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Banding tests

(20 Posts)
Crazy3 Wed 18-Jul-18 18:22:35

Hi, does anybody have experience of banding tests? I'm thinking particularly of Harris secondary schools. They say it's not a pass or fail test, but ask the council to allocate places based on your child's results. Each band has a different catchment.
The test is non verbal reasoning, so I'm thinking kids who have been tutoring for 11 plus will have a big advantage. Would you tutor to better your chances of getting in if you had limited options? All the schools near by are oversubscribed.

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CrackingEggs Wed 18-Jul-18 18:28:28

I've heard rumours of parents who told their daughters to try and do as badly as possible in the Camden School For Girls banding tests. This was a few years ago when the catchment for the lower ability bands tended to be wider than that for the higher ability bands.

So my answer would depend on the catchments and if they are actual catchments, or last distance offered for each band.

Crazy3 Wed 18-Jul-18 18:51:10

Hi thanks for the reply- as far as I understand the catchments are not fixed and are offered on each band post exam.

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Crazy3 Wed 18-Jul-18 18:52:12

In fact admissions at our local council suggested that the highest band goes out the furthest.

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bollocksitshappenedagain Wed 18-Jul-18 18:55:41

They say they are truly comprehensive. So they plot the distribution curve of the populations intelligence (for want of a better word) and then turn that into 10 bands. The number of places for admission are then allocated in the bands according to the same proportion as the population. So there is no pass or fail. It just means catchment area for school will be different for every band because it depends where people live compared to each band not just overall.

bollocksitshappenedagain Wed 18-Jul-18 18:57:25

If you are 11 plus area then yes bands may go further for higher ranking. Knowing my daughters band and a friend that got in I would say that was the case here last year. (Don't know by how much though)

CrackingEggs Wed 18-Jul-18 19:01:05

Sorry then, it's different to the naming tests I know about then. The ones I know about have 4 bands which are based on the "intelligence" of the children sitting the rest that year, rather than of the general population of children.

It may be in your case that tutu ring would give an advantage.

Crazy3 Wed 18-Jul-18 19:24:08

I think I’m just getting myself more confused! The response from the school said that the banding test is a non-Verbal reasoning test. The test is done to place the students into a band then they instruct the local authority to offer the places based on our admissions policy. This is not a pass or fail test they give places in every band. The council told me however that the highest band goes out the farthest and that they cannot give us clear catchment information except to tell us what the three bands we’re distance wise last year.

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maz99 Wed 18-Jul-18 22:51:36

OP, I don’t know which Harris school you’re referring to, but in the admissions criteria for all of the Harris schools near me it states that they place children in each of the 9 bands based on the assessment result. It was explained to me at one of the Harris schools that each band is then sorted by distance, and then the top 20 from each band is given a place.

There is also one Harris school that does it totally different, it has a 2nd (internal) assessment and 15% of it’s places go to those children that do well on it. It also allocates the places in each band by lottery, and also by percentage - 90% of places within (2.2 miles) and 10% of places further out.

Crazy3 Wed 18-Jul-18 23:13:56

Maz99 thanks so much for that bit of detail, that’s what I wanted to to know.

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maz99 Thu 19-Jul-18 00:29:10

You’re welcome smile

bollocksitshappenedagain Thu 19-Jul-18 08:12:33

Ma be its different in different areas. In our area the band sizes are variable. So I think middle bands had approx 30-35 i, the top and bottom bands only around 8-9.

Crazy3 Thu 19-Jul-18 09:42:17

Had some clarification. It’s a bell curve system, applicants are branded based on the test and then awarded places on distance for each band.

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ifonly4 Thu 19-Jul-18 10:24:35

My DD sat a fair banding test, in which they were placed into one of seven bands. Within each band, they were then placed in order of distance from the school and the top x in each band received a place, so therefore they took in an equal amount of abilities. There's no fail/pass.

notaworrierxxx Thu 19-Jul-18 12:26:11

My daughter did a banding test for one of the Harris schools - there was no pass or fail. I was told she was in the top band though after allocation day but I've no idea how many bands there were so don't really know what that means. My daughter did the 11+ so was familiar with NVR which inevitably must have helped

prh47bridge Thu 19-Jul-18 13:04:18

There is no point tutoring for a fair banding test. It may get your child into a higher band (although it won't achieve that if it is a properly constructed NVR test) but they admit the same number of children from each band so that doesn't improve your chances of getting a place.

Clavinova Thu 19-Jul-18 14:31:19

I think it depends on the school. The two extracts below are both taken from the Admissions Policies for two different Harris Academy Schools in the London area - the first school has 65% high attainers (which obviously doesn't reflect the national distribution of intelligence) - the second school has 28% high attainers:

^For the remaining places (162) applications will then be considered for places in the ability band in which the applicant is placed by the NVRT test score. The number of places available in each ability band will be determined by GL Assessment by matching the percentage of places in each band to the ability profile of the applicants
for places that year^

The number of places in these groups will represent the national distribution of abilities by applying national percentages in each group to the number of places available. There is no pass or fail to the assessment but the process produces valid and reliable scores so that places can be allocated from each of the nine groups to produce a balanced and equitable intake

Clavinova Thu 19-Jul-18 14:50:26

Also, perhaps one reason it might be advantageous for your child to be in the top band/s is that top band children will often have other options - grammar/aptitude test elsewhere/scholarships and bursaries to private schools - and they've only listed the banding test school as their 4th/5th/6th choice - freeing up a space for your child if you really want the school/have limited options.

EllenJanethickerknickers Thu 19-Jul-18 21:39:13

My DSs took a fair banding test for their school. There were 7 bands divided into equal populations of around 60 DC in each by score on the NVR test. The closest 35 by distance to the school in each band got a place. This was to ensure a 'truly comprehensive' mix of abilities in the school representative of the ability profile of those applying, approx 60 x 7 in their case.

We are in a grammar school area however, with one super selective grammar school locally and a few more in the next town. Which meant that the top band had DC in the 60 or so who got into grammar school. So that band had a slightly wider 'catchment' area. In effect, the school tried to compensate for the adverse effect that grammar schools had on its intake by taking 35 from the top band. The school made sure the fair banding test was taken before the results of the grammar 11+ exams were revealed.

If your area doesn't have any grammar schools there should be no significant difference in the 'catchment' areas for each band.

EllenJanethickerknickers Thu 19-Jul-18 21:44:37

The split into bands was done on the ability of the DC taking the test, not on a national average. So eg if the total number of DC taking the test was 420, there would be 60 children in each of 7 bands, 35 getting a place from each band on distence. If 700 took the test, 100 in each band, 35 getting a place, etc.

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