a very senior position for the police.

But if naysayers had looked at them at 11, they may have written them off because they didn't go to grammars (neither wanted to). How silly an attitude to have.

greenandcabbagelooking Mon 01-Apr-13 16:47:12

In Bucks the top 20% of kids go to grammar, the rest go to Upper at age 11.

I went to upper school til A levels, when I went to Grammar because it had better subjects for me. I'm at a good uni doing a sensible degree.

My friend from Upper stayed there the whole 7 years, did a degree at Royal Holloway and is now doing a PhD at Warick.

It's not the end of the world, honestly. If she wants to succeed, she will. Wherever she goes to school.

Best of luck, mini-Edna, I'm sure it will be fine.

HalleLouja Mon 01-Apr-13 16:52:13

I went to a comprehensive and still went to a RG Uni. I wanted to succeed. There is a grammar nearby I didn't apply to and I could have gone to one of the best state school in the country as my mum worked there but was happy to stay where I was. I did go to a good Sixth Form college though.

HalleLouja Mon 01-Apr-13 16:56:42

In fact as the youngest in my year I think I did better being the top of thereabouts of a not so good school than middle tier of a really good school.

VenusRising Mon 01-Apr-13 16:56:45

Sounds like she's being told porkies! Or bullied.
Time for her to make a Plan for herself, or maybe have some cognitive behavioural therapy, to reframe her thinking.

Going to a school with a sink catchment doesn't mean the end of the world. You just have to be focused on your objectives, and have a strategy to deal with the ongoing peer sabotage, enlist help from the teachers, and work hard.

TeddyBare Mon 01-Apr-13 17:02:40

How accurate is her perception of the school she will be going to? If it's really that bad, and I'm prepared to believe it could be, is there anything you / she could do?
Can she go to a more comprehensive Comprehensive in Berkshire or somewhere else? Is there any possibility of getting a private tutor if she is struggling or has patchy teaching in a subject? If that's not a possibility, perhaps you could get her looking at going to a 6th Form college for year 12 and 13. That could give her a target and remind her that it's not forever. There is a big college in Henley which has a huge catchment area, including some parts of Bucks, which might get her inspired.

Twentytotwo Mon 01-Apr-13 17:05:05

You're in an area where the top 20% go to the Grammar schools and another 5% go private? Have you considered moving so she can go to a true comprehensive?

edna1234 Mon 01-Apr-13 17:05:22

Thanks Everyone, I am Feeling a bit Better and reassured,about the kind comments,DD scored 116,115,on her tests so i suppose she will be at the upper end of the School"s Abilty range.I also know that the School does Stream in Maths and English,its just you think back to 25 years ago when i went to School and you were just failures,if you were at the Upper School.

somethingscary Mon 01-Apr-13 17:05:22

Just to set the record straight. Bucks doesn't have lower, middle and upper schools any more. Upper schools are used to be what were called secondary moderns (as already mentioned), 30-35% go to grammar school, so quite a high percentage. Some of the USs are rubbish, some are good, particularly as the "top" (hmmm) 30% have been removed. Can you say which school it is OP? People might be able to reassure you.

nailak Mon 01-Apr-13 17:07:01

tell her not to go to school and then what are her chances of going uni!!

PoodleChops Mon 01-Apr-13 17:07:56

I went to a GS and then to an RG university - I have the misfortune of being on "the dole" after having been made redundant...again. Tell your DD it isn't a safety net. What is a safety net, is a positive "can-do" attitude coupled with hard-work, planning and determination. Parental guidance counts for a lot, too. TBH, it does seem a little unusual that one so young should feel that way and use the term "dole"....

LIZS Mon 01-Apr-13 17:09:22

you think back to 25 years ago when i went to School and you were just failures,if you were at the Upper School.

Are you sure you aren't projecting on to her ? dn got similar 11+ scores , didn't make Grammar but is towards the top of the school she is at , doing well (classified as G and T there in some subjects but wouldn't necessarily have been elsewhere). Could work out better for her self confidence.

Viviennemary Mon 01-Apr-13 17:14:21

This is why I am so totally totally against grammar schools. But on the other hand people can go to sixth form college or whatever the equivalent is in your area. It isn't the end of the world by any means. Are there no comprehensives with sixth forms in your area.

MrsSchadenfreude Mon 01-Apr-13 17:14:22

My cousin's DD failed her 11+. She is now studying medicine at one of the London universities.

