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Should I send my kid to a grammar school

(135 Posts)
Mamahen999 Mon 01-Feb-16 00:52:12

Ds1 is really bright high 11 plus score . Grammar would involve a bus journey but not too bad. I'm rural so would take a little planning. Family and friends are really against this. In fact I'm feeling quite upset at the negativity about it. Local comp was in educ dept intervention as a failing school until last couple years. Turning round and kids seem to love it but falling intake. As a kid I was offered a grammar place but the family decided I shouldn't go as bright kids do well anywhere. I was bullied year 8 and 9 but came into my own and was very very happy at comp. I got middling GCSEs but got notes from grammar friends and went to technical college at night to get me the excellent a levels I needed for the high level uni course I wanted. I succeeded academically in spite of the school but the life lessons in schooling with diverse pupils was invaluable . Family Nd friends are so negative via they all went comp. none of my family went to grammar. They keep saying he'll do well anywhere but I remember vividly the underachievement of boys. Even I had to hide the fact I was studying . it wasn't cool. Yet the grammar school is made up entirely of middle class parents ( my education has made me one too) sending ds1 to grammar is saying to them all I don't agree with your choices but my bright boy is telling me mum I'll have more opportunities there. Maybe he's the bright one . I dunno but I cannot believe the negativity and hostility . Views folks.

dodobookends Mon 01-Feb-16 00:57:45

Does your ds want to go to the grammar, or to the local comp (where presumably most of his friends are going)?

Try not to think about your own experiences too much and whether or not you want him to go there, other than maybe letting him have the choice you yourself were denied.

paranoiddroid Mon 01-Feb-16 00:58:45

What's it got to do with any of them? Send him where you as parents think is best for him.

AndNowItsSeven Mon 01-Feb-16 00:59:43

Send him to the grammar without a doubt.

Mamahen999 Mon 01-Feb-16 01:04:47

Aw thanks folks . Think I thought family would be pleased for him ! Some crazy inverted snobbery. He actually wants the grammar ( although I think his dad has been on a pr campaign ). He is very worried all his mates will be at comp though. If he went it would be a strange type of symmetry . My dad got a scholarship to grammar and his family didn't let him and got him a job. I got accepted and didn't go . It might be about time !

PettsWoodParadise Mon 01-Feb-16 06:39:45

Grammar. We chose the school that is the best fit for DD, the fact it is a grammar is not a reason to turn our backs on it. I presume you've already filled out your CAF and waiting for 1 Mar so the decision has really already been made.

HelpfulChap Mon 01-Feb-16 06:51:32

Both mine went to Grammar.

I don't regret sending them.

winkywinkola Mon 01-Feb-16 06:52:49


GraceKellysLeftArm Mon 01-Feb-16 06:54:06

It's bizarre that your associates would not want the best for your child. Send him!

Kennington Mon 01-Feb-16 06:55:16

Failing comp being turned around does not sound fun

eurochick Mon 01-Feb-16 07:08:07

Grammar. I went to a grammar. My bestie went to the comp. we stayed best friends through our teens so he doesn't have to lose friends. Do what is best for his education.

WallToWallBastards Mon 01-Feb-16 07:09:14

Attending a grammar ruined me. There was a huge bullying problem swept under the carpet, an obvious class divide, it can be difficult if you're struggling academically or are anywhere below the very top, and since I went on to a college and a metropolitan university I have been constantly berated and questioned by family/friends/stranger's dogs why I wasted my education and pissed away opportunities. This has been the experience of other people at other schools I know. Please check the school carefully though as high status schools seem to be allowed to coast along.

booface Mon 01-Feb-16 07:29:19

If you have the opportunity of grammar and he is keen to go, go for it! He sounds a bright kid and you are being handed a great opportunity... re the comments on bullying, that can happen at any school and a good one with have excellent strategies in place if/when there are any problems.

I went to grammar, my kids are at grammar and I really do think it gives a great education.

PosieReturningParker Mon 01-Feb-16 07:47:37

Send your child to the best school.

Principles are often outweighed by wanting the best for our kids winksmile

Chippednailvarnish Mon 01-Feb-16 07:49:43

My mil is currently doing the same thing. Fuck em, send him where you both want to go...

Finola1step Mon 01-Feb-16 07:53:06

This has nothing to do with family members. This is a discussion for between you, dh and ds. No other opinions matter.

