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Essex 11+ 2012 - Anyone else doing it?

(213 Posts)
piggywigwig Thu 06-Sep-12 12:18:34

I was wondering if there's any other MN'ers on the countdown to the 22nd September?
How's everyone feeling? How's everyone's DC's feeling? Does anyone want a hand-holding session, support and even a rant?
I'd love to hear from fellow Essex parents smile

letseatgrandma Fri 07-Sep-12 22:21:56

Yes-my DS is! I am feeling every so slightly sick whenever I think about it!

Which school are you sitting for?

piggywigwig Sat 08-Sep-12 09:20:03

Hello letseatgrandma smile

DD is trying for CCHS (Col Girls') - how about you?
I feel really sick too, huge dirty great waves of it washing over me all day long lol!
DD isn't that nervous, thank goodness - how about your DS?
Is this your first time for the 11+ ?

letseatgrandma Sat 08-Sep-12 09:59:16


We're going for SHSB. DS doesn't seem too bothered (so far!) but I am starting to feel sick whenever I think about it!

Yes-it's my first time with the 11+ (since I went to SHSG, anyway!) and the thought of having to go through it several more times with younger siblings makes me feel quite wobbly! What about you?

piggywigwig Sat 08-Sep-12 11:59:12

This is my second and final time. I last did it more than 7 years ago and a good few more than that for my own 11+ grin I didn't go to an Essex GS but one in an entirely different part of England.
It's one of the more stressful periods of my life but we're all trying to keep that under wraps for the sake of DD's confidence lol!
Are lots of children in your DS' class sitting the 11+ too, or is he the only one? I reckon about 8 are sitting it in DD's state primary class.

letseatgrandma Sat 08-Sep-12 12:18:04

Definitely-I am stressing behind cupboard doors with my fist in my mouth!!

I think about half of DS's year (of 90) are sitting it-they had about twenty pass last year-mostly boys for some reason?

I shall be jolly glad when it's all over! Lucky you doing it for the last time!

piggywigwig Mon 10-Sep-12 08:23:09

Wow, that's a lot of people sitting that exam! There's only about 32 in total, in DD's class and I think they generally get about 3 passing per year - sometimes 4. It's usually a higher ratio of girls who pass in DD's school.

I've got mixed feelings about it being over - I'd certainly like the stress and pressure to be gone but the fabulous sense of achievement both DD and I have experienced over the last 4 months has been so rewarding. We've both said we'll miss the challenges and she's asked me to continue working with her after the exams are over smile It's been amazing to see her confidence grow and grow.

letseatgrandma Mon 10-Sep-12 09:43:15

Yes-we've definitely all learnt a lot together and even DD in Y4 is secure in common/abstract and collective nouns!!

I feel quite sick when I think about it and also a bit nervous about what to focus on with only two weeks (12 days!??) to go!! I shall be glad when it's over, but will probably just start all over again with DD1 (then DD2-argh!)

What's your alternative school like?

piggywigwig Mon 10-Sep-12 11:11:51

Our catchment school is a no-no, for so many reasons. If we're in the unfortunate position of choosing another school, if DD2 isn't one of the lucky 112, then we're going to really struggle sad The school DD1 ended up in was amazing but the chances of DD2 getting in are pretty minute, to say the least sad The next closest was in special measures for years and serious bullying was rife - there were also concerning teacher "issues". I'd rather home-school until something suitable came up but it wouldn't be a choice I'd take on lightly.

How about you?

I'm also in the dark as to what to focus on in these last few weeks. Every child is unique and my approach to the 11+ with DD2 has been totally different to DD1. We don't have a tutor, so have to go by our instincts and do tons of research on the range of approaches to the weeks running up to the 11+ I have to say it's making me panic a little but then I have to try to stay focused - outwardly, it's all confidence and assuredness but inwardly, I'm a little headless chicken, careering madly between piles of VR books - then English Comp - making up little maths test with areas she finds problematic, plus areas for "feel-good-factor, then running to the larder to get out the "healthy" snacks and getting her to bed early confused Aaarrrggghhh! lol!