Where in Bucks are you? Could you get her into one of the MK comprehensives instead? (I am thinking you might be in Buckingham?)

teacherwith2kids Mon 01-Apr-13 17:15:07

Edna, sounds like you yourself have quite a negative perception of Upper Schools - and it is your attitude that may really make the difference to hers. You need to be positive and 'can do', and convey that to your DD.

FWIW, a school that I know of that was until recently the very worst school in its county (by GCSE league tables), and in a very deprived community, had several children get 10A /A*s last year. Statistically, there will be fewer children getting excellent grades from an Upper school than from a grammar, but that doesn't mean that your daughter can't be one of those children who do - with the right attitude and the right support from home.

Could you ask the school to put your DD or you in touch with some of their most successful recent pupils, e.g. those who have gone on to A-levels and have got places in good universities?

edna1234 Mon 01-Apr-13 17:15:17

The School is Cressex Community in High Wycombe.

PoodleChops Mon 01-Apr-13 17:15:48

BTW - Our youngest DC, who is the same age as OP's doesn't know the meaning of the phrase "the dole" even tho' both DP's are sadly out of work due to redundancy. We've worked hard to ensure that she knows that being out of work due to redundancy, is a reality of today's economy and doesn't put us in the "grot box" category unless we choose to make it that way.

Chin-up, both of you - everything happens for a reason and she will succeed with support.

teacherwith2kids Mon 01-Apr-13 17:19:55

Edna, does it have a 6th form? If not, which 6th form does it generally feed into, and what are the leaving destinations for that school? As school leaving age rises, your DD will almost certainly still be in education at 18, so you need to help her to see that the qualifications that will matter most are likely to be the ones at the end of 6th form .....

teacherwith2kids Mon 01-Apr-13 17:23:36

A schoo which is describedd as having "attainment close to the national average" - which for a school which has had its top 25% or so of the ability range removed is no mean feat....

edna1234 Mon 01-Apr-13 17:27:21

It does have a Sixth Form but i think it is Bad very bad. because last year only 27% got 5A* to C in English and Maths one of the worst in the Country also the Free School Meals take up is very high.

somethingscary Mon 01-Apr-13 17:35:16

It's not a good school, but there will still be a top stream and with support your daughter could succeed I'm sure. Have you considered the 12+? You can always move her to a grammar school or college for 6th form.

weblette Mon 01-Apr-13 17:39:02

Is it your catchment school and did you list it as a preference?
Otherwise think about getting her through Yr7 with a view to sitting late entry tests and get her name on the waiting lists for other schools.
Wycombe is difficult sad

AnnoyingOrange Mon 01-Apr-13 17:39:21

If your dd is bright and hard-working, she can be in that top 27% who get good GCSES

That's how I looked at it when my ds when to a comprehensive. What percentage get good marks and would my ds be in that percentage

If you look at the Ofsted it says behaviour is good, so the children will have the chance to learn

LIZS Mon 01-Apr-13 17:41:15

I was going to ask if this was a preference - there are others around I believe which may be worth a look and waiting list if they might suit better.

AnnoyingOrange Mon 01-Apr-13 17:41:56

The school has the following strengths
 Attainment has risen since the last inspection and is now close to the national average; consequently, achievement in mathematics has remained outstanding.
 Students from a wide range of backgrounds get on well together and have positive attitudes to learning within an inclusive and caring school community.
 The behaviour and safety of students are good. Behaviour in lessons and around the school has improved significantly. Students feel safe and show good respect for each other, school staff and their excellent school accommodation and facilities.
 There are inconsistencies in the quality of feedback to students and in the way teachers follow up on the advice they have given.
Although students’ literacy skills have improved, teachers have yet to ensure they are consistently pro-active in promoting students’ skills in reading, writing and communication across the curriculum. This is required to ensure that learning is fully supported in all subjects so that progress for all students, including those learning to speak English, is accelerated.
 Attendance has improved significantly and is currently above the national average.
 Leaders and managers at all levels closely monitor teaching and each student’s progress towards their targets. Nevertheless, they do not always systematically assess the impact of planned actions. The quality of teaching and progress being made by students, particularly at Key Stage 3, has improved.
 The sixth form is good. The very few students on roll make good progress and almost all continue with their education because the programme of study which they all follow has been tailored well to meet their needs.


