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Struggle at a Grammar school or maybe manage better at another school with kids who have proved mean to yours in the past...

(38 Posts)
TheOriginalFAB Tue 12-Jul-11 17:48:38

and not interested in learning? confused

defineme Tue 12-Jul-11 17:52:52

Having read of many people on mnet who are still struggling as adults with the fallout from bullying, I'd go for thr the Grammar if that's really the only other option?
Good teachers (which you sghould find in either) could motivate your child, but it's hard to get bullying stopped.

mumblechum2 Tue 12-Jul-11 17:54:06

Mmmm, would they really struggle at grammar?

DS passed his 11 plus without coaching, and is bobbing around in the middle of grammar. Some of his friends failed but got through on appeal and certainly do struggle, and a couple of them won't be allowed back for sixth form on their predicted GCSE grades.

I'd say if your dc pass the 11 plus without coaching (but with practice papers at home), then don't worry about them struggling at grammar.

If they would struggle/fail the 11 plus, then maybe they could go to a different secondary modern, or maybe a comp out of county if not too far to travel? The chances are, though, that even if they go to the same secondary modern as people who've been nasty to them in the past, they may have little or no day to day contact with them anyway.

<<picks splinters out of bum from sitting on fence>>

TheOriginalFAB Tue 12-Jul-11 17:54:55

Of course we may not have a choice if he doesn't pass his 11+.

mumblechum2 Tue 12-Jul-11 17:56:20

Although ds isn't madly happy at his school, I think that's just because he doesn't like school, any school hmm but I must admit they really do try hard with the children and pretty much force them to reach their potential. No one is allowed to slack off.

TheOriginalFAB Tue 12-Jul-11 17:57:52

DS is doing practice papers and getting between 38-86% but mainly around 40-60.

admission Tue 12-Jul-11 18:14:27

I would have to say that being at the bottom of the tree and struggling academically at a grammar school is not the nicest place to be and would much prefer a "normal" school where they can grow and excel. The problem is that you believe that the other school will have issues around poor behaviour which will affect your child.
I would consider what your alternatives are - is there another school which is within commute distance that you have a reasonable chance of getting a place at?

TheOriginalFAB Tue 12-Jul-11 18:19:26

I think we have quite a lot of schools to choose from in theory but of course we have to get offered a place.

bubblesincoffee Tue 12-Jul-11 18:19:39

I would say it depends on the Grammar school, they are not all the same and they are not all high pressure competition the whole time.

A good GS which has accepted a child on the mark they achieved at 11+ will do everything they can to ensure that a child succeeds academically and socially, even if they have to provide extra help.

mumblechum2 Tue 12-Jul-11 18:30:09

tbh Fab, if he's scoring 40 to 60% on practice papers he has very little chance of getting in anyway. DS was getting 90% plus consisitently and even he only scraped in on the day with all the stress etc.

whizzyrocket Tue 12-Jul-11 18:40:58

As a teacher, and indeed someone who went through grammar school myself, I can say choose a grammar school! Every time!

I've heard this argument time and again that they'd struggle at a grammar school, but in reality it's the only place in grammar school areas where there is any education going on. Without the kids who go to grammar schools the ones who don't go to what they view as their second-rate school, starting off in year seven having been told they are failures. They tend not to be at all interested in anything academic because having had this blow to their confidence they don't want to risk being shown up again- who would? So they arrive and see other truly wild children in higher years, who may be in the minority, but who are held as role models for some of these previously sweet kids. I could go on and on but it would turn into a rant.

What I can tell you is that although in a grammar school your child will be sent home with homework, it won't be more than they can manage. Pushing children only differs from encouragement when they're pressured into trying what is beyond them, but in any school teachers MUST make sure they differentiate (provide work that extends the really brainy ones and encourages those at the other end of the spectrum) - it's one of the hoops they have to jump in order to be an 'Outstanding' teacher, which is the benchmark grammar-schools are looking for these days. The teachers who don't meet 'Outstanding' have to take work where they can take it- guess where that is?!

There will be other children who need support at grammar school. They won't be teased for being dim. Most of the kids I went to school with were perfectly ordinary but had parents who were interested enough in their education to make sure they didn't go to the alternative school. The best thing you can do for your child is to continue to be interested and encourage them.

TheOriginalFAB Tue 12-Jul-11 18:48:08

We should have started him doing practice papers sooner and I fee like we have left him down. His teacher has said he will do well at grammar school and then we get his report which wasn't as good as expected after what was said at parent's evening. His sister will sail threw and his brother will benefit from us learning through ds1 but I still feel we have let ds1 down. He is brighter than he thinks he is but doesn't really enjoy school. He is more practical and inventive than literary and academic.

southofthethames Tue 12-Jul-11 18:56:32

When are his entrance exams? Getting low scores up to a month before the exam doesn't mean he won't score much, much better in the actual exam. I definitely think the grammar school option sounds better for him from what you've posted.

