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To think that if your child hasnt learned enough in 6 years of school to qualify for a Grammar School then extra tuition is just setting them up to pass an exam ?

(56 Posts)
letsgostrawberrypicking Tue 29-Sep-09 14:37:48

And then they have to cope with 5 years or so at a school they may find really tough?

I can understand if your local comp is really pants but friends of mine have dds that didnt qualify for GS even though they had intensive tutoring pre test, they then appealed, failed, gave more tutoring, did the 12+ and finally passed it.

Such pressure on the children!

Genuine question - does it really matter that much? I have never seen why a GS is so good, if you child is learning at their own rate isnt that good enough?

DoNotPressTheRedButton Tue 29-Sep-09 14:47:37

Depends on why they are at that rate I think

DS1 is bright enough but went to a Reception class where they didnt do reaidng or formal learning- great except we moved to an area where they started on day one and it ahs taken him 5 years to almost catch up (and his schoolwork doesn't really reflect his ability now, he does have SN but a high IQ).

So many reasons why a child might be behind- apst illness, late developer, some kind of stress thaqt slowed them up for a bit.....

AMumInScotland Tue 29-Sep-09 14:54:52

It depends - if your child is working to their own genuine level, then they should be able to pass without anything significant in the way of tutoring (maybe a session or two on technique etc), or else not-pass on their own abilities and go to a school which will suit their level.

But if parents believe their child is not achieving what they are capable of because of the school environment, or some disruption to their schooling, then tutoring to get them up to what they are capable of is a different thing.

Your friends do sound a bit daft though - if the DC don't pass even after tutoring, then maybe they just aren't up to it?

MrsBadger Tue 29-Sep-09 15:00:51

agree with RedButton and Scotland

if they are performing below their own optimum due to external factors (which may be as small as eg not understanding the way their class teacher explained long division) then tutoring to get them up to that is a different kettle of fish to tutoring to push them beyond their natural abilities, iyswim.

Pikelit Tue 29-Sep-09 15:02:12

Grammar Schools! Hate 'em!

As for the beastly eleven plus and extra tuition, it is ridiculous to put children of this age under this sort of pressure in order to prove nothing more than their ability to fail. An ability that does absolutely nothing for their self-esteem and longer term prospects.

janinlondon Tue 29-Sep-09 15:15:31

I'm not sure any of us can imagine the position of parents in, say Sutton, or Kingston, where there are in excess of 1000 children applying for under 200 school places. Maybe if we were in their shoes we would feel differently?

MrsBadger Tue 29-Sep-09 15:19:15

I sat the 11+ (well, a grammar entrance, not a county-wide 11+)
I know my parents went to hell and back re tutoring because I was clever but lazy.
I would do the same in their shoes.

MoonTheLoon Tue 29-Sep-09 15:28:47

Oooh you know you are on dangerous grounds with this topic don't you?

For what it's worth, I agree with you. I think Grammar Schools are good, I don't see them as the root of all evil as some others do (but then again my DCs are not old enough to be affected yet) but I think if your child cannot pass the test with a small amount of tuition, based on familiarisation of the test rather than constant cramming, then they shouldn't be going. I say this for their benefit, I don't think it is fair to put a child into that situation where they will struggle to keep up once the tutoring has stopped.

SomeGuy Tue 29-Sep-09 15:30:00

> I can understand if your local comp is really pants but friends of mine have dds that didnt qualify for GS even though they had intensive tutoring pre test, they then appealed, failed, gave more tutoring, did the 12+ and finally passed it.

It does sound like they are a bit thick TBH.

So in that case YANBU.

But there's a difference between 'not learning enough' and 'never having been exposed to the appropriate weird tests'.

pluto Tue 29-Sep-09 15:37:47

Hear hear MoontheLoon.

CNyle Tue 29-Sep-09 15:38:05

why are people SO SO cross abotu "tutoring"

what does the OP consider tutoring to be?

SomeGuy Tue 29-Sep-09 15:38:59

The OP doesn't seem to be that cross, more daft to send a child who's not bright enough to an unsuitable school.

