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"tutoring for grammar school is cheating". AIBU to be fuming at DSIL's attitude?

(665 Posts)
twiceupinarms Fri 26-Apr-13 19:29:46

namechange coz as much as I don't care if she reads this, I don't want her to know my normal nickname.angry
I am getting my DD tutored for grammar school. DSIL thinks it's cheating if she can't get in without being tutored and will therefor struggle when she gets there. for fucksake, the exams are not based on school curriculum - it's like being a brilliant footballer but been trialled to get in the team on your ability to tie your laces. fucksake.
Anyone else encountered this attitude?
Oh I can add hypocrisy to the list? Her DD audtitioned to go to Stage Boarding School. Did she do any practice/preparations for the audition? Only 9 lessons a week, every week, for 6 years.
AIBU to be cross?

Raspberrysorbet Fri 26-Apr-13 19:56:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WellJustCallHimDave Fri 26-Apr-13 19:57:27

Is your SIL jealous, insecure, stupid or all three?

FWIW, in response to those who are saying you're unreasonable, the national curriculum is dire and doesn't cover many of the areas which come up on the grammar school papers and so the chances are that any of the few children who won't be tutored for the tests will be severely disadvantaged.

Chewbecca Fri 26-Apr-13 19:59:07

I live in a grammar area too and really hoped to follow your sister's idealistic view.

But now the time is getting close(ish) - DS will be sitting 11+ in Sept 14 - I have caved in and put his name down for tutoring starting this September. He is in top sets at school indicating he is GS material.

Reason is that I have discovered that almost all his contemporaries are already tutoring so I know he will be a step behind if we don't.

I thoroughly dislike the fact I've caved into this way of thinking but I do not want to jeopardise DS chances of a better education by sticking to my principles. The local non-grammar school is not good.

The system makes it tough to be brave enough not to tutor, I would like to see a movement to the so-called 'tutor-proof' papers that I believe they're introducing in the Chelmsford schools. Until then I will put my son on an equal footing with the other children sitting the exam.

HollyBerryBush Fri 26-Apr-13 19:59:11

everyone is tutored whether they admit it or not.

Not everyone no. Although DS2 is very average at GS, he only got A's and a couple of B's, he certainly isn't with the elite 15 x A* brigade, but he wasn't down with the strugglers who flat lined B's and C's and got asked to leave on GCSE results day.

greenteawithlemon Fri 26-Apr-13 20:00:52

I agree with your SIL.

I went to a grammar school and we all knew the kids who had been tutored to get in. They did struggle.

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 26-Apr-13 20:01:01

I'm just glad I live in Scotland.
The English system is nuts.
And what about the student who's parent's can't afford tutoring? As far as I've read on this thread, it's not about the intelligence of the child, it's about the 'tricks' to learn how to get through the test.
IMO it is cheating.

dopeysheep Fri 26-Apr-13 20:02:31

I think I would rather struggle at a grammar school than drown completely at a standard comp.
I don't think it's cheating at all, I think it's helping your children achieve their potential.
Does your Sil not have grammar schools where she lives, is she jealous of you? Does she not want your children to succeed academically?

MyDarlingYoni Fri 26-Apr-13 20:02:55

Why did you not mention her DD auditioning etc...

"sil"DSIL thinks it's cheating if she can't get in without being tutored and will therefor struggle when she gets there"

" oh really oh dear, is this is what happend to your DD then? are you speaking from experience"

greenteawithlemon Fri 26-Apr-13 20:08:41

however , tutoring was much rarer then. I, and practically everyone else, did a few practise papers and relied on very ordinary community primary school to teach us well enough to get in.

If everyone is tutoring though, like they say on here, then I can see why you'd go down that road. I would!

dopeysheep Fri 26-Apr-13 20:09:40

Agree totally with Raspberrysorbet.

CarolBornAMan Fri 26-Apr-13 20:12:28

Grammar schools here do not teach the skills needed to pass 11+. Like any other test, familiarity and awareness of what is going to be tested in necessary for success so I agree you do need to be prepared, whether that is tutoring or any other way. It is not unreasonable. My untutored son failed his 11+ and is now going to Oxford so I am very sure it is not an intelligence test just a skills one

Raspberrysorbet Fri 26-Apr-13 20:14:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CarolBornAMan Fri 26-Apr-13 20:15:42

sorry meant primary schools don't teach the skills needed to pass state grammar 11+ exams.. no non verbal work is done which anyone can pass with practice to determine the patterns.. maths that is not on national curriculum is on 11+ etc etc . S my personal experience is that tutoring is needed but it is for parents to determine if their kids are actually bright enough to cope once they get in .. the enterance exam does not determine this

WinkyWinkola Fri 26-Apr-13 20:17:32

Learning HOW to learn and learning exam technique is not cheating.

And who gives a fig what your sil thinks?

The exam results at 16 and 18 are all you need to think about.

