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To think its easier to get in to a 'Grammar school' for Sixth form than year 7.

(35 Posts)
smokepole Mon 01-Sep-14 19:58:12

It seems every year the 11+ becomes more manic people seem to go to more desperate to get in to grammar schools. The reasons for this are obvious in that they are not enough grammar schools to go around. The result is a 'annual' bout of madness occurs between now and when the results come out 'different ' times in the various selective areas.

The reason sixth form entry is easier is because at least everybody knows what is required for admission to the school concerned. Admittedly requirements vary massively within grammar schools, but at least 'bright' kids who work hard have got a chance should they so wish.

The entry to sixth form is so much more 'democratic' and based on ability rather than two or three random tests on any day. It must make it easier and more fair for non 'trained' kids because they are not working against some 'secret' and unusual admission exams.

I am relieved its over for me having had three go though it and having possibly the 'brightest' one fail it. I still have the difficulty of finding a 'selective' place for DS ( be that private or grammar) who will be year 10 when I move next year.

smokepole Mon 01-Sep-14 20:01:45

Go to more desperate means to get their child in to a grammar school.

GoblinLittleOwl Mon 01-Sep-14 20:02:42

Why all the inverted commas?

Bowlersarm Mon 01-Sep-14 20:09:19

It was easier for my DS to get in at year 7. He only just failed the 11+ with no tuition. We entered him at the last minute. With specialist tuition I'm sure he would have passed.

He did quite well (we think) in his gcse's this year, but they wouldn't have got him into a grammar school in the sixth form.


TOADfan Mon 01-Sep-14 20:14:17

I think YANBU I got a c1 on my 11+ so wouldn't of got into a grammar school but I got 2a's, 1b, 6c's at GCSE and would of got into 6th form with my results.

Granted its Northern Ireland so may be different but I a good 40% of my class who didn't get in at 11+ stage went on for 6th form (we had none at my school)

smokepole Mon 01-Sep-14 20:18:06

Toadfan . What grade do you require in Northern Ireland to pass the 11+ and what % would C1 typically be.

ErrolTheDragon Mon 01-Sep-14 20:36:50

Its certainly easier to get into my DD's GS in the sixth form than in Yr7 because the intake is about 50% more - so they can keep all the originals (only a few decide to go elsewhere) and take in a lot more based on GCSEs.

TOADfan Mon 01-Sep-14 20:54:19

smokepole it goes A, B1, B2, C1, C2 and D
If I remember correctly 50% got Ds and then 10% got each grade above. A D was a fail. Only A or B1 grades tended to get into grammar school which was about 25% of children per population.

Now this was 13 years ago when I did them but it did remain the same until the abolishment of the 11+. Now in NI you take a test for the grammar school. Catholic and protestant tests are different by different boards and I have noticed there are more Catholic grammar schools than protestant.

Stopping the 11+ just increased segregation.

TOADfan Mon 01-Sep-14 20:56:30

Sorry bit of tangent there. Mainly just meant that it's a totally different system here as far as I'm aware.

It's also just my knowledge may not be entirely correct.

WooWooOwl Mon 01-Sep-14 20:58:26

I think it's probably harder to get in at sixth form at the grammar school we use than it is at Y7. There are more places available in sixth form overall, but the majority are taken by pupils already at the school so there are fewer available for students from other schools than there would have been if they applied at Y7.

MassaAttack Mon 01-Sep-14 22:24:27

Those of us fortunate enough to live in areas without grammar schools (so that's most of us) barely give this stuff a moment's thought.

Surely there are fewer Y12 places at any state-funded school, grammar or otherwise, than there are Y7, though confused

faitaccompli Mon 01-Sep-14 22:31:04

I understand (although am open for correction) that schools receive more funding for 6th form students than for year 7 students. So it is in their interest to attract as many children to their 6th form as possible. At my son's school (Grammar) they are building a new 6th form block - there are at least 50 more children in each of the 6th forms than there are in the total year 7 intake. i.e. Around 340 total over the two 6th forms (approx 170 students in each of the two years) v. approx 120 children in the year 7 intake.

MassaAttack Mon 01-Sep-14 22:34:09

I stand corrected re Y7 v Y12 places. I suppose it depends on what college provision there is locally.

The couple of grammar schools I just googled seem quite small - is that normal?