Picturesinthefirelight Mon 01-Apr-13 17:47:56

Those statistics are what our catchment secondary schools in a non Grammar area get it is pretty poor. I myself went to a school like that and got good enough results to get to uni but nowhere near what I was capable of. I got through science on the basis of self study.

As others have said are there any schools I. Adjoining areas with places. Also do check out the possibility her grammar headed primary friends are not bullying her.

TheImpossibleAstronaut Mon 01-Apr-13 18:21:20

I went to this school, with much the same attitude as your daughter to be honest. I was absolutely devastated. I finished my GCSEs in 2006. I got 9 GCSES in A-C and did better than the girl from my primary school who went to a grammar school.

Most of the people I went to school with went on to some kind of college. It was a wide range from Academic A Levels to people doing apprenticeships. And they didn't all go to the local colleges to do their A Levels, quite a number got into the Grammar School's Sixth Form. A lot of the people who did A Levels went to universities. Some of those people went to some of the top universities in the country.

It isn't the end of everything. If she applies herself, she can do well.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

became not because

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RiversideMum Tue 02-Apr-13 12:16:39

So very close to the "pass mark" but a failure. Poor child. Shows so much about what is wrong with selection at 11. I went to one of the top grammar schools in Bucks, hated it and ended up doing a degree at a Poly (shock horror). There were plenty of girls who did badly at grammar school. Plenty of girls came into grammar school from the Sec Mod in the 6th form and did well. Move further out along the Thames Valley to avoid them.

exoticfruits Tue 02-Apr-13 12:23:48

There were plenty of girls who did badly at grammar school. Plenty of girls came into grammar school from the Sec Mod in the 6th form and did well.

This is so true and yet something that is generally hidden and unfortunately not general knowledge among DCs.

seeker Tue 02-Apr-13 12:26:43

Generally speaking, children do not do badly at grammar schools. Not in pure academic terms, anyway.

However, children do frequently join grammar schools from non selectives in the 6th form and do well.

exoticfruits Tue 02-Apr-13 13:22:56

Generally speaking, children do not do badly at grammar schools. Not in pure academic terms, anyway.

I can't speak now because thankfully I know very few DCs in grammar schools -but certainly when I failed (back in the dark ages!) they did badly at grammar schools, the woman I met last month was not unusual-she left with 1 O'level. She still however got a good job-the power of having been at a grammar school! A friend of mine, a perfectly intelligent woman, was put into a form named 'the remove' and virtually written off. A huge proportion left at 16yrs. However jobs were easy to get and in those days you could get jobs with O'levels that would need a university degree now. It is a different world.

I don't expect they do today because they have been tutored for the exam, organised by parents who fully intend them to do well. It is however absolutely true that the failures can do just as well-if not better.

It depends on the character of your DD-I am always spurred on by people saying I can't do something. Even today it is the best thing for me-e.g. a while ago I was planning a 10 mile run with my DS ,and privately wondering if I could do it, when DH said, in a concerned way, 'I think it is a bit much for you, exotic'. That was it-I said 'no, it is fine' and I went and did it!
If your DD isn't like that I would try other methods-e.g. bribery (something I am generally against but might help in this case).
It is all to do with attitude. Look into out of school activities too that keep her friendly with those who passed.

nailak Tue 02-Apr-13 15:53:43

when i wass at grammar school doing badly was getting a "b", one B amongst the rest As and A*s. At As level I got A, B, C and head of sixth form said she was dissapointed in me!

Startail Tue 02-Apr-13 17:51:38

My DDs go to a comp in an area where the gramma schools cream off some of the very best (not totally a SM, because distance and numbers mean not all those who could pass the 11+ choose to try and all who pass get in).

My older DD is dyslexic, she couldn't read well enough at 10 to do a VR paper. She'll get As and Bs and maybe the odd C. She'll go to 6th form, maybe her school, maybe the local collage and will walk out with science A or Bs at A level because, despite her difficulties, she's bright hard working and determined. If she doesn't get something she'll ask her teacher, her parents, Bitesize or her revision book.

I went to an RG university from a very ordinary comp, we sent medics to Oxford, Liverpool and Cardiff over the years. Lots of my year and the year above went to very good universities.
Why because these to cohorts worked, there were bright DCs in my DSIS year, but they didn't work as hard.

OPs daughter honestly it will be ok. Work hard, seek friends who value education and remember there is a tremendous amount of free and very affordable help nowadays that their wasn't for us.

