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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 ?

beechbabe Mon 27-Jun-11 08:52:32

Actually Jux my eldest says you should apologise, though not to me and oakman but to the students who care sufficiently about their school to post entirely spontaneously and of their own accord.

I'm more irritated by your post than I was last night and I'm sure that MNHQ would be able to confirm that the student posters have entirely different surnames from my own, if you care to enquire.

The student posts were to their credit, they clearly like their school.

Your post was both unprovoked and offensive, unlike any of mine.

Jux Mon 27-Jun-11 10:05:49

I do apologise to those students. I am sorry and made an assumption that I really shouldn't have made.

HeidiCGS Thu 30-Jun-11 00:44:03

Hi, I just want to add a comment here about Colyton Grammar School (using my mother's account by the way). I'll try and be brief. smile

I am year 11 student at Colyton Grammar, and as it is, no, not everyone is rich and could afford private education, and that is what CGS offers, excellent education to those who are bright, not those who have money. My friend's father works for the school, and no selection is ever made on income, purely academic results in the 11+ exam.

Okay, it is true I had some tutoring for my 11+, but only for 4 sessions, costing about £50 in all, hardly a huge amount. All that is needed to get into CGS is cleverness.

As to doing our GCSEs early, it is a great system. Although it may seem confusing and pushy to non Colytonians, it has helped me have a calm Alevel course so far, letting me do many other activies in and out of school, and Colyton has always supported me in everything I do, be it work experience or homework!

I know that Colyton is a great school, we are in the top 3 in the league tables every year, and top for mixed schools, and yes, you need to be intelligent here. I understand that many parents feel bitter about their child not getting into CGS, but with 3 students applying for every 1 place, you've just got to take into account that your child might not get a place.

So if this is you, please don't spread hate messages about my school, I can tell that they've only been written due to jealousy of other parents whose children have got a place.

For anyone thinking of sending their child to Colyton, my advice would be:
-buy a few past papers and sit down with your child and work through them
-if you can, get a tutor for 3 to 4 sessions, just to get use to how the 11+ works
-look at the website, our grades, what we do etc, get a feel for CGS
-visit us on an open day, or just call and someone will show you around
-and lastly, don't put huge amounts of pressure on your child. Stress does not work, especially for a 10 year old. Always be positive and just put in a few hours with them to talk to them and go through some papers. And if your child doesn't get in, there's still chances in year 8, and 11 to apply to get into Colyton.

I wish all kids doing the 11+ for Colyton Grammar the very best of luck, and I'll finish by saying I'm happy at CGS, I have the best teachers, friends, sites and resources I could ever want, and I'd never swap Colyton for the world. smile

Good luck to all the children taking the test soon, and parents, take some time to go to an open day, all the haters might just be suprised at how normal we all are :P

minibarrister Fri 08-Jul-11 11:45:11

Right, there seem to be an awful lot of myths being pedalled on this board, and primarily they are from people who fit into two categories:

1. People that have tried to get their children into CGS and failed;

2. People that are daunted by the prospect of their child trying and failing to get into CGS.

Now I want to tell you my story, as a past pupil at CGS, I am now entering the final vocational stage as embark on a career as a barrister, a career made possible by the excellent educational foundations at the school.

Firstly I need to point out a few things, I went to a state primary school, my parents didn't have huge amounts of money and I didn't have a tutor, I got in to Colyton after taking home just a small amount of extra homework. My brother on the other hand did have a tutor and he was borderline and didn't get in. So the extra help is by no means imperative. I should also mention that I have dyslexia and dyspraxia but I still thrived, this I attribute to a high IQ and an ability to grasp new topics quickly, it's this that the entry test seems to assess. In fact, the NVR test is not dissimilar to a lot of the on-line IQ tests out there, so perhaps start your child off with one of them.

