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VivaLeBeaver and Seeker - how is your DD/DS getting on at their new school?

(10 Posts)
YvonneCalling Fri 28-Sep-12 11:04:46

I was posting a lot at the time regarding secondary school admissions and remember that both your DC didn't get the hoped for schools sad. How are they getting on now? Or is it too early to say?

gazzalw Fri 28-Sep-12 16:41:55

Think they've posted on other threads but can't remember the particulars..... What about Schoolnightmare too???

YvonneCalling Sun 30-Sep-12 11:11:21


Yes, thanks gazzalw,how about SchoolNightmare too?

SchoolsNightmare Sun 30-Sep-12 12:48:13

Hi - I have namechanged back to answer.
I name changed after the whole sorry episode as I didn’t want a miserable nickname on the boards forever more but I am still around.

DS narrowly missed getting allocated a place at one grammar and didn’t get any offer from any other school at all. Not any of the 6 we’d listed and not a single council-allocated alternative either. They were literally all full.

It was hugely stressful as he had no school place at all and the waiting lists were painfully slow - averaging one allocation per week for 10 weeks then nothing at all.

We made sure we were on every waiting list possible. We also decided to appeal as many as we could even the grammar result although, realistically he wasn’t quite up to the grade required and we had sort of known that all along. He is right on the boundary of the level needed but with no school place at all, we had to explore every option. All through March, we still had no school place offer at all. Then in mid April we got offered a good comp which we accepted. It was far from ideal as the location and the awkward transport arrangements to get there meant a real problem for DS who has a mobility related medical condition. We had also put in our appeal to our local comp but all of the schools here seem to hold appeals in May or June. When we got an offer for the local comp in May therefore, we hadn’t yet attended a single appeal although we had done all the preparation for them.

We accepted the local comp and quickly declined the other offer and...... DS is delighted. It is totally the right school for him. It is an academic school and he’s met quite a lot of other children like him. He’s made new friends, the work is challenging but not depressingly so and he loves it. Of course it is early days but I have to say - the people who said that these things generally work out for the best were right.

I could have done without aging 10 years in 10 weeks though!!

Thank you everyone who has thought of us since. We were so lucky to have help here when we really needed it.

DilysPrice Sun 30-Sep-12 13:01:33

Oh thank heavens for that nightmare. I followed your story and was really impressed by how thoroughly you informed yourself and passed that knowledge on to others. So you didn't have to go to appeal at all? Excellent! (as I recall your grounds were reasonable but not actually likely to carry weight with the boards).

gazzalw Sun 30-Sep-12 16:57:55

Yes, lovely to hear that your DS's saga had a happy ending, SchoolNightmare! That he is happy and enjoying himself is the main thing!

VivaLeBeaver Sun 30-Sep-12 17:13:18


Yes dd didn't get a place at the local grammar on distance even though she passed the 11plus. We appealed without success so she goes to a local comp with the majority of the kids from the village.

She's getting on OK, has had a few friendship issues as she's fallen out with her friends but seems to have made new ones. She's been put in the top sets for everything apart from PE. So she tells me anyway, parents' eve in a couple of weeks so will see what the teacher says.

She enjoys the lessons, says the teachers are nice. Says there's some bad behaviour in the school from other kids but I guess you get that anywhere these days.

The school didn't do very well in the last lot of GCSEs, slipped from an average of 65% of kids getting 5 gcses to 53%. I'm hoping that was just a blip but its a worry.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 30-Sep-12 17:21:12

SchoolsNightmare, glad your situation worked out well.

I don't know if dd is at the best school for her. She's at the easier option, not as much homework, doesn't have to push herself as hard. She's not the type to motivate herself unfortunately. Wheras if she was at a grammar with other kids been academic she'd have wanted to keep up.

As it is she's happy to coast along with her mates who have no interest in school at all.

I think that her ecam results/career options won't be anywhere near as good as if we'd won the appeal.

SchoolsNightmare Sun 30-Sep-12 18:19:32

Viva - We are lucky in the sense that the grammar nearest to us is a super selective so only takes a tiny minority of all the children who apply. It has no catchment so takes people from miles and miles around here.
A child needs to be in the top 8% of candidates to get a place (so probably the top 4-6% of the entire cohort since children in the lower ability groups would never opt to take the test in the first place).
DS was near the top of the top group in his old school but not right at the very top and that's kind of how we knew he might not make the grade.
If you're not in the top 2 or 3 children in a year group of 60 or 90, you probably won't make it.

The reason this is lucky is that the top group in the local comp is exclusively level 6 and level 5a and 5b children who also didn’t get into grammar school so they are academic and pushed. So far the extension work DS has been given seems advanced – perhaps not quite as fast paced as the grammar but certainly challenging enough for his level. If I am honest though, the thing that would have been better for us with a grammar school place is that grammars are so much smaller. DS has always been a little fish in a big pond and I do fear he'll get more lost in a big comp but it wasn't to be.

Hopefully the coasting so far is only as a result of the teachers being a bit gentle on them until they settle although you could perhaps mention it at parents’ evening. There is some bad behaviour at DS’s school too of course. Then again, I know a couple of very strong willed extremely naughty children who did make it into the super selective grammars this year so I am sure it isn’t all plain sailing there either. Not all clever children are polite and cooperative - some are so used to being the cleverest one, they don’t feel the need to listen or to try even if other children are trying to. All schools have issues I guess but if you are still concerned after the settling in period is over, I’d hope the school would listen and help. And the GCSE percentages this year have slipped for a few schools with the English remarking debacle which meant a lot of those expected to get C’s got D’s. It may not be that standards have slipped so much as the school got caught out in a grade boundary shift. It could easily be a one-off blip.

I hope it works out for you - I know how stressful the whole thing is!

VivaLeBeaver Sun 30-Sep-12 18:29:05

Yes I did think the results could be due to the grade shifting blip malarkey.

I'm coming to the conclusion though that dd although bright perhaps isn't very academic. She's doing the minimum she can for homework so can't imagine the teachers been interested in giving her extension work, etc.

Im sitting her down and making Her do her homework, lots of moaning on her part. One thing I helped her with she got told off for not enough effort. She had to make a logo for re. So we did big letters of R. E and put symbols from different religions in them. Re teacher wasn't impressed, I thought it was quite good. So looks like I'm not even much help to dd! I know she ought to be doing it on her own, I'm just trying to get her started in a good direction so she gets what she has to do and does it.

But other homework has been quite basic, measure ten items in your house. Yes, she did that in year three. hmm

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