If I'd lost my old maths books before the exam I'd have been in a total panic. DD1 just bought the KS3 CGP book, read it and got put up a set.

tapdancingmum Tue 02-Apr-13 19:19:09

My two DD's go to Upper school in Bucks, one in Y7 and one Y11. Yes, I was disappointed when DD1 didn't pass the 11+ and so was she. She went to this school (which was failing a few years ago but has been turned round by a fab head) and through cleverness and sheer hard work has been top streamed right from the start and has been fast-tracked through her GCSE's so she is only taking 9 this summer and already has 3 Maths in the bag.....

A couple of years after she started I gradually realised that we were lucky to have selection as if she had gone to a normal secondary she wouldn't be so high up the school that she is. By taking away the really clever ones and putting them into grammar schools means my moderately clever daughter has found out how it feels to be good at what she does. Our school has a good selection of cohorts going to University and this is what she is looking at after staying on to do her A Levels.

Tell your DD not to worry and to keep her head down and work as hard as she can for the first three months then she will be streamed according to ability and hopefully with other children who wish to work hard. If you want to PM me I can tell you the name of the school my two go to.

tapdancingmum Tue 02-Apr-13 19:25:16

Sorry - just read which school it is and unfortunately it does have a bad reputation but as I said to someone on fb earlier it has to be given a chance for it to turn around. The problem is everybody who gets this school appeals and gets sent to somewhere else but until this school has a percentage of good pupils it won't pull itself up. I know this is hard as someone has to be the first to go there but until that happens it will take years to right itself. Look at Highcrest (the old Hatters Lane) - nobody wanted to go there and now it's changed its name the pupils are flourishing. I think BCC should have changed its name as well as spending 2million quid on it.

As I said before and by reading through the posts your DD is clever and if she applies herself may find some other children who want to be taught and will be streamed accordingly.

Fairylea Tue 02-Apr-13 19:32:17

Nowadays graduates are one of the largest growing groups of the unemployed. My sil has a first from a top university and apart from a few minimum wage jobs she has been largely unemployed for the last four years despite trying extremely hard to get a job in her field.

You need to be positive. Your dd has somewhere along the line been taught to believe university and private school is the only way to achieve anything. It is not.

exoticfruits Tue 02-Apr-13 19:37:13

Exactly Fairylea-I really don't think that people understand the graduate employment situation at the moment.

edna1234 Tue 02-Apr-13 20:50:15

Thanks everyone for your Great advice, I have got Three options. N01 is an appeal to the Highcrest Academy,N02 is a 12+ Attempt next year,NO3 is a Promotion in my work and a relocation,to Manchester Trafford that even though they have a selective system,the secondary"s are very good 60 to70% A*To C Compare that to the bucks Uppers, why cant bucks Achieve results like that.

mumblechum1 Tue 02-Apr-13 21:01:15

Edna, couldn't she go to Gillotts? We are in your area and DS fortunately got into GS, but if he'd failed, Gillotts would have been first choice (comp just over the border in Henley).

Going to GS is no guarantee of success, although DS's has 100% A-C at GCSE and vast numbers of kids going to Oxbridge and RG, anyone who doesn't make the grade is pressured to leave. Their pastoral care is non-existent, too.

I do understand about Cressex, it has a terrible reputation but may be on the up now that it looks as though it's been rebuilt.

seeker Tue 02-Apr-13 23:27:47

I think that Manchester doesn't have an exclusively selective system- that's why the non selective schools seem to have better results.

sashh Wed 03-Apr-13 05:57:18

why cant bucks Achieve results like that.

Because although Manchester has some grammar schools it has a lot of comprehensives too.

exoticfruits Wed 03-Apr-13 08:04:08

If somewhere has good comprehensives then a lot of DCs don't even bother taking the exams , therefore the comprehensives are true comprehensives and therefore lots if DCs don't bother taking the exam. It is a circle. If the divide is such the top end is creamed off then all the top end try and get into the grammar school and it is a different circle.

teacherwith2kids Wed 03-Apr-13 09:47:28

Edna, as I said above, the EFFECTIVE A*-C results for your school ARE around 60%. The problem is that 30 - 35% of the children who would get those A*-Cs are in another school (the grammar) - so the Upper School's results are low predominantly because of the missing children, not through a fault of its own.

