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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 5:43 am 
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Hi sparklies!

As Patricia has noted, the dedicated Bucks GL Familiarisation booklet is mentioned and linked to in the first post in the DIY thread as above. The link to the actual 2020 test (identical to the 2019 test, I believe) is https://www.buckscc.gov.uk/media/451370 ... -entry.pdf

To be honest, we did this yesterday and it was most useful for informing the test-sitter what to expect, rather than giving them more practice at questions. I also chipped it with advice regarding visiting the loo during the break, and to ignore any dropped pencils!

We're doing both the CGP Bucks GL test booklets next weekend (admittedly perhaps not the best plan, but...); I'd like to know if they're a similar level too.

I'm also just OOC and have an older child at a Bucks Grammar - I think the pressure is far worse this time! I spend a lot of time thinking about how to break any potential bad news without sending them into a spiral of thinking they're less clever than their sibling....

I also keep wondering if we should have hired a tutor after all.

Sigh.

Can't wait for the test to be over!


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:00 am 
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Thank you both!

Doh, I've already gone through that one with her; I had diligently followed the fantastic links a few weeks ago. This is the problem, you end up drowning in a sea of questions and lose sight of what is what! I'd mixed that one up with the regular GL Familiarisation tests I think.

Yes, it definitely increases the pressure having one sibling already there! My oldest is more academic - we did some of the Bond books and some ten minute tests, and she did about 10-20 minutes a night at most towards the end. She passed really, really comfortably. The real issue came when we missed out on a space by 50 yards (it actually went to a boy two doors down, they were blissfully unaware of how close it was!) :roll: but after drowning in working out angles for appeals she did thankfully squeak in with a place in the second round.

With my second - she's most definitely bright, school reports all "exceeding" so I know she can cope with Grammar, but she was diagnosed with ADHD just after the cut-off date for requesting special provision. I knew she had it all along, but the 11+ prep really highlighted how she was making so many silly mistakes in tests, so I stepped up trying to get her diagnosed but couldn't quite manage it in time. There was the option for submitting the information late, but that would mean she would sit the test quite a lot later (assuming they agreed) and I genuinely feel the uncertainty over that, plus if it was granted, taking the test later than everyone else, would actually throw her off more. The plan instead is that if she fails, is to use the late diagnosis as appeal evidence. I just hope it was the right decision!

I also wonder if we should have gone for a tutor, but by the time I realised there might be an issue, I think the decent ones were all snapped up as I tried a few recommended ones with no success.

There's two other girls with older siblings at the same school who are going through the same thing. So much pressure on all of them.

With some tests I think she'll be fine, then she'll do other tests (including mocks) and I think there is no hope. This is why I am so anxious about working out what the actual difficulty is! She has scored really well on the GL Familiarisation ones thankfully.

I've also been worrying constantly about the letter day. Like most sensible parents, I have told her that so long as she knows she has tried her hardest, then we're proud of her no matter what, which I am, but the disappointment is going to be so hard for all of us. All that hard work (and she has done a LOT more prep and worked really hard, so I *am* proud) and still not reaching what her sister achieved even if she does have ADHD. Ugh. Let's hope we never have to find out how to break that news!


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:24 am 
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My youngest failed by a couple of marks. He's the youngest of three and the others were both at GS. The pressure really got to him and affected him on the day, he said later that the questions weren't hard at all, but said he felt like he couldn't think properly (nerves). He is the brightest of the three and scored virtually 100% on practice tests over the summer. It's difficult because you can tell them it's not the end of the world if they don't pass, it's just an exam and you're proud of them and all the rest of it, but the fact is, they know and you know that you all desperately want them to join their siblings at GS and know that they're clever enough, but they still have to perform on the day.
I think be honest and tell them you're nervous too, make sure they know what to expect in terms of what will happen on the day and that all the other children will be just as nervous as them, no matter what they might say!
Good luck!!


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 5:45 pm 
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Thank you Deb70 - that sounds heartbreaking for your son. It's a big fear that nerves will get my daughter too - the three in her class taking the exam keep talking to each other about how nervous they are which makes them worse I think!! Of course they know; after all, bright kids usually would! She's already worked out that if she fails, the age gaps mean her little sister will probably not get in as the oldest will have left by the time it comes to start secondary and the distance will probably be about twenty metres by that point. On the plus side, that has motivated her to study more too, as she adores her little sister. But..

We've had a big talk today (due in part to your comment) about how it's not the end of the world if she fails; not just appeals, but that there are other schools. I think it helped her a bit. Roll on October 18th and we can stop wondering!


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 7:11 pm 
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My youngest did actually get in after all, he qualified via the selection review process. Thankfully, once the panel had seen his year 5 report and marks from junior school, they qualified him so it did eventually work out and he will be starting this week at GS and joining his brother.
However, the day he got the results he was absolutely crushed and it broke my heart to see.
We then had to go through the difficult and stressful review process and wait until February to find out if he'd qualified, a long wait that was even worse than the original one. His elder brother was also very upset. A horrible time and a cruel process.
Even now, this has dented his self confidence, although getting nearly full marks in his SATs has restored his self belief a bit.
Very best wishes to all the children x


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 8:48 pm 
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Have you checked the oversubscription criteria? Some GS had "siblings of former pupils" ranking above "catchment", so it might not be necessary to have a sibling currently at the school.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 9:42 pm 
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Phew, what a massive relief for all of you! I'm so glad to hear he eventually qualified (and got amazing SATS) although I can completely relate to the stress with the additional wait. The six weeks between the initial round of allocations and round two (where she got the place) were excruciating as it was totally outside our control. I did try and put in an appeal on social and medical grounds as she was diagnosed with autism between application and allocation, but it was rejected; luckily I found that out AFTER she got the place through the normal means! Her best friend lived fractionally closer and got in the first round, and they were pretty inseparable (and still are!)

I'm hoping if she does end up needing selection review that her glowing Y5 report will help too. The school wrote a beautiful letter of support for my oldest for the social and medical appeal, not that it helped, but it might with a selection review so long as it's a near miss of course!

I did check the criteria; (and just checked it again just in case!) - definitely no can do. She'll be starting her final year of sixth form just as my youngest is due to take her 11+, and it only counts if they're going to be there at the same time.

For what it's worth, in case anyone missed it - it says to aim for 85% on the CGP Bucks papers. Not quite sure what scoring 85% would get you though; a likelihood of a comfortable qualification? If so, where might borderline be? 70%? 80%? Sigh!!


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