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To be stressed & upset about poor secondary schools?

(65 Posts)
Stressingismyhobby Sat 23-Mar-19 22:15:29

Daughter is 8. We live in a grammar school area. I have a tutor lined up for her starting in yr 5 ( never thought I’d tutor but everyone here does which raises the bar).

Probably sounds stupid but I’ve only recently really looked into the non-grammar secondary school options and they are really, really not good. I have no idea which I’d choose if my daughter fails the 11+. It’s made me wonder if we should move area but I know she would be absolutely devastated if we moved her away from her friends.

I also have a younger daughter who would be upset (but would take it slightly better).

Anyone else in this situation? I’m so worried that I’ll be devastated if she fails the 11+ not because I’d be disappointed in her but because I don’t want her going to a shit school!!!

feelingsinister Sun 24-Mar-19 22:16:03

You've already arranged tutoring but you don't even know if your daughter will want to go to grammar when it comes to it. Does she get any choice?

I can't think of anything worse than children being hothoused to pass the 11+ then being put under enormous pressure at grammar.

If you hate the schools then move or get involved and see how you and other parents can contribute to improvement.

Don't put everything on your children getting into grammar schools, that's a huge amount of pressure to put onto a child.

Stressingismyhobby Sun 24-Mar-19 22:17:11

Kolo- I didn’t mean the “oik” comment to come out as insulting and snobby as it did, I apologise. I just remember in my own school there were lots of kids who didn’t give a shit and their disruptive attitude affected those of us who did.

Also, apparently the schools in our area are secondary moderns rather than “true comps” although, forgive my ignorance, but I’m not entirely sure what that means...??

Stressingismyhobby Sun 24-Mar-19 22:20:58

No, absolutely, Feelingsinister, I’m not going to force her into anything - 11+, grammar etc. She’s up for the tutoring and when it comes to choosing schools, of course I will take her preferences into account (although I suspect a main factor will be she’ll probably want to go to one that her friends are going to!)

BertrandRussell Sun 24-Mar-19 22:29:15

Trying to move past the oik comment.

I presume you live in a wholly selective area? Is it Kent? You should be able to work out which two schools are the grammar and the high school your children will go to. Look at the high school. How does it do in exam terms by the different ability cohorts? What are it’s progress 8 figures? What does Ofsted say?

Stressingismyhobby Sun 24-Mar-19 22:37:23

We’re in Bexley. Closest grammar to us is one of the best schools in London. Closest non-grammar is one of the worst schools in the country....

Goposie Sun 24-Mar-19 22:39:01

Just been through the process and the smartest families imho moved in year five close to the schools they wanted. So no stress. Just be sure you are very very within the catchment area and be aware they can shrink a lot one year to the next.

Goposie Sun 24-Mar-19 22:39:35

Are you near townley?

Stressingismyhobby Sun 24-Mar-19 22:45:29

Yes, Goposie, near Townley. When you say you’ve been through the process, what happened with you, if you don’t mind me asking?

Goposie Sun 24-Mar-19 22:46:40

Will pm you

Stressingismyhobby Sun 24-Mar-19 22:49:25

Thank you

bibbitybobbityyhat Mon 25-Mar-19 02:56:57

"True comps" have pupils with the full range of ability levels. In grammar areas the smartest 25 or 30 % (or whatever the figure is) go to the grammars and everyone else goes to the other schools. So the other schools are lacking the top band of the brightest children - they aren't therefore the same as comprehensive schools and their results always look bad in comparison, for obvious reasons.

Stressingismyhobby Mon 25-Mar-19 10:06:37

Thanks Bibbity.
So before I up and move, I clearly need to look into the non-grammars properly. What should I ask/ look for to help me weed out the genuinely crap ones?

BertrandRussell Mon 25-Mar-19 12:10:54

Start by looking at how they do with their low, middle and high attainers. Do they make expected progress? Look at the progress 8 figures. Read the OFSTED.

CaptainButtock Mon 25-Mar-19 12:13:43

‘A dumb pond’ ☹️

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Mon 25-Mar-19 12:18:46

You're in Bexley ?