ZZZenAgain Tue 12-Jul-11 18:58:23

get him away from a bullying situation whatever it takes.

southofthethames Tue 12-Jul-11 19:00:32

Do you know the work set well enough to help him analyse the paper after he's finished to work out how he might get the answers right next time? Or have a tutor?

TheOriginalFAB Tue 12-Jul-11 19:16:04

Test is in September.

I didn't want a tutor as that made me feel like I was tutoring him to pass and then when he got to school he wouldn't be able to keep up.

southofthethames Tue 12-Jul-11 19:55:01

There's enough time, but I agree with mumblechum2 - he needs to be getting 90% or above in August (at least 3 weeks before date of tests). If you can't help him with the work, get him a tutor. You want him to get away from the bullying situation, right? And to give him more choice about what schools he can apply for. Think of the boost to his confidence it will give him when he does well. A good tutor will also help him to approach his work in a way that will help him when he's on his own in secondary school.

Don't buy into the myth that your child is not capable of tackling his homework in a different kind of school just because he got some tips from a tutor for one set of exams. He's going to a grammar school, not to Cambridge University's PhD programme. Pupils often fall behind in grammar school for two main reasons -1) other normal problems related to ssecondary school: becoming a teenager, developing more interests in new sports & hobbies, settling into a new school, social/family porblems, a school commute that is too far, etc etc, 2) the teaching and structure of the school being unfamiliar (maybe a big class compared to a smaller previous class).

Also, nothing to stop you getting a tutor for the odd problem subject when he is grammar school if he really falls behind in that and isn't able to get help in school. If you haven't enough funds, that's one thing, but don't assume he isn't capable till he's given it a go, and had a bit of guidance to help him give it his best shot. Just my two pennies' worth. Wishing him the best of luck!

Hullygully Tue 12-Jul-11 19:58:46

get a tutor get a tutor

peopel talk complete shit about tutors.

scarlettsmummy2 Tue 12-Jul-11 20:06:32

Get a tutor- I really don't see what the problem with tutors is. When I did the eleven plus 20 years ago, 80% of my class had one. The ones that did all passed and all still managed perfectly well in grammar school.

southofthethames Tue 12-Jul-11 20:08:32

(yikes- my typing). "secondary" and "problems", I mean.

ShellingPeas Tue 12-Jul-11 20:49:13

IMO there's no difference between home coaching and tutoring (except for the monetary aspect) as both ways are preparing a child to sit the test.

If you're finding it hard with the home coaching then get a tutor - they know the tricks of the trade and the shortcuts and will make it worthwhile. I don't mean a tutor who will make him do hours of work every day but a sensible one who works through the methods required and maybe sets 10 minutes a day.

SkelleyBones Tue 12-Jul-11 21:38:17

We had a crap tutor for DD and only realised it after she'd sat the first grammar school exam, thank god she had a second bite of the cherry with another selective school and we were recommended another guy who taught her technic, if the tutor or parents are just going through past or practice papers it's not enough, find somebody who knows all the tricks of the trade.

SkelleyBones Tue 12-Jul-11 21:39:02

And times tables, do them in the car, at the supermarket, in the shower.

beaconhouse Tue 12-Jul-11 23:14:33

Not sure what area you are taking the 11 plus in but i am pretty sure (you can look it up on 11 plus forums that in kent the pass percentage is alot lower han 90%. think it works that if an average child scores 50% then they are looking at an above average score of around 65 - 75 % to pass.....not compleatly sure about this but remember getting very stressed that eldest ds was scoring 80 ish % in his practice papers but when i looked it up the pass mark was alot lower than expected. Think all areas are diff though and i have yet to see how ds son does - he sits the exam an sept x

flyingsaucer123 Wed 13-Jul-11 10:18:42

'Secondary Moderns' are just as good nowadays and apparently the bottom set of grammar is usually equivalent of about the second set of a secondary modern anyway.

Its not like the past in that if you didn't pass you couldn't take your O-levels and therefore writing off your academic future. You can still get top grade GCSEs if you don't go to grammar.

Also the bullying in a grammar is no different to a secondary modern and can be just as bad in a highly competitive environment.

The only person who can make a child feel a failure is the parent and nowadays with all the opportunities out there it does not matter if they get in or not. I have met extremely confident, kind, intelligent well mannered children who don't go.

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