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If you child failed the 11+ have you been pleasantly surprised by the secondary school they then went to?

(21 Posts)
Plus3 Sat 13-Jul-13 12:24:05

Just that really - DS is looking like he would need some fairly major maths tutoring in order to pass. He is excellent in all areas but maths hmm ( and even then he is above average, but is struggling with a 'can't do it' attitude)

I hate this bloody exam & all its stupid connotations (class, aspiration etc)

I would rather he went somewhere where he felt he could soar rather than bob along at the bottom.

So did it all work out well for your DC?

Plus3 Sat 13-Jul-13 12:46:41


Arisbottle Sat 13-Jul-13 13:15:35

My daughter number one passed the grammar test but chose to go to the comp/ secondary modern and we have been very happy, she gets stretched as much if not more than her brother at the grammar . She has access to a much wider curriculum, better facilities and she can walk to school.

Our child about to go up would have been borderline grammar but having looked around the grammar and the alternative chose the alternative.

tiggytape Sat 13-Jul-13 14:50:58

I think it depends where you live.
We are in London within commuting distance of some superselective grammar schools (the type where thousands apply but only the top 180 or so get a place).
As such, the knock on effect for comps is minimal and they cater very well for bright children. Their intake will still include a genuine top set of students leaving primary on levels 5 and 6. They offer separate sciences, several languages, further Maths at A Level and have some students going to Oxbridge each year. Some of them comps score 70 - 80% on the 5A*-C GCSE measurement used which is very high for a genuinely mixed school.

In other areas though, I think the provision in secondary schools may be less targeted if the grammars nearby are taking the top 25% rather than the top 5% of children. In those areas, the secondary schools may not cater as well for them and that bright children who fall through the cracks at the 11+ stage would be disadvantaged perhaps.

NoComet Sat 13-Jul-13 14:55:33

DD2 refused to do the 11+
Her, now in special measures comp. does a perfectly respectable job of everything except German.

This is not helped by her putting in zero effort at it.

Her older sisters at the same school so I know it does a pretty good job. Several students have Oxbridge offers.

Plus3 Sat 13-Jul-13 16:03:21

Thank you - we start looking around schools next term so will get a better feel for it then.
We are in Bucks & it seems that people are quite hysterical about the local non-grammar schools & I don't know anyone in the area who have children that have made this transition.
I am confident in my son's intelligence grin he has an unspecified SEN which isn't helping at the moment, but I am finding the assumption that we are lacking as parents if we don't get him into the grammar school rather grating.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 13-Jul-13 16:09:08

My dd passed the 11plus but ended up at a comprehensive.

Only in Yr 7 so early days but I think things are OK. She seems motivated and interested. In main subjects the kids are streamed so she's in top groups. Some subjects they're not - art, dt, pe, music, citizenship.

The stories she tells me about the behaviour are a bit hair raising - kids telling teachers to fuck off, punch ups in class, kids walking round the room and not sitting down, storming out, etc. Thankfully this just seems to happen in the subjects where she's not streamed.

StrawColoured Sat 13-Jul-13 16:23:37

Yes - both my ds's failed the 11+ and went to the local secondary modern (which is a boys only school for age 11-16). I was initially worried this would scupper their chances, but they both ended up with a boatload of A*-C grade GCSEs, and really enjoyed their time at the school, making loads of friends and generally having a great few years there.

The eldest (now 20) then got into the grammar school for his A-levels. The youngest (now 18) went to college for sixth form. We're in Birmingham btw.

DioneTheDiabolist Sat 13-Jul-13 16:28:36

I passed and went to grammar school.
Sister 1 failed and went to comp.
Sister 2 passed, she and my parents decided to she should go to comp.

It was a much superior school.

celticclan Sat 13-Jul-13 16:43:02

Whereabouts in Bucks are you? Are you close enough to a neighbouring county to consider applying to a comp across the border?

forehead Sun 14-Jul-13 16:49:37

Depends on the alternative. We live in a grammar area, but have some fantastic catholic schools. So it wouldn't bother me if my dcs did not pass the 11 plus.

ChippyMinton Sun 14-Jul-13 20:16:54

Bear in mind that some children will pass the 11+ but won't get a grammar place because competition for places is immense in some areas. They did not fail, just not in the top 180 or whatever.

Elibean Mon 15-Jul-13 16:58:46

Plus3, people get hysterical about all sorts of things - and quite often, the hysteria is based on hearsay, ancient history, and insecurity smile

I am so with you on the soaring v bobbing thing, and loathing all the pressure. Some pressure, normal. SW London pressure, insane IMO.

Anyway...we're not quite there yet, but a million years ago I got into the local high school (with scholarship) via 11+ and chose not to go. I did absolutely fine, it was far better for me to be in a less pressurized environment.

Evageorge Tue 16-Jul-13 12:10:37

Grammar schools are not by definition better than comprehensive schools. They are just different. A good comprehensive school will challenge and stretch all pupils, regardless of their ability and interests. is reassuring in this regard.

Ocelotl Thu 18-Jul-13 15:06:48

It's not yet September so early to say, but everything I've seen so far confirms my gut feeling that my son is going to a much better school as a result of missing out on a grammar place.

The main advantage of our local grammar schools are the extra languages they offer. For everything it looks like our secondary can give the grammars a run for their money - especially the local girls grammar which offers flawless GCSE results so long as your daughter survives all the bullying.

Parents here get extremely fraught, and I'm one of the very few people who've not had a tutor or hived off their kid to the prep in Year 5. If we'd all said "sod it", put the comprehensive as 1st choice and boycotted the -farce- 11+, I suspect standards and morale would go up all all round.

Plus3 Thu 18-Jul-13 15:47:30

oceloti I feel that way too - it's almost a personal failure around here.
I don't want to tutor to pass an exam, but am wary of being political at my DCs expense.
I think I will feel better when we visit the schools ourselves rather than relying on current hearsay.

hedwig2001 Thu 18-Jul-13 16:01:09

Which end of Bucks are you?
We are Wendover and my son is very happy at the John Colet School. He was close to the 11+ pass mark, just note close enough.

Plus3 Thu 18-Jul-13 17:45:33

Near High Wycombe but we are looking to move grin

xylem8 Thu 18-Jul-13 18:37:53

Grammar schools tend to have a different culture though.

Plus3 Thu 18-Jul-13 18:47:00 with that in mind, my question remains.

Ocelotl Mon 22-Jul-13 14:11:11

Plus3, whatever you do, my advice is visit all the schools with your child first and trust your child's gut feeling and your own. See what the teachers are like in the subjects you most care about.
Also, try to see through GCSE results. If a comprehensive with a fair share of SEN children gets 70% A-Cs and a grammar with no SEN gets 99% A-Cs, chances are the comp is the better school.
If, after all the visits, you decide a grammar school is what your child needs, then seriously look into tutoring. I hate saying this, but here's why:
In our county (similar setup to Bucks), grammars are more oversubscribed than ever this year because parents who would have gone private pre-recession are now sending their children to grammars. What they do shell out for (to save money later) is tutoring and prep schools. That's why if someone says "Oh, my son/daughter got into a grammar last year, no tutoring", it means zilch in 2013/14. Non-tutored children, even if top of their class - the kind that would have gone straight to grammars 1-2 years ago - can't win this game. It's unfair, it's wrong, but it's life.
Having said that, not everyone who is tutored gets into grammars, and not everyone who gets in thrives. From what I've seen, not all grammars are inherently better -snobbery plays a big part, so don't let that sway you.

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