Grammar schools reveal new 11+ exams

Grammar schools reveal new 11+ exams

Grammar schools reveal new 11+ exams

First published in News by

A NEW grammar school entrance exam coming into effect in September will be make it more difficult for children to be privately coached, headteachers have revealed.

Buckinghamshire's 13 grammar schools yesterday outlined a new process, designed to test a wider range of abilities and to tackle the issue of private tutoring.

It has become commonplace for year 5 children to undertake lessons outside of school hours to teach them how to pass the tests, with some parents spending hundreds of pounds.

There will be new types of question, created after extensive, modern research, which are not solely based around the current verbal reasoning style.

There will be two tests of 45-50 minutes taken on the same day in September, rather than on separate days as currently.

The qualifying mark will be an aggregate of the two tests, instead of the highest score which will remain the same 121 marks.

Preparation tests will take place, also in September.

Results will be with parents before the end of October before they have to finalise preferences for secondary school places.

Tim Cornford, who previously worked for the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, is a consultant on the new scheme.

He said in taking on the role coaching was one of the priorities and concerns identified. He said: "Since the tests have become multiple choice the amount of coaching has increased. The perceived effectiveness of that coaching has increased, I call it perceived because there is not any data.

"The industry is there and we have to take account of it."

Creators of the new exam, CEM, have told him that freshly introduced non-verbal based questions "are much more difficult to coach". These include questions around diagrams, pictures and sequences.

John Hampden headteacher Stephen Nokes said: "Clearly avoidance of cold coaching was an important factor for us, we want to be as fair as possible.

"Because the items in the test can change year on year as well it will tweak each year which makes it difficult to coach.

"And you can't buy practice papers like you can at the moment which all makes it harder."

Aylebsury Grammar School headteacher Stephen Lehec said children, at whatever exam level, will be taught or coached how to pass.

He said: "What we were interested in creating from the outset was not something designed to achieve this or that, whether it was to eliminate coaching or something else, it was about the most fair and accessible test to put all children in Bucks on an equal footing, that was the most important point."

Some elements of the new tests will not be dissimilar to tasks set for year 5 pupils currently and will include the sort of problem solving children have to do in routine comprehension and maths.

Asked if there are concerns among headteachers at parents' possible reactions, Chesham Grammar School headteacher Philip Wayne said: "People's fears will be assuaged hopefully. Change is clearly always an issue but we're doing our best to make sure the parents get the best and most relevant to help their children through what can be quite a daunting process.

"It certainly hasn't been done on a whim, there's been an awful lot of hours of input and expertise, wrestling and debate, and I think we have a very good system for the future."

 

DELAYING the introduction of the new exams would only create more uncertainty, consultant Tim Cornford said.

Many parents of children going into year 6 in September will have already spent money on private tutoring and any opposition to the changes is most likely to come from this group.

But Mr Cornford said:"We're also part of a national timeframe which we need to adhere to and once the decision had been made a delay of another year would just create more uncertainty which would be a disadvantage."

Mr Lehec said any such external teaching or coaching will not have been wasted.

He said: "Good learning is good learning wherever you're receiving it.

"The familiarisation practice, which is going to be accessible for all children who are going to take the test, will be more than adequate to be able to then sit the tests. So whatever extra or other preparation they've done is simply part of a wider learning.

 

Other key points

- Tests will be taken in September, probably during the second week of the month, although a definite test date has not yet been confirmed. Parents must now know results before finalising their secondary school preferences at the end of October under changes made by the Government.

- Pupils will get a leaflet familiarising them with the tests, giving them some test-taking advice and giving them a few example questions. They will be able to take this home.

- Children will take practice exams, each lasting about 25-30 minutes containing test items that mirror what they will find in the full tests. Although the precise dates are unclear they will happen in September.

- The Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring at Durham University has won the tender to create the exam papers.

- The BFP revealed last autumn that more than 1,000 pupils from outside Bucks have passed the latest 11 plus exam and are eligible for grammar school places in the county if there is enough room.

- Buckinghamshire County Council said there were 2,419 out-of-county children who took the 11 plus this autumn, and out of these, 1,023 have automatically qualified for a place at grammar school in Bucks with a score of 121 or higher.

Comments (106)

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8:59pm Wed 9 Jan 13

Welwyn Dowd says...

I expect very little will change, slightly different exam paper, same posh kids and social climbers trying to get out of the secondary modern swamp. Will Highcrest have a second go at trying to piggy back on the new 11+ or still go it alone with their own selection test?
I expect very little will change, slightly different exam paper, same posh kids and social climbers trying to get out of the secondary modern swamp. Will Highcrest have a second go at trying to piggy back on the new 11+ or still go it alone with their own selection test? Welwyn Dowd
  • Score: -1

10:26pm Wed 9 Jan 13

bucksdc says...

Geoffw..........

Totally, agree. This should not be allowed.
Parents, be careful !!
Geoffw.......... Totally, agree. This should not be allowed. Parents, be careful !! bucksdc
  • Score: -1

10:42pm Wed 9 Jan 13

topiarygal says...

Putting aside the tutoring parents and the children coming from independent schools, I struggle to see how a September date is more fair to those children who need the rigour of school term to get back in the mindset of learning after the summer holidays, i.e. those children who do not have parents who will spend time with them looking at school work over the holidays. I also understood that the current tests were sat on different days to allow the child to have an 'off day' or if wholly untutored to have a second chance at familiarising themselves with the exam. I struggle to see how this scheduling is more fair or less stressful for the less advantaged of our children. - posting here as well on Q&A
Putting aside the tutoring parents and the children coming from independent schools, I struggle to see how a September date is more fair to those children who need the rigour of school term to get back in the mindset of learning after the summer holidays, i.e. those children who do not have parents who will spend time with them looking at school work over the holidays. I also understood that the current tests were sat on different days to allow the child to have an 'off day' or if wholly untutored to have a second chance at familiarising themselves with the exam. I struggle to see how this scheduling is more fair or less stressful for the less advantaged of our children. - posting here as well on Q&A topiarygal
  • Score: 1

11:50pm Wed 9 Jan 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

The qualifying mark will be an aggregate of the two tests, instead of the highest score which will remain the same 121 marks.


So you add together or aggregate the marks for the two tests ‘instead of the highest score’ – this I understand - nonetheless ‘the highest score … will remain the same 121 marks.’

What is the 'highest score’s significance then?

Does the ‘aggregate of the two tests’ mean that a child who gets 120 on one test and 122 on the other will have them ‘aggregated’ and divided by two so they scrape through with 121?
[italic] [quote] The qualifying mark will be an aggregate of the two tests, instead of the highest score which will remain the same 121 marks. [/quote][/italic] So you add together or aggregate the marks for the two tests ‘instead of the highest score’ – this I understand - nonetheless ‘the highest score … will remain the same 121 marks.’ What is the 'highest score’s significance then? Does the ‘aggregate of the two tests’ mean that a child who gets 120 on one test and 122 on the other will have them ‘aggregated’ and divided by two so they scrape through with 121? ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 0

11:54pm Wed 9 Jan 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

I think we have a very good system for the future.

That’s what they were saying about the system in the past – it was a sort of highly-accurate micrometer for ten year olds’ intellectual capacity. Now it is all right for the future – for some years it will be possible to say that ‘the system was revised to take account of misgivings and shortcomings in 2013’.
[italic] [quote] I think we have a very good system for the future. [/quote][/italic] That’s what they were saying about the system in the past – it was a sort of highly-accurate micrometer for ten year olds’ intellectual capacity. Now it is all right for the future – for some years it will be possible to say that ‘the system was revised to take account of misgivings and shortcomings in 2013’. ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 0

11:56pm Wed 9 Jan 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

And you can't buy practice papers like you can at the moment which all makes it harder."


You will be able to very soon.
[italic] [quote] And you can't buy practice papers like you can at the moment which all makes it harder." [/quote][/italic] You will be able to very soon. ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 1

12:01am Thu 10 Jan 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

"What we were interested in creating from the outset was not something designed to achieve this or that, whether it was to eliminate coaching or something else, it was about the most fair and accessible test to put all children in Bucks on an equal footing, that was the most important point."


‘Fairness and accessibility’ - generalised and noble-sounding words about a test for ten year olds – to see if they are going to be graduates eleven years later. One of the more objectionable things about the 11+ is the amount of humbug it generates amongst normally honest people.
[italic] [quote] "What we were interested in creating from the outset was not something designed to achieve this or that, whether it was to eliminate coaching or something else, it was about the most fair and accessible test to put all children in Bucks on an equal footing, that was the most important point." [/quote][/italic] ‘Fairness and accessibility’ - generalised and noble-sounding words about a test for ten year olds – to see if they are going to be graduates eleven years later. One of the more objectionable things about the 11+ is the amount of humbug it generates amongst normally honest people. ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 4

12:05am Thu 10 Jan 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

Welwyn Dowd wrote:
I expect very little will change, slightly different exam paper, same posh kids and social climbers trying to get out of the secondary modern swamp. Will Highcrest have a second go at trying to piggy back on the new 11+ or still go it alone with their own selection test?
Highcrest have no choice - they are in the swamp and must carry on.
[quote][p][bold]Welwyn Dowd[/bold] wrote: I expect very little will change, slightly different exam paper, same posh kids and social climbers trying to get out of the secondary modern swamp. Will Highcrest have a second go at trying to piggy back on the new 11+ or still go it alone with their own selection test?[/p][/quote]Highcrest have no choice - they are in the swamp and must carry on. ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 1

12:09am Thu 10 Jan 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

The BFP revealed last autumn that more than 1,000 pupils from outside Bucks have passed the latest 11 plus exam and are eligible for grammar school places in the county if there is enough room.
- Buckinghamshire County Council said there were 2,419 out-of-county children who took the 11 plus this autumn, and out of these, 1,023 have automatically qualified for a place at grammar school in Bucks with a score of 121 or higher.

Presumably the extra 2,419 will raise the notional 121 necessary for children who take the exam thereby making it more difficult for talented local children to avoid the secondary modern swamp and keeping open places for the 1000 from outside Bucks who got 121 or more.
[italic] [quote] The BFP revealed last autumn that more than 1,000 pupils from outside Bucks have passed the latest 11 plus exam and are eligible for grammar school places in the county if there is enough room. - Buckinghamshire County Council said there were 2,419 out-of-county children who took the 11 plus this autumn, and out of these, 1,023 have automatically qualified for a place at grammar school in Bucks with a score of 121 or higher. [/quote][/italic] Presumably the extra 2,419 will raise the notional 121 necessary for children who take the exam thereby making it more difficult for talented local children to avoid the secondary modern swamp and keeping open places for the 1000 from outside Bucks who got 121 or more. ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 2

8:41am Thu 10 Jan 13

Cee says...

"Buckinghamshire County Council said there were 2,419 out-of-county children who took the 11 plus this autumn, and out of these, 1,023 have automatically qualified for a place at grammar school in Bucks with a score of 121 or higher. "
.
SHAME on the BFP for such SHODDY and scaremongering reporting.
.
Out of county children who reach or exceed the qualifying score DON'T automatically get a grammar place because catchment rules come into play.
.
So while all Bucks children who reach the score (and apply at the normal time etc) will be offered a place at a Bucks grammar, only a small proportion of the OoC children are.
"Buckinghamshire County Council said there were 2,419 out-of-county children who took the 11 plus this autumn, and out of these, 1,023 have automatically qualified for a place at grammar school in Bucks with a score of 121 or higher. " . SHAME on the BFP for such SHODDY and scaremongering reporting. . Out of county children who reach or exceed the qualifying score DON'T automatically get a grammar place because catchment rules come into play. . So while all Bucks children who reach the score (and apply at the normal time etc) will be offered a place at a Bucks grammar, only a small proportion of the OoC children are. Cee
  • Score: 5

9:04am Thu 10 Jan 13

BucksComment says...

Sounds like the test I did 30 years ago. Stand still long enough and the world comes back to catch you up...

The problem of out of catchment (not just county) kids is that if they have been coached, the overall pass mark goes up so less in county kids pass in the first place.
Sounds like the test I did 30 years ago. Stand still long enough and the world comes back to catch you up... The problem of out of catchment (not just county) kids is that if they have been coached, the overall pass mark goes up so less in county kids pass in the first place. BucksComment
  • Score: 1

9:29am Thu 10 Jan 13

petedr says...

Academies are going to do what is best for their particular school - which means seeking the brightest students wherever they live. The catchment areas will become a thing of the past.

What we need to be doing is concentrating funds/research on talented and gifted education within upperschools, giving greater pride, discipline and extra curricular activities to upper schools. Cut funding for grammar schools because they are inherently starting with brighter pupils and don't need as many resources.
Academies are going to do what is best for their particular school - which means seeking the brightest students wherever they live. The catchment areas will become a thing of the past. What we need to be doing is concentrating funds/research on talented and gifted education within upperschools, giving greater pride, discipline and extra curricular activities to upper schools. Cut funding for grammar schools because they are inherently starting with brighter pupils and don't need as many resources. petedr
  • Score: 1

11:47am Thu 10 Jan 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

Cee wrote:
"Buckinghamshir
e County Council said there were 2,419 out-of-county children who took the 11 plus this autumn, and out of these, 1,023 have automatically qualified for a place at grammar school in Bucks with a score of 121 or higher. "
.
SHAME on the BFP for such SHODDY and scaremongering reporting.
.
Out of county children who reach or exceed the qualifying score DON'T automatically get a grammar place because catchment rules come into play.
.
So while all Bucks children who reach the score (and apply at the normal time etc) will be offered a place at a Bucks grammar, only a small proportion of the OoC children are.
Out of county children who reach or exceed the qualifying score DON'T automatically get a grammar place because catchment rules come into play.
So while all Bucks children who reach the score (and apply at the normal time etc) will be offered a place at a Bucks grammar, only a small proportion of the OoC children are.



By the look of it though the participation of bright children from other counties ensures that the score is raised for all children who take the exam, so that the number of Bucks children who reach the 121 score is reduced.
[quote][p][bold]Cee[/bold] wrote: "Buckinghamshir e County Council said there were 2,419 out-of-county children who took the 11 plus this autumn, and out of these, 1,023 have automatically qualified for a place at grammar school in Bucks with a score of 121 or higher. " . SHAME on the BFP for such SHODDY and scaremongering reporting. . Out of county children who reach or exceed the qualifying score DON'T automatically get a grammar place because catchment rules come into play. . So while all Bucks children who reach the score (and apply at the normal time etc) will be offered a place at a Bucks grammar, only a small proportion of the OoC children are.[/p][/quote][italic] [quote] Out of county children who reach or exceed the qualifying score DON'T automatically get a grammar place because catchment rules come into play. So while all Bucks children who reach the score (and apply at the normal time etc) will be offered a place at a Bucks grammar, only a small proportion of the OoC children are. [/quote][/italic] By the look of it though the participation of bright children from other counties ensures that the score is raised for all children who take the exam, so that the number of Bucks children who reach the 121 score is reduced. ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 1

11:48am Thu 10 Jan 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

bucksdc wrote:
Geoffw..........

Totally, agree. This should not be allowed.
Parents, be careful !!
What is the remark by 'Geoffw' that 'bucksdc' is referring to?
[quote][p][bold]bucksdc[/bold] wrote: Geoffw.......... Totally, agree. This should not be allowed. Parents, be careful !![/p][/quote]What is the remark by 'Geoffw' that 'bucksdc' is referring to? ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 0

11:50am Thu 10 Jan 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

A NEW grammar school entrance exam coming into effect in September will be make it more difficult for children to be privately coached, headteachers have revealed.


This should read:

A NEW grammar school entrance exam coming into effect in September may make it more difficult for some time for children to be privately coached, headteachers hope.
[italic] [quote] A NEW grammar school entrance exam coming into effect in September will be make it more difficult for children to be privately coached, headteachers have revealed. [/quote][/italic] This should read: [italic] [quote] A NEW grammar school entrance exam coming into effect in September may make it more difficult for some time for children to be privately coached, headteachers hope. [/quote][/italic] ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 1

12:34pm Thu 10 Jan 13

Buck999 says...

I think CEM tests will just increase coaching as parents are desperate and scared their darlings won't get a grammar school place. They fell the need to keep up with the Jones'. Tutors will be happy. But with some parents spending over £1500, children could do it themselves at a fraction of the price with online solutions offering unlimited access.

At least Sats results will improve in year 6! In the Midlands year 4/5 is for work and year 6 is a holiday!
I think CEM tests will just increase coaching as parents are desperate and scared their darlings won't get a grammar school place. They fell the need to keep up with the Jones'. Tutors will be happy. But with some parents spending over £1500, children could do it themselves at a fraction of the price with online solutions offering unlimited access. At least Sats results will improve in year 6! In the Midlands year 4/5 is for work and year 6 is a holiday! Buck999
  • Score: 0

1:01pm Thu 10 Jan 13

jillburrell says...

Students will be tutored for these exams, and parents who take up this option do so not just to give their children the best chance to get through to grammar school, but to ensure that their education is at a level best suited for their innate ability. It is cheaper to tutor students than send them to private school (and clearly a good option as private school students still require tutoring in basic literacy and numeracy in spite of the schools they attend.) It is not just "posh"/ "wealthy" students who are tutored, many students from poorer backgrounds have parents who elect to spend money on their child's education rather than other things.

It's always interesting that people are quick to criticise parents for enhancing their child's academic skills through tutoring, yet it is accepted that they pay for music/drama/football
/martial arts/etc classes. If a child has not (within a school environment) learnt these academic skills to a level that they are capable of then outside lessons to achieve their capabilities may do this.

The new test will mean that tutors can focus on teaching pupils more relevant work that will be useful to them whatever secondary school they go to. Work for the previous test boosted elements of this, but the scope will now allow a more overall coverage. This will allow gaps to be filled in the child's learning that have been left by their primary school lessons. In this way the tutoring will be more beneficial to students in the long term.

It is true that SATs results will improve for schools where a large percentage of students are tutored. Hopefully GCSE results may also improve at both upper and grammar schools as tutored students have a more solid basis to work from.
It will be interesting to see how primary schools perform in the 11 plus compared with previous years - it may be that private schools have a bigger advantage as they have always been preparing students for broader, curriculum based entrance exams.
Students will be tutored for these exams, and parents who take up this option do so not just to give their children the best chance to get through to grammar school, but to ensure that their education is at a level best suited for their innate ability. It is cheaper to tutor students than send them to private school (and clearly a good option as private school students still require tutoring in basic literacy and numeracy in spite of the schools they attend.) It is not just "posh"/ "wealthy" students who are tutored, many students from poorer backgrounds have parents who elect to spend money on their child's education rather than other things. It's always interesting that people are quick to criticise parents for enhancing their child's academic skills through tutoring, yet it is accepted that they pay for music/drama/football /martial arts/etc classes. If a child has not (within a school environment) learnt these academic skills to a level that they are capable of then outside lessons to achieve their capabilities may do this. The new test will mean that tutors can focus on teaching pupils more relevant work that will be useful to them whatever secondary school they go to. Work for the previous test boosted elements of this, but the scope will now allow a more overall coverage. This will allow gaps to be filled in the child's learning that have been left by their primary school lessons. In this way the tutoring will be more beneficial to students in the long term. It is true that SATs results will improve for schools where a large percentage of students are tutored. Hopefully GCSE results may also improve at both upper and grammar schools as tutored students have a more solid basis to work from. It will be interesting to see how primary schools perform in the 11 plus compared with previous years - it may be that private schools have a bigger advantage as they have always been preparing students for broader, curriculum based entrance exams. jillburrell
  • Score: 3

1:19pm Thu 10 Jan 13

demoness the second says...

With all due respect Jill. parents who have to tutor or pay to have their children tutored are not doing it for the right reasons. If the child has the ability, then he or she will do well in these tests.
You can coach a monkey to do those 11 plus tests... it is nothing to do with inante ability.
Whether you agree with the system or not, the 11 plus was designed for naturally bright children from poorer backgrounds to have the best shot of an education they could get.
It is not about that any more... it is about very silly parents refusing to accept that little johnny or Jenny may not be the brightest at this point in their education and pushing them towards a school that is totally unsuitable for them.
My children both went to Grammar schools - we did not coach them. They got there because the selection test showed them it was the right place for them to be.
Sadly for many of their school mates this was not... they struggled because although they had passed the exam, they could not keep up with the work. This is cruel.
I am not defending the system as such but it has been ruined by greedy parents and private schools.
With all due respect Jill. parents who have to tutor or pay to have their children tutored are not doing it for the right reasons. If the child has the ability, then he or she will do well in these tests. You can coach a monkey to do those 11 plus tests... it is nothing to do with inante ability. Whether you agree with the system or not, the 11 plus was designed for naturally bright children from poorer backgrounds to have the best shot of an education they could get. It is not about that any more... it is about very silly parents refusing to accept that little johnny or Jenny may not be the brightest at this point in their education and pushing them towards a school that is totally unsuitable for them. My children both went to Grammar schools - we did not coach them. They got there because the selection test showed them it was the right place for them to be. Sadly for many of their school mates this was not... they struggled because although they had passed the exam, they could not keep up with the work. This is cruel. I am not defending the system as such but it has been ruined by greedy parents and private schools. demoness the second
  • Score: -1

1:50pm Thu 10 Jan 13

gpn01 says...

demoness the second wrote:
With all due respect Jill. parents who have to tutor or pay to have their children tutored are not doing it for the right reasons. If the child has the ability, then he or she will do well in these tests. You can coach a monkey to do those 11 plus tests... it is nothing to do with inante ability. Whether you agree with the system or not, the 11 plus was designed for naturally bright children from poorer backgrounds to have the best shot of an education they could get. It is not about that any more... it is about very silly parents refusing to accept that little johnny or Jenny may not be the brightest at this point in their education and pushing them towards a school that is totally unsuitable for them. My children both went to Grammar schools - we did not coach them. They got there because the selection test showed them it was the right place for them to be. Sadly for many of their school mates this was not... they struggled because although they had passed the exam, they could not keep up with the work. This is cruel. I am not defending the system as such but it has been ruined by greedy parents and private schools.
But presumably ALL children have the ability, it's just that some can learn faster than others. If it's something that's genuinely innate then there would be no point in tutoring/coaching/te
aching/training, etc.

Ultimately, most parents want their children to start with a good education and the consensus is that grammar schools provide this. People should stop criticising parents for helping their children and instead push the onus back on the education system that allows for mainstream education to be worse in comparison to grammar.
[quote][p][bold]demoness the second[/bold] wrote: With all due respect Jill. parents who have to tutor or pay to have their children tutored are not doing it for the right reasons. If the child has the ability, then he or she will do well in these tests. You can coach a monkey to do those 11 plus tests... it is nothing to do with inante ability. Whether you agree with the system or not, the 11 plus was designed for naturally bright children from poorer backgrounds to have the best shot of an education they could get. It is not about that any more... it is about very silly parents refusing to accept that little johnny or Jenny may not be the brightest at this point in their education and pushing them towards a school that is totally unsuitable for them. My children both went to Grammar schools - we did not coach them. They got there because the selection test showed them it was the right place for them to be. Sadly for many of their school mates this was not... they struggled because although they had passed the exam, they could not keep up with the work. This is cruel. I am not defending the system as such but it has been ruined by greedy parents and private schools.[/p][/quote]But presumably ALL children have the ability, it's just that some can learn faster than others. If it's something that's genuinely innate then there would be no point in tutoring/coaching/te aching/training, etc. Ultimately, most parents want their children to start with a good education and the consensus is that grammar schools provide this. People should stop criticising parents for helping their children and instead push the onus back on the education system that allows for mainstream education to be worse in comparison to grammar. gpn01
  • Score: 5

2:08pm Thu 10 Jan 13

kurtosis says...

