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Any grammar school teachers on this board? I need a quick word!

(31 Posts)
DogMa Tue 16-Jun-09 20:26:40


DS, aged 8, is going for a grammar school assessment in a couple of weeks - basically, to see if he's up to the job and will be able to keep up with the pace (so the nice lady said on the phone).

Apparently, the tests include -

writing a story
bit of maths
verbal reasoning
non-verbal reasoning
reading to the Head

Do you have a link to any of these types of assessments for an EIGHT year old. Have found loads for 11+ training but can't seem to pinpoint any for yr3/yr4 children.

Thanks in advance.

DogMa Tue 16-Jun-09 20:38:05


DogMa Tue 16-Jun-09 21:10:01


DogMa Wed 17-Jun-09 19:48:41

Once last shot - bump.

trickerg Wed 17-Jun-09 19:52:27

Is this a joke post?

DogMa Wed 17-Jun-09 19:54:27

Ni, it isn't a joke post. hmm

DogMa Wed 17-Jun-09 19:54:53


Zinaide Wed 17-Jun-09 19:59:34

Well, grammar schools start at 11 so that might be why no-one has answered your question
They aren't interested in assessing 8 year olds

DogMa Wed 17-Jun-09 20:01:49

Ahhh....right....well this grammar school has a nursery, infants, juniors and then senior school. The juniors take the 11+ to get into the seniors.

My DS is being assessed for the junior school.

Zinaide Wed 17-Jun-09 20:05:11

It must be an independent school then as state grammars in England are from 11 only and do not have attached primary provision
If it is independent then you will have to ask them what type of 11 plus they set or whether they set their own tests.

DogMa Wed 17-Jun-09 20:07:26

zinaide - what type of 11+ they set? Is there more than one type?

It is independent - fees and all that.

The assessments DS will be asked to do are NOT 11+ themselves but do these types of school use standard assessments and if so, where can I see some examples?

Zinaide Wed 17-Jun-09 20:11:59

Go into a WH Smith and look for the Letts and Nelson NFER papers - next to revision/practice workbooks for children ages 4 and up (there is a whole section in most branches)
Most selective schools use these or similar at age 11.
For selection at age 8, because this is not done in the state sector, you really do have to ask the school.
They are usually quite willing to indicate what sort of assessment they carry out, and often will give example papers for any written tests.
I suppose it is quite possible that written tests for entry into Year 3 will be based on SATS-type tests for KS2, and there will be revision guides for those too.
But you must check with the school as they probably have their own system.

PortAndLemon Wed 17-Jun-09 20:12:10

I think we just don't understand the background here. Grammar schools in most areas of the country are for children aged 11-18.

So is your DS being considered for admission two-three years early, or does "grammar school" mean something else in your area?

PortAndLemon Wed 17-Jun-09 20:16:43

Right, cross-posted. Bond do verbal and non-verbal reasoning papers for your DS's age, as well -- you can normally get them in Waterstone's or Smiths.

dilemma456 Wed 17-Jun-09 20:48:08

Message withdrawn

DogMa Wed 17-Jun-09 20:54:56

Sorry - it's me causing the confusion I think but I'm not totally up to speed with how this all works yet. As I say, it is an independent grammar school for boys and girls and it goes from nursery to A Levels - all on one, large site.

They have two spare places in Year 4 (Yr4 in September) and my DS has been invited to try out for one of the places. All I know about the tests/assessments, is what the Head's Secretary told me on the phone.

We (me & DH) haven't even been to look around yet but because it is so close to the end of the academic year, it was suggested that we went in together and whilst DS went of to do assessments, me and DH get the chat with the Head & the tour.

I went to a fee paying grammar but I got in on entrance exam - other girls at my school got in on 11+. There was no juniors, so my experience is zero.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Wed 17-Jun-09 21:10:28

I do strongly recommend that you have a look and a chat with the head first to make sure it's what you are looking for. They will be looking at whether he's at the right levels for his age group, bond do some very good assessment books. I really wouldn't jump into this until you know that this school is right for your child as it can make a costly (not just financial) mistake. My child left an independant grammar school last term, he was only there for a term as they did not deliver what they said they would (amongst other things). Please take some time and don't rush into it.

DogMa Wed 17-Jun-09 21:16:44

Fluffy, I'm trying to but I'm buggered if i know where to start really. Have you got time to tell me what happened with your child? What did they say they would deliver and then not?

I'm looking for a place which will allow him to be part of a group instead of the outsider that he feels he is now. He's bright - but so are quite a few other kids BUT he's been singled out. He and we want him to be with mostly like minded children and obviously, we want him to LOVE the school he's in - not dread it. How do you meassure that?

