11 plus

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WinnieWoo
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11 plus

Postby WinnieWoo » Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:06 pm

Hi there

My daughter is at a SW London private school, she is young for her school year and has struggled a bit throughout her primary years.  She is not going on to one of the main secondary schools which her class mates are all seemingly being successful in getting in to. We have been told by the school that she wont get into any of these schools.  

So this, coupled with the fact that they all chat at school which has resulted in sadly some of her class mates being unkind and making nasty comments, such as calling her stupid, querying her mental health, etc has made me have severe worries about whether I keep her at the school and put her through the 11 plus process, plus possible more unkindness, and still knowing she wont be going on with her chums, and also adding pressure on to her with the actual exam preparation, or do I take her out at the end of this term, and find a softer school without so much pressure dare I say outside London, where she can stay until she is 18.  She would still have to take the 11 plus but it hopefully would be in a less aggressive atmosphere.    I would love any thoughts and feedback and to hear if anyone has been through a similar ordeal. 
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Mentor
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Re: 11 plus

Postby Mentor » Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:21 pm

Hello there,

I'm just reading your post and it sounds like you are having a really tough time. 

Why don't you give me a call or drop me an email (free advice) as I might be able to help you put things in perspective.

Kind regards,

Rachel

020 8883 2519
Mentor Education
rachel@mentoreducation.co.uk

 
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KatherineHepburn
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Re: 11 plus

Postby KatherineHepburn » Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:32 pm

Goodness, what a rotten school.
Poor her and you.
No advice I'm afraid other than perhaps find a school better suited to you both rather than hanging on in a not particularly helpful environment.

Kids are all different, with differing skills, abilities and needs. She may well flourish somewhere else.
xx
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JoannaBlogs
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Re: 11 plus

Postby JoannaBlogs » Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:49 pm

I am sorry to hear of your challenges, it’s very miserable all round when this kind of situation arises, particularly when there is mean behaviour involved. . I feel great sympathy for you and your family because having a child struggling in school doesn’t just impact them but can put the entire family into crisis in a whole range of different ways - emotionally, behaviourally and across relationships, especially if it goes on for a period of time. My biggest concern is the longer term psychological impact of these situations.

I noted that an educational consultant has already replied, and I presume she will be able to advise you on schools.
What I would suggest you need to do here is to unpick what’s going on at a deeper level and I would break it down into the what - which you have already described but also the why, and that is where I may be able to help you.

You need to understand the reason this is all happening, that is the only way you will be able to make the right choices about what to do in my opinion. I am a Cognitive Behavioural Neuropsychologist but also a mum with personal experience of what you are describing and so I appreciate all of the variables..

I charge £350 for an analysis and recommendations, which can all be done virtually and without the involvement of your daughter.

You can text me on 07798-665894 if you would like to discuss further. Please be aware that as a mum of three I can be a bit slow rot respond sometimes.

With best wishes from

Jo Iddon
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Greyskies
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Re: 11 plus

Postby Greyskies » Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:39 pm

What is the school doing to address these issues? You child is being bullied and the school should be addressing this with the children involved and their parents. Have you asked for a copy of their anti-bullying policy and have they been keeping to it?  Children everywhere can be thoughtless and cruel but the schools and the parents need to deal with that.

What were your expectations when you enrolled your child at this school? Is it an academically selective school? Or does it take students on a non selective basis?  If the former then it may not have been the right school for your particular child and depending on which year she is in it might be preferable to move her sooner rather than later.  If the latter then they should have experience with children who are not academic high fliers and have well established exit pathways for them. There are a number of a ademically non selective schools private schools accessible from Wandsworh. Have you discussed options with the school. Have they discussed them with you? Because that frankly is what you are paying for in a PREP school - preparation for the next stage. 

In the meantime what are your child’s interests? What are they good at? What could they  become good at?  Nurturing these aspects can be key to building self esteem. And while it could be music or sport it could also be decorating cup cakes, painting, bird watching, encouraging people to build hedgehog highways - you name it! Scouts/guides are really good at developing non competitive interactions. 

When you mention a school outside London do you mean a boarding school? There are some lovely, non competitive weekly boarding preps out there which seem to do really well in developing talents and self confidence in all of their children whatever their academic abilities. But the child has to be suited to boarding. 