Last night, before this information was available, I explained to my children that the changes to the 11+ were a great thing as it was not possible to tutor children for the new tests. I explained to them how I was greatly in favour of this, as it meant that children from disadvantaged backgrounds, with parents who were unable to afford tutoring, would have a fairer and better chance of passing the 11+ and enjoying the excellent education that Bucks grammar schools provide. Last night I convinced my children, one of whom in in year 7 at a Bucks grammar school, and the other who will take the 11+ this autumn (and both of whom have been tutored), that despite any personal worries involved, the world would be a better place because of these changes. Today I'm outraged at the educational con trick that has been pulled here, a con trick which last night I sold to my children. As soon as you go to the CEM 11+ website, it provides a host of ways that children can be prepared, i.e. tutored, for the new tests. The playing field is no more level than it was before, yet there are now thousands of children who are forced to prepare for an entirely different test with only a few months notice. There's also plenty of devil in the detail - CEM advise that children should have coverd the year 6 maths syllabus in order to excel at, i.e. pass, the new tests, yet the test is to be administered just two or three weeks into year 6. I strongly suspect that this change is politically motivated, and my reason for saying that is the consultant's snide use of the word "industry" when he refers to tutoring. I also strongly suspect that claiming the test can't be prepared for is a way of covering up any deficiencies in the quality of teaching in Bucks primary schools. If it's purely a test of intelligence and innate ability, a low pass rate in any individual school is simply due to them having poor material to work with. This whole thing reeks of a shoddy and dishonest educational sleight-of-hand. I'm so angry that I fell for this con trick to such an extent that I infected my own children with these people's cynical manipulation of the system. I'm sure that part of the problem is that so many teachers themselves are so poorly educated they can't cope with children who are bright enough to pass the 11+. My younger child routinely has to correct his teacher's spelling, and gets shouted at for doing so, although he's always right. No wonder the tutoring "industry" has had to fill the gaps. And when those teachers get to the stage where they become headteachers, proudly sporting their unfailable BEd (without Hons), there's very little hope for very many children, and no chance whatsoever of them passing any variety of 11+ test whasoever.
Last night, before this information was available, I explained to my children that the changes to the 11+ were a great thing as it was not possible to tutor children for the new tests. I explained to them how I was greatly in favour of this, as it meant that children from disadvantaged backgrounds, with parents who were unable to afford tutoring, would have a fairer and better chance of passing the 11+ and enjoying the excellent education that Bucks grammar schools provide. Last night I convinced my children, one of whom in in year 7 at a Bucks grammar school, and the other who will take the 11+ this autumn (and both of whom have been tutored), that despite any personal worries involved, the world would be a better place because of these changes. Today I'm outraged at the educational con trick that has been pulled here, a con trick which last night I sold to my children. As soon as you go to the CEM 11+ website, it provides a host of ways that children can be prepared, i.e. tutored, for the new tests. The playing field is no more level than it was before, yet there are now thousands of children who are forced to prepare for an entirely different test with only a few months notice. There's also plenty of devil in the detail - CEM advise that children should have coverd the year 6 maths syllabus in order to excel at, i.e. pass, the new tests, yet the test is to be administered just two or three weeks into year 6. I strongly suspect that this change is politically motivated, and my reason for saying that is the consultant's snide use of the word "industry" when he refers to tutoring. I also strongly suspect that claiming the test can't be prepared for is a way of covering up any deficiencies in the quality of teaching in Bucks primary schools. If it's purely a test of intelligence and innate ability, a low pass rate in any individual school is simply due to them having poor material to work with. This whole thing reeks of a shoddy and dishonest educational sleight-of-hand. I'm so angry that I fell for this con trick to such an extent that I infected my own children with these people's cynical manipulation of the system. I'm sure that part of the problem is that so many teachers themselves are so poorly educated they can't cope with children who are bright enough to pass the 11+. My younger child routinely has to correct his teacher's spelling, and gets shouted at for doing so, although he's always right. No wonder the tutoring "industry" has had to fill the gaps. And when those teachers get to the stage where they become headteachers, proudly sporting their unfailable BEd (without Hons), there's very little hope for very many children, and no chance whatsoever of them passing any variety of 11+ test whasoever. kurtosis
  • Score: 2

3:31pm Thu 10 Jan 13

I Love Ivor says...

Has anyone stopped and thought about the exams themselves? A lot of children are exceedingly bright and yet at the point of an exam they clam up and cannot remember a thing. Tutoring helps in this instance as it is preparing the child for the exam condition as well as helping with their education. I passed my 12+ and went to JHGS but i couldn't stand and still can't stand exams which is why i rejoiced when GCSE's were introduced (I did the second year of GCSE's so that gives you an idea of how old i am). My DD is going to a Tutor even though her SATs indicate she will get above the 121 qualifying score, i was against the idea of tutoring originally as i knew she was a bright kid BUT the fact that the tutoring also helps get your children prepared for the exam conditions swayed me to getting tutoring. I am not well off, far from it, but i want my Daughter to do well and excel her ability, i don't want her to not qualify because she cannot cope with the exam conditions. 10/11 years of age is too early to put kids under that kind of pressure but if i can do something to help ease that pressure i will.
Has anyone stopped and thought about the exams themselves? A lot of children are exceedingly bright and yet at the point of an exam they clam up and cannot remember a thing. Tutoring helps in this instance as it is preparing the child for the exam condition as well as helping with their education. I passed my 12+ and went to JHGS but i couldn't stand and still can't stand exams which is why i rejoiced when GCSE's were introduced (I did the second year of GCSE's so that gives you an idea of how old i am). My DD is going to a Tutor even though her SATs indicate she will get above the 121 qualifying score, i was against the idea of tutoring originally as i knew she was a bright kid BUT the fact that the tutoring also helps get your children prepared for the exam conditions swayed me to getting tutoring. I am not well off, far from it, but i want my Daughter to do well and excel her ability, i don't want her to not qualify because she cannot cope with the exam conditions. 10/11 years of age is too early to put kids under that kind of pressure but if i can do something to help ease that pressure i will. I Love Ivor
  • Score: 2

3:41pm Thu 10 Jan 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

10/11 years of age is too early to put kids under that kind of pressure but if i can do something to help ease that pressure i will.


Is it possible get up an online petition to Bucks County Council to abolish the 11+?

(There would have to be controls to prevent it being abused - there are existing - onerous - procedures to abolish it but - from memory - these have only been used once, in the London area, and afterwards it was claimed the local Conservative council had allowed parents from Conservative areas outside the school catchment area to participate in the voting and narrowly save the existing, 'selective' system.)
[italic] [quote] 10/11 years of age is too early to put kids under that kind of pressure but if i can do something to help ease that pressure i will. [/quote][/italic] Is it possible get up an online petition to Bucks County Council to abolish the 11+? (There would have to be controls to prevent it being abused - there are existing - onerous - procedures to abolish it but - from memory - these have only been used once, in the London area, and afterwards it was claimed the local Conservative council had allowed parents from Conservative areas outside the school catchment area to participate in the voting and narrowly save the existing, 'selective' system.) ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: -1

6:21pm Thu 10 Jan 13

Nil Desperandum 2 says...

@kurtosis - you need to know that CEM 11+ is NOT the official site of the organization setting the test - it is in fact a tutoring website. The tests are being set by the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring at Durham University http://www.cemcentre
.org/intu/entrance-a
ssessment . The test is being tailored to the needs of the Bucks system, and since it is "opt-out" rather than "opt-in" I don't think the CEM tests set for superselective areas such as Birmingham would be appropriate for such a large mixed-ability cohort. I think that preparing children to this level would be counterproductive and unnecessary.
@kurtosis - you need to know that CEM 11+ is NOT the official site of the organization setting the test - it is in fact a tutoring website. The tests are being set by the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring at Durham University http://www.cemcentre .org/intu/entrance-a ssessment . The test is being tailored to the needs of the Bucks system, and since it is "opt-out" rather than "opt-in" I don't think the CEM tests set for superselective areas such as Birmingham would be appropriate for such a large mixed-ability cohort. I think that preparing children to this level would be counterproductive and unnecessary. Nil Desperandum 2
  • Score: 0

7:09pm Thu 10 Jan 13

Nil Desperandum 2 says...

Buck999 - that's probably good advice regarding preparation, but I think the reader was genuinely under the impression that it WAS the official site, in view of the outraged nature of his/her post. Also, details such as "CEM advise that children should have coverd the year 6 maths syllabus..." CEM advises nothing of the sort - this is lifted straight from the CEM 11+ website.
Buck999 - that's probably good advice regarding preparation, but I think the reader was genuinely under the impression that it WAS the official site, in view of the outraged nature of his/her post. Also, details such as "CEM advise that children should have coverd the year 6 maths syllabus..." CEM advises nothing of the sort - this is lifted straight from the CEM 11+ website. Nil Desperandum 2
  • Score: 0

7:55pm Thu 10 Jan 13

TinaGib says...

My daughter is in yr 5 at the moment, so will be taking the new 11+ in September. My elder daughter is now in yr 8. I never had my older daughter tutored and she never passed, but she is at the top of her class at most lessons at her secondary school! Had she been tutored and passed I believe she would have struggled! My younger daughter is showing signs that she has the potential to pass, but I still won't get her tutored as my view is that if she's going to pass she will! If he doesn't, then so be it and hopefully she will excel in secondary school. All far too much pressure on young kid to pass these days. I'm 41 and not even sure if tutoring existed in the days of the 12+? All I know is when we took it we certainly seemed less pressurised!
I would however like to say, that this is just my opinion and everyone is entitled to do whatever they feel is right for thier own child. Good luck to all the yr 6 kids that have to do the test in September.
My daughter is in yr 5 at the moment, so will be taking the new 11+ in September. My elder daughter is now in yr 8. I never had my older daughter tutored and she never passed, but she is at the top of her class at most lessons at her secondary school! Had she been tutored and passed I believe she would have struggled! My younger daughter is showing signs that she has the potential to pass, but I still won't get her tutored as my view is that if she's going to pass she will! If he doesn't, then so be it and hopefully she will excel in secondary school. All far too much pressure on young kid to pass these days. I'm 41 and not even sure if tutoring existed in the days of the 12+? All I know is when we took it we certainly seemed less pressurised! I would however like to say, that this is just my opinion and everyone is entitled to do whatever they feel is right for thier own child. Good luck to all the yr 6 kids that have to do the test in September. TinaGib
  • Score: 1

9:15pm Thu 10 Jan 13

kurtosis says...

It's irrelevant to me whether it's an official website for CEM, a tutoring website, or something in between. The fact remains that these "untutorable" tests are highly tutorable and are in fact tutored. My year 5 child's tutor has already suggested that since the CEM tests cover more ground than the current 11+ then it will need more tutoring - actually suggesting more than twice as many hours tutoring than before, and therefore more than twice the cost. So much for levelling the playing field for parents who can't afford tutors. As I said before, an educational con trick, and I suspect anyone who denies it is part of the educational establishment.
It's irrelevant to me whether it's an official website for CEM, a tutoring website, or something in between. The fact remains that these "untutorable" tests are highly tutorable and are in fact tutored. My year 5 child's tutor has already suggested that since the CEM tests cover more ground than the current 11+ then it will need more tutoring - actually suggesting more than twice as many hours tutoring than before, and therefore more than twice the cost. So much for levelling the playing field for parents who can't afford tutors. As I said before, an educational con trick, and I suspect anyone who denies it is part of the educational establishment. kurtosis
  • Score: -1

9:29pm Thu 10 Jan 13

jillburrell says...

"With all due respect Jill. parents who have to tutor or pay to have their children tutored are not doing it for the right reasons. If the child has the ability, then he or she will do well in these tests."
You can coach a monkey to do those 11 plus tests... it is nothing to do with inante ability."

How do you know that they are not doing it for your idea of the right reasons? Many many parents want the best for their children, and they offer it to them academically through tutoring - in many cases so their children will have chances in life they themselves have not had. Many do not want their child pushed, rather they want any educational gaps plugged and to offer a chance of a pass to their child if it is the right thing for that child. Few would want their child to go to a school that is unsuitable for their needs.

"You can coach a monkey to do those 11 plus tests... it is nothing to do with inante ability."

Untrue! And very unfair on those who have worked hard to achieve the results they have in the test whether they have passed or not.

"If it's something that's genuinely innate then there would be no point in tutoring/coaching/te
aching/training, etc."

The fact is that no matter how much innate ability someone has, if they are not properly educated, if they do not learn to learn, if they cannot pass tests then they will not achieve. A good education is essential to success; this can be from a school, a parent or a tutor.
You may be born with luscious hair that grows naturally long and thick, but if it is uncared for then it will be of no real beauty. An innately bright child, if not properly educated will not achieve their potential.
"With all due respect Jill. parents who have to tutor or pay to have their children tutored are not doing it for the right reasons. If the child has the ability, then he or she will do well in these tests." You can coach a monkey to do those 11 plus tests... it is nothing to do with inante ability." How do you know that they are not doing it for your idea of the right reasons? Many many parents want the best for their children, and they offer it to them academically through tutoring - in many cases so their children will have chances in life they themselves have not had. Many do not want their child pushed, rather they want any educational gaps plugged and to offer a chance of a pass to their child if it is the right thing for that child. Few would want their child to go to a school that is unsuitable for their needs. "You can coach a monkey to do those 11 plus tests... it is nothing to do with inante ability." Untrue! And very unfair on those who have worked hard to achieve the results they have in the test whether they have passed or not. "If it's something that's genuinely innate then there would be no point in tutoring/coaching/te aching/training, etc." The fact is that no matter how much innate ability someone has, if they are not properly educated, if they do not learn to learn, if they cannot pass tests then they will not achieve. A good education is essential to success; this can be from a school, a parent or a tutor. You may be born with luscious hair that grows naturally long and thick, but if it is uncared for then it will be of no real beauty. An innately bright child, if not properly educated will not achieve their potential. jillburrell
  • Score: 3

9:49pm Thu 10 Jan 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

Welwyn Dowd wrote:
I expect very little will change, slightly different exam paper, same posh kids and social climbers trying to get out of the secondary modern swamp. Will Highcrest have a second go at trying to piggy back on the new 11+ or still go it alone with their own selection test?
Why are they 'social climbers' for wishing to avoid the secondary modern swamp?

(This is what this is all about really.)
[quote][p][bold]Welwyn Dowd[/bold] wrote: I expect very little will change, slightly different exam paper, same posh kids and social climbers trying to get out of the secondary modern swamp. Will Highcrest have a second go at trying to piggy back on the new 11+ or still go it alone with their own selection test?[/p][/quote]Why are they 'social climbers' for wishing to avoid the secondary modern swamp? (This is what this is all about really.) ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 0

10:47pm Thu 10 Jan 13

Buck999 says...

We all know that 11+ tests can be prepared for. The sad thing is some of the brightest primary school children fail to get a grammar school place, not because they are not good enough, but because they were not prepared. This is sadly the fault of the parents.

There are some people with their head in the clouds that make statements such as NVR cannot be taught, you can either do it or you cannot. Of course you can teach the concepts and what to look for and in which order to look and handle questions.

The old 11+ to the new CEM 11+ has a change in scope, so would require 2-3 x the preparation time.

I think a child should be prepared. Isn't this why Bucks are unique in actually having 2 x 30 min sample tests to do? No other area has this.

I would say prepare. Do it yourself, pay for one-to-one or group tuition, buy books or subscribe to one of the host of online suppliers. Do something for preparation, else you may regret it.

The CEM11plus exam is not an educational con trick. It is fairer to children who are weak in English, yet stronger in maths or other areas. Why should VR have been the only criteria. The Bucks 11+ was outdated and discriminatory, as is thr catchment area system - house prices gets the best school. Let's npt con ourselves, all grammar schools are not equal.
We all know that 11+ tests can be prepared for. The sad thing is some of the brightest primary school children fail to get a grammar school place, not because they are not good enough, but because they were not prepared. This is sadly the fault of the parents. There are some people with their head in the clouds that make statements such as NVR cannot be taught, you can either do it or you cannot. Of course you can teach the concepts and what to look for and in which order to look and handle questions. The old 11+ to the new CEM 11+ has a change in scope, so would require 2-3 x the preparation time. I think a child should be prepared. Isn't this why Bucks are unique in actually having 2 x 30 min sample tests to do? No other area has this. I would say prepare. Do it yourself, pay for one-to-one or group tuition, buy books or subscribe to one of the host of online suppliers. Do something for preparation, else you may regret it. The CEM11plus exam is not an educational con trick. It is fairer to children who are weak in English, yet stronger in maths or other areas. Why should VR have been the only criteria. The Bucks 11+ was outdated and discriminatory, as is thr catchment area system - house prices gets the best school. Let's npt con ourselves, all grammar schools are not equal. Buck999
  • Score: 2

11:53pm Thu 10 Jan 13

kurtosis says...

@Buck999 I agree completely with what you say. I'm not arguing that the CEM test itself is an educational con trick, no doubt it measures what it measures. The con trick comes from the presentation of it by Bucks educators and their consultant as a test which can't be prepared for, and which is therefore somehow *for that reason* fairer. It certainly is fairer for those with English as a second language, for example, and I applaud that, but that doesn't seem to be their reason for introducing it.

Academies (and that's what these grammar schools now are) were getting criticised on the news today for being unfair in their selection procedures. I expect the educators got a preview of the report. I suspect they decided to try and eliminate any accusations of unfairness due to the ability or not to pay for tutors, and it suits their purposes to claim these CEM tests cannot be prepared for, and therefore eliminate any perceived bias towards middle class kids and their sharp-elbowed parents taking all the free grammar school places. If that was the case, I'd be wholeheartedly in favour of it, regardless of any effect on my year 5 child. Unfortunately these changes will have the exact opposite effect - an increase in tutoring costs. And if you don't have your child tutored, other parents will certainly send their children to tutors, and since all the children are competing against each other, the tutored child will still squeeze out the untutored child.

The net effect is that a change which is presented as levelling the playing field in favour of those who cannot afford tutors is actually making the playing field (i.e. the cost of tutoring) more than twice as steep.

Of course you can go the self-help route and try to do the tutoring yourself with the aid of some very useful free resources, but let's take the example of a child with English as a second language - the chances are that the parents of that child are precisely the people who most need their child to be tutored by a third party and are less likely to be able to navigate the educational obstacle course that is the 11+. Yes I'm talking generalities, but that's why I believe this change is a vicious kick in the guts for any pretence of social inclusivity.
@Buck999 I agree completely with what you say. I'm not arguing that the CEM test itself is an educational con trick, no doubt it measures what it measures. The con trick comes from the presentation of it by Bucks educators and their consultant as a test which can't be prepared for, and which is therefore somehow *for that reason* fairer. It certainly is fairer for those with English as a second language, for example, and I applaud that, but that doesn't seem to be their reason for introducing it. Academies (and that's what these grammar schools now are) were getting criticised on the news today for being unfair in their selection procedures. I expect the educators got a preview of the report. I suspect they decided to try and eliminate any accusations of unfairness due to the ability or not to pay for tutors, and it suits their purposes to claim these CEM tests cannot be prepared for, and therefore eliminate any perceived bias towards middle class kids and their sharp-elbowed parents taking all the free grammar school places. If that was the case, I'd be wholeheartedly in favour of it, regardless of any effect on my year 5 child. Unfortunately these changes will have the exact opposite effect - an increase in tutoring costs. And if you don't have your child tutored, other parents will certainly send their children to tutors, and since all the children are competing against each other, the tutored child will still squeeze out the untutored child. The net effect is that a change which is presented as levelling the playing field in favour of those who cannot afford tutors is actually making the playing field (i.e. the cost of tutoring) more than twice as steep. Of course you can go the self-help route and try to do the tutoring yourself with the aid of some very useful free resources, but let's take the example of a child with English as a second language - the chances are that the parents of that child are precisely the people who most need their child to be tutored by a third party and are less likely to be able to navigate the educational obstacle course that is the 11+. Yes I'm talking generalities, but that's why I believe this change is a vicious kick in the guts for any pretence of social inclusivity. kurtosis
  • Score: 0

12:00am Fri 11 Jan 13

Buck999 says...

Kurtosis, then do you think catchment areas should b scrapped, so all children have a chance to go to the top performing grammars such as Dr Challoners?

Ending catchment areas takes property prices out of the equation.
Kurtosis, then do you think catchment areas should b scrapped, so all children have a chance to go to the top performing grammars such as Dr Challoners? Ending catchment areas takes property prices out of the equation. Buck999
  • Score: 1

12:15am Fri 11 Jan 13

kurtosis says...

In my book each catchment area should have a grammar school, and I mean each catchment area in the whole of the country. Then we wouldn't get this ridiculous "kettling" effect in these tiny areas that still have grammar schools.

And with that one -- my night shift has ended!
In my book each catchment area should have a grammar school, and I mean each catchment area in the whole of the country. Then we wouldn't get this ridiculous "kettling" effect in these tiny areas that still have grammar schools. And with that one -- my night shift has ended! kurtosis
  • Score: 1

7:23am Fri 11 Jan 13

jillburrell says...

The whole house price based on education in "good schooling areas" would disappear if we had outstanding primary schools, outstanding grammar schools AND outstanding upper schools in every area. Utopia? Actually, they may be classed as outstanding, but they will still fail some students. Nevertheless it would be brilliant - but it's never going to happen.

Certainly more grammar schools would seem a fairer way to go - preferably in the poorer areas of our country, so they can provide an education and chances to a cross section of our population. A really good comprehensive school (streamed to same effect as a combined Grammar/Upper school) will do the same thing; though without an entrance test providing the impetus to tutor (by parents or private tutor) the pupils may miss out on a valuable part of their education.

