Is a central WA group a good idea to add 11+ progress of our children?

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Barbie
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Is a central WA group a good idea to add 11+ progress of our children?

Postby Barbie » Fri Jan 07, 2022 1:53 pm

Is this the done thing?

One of my fellow school mum friends has suggested that we set up a WA group to add the progress of our children as we go through the 11+ process.

She thinks having been through it with older children that it is better to be up front about things and not walk on egg shells around each other as it causes unnecessary stress.

As a fairly private person and tbh as someone with a son who is finding the whole thing quite a challenge I am not sure how I feel about this. I think it could be more stressful if some children are flying and others not. Happy to be told that I am wrong and it is a good idea but would really appreciate some thoughts before I jump in.
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lifeminco
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Re: Is a central WA group a good idea to add 11+ progress of our children?

Postby lifeminco » Fri Jan 07, 2022 4:27 pm

This is 100% a personal decision - if it's going to make you stressed or uncomfortable, don't join. Or join and then leave if you find that. And just tell the fellow mum that you/your child are finding it challenging and feel the group dynamic makes it worse for you, no shame in that! I would agree with the fellow mum that (a) in principle it's better to be open and upfront with your child's and your own peers about the process and (b) if you're a first-timer there's a lot of valuable info to be had from those who have been through the process. Your feelings are probably down to being a first-timer as once you go through it you'll likely be more relaxed about it.
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Strawberriesandcream
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Re: Is a central WA group a good idea to add 11+ progress of our children?

Postby Strawberriesandcream » Fri Jan 07, 2022 4:51 pm

I can’t imagine anything worse.
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EHMorris
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Re: Is a central WA group a good idea to add 11+ progress of our children?

Postby EHMorris » Mon Jan 10, 2022 8:56 am

Hahaha. Not in a million years.
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catboo1
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Re: Is a central WA group a good idea to add 11+ progress of our children?

Postby catboo1 » Mon Jan 10, 2022 9:06 am

No way!!!
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Scottov
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Re: Is a central WA group a good idea to add 11+ progress of our children?

Postby Scottov » Mon Jan 10, 2022 9:14 am

Run, don’t walk, run, run far away…
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Busymumof3
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Re: Is a central WA group a good idea to add 11+ progress of our children?

Postby Busymumof3 » Mon Jan 10, 2022 9:15 am

I’ve always said to friends with younger children that it’s best not to discuss the 11+ with other mums other than good, trusted friends. It’s far too easy to get stressed out hearing that, eg another child has done 5 practice papers this week, whereas yours may not have done any, or another family are applying for 10 schools but you’ve chosen to apply for 3. Every child is different, and every family’s hopes are different. Work out what is best for your child, then try to stick to that. Sure, listen to advice from good friends, but personally I wouldn’t ever join a WhatsApp group. Good luck, and be assured that somehow it all works itself out in the end.
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alenaraphaella
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Re: Is a central WA group a good idea to add 11+ progress of our children?

Postby alenaraphaella » Mon Jan 10, 2022 9:17 am

I've struggled for the past several years with the parent Whatsapp groups at our primary, and those are only for Reception and Year 2. The amount of messages, a majority of which are unnecessary tidbits of useless updates/notifications, often drown out the occasionally important piece of information. Quite often there are individuals who tend to dominate the messages and the general feeling is of 'groupthink', which results in individual views or concerns being suppressed or held back, out of fear of being seen a different. It rarely feels healthy and I wish there would be a return to the more analog days before social media, where communications from the school were sent home on a piece of paper via the book bags.

The idea of a Whatsapp group setup purely to 'compare' progress of the pupils sounds like a nightmare. From my own experience of these groups I can easily imagine a fair degree of passive/aggressive comments, or worse, outright competitiveness - none of which would help the pupils in question. The problem (again) comes down to nuance - these groups don't tend to allow for it, and everything is thrust into black/white. When dealing with academic progress I think 'sharing' via a Whatsapp group could be counterproductive, and possibly even detrimental, to (some) of the parents.  You only need a few competitive parents to be very vocal to dominate discussions, to create an atmosphere where other parents - whose children may be taking a little longer, or whose progress is slower going, to avoid participating. 

