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So its impossible to get into Colyton Grammar ?

(190 Posts)
HoratioHappened Fri 06-Nov-09 16:20:01

My middle child came home from school and told me some of her friends are going to take the 11 plus for Colyton next year. She said she wants to do it as well. We decided she could have a go if she wanted.

However, I was having a coffee with a friend with kids at a local private school who told me it was hopless as they only take kids from private schools these days and she would never get in. Is this really true ? Do they not have to make sure they take at least a few from state schools ?

JollyPirate Fri 06-Nov-09 16:26:04

Is this Colyton in Somerset/Dorset area? If so I only know one person who got their child in there recently and she was from a private school. Everyone seems to hothouse their children for the exam and as far as I am aware the pressure is on right from the word go once the child starts the school.
My other friend's son had a go at the exam and he is bright but was not hothoused so didn't make the grade. He is thriving in a normal secondary though - top sets for everything.

Lilymaid Fri 06-Nov-09 16:29:44

Have a look on the 11+ Forums (Colyton is in East Devon).

HoratioHappened Fri 06-Nov-09 17:07:24

Thanks I have had a look but can't find anything relevant. She is level five for everything at the moment and her teacher thought it was a good idea, but suppose I had better tell her not to get her hopes up. sad

MintyCane Sat 07-Nov-09 13:27:09


selectivememory Sat 07-Nov-09 14:18:39

My DCs are/were at a grammar school very similar to Colyton in the league tables, different part of the country. They were state educated, and there is a huge private intake there too.

I wouldn't take any notice of local gossip. I would go for it, but make sure your daughter is adequately prepared, ie practice the test papers or whatever. That is the advantage the private schools have over the state sector, nothing more than that.

MintyCane Sun 08-Nov-09 08:10:41

Very interesting is it a nice school. Is there anyone out there with a kid at the school ?

GunpowderTreasonAndDragons Sun 08-Nov-09 08:16:59

I suspect it is not that they only take private schools but that they take the top performers in the exam. Those top performers are likely to be from private schools.

It is certainly the case here that of those successfully passing the entrance exam for neighbouring borough grammar schools (out of borough for the 11+) the majority will be tutored private school pupils.

MintyCane Sun 08-Nov-09 08:55:09

wow that is really sad.

selectivememory Sun 08-Nov-09 10:49:08

It is sad but it's not impossible to get into these schools from state primaries!!

All it needs is a bit of preparation, the ones at the private schools aren't automatically brighter, they are just more 'in the know' as to what is required. If the OP's daughter wants to have a go, then she should. I certainly wouldn't be put off by remarks from competitive parents, it just perpetuates the myth that only privately educated children are 'clever' enough to go to a grammar school. Nonsense.

Jux Sun 08-Nov-09 11:04:30

It's not impossible (dd did the practise paper y'day morning). If your child gets a high enough result in the exam then they're in.

However, many of the children are from private/preps where they are much much better prepared; some are tutored to death for a long time before and I've even heard of kids whose tutoring starts when they're still in nursery.

My dd is a bright girl. She will learn wherever she goes, but will learn better at Colyton because the facilities are better, and the attitudes to learning are keen if not eager!

However, it is definitely not the end of the world if she doesn't get in. Just make sure your dd knows that it's not the be-all and end-all.

cherryblossoms Sun 08-Nov-09 11:09:20

Have a go.

We're in a different area (London), ds is in a top-performing gs. Only about 6 in his class are from private schools (I think - I'm basing that on the number who have studied Latin at primary).

My warning would be to get a tutor just to make sure that your dd's maths and english is where it should be.

Different here (we're in London) but what I would advise anyone whose dc is sitting maths and english papers (not so much VR and NVR,) is that there is just SUCH a variability between primaries (that goes for between state schools, not just state/private,), that you CANNOT assume your dc's primary will have covered the basics, let alone the more advanced stuff, in enough depth, to be certain they can have a go at all the questions.

Might be different outside of London, but here it's actually so shocking it should be a national scandal.

