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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:04 am 
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Hello Halsea and everyone.
I'm doing a bit of panicking but trying to keep things calm for DS so this forum is a useful outlet! DS will have two complete weeks break from prep this summer hols but the rest of the time I will be doing a bit of work with him to try and stop him from sliding back speed wise.

We are using CGP books too. We are going to the open afternoon at FW in a couple of weeks. DS is taking the test there so it will be nice for him to have seen the place before the day of the test. We are also going to open days at Aston and Handsworth.

Good luck everyone!


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:14 am 
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nervousmom wrote:
When my DS & DD did the 11+ I managed to find some CEM papers on line (cem are the people who write the exam)

Over the last couple of years the exam is weighted more towards verbal reasoning , they need to have a wide vocabulary, so need to spend the summer reading.

Have you registered yet? The deadline is looming.

We are lucky to have the choice of Birmingham and Warwickshire schools where we live, when looking at schools for DS we visited KES (Stratford, which I loved) Alcester Grammar and Five Ways.

My son loved FW, it had a really nice feel and vibe.

You do need to visit the schools before deciding on them.

DS in year 11 at FW (last GCSE today!) And DD in year 8, both are very happy there. (My niece is starting in September)

Good luck!


The Physics exam today :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:48 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:10 am
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bewilderedofbearwood wrote:
Hello Halsea and everyone.
I'm doing a bit of panicking but trying to keep things calm for DS so this forum is a useful outlet! DS will have two complete weeks break from prep this summer hols but the rest of the time I will be doing a bit of work with him to try and stop him from sliding back speed wise.

We are using CGP books too. We are going to the open afternoon at FW in a couple of weeks. DS is taking the test there so it will be nice for him to have seen the place before the day of the test. We are also going to open days at Aston and Handsworth.

Good luck everyone!


That sounds like a good balance. Our ds had two full weeks off at the beginning of the summer plus we had a short 3-day break at the end of August. Other than that he did a bit of work every day I think apart from Sundays. It didn't go down too well with him, but in some ways it was easier than only doing it once or twice a week - he got into a routine and knew what to expect. And he made quite a lot of progress in August, so it was worth it. We incentivised him with lots of little presents and a big gift after the test!


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:43 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 1:33 pm
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We have a fair bit of holiday planned too but I figure I can sneak some 11+ prep in under the radar. When we're away we all have much more time to read, chat, eat and play together - so it'll be a good opportunity for some surreptitious vocabulary work... :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:57 pm 
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DS was doing an online course, so it didn’t really stop over the holidays. He may have done two on one day and had another day off, but tried to do a bit of something each day, even if it was just a 10 minute test.

I would be wary taking a 2 week break if it is the last two weeks of August as it is so close to the exam, and their brains do slow down. Last two weeks of July may not be as bad, but personally I wouldn’t stop completely.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:59 pm 
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Thanks all, my issue is out catchment school is Haybridge so she has a great state school which she can get to easily. I'm trying to get my head around what the grammars can offer that Haybridge can't?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:23 pm 
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halsea wrote:
Thanks all, my issue is out catchment school is Haybridge so she has a great state school which she can get to easily. I'm trying to get my head around what the grammars can offer that Haybridge can't?


Possibly not a lot if you're comparing Five Ways to Haybridge as both are co-ed. Some people are after single sex - we weren't particularly, but both our children are now in single sex schools and I can really see the benefits. From your area though, the single sex grammars are quite a trek so I'm assuming you wouldn't consider them?

Haybridge will always have a large number of high achievers so your daughter would have a good peer group there. Do they set/stream from day 1? I haven't visited Haybridge but I know their results are very good. I guess you need to look at GCSE results in detail and check numbers of A*s/8/9s.

I think in your case, you definitely need to visit both and ask lots of questions. Your daughter may prefer the feel/location of one over the other, or one may offer extra/different subjects. Do Five Ways still offer Latin? Our daughter at KEHS is enjoying Latin and has chosen it for GCSE but it's not everyone's cup of tea!

I had a colleague that chose Five Ways for her children despite being in Hagley and being RC so having a choice of two outstanding schools! So people must think it offers something different. It's just not as clear cut as it is for those of us with less impressive local schools!


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:33 pm 
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Thank you crazy crofter, we are fortunate. I am ideally looking for a co-ed.

I have heard that selection for places to train to be a Dr in the Birmingham area, have pretty much only selected from grammar schools, which maybe part of the reason. I can't see my daughter wanting to be a Dr. She is into writing, maths and coding.

I wouldn't choose RC personally, because I don't want my daughter to go to a faith school. I had an awful time at a faith sixth form, because i did not have the same faith.

I think its the breadth of the curriculum difference that I am wondering about. My daughter is good at languages, like myself and I understand the importance of Latin, because of its influence on our language.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:45 pm 
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halsea wrote:
Thank you crazy crofter, we are fortunate. I am ideally looking for a co-ed.

I have heard that selection for places to train to be a Dr in the Birmingham area, have pretty much only selected from grammar schools, which maybe part of the reason. I can't see my daughter wanting to be a Dr. She is into writing, maths and coding.

I wouldn't choose RC personally, because I don't want my daughter to go to a faith school. I had an awful time at a faith sixth form, because i did not have the same faith.

I think its the breadth of the curriculum difference that I am wondering about. My daughter is good at languages, like myself and I understand the importance of Latin, because of its influence on our language.


Another thing that I like about the grammars is the mix of cultures, backgrounds etc with kids from all over Birmingham. It feels dynamic and diverse. I suppose I’m comparing to my experience in a Worcestershire high school (not Haybridge but similar). It was very white, very local and parochial. But I’m not a fan of small town life! Others really value being part of the community, very local friends etc.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:39 pm 
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Yes there are pros and cons to small town life. I moved to 5 different primary schools and I wanted a more settled experience for my daughter. However I'm aware that its not a very diverse area. I came up from the SW many moons ago, when there was virtually no diversity and loved how diverse university was. So the lack of diversity didn't have any negative effect on me, if anything it has always made me seek out having friends from many different backgrounds.

One aspect of Haybridge that concerns me, is that there well be a lot of well off pupils and we are not in that situation.

But very much appreciating all the thoughts as to why to choose a Grammar :) :)


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