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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2005 2:33 pm 
Sorry, I said coaching when what I meant was tutoring.

Relieved (that we don't have to spend £100k on private school over next 7 years!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2005 2:35 pm 
All this discussion of "coaching". Doing a few papers at home with your child isn't coaching, it is familiarising a child with a very alien process. Most concerned parents would do with. I am fed up of hearing parents whose children didn't get in, say that another child was coached to death. May be they are just brighter than the one that didn't get in? There has to be a cut off. If your child didn't get in, may be they aren't as bright as you thought? It is a very brutal process, but surely we are looking to place our children in the best school for them, not for the parent. If your child isn't the Einstein you thought, then maybe it is time to get real.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2005 2:41 pm 
I totally agree with you Guest! Coaching is very different from doing a few papers at home with your child inorder that they are familiar. I think some parents cannot accept that their children do not pass the exam and will clutch at straws to find excuses good enough for an appeal. I am waiting for my sons results and have to wait until March. If he does not pass, we will not appeal, he did have a cold and sore throat at the time, but if he is not meant to be there he is not meant to be there, and that is that.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2005 2:44 pm 
I just thought I would add my input here.
My son has just passed and he had most of the tuition from me but went to a tutor who TESTED him once a week on Verbal Reasoning for a few weeks leading up to the tests.

I coached him on how to tackle the questions but by going for tests each week I think it kept him on track with wanting to do it and obviously got his speed up and gave him an idea of doing a test along side other children.

My husband, my son (and deep down I) feel that he got most out of what we done together but I guess I wasn't confident enough to just risk me doing it alone, as afterall I am not qualified. I am confident now though and when it comes to my daughters turn I will tutor her myself but may again send her for tests just before as I feel that experience is also crucial as however we set them at home it is not like the real thing.

Also the Tutor gave my son additional confidence just by her comments, he saw them as really important with her being a professional where as with me, he knows I love him dearly and so f he didnt always do his best he probably didnt worry as much.

I know the kids that passed at our school were all tutored and some aslong as 18 months two years. Howver ther were some although tutored still did not pass. There are two trails of thought there. One is if you feel your child needs that much coaching then maybe they should not be entering into it. Or on the other hand if you tutor that long in advance there will be less pressure and so that is better for the child.

I really believe it is a tough call and I like so many people listened to others who had been through the process. Most people who really wanted their children to pass said you have to get extra tuition, that included parents with even the brightest of kids.

Most of the people that said they didn't believe in getting tuition were those who didnt really feel that confident their child would pass anyway.

At then end of the day the test include grammar that most 10-11 year olds are not exposed to so they will need help. However I feel they have to be bright in the first place to take on this learning. If they are not bright enough they won't manage the new concepts and if they are not conscientious enough they won't want to learn them. It is these attributes along with good behaviour and commitment from parents and children that are just as important when going to a Grammar school.

To sum up I think Tutors are crucial as we haven't all got children who are willing to sit with parents and listen just as they do with a teacher and like wise parents are not all cut out to be teachers.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2005 2:49 pm 
Well, I disagree with both Guest and Essex Mum. If most childrem are coached, the ones who are not are at a big disadvantage. You have to be realistic. Nothing wrong with appealing either. Let the appeal panel decide.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2005 3:04 pm 
I never said there was anything wrong with appealing. Although I think you shouldhave a reason for appeal, not just because you personally think you child should be at a school, you have to have a reason. A friend of mine appealed last year. I thought they had a good reason, as the night before the exam his father walked out of the house, completely out of the blue and never returned. The appeal was turned down!

On the subject of coaching, If a child needs that much coaching, i.e. a year or two intensive coaching, then parents should ask themselves, is their child naturally academic enough to keep up the pressure once they have gained the place. Also, if the child has had such intense coaching and then does not get into their chosen school, do they feel a failure? Working so much for something has to be realistically reachable for the child in order that they can achieve their goal, not their parents goal. My son has done some practive at home, but if he does not get into the Grammer he will not feel a failure as it has not been the "B all and end all".

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2005 3:06 pm 
My child got into the school of her choice a couple of years ago and I was shocked by the nasty comments made by parents of those children who didn't get a place. I was accused of over coaching my child and that was why she got in - no-one said, oh well done, she is a clever girl. Just - oh, we didn't coach the way you did, so that must be why you got in. It is all just sour grapes. I have posted this before, that I actually ended up falling out with people over my daughter's grammar school place!! Incredible.

Well done to those successful children, whether coached, hot housed, familiarised, prepped . . .

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2005 3:18 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:47 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Berks,Bucks
Over coaching a child who is not up to academic studies is certainly a bad idea. But in an environment where children are coached to certain level, you have to match this level. Some parents in my son's school thought that their children were bright enough and did not find it necessary to coach them. Unfortunately, athough they are very able children, they didn't make it.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2005 3:53 pm 
I think the saddest thing is for the kids, after all the hard work they put in they go into school and we we almost have to tell them not to be too proud and certaintly not to celebrate incase they offend another who hasnt passed. For those that dont pass they feel like they cannot congratulate there friends because they are feeling so bad themselves.

Just this morning a lady offered my son congrats and he went very red and just about acknowleged her.

Why cant these kids feel good instead of being made feel alomost bad about passing and that the subject is taboo.

I myslef had to check with my son before I offered congrats to anyone and feel almost like I cant talk to anyone about it unless I know they past, isn't that silly?

At our school our year head actually had a chat with the kids the day before the results came out and also told the children not to celebrate, offered her congrats then to anyone that may pass as basically they woudln't be allowed to say anything after. Its madness. Surely this isnt the case with GCSE's etc.

Maybe if it were more open all the kids would feel much better about it.

As for appeals if its within 2 poss 3 marks I definitely would of appealed but anything else No as I would of questioned why I had put him in for it. My son took the test because we firmly believe he will flourish with a grammar education and his school career so far suggests the same.

Before appealing one should really ask themselves should that child really of passed, if the honest answer is yes they should appeal as clearly they will have a genuine case.

It is also sad that just because some kids cannot have tuition that those that do are labelled as not having really achieved something,

They have and well done to all of them!!!


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 9:49 am 

You say that bright children at your child's school didn't get in because they weren't coached. But who said that they were bright? Their mother? Mothers often think they have given birth to a genius ( :wink: ) - my wife thought that our daughter was the most beautiful girl in the world (come to think of it so do I), but may be you wouldn't agree? If your child is int he top group at school, it doesn't always mean that they are the cleverest in the class, it just relates to the abilities of the others in that class, but not necessarily those sitting the test at school. Unless you are the teacher at school, you don't really know.

I feel that the time that coaching really makes a difference, is when children are systematically coached by a prep school from an early age. This strikes me as unfair, but aren't the grammar schools concerned with this also, afterall, these private school kids must struggle once int he school?

You can do Times crossword everyday for 5 years and you may get better at it, but you may never be brilliant unless you already have the ability to do it (which I don't)

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