Jux Sun 08-Nov-09 11:16:39

By the way, I know people from round here (in East Devon) who say similar things. They do tend to be the ones whose own children have failed. (TBH, without wishing to be or being judgeywink, there was at least one whose child really wasn't that bright, so I wasn't too surprised she didn't make the grade - I wouldn't have even put her in for it, if she'd been mine.)

On a brighter note, there were 3 girls from dd's school (local state primary) who started at Colyton this year.

SeeYouAtDartsDarling Sun 08-Nov-09 11:27:14

Is it true that Colyton get their own under achievers to sit their exams at Sidmouth in order to preserve the league table results?

It's seems odd to put Colyton and under achievement in the same sentence but apparently sometimes early bloomers fail to flower wherever they are planted.

Jux Sun 08-Nov-09 11:43:53

I shouldn't think they're allowed to do that. It sounds like yet another of the rumours that run around here.

MintyCane Sun 08-Nov-09 13:29:58

Jux did you tutor your dd at home for the exam. I have a dd who wants to go there and I have heard that the stuff in the exam is not even touched in state school. I know dd is considered extremely bright by the school but that is not enough really is it ?

Jux Sun 08-Nov-09 15:57:24

I got some Bond papers from Smith's. DD wasn't v interested tbh. She had a go at the NVR stuff because she'd never seen anything like it before and it was therefore interesting.

I certainly didn't even start until the summer holidays, and then my mum died and since then events rather overtook me, and we did very little indeed.

DD will pass or fail on what she is rather than on what she's done. smile

grammar Mon 09-Nov-09 11:26:22

We were encouraged to put my middle son in for Colyton by his state school year 5/6 teacher. We now considere ourselves a little naive since although we've done practise papers with him at home, we haven't tutored. Some of the questions cover work they simply haven't, modes medians, averages etc..How on earth is a state school child albeit bright expected to stand a chance against intensively tutored or privately educated children. When I went into school to speak to his teacher and see if she could target his learning to the expectations of the exam, she simply murmured about doing equations etc.. in a few weeks and gave me a mathe book that was nearly 30 years old, this from the person who suggested Colyton.Sorry for the rant. Who else has not tutored; is it wrong to tutor, ie hothouse? Any comments welcome

Francasaysrelax Mon 09-Nov-09 11:34:14

Actually I know of a kid who got a place there some 3 yrs ago, the kid came from a state primary. I don't think the kid had been tutored.

MissAnneElk Mon 09-Nov-09 11:43:14

A child from DDs state school got a place there a few years ago. We're nowhere near it but the parents wanted to relocate. State schools don't practise the papers, but many prep schools do. It's certainly not true that prep school pupils are cleverer, they just have more practise and are usually encouraged more by their parents who want to avoid fees after 11.

Grammar - I'm very surprised that your DCs school has not covered modes and medians - it is part of the maths curriculum.

MintyCane Mon 09-Nov-09 13:45:12

Jux so sorry to hear about your mum and good luck to your dd in the exam.

Good luck also to grammars son smile

MintyCane Mon 09-Nov-09 13:49:24

BTW modes and medians etc is part of the curriculum but is often not covered until after the exam would be taken in Nov.

InTheMix Mon 09-Nov-09 14:40:24

apparently 480 sat on saturday for the familiarisation exam - 120 places available. About 100 more than usual

grammar Mon 09-Nov-09 16:37:46

what a very lovely, kind comment to Jux and myself.
Thank you
and good luck to all the souls who sat/are sitting 11+

Jux Mon 09-Nov-09 18:46:50

Thank you MintyCane. As it happens, my brother then died last Monday, and then dd's two guinea pigs died at the w/e.

grin I have to laugh or I don't know where I'll end up.

We've sent dd away to a cousin's who will look after her beautifully, give her quiet time, talk to her gently and be very very kind. DD will be the centre of attention, there is a horse and some chickens and she'll be kept well occupied.

She may actually have a chance after that smile

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