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Grammar school areas.... thoughts?

(130 Posts)
Fleetfox56 Sat 03-Feb-18 19:50:53

Those who live in grammar school towns/cities, are you glad you do? We do and our DC will sit 11 plus a year in Sept if she chooses to do so. However, I grew up in this town and went to this school. All girls, quite pressurised and thinks a lot of itself. I’m not sure it’s what I want for her....

We do have crazy dreams of moving away but whether we can realise them or not still remains to be seen.

Just wondered what other people’s thoughts were on grammar system, single-sex secondary schools etc...

missmapp Sat 03-Feb-18 19:55:23

We live in a grammar school area. Ds1 was middle of the road in yr5/6. He didn't really want to do the 11+ and we didn't make him. He has thrived at a small high school as _because the top are at grammar, he is in one of the top seta. He has much more confidence and no I never talks about the 'clever kids'. Friends whose ds2 went to grammar also have done well. I wish we had proper comps around us but the situation is not as bad as I feared when ds2 was in primary.

Fleetfox56 Sat 03-Feb-18 21:29:27

Thanks Missmapp. Glad it has worked out for your DS1 with his secondary school.

Taffeta Sat 03-Feb-18 21:38:16

We are in a grammar area. I’ve one DS at a superselective and one DD at a normal grammar

DD scraped in and has always been borderline but the school thus far is proving to be the making of her.

I loved that we lived in the area for DS but hated what we went through with DD and many times wished we didn’t live here

As it is, it’s worked out very well so far but if you’ve a borderline child it’s very stressful to say the least

It depends what the sec modern alternative is like in your area - DD was adamant she hated ours and would be very miserable there. She was also determined to go to a single sex school

user1498927651 Sat 03-Feb-18 22:45:50

We are in a county with some grammar schools, but it is otherwise comprehensive. DS is thriving at grammar after having some issues with disengagement and feeling different to his peers in primary school. We are very lucky that he was offered a place as we moved into the area in year 6 and had to make a late application for secondary.

Lackingimagination6 Sat 03-Feb-18 22:52:20

I moved aged 11 to a grammar school area. I was super academic but had missed entry for grammars and my parents weren't that keen on them anyway so I went to a decent local comprehensive.

The grammars were super selective (Essex) so the impact on the comps wasn't that huge, but we were all very conscious of the grammars, and knew that was where the clever kids went.

I had moments of wishing I was at the grammar. But on balance think I was much better off at the comp. Got to know a much wider range of people. Less intense and competitive. Still got good a levels and went to Cambridge.

I now live in a fully Comp area and am v glad I haven't had to make this choice for my own kids.

HPFA Sun 04-Feb-18 07:42:53

I am extremely pleased to live in a fully comprehensive county. I disapprove of selection in principle so wasn't forced to engage in a system I didn't agree with. As it turned out DD would probably have been a borderline case so would have hated to choose between pushing her hard (and then maybe struggling to cope) or having her feel a failure at 11.

CatkinToadflax Sun 04-Feb-18 09:52:50

I grew up in the only fully grammar school/secondary modern county and went to the grammar and got on well. We still lived there when our boys were born. However most of the secondary moderns/upper schools (as I think they are now known) are notoriously bad in the county, so we deliberately moved counties. DS2 would be likely to pass the 11+ but we wouldn’t even have put DS1 in for it, and we felt very uncomfortable about them receiving completely different standards of schooling to one another.

ReelingLush18 Sun 04-Feb-18 10:02:17

DS is still at a super-selective (now in the sixth form). It is only since he went into Year 12 that he's actually started to really enjoy school and flourish. He certainly didn't even begin to thrive (or fulfil his potential) until this year. Very tellingly, he says that he won't even consider sending his own children to grammar schools in the future.

They are not for everyone, particularly if one isn't a super high-flyer (and/or very competitive to boot).

RaininSummer Sun 04-Feb-18 10:08:24

We have three grammars, two girls one boys. One if my girls went to grammar, one comp. Both done well but interestingly the one who attended comp is the one who is very academic and gone on to do a Phd. I like having the choice if you have an academically able child and want single sex schooling.

SwanVests Sun 04-Feb-18 10:12:13

We ware in a town where about 25% go to grammar, the rest to the local comp. The local comp is truly terrible, horrific bullying including a suicide a few years ago that made national news. The local comp still insisted everything was fine. I would rather home school than send my dc there.

I’m sure a huge part of the reason this comp is so bad is due to such a huge proportion of kids going to the grammar. When it’s only 5-10% it’s not so noticeable. When a quarter of your classmates are told they are better than you age 11 and whisked off it doesn’t create a pleasant environment.

Namechange16 Sun 04-Feb-18 10:15:29

I'm not surprised at that raininsummer. I went to a selective school and they beat the joy of learning out of me. There was so much pressure.