CNyle Tue 29-Sep-09 15:39:51

they dont though do they
as they then do the test

tutoring canoot a silk purse sows ear

you knwo the stuff

this is the second time we have ahd this argument in about a week

MoonTheLoon Tue 29-Sep-09 15:41:10

Of course, I plan to start sending them for 'familiarisation' lessons from the age of 6.grin

opinionatedmother Tue 29-Sep-09 15:49:51

well, one could argue (as per Shiney) that that's all very well UTGSN -

given how stark the educational fortunes of those that fail can be compared with those that pss (even if they are siblings) and how bloody annoying it would be to do two school runs if one passed and one failed, tutoring might be a very sensible option. ulitmately the kid has to have the ability to pass in them, no tutor is going to magically make them brighter.


sabire Tue 29-Sep-09 15:53:10

My dd goes to a school in a rough area. There's a fair degree of disruption in her classroom and there always has been, despite the best efforts of the school and the teachers. She's in top sets for everything, but isn't achieving what she'd achieve if she'd been taught in a class of 15 well behaved, bright children for the past 5 years - as many privately educated children who sit the 11+ have. She's probably spent about 40% less time on learning than they have - because teachers spend so much class time trying to stop children being stupid instead of teaching them.

It's just tough luck for her, and for all the other children in this sort of educational environment, who will also often got on to be diddled out of a good secondary education as they can't compete on a level playing field when it comes to selection at 11. It's a shite old system. I just feel grateful that my dd is bright, articulate and attractive and has parents who support her in her education as best they can. Even in the worst schools some children will achieve. I'm just determined my dd will be one of these achievers.

twirlymum Tue 29-Sep-09 16:00:20

My nephew had a tutor to familiarise himself with the types of questions that are in the 11+, as his primary school was very strict about what they could and couldn't teach with regards to the actual exam.
He is very bright, but panics when faced with new situations etc. He passed with flying colours, and is at a grammar school now.
My dd is 8, and I am looking at getting a tutor soon. I have seen some old exam papers, and they don't cover it much in schools.
If everyone else is getting a tutor (and you can't stop people) then why should she be at a disadvantage from not having one?
The grammars in my area are some of the highest achieving schools in London, if not the country, but the comps are terrible, with a 25-30% pass rate of 5 A-C GCSE's.

deaddei Tue 29-Sep-09 16:23:49

Primary schools do not give lessons in verval/non-verval reasoning, so children have to have some practice for the 11 plus. That could be a paid tutor, or parents helping them.
As for the Kingstonsituation, it's estimated 2000 boys will sit Tiffin exam this year- for 140 places.

alwayslookingforanswers Tue 29-Sep-09 16:28:35

I think as others have said it depends.

I went to some atrocious schools when I was primary age - I wasn't taught much of the basics (my grasp of English grammar is still extremely shaky) I completely and utterly flunked a scholarship paper for a school when I was applying for music scholarships (never did quite figure out why a music scholar had to also sit the academic scholarship papers) - 1 1/2yrs later after having had a decent education I would probably have been able to go back and sit the papers with a fairly decent mark.

deaddei Tue 29-Sep-09 16:32:27

Sabire- that is an excellent and thought provoking post. You sound like a very balanced parent- and I'm sure your dd WILL do well- I believe that of mine as well.

katiestar Tue 29-Sep-09 16:34:28

My DS's go to a grammar school .
One of the main advantages is discipline .They don't tolerate anti sociable behaviour at all.If kids don't respond to discipline they are out on their ear.You don't get stuff being stolen ,teachers having to issue 'toilet passes' and so on
My DB has taught at a grammar and various good comps.But he said the GS atmosphere was totally different.
Even in things like PE he said there was so much more sportsmanship than he came across in other schools.

MoonTheLoon Tue 29-Sep-09 16:57:37

Sabire, I agree with deaddei about your post, GS are exactly for children like yours, is there a reason why she can't sit the 11+, is it location? If not then is it about not having tutoring? If you have a bright child who you think can achieve then are you able to help her?

Even if your child does not get into a GS you are giving her the right attitude, a crappy school doesn't have to mean she won't achieve. Speaking as someone who has been there and done that.

RumourOfAHurricane Tue 29-Sep-09 17:42:03

Message withdrawn

massivepants Tue 29-Sep-09 17:48:18

I have just been told (probably a bit dim of me not to know already), that around us - where there is a GS system, most of the children who apply have a year's tutoring and the tutors reckon they can get even the thick kids to get 100% in the 11+. The result being the genuinely bright kids who don't have tutoring don't get in, and the kids who get in can't cope when they are there. This is crazy? Is it true?? Are we letting our DC's down if we DON'T get them tutored through it?

southeastastra Tue 29-Sep-09 17:53:45

it does seem crazy that some children have to be tutored and very unfair. the children who get in untutored are the children that should be allowed in. they should secretly be tested wink. though we don't have them round here. the system is unfair either all areas should have them or none at all.

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