And I would not dismiss state schools. We have experience of both state and private schools and I think it is definitely horses for courses. I think children at London preps reflect the attitudes of many of the parents - fiercely competitive, huge value attached to passing exams to get into the most competitive schools, and a life that revolves around offering already privileged children that bit extra to separate them from the other members of the competitive crowd - extra tuition in academics, music, drama , sport etc. I am not sure it really produces happy people.  London state schools vary - but they are the first choice for 90% of the population and your daughter would find her niche there. If you were in a position to move out to a town/village where everybody goes to the local school it would so much less pressurised for you all. And you could spend the £££ you would save on enrichment activities for you all.

I hope it works out for you all! 

 
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Natpol
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Re: 11 plus

Postby Natpol » Mon Jul 06, 2020 9:02 am

Hi, my son went to a small state school which was in fact very similar. Neither class teacher or school senco were supportive at all, however I eventually was able to have him accessed (senco went on maternity leave and new cover was brilliant ) long story short we managed to get him a place at an amazing school and he is now thriving.

I would recommend this school but also I think you should not leave your daughter in a space that is not supporting her education or mental health - (as this bullying and taunting is definitely going to do)

In my search for schools I had found these 3

1. The Moat - Our School

2. Fairley House - see https://nappyvalleynet.com/schools-2017 ... continued/

3. Centre Academy - The head and his team accessed my son and explained if he was not suitable for their school he knew all the school that we’re similar and could signpost us.

Have a look at these and see if any of these sound like they could be a better fit for your daughter.

Good luck.
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NoodleFan
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Re: 11 plus

Postby NoodleFan » Mon Jul 06, 2020 9:45 am

So sorry you’re having a miserable time.
The kids are all unsure of what’s going to happen and I’m afraid this turns them into little monsters.

She sounds like she’s going into year 6 but you say her classmates seem to be successful getting into schools. Are these kids going to different schools for year 6? If so, are most kids staying for next year?

If you don’t think she’ll get into any private schools I would not put her through the 11+. It’s really stressful for all involved.

Year 6 is horrendous for most kids when the exam results start coming out, with “oh didn’t you get in??” taunts, state vs private etc. so hopefully the other kids will forget about your daughter at this point as they’ll have more to think about! It sounds like she’s one of the first ones to stand out but she won’t be the only one. That sounds awful doesn’t it - not saying you want other kids to take up the being taunted baton but it might be more even is what I’m trying to say.

Best of luck!
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parentpractice
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Re: 11 plus

Postby parentpractice » Mon Jul 06, 2020 10:33 am

Full disclosure -I am Elaine from The Parent Practice.

This is so hard for you both and the key to unlocking our children's potential and maximising their strengths is to understand firstly their temperament and then their cognitive learning profile. We hear so many stories like this, and I strongly suggest you start but getting a good educational psychology report done so you know where her cognitive strengths and weaknesses lie and that way you can search for a school that can meet her needs and where she will feel successful.

The second area I would focus on is supporting her by raising her self esteem and self worth as whilst our children may be unconfident in certain academic areas, this does not need to impact their self esteem. You may also find it beneficial to listen to our podcast last Friday on the importance of teaching our children empathy as this is the antidote to stress, both your children's and your own and how learning emotional regulation can help in times of uncertainty. I would for now not be putting her in for the 11 plus test without understanding more about her needs.

Another post here mentions specialist provision such as The Moat, Fairley House and Centre Academy which are all good suggestions if indeed there are specific learning needs, but you do need to have her assessed first by an educational pyschologist to find out more.

Sending you strength to keep being curious, and asking for support and finding out more about her needs 

Yours Aye Elaine
Last edited by parentpractice on Mon Jul 13, 2020 8:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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misty32
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Re: 11 plus

Postby misty32 » Mon Jul 06, 2020 11:15 am

I just wanted to comment that my children are going onto a state secondary and my son in particular got SO many comments from his friends about why wasn't he interviewing for Whitgift, Alleyns. It really was a time of me being aware of conversations in the car taking them to football practice and making sure I countered their quite honestly, snobbish and ignorant comments when he was alone with me.
My message is to parents of children who are better off academically and financially. It is crystal clear that a lot of these comments have come directly from the parents, I am already seeing it with not all, but a couple of my youngest's friends who are 8! Please be aware of how you speak to your children at home about their next school. Your children are listening and passing on your ambitions parrot fashion to their friends, and it makes them sound silly/nasty and their friends feel inferior and less capable. It really is a difficult time for these young kids. Please just be careful and stay cool.
 
