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Grammar Schools - Kent announces intention to introduce new tutor-proof test by 2014.

(49 Posts)
breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 17:20:08

Will it work? Opinions ON THE TOPIC please:

SauvignonBlanche Sun 02-Dec-12 17:22:15

Why have you started a second thread on this topic? hmm

Toughasoldboots Sun 02-Dec-12 17:25:33

I posted on topic on other thread but got completely ignored.

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 17:27:42

Look and see! Because it has turned into a post about one man and his dog son. And he won't stop posting tediously about his son, even though it has nothing to do with the topic, as the son is 6 and not at grammar school, te father has no intention of sending him to grammar school and has no experience at all of grammar schools, as pupil, parent or teacher. I have tried rescuing my thread from the clutches of this narcissist, but to no avail!

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 17:32:19

Sorry, tough - I wanted to reply to your interesting points but the thread got too bogged down to make replies possible. I did see your post - you'll note I said there was a 'risk' that parents at private schools would be as obnoxious as the poster on the other thread, I did not state it as a fact that all private school parents were. And yes, I was being somewat ironic, in utter frustration at the (de;liberate?) derailing of my thread. I agree that a DC with special needs might well be best served in the private sector.

Toughasoldboots Sun 02-Dec-12 17:35:27

I didn't mean it as a dog at you, it got ignored by everyone. Really frustrating that the other poster got given so much oxygen.

Toughasoldboots Sun 02-Dec-12 17:38:57


EvilTwins Sun 02-Dec-12 17:40:17

I WANT it to work, because I think it is the only way to make the grammar school system even half fair. I live in a town which has a very well-regarded grammar school, close to a city with 4 single-sex grammars. AFAIK (kids only 6 at the mo, but I teach in the area too), children sit the 11+ then are told which of the 5 they are eligible to apply for. In the past year I have come across a parent who started having her son tutored for 2 hours per week when he was in yr 4, a parent who happily admits she will remove her privately educated DD from prep if she gets into the top grammar otherwise will leave her in private, and others who drive over two counties to get to the school. IMO, grammar schools should be abolished anyway, but if they are to remain, the tests HAVE to be about the ability of the DC and not about their parents' ability to pay. Also, catchment areas need to be in place and adhered to. I believe that the grammar in my town is seen as a free independent school.

Mintyy Sun 02-Dec-12 17:42:20

Lots of us posted our opinions on the topic on the thread.

You won't find a huge amount of interest in the question because there are so few grammar schools. It is an aspect of education that simply passes most of us by.

dinkybinky Sun 02-Dec-12 17:47:34

The standards are so low in junior schools the curriculum is outdated and repetitive. IMO Junior schools are the problem not Grammar schools or tutors. The grammar school entrance tests are basic, basic skills what on earth do junior schools teach the children if the bright ones need 2 years of tutoring to pass a simple test?

MoreFrontThanBrighton Sun 02-Dec-12 17:53:30

I will breathe a massive bloody sigh of relief if they manage it. I know my eldest dd should be going to grammar (i'm not deluded, her results concur as does her school) however we are tutoring her ourselves to make sure she passes that effin test. I'd rather she was loafing about watching horrible histories than doing non-verbal practice hmm

I haven't re-read the article (skimmed it this morning) but IMO they will get closer if they remove everything from the maths paper that won't have been covered by children at school (probability etc) and introduce a large chunk of ( moderated) teacher assessment.

creamteas Sun 02-Dec-12 17:58:32

I will be interested to see what they think is a tutor-proof test....

I can't see this ending middle-class advantage, and just wish they would end the 11+ system altogether. While they are there they should switched to ballots for other schools (waits for the protests to arrive.....) as this would also help stop people 'buying' a state school place

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 18:09:10

Agree, EvilTwins.