The new test should be fairer, hopefully not having a pass mark of around 92% across just 80 questions, hopefully testing a wider range of abilities rather than it effectively coming down to knowing enough vocabulary (the maths requirement to date has been too basic for it to be a deciding factor.)
As for it reducing the effect of English being a second language ... well NVR may do this, as will basic maths questions, but problem maths questions will still test literacy, as will comprehension and cloze exercises and VR. It will very much depend on the balance in the paper, and that should be made as fair as possible to all - those with language issues can have papers looked at on appeal to check where they lost marks.
The whole house price based on education in "good schooling areas" would disappear if we had outstanding primary schools, outstanding grammar schools AND outstanding upper schools in every area. Utopia? Actually, they may be classed as outstanding, but they will still fail some students. Nevertheless it would be brilliant - but it's never going to happen. Certainly more grammar schools would seem a fairer way to go - preferably in the poorer areas of our country, so they can provide an education and chances to a cross section of our population. A really good comprehensive school (streamed to same effect as a combined Grammar/Upper school) will do the same thing; though without an entrance test providing the impetus to tutor (by parents or private tutor) the pupils may miss out on a valuable part of their education. The new test should be fairer, hopefully not having a pass mark of around 92% across just 80 questions, hopefully testing a wider range of abilities rather than it effectively coming down to knowing enough vocabulary (the maths requirement to date has been too basic for it to be a deciding factor.) As for it reducing the effect of English being a second language ... well NVR may do this, as will basic maths questions, but problem maths questions will still test literacy, as will comprehension and cloze exercises and VR. It will very much depend on the balance in the paper, and that should be made as fair as possible to all - those with language issues can have papers looked at on appeal to check where they lost marks. jillburrell
  • Score: 0

8:44am Fri 11 Jan 13

BecksH says...

Lots of interesting and valid points here - on both sides of the argument. My feeling is that while the grammar schools may be making minor helpful changes at the margins, the fundamental unfairness of the system remains unchanged. It is absurdly outdated to treat intelligence as a fixed capacity that can be accurately measured for all time at a single point in time. From Matthew Syed to the many experts in the now established field of neuroplasticity, current thinking is that there is simply no such thing as 'innate' ability. We might each have certain predispositions, but our talents and how they are expressed will be fundamentally shaped by our home and school environments, by the extra opportunities made available to or denied us, and by subtle elements of teachers' and parents' attitudes, assumptions and expectations.

It is a wonderfully optimistic and, most importantly, scientifically evidenced theory of learning which the most progressive schools and teachers are using to underpin their success, achieving brilliant results with children who other schools lazily shove in the direction of 'vocational' courses. Unfortunately, it is also completely at odds with the 11+ system; a system which labels children 'intelligent' and 'not so intelligent' at a single point in time, making no allowance for the huge differences in their circumstances and opportunities in the first ten years of their lives, and then makes these categorisations a self-fulfilling prophecy by the very different educational environments the children are then exposed to.

I have no criticism of parents who tutor their children for the 11+. They are put into an impossible situation by a fundamentally flawed and unjust system and forced to 'play the game'. However, there can be no doubt that the use of tutoring then skews the playing field even further, compounding the inequalities that already exist.

I am sure the grammar schools are genuinely trying to improve the system. But these changes are marginal. My message to them would be - catch up! Read up on the huge and compelling body of evidence around neuroplasticity and fluid ability. And if you have confidence in your pedagogy and the skills of your teachers, then welcome all children to your school and demonstrate that you provide the kind of learning environment where the talents and potential of ALL children can be realised.
Lots of interesting and valid points here - on both sides of the argument. My feeling is that while the grammar schools may be making minor helpful changes at the margins, the fundamental unfairness of the system remains unchanged. It is absurdly outdated to treat intelligence as a fixed capacity that can be accurately measured for all time at a single point in time. From Matthew Syed to the many experts in the now established field of neuroplasticity, current thinking is that there is simply no such thing as 'innate' ability. We might each have certain predispositions, but our talents and how they are expressed will be fundamentally shaped by our home and school environments, by the extra opportunities made available to or denied us, and by subtle elements of teachers' and parents' attitudes, assumptions and expectations. It is a wonderfully optimistic and, most importantly, scientifically evidenced theory of learning which the most progressive schools and teachers are using to underpin their success, achieving brilliant results with children who other schools lazily shove in the direction of 'vocational' courses. Unfortunately, it is also completely at odds with the 11+ system; a system which labels children 'intelligent' and 'not so intelligent' at a single point in time, making no allowance for the huge differences in their circumstances and opportunities in the first ten years of their lives, and then makes these categorisations a self-fulfilling prophecy by the very different educational environments the children are then exposed to. I have no criticism of parents who tutor their children for the 11+. They are put into an impossible situation by a fundamentally flawed and unjust system and forced to 'play the game'. However, there can be no doubt that the use of tutoring then skews the playing field even further, compounding the inequalities that already exist. I am sure the grammar schools are genuinely trying to improve the system. But these changes are marginal. My message to them would be - catch up! Read up on the huge and compelling body of evidence around neuroplasticity and fluid ability. And if you have confidence in your pedagogy and the skills of your teachers, then welcome all children to your school and demonstrate that you provide the kind of learning environment where the talents and potential of ALL children can be realised. BecksH
  • Score: 1

9:30am Fri 11 Jan 13

Buck999 says...

How to select for grammar schools then?

If it's curriculum based then it depends upon how well the curriculum is delivered in schools. Some schools are great, some are not. Again it's not a level playing field.

I do not think a level playing field is possible. But if it is curriculum based, everyone has a chance and can work themselves. Tutoring will never stop.

I prefer a national CEM11plus or a national sats test and scrapping catchment areas. Let a child with the highest score go to a school of choice, where ever it may be.

Schools are funded by national taxation and not local taxation. It is selfish to have local schools for local children, where property prices affect admission.

We do not have local Universities for local children.
How to select for grammar schools then? If it's curriculum based then it depends upon how well the curriculum is delivered in schools. Some schools are great, some are not. Again it's not a level playing field. I do not think a level playing field is possible. But if it is curriculum based, everyone has a chance and can work themselves. Tutoring will never stop. I prefer a national CEM11plus or a national sats test and scrapping catchment areas. Let a child with the highest score go to a school of choice, where ever it may be. Schools are funded by national taxation and not local taxation. It is selfish to have local schools for local children, where property prices affect admission. We do not have local Universities for local children. Buck999
  • Score: 0

11:25am Fri 11 Jan 13

Cee says...

If we are only talking about Buckinghamshire, grammar catchments are not a big issue: everyone in the county is in the catchment of at least one grammar school and a child who passes 11+ at the normal time and puts a grammar school first choice will be offered a grammar place. Don't put Dr Challoner's on a pedestal because ALL of them are good academically.

If you want to discuss catchments, it is those for upper schools that matter because some of them are excellent and some are not at all. Those with money to live in more expensive areas are more likely to be in catchment for a good one. Wealth buys advantage for upper schools, not just grammars - maybe MORE of an advantage for upper schools!
If we are only talking about Buckinghamshire, grammar catchments are not a big issue: everyone in the county is in the catchment of at least one grammar school and a child who passes 11+ at the normal time and puts a grammar school first choice will be offered a grammar place. Don't put Dr Challoner's on a pedestal because ALL of them are good academically. If you want to discuss catchments, it is those for upper schools that matter because some of them are excellent and some are not at all. Those with money to live in more expensive areas are more likely to be in catchment for a good one. Wealth buys advantage for upper schools, not just grammars - maybe MORE of an advantage for upper schools! Cee
  • Score: 0

11:38am Fri 11 Jan 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

BecksH wrote:
Lots of interesting and valid points here - on both sides of the argument. My feeling is that while the grammar schools may be making minor helpful changes at the margins, the fundamental unfairness of the system remains unchanged. It is absurdly outdated to treat intelligence as a fixed capacity that can be accurately measured for all time at a single point in time. From Matthew Syed to the many experts in the now established field of neuroplasticity, current thinking is that there is simply no such thing as 'innate' ability. We might each have certain predispositions, but our talents and how they are expressed will be fundamentally shaped by our home and school environments, by the extra opportunities made available to or denied us, and by subtle elements of teachers' and parents' attitudes, assumptions and expectations.

It is a wonderfully optimistic and, most importantly, scientifically evidenced theory of learning which the most progressive schools and teachers are using to underpin their success, achieving brilliant results with children who other schools lazily shove in the direction of 'vocational' courses. Unfortunately, it is also completely at odds with the 11+ system; a system which labels children 'intelligent' and 'not so intelligent' at a single point in time, making no allowance for the huge differences in their circumstances and opportunities in the first ten years of their lives, and then makes these categorisations a self-fulfilling prophecy by the very different educational environments the children are then exposed to.

I have no criticism of parents who tutor their children for the 11+. They are put into an impossible situation by a fundamentally flawed and unjust system and forced to 'play the game'. However, there can be no doubt that the use of tutoring then skews the playing field even further, compounding the inequalities that already exist.

I am sure the grammar schools are genuinely trying to improve the system. But these changes are marginal. My message to them would be - catch up! Read up on the huge and compelling body of evidence around neuroplasticity and fluid ability. And if you have confidence in your pedagogy and the skills of your teachers, then welcome all children to your school and demonstrate that you provide the kind of learning environment where the talents and potential of ALL children can be realised.
Well done Becks.
It is absurdly outdated to treat intelligence as a fixed capacity that can be accurately measured for all time at a single point in time.


It's not just absurdly outdated - it's always been absurd - it's supported by people who do well out of it and others who cannot bear the thought of a free and equal system for everyone's children. Becks has said the lot here – all these people gravely and earnestly discussing the fine-tuning of an absurdity – toiling in solemn foolery – I would like Mike Appleyard to come on here and explain WHY the so-called ‘selective’ system is good – and it will not be an explanation to say that he supports it as local people vote for it – local people vote for the Conservative Party and the 11+ is part of their policies – why is ‘selection’ at age ten better than the comprehensive system in adjoining counties?
[quote][p][bold]BecksH[/bold] wrote: Lots of interesting and valid points here - on both sides of the argument. My feeling is that while the grammar schools may be making minor helpful changes at the margins, the fundamental unfairness of the system remains unchanged. It is absurdly outdated to treat intelligence as a fixed capacity that can be accurately measured for all time at a single point in time. From Matthew Syed to the many experts in the now established field of neuroplasticity, current thinking is that there is simply no such thing as 'innate' ability. We might each have certain predispositions, but our talents and how they are expressed will be fundamentally shaped by our home and school environments, by the extra opportunities made available to or denied us, and by subtle elements of teachers' and parents' attitudes, assumptions and expectations. It is a wonderfully optimistic and, most importantly, scientifically evidenced theory of learning which the most progressive schools and teachers are using to underpin their success, achieving brilliant results with children who other schools lazily shove in the direction of 'vocational' courses. Unfortunately, it is also completely at odds with the 11+ system; a system which labels children 'intelligent' and 'not so intelligent' at a single point in time, making no allowance for the huge differences in their circumstances and opportunities in the first ten years of their lives, and then makes these categorisations a self-fulfilling prophecy by the very different educational environments the children are then exposed to. I have no criticism of parents who tutor their children for the 11+. They are put into an impossible situation by a fundamentally flawed and unjust system and forced to 'play the game'. However, there can be no doubt that the use of tutoring then skews the playing field even further, compounding the inequalities that already exist. I am sure the grammar schools are genuinely trying to improve the system. But these changes are marginal. My message to them would be - catch up! Read up on the huge and compelling body of evidence around neuroplasticity and fluid ability. And if you have confidence in your pedagogy and the skills of your teachers, then welcome all children to your school and demonstrate that you provide the kind of learning environment where the talents and potential of ALL children can be realised.[/p][/quote]Well done Becks. [italic] [quote] It is absurdly outdated to treat intelligence as a fixed capacity that can be accurately measured for all time at a single point in time. [/quote][/italic] It's not just absurdly outdated - it's always been absurd - it's supported by people who do well out of it and others who cannot bear the thought of a free and equal system for everyone's children. Becks has said the lot here – all these people gravely and earnestly discussing the fine-tuning of an absurdity – toiling in solemn foolery – I would like Mike Appleyard to come on here and explain WHY the so-called ‘selective’ system is good – and it will not be an explanation to say that he supports it as local people vote for it – local people vote for the Conservative Party and the 11+ is part of their policies – why is ‘selection’ at age ten better than the comprehensive system in adjoining counties? ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 1

11:39am Fri 11 Jan 13

Buck999 says...

Why do so many people in Bucks believe all grammars are good academically? The league tables paint a different picture. Dr Challoner's is the top grammar and many children who live much more than 6 miles away cannot get in. Why should where you live dictate which school you can go to? Surely, 11+ is about selection and the highest marks should get first choice. Life is a competition.
I would choose Dr Challoner's above the rest. Just look at their results and the number going to Oxbridge. Compare this against Chesham Grammar- it's in a different league - similar performance to many comprehensives. Don't say both schools are equally good. Good yes, not not equal.
Why do so many people in Bucks believe all grammars are good academically? The league tables paint a different picture. Dr Challoner's is the top grammar and many children who live much more than 6 miles away cannot get in. Why should where you live dictate which school you can go to? Surely, 11+ is about selection and the highest marks should get first choice. Life is a competition. I would choose Dr Challoner's above the rest. Just look at their results and the number going to Oxbridge. Compare this against Chesham Grammar- it's in a different league - similar performance to many comprehensives. Don't say both schools are equally good. Good yes, not not equal. Buck999
  • Score: -3

11:40am Fri 11 Jan 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

(And let's have an end to 'community', 'upper' and 'comprehensive' schools when we mean 'SECONDARY MODERN'.)
(And let's have an end to 'community', 'upper' and 'comprehensive' schools when we mean 'SECONDARY MODERN'.) ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 0

11:41am Fri 11 Jan 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

Has anybody yet worked out how the figure of 121 is arrived at in different circumstances?
Has anybody yet worked out how the figure of 121 is arrived at in different circumstances? ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 0

11:42am Fri 11 Jan 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

Has anybody yet worked out how the figure of 121 is arrived at in different circumstances?
Has anybody yet worked out how the figure of 121 is arrived at in different circumstances? ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 1

11:43am Fri 11 Jan 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

Buck999 wrote:
Why do so many people in Bucks believe all grammars are good academically? The league tables paint a different picture. Dr Challoner's is the top grammar and many children who live much more than 6 miles away cannot get in. Why should where you live dictate which school you can go to? Surely, 11+ is about selection and the highest marks should get first choice. Life is a competition.
I would choose Dr Challoner's above the rest. Just look at their results and the number going to Oxbridge. Compare this against Chesham Grammar- it's in a different league - similar performance to many comprehensives. Don't say both schools are equally good. Good yes, not not equal.
.


'Life is a competition.'

What a stupid thing to say about ten year olds - and a rigged competition.
[quote][p][bold]Buck999[/bold] wrote: Why do so many people in Bucks believe all grammars are good academically? The league tables paint a different picture. Dr Challoner's is the top grammar and many children who live much more than 6 miles away cannot get in. Why should where you live dictate which school you can go to? Surely, 11+ is about selection and the highest marks should get first choice. Life is a competition. I would choose Dr Challoner's above the rest. Just look at their results and the number going to Oxbridge. Compare this against Chesham Grammar- it's in a different league - similar performance to many comprehensives. Don't say both schools are equally good. Good yes, not not equal.[/p][/quote]. 'Life is a competition.' What a stupid thing to say about ten year olds - and a rigged competition. ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 0

11:46am Fri 11 Jan 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

BecksH wrote:
Lots of interesting and valid points here - on both sides of the argument. My feeling is that while the grammar schools may be making minor helpful changes at the margins, the fundamental unfairness of the system remains unchanged. It is absurdly outdated to treat intelligence as a fixed capacity that can be accurately measured for all time at a single point in time. From Matthew Syed to the many experts in the now established field of neuroplasticity, current thinking is that there is simply no such thing as 'innate' ability. We might each have certain predispositions, but our talents and how they are expressed will be fundamentally shaped by our home and school environments, by the extra opportunities made available to or denied us, and by subtle elements of teachers' and parents' attitudes, assumptions and expectations.

It is a wonderfully optimistic and, most importantly, scientifically evidenced theory of learning which the most progressive schools and teachers are using to underpin their success, achieving brilliant results with children who other schools lazily shove in the direction of 'vocational' courses. Unfortunately, it is also completely at odds with the 11+ system; a system which labels children 'intelligent' and 'not so intelligent' at a single point in time, making no allowance for the huge differences in their circumstances and opportunities in the first ten years of their lives, and then makes these categorisations a self-fulfilling prophecy by the very different educational environments the children are then exposed to.

I have no criticism of parents who tutor their children for the 11+. They are put into an impossible situation by a fundamentally flawed and unjust system and forced to 'play the game'. However, there can be no doubt that the use of tutoring then skews the playing field even further, compounding the inequalities that already exist.

I am sure the grammar schools are genuinely trying to improve the system. But these changes are marginal. My message to them would be - catch up! Read up on the huge and compelling body of evidence around neuroplasticity and fluid ability. And if you have confidence in your pedagogy and the skills of your teachers, then welcome all children to your school and demonstrate that you provide the kind of learning environment where the talents and potential of ALL children can be realised.
.


a system which labels children 'intelligent' and 'not so intelligent' at a single point in time, making no allowance for the huge differences in their circumstances and opportunities in the first ten years of their lives, and then makes these categorisations a self-fulfilling prophecy by the very different educational environments the children are then exposed to.


Well done Becks.
[quote][p][bold]BecksH[/bold] wrote: Lots of interesting and valid points here - on both sides of the argument. My feeling is that while the grammar schools may be making minor helpful changes at the margins, the fundamental unfairness of the system remains unchanged. It is absurdly outdated to treat intelligence as a fixed capacity that can be accurately measured for all time at a single point in time. From Matthew Syed to the many experts in the now established field of neuroplasticity, current thinking is that there is simply no such thing as 'innate' ability. We might each have certain predispositions, but our talents and how they are expressed will be fundamentally shaped by our home and school environments, by the extra opportunities made available to or denied us, and by subtle elements of teachers' and parents' attitudes, assumptions and expectations. It is a wonderfully optimistic and, most importantly, scientifically evidenced theory of learning which the most progressive schools and teachers are using to underpin their success, achieving brilliant results with children who other schools lazily shove in the direction of 'vocational' courses. Unfortunately, it is also completely at odds with the 11+ system; a system which labels children 'intelligent' and 'not so intelligent' at a single point in time, making no allowance for the huge differences in their circumstances and opportunities in the first ten years of their lives, and then makes these categorisations a self-fulfilling prophecy by the very different educational environments the children are then exposed to. I have no criticism of parents who tutor their children for the 11+. They are put into an impossible situation by a fundamentally flawed and unjust system and forced to 'play the game'. However, there can be no doubt that the use of tutoring then skews the playing field even further, compounding the inequalities that already exist. I am sure the grammar schools are genuinely trying to improve the system. But these changes are marginal. My message to them would be - catch up! Read up on the huge and compelling body of evidence around neuroplasticity and fluid ability. And if you have confidence in your pedagogy and the skills of your teachers, then welcome all children to your school and demonstrate that you provide the kind of learning environment where the talents and potential of ALL children can be realised.[/p][/quote]. [italic] [quote] a system which labels children 'intelligent' and 'not so intelligent' at a single point in time, making no allowance for the huge differences in their circumstances and opportunities in the first ten years of their lives, and then makes these categorisations a self-fulfilling prophecy by the very different educational environments the children are then exposed to. [/quote][/italic] Well done Becks. ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 0

11:49am Fri 11 Jan 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

ImpeturbableLawrence wrote:
Has anybody yet worked out how the figure of 121 is arrived at in different circumstances?
This number is of fundamental importance to the discussion so I think someone ought to be able to tell us.
[quote][p][bold]ImpeturbableLawrence[/bold] wrote: Has anybody yet worked out how the figure of 121 is arrived at in different circumstances?[/p][/quote]This number is of fundamental importance to the discussion so I think someone ought to be able to tell us. ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 0

12:11pm Fri 11 Jan 13

jillburrell says...

121 is an arbitrary number - it is the number given to the level at which a pass is allocated.
The mark required for a pass must be obtained having placed all the marks attained on the paper on two graphs (one for boys one for girls); on the resultant normal curve they draw a line down at the point where an appropriate number of students that be accommodated at the grammar schools is to the right of the line. Marks around 121 are then suitably allocated to the rest of the curve.
121 is an arbitrary number - it is the number given to the level at which a pass is allocated. The mark required for a pass must be obtained having placed all the marks attained on the paper on two graphs (one for boys one for girls); on the resultant normal curve they draw a line down at the point where an appropriate number of students that be accommodated at the grammar schools is to the right of the line. Marks around 121 are then suitably allocated to the rest of the curve. jillburrell
  • Score: 0

1:40pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Buck999 says...

ImpeturbableLawrence wrote:
Buck999 wrote:
Why do so many people in Bucks believe all grammars are good academically? The league tables paint a different picture. Dr Challoner's is the top grammar and many children who live much more than 6 miles away cannot get in. Why should where you live dictate which school you can go to? Surely, 11+ is about selection and the highest marks should get first choice. Life is a competition.
I would choose Dr Challoner's above the rest. Just look at their results and the number going to Oxbridge. Compare this against Chesham Grammar- it's in a different league - similar performance to many comprehensives. Don't say both schools are equally good. Good yes, not not equal.
.


'Life is a competition.'

What a stupid thing to say about ten year olds - and a rigged competition.
Oh dear, no competition for 10-year olds. Nobody can win on sport day, a football match or anything else. May be that is stupid.

When can a child compete then? Is there a better solution to fill grammar school places, apart from scrapping them, which many parents do not want.

The 11+ competition is. Is it rigged? All children can put in the effort to pass themselves. There is something called a library and internet and lots of free material, even from commercial organisations.
[quote][p][bold]ImpeturbableLawrence[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Buck999[/bold] wrote: Why do so many people in Bucks believe all grammars are good academically? The league tables paint a different picture. Dr Challoner's is the top grammar and many children who live much more than 6 miles away cannot get in. Why should where you live dictate which school you can go to? Surely, 11+ is about selection and the highest marks should get first choice. Life is a competition. I would choose Dr Challoner's above the rest. Just look at their results and the number going to Oxbridge. Compare this against Chesham Grammar- it's in a different league - similar performance to many comprehensives. Don't say both schools are equally good. Good yes, not not equal.[/p][/quote]. 'Life is a competition.' What a stupid thing to say about ten year olds - and a rigged competition.[/p][/quote]Oh dear, no competition for 10-year olds. Nobody can win on sport day, a football match or anything else. May be that is stupid. When can a child compete then? Is there a better solution to fill grammar school places, apart from scrapping them, which many parents do not want. The 11+ competition is. Is it rigged? All children can put in the effort to pass themselves. There is something called a library and internet and lots of free material, even from commercial organisations. Buck999
  • Score: -1

1:45pm Fri 11 Jan 13

gpn01 says...

jillburrell wrote:
121 is an arbitrary number - it is the number given to the level at which a pass is allocated. The mark required for a pass must be obtained having placed all the marks attained on the paper on two graphs (one for boys one for girls); on the resultant normal curve they draw a line down at the point where an appropriate number of students that be accommodated at the grammar schools is to the right of the line. Marks around 121 are then suitably allocated to the rest of the curve.
Isn't that discriminatory? Even if it's based on sound research about differences between male and females. Seem to recall recent (EU?) legislation that now prevents insurance companies from dfferentiating between male and female applicants for live cover and car insurance - even though it's known that women live longer and their driving risk profile is better.
[quote][p][bold]jillburrell[/bold] wrote: 121 is an arbitrary number - it is the number given to the level at which a pass is allocated. The mark required for a pass must be obtained having placed all the marks attained on the paper on two graphs (one for boys one for girls); on the resultant normal curve they draw a line down at the point where an appropriate number of students that be accommodated at the grammar schools is to the right of the line. Marks around 121 are then suitably allocated to the rest of the curve.[/p][/quote]Isn't that discriminatory? Even if it's based on sound research about differences between male and females. Seem to recall recent (EU?) legislation that now prevents insurance companies from dfferentiating between male and female applicants for live cover and car insurance - even though it's known that women live longer and their driving risk profile is better. gpn01
  • Score: 0

1:51pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Buck999 says...

