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Success stories despite failing 11 plus

89 replies

Odette81 · 15/10/2021 01:35

My DD is feeling dejected after failing her 11 plus.

Please fill me with hope and success stories and advice to make her feel better.

She is dreading school tomorrow with lots of friends having passed.

OP posts:
XelaM · 15/10/2021 02:13

Didn't want to read and run. I'm sorry to hear it, but your daughter can do great in any school. I know someone who used it as motivation to study harder and ended up a straight A student at the comp and went to Oxford. A bright child will fo well anywhere

Odette81 · 15/10/2021 02:43

Thank you @XelaM

OP posts:
user1471541220 · 15/10/2021 05:00

Hello, I'm sorry to hear your child is upset. It's so hard for them to manage disappointment at this age. My son is in Y7 and we live in a grammar school area. He is able but we decided he wouldn't sit the 11 plus as we didn't want him at an all boys school. We also didn't want his confidence knocked by being one of the weaker students in a cohort... he is bright but not exceptionally so.

So, this time last year he saw lots of his friends pass and he then expressed a regret at not having taken the test. He's now at our local comprehensive and absolutely loving it! He feels challenged and confident in his abilities. This week we had a call from the Head of English offering him a place on a KS3 course on essay writing led by Oxbridge professors! His school are part of an outreach programme. After Oct half term we are expecting some of his subjects will be streamed and he's likely to be in the higher sets to be on track for great GCSE results. Our experience is that the local school in a grammar area is actively seeking out their 'brighter' students confirming my belief that we made the right choice for our child.

Odette81 · 15/10/2021 06:19

Thank you @user1471541220 that is just the kind of experience we need to hear. We are trying to convince her that she has a great future ahead but she feels sad and deflated right now.

OP posts:
ElvenDreamer · 15/10/2021 06:44

Hi, my kids are doing 11+ currently. But as a kid myself I missed the cut at grammar school. I went to the local, frankly quite rough, comprehensive instead, came out with straight As at GCSE, now have 2 degrees and work in the industry I always wanted to. My parents always just said if you didn't get in it's just because the school wasnt right for you, not you not right for the school, things happen for a reason. Best of luck to your DS.

wanderlove · 15/10/2021 06:49

I’m a teacher and a student joined my school from an area with grammar schools. She had gone to the comp. she got straight As at A Level and went to study English at a great Uni. She just this week sent me her first published article as a journalist. I’ve just bought a new house and deliberately avoided the grammar school area as it seems such a harsh old fashioned system .

JuneOsborne · 15/10/2021 06:51

Ah, I remember this feeling. I failed mine too. I was really successful at school, did a degree, I have retrained and had a successful career. I'm now a lecturer and hoping to start my PhD in the next couple of years! I'm considered an expert in my field (which sounds ridiculous to me!).

My Ds passed his 11 plus. And I have to say, our experience of grammar school isn't all roses. The behaviour is awful and the pressure immense. My son is in year 12 and ATM all the year 13s that didn't get a minimum of A's in their a level mocks are retaking weekly until they do. Not fun.

There are other ways of being successful, grammar school isn't the only way. Hope she's ok, tough day for her today.

Catnuzzle · 15/10/2021 07:04

DD1 passed and is currently year 8 at grammar. It's most definitely the right school for her. DD2 got results yesterday and didn't pass. She's autistic and despite the adjustments made in the exam she just couldn't cope even though she's extremely bright. Luckily two of the local secondary schools are very good and really geared up for SEN. She wasn't disappointed because she knew she'd failed it (didn't complete any of the questions for maths). I'm actually quite excited about the schools we have to choose from now and think they'll probably be a better fit for her than the grammar we'd hoped she'd go to. Good luck.

Odette81 · 15/10/2021 07:13

Thank you to everyone sharing positive experiences. They are certainly making me feel much better and I’ll read some out to her when she wakes up.

OP posts:
Odette81 · 15/10/2021 07:14

@Catnuzzle - best of luck to your DD2 when she chooses her new school.

OP posts:
Zodlebud · 15/10/2021 07:22

Today the children will be all talking about whether they passed or not and she almost certainly won’t be the only one who didn’t make the grade. Tomorrow they will all have forgotten and it’s just not a “thing” any more.

She will be fine. I failed. All my GCSEs and A levels were grade A and I went to Cambridge and then onto further post graduate study. All from a bog standard comprehensive.

Placido · 15/10/2021 07:25

My god daughter failed and now she is predicted three A’s at a level and has offers from top Uni to do Vet science. She’s also a lovely person. So fear not, grammar is not for everyone! It’s such a random test and all about being ok on the day. Your DC will shine I am sure.

AlexaShutUp · 15/10/2021 07:28

I failed the 11+.

