QUOTE(Pudding @ Sep 5 2006, 04:10 PM)
My child will sit the 11 plus in a matter of weeks. She had 1 of each paper at school and we have just started having a look at some papers. I think 6-8 weeks is plenty long enough. Your kids are going to be sick to death of it all. They have so much on their plates these days.
Our Head believes had they made Level 5 in Y5 sats they should apply. Many are way below this benchmark. Some don't stand a chance, some may just make it if they live in catchment and had years of it been thrust down their necks. These kids will surely struggle with the work once at the school, I would rather mine be top of a Comprehensive and happy than be bottom of a Grammar and be unhappy.
Many apologies! I think I need to clarify some important points here before Frankie or Pudding burst!
First, our daughter asked me to teach her. It wasn't me!!! It's what she wants bec she has good "musical" reasons.
She very MUCH wants to go to Menuhin / Purcell some day but I insisted she goes to a "normal general" school as opp to a MSS in order to keep her non-musical options open for as LONG as psb. This way she can join Menuhin / Purcell much later in yr 9 or 10.
However, to make up for the music deficit, we went around looking for schools that are well resourced for music and make music a priority. We discovered 2 and that both are independent schools. If she can't have the MSSs now, well, she thought then she would prefer to go to these 2 private ones with strong music depts rather than the nearby comp school plus the 2 local grammar schools that are all "boringly" academic.
Secondly, we were told today that I am wrong to call the 2 tests "11 plus". It isn't the 11 plus at all the teacher said!
Even though the 4 papers in the relevant schools are very similar, the emphasis is mostly on Maths and English (especially Composition) and the correct name we were told, is - "scholarship tests" and the minimum level for scholarship tests is Level 6. Not Level 5. The teacher thought that our girl is at Level 5
but there must be some mistake somewhere. Anyway, they will re-assess again this month so we'll know for sure by Nov.
By the way, Pudding, you are right abt the level required as the teacher did say that grammar schools require Level 5 although even within this level there are differing marks. But hey! Not all comprehensive schools are dubious!
The comprehensive school near my home (only 10 mins walk!) is a very good school, er, academically speaking! It is top in Sports and Science and even offers 3 separate branches/subjects in Science! It is also THE top school in the borough! But they don't care a hoot about music their students informed us!
No orchestra/ensemble/any incentive in musical endeavours and its school concerts are bi-annual. Not even a choir! Good grief.
Now, of course, the child can play music elsewhere at RAM/RCM/County/Borough level BUT that's not quite the same as having some (classical or otherwise) music-loving peers. Some teenage pianists tell me that in a school like that, it's easy to be called a sissy or a geek. No generalisation or scare story here. It's just so NICE to have some "musical" peers. My friend's kid didn't find any such peer in the local grammar school (listed in DT recently as being in the top 10 state school in London) where ALL music activities are suspended annually in the exam term!
Sorry for the misunderstanding but THANKS to you all for the GOOD advice and for G's long PM! Apologies for the bit of rambling, too.