My own personal view of course,  no doubt others may feel differently.
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2SW17boys
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Re: Is a central WA group a good idea to add 11+ progress of our children?

Postby 2SW17boys » Mon Jan 10, 2022 9:20 am

No waaaay. We put info like open days, registration cut-offs etc. on an existing class WhatsApp but certainly not how the kids were faring. I’d keep the rest of it low key and 1:1 with your friend if you have queries around process or if there’s anything she thinks you specifically need to know. It can be a stressful time and focus needs to be on the best outcome for your child whilst keeping it relaxed. I’d stick with your instinct to avoid!
Ps - good luck with it all.
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Starr
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Re: Is a central WA group a good idea to add 11+ progress of our children?

Postby Starr » Mon Jan 10, 2022 9:31 am

Totally agree alenaraphaella!
Definitely do not join a WhatsApp group for the 11 plus. Some of your children may be waitlisted for the same school.
Remember, every year some children will not get the results they deserve and that's the brutal reality of the 11 plus, so best to avoid contact with very stressed out parents during this time.
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dohnia
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Re: Is a central WA group a good idea to add 11+ progress of our children?

Postby dohnia » Mon Jan 10, 2022 10:59 am

Totally agree with what everyone has said here, it's a personal decision but your initial post sounds like you're reluctant already. It is such a stressful time it seems like it'd be best avoided!
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Daisychain
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Re: Is a central WA group a good idea to add 11+ progress of our children?

Postby Daisychain » Mon Jan 10, 2022 11:00 am

As a first time the whole process is full of the unknown and more daunting than the 3rd timer. From experience I have encountered a parent stressed to the hilt first time round for their child, then brazenly nonchalant about the process for 2nd and 3rd, advising parents don’t stress every child will find their school, etc - yet still avoided sharing any useful information other than how easy the process & to relax.

I can see the parents POV however it is her choice as much as it is yours to participate or not.

You would be better served confiding & seeking counsel in a friend with children in older age groups and not in the same 11+ cohort with same schools/places.
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MagnoliaMum
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Re: Is a central WA group a good idea to add 11+ progress of our children?

Postby MagnoliaMum » Mon Jan 10, 2022 12:57 pm

I can sort of see where this mother is coming from as when your child is going through this process, you become a bit obsessive about it and are interested how your child's friends are doing too, and it can feel awkward to ask.

I don't think I'm a particularly ambitious mother, but I was shocked at how brutal it felt when my son was rejected by a couple of schools after the exam, not even getting through to interview. He was disappointed but I felt as though he'd been personally attacked and I'd failed to protect him against this hurt, it was really horrible. Irrational maybe, but they are very young. Once he had an offer from a decent school we liked, it was all fine - but the whole process takes weeks and you may not feel like sharing every step with everyone.

So I think a WhatsApp group would be a great idea for parents of those children who will get interviews and offers from every school they apply to and then agonise over which offer to accept. But the others may find it adds an additional layer of competitiveness to an already stressful process. Good luck!
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Bama
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Re: Is a central WA group a good idea to add 11+ progress of our children?

Postby Bama » Mon Jan 10, 2022 1:55 pm

I can’t think anything worse than a WA group with other 11+ mums. Run away as far as you can!
Stay away from playground chats and do not trust half of what you are told.
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betterannabel
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Re: Is a central WA group a good idea to add 11+ progress of our children?

Postby betterannabel » Mon Jan 10, 2022 2:08 pm

Some of the mums at DDs school did this, partly to make a new single mum welcome, and it all went wrong. There was an Audrey Hepburn themed fundraiser one night and let's just say, there was drama. One of the husbands met an untimely, but not undeserved, end. 
vivre rire l'amour
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