FacebookWillEatItself Mon 01-Sep-14 22:36:45

Entry at 6th form is entirely based on your GCSE results, rather than on some guesstimated prediction of them, based on a test done 5 years before them.

So yes, I guess you are right.

MollyBdenum Mon 01-Sep-14 22:43:51

They tend to be smaller than comprehensives, partly because a comprehensive needs to be big to provide the right education to a wide variety of pupils and partly because a grammar school will only take a small proportion of pupils from the area, so can't get as many pupils unless it is somewhere very densely populated.

NerfHerder Mon 01-Sep-14 22:49:01

Entry at 6th form isn't based on ability, it's based on a pupil's willingness to work for 2 years, and the quality of the teaching received in their school. Still totally unfair.

In our area unless you've 9 A*-A at GCSE, you aren't getting into a grammar school at 6th form.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 02-Sep-14 07:55:48

Grammar schools aren't allowed to increase the size of their yr7 cohort, but AFAIK that restriction doesn't apply to 6th form, so they have some leeway to expand to meet demand - though they may be constrained by physical size of their space etc. DD's has no catchment and a requirement of a minimum of 5 Bs at GCSE, must have at least a C in English, and some specific requirements depending on the AS levels chosen. This isn't so very different from the requirements at one of the 6th form colleges in our town for AS level courses (3 cs, 2 bs).

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Tue 02-Sep-14 08:04:13

We don't have grammar schools where we are, it's all comprehensives. However, there are 3 sixth form colleges and 2 are fairly selective. My ds failed to get into his first choice, even though he was predicted (and got) 8 A and A* at GCSE. He got into his second choice but wasn't allowed to do one of the A levels he wanted because he wasn't predicted an A*, only an A.

I think it depends on how selective the sixth forms are where you live. It's not just an issue for grammar school areas.

jacks365 Tue 02-Sep-14 08:38:26

Our local grammar has an intake of 150 in y7 and 250 in year 12 so much easier to get in to the sixth form. It works on a points system of at least 15 points from 8 gcse's so you need a minimum of 4 b's and 4 c's to get in, to do certain subjects you need A's . The other sixth forms in the area all require 5 c's as a minimum.

smokepole Tue 02-Sep-14 08:40:37

Used. The entry requirements of the first College described, are higher than the vast majority of grammar schools. I think with those entry requirements the first sixth form college is a 'super selective grammar' though not in name.

I agree there is a vast difference in what's required across grammar schools there are even a few that let students in with 5 C grades at GCSE.
The admission process to six form though is transparent and everybody knows what is required. the 11+ admission process 'clearly' is not transparent , state schools are unable to help or tutor bright kids for what are often exams that have no relation to what has been studied. I know that 11+ exams across the country vary and that some of the newer exams are more fair in what and how they test. however, despite being in favour of selection the way some of it is done is not fair or balanced .

Ididntseeitsoitdidnthappen Tue 02-Sep-14 08:42:29

It's a lot easier, or it was in my day, to join from y8 upwards

We had a starting intake of 93 and by y8 around 5 girls had dropped out by y10 a further 10 had. We also had several move into the area and join but by 6th form we doubled our numbers due to the size of our college.

So if you don't get your child in on the 11+ keep applying as you will probably get them in for a later year group which is much easier!

MassaAttack Tue 02-Sep-14 08:47:38

That explains it Errol, thank you.

TryingNotToLaugh Tue 02-Sep-14 08:48:52

You're right. But the two things are not comparable.

arethereanyleftatall Tue 02-Sep-14 08:49:20

Yanbu. Round our way, I have discovered pretty much everyone gets a tutor fir their child. I don't want to at all, though if I don't, she will literally be the only one without one. Tutors round here traditionally start age 9, but some parents are murmuring age 8. (To get ahead). Where will it end? It's bonkers and completely and utterly unfair on children who don't have access to tutors.

phlebasconsidered Tue 02-Sep-14 09:30:15

My sister in law, who is Head at a private school tells me that she urges her "good" potential sixth formers to apply to state sixth forms, as it increases their chances of getting to a good university. The university can then say they've had a state entrant, with the benefits of a public school education up to GCSE and most likely, extra tuition.

As a teacher in the state system, i'd say she's bang on. It's unfortunately another way of playing the system. Any "outstanding" state sixth form now will have a large entrance of ex-public school students whose parents are playing this game.

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