edna1234 Wed 03-Apr-13 14:27:56

ive just been researching Trafford Education,and some very intresting things come up they have,7 Grammar Schools over 7000 Pupils which is over 30%,of pupils higher than Bucks,yet still have secondary schools achieving up to 71% A* to C including English and Maths,The average Gcse pass rate including Maths and English in Trafford, was 72% in 2012. I have just spoken to some colleagues in Manchester,and they say it is not life and death if you fail,the 11+ in Trafford and it does not have the same Class and social divisions,as Bucks its as if they have created a system that works.its not so GRIM UP NORTH.

tiggytape Wed 03-Apr-13 14:50:47

edna - sometimes (as in London) there can be a lot of children in grammar schools but they aren't actually local children so it can look like lots have been skimmed off from one area but they haven't really.

I have no idea of that happens in Manchester or not but, in London for example, there may be 1000 - 2000 grammar school places but these are open to anyone So people from Essex, Kent, Surrey, Slough, North London... all over the place have an equal chance of getting in (no catchment or siblign policy at for grammars) and therefore the comps right nextdoor to the grammar schools can get 70 or 80% A*-C.
They are seemingly unaffected by the presence of the grammars because although each grammar takes a lot of children, they are children drawn from a wide geographical area and not all from the same town or borough.

In an area where the grammar schools take 30% of all children from one small area, the alternative schools would have very few top group children left.

edna1234 Wed 03-Apr-13 15:02:05

TIGGY TAPE. So if you had only a few Grammar Schools, taking Pupils from a large Area,say Boarding Grammar Schools,the system could work and not destroy Secondary Schools in those areas with Selective Schools.

teacherwith2kids Wed 03-Apr-13 15:02:09

Exactly, Tiggytape. where I live there is 1 superselective grammar and 4 more within bus distance. However, certainly for the superselective, children travel for up to 30+ miles to attend, and thus the remaining schools remain almost true comprehensives. The grammar schools only take in perhaps 1 - 5% of the children in each comprehensive catchment, leaving 95-99% of the ability range still in place. As a result, the comprehensives remain very good. In fact many parents - us included - choose not to send children to the 'bus journey' grammars, preferring local comprehensives.

That is very different from the situation in Bucks, where 30% of children are taken from EVERY school, leaving only 70% or so of the ability range still in place.

teacherwith2kids Wed 03-Apr-13 15:05:07

Edna, I have said in the past on this board that there seems to me to be an argument for a 'Special School' model of selective education, where as for SEN Special Schools, those children who are of an ability so high that they cannot easily be educated in a mainstream school are sent to a small number of regional "High Ability Special Schools" [aka grammars but catering to a very, very much smaller percentage of the population - less than 1% in all probability].

tiggytape Wed 03-Apr-13 15:14:45

edna - that is pretty much how it works here. Boarding grammars are not necessary though because of the excellent transport links serving London making the schools accessible (if a 1-2 hour journey is your idea of accessible) to thousands of children.
As a result the non grammar schools are largely unaffected. To give you an idea, in a typical primary school with 60 – 90 children in Year 6, it would be completely normal for only one boy who is top-of-the-top-group and one girl (also top-of-the-top-group) to go to grammar. All of the other top group children wouldn’t get in even if they were on SATS Level 6 (many more pass the 11+ than there are places for them). Some primaries manage to get more of their children in and many primaries get none of their top group to grammar school at all but as a general pattern, far more clever children go to comps than go to grammar from any one primary school, town or borough.

edna1234 Wed 03-Apr-13 15:40:01

TEACHER WITH 2 KIDS. I think Australia has something like what you say, Selective High schools in Sydney And Melbourne, But They would only Educate about 4 to 5% so would not destroy the normal High Schools.

edna1234 Wed 03-Apr-13 15:52:07

Australia also does something that is brilliant,that if you choose Private Education,the State will contribute what they would spend on your childs Education,to The Private School. Australia does so many things right,i know all this,because i looked at Emirgrating but it is not possible at the moment.

edna1234 Wed 03-Apr-13 16:02:39

another thing about Australia,the Hsc Sydney,Vce Melbourne is a much Higher standard,than A levels.

notquiteruralbliss Thu 04-Apr-13 10:07:58

OP, I wouldn't worry, if she goes to the upper & really doesn't like it, there are routes into the grammars in Y8/Y9 & 6th form. It might mean some extra tuition in exam technique to be confident doing the 12+ but it is easily do-able. And students can / do do fine wherever they go to school.