I don't think boys and girls are separated. I think they are combined and CEM11plus tests are supposed to be gender neutral.
I don't think boys and girls are separated. I think they are combined and CEM11plus tests are supposed to be gender neutral. Buck999
  • Score: 0

2:20pm Fri 11 Jan 13

jillburrell says...

Boys and girls have o be separated in order to ensure that you get the correct number of students at each single sex Grammar School.
Whatever mark students get we still have to have a full complement of students and no more than that at each school. If they don't then the discrimination would have to come in the appeals process if there were more appeal places available at either sex school; arguably somewhat more dubious.
Life is real not ideal.
Boys and girls have o be separated in order to ensure that you get the correct number of students at each single sex Grammar School. Whatever mark students get we still have to have a full complement of students and no more than that at each school. If they don't then the discrimination would have to come in the appeals process if there were more appeal places available at either sex school; arguably somewhat more dubious. Life is real not ideal. jillburrell
  • Score: 0

5:31pm Fri 11 Jan 13

demoness the second says...

Parents can make all the excuses they like for coaching their children and my goodness there are long reams of justification on here.#
IF your child needs private tuition then you have to query whether Grammar school is the right place for them.
A few practice papers is one thing.. just to familiarise themselves. It is like anyone doing an exam looking at past papers.
BUT tuition? Sorry not convinced. You are bucking the system and sending your child to a place that is not right for them and where they will struggle.
IMO of course.
Parents can make all the excuses they like for coaching their children and my goodness there are long reams of justification on here.# IF your child needs private tuition then you have to query whether Grammar school is the right place for them. A few practice papers is one thing.. just to familiarise themselves. It is like anyone doing an exam looking at past papers. BUT tuition? Sorry not convinced. You are bucking the system and sending your child to a place that is not right for them and where they will struggle. IMO of course. demoness the second
  • Score: 0

6:17pm Fri 11 Jan 13

gpn01 says...

demoness the second wrote:
Parents can make all the excuses they like for coaching their children and my goodness there are long reams of justification on here.# IF your child needs private tuition then you have to query whether Grammar school is the right place for them. A few practice papers is one thing.. just to familiarise themselves. It is like anyone doing an exam looking at past papers. BUT tuition? Sorry not convinced. You are bucking the system and sending your child to a place that is not right for them and where they will struggle. IMO of course.
I suppose that parents who're willing and able to provide their children with coaching to help them pass an entrance test are likely to be willing to also provide coaching / additional tuition that would help them thrive in the Grammar school environment.

Still think that everyone is missing the point on the whole 11+/Grammar stuff....The real problem is that Grammar schools are perceived as providing better opportunities for children compared to state schools. We should theerfore be making efforts to bring state school education up to grammar standards and not bemoaning those who have the resources to give their children an advantage.
[quote][p][bold]demoness the second[/bold] wrote: Parents can make all the excuses they like for coaching their children and my goodness there are long reams of justification on here.# IF your child needs private tuition then you have to query whether Grammar school is the right place for them. A few practice papers is one thing.. just to familiarise themselves. It is like anyone doing an exam looking at past papers. BUT tuition? Sorry not convinced. You are bucking the system and sending your child to a place that is not right for them and where they will struggle. IMO of course.[/p][/quote]I suppose that parents who're willing and able to provide their children with coaching to help them pass an entrance test are likely to be willing to also provide coaching / additional tuition that would help them thrive in the Grammar school environment. Still think that everyone is missing the point on the whole 11+/Grammar stuff....The real problem is that Grammar schools are perceived as providing better opportunities for children compared to state schools. We should theerfore be making efforts to bring state school education up to grammar standards and not bemoaning those who have the resources to give their children an advantage. gpn01
  • Score: 1

8:19pm Fri 11 Jan 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

Buck999 wrote:
ImpeturbableLawrence wrote:
Buck999 wrote:
Why do so many people in Bucks believe all grammars are good academically? The league tables paint a different picture. Dr Challoner's is the top grammar and many children who live much more than 6 miles away cannot get in. Why should where you live dictate which school you can go to? Surely, 11+ is about selection and the highest marks should get first choice. Life is a competition.
I would choose Dr Challoner's above the rest. Just look at their results and the number going to Oxbridge. Compare this against Chesham Grammar- it's in a different league - similar performance to many comprehensives. Don't say both schools are equally good. Good yes, not not equal.
.


'Life is a competition.'

What a stupid thing to say about ten year olds - and a rigged competition.
Oh dear, no competition for 10-year olds. Nobody can win on sport day, a football match or anything else. May be that is stupid.

When can a child compete then? Is there a better solution to fill grammar school places, apart from scrapping them, which many parents do not want.

The 11+ competition is. Is it rigged? All children can put in the effort to pass themselves. There is something called a library and internet and lots of free material, even from commercial organisations.
A sports day or a football match do not decide a child's intellectual future and alter their chances in life so - yes a child can compete in sports.

The 'better solution' is to do what a majority of other counties in the UK have done and let children compete in a (genuinely) comprehensive - all inclusive - school environment. Many parents DO want to scrap grammar schools.

The 11+ seems to be rigged in favour of better-off people who can afford to pay for their children to be coached and amazing to say parents from places like Beaconsfield and Gerrards Cross seem to send children to grammar schools rather than parents from Micklefield and Castlefield.

There is something called a library and internet and lots of free material, even from commercial


Wow the ironic understatement! Why do better-off parents pay for tuition then? And why have this separation into educational sheep and goats at age ten in the first place?
[quote][p][bold]Buck999[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ImpeturbableLawrence[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Buck999[/bold] wrote: Why do so many people in Bucks believe all grammars are good academically? The league tables paint a different picture. Dr Challoner's is the top grammar and many children who live much more than 6 miles away cannot get in. Why should where you live dictate which school you can go to? Surely, 11+ is about selection and the highest marks should get first choice. Life is a competition. I would choose Dr Challoner's above the rest. Just look at their results and the number going to Oxbridge. Compare this against Chesham Grammar- it's in a different league - similar performance to many comprehensives. Don't say both schools are equally good. Good yes, not not equal.[/p][/quote]. 'Life is a competition.' What a stupid thing to say about ten year olds - and a rigged competition.[/p][/quote]Oh dear, no competition for 10-year olds. Nobody can win on sport day, a football match or anything else. May be that is stupid. When can a child compete then? Is there a better solution to fill grammar school places, apart from scrapping them, which many parents do not want. The 11+ competition is. Is it rigged? All children can put in the effort to pass themselves. There is something called a library and internet and lots of free material, even from commercial organisations.[/p][/quote]A sports day or a football match do not decide a child's intellectual future and alter their chances in life so - yes a child can compete in sports. The 'better solution' is to do what a majority of other counties in the UK have done and let children compete in a (genuinely) comprehensive - all inclusive - school environment. Many parents DO want to scrap grammar schools. The 11+ seems to be rigged in favour of better-off people who can afford to pay for their children to be coached and amazing to say parents from places like Beaconsfield and Gerrards Cross seem to send children to grammar schools rather than parents from Micklefield and Castlefield. [italic] [quote] There is something called a library and internet and lots of free material, even from commercial [/quote][/italic] Wow the ironic understatement! Why do better-off parents pay for tuition then? And why have this separation into educational sheep and goats at age ten in the first place? ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 0

8:31pm Fri 11 Jan 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

jillburrell wrote:
121 is an arbitrary number - it is the number given to the level at which a pass is allocated.
The mark required for a pass must be obtained having placed all the marks attained on the paper on two graphs (one for boys one for girls); on the resultant normal curve they draw a line down at the point where an appropriate number of students that be accommodated at the grammar schools is to the right of the line. Marks around 121 are then suitably allocated to the rest of the curve.
What kind of a graph is this – how does it indicate the number of children for each level on the line of the ‘resultant normal curve’?

down at the point where an appropriate number of students that be accommodated at the grammar schools is to the right of the line.

‘…an appropriate number of students that be accommodated at the grammar schools’ does that mean the number of children who pass the 11+ depends on the number of available places in grammar schools? If this the case then why not just take the top 600 or whatever the number is and tell them they have passed the 11+?
Marks around 121 are then suitably allocated to the rest of the curve.

That seems a bit vague as well - 122 is a mark around 121 – how is that ‘suitably allocated to the rest of the curve’ or do you simply mean that all marks below 121 are allocated to the left hand side of the curve?
[quote][p][bold]jillburrell[/bold] wrote: 121 is an arbitrary number - it is the number given to the level at which a pass is allocated. The mark required for a pass must be obtained having placed all the marks attained on the paper on two graphs (one for boys one for girls); on the resultant normal curve they draw a line down at the point where an appropriate number of students that be accommodated at the grammar schools is to the right of the line. Marks around 121 are then suitably allocated to the rest of the curve.[/p][/quote]What kind of a graph is this – how does it indicate the number of children for each level on the line of the ‘resultant normal curve’? [italic] [quote] down at the point where an appropriate number of students that be accommodated at the grammar schools is to the right of the line. [/quote][/italic] ‘…an appropriate number of students that be accommodated at the grammar schools’ does that mean the number of children who pass the 11+ depends on the number of available places in grammar schools? If this the case then why not just take the top 600 or whatever the number is and tell them they have passed the 11+? [italic] [quote] Marks around 121 are then suitably allocated to the rest of the curve. [/quote][/italic] That seems a bit vague as well - 122 is a mark around 121 – how is that ‘suitably allocated to the rest of the curve’ or do you simply mean that all marks below 121 are allocated to the left hand side of the curve? ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 0

8:37pm Fri 11 Jan 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

jillburrell wrote:
Boys and girls have o be separated in order to ensure that you get the correct number of students at each single sex Grammar School.
Whatever mark students get we still have to have a full complement of students and no more than that at each school. If they don't then the discrimination would have to come in the appeals process if there were more appeal places available at either sex school; arguably somewhat more dubious.
Life is real not ideal.
Life is real not ideal.


Gosh - the wise insight!

Now that that Parliament is making it possible - in line with EU Human Rights principles - for the first time in 1,000 years - for a first-born girl to become the Sovereign of the UK (and the nations of the Commonwealth that still acknowledge the Queen as head of state) - why doesn't BCC abandon all standards and abolish single-sex grammar schools as well?
[quote][p][bold]jillburrell[/bold] wrote: Boys and girls have o be separated in order to ensure that you get the correct number of students at each single sex Grammar School. Whatever mark students get we still have to have a full complement of students and no more than that at each school. If they don't then the discrimination would have to come in the appeals process if there were more appeal places available at either sex school; arguably somewhat more dubious. Life is real not ideal.[/p][/quote][italic] [quote] Life is real not ideal. [/quote][/italic] Gosh - the wise insight! Now that that Parliament is making it possible - in line with EU Human Rights principles - for the first time in 1,000 years - for a first-born girl to become the Sovereign of the UK (and the nations of the Commonwealth that still acknowledge the Queen as head of state) - why doesn't BCC abandon all standards and abolish single-sex grammar schools as well? ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 0

8:38pm Fri 11 Jan 13

12345metoo says...

I have 'coached' my two eldest for the verbal reasoning exam and they both passed and are flourishing at grammar, doing their homework independently. I coached them because they were at a primary with low expectations but they both got Level 5 in their SATS without coaching. I was shocked when an 'independent' advisor came to the school and was dismissive towards parents appealing, should the situation arise. My children said they actually enjoyed preparing for the eleven plus.
It would be interesting to see how many children would pass without any form of preparation by parents or schools, as nearly everyone in my child's class at grammar was coached. This new test doesn't eradicate the fact that primary schools cater for areas of varying affluence and education. I agree that a child needs a family home where study is valued as part of a balanced life. I practiced with my children because I could see the discrepancy in expectations in primary schools. The range of vocabulary used nowadays seems to be much smaller in schools (except for private maybe) and in some homes nowadays. I know a tutor who has 40 students per year and only half pass, so what does that say? I hasten to add that my children are modest, quiet children and yet their friends treated them badly when they passed and the teachers were reticent in congratulating them.
I have 'coached' my two eldest for the verbal reasoning exam and they both passed and are flourishing at grammar, doing their homework independently. I coached them because they were at a primary with low expectations but they both got Level 5 in their SATS without coaching. I was shocked when an 'independent' advisor came to the school and was dismissive towards parents appealing, should the situation arise. My children said they actually enjoyed preparing for the eleven plus. It would be interesting to see how many children would pass without any form of preparation by parents or schools, as nearly everyone in my child's class at grammar was coached. This new test doesn't eradicate the fact that primary schools cater for areas of varying affluence and education. I agree that a child needs a family home where study is valued as part of a balanced life. I practiced with my children because I could see the discrepancy in expectations in primary schools. The range of vocabulary used nowadays seems to be much smaller in schools (except for private maybe) and in some homes nowadays. I know a tutor who has 40 students per year and only half pass, so what does that say? I hasten to add that my children are modest, quiet children and yet their friends treated them badly when they passed and the teachers were reticent in congratulating them. 12345metoo
  • Score: 1

8:40pm Fri 11 Jan 13

demoness the second says...

Grammar schools are state schools though.
Very much so.
Grammar schools are state schools though. Very much so. demoness the second
  • Score: 0

8:43pm Fri 11 Jan 13

demoness the second says...

12345metoo wrote:
I have 'coached' my two eldest for the verbal reasoning exam and they both passed and are flourishing at grammar, doing their homework independently. I coached them because they were at a primary with low expectations but they both got Level 5 in their SATS without coaching. I was shocked when an 'independent' advisor came to the school and was dismissive towards parents appealing, should the situation arise. My children said they actually enjoyed preparing for the eleven plus.
It would be interesting to see how many children would pass without any form of preparation by parents or schools, as nearly everyone in my child's class at grammar was coached. This new test doesn't eradicate the fact that primary schools cater for areas of varying affluence and education. I agree that a child needs a family home where study is valued as part of a balanced life. I practiced with my children because I could see the discrepancy in expectations in primary schools. The range of vocabulary used nowadays seems to be much smaller in schools (except for private maybe) and in some homes nowadays. I know a tutor who has 40 students per year and only half pass, so what does that say? I hasten to add that my children are modest, quiet children and yet their friends treated them badly when they passed and the teachers were reticent in congratulating them.
Yes but parents doing practice papers like you did is one thing.
Paying for a private tutor is another thing entirely.
[quote][p][bold]12345metoo[/bold] wrote: I have 'coached' my two eldest for the verbal reasoning exam and they both passed and are flourishing at grammar, doing their homework independently. I coached them because they were at a primary with low expectations but they both got Level 5 in their SATS without coaching. I was shocked when an 'independent' advisor came to the school and was dismissive towards parents appealing, should the situation arise. My children said they actually enjoyed preparing for the eleven plus. It would be interesting to see how many children would pass without any form of preparation by parents or schools, as nearly everyone in my child's class at grammar was coached. This new test doesn't eradicate the fact that primary schools cater for areas of varying affluence and education. I agree that a child needs a family home where study is valued as part of a balanced life. I practiced with my children because I could see the discrepancy in expectations in primary schools. The range of vocabulary used nowadays seems to be much smaller in schools (except for private maybe) and in some homes nowadays. I know a tutor who has 40 students per year and only half pass, so what does that say? I hasten to add that my children are modest, quiet children and yet their friends treated them badly when they passed and the teachers were reticent in congratulating them.[/p][/quote]Yes but parents doing practice papers like you did is one thing. Paying for a private tutor is another thing entirely. demoness the second
  • Score: -1

9:10pm Fri 11 Jan 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

gpn01 wrote:
demoness the second wrote:
Parents can make all the excuses they like for coaching their children and my goodness there are long reams of justification on here.# IF your child needs private tuition then you have to query whether Grammar school is the right place for them. A few practice papers is one thing.. just to familiarise themselves. It is like anyone doing an exam looking at past papers. BUT tuition? Sorry not convinced. You are bucking the system and sending your child to a place that is not right for them and where they will struggle. IMO of course.
I suppose that parents who're willing and able to provide their children with coaching to help them pass an entrance test are likely to be willing to also provide coaching / additional tuition that would help them thrive in the Grammar school environment.

Still think that everyone is missing the point on the whole 11+/Grammar stuff....The real problem is that Grammar schools are perceived as providing better opportunities for children compared to state schools. We should theerfore be making efforts to bring state school education up to grammar standards and not bemoaning those who have the resources to give their children an advantage.

I suppose that parents who're willing and able to provide their children with coaching to help them pass an entrance test are likely to be willing to also provide coaching / additional tuition that would help them thrive in the Grammar school environment.


This sounds like reasonable stuff – parents have always helped their children with homework – but why do these parents you are imagining, have to get their children through the 11+ and into grammar schools first? Couldn’t they encourage their children when they are doing homework from a comprehensive school?


Still think that everyone is missing the point on the whole 11+/Grammar stuff....The real problem is that Grammar schools are perceived as providing better opportunities for children compared to state schools.


Someone sure is missing the point a bit here despite the judicious-sounding use of the word ‘perceived’ – Grammar Schools are state schools and I would say that the ‘point’ of the the whole 11+/Grammar stuff is that by getting your children into grammar school they are enabling their children in the words of (the excruciatingly-named
) 'Welwyn Dowd' above to ‘get out of the secondary modern swamp’. Behind all the stuff about excellence and pace et cetera is the simple fact that the great drawback of grammar schools can be summed up in three words: Secondary Modern Schools – there about a dozen local ones assessed as ‘failing’ a few years ago – each time one came out of ‘failing’ status the BFP hailed it as a ‘triumph’ or ‘achievement’. (See the comments on: http://www.bucksfree
press.co.uk/yoursay/
opinion/bfpcomment/8
676957.Outstanding_s
chool_explodes_a_myt
h/)


We should theerfore be making efforts to bring state school education up to grammar standards and not bemoaning those who have the resources to give their children an advantage.


This has been said here before and is silly – secondary modern schools are supposed to be inferior to grammar schools– if you made the average school equal to grammar schools the grammar schools would not be grammar schools. We should therefore be making efforts to bring all state secondary school education up to grammar standards by allowing universal access to the benefits of a good education and the 11+ simply does not do this for 70% of children.
[quote][p][bold]gpn01[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]demoness the second[/bold] wrote: Parents can make all the excuses they like for coaching their children and my goodness there are long reams of justification on here.# IF your child needs private tuition then you have to query whether Grammar school is the right place for them. A few practice papers is one thing.. just to familiarise themselves. It is like anyone doing an exam looking at past papers. BUT tuition? Sorry not convinced. You are bucking the system and sending your child to a place that is not right for them and where they will struggle. IMO of course.[/p][/quote]I suppose that parents who're willing and able to provide their children with coaching to help them pass an entrance test are likely to be willing to also provide coaching / additional tuition that would help them thrive in the Grammar school environment. Still think that everyone is missing the point on the whole 11+/Grammar stuff....The real problem is that Grammar schools are perceived as providing better opportunities for children compared to state schools. We should theerfore be making efforts to bring state school education up to grammar standards and not bemoaning those who have the resources to give their children an advantage.[/p][/quote][italic] [quote] I suppose that parents who're willing and able to provide their children with coaching to help them pass an entrance test are likely to be willing to also provide coaching / additional tuition that would help them thrive in the Grammar school environment. [/quote][/italic] This sounds like reasonable stuff – parents have always helped their children with homework – but why do these parents you are imagining, have to get their children through the 11+ and into grammar schools first? Couldn’t they encourage their children when they are doing homework from a comprehensive school? [italic] [quote] Still think that everyone is missing the point on the whole 11+/Grammar stuff....The real problem is that Grammar schools are perceived as providing better opportunities for children compared to state schools. [/quote][/italic] Someone sure is missing the point a bit here despite the judicious-sounding use of the word ‘perceived’ – Grammar Schools [italic] are [ italic] state schools and I would say that the ‘point’ of the the whole 11+/Grammar stuff is that by getting your children into grammar school they are enabling their children in the words of (the excruciatingly-named ) 'Welwyn Dowd' above to ‘get out of the secondary modern swamp’. Behind all the stuff about excellence and pace et cetera is the simple fact that the great drawback of grammar schools can be summed up in three words: Secondary Modern Schools – there about a dozen local ones assessed as ‘failing’ a few years ago – each time one came out of ‘failing’ status the BFP hailed it as a ‘triumph’ or ‘achievement’. (See the comments on: http://www.bucksfree press.co.uk/yoursay/ opinion/bfpcomment/8 676957.Outstanding_s chool_explodes_a_myt h/) [italic] [quote] We should theerfore be making efforts to bring state school education up to grammar standards and not bemoaning those who have the resources to give their children an advantage. [/quote][/italic] This has been said here before and is silly – secondary modern schools are [italic] supposed [/italic] to be inferior to grammar schools– if you made the average school equal to grammar schools the grammar schools would not be grammar schools. We should therefore be making efforts to bring [italic] all[/italic] state secondary school education up to grammar standards by allowing universal access to the benefits of a good education and the 11+ simply does not do this for 70% of children. ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 0

9:40pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Buck999 says...

demoness the second wrote:
12345metoo wrote:
I have 'coached' my two eldest for the verbal reasoning exam and they both passed and are flourishing at grammar, doing their homework independently. I coached them because they were at a primary with low expectations but they both got Level 5 in their SATS without coaching. I was shocked when an 'independent' advisor came to the school and was dismissive towards parents appealing, should the situation arise. My children said they actually enjoyed preparing for the eleven plus.
It would be interesting to see how many children would pass without any form of preparation by parents or schools, as nearly everyone in my child's class at grammar was coached. This new test doesn't eradicate the fact that primary schools cater for areas of varying affluence and education. I agree that a child needs a family home where study is valued as part of a balanced life. I practiced with my children because I could see the discrepancy in expectations in primary schools. The range of vocabulary used nowadays seems to be much smaller in schools (except for private maybe) and in some homes nowadays. I know a tutor who has 40 students per year and only half pass, so what does that say? I hasten to add that my children are modest, quiet children and yet their friends treated them badly when they passed and the teachers were reticent in congratulating them.
Yes but parents doing practice papers like you did is one thing.
Paying for a private tutor is another thing entirely.
"Yes but parents doing practice papers like you did is one thing.
Paying for a private tutor is another thing entirely."

I do not agree.

There are many different ways children can be tutored.

- By a tuition company in groups
- 1-2-1 tuition
- Using purchased books such as Bond, Scofield and Simms.
- Free material from the internet
- Using online vocabulary builders and cloze passage software such as WordBuilder and maths sites such as CoolCleverKids.
- Doing paid for tests such as Bond Papers, GL assessment etc.
- Or simply a parent teaching themselves.

These are ALL tuition.

