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Signs to understand a child could be ok in grammar school....

(59 Posts)
Thejokeisover Wed 29-Apr-15 16:18:46

I dont know if i am asking something completely stupid, but i wonder if there is an age when we can understand a child could be "grammar school material". And if so, which signs do they show?
Is it always the teachers that can suggest that?

Thejokeisover Wed 29-Apr-15 19:13:28

None? must be a very stupid question ;)

Indantherene Wed 29-Apr-15 19:25:01

With DD1 we knew from when she was very young. She was always very forward; learned to read quickly and early and was always top of the class. DS1 & 2 both bright but with SEN; DS3 incredibly lazy and we weren't sure even at the point of putting him in for the 11+ (he passed). DD2 has SEN and is at the bottom of the class for everything, so just as well we are no longer in a grammar area sad.

Teachers do suggest but we knew our own kids.

kilmuir Wed 29-Apr-15 19:31:02

I have a DD at grammar school. She was always bright. Loved to read. My second daughter is in year 4 and has excelled this year. Her teacher has hinted that she would probably pass 11 plus. A year ago I would have not considered it.
First DD, teachers never commented on 11 plus.
I do not agree with years of tutoring, I have seen some of my DD1 friends struggle and then leave the school . They passed the exam but could not cope.

CookieDoughKid Wed 29-Apr-15 20:08:05

I think by Yr2 in Primary school, your dc probably needs to be in the top 10% of his cohort to be seen as bright enough to pass the 11+. I know this might seem controversial but speaking with my school (state primary which consistently sees a handful of students get into selective secondaries (and I'm talking likes of Kendrick/Reading Boys and top schools like Magdelena College), they recognise these kids from as young as Yr2. There is much you can do to 'bring them up' to speed but at a guess, I think these kids have a natural ability to learn quickly and have this, almost overwhelming appetite to learn more.

TheoreticalOrder Wed 29-Apr-15 20:15:08

I think by Yr2 in Primary school, your dc probably needs to be in the top 10% of his cohort to be seen as bright enough to pass the 11+

Not in Kent, where the top 23% should get into grammar. Of course, it also depends massively on "the cohort", not all cohorts being equal. I don't think making a comparison to other children in your childs class is helpful.

In terms of pointers, in our area it's generally children who are secure Level 5s by the end of Y5 that pass. Track this back to work out earlier, although as you no doubt know, progress is not always linear.

CookieDoughKid Wed 29-Apr-15 20:22:40

The ones that make it into super selectives are on Level 6+ by the time they leave state primary if that gives you any indicators. But agree, it really depends on the grammar school/selective in question and the cohort....

LePetitMarseillais Wed 29-Apr-15 20:32:40

Don't agree with either of the last two posts.

I have non identical twins.1 didn't even get 3s for everything in year 2, def wasn't the top 10% and not 5s in year5. Preferred the sandpit and the outdoors to schoolwork.His twin is G&T,3s for everything in ks1 Sats,level 5s in year 5,swotty etc. Both rocked the 11+ and both are doing level 6 Sats for everything.I'd say non G&T boy even has a better chance of a 6 in one area.

Schools differ,teachers differ and kids differ. Non G&T boy is v reserved and quiet and has continuously been overlooked,unlike his twin. I'd say he is actually brighter in some areas.School pretty mediocre and coasts( relies on intake). Non G&T boy had a teacher who barely knew he existed in year 5.Said schools SATS are in the lowest quintile for some areas so using Sats as a measure of intelligence is pointless imvho.

Never go by school when making this decision,you know your own kid.At the end of the day I'd say any kid who passes deserves his place,it's bloody hard,competition is high and so many don't get in by a whisper I fail to see how a struggler would even get a place these days.