Bond - twice they've been mentioned and they sell some books on Amazon - will order.

Heated Wed 17-Jun-09 21:25:40

Ah, I now understand your post title. Grammar school teachers teach in state ed 11-18. You need a shout out for selective ed teachers.

We looked at a selective independent primary for dc1 which has Grammar in the title. The assessments would make sure that the child is not way off standard or at the other extreme, an exceptional talent. And also that he is a 'nice boy' who is fairly articulate. And don't think that you are not being assessed too, as you are! However, it is more about you choosing the school though, than them choosing you. In the end we were not impressed with the school.

Maybe the sort of test papers they'll use.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Wed 17-Jun-09 21:31:08

smile I am very critical, so sorry
I moved him there from another private school (change of head, new one was a very strange bloke, long story). Ds is a very bright boy, he's not your normal 10 year old, interested in philosophy, more then a year ahead. In the old school he skipped a year (head's decision). The grammar school wanted him back in his age group but knew he'd already done year 5, I was assured that they would spend the first 2 weeks assessing him and would adjust his work to meet his needs. None of this was done and he was given year 5 work which he'd complete really quickly and have nothing left to do so he'd want to draw for which he was told off for asking. He was bullied by another child (pushed over, hand shut in door), this went largly unpunished bar a detention hmm, ds is a loud but very curious boy, I was completely hobest with them about his needs and they assured me they'd seen this before('oh, we can stretch him- didn't happen), behaviour of the other boys was very poor, they would walk into parents on the way out and the teachers wouldn't say anything to them, swearing was rife, ds would get told off for the silliest things (sneezing at the carol concert) whilst others (bully) were let off. Ds has possible aspergers which was delt with by them telling him off whenever possible. I liked the "Oh, we believe in allowing boys to become boys. We let them run around, climb trees, let them throw snow balls", what does ds get told off for? wink, then there's "philosophy? that sounds really interesting and will benefit all the boys. I'm sure I can fit a little of that in somewhere", does he? NO!
The work he was recieving was only for a top year 5 child, not his level. Both the head's then left. I'm not saying all schools are like this though, there's problems with them all. It depends on how much you can put up with though.

Where abouts in the UK are you looking?

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Wed 17-Jun-09 21:38:23

Go in and have a look at how the children interact with each other and how the teachers interact with the children. This will help. All private schools encourage teamwork. They won't all be studious children so be prepared for that.

DogMa Wed 17-Jun-09 21:42:33

School is in the NW. It's Stockport.

That sounds pretty hellish fluffy. This place has a Proctor (I think he's called) and discipline is high up there I believe.

Heated - they look good as well. They'll be assessing me and DH - LOL, we're doomed before we even get out of the car then! grin

DogMa Wed 17-Jun-09 21:44:36

Well that's what i thought - when we get there, check out the actual children. When we were looking at primaries before DS started school, I wanted to see happy children, on task, confident etc. I reckon children can't act/lie!

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Wed 17-Jun-09 21:52:57

You'd think so wouldn't you? Ds told me that all the children were told to be on their best, jolliest behaviour when they had visitors hmm
The 6th form common room tells alot. If it's a tip it means the children have no respect for their environment which means they have an attitude thing going on. I wish I'd have thought to check it, it's only when someone suggested it to me later as she'd had a look around and walked right out I knew I'd missed a vital part. Damn! I'm sure there were parts of it that were good. I've been trying to find one for a while though. Just be yourself. If they don't like you the way that you are then it's their problem. Do check out the local primaries. I'm in the midlands so don't know stockport.
watch the children as they meet their parents, this also tells alot. Pushy/rude/ones that walk into you so you have to walk on the road are all bad. Ask about whether the children recieve individual targets, does the work cater for their academic ability or their age? Don't forget about the hidden extras, the school uniform is a silly price, ds's was £500, it cost me 1K a term to get him to school and home again so it was one hell of a money pit. Do teachers eat with the children at lunch time or is it a free for all (indicates lack of manners, all children ideally should have staff on the table). What about pastoral care?

Heated Wed 17-Jun-09 21:56:59

Yes, those papers are geared towards 8-9 year olds so should be ok for your dc to have a go at just to familiarise him.

Re the school - the key criteria was, as far as we were concerned, would we be satisfied that the 10-12k a year was money well spent? At the school we saw, the children were nice, the quality of the buildings ok to poor, but the main concern was the teaching was pretty dull beyond the lively reception class and we had seen much better at the local primary. The kids were yawning (politely) and so, almost, were we. It became our default choice if the primary for some unlikely reason was terrible. I really wanted to like it,dh wanted to hate it (coming at it from different ed backgrounds) but we arrived at the same opinion. That's what I mean about you choosing them.

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