Some parents have not got the time to self-tutor, so pay someone else to do it. Some parents are not able to control their children, so pay tutors. Some parents cannot even do the work so pay tutors.

All this about doing practise papers -v- paid for tuition is nonsense. It's the same thing.

I didn't pay for a tutor for my child. I taught myself, but it was still tutoring and it was extensive tutoring. A grammar school place was won, yet the child has still coped and is near the top in most subjects, despite being heavily self tutored. Preparation for the 11+ is preparation for life and teaches the ethos of hard work.

Second time around, I still will not pay for a tutor. But, I will use online systems which cost a fraction of the group and personal tuition price coupled with free material. It is cost effective in terms of time spent -v- time saved and (time to earn money). After all time is money and there is only 8 months to go.

Why look down at tutored children when one self tutors. It's the same thing!
[quote][p][bold]demoness the second[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]12345metoo[/bold] wrote: I have 'coached' my two eldest for the verbal reasoning exam and they both passed and are flourishing at grammar, doing their homework independently. I coached them because they were at a primary with low expectations but they both got Level 5 in their SATS without coaching. I was shocked when an 'independent' advisor came to the school and was dismissive towards parents appealing, should the situation arise. My children said they actually enjoyed preparing for the eleven plus. It would be interesting to see how many children would pass without any form of preparation by parents or schools, as nearly everyone in my child's class at grammar was coached. This new test doesn't eradicate the fact that primary schools cater for areas of varying affluence and education. I agree that a child needs a family home where study is valued as part of a balanced life. I practiced with my children because I could see the discrepancy in expectations in primary schools. The range of vocabulary used nowadays seems to be much smaller in schools (except for private maybe) and in some homes nowadays. I know a tutor who has 40 students per year and only half pass, so what does that say? I hasten to add that my children are modest, quiet children and yet their friends treated them badly when they passed and the teachers were reticent in congratulating them.[/p][/quote]Yes but parents doing practice papers like you did is one thing. Paying for a private tutor is another thing entirely.[/p][/quote]"Yes but parents doing practice papers like you did is one thing. Paying for a private tutor is another thing entirely." I do not agree. There are many different ways children can be tutored. - By a tuition company in groups - 1-2-1 tuition - Using purchased books such as Bond, Scofield and Simms. - Free material from the internet - Using online vocabulary builders and cloze passage software such as WordBuilder and maths sites such as CoolCleverKids. - Doing paid for tests such as Bond Papers, GL assessment etc. - Or simply a parent teaching themselves. These are ALL tuition. Some parents have not got the time to self-tutor, so pay someone else to do it. Some parents are not able to control their children, so pay tutors. Some parents cannot even do the work so pay tutors. All this about doing practise papers -v- paid for tuition is nonsense. It's the same thing. I didn't pay for a tutor for my child. I taught myself, but it was still tutoring and it was extensive tutoring. A grammar school place was won, yet the child has still coped and is near the top in most subjects, despite being heavily self tutored. Preparation for the 11+ is preparation for life and teaches the ethos of hard work. Second time around, I still will not pay for a tutor. But, I will use online systems which cost a fraction of the group and personal tuition price coupled with free material. It is cost effective in terms of time spent -v- time saved and (time to earn money). After all time is money and there is only 8 months to go. Why look down at tutored children when one self tutors. It's the same thing! Buck999
  • Score: 1

9:53pm Fri 11 Jan 13

12345metoo says...

I don't think that secondary modern schools should be inferior to Grammars. They should, like someone has mentioned, cater for more practical jobs which have a good income, e.g. engineering, plumbing. Anyway, I'm sure many people from the higher professions have come from non-grammar schools. Perhaps the will to succeed is innate. The inferiority comes from the rough element of children who aren't raised to value an education of any sort and haven't had the support that they needed in the home. (the latter could be due to parental poor health, laziness, bereavement, addiction etc).
They can disrupt a classroom and everyone's learning including their own. This is less likely in a grammar school. I don't really see much difference between tutoring and practicing really as I have now become a tutor. I do emphasise to children that the skills learned are applicable to wider learning and secondary success generally. Even Verbal Reasoning requires good mental maths and vocabulary etc and tutoring is not a waste even if the child doesn't pass. Why couldn't verbal reasoning be taught as part of the curriculum as it is in private schools.
It all boils down to money or lack of it in the end- primary schools' resources; the council's budget.
I repeat, I would love to really know how many children would pass the VR 11+ of 80 questions in 50 minutes with no tutoring at all - would the grammar schools be filled?
I don't think that secondary modern schools should be inferior to Grammars. They should, like someone has mentioned, cater for more practical jobs which have a good income, e.g. engineering, plumbing. Anyway, I'm sure many people from the higher professions have come from non-grammar schools. Perhaps the will to succeed is innate. The inferiority comes from the rough element of children who aren't raised to value an education of any sort and haven't had the support that they needed in the home. (the latter could be due to parental poor health, laziness, bereavement, addiction etc). They can disrupt a classroom and everyone's learning including their own. This is less likely in a grammar school. I don't really see much difference between tutoring and practicing really as I have now become a tutor. I do emphasise to children that the skills learned are applicable to wider learning and secondary success generally. Even Verbal Reasoning requires good mental maths and vocabulary etc and tutoring is not a waste even if the child doesn't pass. Why couldn't verbal reasoning be taught as part of the curriculum as it is in private schools. It all boils down to money or lack of it in the end- primary schools' resources; the council's budget. I repeat, I would love to really know how many children would pass the VR 11+ of 80 questions in 50 minutes with no tutoring at all - would the grammar schools be filled? 12345metoo
  • Score: 1

9:55pm Fri 11 Jan 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

Buck999 wrote:
demoness the second wrote:
12345metoo wrote:
I have 'coached' my two eldest for the verbal reasoning exam and they both passed and are flourishing at grammar, doing their homework independently. I coached them because they were at a primary with low expectations but they both got Level 5 in their SATS without coaching. I was shocked when an 'independent' advisor came to the school and was dismissive towards parents appealing, should the situation arise. My children said they actually enjoyed preparing for the eleven plus.
It would be interesting to see how many children would pass without any form of preparation by parents or schools, as nearly everyone in my child's class at grammar was coached. This new test doesn't eradicate the fact that primary schools cater for areas of varying affluence and education. I agree that a child needs a family home where study is valued as part of a balanced life. I practiced with my children because I could see the discrepancy in expectations in primary schools. The range of vocabulary used nowadays seems to be much smaller in schools (except for private maybe) and in some homes nowadays. I know a tutor who has 40 students per year and only half pass, so what does that say? I hasten to add that my children are modest, quiet children and yet their friends treated them badly when they passed and the teachers were reticent in congratulating them.
Yes but parents doing practice papers like you did is one thing.
Paying for a private tutor is another thing entirely.
"Yes but parents doing practice papers like you did is one thing.
Paying for a private tutor is another thing entirely."

I do not agree.

There are many different ways children can be tutored.

- By a tuition company in groups
- 1-2-1 tuition
- Using purchased books such as Bond, Scofield and Simms.
- Free material from the internet
- Using online vocabulary builders and cloze passage software such as WordBuilder and maths sites such as CoolCleverKids.
- Doing paid for tests such as Bond Papers, GL assessment etc.
- Or simply a parent teaching themselves.

These are ALL tuition.

Some parents have not got the time to self-tutor, so pay someone else to do it. Some parents are not able to control their children, so pay tutors. Some parents cannot even do the work so pay tutors.

All this about doing practise papers -v- paid for tuition is nonsense. It's the same thing.

I didn't pay for a tutor for my child. I taught myself, but it was still tutoring and it was extensive tutoring. A grammar school place was won, yet the child has still coped and is near the top in most subjects, despite being heavily self tutored. Preparation for the 11+ is preparation for life and teaches the ethos of hard work.

Second time around, I still will not pay for a tutor. But, I will use online systems which cost a fraction of the group and personal tuition price coupled with free material. It is cost effective in terms of time spent -v- time saved and (time to earn money). After all time is money and there is only 8 months to go.

Why look down at tutored children when one self tutors. It's the same thing!
A grammar school place was won, yet the child has still coped and is near the top in most subjects, despite being heavily self tutored.

According to grammar school supporters’ orthodoxy the child who passed should have ‘struggled in a grammar school as it had been coached into an environment it was not suited to’ – you seem to have proof that the myths about grammar schools are not true eating at the same breakfast table and watching TV with you.
[quote][p][bold]Buck999[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]demoness the second[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]12345metoo[/bold] wrote: I have 'coached' my two eldest for the verbal reasoning exam and they both passed and are flourishing at grammar, doing their homework independently. I coached them because they were at a primary with low expectations but they both got Level 5 in their SATS without coaching. I was shocked when an 'independent' advisor came to the school and was dismissive towards parents appealing, should the situation arise. My children said they actually enjoyed preparing for the eleven plus. It would be interesting to see how many children would pass without any form of preparation by parents or schools, as nearly everyone in my child's class at grammar was coached. This new test doesn't eradicate the fact that primary schools cater for areas of varying affluence and education. I agree that a child needs a family home where study is valued as part of a balanced life. I practiced with my children because I could see the discrepancy in expectations in primary schools. The range of vocabulary used nowadays seems to be much smaller in schools (except for private maybe) and in some homes nowadays. I know a tutor who has 40 students per year and only half pass, so what does that say? I hasten to add that my children are modest, quiet children and yet their friends treated them badly when they passed and the teachers were reticent in congratulating them.[/p][/quote]Yes but parents doing practice papers like you did is one thing. Paying for a private tutor is another thing entirely.[/p][/quote]"Yes but parents doing practice papers like you did is one thing. Paying for a private tutor is another thing entirely." I do not agree. There are many different ways children can be tutored. - By a tuition company in groups - 1-2-1 tuition - Using purchased books such as Bond, Scofield and Simms. - Free material from the internet - Using online vocabulary builders and cloze passage software such as WordBuilder and maths sites such as CoolCleverKids. - Doing paid for tests such as Bond Papers, GL assessment etc. - Or simply a parent teaching themselves. These are ALL tuition. Some parents have not got the time to self-tutor, so pay someone else to do it. Some parents are not able to control their children, so pay tutors. Some parents cannot even do the work so pay tutors. All this about doing practise papers -v- paid for tuition is nonsense. It's the same thing. I didn't pay for a tutor for my child. I taught myself, but it was still tutoring and it was extensive tutoring. A grammar school place was won, yet the child has still coped and is near the top in most subjects, despite being heavily self tutored. Preparation for the 11+ is preparation for life and teaches the ethos of hard work. Second time around, I still will not pay for a tutor. But, I will use online systems which cost a fraction of the group and personal tuition price coupled with free material. It is cost effective in terms of time spent -v- time saved and (time to earn money). After all time is money and there is only 8 months to go. Why look down at tutored children when one self tutors. It's the same thing![/p][/quote][italic] [quote] A grammar school place was won, yet the child has still coped and is near the top in most subjects, despite being heavily self tutored. [/quote][/italic] According to grammar school supporters’ orthodoxy the child who passed should have ‘struggled in a grammar school as it had been coached into an environment it was not suited to’ – you seem to have proof that the myths about grammar schools are not true eating at the same breakfast table and watching TV with you. ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: -1

10:07pm Fri 11 Jan 13

12345metoo says...

Totally agree with Buck999
Totally agree with Buck999 12345metoo
  • Score: 0

10:15pm Fri 11 Jan 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

12345metoo wrote:
I don't think that secondary modern schools should be inferior to Grammars. They should, like someone has mentioned, cater for more practical jobs which have a good income, e.g. engineering, plumbing. Anyway, I'm sure many people from the higher professions have come from non-grammar schools. Perhaps the will to succeed is innate. The inferiority comes from the rough element of children who aren't raised to value an education of any sort and haven't had the support that they needed in the home. (the latter could be due to parental poor health, laziness, bereavement, addiction etc).
They can disrupt a classroom and everyone's learning including their own. This is less likely in a grammar school. I don't really see much difference between tutoring and practicing really as I have now become a tutor. I do emphasise to children that the skills learned are applicable to wider learning and secondary success generally. Even Verbal Reasoning requires good mental maths and vocabulary etc and tutoring is not a waste even if the child doesn't pass. Why couldn't verbal reasoning be taught as part of the curriculum as it is in private schools.
It all boils down to money or lack of it in the end- primary schools' resources; the council's budget.
I repeat, I would love to really know how many children would pass the VR 11+ of 80 questions in 50 minutes with no tutoring at all - would the grammar schools be filled?
I don't think that secondary modern schools should be inferior to Grammars. They should, like someone has mentioned, cater for more practical jobs

Have you ever heard the expression ‘a pious hope’?
'They should cater' for these people – why not cater for them in a comprehensive environment – can you give me any examples of places that have re-introduced grammar schools?

Anyway, I'm sure many people from the higher professions have come from non-grammar schools. Perhaps the will to succeed is innate.

Then why have grammar schools if many people from the higher professions have come from non-grammar schools and failing the 11+ delays people with talent and the will to succeed?
The inferiority comes from the rough element of children who aren't raised to value an education of any sort and haven't had the support that they needed in the home… They can disrupt a classroom and everyone's learning including their own. This is less likely in a grammar school.

This is a reasonable point to make – we should get the disruptive ones all together in the same schools with people who really are only suited to more practical jobs in later life.
[quote][p][bold]12345metoo[/bold] wrote: I don't think that secondary modern schools should be inferior to Grammars. They should, like someone has mentioned, cater for more practical jobs which have a good income, e.g. engineering, plumbing. Anyway, I'm sure many people from the higher professions have come from non-grammar schools. Perhaps the will to succeed is innate. The inferiority comes from the rough element of children who aren't raised to value an education of any sort and haven't had the support that they needed in the home. (the latter could be due to parental poor health, laziness, bereavement, addiction etc). They can disrupt a classroom and everyone's learning including their own. This is less likely in a grammar school. I don't really see much difference between tutoring and practicing really as I have now become a tutor. I do emphasise to children that the skills learned are applicable to wider learning and secondary success generally. Even Verbal Reasoning requires good mental maths and vocabulary etc and tutoring is not a waste even if the child doesn't pass. Why couldn't verbal reasoning be taught as part of the curriculum as it is in private schools. It all boils down to money or lack of it in the end- primary schools' resources; the council's budget. I repeat, I would love to really know how many children would pass the VR 11+ of 80 questions in 50 minutes with no tutoring at all - would the grammar schools be filled?[/p][/quote][italic] [quote] I don't think that secondary modern schools should be inferior to Grammars. They should, like someone has mentioned, cater for more practical jobs [/quote][/italic] Have you ever heard the expression ‘a pious hope’? 'They [italic]should [/italic]cater' for these people – why not cater for them in a comprehensive environment – can you give me any examples of places that have re-introduced grammar schools? [italic] [quote] Anyway, I'm sure many people from the higher professions have come from non-grammar schools. Perhaps the will to succeed is innate. [/quote][/italic] Then why have grammar schools if many people from the higher professions have come from non-grammar schools and failing the 11+ delays people with talent and the will to succeed? [italic] [quote] The inferiority comes from the rough element of children who aren't raised to value an education of any sort and haven't had the support that they needed in the home… They can disrupt a classroom and everyone's learning including their own. This is less likely in a grammar school. [/quote][/italic] This is a reasonable point to make – we should get the disruptive ones all together in the same schools with people who really are only suited to more practical jobs in later life. ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 0

10:27pm Fri 11 Jan 13

jillburrell says...

"...does that mean the number of children who pass the 11+ depends on the number of available places in grammar schools?"

Yes. The passes plus the successful appeals exactly fill the grammar schools - every year. It isn't a perfect test that results in that - it's manipulation of the results.
"...does that mean the number of children who pass the 11+ depends on the number of available places in grammar schools?" Yes. The passes plus the successful appeals exactly fill the grammar schools - every year. It isn't a perfect test that results in that - it's manipulation of the results. jillburrell
  • Score: 0

10:35pm Fri 11 Jan 13

gpn01 says...

" we should get the disruptive ones all together in the same schools with people who really are only suited to more practical jobs in later life." That's exactly what happened with some Comprehensive schools. Unfortunately there aren't enough disruptive kids so they have to fill the shortfall with ordinary kids whose education is then blighted by the disruptive ones.
" we should get the disruptive ones all together in the same schools with people who really are only suited to more practical jobs in later life." That's exactly what happened with some Comprehensive schools. Unfortunately there aren't enough disruptive kids so they have to fill the shortfall with ordinary kids whose education is then blighted by the disruptive ones. gpn01
  • Score: 0

11:01pm Fri 11 Jan 13

mumbles26 says...

'coming into effect in September will be make it more difficult'

I'm sorry but this does not make sense.

I think the reporter of this piece needs to revisit their English teacher.
'coming into effect in September will be make it more difficult' I'm sorry but this does not make sense. I think the reporter of this piece needs to revisit their English teacher. mumbles26
  • Score: 0

11:13pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Anna Smith says...

12345metoo wrote:
I have 'coached' my two eldest for the verbal reasoning exam and they both passed and are flourishing at grammar, doing their homework independently. I coached them because they were at a primary with low expectations but they both got Level 5 in their SATS without coaching. I was shocked when an 'independent' advisor came to the school and was dismissive towards parents appealing, should the situation arise. My children said they actually enjoyed preparing for the eleven plus.
It would be interesting to see how many children would pass without any form of preparation by parents or schools, as nearly everyone in my child's class at grammar was coached. This new test doesn't eradicate the fact that primary schools cater for areas of varying affluence and education. I agree that a child needs a family home where study is valued as part of a balanced life. I practiced with my children because I could see the discrepancy in expectations in primary schools. The range of vocabulary used nowadays seems to be much smaller in schools (except for private maybe) and in some homes nowadays. I know a tutor who has 40 students per year and only half pass, so what does that say? I hasten to add that my children are modest, quiet children and yet their friends treated them badly when they passed and the teachers were reticent in congratulating them.
All 4 of my children passed their 11+. The eldest refused to even do the WHSmith practice papers. I would not have condoned private tutoring, although I knew many parents who not only had their children in independent schools but also had private tuition for the 11+ from year 3 or 4!
It's not that long ago that children from schools such as Maltman's Green were 'given' extra marks as the school claimed to not do the preparatory papers. Once this situation was changed the pass rates at the school declined dramatically!
[quote][p][bold]12345metoo[/bold] wrote: I have 'coached' my two eldest for the verbal reasoning exam and they both passed and are flourishing at grammar, doing their homework independently. I coached them because they were at a primary with low expectations but they both got Level 5 in their SATS without coaching. I was shocked when an 'independent' advisor came to the school and was dismissive towards parents appealing, should the situation arise. My children said they actually enjoyed preparing for the eleven plus. It would be interesting to see how many children would pass without any form of preparation by parents or schools, as nearly everyone in my child's class at grammar was coached. This new test doesn't eradicate the fact that primary schools cater for areas of varying affluence and education. I agree that a child needs a family home where study is valued as part of a balanced life. I practiced with my children because I could see the discrepancy in expectations in primary schools. The range of vocabulary used nowadays seems to be much smaller in schools (except for private maybe) and in some homes nowadays. I know a tutor who has 40 students per year and only half pass, so what does that say? I hasten to add that my children are modest, quiet children and yet their friends treated them badly when they passed and the teachers were reticent in congratulating them.[/p][/quote]All 4 of my children passed their 11+. The eldest refused to even do the WHSmith practice papers. I would not have condoned private tutoring, although I knew many parents who not only had their children in independent schools but also had private tuition for the 11+ from year 3 or 4! It's not that long ago that children from schools such as Maltman's Green were 'given' extra marks as the school claimed to not do the preparatory papers. Once this situation was changed the pass rates at the school declined dramatically! Anna Smith
  • Score: 0

11:17pm Fri 11 Jan 13

You Can be... says...

Does anyone know what percentage of children attained the 11+ and are attending Grammar schools in Bucks that come from the fee paying prep school system is? I have an idea that the numbers are very high. It seems to me that the new system is similar to the common entrance exam which will of course give fee paying school children a huge advantage over their state school counterparts as they are tutored all the way through the prep school system with this in mind.
Something needed to change because fee paying schools were not restricted regarding keeping previous 11+ papers as state schools were so prep school children had the opportunity to practice using real previous papers. Regardless of whether the site that advertises Word Builder and Clever kids is the CEM site or not it does look as though if a parent has in the region of £500 to cough up for use of these sites that their child will have an advantage to. How amy parents can afford that? It seems to me that the selection based on ability to pay is such that this is clearly discrimination and something should be done. Even Oxbridge have to make an effort to recruit from less affluent backgrounds what about the Grammar schools? I wonder how many free school meals they give out at Grammar schools in Bucks?
I have a 9 year old who is the youngest in her year, is due to take the 11+ this year. She has slogged her guts out because she wants to go to Henry Floyd where many of her friends go (not my choice hers), how am I meant to tell her that all the preparation that she has done off her own bat has been a waste of time, that the goal posts have changed and that she needs to start all over again? According to those of you who think tuition is so dire does self tuition come under that category too? My daughter has spent so much of her precious spare time practising all the different verbal reasoning types, not because I have told her too but because she wants to succeed, she enjoys doing it and she wants to go to Henry Floyd where she can study music and drama with her friends. surely she deserves to, and does not deserve to have to start all over?
Does anyone know what percentage of children attained the 11+ and are attending Grammar schools in Bucks that come from the fee paying prep school system is? I have an idea that the numbers are very high. It seems to me that the new system is similar to the common entrance exam which will of course give fee paying school children a huge advantage over their state school counterparts as they are tutored all the way through the prep school system with this in mind. Something needed to change because fee paying schools were not restricted regarding keeping previous 11+ papers as state schools were so prep school children had the opportunity to practice using real previous papers. Regardless of whether the site that advertises Word Builder and Clever kids is the CEM site or not it does look as though if a parent has in the region of £500 to cough up for use of these sites that their child will have an advantage to. How amy parents can afford that? It seems to me that the selection based on ability to pay is such that this is clearly discrimination and something should be done. Even Oxbridge have to make an effort to recruit from less affluent backgrounds what about the Grammar schools? I wonder how many free school meals they give out at Grammar schools in Bucks? I have a 9 year old who is the youngest in her year, is due to take the 11+ this year. She has slogged her guts out because she wants to go to Henry Floyd where many of her friends go (not my choice hers), how am I meant to tell her that all the preparation that she has done off her own bat has been a waste of time, that the goal posts have changed and that she needs to start all over again? According to those of you who think tuition is so dire does self tuition come under that category too? My daughter has spent so much of her precious spare time practising all the different verbal reasoning types, not because I have told her too but because she wants to succeed, she enjoys doing it and she wants to go to Henry Floyd where she can study music and drama with her friends. surely she deserves to, and does not deserve to have to start all over? You Can be...
  • Score: 0

11:28pm Fri 11 Jan 13

12345metoo says...