Above all, CGS is selective and it will take the brightest students, now of course education will have a part to play however I found that a great deal of my friends were just naturally gifted. As a parent you're naturally biased towards your children's abilities but with only a quarter of children making the grade so to speak, it is possible that 50-75% of the parents are misguided. That's not to say their children aren't intelligent, but perhaps they are not as academically gifted as some of their peers.

If that's the case then CGS isn't the place for them any way. It is a school that pushes it's students to succeed in all areas but notably in the academic subjects. If your child doesn't get it then perhaps that's the best thing for them. I am one of 4 children and I can say with confidence that the educational style at the school would not have suited any of my siblings, even though all of them have gone on to have amazing careers in their chosen fields (Music, Photography and Catering). They are all intelligent but perhaps not academically gifted. I think it is important to make that distinction when your considering putting your child through the assessment process.

Finally I understand people's concern about the disparity between private and state school entry, however I would say that most of my year group came from local schools in Colyton, Axminster, Sidmouth and Seaton. That may well have changed since I took the exam! But even if it has don't blame Colyton, their entry requirements haven't changed, 95% of children that pass to the required level are offered a place. The problem (if there is one) lies in the education provided by the state schools.

When all is said and done CGS is an amazing school and my year group have gone on to do amazing things. I have friends who are doctors, musicians, lawyers, bankers, artists, musicians, high level civil servants, but please know that it's not for everyone. Its very competitive just because of the sheer number of high achievers and a great deal of emphasis is placed on success. If you think that will drive your child to be great then try sending them, if you think it will drive them crazy then perhaps look elsewhere.

Whatever you decide, good luck.

Fairley Fri 08-Jul-11 14:29:58

minibarrister take care that you don't do more harm than good!

My understanding is that there is no disparity between private and state school entry into Y7 and that it reflects the national picture almost exactly (7%ish: 93%ish).

I'm not sure about the statement that 95% of those who pass to the required level are offered a place.

And I emphatically disagree that the school will drive any student passing its test 'crazy'.

If you want to be a success at the Bar you will need to take more care with loose statements and words; too many things you say which purport to be positive in fact send a negative message.

thetasigmamum Fri 08-Jul-11 23:06:47

Fairley The figure of 95% is provided by the school on their website. It relates to the year7 admissions in 2010. In previous years the percentage had been higher - the percentage of applicants achieving a qualifying score and being offered a place was 100% the year before my DD started there.

Fairley Sun 10-Jul-11 22:52:41

Yes thetasigmamum I see that now. I'd got 2001 in my head as the last year that some of those with qualifying scores were turned away but I do now remember the letters sent out in 2010.

But the fact is that in almost every year in recent memory almost all pupils, if not all pupils, achieving a qualifying score have got in. From now on I understand that the top 120 scores will get in regardless of what they are so essentially a pupil will need to be in the top third of those sitting the test on the day, assuming numbers sitting the test stay roughly the same as they have been in the past few years.

giraffe21 Sat 05-Nov-11 23:49:10

It's not impossible to get into colyton. All my friends and I are from state primaries and the only practice we did was a few practice papers to get a feel for the exams. So it definitely isn't just people from privte schools who get in. Although a lot of people from west hill get in but that is still a state primary.

internationalmom Thu 13-Sep-12 11:55:44

At an information evening, the headmaster stated that 15% of intake were from independent schools and 6% admitted were out of catchment (catchment being East Devon and South Devon) last year. I understand that tutors are heavily utilised within the catchment area and that the primary schools feeding Colyton have the highest SATs marks in the county according to the league tables. I noted too that one pupil posting on this thread stated that she had access to past exam papers but, upon query, no past exam papers are available from the school so one has to question where she got these from. Hence, the school is not short in supply of highly studious pupils applying to the school both within and outside of catchment scoring high level 5s and 6s on SATs. It appears however that pupils do not necessarily need a very high score for admission. Other considerations are taken into account. The school admits pupils upon on recommendation of the DCC and the head of that school informed by test scores. It seems to admit circa 2 from each school out of catchment with pupils applying. Parents should be aware however that under the government's widening participation policies, grammar schools pupils need to attain AAA+ for courses for an increasing number of courses at UK universities. Whereas pupils from state schools can go to equivalent courses on scholarship for BBB (e.g. a pupil from Exeter College can be admitted to the same university programme at Colyton pupil would be requested AAA+ for). Hence, I would advise looking at university entrance requirements before taking the risk of sending a child to grammar school.