TheSecondOfHerName Mon 01-Feb-16 07:55:44

The deadline for secondary school applications is the October of Y6, so are you considering what decision to make for a child currently in Y5? If so, how do you already know what he scored in his 11 plus? I'm confused.

What did your dad's scholarship to a grammar school provide? They aren't fee-paying.

Putting all that aside, I think you should send your child to the school which is best suited to him.

Badbadbunny Mon 01-Feb-16 08:47:28

Ignore your family and friends. It's just inverted snobbery and jealously. We went through the same thing with our son, in fact, my sister hardly talks to me anymore, nor do several of the other mothers from my son's primary school!

It's an individual decision for you and your son. Every person is different, every school is different. You really CAN'T generalise. You'll get all kinds of anecdotal "evidence" from people, some saying they were happy at grammar, some saying they weren't. Grammars can be very different. Some are snobbish and high-brow, others are friendly and nurturing. You'll get a feeling during the open days, meetings before the 11+, and the day of the 11+ itself.

We were worried because the local grammar is ancient and austere - dark rooms, dark wood panelled walls, looks more like it's out of a Dicken's novel than a modern school, so initial reactions were a real put-off. Before we went, we looked at the website, and were worried because it gave the impression of being stuffy and too intellectual, i.e. lots of emphasis on Latin and Greek, etc. So we went to the open day thinking it was probably not for our son as he's very "normal", loves playing footie with local kids in the nearby field, loves playing computer games, etc. But what a revelation compared with the other local schools we visited! The teachers and support staff were incredibly friendly, the head of maths happily played a maths board game with my son for half an hour, plenty of emphasis on transition and nurturing, the head teacher himself was walking around and happily talking to the children, guided tours of the school were done by teachers and sixth formers, all of whom really engaged with us. After that, it was a done deal and our son really wanted to go there! Compare that with the comps we visited, where we either wondered around without any guides, with just the odd first year wondering around to help with directions, where the head appeared only for the half hour presentation in the hall, where the staff were in huddles talking amongst themselves and even looking as if they were trying to avoid talking to parents and children.

On the day of the 11+, there were loads of staff around, all trying their best to put the children at ease. They got a drink and biscuit and the teachers supervising told them jokes before they started and again during the breaks between tests. My son told me he actually enjoyed the 11+ day! It was then even more of a done deal!

He's now in his third year and has never been happier, never complains of any bullying or other problems, doing very well and exceeding all our expectations. Got a lovely group of new friends - all perfectly normal, and far less snobby than the primary school kids and parents.

If it's right for you and your son, go for it. Ignore your family and friends. it's your son's education that's at stake.

PatriciaHolm Mon 01-Feb-16 10:05:45

Surely the application is already done if he's got his scores?

He wants to go. So send him. Worst case? He can transfer back to the comp if absolutely necessary; doesn't sound as if it's oversubscribed. At least give him the chance.

BertrandRussell Mon 01-Feb-16 10:13:58

Puzzled by the time scales- are you speculating about what might happen next year?

It depends what the individual schools are like. Grammar schools can be crap- and comprehensives can be fab. And vice versa. Is it a true comprehensive or a secondary modern?

Marniasmum Mon 01-Feb-16 10:15:42

Have secondary admissions not closed ages ago? We had to submit our forms by the end of October, and this is a county with a low population.

NWgirls Mon 01-Feb-16 10:31:41

OP: you know what the right decision is. Just work on your cover story. ("Yes, you're right, clever kids do well anywhere, so we let him choose. Poor DS, he will have to suffer all those posh people we all hate" or some other rubbish along those lines).

What's wrong with people?!!! This underlying "not for the likes of us" attitude is infuriating, and really hampers social mobility. (It is just as bad as the concerns (with more headlines) about elitism (Eton etc) just the other way, but with similar effect.

PS: in case there was any doubt from the above: I think school "fit" matters greatly and with a high score (rather than borderline) he should not struggle at grammar, and probably be both happier and better educated. And if he wobbles; Current friends is the only point not to listen to - he will get new ones and keep the "keepers".

Gobbolino6 Mon 01-Feb-16 10:35:48

I'd want to send him to the grammar, and as he seems to want to go I think your choice is made.

tinofbiscuits Mon 01-Feb-16 10:37:39

Go for the grammar.

I wish this was an option in all counties, not just a few.

BertrandRussell Mon 01-Feb-16 10:52:18

Tinofbiscuits- do you wish secondary moderns were an option in all counties as well?

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