Even if one of my children didn't pass their 11+ I would help them all I could at secondary school; even more so as they would probably need more help. With selective education, if you have one in the family who passes and one who doesn't you'll always have that inferiority complex that needs to be nipped in the bud somehow. This situation could happen to me yet. No great local secondary schools unfortunately, except grammars.
Even if one of my children didn't pass their 11+ I would help them all I could at secondary school; even more so as they would probably need more help. With selective education, if you have one in the family who passes and one who doesn't you'll always have that inferiority complex that needs to be nipped in the bud somehow. This situation could happen to me yet. No great local secondary schools unfortunately, except grammars. 12345metoo
  • Score: 0

11:45pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Nil Desperandum 2 says...

@You Can Be - your daughter certainly hasn't wasted her time - it's great to hear of one so motivated at such a young age! A lot of the stuff she's been teaching herself will be extremely useful and there is still plenty of time to fill in the gaps. And don't forget that the new tests will still be age-standardized, which should help slightly if she doesn't turn eleven until late summer.
@You Can Be - your daughter certainly hasn't wasted her time - it's great to hear of one so motivated at such a young age! A lot of the stuff she's been teaching herself will be extremely useful and there is still plenty of time to fill in the gaps. And don't forget that the new tests will still be age-standardized, which should help slightly if she doesn't turn eleven until late summer. Nil Desperandum 2
  • Score: 0

10:06am Sat 12 Jan 13

Buck999 says...

It is clear the site people are talking about is not the site of the CEM who set the papers. The the website, even goes to the trouble of providing the link of CEM which sets the 11+ as well as Durham University and makes it clear there is no connection. Read the footer. No examiner is going to have adverts on its site. Note there are a host of companies called CEM - many not even in education.

This website provides information about the 11+. It clearly states this is it's purpose. The sample questions are conveniently in one place and links to free content. Some people find this useful.

If look at the questions I think you can safely assume the VR/Comprehension will be in the same format with the same number of options as in sample questions. What is good enenough for B'ham is good enough for Bucks. My guess is VR/Comprehension will have no more than 5 options.

8-10 options may be available in some NVR questions. One sample NVR question has 8 options.

With maths you have to work out an answer. So if there are 5 or even 10 options, you simply match your answer to the options. If it's not there you are wrong!

I doubt many questions will have 8-10 options. I would assume only a few NVR ones will. Most will follow the same format as the samples.

I see nothing to worry about. If anything the papers will be easier. Only Bucks has 2x30 mins sample papers before the test. No other area is so fortunate.
It is clear the site people are talking about is not the site of the CEM who set the papers. The the website, even goes to the trouble of providing the link of CEM which sets the 11+ as well as Durham University and makes it clear there is no connection. Read the footer. No examiner is going to have adverts on its site. Note there are a host of companies called CEM - many not even in education. This website provides information about the 11+. It clearly states this is it's purpose. The sample questions are conveniently in one place and links to free content. Some people find this useful. If look at the questions I think you can safely assume the VR/Comprehension will be in the same format with the same number of options as in sample questions. What is good enenough for B'ham is good enough for Bucks. My guess is VR/Comprehension will have no more than 5 options. 8-10 options may be available in some NVR questions. One sample NVR question has 8 options. With maths you have to work out an answer. So if there are 5 or even 10 options, you simply match your answer to the options. If it's not there you are wrong! I doubt many questions will have 8-10 options. I would assume only a few NVR ones will. Most will follow the same format as the samples. I see nothing to worry about. If anything the papers will be easier. Only Bucks has 2x30 mins sample papers before the test. No other area is so fortunate. Buck999
  • Score: 0

1:20pm Sat 12 Jan 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

Buck999 wrote:
It is clear the site people are talking about is not the site of the CEM who set the papers. The the website, even goes to the trouble of providing the link of CEM which sets the 11+ as well as Durham University and makes it clear there is no connection. Read the footer. No examiner is going to have adverts on its site. Note there are a host of companies called CEM - many not even in education.

This website provides information about the 11+. It clearly states this is it's purpose. The sample questions are conveniently in one place and links to free content. Some people find this useful.

If look at the questions I think you can safely assume the VR/Comprehension will be in the same format with the same number of options as in sample questions. What is good enenough for B'ham is good enough for Bucks. My guess is VR/Comprehension will have no more than 5 options.

8-10 options may be available in some NVR questions. One sample NVR question has 8 options.

With maths you have to work out an answer. So if there are 5 or even 10 options, you simply match your answer to the options. If it's not there you are wrong!

I doubt many questions will have 8-10 options. I would assume only a few NVR ones will. Most will follow the same format as the samples.

I see nothing to worry about. If anything the papers will be easier. Only Bucks has 2x30 mins sample papers before the test. No other area is so fortunate.
I see nothing to worry about... No other area is so fortunate.


LOL!
[quote][p][bold]Buck999[/bold] wrote: It is clear the site people are talking about is not the site of the CEM who set the papers. The the website, even goes to the trouble of providing the link of CEM which sets the 11+ as well as Durham University and makes it clear there is no connection. Read the footer. No examiner is going to have adverts on its site. Note there are a host of companies called CEM - many not even in education. This website provides information about the 11+. It clearly states this is it's purpose. The sample questions are conveniently in one place and links to free content. Some people find this useful. If look at the questions I think you can safely assume the VR/Comprehension will be in the same format with the same number of options as in sample questions. What is good enenough for B'ham is good enough for Bucks. My guess is VR/Comprehension will have no more than 5 options. 8-10 options may be available in some NVR questions. One sample NVR question has 8 options. With maths you have to work out an answer. So if there are 5 or even 10 options, you simply match your answer to the options. If it's not there you are wrong! I doubt many questions will have 8-10 options. I would assume only a few NVR ones will. Most will follow the same format as the samples. I see nothing to worry about. If anything the papers will be easier. Only Bucks has 2x30 mins sample papers before the test. No other area is so fortunate.[/p][/quote][italic] [quote] I see nothing to worry about... No other area is so fortunate. [/quote][/italic] LOL! ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 0

1:22pm Sat 12 Jan 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

jillburrell wrote:
"...does that mean the number of children who pass the 11+ depends on the number of available places in grammar schools?"

Yes. The passes plus the successful appeals exactly fill the grammar schools - every year. It isn't a perfect test that results in that - it's manipulation of the results.
This from a private tutor and education manager - move to an adjoining county before your kids are old enough to start school.
[quote][p][bold]jillburrell[/bold] wrote: "...does that mean the number of children who pass the 11+ depends on the number of available places in grammar schools?" Yes. The passes plus the successful appeals exactly fill the grammar schools - every year. It isn't a perfect test that results in that - it's manipulation of the results.[/p][/quote]This from a private tutor and education manager - move to an adjoining county before your kids are old enough to start school. ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 0

1:30pm Sat 12 Jan 13

JACK MANNION says...

This week’s BUCKS EXAMINER has local estate agents’ views on the new 11-plus proposals. It quotes Beaconsfield estate agents Savills as saying that he has buyers seeking to buy houses in the area now, before the changes are brought in. A few pages later, we are given another clue as to the real reason why. “We have good grammar schools here and parents may want to get their children out of the inner city London schools”, says a representative of Robsons in Amersham. Well, funny old thing, they’ve been doing that since the ‘70s, when I was a pupil at a Bucks grammar school. They are often assisted by the very pro-grammar school BBC doing biased documentaries on comprehensive schools, as they did in 1977 on a comprehensive about a mile away from the then BBC studios in Shepherd’s Bush. But unlike in the ‘70s, parents do not come rushing to Bucks because of poor academic results achieved in inner London. As education secretary Michael Gove pointed out on BBC News last week, London is the only capital in the Western world where state school academic results exceed the national average. Taking as an example Forest Gate Community School in Newham, 73.1% of its pupils gained 5 or more GCSE passes including English and maths in 2012 (source ; NEWHAM RECORDER 29 August 2012). And you can’t attribute that to parental coaching, as Newham, unlike Bucks, is hardly an area where most parents can afford private tuition. So to a greater extent than in Bucks, it’s the pupils’ own work. No, the real concern of these parents rushing to beat the 11-plus changes is, as in the ‘70s, the type of peer group whom they envisage their little darlings will be mixing with. Most inner London state schools are co-educational and considerably more ethnically diverse than most Bucks grammar schools. Few, if any, of the parents whom Savills and Robsons will be seeing over the coming weeks will admit that these are factors influencing their decision to come to Bucks, but as someone who has seen all this before, from the evidence-based perspective of being a pupil at a Bucks grammar school, I make no apology for stating that in many, if not most cases, these purposely unspoken considerations will be uppermost in parents’ minds. Consequently, they regard anything that might make it less easy for their children to get into these schools as a threat. They will not be swayed by considerations of “greater good” or “fairness”. As far as I can make out, most grammar schools in Bucks have changed for the better since I was there 40 years ago, but the attitudes of parents clamouring to get their children into them has not changed on iota. I wonder how many of these children really want to come to Bucks?
This week’s BUCKS EXAMINER has local estate agents’ views on the new 11-plus proposals. It quotes Beaconsfield estate agents Savills as saying that he has buyers seeking to buy houses in the area now, before the changes are brought in. A few pages later, we are given another clue as to the real reason why. “We have good grammar schools here and parents may want to get their children out of the inner city London schools”, says a representative of Robsons in Amersham. Well, funny old thing, they’ve been doing that since the ‘70s, when I was a pupil at a Bucks grammar school. They are often assisted by the very pro-grammar school BBC doing biased documentaries on comprehensive schools, as they did in 1977 on a comprehensive about a mile away from the then BBC studios in Shepherd’s Bush. But unlike in the ‘70s, parents do not come rushing to Bucks because of poor academic results achieved in inner London. As education secretary Michael Gove pointed out on BBC News last week, London is the only capital in the Western world where state school academic results exceed the national average. Taking as an example Forest Gate Community School in Newham, 73.1% of its pupils gained 5 or more GCSE passes including English and maths in 2012 (source ; NEWHAM RECORDER 29 August 2012). And you can’t attribute that to parental coaching, as Newham, unlike Bucks, is hardly an area where most parents can afford private tuition. So to a greater extent than in Bucks, it’s the pupils’ own work. No, the real concern of these parents rushing to beat the 11-plus changes is, as in the ‘70s, the type of peer group whom they envisage their little darlings will be mixing with. Most inner London state schools are co-educational and considerably more ethnically diverse than most Bucks grammar schools. Few, if any, of the parents whom Savills and Robsons will be seeing over the coming weeks will admit that these are factors influencing their decision to come to Bucks, but as someone who has seen all this before, from the evidence-based perspective of being a pupil at a Bucks grammar school, I make no apology for stating that in many, if not most cases, these purposely unspoken considerations will be uppermost in parents’ minds. Consequently, they regard anything that might make it less easy for their children to get into these schools as a threat. They will not be swayed by considerations of “greater good” or “fairness”. As far as I can make out, most grammar schools in Bucks have changed for the better since I was there 40 years ago, but the attitudes of parents clamouring to get their children into them has not changed on iota. I wonder how many of these children really want to come to Bucks? JACK MANNION
  • Score: 0

3:10pm Sat 12 Jan 13

Buck999 says...

Many parents want their children to go to the best performing schools. State grammar schools are free.

All grammars are not equal. Richer parents will move in to the catchment of the school they want their child to go. It's thir money. They choose how to spend it. I do not blame them. Blame the catchment system.

I favour scrapping catchment areas. It increases competition and choice. But this may be a step too far for Mr & Mrs Bucks!
Many parents want their children to go to the best performing schools. State grammar schools are free. All grammars are not equal. Richer parents will move in to the catchment of the school they want their child to go. It's thir money. They choose how to spend it. I do not blame them. Blame the catchment system. I favour scrapping catchment areas. It increases competition and choice. But this may be a step too far for Mr & Mrs Bucks! Buck999
  • Score: 0

5:02pm Sat 12 Jan 13

HerculePoirot says...

From article: "Tim Cornford, who previously worked for the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, is a consultant on the new scheme". Apparently after that Mr Cornford became Manging Director of NFER Nelson - the lot who currently set the tests... I assume he kept rather quiet about that at the iterview... And what great jounalism by the BFP - much too difficult to google "Tim Cornford"!

There was an objection to the Bucks VR a couple of years ago (on the grounds that it could be coached and was too narrow a test!). The Grammar schools and Council fought vigourously against this objection!! Link below.

There really is a lot of nonsense written about 11+ coaching/tutoring - as if it matters whether parents or "private tutors" do it. Of course this new test will be coachable/tutorable. That's how it survives. A truly uncoachable (ie fair) test wouldn't last five minutes. This new test and the system it underpins is totally corrupt.

http://webarchive.na
tionalarchives.gov.u
k/20110218204125/htt
p://www.schoolsadjud
icator.gov.uk/upload
/ADA1766 Bucks.doc
From article: "Tim Cornford, who previously worked for the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, is a consultant on the new scheme". Apparently after that Mr Cornford became Manging Director of NFER Nelson - the lot who currently set the tests... I assume he kept rather quiet about that at the iterview... And what great jounalism by the BFP - much too difficult to google "Tim Cornford"! There was an objection to the Bucks VR a couple of years ago (on the grounds that it could be coached and was too narrow a test!). The Grammar schools and Council fought vigourously against this objection!! Link below. There really is a lot of nonsense written about 11+ coaching/tutoring - as if it matters whether parents or "private tutors" do it. Of course this new test will be coachable/tutorable. That's how it survives. A truly uncoachable (ie fair) test wouldn't last five minutes. This new test and the system it underpins is totally corrupt. http://webarchive.na tionalarchives.gov.u k/20110218204125/htt p://www.schoolsadjud icator.gov.uk/upload /ADA1766 Bucks.doc HerculePoirot
  • Score: 0

9:19pm Sat 12 Jan 13

12345metoo says...

You Can be... says...
11:17pm Fri 11 Jan 13

'Does anyone know what percentage of children attained the 11+ and are attending Grammar schools in Bucks that come from the fee paying prep school system is? I have an idea that the numbers are very high. '

Surely this analysis must be done but of course it is probably not available for public consumption. I know they can tell which no's come from each of the council run schools if a member of the public asks (which I did).

To the mum of 4 who had all of her children pass, did they go to a good primary school in a more affluent area? Was it a private school?
My definition of good is several passes every year. Are mum and dad professional/degree educated? Or do the children all have a natural strength in VR and other areas? I stand corrected for stereotyping if it is a single mum, struggling financially in a poor area.
Is it the genes versus environment argument again? Is it natural selection, or un-natural selection in the case of the 11+? Is natural selection in the wider sense ever fair?Perhaps all schools should practice for these tests properly in class if they are representing intelligence and the material made accessible to all parents with courses for the less-educated. The schools could then take the top 30% of results Why all the 'cloak and dagger' about tutoring. Oh, it's never going to be fair. It is like conducting an experiment fairly; if you are measuring outcomes you have to be sure that there aren't any hidden variables at play, for the results to be valid.

On a final, personal note for now, on non selective schooling with banding. I have been to a grammar first and a non-selective school and in hindsight I preferred the grammar (single sex) 100%. Perhaps the non-selective school I attended wasn't the best example of one, as at least one in Bucks is outstanding .)

I'll stop whittering on as I'm getting fanciful and bored now.
You Can be... says... 11:17pm Fri 11 Jan 13 'Does anyone know what percentage of children attained the 11+ and are attending Grammar schools in Bucks that come from the fee paying prep school system is? I have an idea that the numbers are very high. ' Surely this analysis must be done but of course it is probably not available for public consumption. I know they can tell which no's come from each of the council run schools if a member of the public asks (which I did). To the mum of 4 who had all of her children pass, did they go to a good primary school in a more affluent area? Was it a private school? My definition of good is several passes every year. Are mum and dad professional/degree educated? Or do the children all have a natural strength in VR and other areas? I stand corrected for stereotyping if it is a single mum, struggling financially in a poor area. Is it the genes versus environment argument again? Is it natural selection, or un-natural selection in the case of the 11+? Is natural selection in the wider sense ever fair?Perhaps all schools should practice for these tests properly in class if they are representing intelligence and the material made accessible to all parents with courses for the less-educated. The schools could then take the top 30% of results Why all the 'cloak and dagger' about tutoring. Oh, it's never going to be fair. It is like conducting an experiment fairly; if you are measuring outcomes you have to be sure that there aren't any hidden variables at play, for the results to be valid. On a final, personal note for now, on non selective schooling with banding. I have been to a grammar first and a non-selective school and in hindsight I preferred the grammar (single sex) 100%. Perhaps the non-selective school I attended wasn't the best example of one, as at least one in Bucks is outstanding .) I'll stop whittering on as I'm getting fanciful and bored now. 12345metoo
  • Score: 0

9:19am Sun 13 Jan 13

demoness the second says...

Jill Burrell is a private tutor who coaches 11 plus . She charges £35-40 an hour.
Of course she is going to defend private tutoring.
Therefore I am afraid, IMO, she has lost credibility in this argument as coaching to her is a commercial enterprise .
Jill Burrell is a private tutor who coaches 11 plus . She charges £35-40 an hour. Of course she is going to defend private tutoring. Therefore I am afraid, IMO, she has lost credibility in this argument as coaching to her is a commercial enterprise . demoness the second
  • Score: 0

11:49am Sun 13 Jan 13

jillburrell says...

demoness the second wrote:
Jill Burrell is a private tutor who coaches 11 plus . She charges £35-40 an hour.
Of course she is going to defend private tutoring.
Therefore I am afraid, IMO, she has lost credibility in this argument as coaching to her is a commercial enterprise .
A tutor who is honest enough and open enough to use her real name when commenting. Losing credibility for understanding what I am talking about? A strange view to take but your choice, and I understand why you might think that; very assumptive though.

I am extremely honest with parents as to what their children can achieve and which schools they would be best suited to. I prepare them for their secondary school wherever that may be. I also tutor pupils at GCSE and A'level so I clearly understand the consequences of a student attending a school which does not suit their learning needs.
[quote][p][bold]demoness the second[/bold] wrote: Jill Burrell is a private tutor who coaches 11 plus . She charges £35-40 an hour. Of course she is going to defend private tutoring. Therefore I am afraid, IMO, she has lost credibility in this argument as coaching to her is a commercial enterprise .[/p][/quote]A tutor who is honest enough and open enough to use her real name when commenting. Losing credibility for understanding what I am talking about? A strange view to take but your choice, and I understand why you might think that; very assumptive though. I am extremely honest with parents as to what their children can achieve and which schools they would be best suited to. I prepare them for their secondary school wherever that may be. I also tutor pupils at GCSE and A'level so I clearly understand the consequences of a student attending a school which does not suit their learning needs. jillburrell
  • Score: 0

12:14pm Sun 13 Jan 13

zomble says...

I used to teach in a local prep school and certainly no coaching went on there. Since most of our pupils went on to private secondary schools, it wasn't something we worked towards. There were the normal 2 county practice tests and that was it. But of course private school children generally have ambitious parents who can afford after-school tuition, so you would expect the pass rate to be proportionately higher. I think ours was around 30%.
In my own experience the 11+ is neither a reliable predictor of academic performance nor a good way to organise education. My own daughter, without tuition, took it and failed, but got a scholarship to a famous private school and has just graduated from Oxford. If we had not had the means to opt out of the system she would have been at Highcrest. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but her life would have been different. I can't help thinking about all the others with similar potential who didn't have her chances.
I used to teach in a local prep school and certainly no coaching went on there. Since most of our pupils went on to private secondary schools, it wasn't something we worked towards. There were the normal 2 county practice tests and that was it. But of course private school children generally have ambitious parents who can afford after-school tuition, so you would expect the pass rate to be proportionately higher. I think ours was around 30%. In my own experience the 11+ is neither a reliable predictor of academic performance nor a good way to organise education. My own daughter, without tuition, took it and failed, but got a scholarship to a famous private school and has just graduated from Oxford. If we had not had the means to opt out of the system she would have been at Highcrest. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but her life would have been different. I can't help thinking about all the others with similar potential who didn't have her chances. zomble
  • Score: 0

8:30pm Sun 13 Jan 13

demoness the second says...

jillburrell wrote:
demoness the second wrote:
Jill Burrell is a private tutor who coaches 11 plus . She charges £35-40 an hour.
Of course she is going to defend private tutoring.
Therefore I am afraid, IMO, she has lost credibility in this argument as coaching to her is a commercial enterprise .
A tutor who is honest enough and open enough to use her real name when commenting. Losing credibility for understanding what I am talking about? A strange view to take but your choice, and I understand why you might think that; very assumptive though.

I am extremely honest with parents as to what their children can achieve and which schools they would be best suited to. I prepare them for their secondary school wherever that may be. I also tutor pupils at GCSE and A'level so I clearly understand the consequences of a student attending a school which does not suit their learning needs.
Well of course you are going to give your real name.
You might get some customers.. ;)
[quote][p][bold]jillburrell[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]demoness the second[/bold] wrote: Jill Burrell is a private tutor who coaches 11 plus . She charges £35-40 an hour. Of course she is going to defend private tutoring. Therefore I am afraid, IMO, she has lost credibility in this argument as coaching to her is a commercial enterprise .[/p][/quote]A tutor who is honest enough and open enough to use her real name when commenting. Losing credibility for understanding what I am talking about? A strange view to take but your choice, and I understand why you might think that; very assumptive though. I am extremely honest with parents as to what their children can achieve and which schools they would be best suited to. I prepare them for their secondary school wherever that may be. I also tutor pupils at GCSE and A'level so I clearly understand the consequences of a student attending a school which does not suit their learning needs.[/p][/quote]Well of course you are going to give your real name. You might get some customers.. ;) demoness the second
  • Score: 0

8:58pm Sun 13 Jan 13

JACK MANNION says...