MTSgroupie Fri 26-Apr-13 20:21:11

grin at all the comments about how a DC will invariably struggle to keep up if they are tutored in order to pass.

Some DCs scrape a pass despite heavy tutoring. Consequently they struggle to keep up once in. So of course ALL tutored DCs will struggle goes their argument.

Mine scored 60ish% in mocks without tutoring. With tutoring he scored 90ish%. He passed and is thriving.

As for tutoring being cheating, is going to training sessions before a competition cheating? Or is one expected to just turn up on the day without any prep?

Lucyellensmum95 Fri 26-Apr-13 20:22:25

"any parent worth their salt would do whatever it take to get their kids the best education" But what if grammar is not what is best for the child, what if they get into grammar because they have been tutored - so are just repeating a formula in the 11+ and not really a true representative of their abilities. That is what you risk by tutoring, yes you get a "better" school but your childs self esteem could be damaged by struggling at school and feeling a failure.

I think YABU OP

SacreBlue Fri 26-Apr-13 20:24:27

everyone is tutored whether they admit it or not like Holly says this just isn't true - but keep telling yourself that if it's what you want to believe.

Parental support is key to education whatever school your child goes to, if you are going to keep up that support after the 11+ go ahead, my major beef is that many 'abandon' their support afterwards or ruin their child's enthusiasm for learning by placing unrealistic burdens on their DC. My DS's kids are totally fricking awesome and thrived by DS and BIL recognising their talents - that didn't include forcing them into an academic path they wouldn't have been happy with.

Bit of snobbery to think that grammar or academia is more important than being hugely talented at any other type of learning.

jacks365 Fri 26-Apr-13 20:27:06

There is a difference between practicing papers and being tutored. My dd did practice papers at home her friend had a tutor the friend started to struggle after yr8.

If you feel your child's education has not been up to scratch through primary then yes use a tutor but if a good primary then just do practice papers instead.

greenteawithlemon Fri 26-Apr-13 20:28:15

Grammar schools aren't more difficult...for the children that have the right level of ability.

It's like only teaching to the top two groups in primary, all the time- that's where the teachers aim their lessons. And where they should be aiming their lessons- the whole point of a grammar school is to push the able kids to the best of their ability for those A*s! Not for teachers to spend the bulk of their time effort getting the C/D students to pass.

If the ability isn't there, then yes- grammar school will be more difficult.

Catering for special needs eg dyslexia where the brightness is there, I very different from differentiating across a large range of abilities.

greenteawithlemon Fri 26-Apr-13 20:29:34

*is very different

SlingsAndArrows Fri 26-Apr-13 20:30:52

I don't think it's cheating - I would do the same to get my son into grammar school. In our area, getting into the grammar opens up huge opportunities that other schools do not.

However, I think the whole 11+ system is grossly unfair and flawed. The test is meaningless and it is increasingly becoming the case that those who can afford to be coached get in - hardly a level playing field for all. There are some incredibly bright kids at high schools who have been scandalously short-changed because their parents could not afford a tutor, they had a bad day on 11+ day, or their brains simply don't work in the very particular way that the test is set.

And of course he won't struggle if tutored to get in. You're just teaching him the very particular (and archaic) rules he needs to follow to pass.

Madsometimes Fri 26-Apr-13 20:35:37

I know someone who has two dc that went to grammar school. Her dd scraped in at 11, but she was hard working and thrived. She's now studying law. Her ds was very smart in primary school and sailed through the 11 plus. However, since he was so bright, he had not developed a good work ethic. He got very average GCSE's, and only just was allowed into the 6th form. He's had to resit his AS levels, and is considering if Uni will be right for him. His mum describes him as bright but lazy.

So it's a bit simplistic to say that every child that scrapes in will struggle.

QOD Fri 26-Apr-13 20:37:49

My dd was in special class for maths in yr 4. She had a dreadful yr3, her school burnt to the ground infront of them whilst they were trapped in a small play area, her male teacher just had no sympathy or empathy for the children who were psychologically affected. She was bullied and every school day was 2 hrs longer after that as they had to be bussed from our village to a town to a different school.
I knew she was capable, she'd always been capable, always quick on the mark. She's now yr 9, not been tutored since yr 5 and predicted A in GCSE maths.
If she hadn't been tutored she wouldn't have got into grammar as she had holes in her learning, she has never had an extra support lesson in grammar school.
However, several of her friends who passed without tutoring at all, have had extra lessons in maths and English provided by the grammar as they are lacking base skills. Funny that.

BackforGood Fri 26-Apr-13 20:38:37

I agree with your SiL too.
But, if you believe you are doing the right thing for your dc, then why worry about what someone ele thinks ? confused

SwishSwoshSwoosh Fri 26-Apr-13 20:39:29

Hahaha at 'cheating'!

Passing exams, jumping through hoops, same difference - it's just a trick.

Whether it is worth doing, for an individual child, is another question entirely, but cheating it is not.

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