At least they'll be confident in Maths and English for the remainder of KS2

letseatgrandma Mon 10-Sep-12 11:27:53

Lol-I feel the same about our local comp-it's changed its name three times since I've lived here to shake off a ropey repuation! I think we will have to look a bit further afield to some out of catchment comps. What do you think we will get on the results day-I wonder if it will just be a score and we will be none the wiser as to whether we've got in or not! The catchments have widened substantially for this year so knowing what previous successful applicants got won't be terribly useful.

We have no tutor here either (though I am a teacher) which is rather terrifying! I'm dreading the English paper this year (yes, I know I'm not actually taking it!) but the CSSE have had some real horrors in the past (Longitude and Latitude!?) and that could really cause panic!

piggywigwig Mon 10-Sep-12 12:12:43

The English - arrggghhh! I still haven't seen "Longitude" but "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" was bad enough and we did "Tess" yesterday....hmmmm, what can I say? I gather "Tess" was another one that went down in the annals of history, as far as Essex English is concerned grin I too dread the English - wish I could do it for her.

On results day, we allegedly get both raw and standardised scores, plus something which gives us an indication as to whether they've passed or not, based on the last few years' results. I feel the same way that you do, as to the usefulness of the previous years' results - I'm not sure how the Chelmsford schools' imposition of a catchment area will effect numbers etc and pass marks confused I'm trying to remain optimistic that we'll get a pretty good idea but I'm a real "Doubting Thomas" grin

Having to sail your ship alone, without a tutor, is a lonely old business, isn't it, fraught with more than the usual doubts that an 11+ parent has? It's all about choices and I suppose we have to face the good and the bad. I know I couldn't trust a tutor and if things go awry, then I can change tack really quickly and the responsibility rests with me. However, it would be nice to have an outsider tell you that your child and the work you do together, is on-track and that you don't need to have so many self-doubts.

Looks like for our two DC's, it's an out-of-catchment school as the best "Plan B" . I truly wish it wasn't like that.

letseatgrandma Mon 10-Sep-12 13:41:04

Actually-the Bleak House one was a bit horrible as well!!

It's definitely a lonely business though, especially when the other parents look at you sympathetically when you say that you haven't got a tutor!!

Good luck-will have to 'speak' again over the next two weeks as the nerves begin to set in (or augment-oooh, the vocabulary is everywhere!!)


breward Sat 15-Sep-12 11:30:17

My DS is sitting the test at KEGS next Saturday. We had our last DIY session this morning and tackled Captain Cor English paper. He found Bleak House near impossible to read however scored slightly higher a few weeks back. I'll be glad when it's all over.

I have mixed thoughts about the catchment changes. The Southend extension includes many areas such as Wakering that have very few houses and the change came in quite late (March, I think) so many children may not have had the time to get up to speed if they decided late on to take it. Still there are 50 places to o/c children guaranteed. Most years only 60 i/c children get places and 90 o/c places are awarded. I think this will change to 80 i/c and 70 o/c.

The Kegs changes will mean the last child entry mark will be slightly lower. This year 348, last year 342 so I think next years (or October's mark) I predict will be about 336. Also the children between 348 and 336 would have probably appiled and got into the Southend schools in previous years, they will now get into KEGS, so the last entry o/c mark fot the Southend schools will probably not change a great deal.

This is all guesswork and me 'thinking aloud'... and being an optimist!! What are other's thoughts?

letseatgrandma Sat 15-Sep-12 21:18:44

The changes in the Southend catchment will include lots of heavily populated areas as well though; Canvey, Rochford, Hockley and Rayleigh to name a few. These changes were announced right at the beginning of February so I think that did give a reasonable amount of time to get children on course to take the exam.

DH went to the CSSE meeting at SHSB which suggested that the previous catchment wasn't filling anywhere near the required numbers so they were doing this and felt it would have NO impact on the previous pass mark of 303. The Head of our school disagreed strongly though and said that it might be that you get 310+ this year and still don't pass or get a place. In previous years, it has been the case that in catchment (old catchment, obviously!) you could get about 55% and pass, but ooc-needed more like 65%. We shall have to wait and see if that changes...!

What changes have KEGS introduced this year?