The proposals to reform the 11-plus in Bucks are more than 40 years overdue.
What you have had since at least 1971, when I took my 11-plus in the county and was admitted to a local grammar school, is an easily coachable exam that tests only verbal reasoning. It cannot be considered meritocratic because coaching is dependent on the ability of parents to pay. Nor can it be regarded as a barometer of a pupil’s ability across the curriculum as a whole ; verbal reasoning does not test a pupil’s ability in the all-important area of maths. Effectively this creates a system of semi-selection, which is actually much worse than the year-on-year, subject-by-subject streaming that takes place in most state comprehensives today.
It does not surprise me that certain coached pupils have passed the 11-plus and got into grammar schools, then struggled with the workload. It happened to me. In 1970 I was coached for many months prior to sitting the tests, an experience which I hated. Having predictably passed the verbal reasoning-based 11-plus, I had generally few problems with words-based subjects at my allotted grammar school but struggled with maths and science, which were then taught by the dreadful ‘70s discovery methods like Nuffield science and School Mathematics Project. I failed O level maths and did not even take physics or chemistry to O level. Both these failures counted disastrously against me in my future career ; at every job interview I attended there was an unspoken but obvious presumption that these failures must by definition be entirely my fault, such was the Titanic faith placed in the 11-plus.
It is time to put an end to four decades of abuse and manipulation. I saw the overall standard of entrant to my own school decline dramatically from the moment Labour won the October 1974 election and introduced universal compulsory comprehensive secondary education. I saw this as a sign that either parental coaching was increasing in Bucks as more parents became desperate for their children to get into a grammar school, or that the 11-plus was being watered down, or the pass mark reduced, to make it easier for working-class children to qualify even if they were not really suitable – all in the name of appearances, to send a message to the Wilson government that grammar schools were popular and over-subscribed. Either way, it resulted in a lot of totally unsuitable “pressed men” being admitted to the school. Discipline broke down completely in about ’75 and ’76 and there was no outside scrutiny in those days ; no league tables and no internet, creating a dangerously secret garden.
We all need to bear in mind three things. Firstly, even the newly reformed 11-plus will not be an infallible barometer of a pupil’s ultimate success. No single exam taken at 11 could ever be that, even in a relatively stable world, let alone today’s uncertain globalised one. Secondly, even a coach-proof 11-plus is no substitute for year-on-year streaming in individual subjects. All Bucks grammar and upper schools need to do this if they are not already doing so. Thirdly, one important consideration that neither the current nor the new 11-plus appear to be designed to test is that of behavioural tendencies. It is for debate whether the process should take account of these ; having seen what happens when they are ignored, I rather think they should be. But any parent who is motivated to beat the system – current or proposed - to ensure that his son mixes with the “right kind of boys” needs to examine his or her motives extremely carefully and moderate his/her expectations of the system. A single exam taken at any age cannot determine how a pupil of any background will behave in a school. That is the reality that for far too long has been brushed under the carpet.
The proposals to reform the 11-plus in Bucks are more than 40 years overdue. What you have had since at least 1971, when I took my 11-plus in the county and was admitted to a local grammar school, is an easily coachable exam that tests only verbal reasoning. It cannot be considered meritocratic because coaching is dependent on the ability of parents to pay. Nor can it be regarded as a barometer of a pupil’s ability across the curriculum as a whole ; verbal reasoning does not test a pupil’s ability in the all-important area of maths. Effectively this creates a system of semi-selection, which is actually much worse than the year-on-year, subject-by-subject streaming that takes place in most state comprehensives today. It does not surprise me that certain coached pupils have passed the 11-plus and got into grammar schools, then struggled with the workload. It happened to me. In 1970 I was coached for many months prior to sitting the tests, an experience which I hated. Having predictably passed the verbal reasoning-based 11-plus, I had generally few problems with words-based subjects at my allotted grammar school but struggled with maths and science, which were then taught by the dreadful ‘70s discovery methods like Nuffield science and School Mathematics Project. I failed O level maths and did not even take physics or chemistry to O level. Both these failures counted disastrously against me in my future career ; at every job interview I attended there was an unspoken but obvious presumption that these failures must by definition be entirely my fault, such was the Titanic faith placed in the 11-plus. It is time to put an end to four decades of abuse and manipulation. I saw the overall standard of entrant to my own school decline dramatically from the moment Labour won the October 1974 election and introduced universal compulsory comprehensive secondary education. I saw this as a sign that either parental coaching was increasing in Bucks as more parents became desperate for their children to get into a grammar school, or that the 11-plus was being watered down, or the pass mark reduced, to make it easier for working-class children to qualify even if they were not really suitable – all in the name of appearances, to send a message to the Wilson government that grammar schools were popular and over-subscribed. Either way, it resulted in a lot of totally unsuitable “pressed men” being admitted to the school. Discipline broke down completely in about ’75 and ’76 and there was no outside scrutiny in those days ; no league tables and no internet, creating a dangerously secret garden. We all need to bear in mind three things. Firstly, even the newly reformed 11-plus will not be an infallible barometer of a pupil’s ultimate success. No single exam taken at 11 could ever be that, even in a relatively stable world, let alone today’s uncertain globalised one. Secondly, even a coach-proof 11-plus is no substitute for year-on-year streaming in individual subjects. All Bucks grammar and upper schools need to do this if they are not already doing so. Thirdly, one important consideration that neither the current nor the new 11-plus appear to be designed to test is that of behavioural tendencies. It is for debate whether the process should take account of these ; having seen what happens when they are ignored, I rather think they should be. But any parent who is motivated to beat the system – current or proposed - to ensure that his son mixes with the “right kind of boys” needs to examine his or her motives extremely carefully and moderate his/her expectations of the system. A single exam taken at any age cannot determine how a pupil of any background will behave in a school. That is the reality that for far too long has been brushed under the carpet. JACK MANNION
  • Score: 0

9:35pm Sun 13 Jan 13

12345metoo says...

You don't expect to correlate behaviour to a pass mark, but the home environment of children who pass (innately or by coaching) is likely to be similar regarding educational ethos/ parents instilling values in their child of how they should behave in the classroom. Of course bullies exist everywhere, in some form or another. I personally never got bullied at a single sex grammar school, but was hit by a boy and bullied by two girls at a state school. My children who both attend grammar prefer the single sex environment as less disruptive, however one has encountered snobbery i.e., been left out of social gatherings, because of our lower status in the property stakes. We don't own an outdoor pool or have an 8 bedroom house.
You don't expect to correlate behaviour to a pass mark, but the home environment of children who pass (innately or by coaching) is likely to be similar regarding educational ethos/ parents instilling values in their child of how they should behave in the classroom. Of course bullies exist everywhere, in some form or another. I personally never got bullied at a single sex grammar school, but was hit by a boy and bullied by two girls at a state school. My children who both attend grammar prefer the single sex environment as less disruptive, however one has encountered snobbery i.e., been left out of social gatherings, because of our lower status in the property stakes. We don't own an outdoor pool or have an 8 bedroom house. 12345metoo
  • Score: 0

4:33am Mon 14 Jan 13

JACK MANNION says...

I wish to God my own experiences of little disruption had been mine, 12345metoo! I know this was the '70s but one thing that hasn't changed one iota since then is the utter desperation of certain parents to get their sons into local all-boys' grammar schools regardless of whether they are suitable. My problems were caused in large measure by a large cohort of unsuitable boys who didn't want to be there. Anything that makes admission more difficult is therefore very welcome.
I wish to God my own experiences of little disruption had been mine, 12345metoo! I know this was the '70s but one thing that hasn't changed one iota since then is the utter desperation of certain parents to get their sons into local all-boys' grammar schools regardless of whether they are suitable. My problems were caused in large measure by a large cohort of unsuitable boys who didn't want to be there. Anything that makes admission more difficult is therefore very welcome. JACK MANNION
  • Score: 0

8:46am Mon 14 Jan 13

Nil Desperandum 2 says...

12345metoo wrote:
You don't expect to correlate behaviour to a pass mark, but the home environment of children who pass (innately or by coaching) is likely to be similar regarding educational ethos/ parents instilling values in their child of how they should behave in the classroom. Of course bullies exist everywhere, in some form or another. I personally never got bullied at a single sex grammar school, but was hit by a boy and bullied by two girls at a state school. My children who both attend grammar prefer the single sex environment as less disruptive, however one has encountered snobbery i.e., been left out of social gatherings, because of our lower status in the property stakes. We don't own an outdoor pool or have an 8 bedroom house.
Metoo - what exactly do you mean here when you refer to a "state school"? Grammar schools are also state schools!
[quote][p][bold]12345metoo[/bold] wrote: You don't expect to correlate behaviour to a pass mark, but the home environment of children who pass (innately or by coaching) is likely to be similar regarding educational ethos/ parents instilling values in their child of how they should behave in the classroom. Of course bullies exist everywhere, in some form or another. I personally never got bullied at a single sex grammar school, but was hit by a boy and bullied by two girls at a state school. My children who both attend grammar prefer the single sex environment as less disruptive, however one has encountered snobbery i.e., been left out of social gatherings, because of our lower status in the property stakes. We don't own an outdoor pool or have an 8 bedroom house.[/p][/quote]Metoo - what exactly do you mean here when you refer to a "state school"? Grammar schools are also state schools! Nil Desperandum 2
  • Score: 0

9:08am Mon 14 Jan 13

12345metoo says...

I meant to say any school which isn't grammar or private.
I meant to say any school which isn't grammar or private. 12345metoo
  • Score: 0

9:13am Mon 14 Jan 13

BecksH says...

In case of interest to those involved in this debate, here is the link to a relevant article on academy admissions, which I wrote:
http://www.compasson
line.org.uk/news/ite
m.asp?n=16677

I would just like to add a word of support to Jill Burrell and others who are posting here under their real names. I disgree with some of Jill's views, but I think that it is deeply unfortunate that she should be personally attacked for sharing her perfectly legitimate opinions.

I suspect that the overall tone of this discussion would be improved if EVERYONE was prepared to use their real names in their posts.
In case of interest to those involved in this debate, here is the link to a relevant article on academy admissions, which I wrote: http://www.compasson line.org.uk/news/ite m.asp?n=16677 I would just like to add a word of support to Jill Burrell and others who are posting here under their real names. I disgree with some of Jill's views, but I think that it is deeply unfortunate that she should be personally attacked for sharing her perfectly legitimate opinions. I suspect that the overall tone of this discussion would be improved if EVERYONE was prepared to use their real names in their posts. BecksH
  • Score: 1

3:19pm Mon 14 Jan 13

veg says...

jillburrell wrote:
121 is an arbitrary number - it is the number given to the level at which a pass is allocated.
The mark required for a pass must be obtained having placed all the marks attained on the paper on two graphs (one for boys one for girls); on the resultant normal curve they draw a line down at the point where an appropriate number of students that be accommodated at the grammar schools is to the right of the line. Marks around 121 are then suitably allocated to the rest of the curve.
If the pass mark is arbitrary, and simply placed at the point on the curve where the schools are full. How is the proportion of pupils admitted from out of county arrived at? This appears to vary from year to year.
I'm not looking to be argumentative, simply interested. This whole subject has been shrouded in secrecy for years.
[quote][p][bold]jillburrell[/bold] wrote: 121 is an arbitrary number - it is the number given to the level at which a pass is allocated. The mark required for a pass must be obtained having placed all the marks attained on the paper on two graphs (one for boys one for girls); on the resultant normal curve they draw a line down at the point where an appropriate number of students that be accommodated at the grammar schools is to the right of the line. Marks around 121 are then suitably allocated to the rest of the curve.[/p][/quote]If the pass mark is arbitrary, and simply placed at the point on the curve where the schools are full. How is the proportion of pupils admitted from out of county arrived at? This appears to vary from year to year. I'm not looking to be argumentative, simply interested. This whole subject has been shrouded in secrecy for years. veg
  • Score: 0

5:24pm Mon 14 Jan 13

gpn01 says...

veg wrote:
jillburrell wrote: 121 is an arbitrary number - it is the number given to the level at which a pass is allocated. The mark required for a pass must be obtained having placed all the marks attained on the paper on two graphs (one for boys one for girls); on the resultant normal curve they draw a line down at the point where an appropriate number of students that be accommodated at the grammar schools is to the right of the line. Marks around 121 are then suitably allocated to the rest of the curve.
If the pass mark is arbitrary, and simply placed at the point on the curve where the schools are full. How is the proportion of pupils admitted from out of county arrived at? This appears to vary from year to year. I'm not looking to be argumentative, simply interested. This whole subject has been shrouded in secrecy for years.
Agree, this would be quite interesting - e.g. if there are 100 places, are in-catchment Bucks children who've scored highest given priority, or is priority for all who achieved pass park? Or is the allocation 50% within catchment, 50% outside, etc.
[quote][p][bold]veg[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jillburrell[/bold] wrote: 121 is an arbitrary number - it is the number given to the level at which a pass is allocated. The mark required for a pass must be obtained having placed all the marks attained on the paper on two graphs (one for boys one for girls); on the resultant normal curve they draw a line down at the point where an appropriate number of students that be accommodated at the grammar schools is to the right of the line. Marks around 121 are then suitably allocated to the rest of the curve.[/p][/quote]If the pass mark is arbitrary, and simply placed at the point on the curve where the schools are full. How is the proportion of pupils admitted from out of county arrived at? This appears to vary from year to year. I'm not looking to be argumentative, simply interested. This whole subject has been shrouded in secrecy for years.[/p][/quote]Agree, this would be quite interesting - e.g. if there are 100 places, are in-catchment Bucks children who've scored highest given priority, or is priority for all who achieved pass park? Or is the allocation 50% within catchment, 50% outside, etc. gpn01
  • Score: 0

6:33pm Mon 14 Jan 13

Anna Smith says...

12345metoo wrote:
You Can be... says...
11:17pm Fri 11 Jan 13

'Does anyone know what percentage of children attained the 11+ and are attending Grammar schools in Bucks that come from the fee paying prep school system is? I have an idea that the numbers are very high. '

Surely this analysis must be done but of course it is probably not available for public consumption. I know they can tell which no's come from each of the council run schools if a member of the public asks (which I did).

To the mum of 4 who had all of her children pass, did they go to a good primary school in a more affluent area? Was it a private school?
My definition of good is several passes every year. Are mum and dad professional/degree educated? Or do the children all have a natural strength in VR and other areas? I stand corrected for stereotyping if it is a single mum, struggling financially in a poor area.
Is it the genes versus environment argument again? Is it natural selection, or un-natural selection in the case of the 11+? Is natural selection in the wider sense ever fair?Perhaps all schools should practice for these tests properly in class if they are representing intelligence and the material made accessible to all parents with courses for the less-educated. The schools could then take the top 30% of results Why all the 'cloak and dagger' about tutoring. Oh, it's never going to be fair. It is like conducting an experiment fairly; if you are measuring outcomes you have to be sure that there aren't any hidden variables at play, for the results to be valid.

On a final, personal note for now, on non selective schooling with banding. I have been to a grammar first and a non-selective school and in hindsight I preferred the grammar (single sex) 100%. Perhaps the non-selective school I attended wasn't the best example of one, as at least one in Bucks is outstanding .)

I'll stop whittering on as I'm getting fanciful and bored now.
My 4 all went to state primary schools. The eldest passed along with 5 others in his class. However, we had moved house in the summer holiday before he went into year 6 and were not happy to keep the others there when he left. We moved the 2nd and 3rd to the school in our new area, only a mile or so away, where the youngest was due to start in the reception class. We had to wait a year for a space for our 3rd child. No children in the classes they had moved from passed the 11+. I think that the state school they moved to had between 1/2 and 1/3 of the pupils pass. The majority of them were tutored, and one teacher told me she thought that we were the only parents of kids who had passed who had not had their kids tutored.
We were very happy that they all passed, but have to admit that we were only interested in a co-ed grammar school. Had only single sex ones been offered, we would have opted for a co-ed comprehensive.
[quote][p][bold]12345metoo[/bold] wrote: You Can be... says... 11:17pm Fri 11 Jan 13 'Does anyone know what percentage of children attained the 11+ and are attending Grammar schools in Bucks that come from the fee paying prep school system is? I have an idea that the numbers are very high. ' Surely this analysis must be done but of course it is probably not available for public consumption. I know they can tell which no's come from each of the council run schools if a member of the public asks (which I did). To the mum of 4 who had all of her children pass, did they go to a good primary school in a more affluent area? Was it a private school? My definition of good is several passes every year. Are mum and dad professional/degree educated? Or do the children all have a natural strength in VR and other areas? I stand corrected for stereotyping if it is a single mum, struggling financially in a poor area. Is it the genes versus environment argument again? Is it natural selection, or un-natural selection in the case of the 11+? Is natural selection in the wider sense ever fair?Perhaps all schools should practice for these tests properly in class if they are representing intelligence and the material made accessible to all parents with courses for the less-educated. The schools could then take the top 30% of results Why all the 'cloak and dagger' about tutoring. Oh, it's never going to be fair. It is like conducting an experiment fairly; if you are measuring outcomes you have to be sure that there aren't any hidden variables at play, for the results to be valid. On a final, personal note for now, on non selective schooling with banding. I have been to a grammar first and a non-selective school and in hindsight I preferred the grammar (single sex) 100%. Perhaps the non-selective school I attended wasn't the best example of one, as at least one in Bucks is outstanding .) I'll stop whittering on as I'm getting fanciful and bored now.[/p][/quote]My 4 all went to state primary schools. The eldest passed along with 5 others in his class. However, we had moved house in the summer holiday before he went into year 6 and were not happy to keep the others there when he left. We moved the 2nd and 3rd to the school in our new area, only a mile or so away, where the youngest was due to start in the reception class. We had to wait a year for a space for our 3rd child. No children in the classes they had moved from passed the 11+. I think that the state school they moved to had between 1/2 and 1/3 of the pupils pass. The majority of them were tutored, and one teacher told me she thought that we were the only parents of kids who had passed who had not had their kids tutored. We were very happy that they all passed, but have to admit that we were only interested in a co-ed grammar school. Had only single sex ones been offered, we would have opted for a co-ed comprehensive. Anna Smith
  • Score: 0

6:58pm Mon 14 Jan 13

12345metoo says...

Yeah, I'm not sure if it would be best at an all boys grammar or mixed for my son - should he pass! Because I had first hand experience of a grammar
for girls only, which I liked, it wasn't an issue for our girls. Any more experiences of boys' versus mixed grammar please can you share out of interest.
Yeah, I'm not sure if it would be best at an all boys grammar or mixed for my son - should he pass! Because I had first hand experience of a grammar for girls only, which I liked, it wasn't an issue for our girls. Any more experiences of boys' versus mixed grammar please can you share out of interest. 12345metoo
  • Score: 0

8:14pm Mon 14 Jan 13

JACK MANNION says...

12345metoo, at the risk of boring readers, my experience of my own all-boys' grammar, very heavily caveatted with the reminder that it was in the '70s, was one of utter brutality and a singular lack of the learning culture that is forever being touted as a plus point of a grammar school. I am not willing to go further than this as it would necessitate discusion of matters that would no doubt be considered wholly inappropriate for a forum like this ; you get my drift I'm sure. But I am convinced beyond doubt that even in the '70s the worst excesses would have been curbed had it been co-educational. Back then there was a total obsession with boys being boys, and with macho male bullying being character-forming. I well believe that the schools themselves have now, in 2013, broken away from these '40s attitudes ; all contemporary evidence I have seen points that way. I just hope the majority of parents have also. But the fact remains that school is a preparation for life, and that life more than ever involves mixing with men and women in the working environment, not to mention different races, religions, cultures etc in what is becoming an unstoppably globalised world. So it is surely right for schools to reflect that, and pointless for parents to attempt to run away from it in the interests of their children.
12345metoo, at the risk of boring readers, my experience of my own all-boys' grammar, very heavily caveatted with the reminder that it was in the '70s, was one of utter brutality and a singular lack of the learning culture that is forever being touted as a plus point of a grammar school. I am not willing to go further than this as it would necessitate discusion of matters that would no doubt be considered wholly inappropriate for a forum like this ; you get my drift I'm sure. But I am convinced beyond doubt that even in the '70s the worst excesses would have been curbed had it been co-educational. Back then there was a total obsession with boys being boys, and with macho male bullying being character-forming. I well believe that the schools themselves have now, in 2013, broken away from these '40s attitudes ; all contemporary evidence I have seen points that way. I just hope the majority of parents have also. But the fact remains that school is a preparation for life, and that life more than ever involves mixing with men and women in the working environment, not to mention different races, religions, cultures etc in what is becoming an unstoppably globalised world. So it is surely right for schools to reflect that, and pointless for parents to attempt to run away from it in the interests of their children. JACK MANNION
  • Score: 0

12:54am Tue 15 Jan 13

12345metoo says...

Thanks for your reply.Yep, I was worried an all boys school may be too 'macho'. My son has 3 sisters and no brothers. He likes all the boy stuff, except for football . Guess I'll delve more, if and when the situation arises.
Thanks for your reply.Yep, I was worried an all boys school may be too 'macho'. My son has 3 sisters and no brothers. He likes all the boy stuff, except for football . Guess I'll delve more, if and when the situation arises. 12345metoo
  • Score: 0

1:46am Tue 15 Jan 13

JACK MANNION says...

12345metoo, a word of warning. All Bucks grammar schools are absolutely fanatical about team games, the all-boys' ones about football in particular. Expect truly massive resistance if you want to withdraw your son from such games. The better the reason, the more petulant that resistance will be. They say their policy pormotes inclusion. In other words if you don't like football you're EXcluded. They're still stuck in the '70s I'm afraid.
12345metoo, a word of warning. All Bucks grammar schools are absolutely fanatical about team games, the all-boys' ones about football in particular. Expect truly massive resistance if you want to withdraw your son from such games. The better the reason, the more petulant that resistance will be. They say their policy pormotes inclusion. In other words if you don't like football you're EXcluded. They're still stuck in the '70s I'm afraid. JACK MANNION
  • Score: 0

8:55am Tue 15 Jan 13

jillburrell says...

gpn01 wrote:
veg wrote:
jillburrell wrote: 121 is an arbitrary number - it is the number given to the level at which a pass is allocated. The mark required for a pass must be obtained having placed all the marks attained on the paper on two graphs (one for boys one for girls); on the resultant normal curve they draw a line down at the point where an appropriate number of students that be accommodated at the grammar schools is to the right of the line. Marks around 121 are then suitably allocated to the rest of the curve.
If the pass mark is arbitrary, and simply placed at the point on the curve where the schools are full. How is the proportion of pupils admitted from out of county arrived at? This appears to vary from year to year. I'm not looking to be argumentative, simply interested. This whole subject has been shrouded in secrecy for years.
Agree, this would be quite interesting - e.g. if there are 100 places, are in-catchment Bucks children who've scored highest given priority, or is priority for all who achieved pass park? Or is the allocation 50% within catchment, 50% outside, etc.
Theoretically the curve could include ALL results (in and out of county) and the line on the curve such that, after appeals, there may be exactly the right number of passes to fill the grammar schools - making the standardised score of 121 relate to a higher raw score.
If the line is drawn such that some of the out of county students will not get in, based on distance/ not being in county, then this raw:standardised score ratio can be reduced to a level where only in county students get places at the grammar schools. Of course this latter method will, theoretically (if we assume that the 11 plus does what it says it does and highlights the more academically able students), reduce the average ability of students attending the county grammar schools, and strip more of the able students out of our upper schools, leaving room for an intake of out of county students who did not achieve a 121 pass mark (or did not take it).
The former route would increase the average ability of students in Bucks grammar schools, and increase the number of in county academically able students, attending our upper schools, with less space for out of county students without the 11plus pass; effectively increasing Bucks' overall result by skimming the top off nearby county's students, rather than taking a wider range of students.


In summary of this theoretical concept:

The higher the raw score which relates to 121 the better the grammar school AND upper school results are for the county.

Also, it is more likely out of county students will choose to come into Bucks to attend our grammar schools than our upper schools - so taking these more able students is also a good way for the county to ensure the Bucks' schools have closer to their full complement of students so funding is higher.

Currently the county are still managing the running, and marking of the tests for the Grammars - we could assume that therefore all grammars are running on the same raw mark equating to 121. (It is possible, but unlikely at this stage, that is not so, or could change.) The suggestion is that more out of county students may be taken in under the new system, which will mean programming in a higher raw score to standardised score ratio. This would, of course, be based on the new test scores so less obvious at a glance - but the calculation works based on the graph not the actual scores.

Should the schools choose to they could, as academies, elect individually as to where the line is drawn; in which case marks of 121 would reflect different raw scores - we would know because, if two grammar schools were applied for, the student's mark for each would have to be given, and it could be a pass to one but not to the other.