Thejokeisover Wed 29-Apr-15 21:22:06

Thanks everyone. I have to say that i did well at school, but of course it was not only 100% my ability but also some "pushing" from my parents. I do not know whether i should give a little push (i am not really pushy, i am not one of those mums putting them down for loads of extra curriculum activities, i think kids should be kids but i also think parents input is important....)

lupus0 Thu 30-Apr-15 09:45:22

I agree that it really depends on the area you live in - and so many other factors to take into account. Probably not worth worrying about it until end of year 4/beginning of year 5, then assessing the situation and tutoring if necessary. Our area is a 'super selective' in that the grammar schools although local to us, do not use catchment as criteria so award places entirely on order of merit. This makes it competitive (but to be fair all grammar school areas are!), and everyone I knew used a tutor once a week for about a year before hand - mainly for familiarisation in VR, exam technique and for maths which wouldn't have been taught in school (some level 6) by the time of the exam at the start of year 6. As everyone seems to use a tutor this does raise the bar, and is no reflection on the academic ability of the child - even the brightest kids gets tutored round here as the exam is not really relevant to what they have learned in school. Having said all that, about a third of my dd's year group at school did pass - which is unusual for the school, and they seem to be a particularly academic cohort. A lot of people seem to use the 'top table' as a signifier for 11+ success but this experience shows it isn't always the case... also worth adding that a good experienced tutor will be able to assess your child's ability and be honest and fair about their chances.

Soveryupset Thu 30-Apr-15 10:20:38

Top table example is definitely flawed.

My DD1 was always top table at her state primary for everything. In Y4 we moved her to independent junior school, and they confirmed what we already knew; that she was high achieving in maths but had huge gaps in English. Now at the end of Y5 we are just about starting to catch those up, but there is still a way to go.

DS1, top table, same school also moved in Y4 and has obvious gaps in his English, although slightly less disastrous as he spends most of his spare time reading, researching and thinking!

DS2, second to top table, same school, we moved in Y3 and were told he has HUGE gaps in his English. I dread to think what the standard is for table 3, 4 and 5!!!

I came to the conclusion that English teaching at the school they attended was very poor - if I was going for grammar or private school 11+, I would have had to tutor intensively - not because they couldn't do it, but because of poor teaching.

TheoreticalOrder Thu 30-Apr-15 11:20:34

Interesting soveryupset - my DS, state primary, never ever picks up a book, no English tutoring, only dropped 2 marks in his 11+ English paper - got the highest score in it of anyone we know.

School isn't "outstanding" but they are obviously doing something right.

findingschools Thu 30-Apr-15 12:15:26

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Chocolatepennyfalls Thu 30-Apr-15 14:17:26

I think that the comment about needing to be top of the class in YR2 is unlikely to be correct. There are still a lot of children who accelerate in terms of their learning and development after YR2. At YR2 you can still still a large gap between Sept and Aug birthdays in terms of maturity

Saltedpeanuts Thu 30-Apr-15 14:23:44

There may be gaps in moving from state primary to private prep, not because the child was badly taught, but because the curriculum is different. At prep school they can be obsessed with grammar and handwriting skills, as against creative writing. Also, maths is more traditional.

LePetitMarseillais Thu 30-Apr-15 19:30:31

Just looked at my Ds's reports. The son I was talking about got 2bs in year 2shock. No 3s shock shock. He had a shite year 2 and frankly I thank the Lord for the 11+. Always flown under the radar and they have never,ever pushed him( belive me we've moaned). His 11+ tutoring got him interested in learning and covered big gaps.

Breezed into grammar and sitting level 6s for everything.

areyoubeingserviced Sat 02-May-15 17:26:16

I think that one has to also look at the personality of the child when deciding whether your child would be suitable for grammar. Dc2i is very academic, but also confident and competitive . She will probably flourish at Grammar.
Dc3 is very bright , however I don't think that the ultra competitve grammar system will suit him. I still expect him to achieve similar if not better grades than dc2 at GCSE.

jeee Sat 02-May-15 17:31:06

Also depends enormously on the area. We live in the depths of Kent, in a selective area that doesn't have super-selectives. Approximately 25% of children pass the Kent Test. But some of the most selective of the super-selectives only accept the top 1 or 2%.... there's really no comparison as to the type of child who 'could be ok in grammar school'.