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NoodleFan
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Re: 11 plus

Postby NoodleFan » Mon Jul 06, 2020 11:49 am

Excellent point Misty32.
And it works both ways - I remember one boy telling all the kids that if they were going off to single sex schools they would turn out weird.
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Bibbity
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Re: 11 plus

Postby Bibbity » Mon Jul 06, 2020 12:09 pm

If you think it is worth it and you can stomach it, I would pull the school into this.  First of all the bullying and teasing needs to be addressed.  The school must have an anti-bullying policy which by the sounds of it, is not being complied with.

Secondly, if this is a prep school, what are they prepping her for?  Clearly they have failed in preparing her and you for the likely outcomes.  Ask them where they think she would be best suited if not their regular destination schools.  It sounds like the school is complacent, and doesn't put the effort into those girls who need a less standard approach.

Also I would say that although your daughter may not be at the top of academic tree, that is not the be all and end of life.  I am sure she has talents and gifts in other areas.  I would concentrate on those, it would boost her self-esteem and perhaps give her another circle of friends to counter what she is experiencing at school.  Is she interested in art, sports, dance, singing?  Does she belong to Brownies or Guides? 

Actually, I see that Greyskies has made most of these points already! 
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WinnieWoo
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Re: 11 plus

Postby WinnieWoo » Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:30 pm

Thank you to all above who replied. Very helpful indeed and nice to know we are not alone.
I am taking action, researching, etc
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Bmwkl
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Re: 11 plus

Postby Bmwkl » Mon Jul 13, 2020 6:54 am

Dear Winnie Woo,

If you and your girl still have 4-6 months before 11plus, please speak to her and start at home tutoring. Meaning you revising, practicing, writing with her. Daily an hour to two. Every single day. That until Nov will give you aprox 200 hours of pure learning and solidifying 4 R skills. Verbal and non verbal reasonings are pretty fun riddles, nothing more- think of them as family quiz at dinner table. But you have to „work through” at least 3-4 Bond books with her.

Unfortunately I found UK private school system segregating children as young as 6 (the schools call it streaming) based on cognitive development tests bought from US companies (most of them being designed for adults). That race for „delivering varied content” to children being in the same class means your daughter has been taught barely basics (easy set) for the last five years because some weird test deemed her „unworthy” of proper teaching. I understand the interests and abilities play a role in how well child performs, but this segregation at the primary level (let us be honest, it is hardly PhD in Applied Physics, the curriculum is set for all young children, brighter or less) is robbing you from your value for money and her from her quality education. To put it plainly- do not trust the school.

You can prove all involved wrong- so can your daughter. The schools dont prepare kids neither for CATs nor 11plus, despite us paying 30K a year and kids spending 40 hr weeks there.

So yes, move her if u wish so or let her be as hopefully she can join the same „gentler” school next year but sit down with her and assess at what level she was left behind by school. Then fill in the gaps. This will require hard consistent work for several months. But she will get from zero to scholarships. The hardest bits in Maths are laughably basic when u look into it. English composition has to be practiced by writing (get the £80 subscription to Twinkle, most of teachers use it, again- poor judgement on their behalf) 6 genres pieces, one each day.

I have done it with mine. Scholarships. Play the system. Dont go with it. No one cares but you about your daughter. You have clearly seen it.
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boojayboo
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Re: 11 plus

Postby boojayboo » Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:00 am

Hi there, we are in a similar situation for different reasons. Our daughter is very bright but not happy and not achieving because of the environment.
We decided to move her to a non selective boarding school with good pastoral ethos of finding out what makes each pupil ‘fizz’. When children are engaged they learn. London is highly pressured because there are so many children for much fewer spaces and their only way to screen the volume is academic testing (whilst many schools say they do more than this).

Check out Explorium - Julia Black and the Lights On Academy. It’s all about finding out what switches the child’s lights on to build curiosity to learn and grow from there. I wish I had found it years ago....
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lovelearningcompanycom
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Re: 11 plus

Postby lovelearningcompanycom » Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:53 pm

Hi
I was tutoring a child that was in a similar position, the school told her parents to lower their expectations but we looked at options, worked hard and built her confidence right up and actually got a good result. Sadly some of the girls in her class were less than congratulatory about her success but hey ho, she is now happy and thriving at her new school : )
Very happy to help if I can and offer no obligation chats.
Lovelearningcompanycom
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