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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:34 pm 
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My DS passed the 11+ last year - it's been quiet easy to single him out as bright and suited to Grammar school from a young age - there wasn't a doubt in my mind that it was the right place for him. He's always been "Exceeding" on all his school reports and represented his school in spelling bees, maths challenges etc.

Then there's his sister who is just finishing Y4. She usually gets Exceeding for reading in her reports but not for the other subjects and has never really had any outstanding academic achievemnets so far. We've just had her end of year report and she's now "Expected" for everything (including reading). The school 11+ policy is that they will only support appeals for children for have "Exceeding" reports at the end of Y4.

I know they ability group in her class and that she is in the top group for reading, spelling and English but second to top for maths. She moved down Maths groups this year - I think because it has taken the entire year for her to learn her times tables and she is still not as quick as her brother who learnt his in less than a term at the beginning of Y4.

We paid for a tutor for her brother from Sept before he took the kent test. My husband feels that we shouldn't do this for his sister "because she is not as bright" - but I think she is bright - yes not like her brother but she's in the top groups for reading and writing - things we'd struggle to teach in a year but surely we could teach her the maths - or are we setting her up for a fail?

I worry about knocking her confidence - her best friends are the brightest girls in the class and I know she compares herself to them all the time. Would the 11+ process just finish her off - it was tough enough with her brother. If she was my first child it wouldn't have felt such a tough decision - I probably wouldn't consider 11+...

The only other school in our area is in Special Measures. My husband seems to have written her off after today's school report. Anyone else been in the same boat with two different children but a horrible area for comps?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:29 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:19 pm
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I find your husbands attitude a bit disappointing if I'm honest, would he have been the same if DD was a DS?

My thoughts are that as long as the tutor is financially viable, why not give DD every chance you can to pass, but make sure she knows that if she doesn't its not the be all and end all. If nothing else the tutor will be able to brush up on her weaker points and as we all know about children at this age, they can suddenly progress very rapidly given a little extra support.

As for schools, its is a dilemma when they aren't great but Special measures schools can turn around very quickly and also a clever girl like your daughter would I am sure shine there. And you can give her extra 'enrichment' opportunities yourself.

Best of luck with whatever you decide.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:36 am 
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I agree with Tiddlymum.

If your daughter is weaker than your son academically then in a lot of ways it would make sense to invest more in her tutoring and education than you did in your son. It certainly doesn't sound like you should be writing her off!

As long as you keep the pressure low during the tutoring, and as long as it's not stretching the family finances, you've got nothing to lose by going ahead with it. If you don't tutor her, she will notice that she's not getting the same support that her brother got, and this might affect her confidence and how she thinks you view the two of them. I know that if my parents had paid for my sister to do something that they then said I couldn't have because I wasn't good enough, I would find it devastating.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:53 am 
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This is exactly the same scenario for me. DS is starting at grammar school in Sept. DS quick to learn and retain info, especially in Maths but DD needs to go over things several times before she gets it Meeting targets in Maths but exceeding in English (all areas). She has just finished Yr 4 too.

She has had tutoring in Year 4 (DS didn't) to support her and it has made improvements in her maths especially. I still don't know if she'll pass the 11+ but she will continue to have tutoring through year 5 (same as DS). The summer will be spent nailing times tables recall and doing some 10 minute bond tests.

She will have the same opportunities as her big brother, if she doesn't pass it wont be because she didn't have the same chances or support. Local schools are shocking round by us too but we will have to consider private if it comes to it. The key is that she wont be able to say we didn't believe in her or provide her with the same opportunities. The exams are still another 14 months away and a lot can happen in that time.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:35 am 
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Also I think kids develop as very different times in their life academically. A child that is average in year 4 could well be top of the year by the time they take GCSE's and A-Levels and vice versa. I have always been a bit obsessive about treating my 3 exactly the same so that they didn't feel that they weren't all given the same opportunities :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:45 am 
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Put her in for it but put no pressure on her to pass, just sell it to her as another school to choose from.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:24 am 
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That's a difficult one. I think with one child at GS, you feel pressure for the others to go there as well, especially if the alternative schools are terrible.
I think you do have to give her the chance and the support because children are still developing and she is likely to improve. Then you and your daughter know that you've all done your best, and that is all you can do.
I have 3 children, all of them excelled in maths from an early age but were about average in English until year 4/5, when they all started to enjoy reading and then seemed to suddenly "get it" with English.
A word of warning though. A different approach may be necessary with your daughter because she may feel under pressure to match up to her brother, and that could affect her in the test. You have to somehow get her to understand that the test is just a snapshot of ability over a couple of hours, there will be very able children who won't pass and there is an element of luck in the whole thing so she should just give it her best shot and see what happens. Good luck, I feel for you!


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:56 am 
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Location: Herts
One of the students in my dd's class at primary school really was just not interested in learning, much more interested in being silly.

Even by the end of Y6 they remained very young in outlook.

Fast forward 8 years and they are now at Oxbridge having gained a place at one of the most oversubscribed subjects to get into..

Some of the other students who were top sets all through primary have gone in different directions and have not chosen to go to University.

Your dd should be given the same chances as your ds unless she does not wish to apply.

Some students discover later than others that they enjoy academic study.

We know someone in their 60s who discovered a love of Latin late in life and is applying to read Classics at Oxford as a mature student. DG


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:43 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2018 3:57 pm
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Don't be disconcerted by her report. There is a bit of a breakthrough that usually happens around year 4 where they become more fluent in tables/mental arithmetic etc. and you may find she suddenly 'gets it'. Maths is an essential subject, so there is absolutely no harm in giving her the support of a tutor. In some ways she is more deserving of one.

If you are in an area where there is the choice of grammar or bad school, I imagine there may have been a fair bit of informal/ formal turtoring going on during year 4 in her class, so if she hasn't had the same, it may have given the appearance of her not making as much progress as her peers.

I was talking to a friend recently who didn't enter her DS for 11+. She decided in early year 5 that he would find it too difficult. He has just finished year 6 above expected in all areas and she is regretting that she wrote him off so early.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:04 pm 
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My DD just started to come into her stride during year 4. I'd say your DD is equally deserving of a tutor and if nothing else will help give her confidence and improve her weaker areas. Tutors may also give you an independent assessment of her ability. I wouldn't place all emphasis on getting into specific schools, in case you don't manage to meet the standards. I'd think about the right school for your DD. It might not be the same one as for your DS.

Go for it.


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