Yellowtip Thu 13-Sep-12 13:09:58

internationalmom what is the purpose of your post? Are you entering a child for the exam? Are you attempting to share useful information or attempting to scare? Either way, applications close tomorrow, so your post is a little bit late.

1.The school does not have a catchment area any more and hasn't done for many years. A pupil applying from anywhere in the world has the same chance of being offered a place as a child living opposite the school gate.
2. I'm not sure how good your sources are for the tutoring thing or for the SATs thing either. I was at a recent Open Day and didn't hear either being said. I'm even less sure about the validity of the inferences you draw.

Yellowtip Thu 13-Sep-12 13:17:51

Pressed Post by mistake.

3. Other considerations are absolutely not taken into account and students are not admitted through HT recommendation, let alone that of DCC.
4. Contextual data is being increasingly used in university admissions and a few universities are differentiating offers (though Cambridge has just published a statement saying it will not). But it would be very short sighted to send a child to a less academic school if the 'better' school suited the child in the vain hope of a less onerous offer for uni - very muddled thinking indeed!

MordionAgenos Thu 13-Sep-12 16:38:19

The bit about accepting 2 pupils from every school applying is particularly bogus IME.

Yellowtip Thu 13-Sep-12 18:08:37

internationalmom seems to have only ever posted once. I'd like to think that the level of sophistication amongst those members of the parent body who feel a strange need to minimise the competition by deterring others would be greater than this. Very gauche. Nil points internationalmom.

I'm not sure why I even replied to the post tbh, it's all rubbish.

MordionAgenos Thu 13-Sep-12 20:07:08

Blimey- dirty tricks? Do you think so? Goodness. sad I'm really not looking forward to being back in the mix again as a parent next year.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Thu 13-Sep-12 22:39:42

How bizarre confused

You get some right loons posting on threads about selective schools though. WTAF do they get their ideas from?

tellitasitisbluntly Mon 15-Oct-12 21:44:54

To anyone considering Colyton for entry in 2014 DON'T be put off by some of the random, bitter unfounded gossip included here. My boy, from a normal state primary school, with no private eduction or professional tutoring, has just done the 11+, and got into category A, i.e. the top 95 ... so he will be offered a place next March. Selection is based purely on ability, unless your child ties with another for the 120th place (then it is done on distance). So, if you have a bright child who is keen to give it a go: (1) help them prepare (2) get them some test papers and most importantly DO NOT put them under any pressure. if they are bright enough to go to Colyton and cope with it, then they will get in. If not, then they can still do very well at a comprehensive and have a hugely successful happy life ... I did.

Yellowtip Mon 15-Oct-12 21:51:57

Seconded tellit. No idea what game internationalmom thought she was playing nor what she thought she could hope to achieve! Another Category A from a small rural primary here too.

tellitasitisbluntly Mon 15-Oct-12 21:54:34

just to clarify ... I meant the top 95 students (number), not percent. There are 120 places available for 2013. So, all of Cat A will be offered a place, plus the top half (ish) of those in Cat B.

tellitasitisbluntly Mon 15-Oct-12 21:56:06

Well done Yellowtip - bet you feel as proud as me grin.