ReelingLush18 Sun 04-Feb-18 10:18:06

Interestingly I only really discovered my love of learning after I left my grammar school.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 04-Feb-18 10:22:19

Dd did the 11 plus but didn't pass. I wish I could have sent her to the all girls grammar.

Unfortunately round here all those that didn't pass are stuck at shitty schools with poor results.

So while it's great those who have the ability to do really really well have the chance. It's really really shit that there's no where any good for anyone else.

Would those high achievers help to bring the standards up by giving teachers a reason to reach the higher level stuff? Or would they be bored waiting around while they try and catch everyone ekse up?

Who knows.

Few schools people can access however just means those with problems.and struggles etc are all concentrated in 2 or three schools as opposed to five or six. Must mean they get less supoort and help too as there won't be the time to help everyone

blueskypink Sun 04-Feb-18 10:27:57

My dcs all went to a grammar school. I think it would have been better for at least two of them to have gone to a proper comprehensive (ie in a non-selective area)

ReelingLush18 Sun 04-Feb-18 10:28:23

Would those high achievers help to bring the standards up by giving teachers a reason to reach the higher level stuff? Or would they be bored waiting around while they try and catch everyone ekse up?

The comp DC2 attends sets from Year 7 (across the academic subjects) so the most able are certainly not sitting around being bored.

Brokenbiscuit Sun 04-Feb-18 10:33:29

I am very glad that we don't live in a grammar school area. DD is super-academic and would cope well in a very academic environment, but in her current school, she has friends with a range of disabilities and she is able to appreciate that everyone has strengths in different areas.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 04-Feb-18 10:50:47


The school my dd will be going to the number of higher achievers gaining the ebacc is 5 %

Less for middle attained

And the lower attained it's eityer 1 or 0 percent

The other two potentials are higher but still all below national average.

So they probably don't do as well as they could

mountford100 Sun 04-Feb-18 11:05:17

Grammar school are the way for my three children and i am thrilled by that !

This is about as popular on here as Jacob Rees Mogg.....

ReelingLush18 Sun 04-Feb-18 11:12:07

Gileswithachainsaw - I went to a comp like that before moving to a grammar school (in a completely different area). Even though I'd been one of the really clever ones I was so far behind in subjects like Maths when I moved, it was unbelievable. I never caught up during my school days and even to this day it has impacted on my confidence in all sorts of ways. I have huge 'holes' in my basic school level education.

PootlesLovelyHat Sun 04-Feb-18 11:17:02

I went to a super selective Grammar School, it was ok my memories are of the friends I made rather than the education.

I have two DSs, eldest took the 11+ and failed, he's since admitted he threw the test as he didn't really want to go. Second DS didn't even want to take it. Both doing really well and in the top sets of a comprehensive.

Many of my friends have put their DCs in private rather than the comprehensive which can make for interesting conversations! My DSs love School, eldest is flying away, youngest just needs a push but that's to do with personalities and not schooling.

Interestingly my eldest said he never wanted to go to the Grammar as he'd rather be in the top set of the comprehensive, plus it would have meant a bus ride and he'd rather walk.

BigDeskBob Sun 04-Feb-18 11:19:43

"Even though I'd been one of the really clever ones I was so far behind in subjects like Maths when I moved, it was unbelievable."

This is said a lot, but if it where true, children in non grammar schools wouldn't get top grades. What's more likely is that the curriculum is taught in a different order.

Unless a GCSE from a grammar is superior to a GCSE from a non grammar school?

BeyondThePage Sun 04-Feb-18 11:23:52

We live in a county with a few grammar schools, one superselective mixed, a few girls only, a few boys only.

have 2 DDs 15 and 17 - they chose not to go for grammar for secondary school - but we had a choice of 2 good comps.

DD17 is at one of the boys grammars - which is mixed for sixth form - and loves it. All the girls are new to the school for Y12, less cliquey than going up in the same school. DD15 may continue at her comp, may go for grammar with her sister - has applied to both.

Fleetfox56 Sun 04-Feb-18 11:26:32

Thanks for all your replies so far. It is giving me lots of food for thought.... DD is currently in year 4 and has always seemed to do well academically so far but how do I know if she is ‘grammar-material’ or not? I know many of the parents tutor around here for 11 plus... a few who didn’t tutor have got in though.

ReelingLush18 Sun 04-Feb-18 11:29:43

Gileswithachainsaw this was in the days before the National Curriculum existed though - I'm really not making this up! I moved to a grammar school in Year 10 having never done equations before in my life. I still can't do them properly to this day (have had to learn to help the DC). No-one at my grammar school ever actually bothered to clock that I couldn't do them because I'd not been taught.

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