I can give you chapter and verse on every school in the area - you're only alternative to Townley - whcih has horrendous levels of bullying anyway - is St Catherines, or Trinity if you can get in. DON NOY under pain of death - touch any of the TKAT schools - Cleeve or Welling - which have plummeted since TKAT took over . King Henry (old Erith) has rebranded, several collegues have moved over there and enjoy it

Harris, does what it says on the tin, they are hard drivers but they do get results. Not a vehicle for my child>

I assume by your comments you are close to Welling ? The Head has just been forced into retirement but has reappeared at Cleeve as HoGeography, they've had to bring Cavenagh in from Debden in Essex to try and sort it out.

TKAT also fraudulently manipulate their exams results.

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Mon 25-Mar-19 12:19:37

*s'cuse typos, stabbing one fingered on the phone

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Mon 25-Mar-19 12:20:24

OFSTED for TKAT - all dire. Progress 8 - all dire

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Mon 25-Mar-19 12:24:46

@Stressing - the Bexley Grammars take in 22% of the cohort - except 82% of those places are filled by external candidates, those from Greenwich, Lewisham, Bromley, Dartford

The only true comprehensives in Bexley are King Henry (bilateral), and St Catherines and St Columbas. You might want to consider Blackfen Girls – still gets good results. You also need to look at those schools which have banded entry. Because again you may fail the selection again.

anniehm Mon 25-Mar-19 12:26:27

Not a grammar area here so the schools are all equally rubbish! Well the fluctuate between just about ok to truly horrendous (think average 5 gcse passes in the teens). Rather than move just ensure that she's ready for the exam and if she doesn't pass work out which school is right for her as that means she's not right for grammar school. (Ps mine both got a's/8&9's despite their school being in special measures by the time dd1 left, dd2 switched to a different school which was "only" needs improvement.)

Stressingismyhobby Mon 25-Mar-19 15:05:56

Plainspeaking - do you teach in the area or are you a parent (or both)? I’m not in Welling, I live in Bexley (i.e. the town, I don’t just mean the borough)

What is banded entry based on (god, I know nothing)!

modgepodge Mon 25-Mar-19 15:19:34

Ignore the headline results - of course non grammars don’t get 10 a* per pupil average, because anyone capable of getting that passed the 11+ and went to grammar. You need to look at the progress made (I think progress 8 is the measure) - how well does each pupil do, compared to their KS2 sats results? If they make good progress, there’s no reason your children wouldn’t do well there.

Also look at OFSTED reports - what are the areas of strengths and weaknesses and do they matter to you? Eg poor provision for SEN children might only matter to a small percentage of parents. If your child is very arty/sporty/musically inclined you want to be looking at provision for them. Consistent issues with bullying would be a concern for many I’d imagine.

Also, most importantly, go and look around and get a feel for the place. Lots of children will do well at most schools. I often think a child will do better at the top of a mixed ability (comprehensive/secondary modern) school, than scraping along the bottom of a very competitive grammar.

Stressingismyhobby Mon 25-Mar-19 18:55:58

Thanks modgepodge, all good points. I do agree with you about being better off at the top of a mixed school than struggling at a grammar. I guess it’s just no one likes to think they’ve sent their child to a ‘bad’ school.
Anyone have any positive Bexley secondary school stories??

fc301 Mon 25-Mar-19 19:07:07

Please please do not use the word failed. Especially around your DD.

No one fails the 11+. Some pass. Some don't pass (about 80% don't pass!). It's about finding the right school for each child. No child should labelled a failure at 11.

As you were.

Stressingismyhobby Mon 25-Mar-19 20:45:50

I don’t use the word failed around her. I don’t talk about any of this around her. She knows about the 11+ and knows that if she passes it, she’ll have a greater choice of schools. That’s it. I’m not pressuring her at all. I feel all the pressure is on me to make the right choices for her and her sister.

fc301 Mon 25-Mar-19 20:56:23

You've used the word repeatedly on here. It's a bad habit & children do hear your conversations even if you think they aren't listening.

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