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Secondary versus grammar education, and the 11 plus

(14 Posts)
cakeandjelly Thu 13-Oct-11 10:51:59

My daughter has just entered year 5, some of her classmates are starting private tuition for the 11 plus. I am undecided as to wheather to start her on this road which will use time and money. Can anyone advise as to the difference in educational experience between a secondary school and a grammar school. Obviously I want what is best for her, but don't want to push her. I think I am a bit green on these issues and not given it much thought until now. Any advice gratefully received. Thanks

senua Thu 13-Oct-11 11:26:56

"Can anyone advise as to the difference in educational experience between a secondary school and a grammar school."

No: there is no generalised answer. Tell us whereabouts you are in the country and you might get a specific answer.

slavetofilofax Thu 13-Oct-11 11:30:39

Grammar schools all vary a huge amount, they are definatley not all the same, or even simelar. A grammar school in a grammar school area is completely different to a super selective grammar school.

You need to go and visit the schools that you have as options, and think about your child as an individual, and what will suit her.

Ds1 has gone to a wonderful GS, and while I think ds2 would have a good chance of getting in, I'm really not sure it will be the right learning environment for him. It really does depend on the child, so don't be swayed just because other Mums are pushing for the grammar school.

downtomylastcigarette Thu 13-Oct-11 11:37:42

It also depends on your other choices. As far as I was concerned, good comprehensive beats grammar, but grammar beats poor comprehensive.

cakeandjelly Thu 13-Oct-11 13:50:05

Thanks for this, I am in the Totnes area in Devon. The school in my local catchment has good and bad reviews. It doesn't have a uniform either, which is a pain. Of the two grammar schools which are near, although would involve a lot of travel one is a coe. I am finding it hard to make a choice!

soonbesailing Thu 13-Oct-11 16:34:45

Hi cakeandjelly, the first thing I would be thinking would be, is my child grammar school material? I don't know anything about your area, but most grammar schools take up to the top 25% of children ( much less in super selective ) how is your DC working at the moment? Is she doing well in school. Is she on target to be a level 5 in the year 6 SATS ? Does she seem bright in her current class?
I would advise you to visit all of the secondary schools now, if you haven't already missed the open days. It is always best to visit in year 5 to get a feel for the schools, then go again to confirm any choices you may be thinking of in year 6.
Each school is unique and you should be trying to match the school to your child (within a realistic choice that you may have) not just think a grammar school is right because that is what others are doing.

You should find out how many applicants the grammer schools have for the number of places, that will give you an idea as to how hard it is to get in. The grammars near me have about 10 applicants for every place so only the very bright get in.

I can't see how uniform makes any difference? Why is it pain not having one?

I think you also need to know if you want single sex or not as it makes for a very different feel in a school.

twinklytroll Thu 13-Oct-11 22:14:03

We are in a grammar area and my dd is the same age. I know other kids are being tutored. I will not subject my dd to tutoring and hope she shows no interest in the grammar. I will provide her with the information and she can make a free choice.

We have the option of an excellent comp though.

cakeandjelly Mon 17-Oct-11 10:26:30

Thanks for this advice, much appreciated.

Moominmammacat Mon 17-Oct-11 15:25:38

My bright enough sons are at a selective state school, decent GCSEs, A*s, As and two Bs, but they describe themselves as the "pond life" because they didn't get 11 A*s and they are not off to Oxford. Sad ... they tend to judge themselves against the immediate competition not the wider world ... and that's probably true of many of the grammars (not that I disapprove of them).

Theas18 Mon 17-Oct-11 16:21:38

Umm depends on your child. Round here the grammars a great for very academic able children and comps for the non academic kids who need a more vocational and supported path- they actually do this really well.

BUT the moderately academic kids are in a bit of a no mans land it seems. For instance not being able to do 3 sciences at GCSE etc

IndigoBell Mon 17-Oct-11 17:28:54

I think all schools have to let kids do 3 sciences at GCSE now.

If your grammar is very selective, then your local school will still have lots of academic kids in it and will be fine for a wide variety of kids.

Milliways Mon 17-Oct-11 18:51:36

It doesn't have to cost money, you can buy practice books & papers from WHSmiths etc. Practising at home is a commitment though, so your DD needs to visit the schools and see if she wants to have a go - if her present teachers think she has a chance.

I had a child at both types, they both did well as the different schools suited their personalities etc (although my DD did try for the grammar).

troisgarcons Mon 17-Oct-11 23:45:37

I think all schools have to let kids do 3 sciences at GCSE now.

No, those that are L5 in Y9 have the option to do triple science.

spiderpig8 Tue 18-Oct-11 22:03:09

It's more practice than tutoring they need.if they can't understand the questions themselves, then they are not GS material.They DO however have to practise to get up speed.

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