Soveryupset Sat 02-May-15 18:45:40

I agree with the personality comments.

We have relatives who have been trying to persuade us to move to their grammar school area, and after listening to the feedback (their son goes there), I would say that only one of my four children would suit that environment. I went to a similar type of school and hated every second of it, despite flying through the entrance exam and leaving with decent results. I felt stifled every day.

Soveryupset Sat 02-May-15 18:53:27

There may be gaps in moving from state primary to private prep, not because the child was badly taught, but because the curriculum is different. At prep school they can be obsessed with grammar and handwriting skills, as against creative writing. Also, maths is more traditional.

I partially agree with this comment, however the gaps I am talking about are grammar& handwriting, but also other fundamental things like comprehension. My children never did a single comprehension (or were never given one as homework) in the years they were at the state primary, and the work on comprehension they did in "groups", verbally, was very low level (e.g. using books that were several book bands below what my children were given to read at home). I found all of them had a degree of paralysis when faced with a comprehension paper!! (Mainly they were lacking techniques and practice, rather than understanding).

There were gaps in spellings also as never given spellings ever - I know many state primaries do send home spellings for example, so I don't think they were that exotic in expecting the children to have been taught some spellings either!!

LL0015 Sat 02-May-15 18:59:53

I'm in a 20% grammar area.

DD in principle should make the 11+, I will tutor her in maths through yr 4 because she isn't confident. She reads well. She is quiet and shy but she needs a grammar to make her put in the effort which she is capable of. My view is thus because I know my child. She would become lazy in a sec. mod.

DS is a little bugger. I believe him to be much much smarter than his sister, and far more confident and outgoing. The atmosphere of grammar would suit him to a T, he would cope with the competitiveness. But he's so lazy I doubt he'd make the 11+.

If I think to, I I'll update thread in a few years grin

DontCallMeBaby Sat 02-May-15 21:31:18

I asked an acquaintance when she knew her son was grammar school material (super-selective county, technically speaking, and he is at the REALLY super-selective grammar). She told me it was when, in Yr1, he was hopping along the alphabet-themed design in the school playground, naming a country for each letter. confused I gave up on DD at that point ... nothing really shook my thinking, though I thought maybe she should give 11+ a punt, until October in Yr5, when we found out she had the highest CATS score in her class, and the highest NVR in the year. So she did the 11+ ... didn't pass for THAT grammar in the end, but did pass for the others we shared the results with. We'll never know if she was really grammar school material though, as she's not going to one.

She's in the middle set for maths (top set last year, floundered massively), entered for L6 SPaG only, isn't one of those children who questions everything, develops an intellectual passion for something ... just still isn't what you'd think of as GS material. But she's a lot brighter than she normally lets on, and shit-hot at exams. grin

On the other hand, my friend did laugh at me when I was surprised by the CATS results and said 'what, didn't you realise?' so maybe it's just that I'm a bit dim.

Variousrandomthings Sat 02-May-15 22:18:17

Generally if kids are working two years in advance (gained a level 3 in year 2 sats or a level 5 in year 6 sats), then grammar school will be suitable. Although some super selective grammars will have an abundance of kids who gained level 6 in year 6 sats

Variousrandomthings Sat 02-May-15 22:28:57

But of course there will be slow starters who got 2's in year 2 sats and then blossomed in juniors.

LePetitMarseillais Sun 03-May-15 07:48:06

Ks2 Sats come after 11+ though.

The son I was talking about wasn't even 5s in year 5 even though he was equal if not ahead his twin in some areas imvho.

Some kids fly under the radar,some schools don't push their pupils as much as others and some have unreliable assessment procedures.

In answer to the op until year 5 it's not even worth thinking about but Imvho early readers(all mine were fluent free readers at 5), good vocab, good questioning skills,deep thinking and a degree of toughness may all be indicators. With the new exam very good maths skills, very good vocab,speed and an ability to think under pressure are crucial.

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