Excelled in all my exams, went to Cambridge, am now a CEO.

Reenskar · 15/10/2021 07:33

I teach in a non-selective school in a town with grammars but have taught in both. Lots of bright children excel and it does a huge amount for their confidence to be at the top of their cohort. I have taught kids in grammar school who were tutored within an inch of their life to get there and then couldn’t cope.

Lampzade · 15/10/2021 07:35

My niece didn’t get the grade required for the 11+ a few years ago.
She was absolutely devastated. Her best friend
‘passed’ which made it worse.. She went to the local comp and did really well
Two weeks ago my niece went off to study Law at Warwick
Op, you need to allow your dd to work through her emotions. It’s ok for her to be upset. She is disappointed. Just support her and encourage her . She will be fine

PaulaTrilloe · 15/10/2021 07:41

We didn't have Grammar for girls in my area (equal ops - not!) I went to a rough secondary school (comp?) that seemed to be the dumping ground for London children in care. I ended up being bullied and a school refuser. Somehow got 13 GCSE and then won a scholarship to do my A levels
Messed up my A levels went to Polytechnic. Got an average degree got a job in a new sector. Got funding for a master's. Got on a management course in a Blue Chip . Did 15 years getting on ok
Now working as a Civil Servant. Interesting career. She'll be fine!

Rebornagain · 15/10/2021 07:41

What do you mean by failed?

When my daughter did the test to be considered they had to score over a certain number I.e. 312. My daughter scored something like 325 but the score to get in that year was 330.

So told her she met the criteria to get in and that's all she could have done.

onelittlefrog · 15/10/2021 07:42

It's a rough system and too much pressure at that age.

She will be OK though. People who go to grammar schools are not the only ones who succeed in life.

Ducksarenotmyfriends · 15/10/2021 07:47

My brother didn't pass. He has a PhD and is now the most successful and highest earning in our whole family (he's also very lovely! Kind, generous, great dad etc).

Neolara · 15/10/2021 07:52

So my brother failed his 11+ back in the day. He went on to study at Cambridge and Insead. Got a job in finance that paid him (literally) millions. Has a huge 7 bed house in Hampstead. Happily married. 4 lovely kids.

Tell your DD it's normal to feel sad at this stage, but passing or failing the 11+ doesn't really say anything about the kind of person she is or what she is going to achieve in life. Tough lesson to learn at 11 though.

Pinetreesfall · 15/10/2021 07:57

My son failed his despite being ridiculously bright. He got a scholarship to the top school in our area and is now in year 9 and excelling.

I failed mine and am doing a masters course via direct entry so it's not all that bad 🙂

MrsSchadenfreude · 15/10/2021 08:00

My cousin’s daughter failed hers and went to a frankly grim “comprehensive”. She was devastated at the time, but did really well in her GCSEs and A levels and went on to study medicine.

Placido · 15/10/2021 08:21

I think the problem with the whole system is that there is a whole lot of children out there today whose parents are telling them how amazing they are for passing and now they are going to a ‘better’ school. The children then parrot this to their friends making everyone else feel they are going to a ‘bad’ school. This perpetuates a two tier system. Some of the conversations we have to over hear from children at the club I volunteer at are just cringy, I wish that parents would be careful in bandying around the ‘better school’ word and say ‘different’ perhaps.

Moominmammacat · 15/10/2021 09:12

My DS was the only one of three primary school friends to get into a selective school ... he's doing just fine. One of the other three (who went to a grim school) is now a doctor and the other a lawyer. Both earn more than my son.

TizerorFizz · 15/10/2021 09:24

I’m assuming she didn’t have to take the exam. Even grammar counties let you opt out!

Half the problem is years of tutoring and parents/DC bigging up the grammar schools as the only prize worth having. I have seen countless people tutor and their DC don’t get the pass mark. Some then appeal and then some DC take the exam again or take an exam set by the grammar school and so it goes on. Never ending stress! I’ve seen children in my village exhibit all sorts of problems due to parents insisting they must go to a grammar school! So resist that temptation - please!

So your best bet is to stay positive about the school she will go to. Around me many of these have 30% of the higher achieving Sats DC so there are likely to be DC similar to her. Look at what DC achieve at her new school and she definitely won’t loose out if she stays positive about education. No doubt there is transfer in the 6th form if you really want that later. My more sensible neighbours who didn’t get fussed when DC didn’t get to the grammars still had these DC read Maths and Chemistry at university plus other subjects I forget! There are still all options and nothing is closed off.

I do know parents who have paid for prep schools where a large cohort get to the grammars. If you don’t your child must feel left out whilst others celebrate. No school gets 100% so someone will always feel like that but there’s plenty you can do and being positive is the best thing.

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