I admit to being biased in favour of grammar schools as I went to one and my dd goes to one (well,actually semi selective,but close enough). I didn't choose my own school though I enjoyed it,but am aware with dd how essential for her it was that she went somewhere strongly academic - she was bored at primary and becoming arrogant as a result of continually exceeding pretty low expectations without effort. I do think it is essential that there are secondaries suitable for the genuinely academic, and remain unconvinced that comprehensive schools fill this gap adequately.

GrimmaTheNome Sun 02-Dec-12 18:10:03

I didn't see your other thread, but did read about this in The Times yesterday.

It would be great if they could come up with a tutor-proof test but that's a tall order. Even a 'tutor-proof' paper is bound to be that bit easier for children who've been familiarised with the formats. It would be even better if they could come up with one which could assess potential to allow for the really late developers. That probably would require magic though.

The other thing which might help would be if all primary schools in GS areas did the familiarization - in my day when GSs were more normal (I was in the last 11+ year in my area) the school taught us the basic methodology and did some past papers. AFAIK tutoring didn't happen - wasn't necessary.

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 18:15:09

Agree largely, MoreFront (good name), but should point out that by law no maths can be included in the 11+ that is not included in KS2 - problems arise as few state schools cover K2 maths entirely by the start of year 6 when 11+ exams are usually sat. This does need to be resolved. Also agree that teacher assessment would be a big improvement.

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 18:20:27

Totally agree Grimma - afew months of familiarisation would ensure that the heavily tutored got little or no benefit from their cash. Also agree that to create a truly tutor-proof paper is probably not possible, but the current situation can be improved if not made perfect - regular changes in what is covered etc.

TalkinPeace2 Sun 02-Dec-12 18:23:12

on the other hand Kent could just get with the real world and make all schools equal ....

grovel Sun 02-Dec-12 18:24:26

I really do hope they look at the Eton test taken by boys close to their 11th birthday. I genuinely believe it is tutor-proof. When my DS took it, the master in charge told parents that he hoped their boys would come out saying it was quite hard, quite fun and be unable to remember any of the questions. My son did exactly that. It's all done on a computer and is aimed to test a child's basic abilities (rather than what they know).

TalkinPeace2 Sun 02-Dec-12 18:25:40

Eton test
how else can you explain the uber rich children of thick Chinese communist parents passing?

grovel Sun 02-Dec-12 18:39:00

I don't have to explain. Who are these people? I never met any.

The school wanted a test of innate ability and commissioned Durham University to produce one. It would be daft if Kent did not consult people who have tried to do what they want to do. Simples.

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 18:39:12

grovel - sounds good but I guess Eton won't be keen on loaning out copies of their test... Still am sure it could be done - a range of fairly complex verbal and numerical puzzles etc could test children's verbal and numerical skils as well as logic.

Arguably though, the one thing untutorable 11+ exams don't test at all is a good work ethic - a bit of me wonders if grammar schools quite like the current system because GCSEs and A levels aren;t that hard - and if they know that fairly brigt pupils have rich, pushy parents and have demonstrated willingness to slog for an 11+ exam, they'll probably cope well enough with real exams when they're older. So they don't rea;ly mind if they are getting the highly-tutored instead of the brightest.

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 18:41:27

Ah, the Durham test - it's NOT tutorproof - try google. Plenty of info out there about it - esp as they reuse papers at different schools (happened this year with school I knew of using their papers for the first tim - number of candidates recognised the reading text thanks to the wonder of the internet, as had previously been used in a different area.

TalkinPeace2 Sun 02-Dec-12 18:43:54

far far better to stream kids annually within a wider system based on regular testing .....
otherwise known as comps

and leave the selective stuff to those willing to pay

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 18:47:47

But I remain unconvinced that expectations are high enough at the top set of comps. Certainly, what my dh got away with in the top sets horrifies me - and him. He was more keen for the kids to go to grammar schools than i was, based on his experience in a comp.

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 18:49:38

As I said on the other thread why do clever children need to be taught in a separate building?

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