On a different note, hopefully this raw to standardised score relating to a pass will now be lower so the range of marks reflected by the top half of the curve will be greater. Previously the pass range from 121-141 represented just 6 raw marks (most years, we think), whilst the 69-120 range represented 74 raw marks; clearly a very different mark allocation on each side of the line on the graph. I wonder if this has ever been taken into account at appeals?

Can I emphasise that these are not my views on what is right or wrong, simply mathematical theories based around analysis of what I see happening and the possibilities around this.
[quote][p][bold]gpn01[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]veg[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jillburrell[/bold] wrote: 121 is an arbitrary number - it is the number given to the level at which a pass is allocated. The mark required for a pass must be obtained having placed all the marks attained on the paper on two graphs (one for boys one for girls); on the resultant normal curve they draw a line down at the point where an appropriate number of students that be accommodated at the grammar schools is to the right of the line. Marks around 121 are then suitably allocated to the rest of the curve.[/p][/quote]If the pass mark is arbitrary, and simply placed at the point on the curve where the schools are full. How is the proportion of pupils admitted from out of county arrived at? This appears to vary from year to year. I'm not looking to be argumentative, simply interested. This whole subject has been shrouded in secrecy for years.[/p][/quote]Agree, this would be quite interesting - e.g. if there are 100 places, are in-catchment Bucks children who've scored highest given priority, or is priority for all who achieved pass park? Or is the allocation 50% within catchment, 50% outside, etc.[/p][/quote]Theoretically the curve could include ALL results (in and out of county) and the line on the curve such that, after appeals, there may be exactly the right number of passes to fill the grammar schools - making the standardised score of 121 relate to a higher raw score. If the line is drawn such that some of the out of county students will not get in, based on distance/ not being in county, then this raw:standardised score ratio can be reduced to a level where only in county students get places at the grammar schools. Of course this latter method will, theoretically (if we assume that the 11 plus does what it says it does and highlights the more academically able students), reduce the average ability of students attending the county grammar schools, and strip more of the able students out of our upper schools, leaving room for an intake of out of county students who did not achieve a 121 pass mark (or did not take it). The former route would increase the average ability of students in Bucks grammar schools, and increase the number of in county academically able students, attending our upper schools, with less space for out of county students without the 11plus pass; effectively increasing Bucks' overall result by skimming the top off nearby county's students, rather than taking a wider range of students. In summary of this theoretical concept: The higher the raw score which relates to 121 the better the grammar school AND upper school results are for the county. Also, it is more likely out of county students will choose to come into Bucks to attend our grammar schools than our upper schools - so taking these more able students is also a good way for the county to ensure the Bucks' schools have closer to their full complement of students so funding is higher. Currently the county are still managing the running, and marking of the tests for the Grammars - we could assume that therefore all grammars are running on the same raw mark equating to 121. (It is possible, but unlikely at this stage, that is not so, or could change.) The suggestion is that more out of county students may be taken in under the new system, which will mean programming in a higher raw score to standardised score ratio. This would, of course, be based on the new test scores so less obvious at a glance - but the calculation works based on the graph not the actual scores. Should the schools choose to they could, as academies, elect individually as to where the line is drawn; in which case marks of 121 would reflect different raw scores - we would know because, if two grammar schools were applied for, the student's mark for each would have to be given, and it could be a pass to one but not to the other. On a different note, hopefully this raw to standardised score relating to a pass will now be lower so the range of marks reflected by the top half of the curve will be greater. Previously the pass range from 121-141 represented just 6 raw marks (most years, we think), whilst the 69-120 range represented 74 raw marks; clearly a very different mark allocation on each side of the line on the graph. I wonder if this has ever been taken into account at appeals? Can I emphasise that these are not my views on what is right or wrong, simply mathematical theories based around analysis of what I see happening and the possibilities around this. jillburrell
  • Score: 0

9:10am Tue 15 Jan 13

gpn01 says...

jillburrell wrote:
gpn01 wrote:
veg wrote:
jillburrell wrote: 121 is an arbitrary number - it is the number given to the level at which a pass is allocated. The mark required for a pass must be obtained having placed all the marks attained on the paper on two graphs (one for boys one for girls); on the resultant normal curve they draw a line down at the point where an appropriate number of students that be accommodated at the grammar schools is to the right of the line. Marks around 121 are then suitably allocated to the rest of the curve.
If the pass mark is arbitrary, and simply placed at the point on the curve where the schools are full. How is the proportion of pupils admitted from out of county arrived at? This appears to vary from year to year. I'm not looking to be argumentative, simply interested. This whole subject has been shrouded in secrecy for years.
Agree, this would be quite interesting - e.g. if there are 100 places, are in-catchment Bucks children who've scored highest given priority, or is priority for all who achieved pass park? Or is the allocation 50% within catchment, 50% outside, etc.
Theoretically the curve could include ALL results (in and out of county) and the line on the curve such that, after appeals, there may be exactly the right number of passes to fill the grammar schools - making the standardised score of 121 relate to a higher raw score.
If the line is drawn such that some of the out of county students will not get in, based on distance/ not being in county, then this raw:standardised score ratio can be reduced to a level where only in county students get places at the grammar schools. Of course this latter method will, theoretically (if we assume that the 11 plus does what it says it does and highlights the more academically able students), reduce the average ability of students attending the county grammar schools, and strip more of the able students out of our upper schools, leaving room for an intake of out of county students who did not achieve a 121 pass mark (or did not take it).
The former route would increase the average ability of students in Bucks grammar schools, and increase the number of in county academically able students, attending our upper schools, with less space for out of county students without the 11plus pass; effectively increasing Bucks' overall result by skimming the top off nearby county's students, rather than taking a wider range of students.


In summary of this theoretical concept:

The higher the raw score which relates to 121 the better the grammar school AND upper school results are for the county.

Also, it is more likely out of county students will choose to come into Bucks to attend our grammar schools than our upper schools - so taking these more able students is also a good way for the county to ensure the Bucks' schools have closer to their full complement of students so funding is higher.

Currently the county are still managing the running, and marking of the tests for the Grammars - we could assume that therefore all grammars are running on the same raw mark equating to 121. (It is possible, but unlikely at this stage, that is not so, or could change.) The suggestion is that more out of county students may be taken in under the new system, which will mean programming in a higher raw score to standardised score ratio. This would, of course, be based on the new test scores so less obvious at a glance - but the calculation works based on the graph not the actual scores.

Should the schools choose to they could, as academies, elect individually as to where the line is drawn; in which case marks of 121 would reflect different raw scores - we would know because, if two grammar schools were applied for, the student's mark for each would have to be given, and it could be a pass to one but not to the other.

On a different note, hopefully this raw to standardised score relating to a pass will now be lower so the range of marks reflected by the top half of the curve will be greater. Previously the pass range from 121-141 represented just 6 raw marks (most years, we think), whilst the 69-120 range represented 74 raw marks; clearly a very different mark allocation on each side of the line on the graph. I wonder if this has ever been taken into account at appeals?

Can I emphasise that these are not my views on what is right or wrong, simply mathematical theories based around analysis of what I see happening and the possibilities around this.
Thanks Jill. Effectively therefore it appears that the magic pass mark or score of 121 is actually something that can be replaced by saying 'a pass' ?

What now becomes interesting is whether in-county pupils take priority compared to those from outside Bucks, I.e. is is the score you achieve or where you live that matters most? Does anybody know what the official line is?
[quote][p][bold]jillburrell[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gpn01[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]veg[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jillburrell[/bold] wrote: 121 is an arbitrary number - it is the number given to the level at which a pass is allocated. The mark required for a pass must be obtained having placed all the marks attained on the paper on two graphs (one for boys one for girls); on the resultant normal curve they draw a line down at the point where an appropriate number of students that be accommodated at the grammar schools is to the right of the line. Marks around 121 are then suitably allocated to the rest of the curve.[/p][/quote]If the pass mark is arbitrary, and simply placed at the point on the curve where the schools are full. How is the proportion of pupils admitted from out of county arrived at? This appears to vary from year to year. I'm not looking to be argumentative, simply interested. This whole subject has been shrouded in secrecy for years.[/p][/quote]Agree, this would be quite interesting - e.g. if there are 100 places, are in-catchment Bucks children who've scored highest given priority, or is priority for all who achieved pass park? Or is the allocation 50% within catchment, 50% outside, etc.[/p][/quote]Theoretically the curve could include ALL results (in and out of county) and the line on the curve such that, after appeals, there may be exactly the right number of passes to fill the grammar schools - making the standardised score of 121 relate to a higher raw score. If the line is drawn such that some of the out of county students will not get in, based on distance/ not being in county, then this raw:standardised score ratio can be reduced to a level where only in county students get places at the grammar schools. Of course this latter method will, theoretically (if we assume that the 11 plus does what it says it does and highlights the more academically able students), reduce the average ability of students attending the county grammar schools, and strip more of the able students out of our upper schools, leaving room for an intake of out of county students who did not achieve a 121 pass mark (or did not take it). The former route would increase the average ability of students in Bucks grammar schools, and increase the number of in county academically able students, attending our upper schools, with less space for out of county students without the 11plus pass; effectively increasing Bucks' overall result by skimming the top off nearby county's students, rather than taking a wider range of students. In summary of this theoretical concept: The higher the raw score which relates to 121 the better the grammar school AND upper school results are for the county. Also, it is more likely out of county students will choose to come into Bucks to attend our grammar schools than our upper schools - so taking these more able students is also a good way for the county to ensure the Bucks' schools have closer to their full complement of students so funding is higher. Currently the county are still managing the running, and marking of the tests for the Grammars - we could assume that therefore all grammars are running on the same raw mark equating to 121. (It is possible, but unlikely at this stage, that is not so, or could change.) The suggestion is that more out of county students may be taken in under the new system, which will mean programming in a higher raw score to standardised score ratio. This would, of course, be based on the new test scores so less obvious at a glance - but the calculation works based on the graph not the actual scores. Should the schools choose to they could, as academies, elect individually as to where the line is drawn; in which case marks of 121 would reflect different raw scores - we would know because, if two grammar schools were applied for, the student's mark for each would have to be given, and it could be a pass to one but not to the other. On a different note, hopefully this raw to standardised score relating to a pass will now be lower so the range of marks reflected by the top half of the curve will be greater. Previously the pass range from 121-141 represented just 6 raw marks (most years, we think), whilst the 69-120 range represented 74 raw marks; clearly a very different mark allocation on each side of the line on the graph. I wonder if this has ever been taken into account at appeals? Can I emphasise that these are not my views on what is right or wrong, simply mathematical theories based around analysis of what I see happening and the possibilities around this.[/p][/quote]Thanks Jill. Effectively therefore it appears that the magic pass mark or score of 121 is actually something that can be replaced by saying 'a pass' ? What now becomes interesting is whether in-county pupils take priority compared to those from outside Bucks, I.e. is is the score you achieve or where you live that matters most? Does anybody know what the official line is? gpn01
  • Score: 0

9:32am Tue 15 Jan 13

veg says...

Thanks Jill, they are interesting and informative theories, but not really a confirmation of the council's process. I wonder why they have felt the need to keep the whole thing a secret for so long. After all, it's our kid's education that we are talking about, and I fail to see why we shouldn't be allowed to know what is actually going on.
Thanks Jill, they are interesting and informative theories, but not really a confirmation of the council's process. I wonder why they have felt the need to keep the whole thing a secret for so long. After all, it's our kid's education that we are talking about, and I fail to see why we shouldn't be allowed to know what is actually going on. veg
  • Score: 0

10:44am Tue 15 Jan 13

jillburrell says...

I guess they keep it quiet because whatever they do they have to do on a "whole-picture" level and that is never gong to suit the wishes of individuals. If they tell folk what they do folk will argue, if they don't then lack of knowledge blurs the argument.

It's common sense that the schools and the counties want full schools and good results. Individuals want the best school for their child - which I really must state is categorically NOT necessarily the grammar schools for many students.

What any county and its pupils needs is more outstanding primary and secondary schools, more outstanding teaching at every stage, high expectations on results and behaviour, and less self-fulfilling prophecies of GCSE results (don't get me started on that issue!). If we had all these there would be no need for anyone other than the interested geeks like myself to worry how graphs are manipulated - it would not be important to most parents as they would know their children would be attending an appropriate school that will allow them to achieve their full potential. This is what should be our goal, but until it is achieved parents will still perceive the grammar schools to be the only route to ensure their children achieve what they should academically.
I guess they keep it quiet because whatever they do they have to do on a "whole-picture" level and that is never gong to suit the wishes of individuals. If they tell folk what they do folk will argue, if they don't then lack of knowledge blurs the argument. It's common sense that the schools and the counties want full schools and good results. Individuals want the best school for their child - which I really must state is categorically NOT necessarily the grammar schools for many students. What any county and its pupils needs is more outstanding primary and secondary schools, more outstanding teaching at every stage, high expectations on results and behaviour, and less self-fulfilling prophecies of GCSE results (don't get me started on that issue!). If we had all these there would be no need for anyone other than the interested geeks like myself to worry how graphs are manipulated - it would not be important to most parents as they would know their children would be attending an appropriate school that will allow them to achieve their full potential. This is what should be our goal, but until it is achieved parents will still perceive the grammar schools to be the only route to ensure their children achieve what they should academically. jillburrell
  • Score: 0

10:44am Tue 15 Jan 13

jillburrell says...

I guess they keep it quiet because whatever they do they have to do on a "whole-picture" level and that is never gong to suit the wishes of individuals. If they tell folk what they do folk will argue, if they don't then lack of knowledge blurs the argument.

It's common sense that the schools and the counties want full schools and good results. Individuals want the best school for their child - which I really must state is categorically NOT necessarily the grammar schools for many students.

What any county and its pupils needs is more outstanding primary and secondary schools, more outstanding teaching at every stage, high expectations on results and behaviour, and less self-fulfilling prophecies of GCSE results (don't get me started on that issue!). If we had all these there would be no need for anyone other than the interested geeks like myself to worry how graphs are manipulated - it would not be important to most parents as they would know their children would be attending an appropriate school that will allow them to achieve their full potential. This is what should be our goal, but until it is achieved parents will still perceive the grammar schools to be the only route to ensure their children achieve what they should academically.
I guess they keep it quiet because whatever they do they have to do on a "whole-picture" level and that is never gong to suit the wishes of individuals. If they tell folk what they do folk will argue, if they don't then lack of knowledge blurs the argument. It's common sense that the schools and the counties want full schools and good results. Individuals want the best school for their child - which I really must state is categorically NOT necessarily the grammar schools for many students. What any county and its pupils needs is more outstanding primary and secondary schools, more outstanding teaching at every stage, high expectations on results and behaviour, and less self-fulfilling prophecies of GCSE results (don't get me started on that issue!). If we had all these there would be no need for anyone other than the interested geeks like myself to worry how graphs are manipulated - it would not be important to most parents as they would know their children would be attending an appropriate school that will allow them to achieve their full potential. This is what should be our goal, but until it is achieved parents will still perceive the grammar schools to be the only route to ensure their children achieve what they should academically. jillburrell
  • Score: 0

11:46am Tue 15 Jan 13

veg says...

You may be correct in saying that too much information can be a bad thing, but personally I would like to see the system be as transparent as possible.
As you say, it would be lovely if, as parents, we could be happy in the knowledge that our kids are all going to an appropriate and excellent school. Personally,I don't think this will ever be the case as long as we have Grammar schools, or at least until someone invents a test which can be shown to be totally "tutorproof"
You may be correct in saying that too much information can be a bad thing, but personally I would like to see the system be as transparent as possible. As you say, it would be lovely if, as parents, we could be happy in the knowledge that our kids are all going to an appropriate and excellent school. Personally,I don't think this will ever be the case as long as we have Grammar schools, or at least until someone invents a test which can be shown to be totally "tutorproof" veg
  • Score: 0

4:37pm Tue 15 Jan 13

12345metoo says...

A test that isn't based on anything learned perhaps? Interesting.
A test that isn't based on anything learned perhaps? Interesting. 12345metoo
  • Score: 0

1:56pm Wed 16 Jan 13

gpn01 says...

12345metoo wrote:
A test that isn't based on anything learned perhaps? Interesting.
Very, as it means you'd be testing only intrinsic ability and not the ability to learn.
[quote][p][bold]12345metoo[/bold] wrote: A test that isn't based on anything learned perhaps? Interesting.[/p][/quote]Very, as it means you'd be testing only intrinsic ability and not the ability to learn. gpn01
  • Score: 0

2:33pm Wed 16 Jan 13

12345metoo says...

With no bias at all.
With no bias at all. 12345metoo
  • Score: 0

2:55am Mon 21 Jan 13

pookie60 says...

Throughout their years at primary schools, my four children, whose ages now range from 21 to 40, have taken, and passed, the 11+ and 12+. None received home tuition, private education, or tutoring. Three have gained excellent university degrees (one graduated from Oxford with a Masters) and my youngest graduates this year. They all attended local state primary schools in the High Wycombe area from 1984 onwards. My eldest son had only attended the local school for six months before he sat the test in 1984 - and so we had very limited knowledge about the procedure, about the Bucks grammar system, and about choosing a suitable secondary school for him. Although totally unprepared, he passed on his own merit, having never seen a 'practice paper'. While our next two children attended our local middle school in the early 1990s, parents were firmly dissuaded, by the headmaster, from purchasing 'practice papers' from WH Smiths, and the test dates were kept strictly secret so as not to worry the children beforehand. Private tutoring, as far as I was aware then, was unheard of, and we adhered to the head's advice and deliberately 'played down' the test and no practice papers were covertly purchased or borrowed. By the time our youngest was attending the same school, private tutoring and completing practice papers were not only commonplace but were now strongly encouraged by the same head who had exhorted his misgivings about them ten years previously. Unfazed by the impending 'test fever' shown by some parents, and having faith in our children's education thus far, I simply considered that if our children were unable to pass the test entirely on their own merit, then there was a very worrying concern that they may struggle and be unhappy at a school not appropriate for their abilities or needs. I am not a particularly well-educated parent.
I was brought up on a council estate. I attended a state, single-sex secondary school which I left aged 16, and I did not have the advantage of a university or college education I was for some years a single parent earning a low income. However, I did encourage my children in all areas of their education, interests and talents to the best of my ability and finances - without heaping on them undue pressure or stifling their leisure time in favour of relentless home testing. My children are, in my opinion, good examples of the advantages a fair grammar system can give (and which was, at one time, offered to all children nationwide). We are privileged to live in this area, that also offers excellent primary and secondary schools education.
By removing, or at least reducing (by means of the new CEM) expensive and intensive private tutoring, it may hopefully, once again, give EVERY child much fairer opportunities,accord
ing to their own IQ and abilities, no matter what their backgrounds and their parents' financial and educational circumstances are, and lessen the stress and pressure that can be transferred to the child by, at times, over-zealous parents and tutors.
Throughout their years at primary schools, my four children, whose ages now range from 21 to 40, have taken, and passed, the 11+ and 12+. None received home tuition, private education, or tutoring. Three have gained excellent university degrees (one graduated from Oxford with a Masters) and my youngest graduates this year. They all attended local state primary schools in the High Wycombe area from 1984 onwards. My eldest son had only attended the local school for six months before he sat the test in 1984 - and so we had very limited knowledge about the procedure, about the Bucks grammar system, and about choosing a suitable secondary school for him. Although totally unprepared, he passed on his own merit, having never seen a 'practice paper'. While our next two children attended our local middle school in the early 1990s, parents were firmly dissuaded, by the headmaster, from purchasing 'practice papers' from WH Smiths, and the test dates were kept strictly secret so as not to worry the children beforehand. Private tutoring, as far as I was aware then, was unheard of, and we adhered to the head's advice and deliberately 'played down' the test and no practice papers were covertly purchased or borrowed. By the time our youngest was attending the same school, private tutoring and completing practice papers were not only commonplace but were now strongly encouraged by the same head who had exhorted his misgivings about them ten years previously. Unfazed by the impending 'test fever' shown by some parents, and having faith in our children's education thus far, I simply considered that if our children were unable to pass the test entirely on their own merit, then there was a very worrying concern that they may struggle and be unhappy at a school not appropriate for their abilities or needs. I am not a particularly well-educated parent. I was brought up on a council estate. I attended a state, single-sex secondary school which I left aged 16, and I did not have the advantage of a university or college education I was for some years a single parent earning a low income. However, I did encourage my children in all areas of their education, interests and talents to the best of my ability and finances - without heaping on them undue pressure or stifling their leisure time in favour of relentless home testing. My children are, in my opinion, good examples of the advantages a fair grammar system can give (and which was, at one time, offered to all children nationwide). We are privileged to live in this area, that also offers excellent primary and secondary schools education. By removing, or at least reducing (by means of the new CEM) expensive and intensive private tutoring, it may hopefully, once again, give EVERY child much fairer opportunities,accord ing to their own IQ and abilities, no matter what their backgrounds and their parents' financial and educational circumstances are, and lessen the stress and pressure that can be transferred to the child by, at times, over-zealous parents and tutors. pookie60
  • Score: 1

6:41pm Mon 21 Jan 13

12345metoo says...

Unfortunately all primary and secondary schools in Bucks are not all on a par i.e, excellent. Some have much lower expectations of their pupils because of the 'x' type of background they come from. One child may have learned little before starting school; another has been stimulated and is way ahead but their potential lies dormant.Just switching a child from one school to another you can see the different expectations in the homework set, teaching etc. If all the 'state' non-grammar schools in Bucks were outstanding there wouldn't be this tutoring/parent input culture, but unfortunately they are not.
Unfortunately all primary and secondary schools in Bucks are not all on a par i.e, excellent. Some have much lower expectations of their pupils because of the 'x' type of background they come from. One child may have learned little before starting school; another has been stimulated and is way ahead but their potential lies dormant.Just switching a child from one school to another you can see the different expectations in the homework set, teaching etc. If all the 'state' non-grammar schools in Bucks were outstanding there wouldn't be this tutoring/parent input culture, but unfortunately they are not. 12345metoo
  • Score: 0

6:41pm Mon 21 Jan 13

12345metoo says...

Unfortunately all primary and secondary schools in Bucks are not all on a par i.e, excellent. Some have much lower expectations of their pupils because of the 'x' type of background they come from. One child may have learned little before starting school; another has been stimulated and is way ahead but their potential lies dormant.Just switching a child from one school to another you can see the different expectations in the homework set, teaching etc. If all the 'state' non-grammar schools in Bucks were outstanding there wouldn't be this tutoring/parent input culture, but unfortunately they are not.
Unfortunately all primary and secondary schools in Bucks are not all on a par i.e, excellent. Some have much lower expectations of their pupils because of the 'x' type of background they come from. One child may have learned little before starting school; another has been stimulated and is way ahead but their potential lies dormant.Just switching a child from one school to another you can see the different expectations in the homework set, teaching etc. If all the 'state' non-grammar schools in Bucks were outstanding there wouldn't be this tutoring/parent input culture, but unfortunately they are not. 12345metoo
  • Score: 0

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