We are in bucks. One of my daughters went to an upper for Y7 (missed 11+ pass by a lot not just a mark or two) then did 12+ (passed comfortably) and transferred to a local GS. Her GS has a whole new class added at 12+ so there are a lot of kids joining @ that age.

I know quite a few teenagers who transferred to from uppers GSs for 6th form (for our local GS, I think they have to get 8 GCSEs at B or above). My eldest went to a GS until after her GCSEs then chose to transfer to a low performing London comprehensive for 6th form & still ended up with As / A*s at A level.

seeker Thu 04-Apr-13 10:50:36

Just a note of caution- it's not always that easy to move from selective to Jon selective- it can only happen if the child meets the requirements and there are spaces. And there usually aren't spaces.

almapudden Thu 04-Apr-13 11:09:56

Within the 27% GCSE pass rate, what percentage of exams are graded A*-B?

To be honest, if even the high achievers are only coming out with 5 C grade GCSEs, that's alarmingly poor. However, if some children are achieving A* and A grades, then with hard work and support, your DD may do well.

edna1234 Thu 04-Apr-13 14:46:14

Cressex Community School, Dont want to tell you how many A and B Grades they got,i understand it is difficult for them,but on their website they are making excuses,about the poor grades saying the movement of grade Boundaries has Destroyed them,it does not fuel you with confidence,when you read that does it. if i choose for DD to do the 12+ next year,what time of the year,would she take it, is the required score still 121 on one paper,and does the transfer if succesfull take place in the September of the next Academic year.

seeker Thu 04-Apr-13 14:53:00

Even if she passed he 12+ there are unlikely to be any places at th grammar school. How many of her friends are going there?

teacherwith2kids Thu 04-Apr-13 15:10:53

Alma, due to the fact it's a secondary modern (with virtually all high achievers removed) there are no results for high achievers recorded on the DofE data because the number of high achievers is statistically insignificant. 45% of middle achievers get 5A* to C as far as i recall.

Edna, my elder brother attended a school with genuinely terrible O-level and CSE results. 24 O level passes in total - as in 24 individual subject exams, not 24 people - out of 60 or so in the year for his year, and that was a record for them. 8 of those passes were at grade A. All of those were by a single person, my brother. A child's results are NOT predetermined by the school they start at 11 - fantastic results, even if only for 1 or 2 people, can come out of poor schools IF those children get support and encouragement from home.

exoticfruits Thu 04-Apr-13 15:28:37

I would find out from the LEA how many pupils got in at 12+ each year.

edna1234 Thu 04-Apr-13 15:34:16

3 Girls from her Primary School class passed for Wycombe High,i wonder if they, were saying the "DOLE COMMENTS" as a kind of superiority Complex from 11 yr olds, frightening isnt it,

ReallyTired Thu 04-Apr-13 15:44:50

I am sorry that your daughter feels so upset about her school allocation. Its a pity that you aren't nearer the boarder with the option of sending her to a school in Herts.

The results (both value added and academic) are pretty awful for the particular school. I am not surprised that your daughter is extremely worried.

Do you have the option of any other secondary moderns or a faith school. You could register a continuing interest at different secondary modern or a faith school.

edna1234 Thu 04-Apr-13 15:53:20

In 2011 238 kids took the 12+ in Bucks and 156 passed that was a pass rate of 68% so thats encouraging, if i decide to stay in bucks.

seeker Thu 04-Apr-13 15:54:30

But did they get places? You really need to check that.

BooksandaCuppa Thu 04-Apr-13 16:02:12

I suppose there must be some places if it's a standard procedure to even have a 12+.

In our county (some grammars/sec mods - many more comps), there are usually a few places left unfilled in the grammars at year 7 every year (rural enough/poor enough transport that spare places aren't usually filled out of catchment).

At my grammar, we usually take 1-2 students in both yr 8 and yr 9 from the local sec mods - based on current school reference and performance/KS2 Sats results/interview with our Head of English and Maths.

Worth investigating, OP.

CecilyP Thu 04-Apr-13 16:53:53

To be honest, if even the high achievers are only coming out with 5 C grade GCSEs, that's alarmingly poor. However, if some children are achieving A* and A grades, then with hard work and support, your DD may do well.