ByTheSea Sat 15-Sep-12 21:22:32

DD2 is sitting it. I am a quite nervous, more because DD1 is already at ColCHS and I don't want DD2 to feel inferior in any way. She is a bit nervous. Our catchment secondary isn't very good, we've been trying to move for ages but the house isn't selling. Arrggghhh, can't wait until it's over.

breward Sun 16-Sep-12 17:07:53

Kegs have introduced a 12.5 mile (radius from the school) catchment area. Last year 63% of the 112 students came from out of this catchment area (mostly the London boroughs). This year 80% of places go to ic students so should increase the number of local places from about 40 to 90. 22 places will be available to the highest scoring oc children.

Hockley and Rayleigh have great comp options. Has the desperation for GS places swept that area yet?! I'm always amazed that the old catchment did not fill up the places. There are some big primary schools in that area and all the Southend private schools were also i/c.

minxthemanx Sun 16-Sep-12 20:22:33

Hello another stressed Mum here. Have tutored my DS1 (big mistake - have loads of patience with other people's kids when I tutor and teach, but soooo different with your own!) There have been tears, blood, slamming doors......

Taking it at Colchester Grammar next Saturday. Can't wait for the bloody thing to be over. I can't believe how difficult and competitive it is - and as we can't afford independent school, grammar is our only alternative to the local, not great, comp. sad

Good luck to all your DCs next Sat, and let's join each other in bloody large glass of wine in the evening.

minxthemanx Mon 17-Sep-12 09:30:51

piggywig, that's interesting to hear what information we get on results day - having never been through this process I'm in the dark. Presumably we still won't know whether they have a place at Grammar until March, still, when the school places are sent out? But will have an idea from their results whether they stand much of a chance?

So, if I'm right, we still have to wait until March to know whether they have 'made' it into a grammar?

loopsngeorge Mon 17-Sep-12 21:52:48

Hi, my DS is only in year 4 so luckily we are a couple of years away from the stress of the Essex 11+!
I just wondered if I could ask those of you who are tutoring yourself for some guidance as to how you're going about it. Is it a case of going through the Bond etc. exercise books with your DCs or would you recommend any books to read on home tutoring? I did the 11+ myself, went to a very academic school and don't work so I feel I should be able to tutor DS rather than pay someone else to do it, but at the same time it's a pretty daunting prospect!

piggywigwig Tue 18-Sep-12 09:26:23

The initial results we get, some three weeks after the test, are supposed to give us a guide as to whether it's likely our children will get a place, come 1st March 2013. If they get a high standardised score, then it can be fairly clear but when numbers get lower down, then you're no better off than you were in previous years, with a 2 month longer wait sad. It seems from the 11+ forum, that for girl wanting a place at Colchester, anything above 345 will give you a fairly good idea. A score of 349.9 on the 2011 test, gave a ranking of around 70 out of 530 girls for Colchester High, on results day 2012.
Being given last year's or even the last few years marks for entry/non-entry may or may not help as there's some changes this year. No-one knows how, or even if the Chelmsford catchment area will effect the results, some feel that more children will now go for Colchester, whereas before, they could go for both Chelmsford and Colchester. Some feel that more parents may be willing to enter their DC's for the test this year, as there's no longer so much of a gamble and the potential to waste valuable places when you submit the CAF. Then there's the fact that the test was brought forward by 2 months, at fairly short notice - whilst everyone's in the same boat, will it effect the results? Who knows?

TwiggysGoneOnHolidayByMistake Tue 18-Sep-12 12:43:29

A complete newbie here but when do you take the 11+? Is it when they are at the very start of Y6? DD has just started Y5 so we wouldn't have to register for the test, or do anything about it, until next August/September, is that right?

letseatgrandma Tue 18-Sep-12 13:27:13

In Essex-they now take it three weeks into Y6 (in September) and you have to register for the test at the end of Y5.

It varies in different areas though.

TwiggysGoneOnHolidayByMistake Tue 18-Sep-12 14:32:28

Thanks! We've got a year to decide whether to go for it then smile We are in Essex too... does anyone know whether Colchester CHS is a super-selective?

ByTheSea Tue 18-Sep-12 20:50:41

ColCHS is a superselective. They admit 112 girls from the highest scores.

breward Fri 21-Sep-12 20:24:18

Good luck to all those sitting 11plus tomorrow.

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