MordionAgenos Tue 16-Oct-12 17:48:09

It's also probably worth remembering that most years some of the kids offered places end up going to the posh schools too (someone in our road did that after being offered a big enough bursary). So there might be more than 25 kids from Cat B who get in also. Well done to both of you, we have never regretted sending DD1 there, it's a wonderful school and the kids thrive. grin

HeidiCGS Sat 10-Nov-12 16:38:56

Hi, I was chatting with the headmaster about admissions (because I was helping out at the 11+ days) and he said that last year, about 100 students passed the test, so all got the place, and then the next 20 ish are accepted, with a few more put on the the waiting list in case people can't take up the place. The system works well. And well done to those who have kids here smile
It's my last year at Colyton now, and as I said when I posted a few years back, I would never swap my time here for the world. They've been incredibly supportive, and I've had the chance to do many things, especially in the realms of music and science.
My sister now also attends the school, and her personality is totally different to mine and CGS suits her down to the ground. Colyton works for everyone.
Ditto to MordionAgenos, students here thrive. smile

exlancs Thu 20-Dec-12 16:17:30

My son got into Colyton Grammar last year after attending a small village school (not a private one) in Lancashire, I think if you need to tutor your child to pass the test then they may struggle in year 8, but it is a personal choice. The mix of children that go is varied and not mainly kids from private schools as some might think, the only thing you need to get in is to pass the test. Most of the kids are not from rich backgrounds although there are some wealthy familys like at alot of schools. All in all we feel that the school is excellent and not at all snobby, the kids seem very friendly and happy , everyone is made welcome, the staff are aproachable to both parents and the kids. As you can tell, we love the school.

AvengingGerbil Thu 20-Dec-12 16:25:13

This is the Zombie-est thread ever - it just keeps coming back!

ilovecustard Sun 17-Feb-13 12:52:54

I came across this thread while looking for something else. As a current sixth form student at Colyton Grammar School (I registered on this because I saw the original post, and felt it was so totally wrong it necessitated a reply), I can clarify that it is NOT impossible to get in. I came from a very ordinary primary school in central Exeter, and had absolutely no tutoring for the 11+ whatsoever. Two other children from my year at primary school also passed the 11+, none with any form of tutoring. In fact, the children in my year who had private tutoring for the 11+ tend to be those who have struggled more with the work load and faster pace of lessons.

Maybe one or two of my friends did attend private primary schools, but they are by every means in the minority. Most people have come from small village schools, or very ordinary primary and home environments. The school base the admissions purely on success in the 11+, NOT on whether you have come from a private primary school.

I think the best piece of advice with Colyton is not to listen to the rumours, they tend to be started by people who know nothing about the school, or by competing schools.

hjall Wed 27-Mar-13 19:10:35

I'm in exactly the same situation as the person above. I came across this online and felt the need to speak out and stop the chatter about it being 'impossible to get in' and other rumours about the school. I, personally, am in sixth form and would not describe myself as either a high flyer nor a struggling student.

I joined the school in year 7 and I came from a private school but previous to that I came from a state school. I feel it is an even spread between private and state schools that children have come from, but I've been at school with people for 5years+ now, and I dont know what educational background they had came from. To be perfectly honest, it doesnt matter to anyone at the school!

Coming up to the test, I looked through various books to familliarise myself with styles of questions I would be asked in the test. I would like to stress that this gave me the ability to apply my brain to the questions- NOT to tutor myself up to the exams. There is a fine line between the two.

I find this to be an example of being a driven character who is eager to learn. That is the kind of child that should be in the school, as I have seen peers fall behind because they were not driven and were tutored to just pass the exam. People forget that- yes, it is a good school, but at the end of the day the child has to work to get the grades. Going to a good school doesnt automaticly get you there.

I would agree to not listen to romours because often parents think of their child as the best thing in the world, and rightfully so, but then take their plight to the internet and spread things about the school that simply are rediculous! It could be possible that other schools make up rumours, but I would hope that they have better things to do!

I find the school to be a great place which has the students futures in mind. Teachers are passionate about their subject, the welfare of the pupils and the pupils ability in the subject. I have found that they try their upmost to satisfy the needs of the kids (which is extremely commendable) and I think that no other schools can offer that to the standard Colyton does smile

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