From the stats, there are only a very small number of high achievers entering the school; so few, in fact, that their achievements can't be listed because that would identify individual pupils.

mumblechum1 Thu 04-Apr-13 18:07:38

Edna, did you see my suggestion upthread that you send your dd to Gillotts in Henley?

edna1234 Thu 04-Apr-13 18:43:21

Mumblechum. yes i know about Gillotts but i have personal reasons,for not wanting DD to go there.there is another thread that has been started about Wellington School in Trafford,that was the Secondary School that last year got,72% A*To C including English and maths.

seeker Thu 04-Apr-13 18:50:44

Edna- Wellington somehow manages to only have 9% low attainers- and 33% high attainers. Unusual for a school in a selective area- something interesting going on there, I think!

edna1234 Thu 04-Apr-13 18:57:54


edna1234 Thu 04-Apr-13 19:20:43

How ever Seeker it only has 4.7% Fsm,not many Scondary Moderns have such a low take up,its a Secondary Modern School for"MIDDLE CLASS KIDS HOW BIZARE".

tapdancingmum Thu 04-Apr-13 19:57:37

They take the 12+ around February time and find out the results not long after but have to wait until May to see if they have got a place.

My DD1's friend took and passed the 12+ but couldn't get a space at WHS until the start of Y9 where there is more movement in the numbers.

seeker Thu 04-Apr-13 19:59:43

Sorry, Edna- don't understand.

edna1234 Thu 04-Apr-13 22:58:47

Seeker What I meant to say was that most, Secondary Schools have a lot higher take up of Free School meals. That might be because they have,a different intake to most Secondary Schools,in Selective Areas,and would explain the high achievement.

mumblechum1 Thu 04-Apr-13 23:02:46

I think the cohort at Cressex has historically been an unusually high (for Bucks) number of FSM/English as a second language.

Only 3 miles or so away it would be a very different story, ie Borlase's cohort is largely kids from unusually affluent families with a tiny minority of non-white pupils/English as second language. It's sociologically a very divided area.

SomeRainbow Fri 05-Apr-13 19:39:15

Good advice from many here. I do wish those who advocate this horrid system would take the time to consider children in this position. We took the precaution of moving to a nearby county who don't dismiss children at 11 (or spend hours and countless ££££ transporting them around the county due to the single sex schools). But I accept this is not necessarily possible for all.

seeker Fri 05-Apr-13 20:38:15

But you need to work bloody hard on her "feeling distraught". You have to talk it up, come up with strategies, socially engineer friendships with other kinds going there- be positive yourself. Because she will take the lead from you.

edna1234 Mon 08-Apr-13 20:56:50

Just to update you. I have decided to appeal to the Highcrest Academy. The Highcrest Academy has got some intresting ideas,and they are optimistic that they can create a fully Comprehensive School. They seem to have proper top sets,with some Pupils scoring up to 140. I am confident that DD will not have to go to Cressex. And we will be able to educate DD to her abilty.

exoticfruits Mon 08-Apr-13 22:20:44

Hope all goes well for you.

edna1234 Mon 08-Apr-13 22:29:14

Thank you exotic fruits. I still probably will try 12+ though. I am not going to tell Highcrest that ,it seems they would like pupils like DD because their aim in the next 3 years is 70% A* to C including English and Maths,so they need pupils like DD to achieve that.

wycombe12 Fri 12-Apr-13 16:05:20

Hi this Is edna 1234 DD and Dniece hacked in to my account on wednesday night. They found my password lying around so i have a new email and name.

wycombe12 Fri 12-Apr-13 16:29:46

Sister and Dniece came up from Manchester,Dniece 14 " GRAMMAR SCHOOL GIRL" i say that because i have found out she was teasing DD about the Dole comments,SHE HAS BEEN REPPRIMANDED for the teasing and the hacking.Sister is a teacher, and told me there was very little bewtreen DD and Dniece at 11 apart from a PRIVATE PREP SCHOOL. She asked me which school DD had been allocated,and when i said Cressex but appealing to Highcrest Academy, she asked where Highcrest Academy was then swore ,because she remembers it has hatters lane. I got her to look at the website and she felt better.in the summer DD spends the summer holiday,with sister it works because i stay friday night to monday morning 6am, and can get back if lucky for friday 8pm.She has said DD will be doing 1hr a day bond 11+ 12+ books to get her ready for the 12+.She is very strict.

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