Monday, 19 September 2011

11+ nerves

It's 11+ tests tomorrow and I don't know who's more nervous.......mum and dad or the son who's taking it!!!

We have a 13 yr old who has already gone through this who comfortably passed his and attends a really nice grammar school close by. This school is perfect for him as it is mixed and because he is a sensitive soul we thought it would be better for him. He loves it there ( as much as any boy 'loves' school!) and has made a great set of friends that from the beginning of year 7 to today in year 9 have all stuck by each other.

However, I think this makes it more difficult for the second child. He also wants to go to the same school as his brother, he has already had a look around and loves the drama department there ( as some of you may remember he is a budding 'actor'!!). He is also a very capable child and has been in top sets for maths and literacy in junior school. But there is no guarantee that he will get through on the test!

He has worked hard towards it with his dad ( which we did with our older son) however, we have tried not to put too much pressure on him about it. Rightly or wrongly we never sent either of our boys to a tutor in order for them to pass. Any work they have undertaken over the summer has been worked through by my OH who seems to have the patience of a saint when it comes to school work!! We live on the border of Kent so the children can also apply to do the Kent 11+ too and I know some of the kids from his year have taken that on Saturday. He decided (just like my eldest) that he didn't want to take this test as it would possibly mean that he would end up in a school out of our borough that he would have to travel to, and therefore lots of his friends would not be living close to him. So in the end we didn't register him for that test as there would be no point sending him to a school he didn't want to go to.

So now all his hopes are on the test tomorrow and Wednesday. He seems confident and we have confidence in him. But is it wrong to try and prepare him in case he doesn't get through? That is what we have been doing. Trying to tell him it isn't the end of the world if he doesn't pass. It doesn't make him any less capable than his brother. There is a lot of competition between them over the silliest of things so this really would cause a major upset!!

We certainly don't want him to feel any sort of failure. We don't want to be seen as treating him any different from his brother if he doesn't get through.

So the next 3 weeks waiting for the results just won't go quick enough!!! Talk about wishing your life away. As with his older brother we have told him that the letter will arrive and we will not open it as this will be his job when he gets home from school.
( What we won't tell him is that we will have steamed the letter open at lunchtime when it arrives so we know the outcome before he gets his grubby mits on the thing!!)

And then the drama will start!! The next day at the school and adults alike all eager to hear if your child has passed or not!! Whispers behind peoples backs about the shock passes and 'fails' ( although no child at the age of 10 and 11 should be seen as a failure!!!) But that's what it all comes down to with a lot of parents these days.

So on that note......



  1. I didn't realise they still did them, my niece didn't and she's only just moved to 'big school' this September! Maybe different boroughs have different requirements.

    I hope your boy does well, I'm sure he will and will get to follow his big brother into school.

    Seems so silly to be testing 11 year olds like this, goodness know what hoops my boys will have to jump through in 9 years when its their turn!

  2. Been there. done that. Well not me, my daughter. Good luck with it all!

  3. Amanda- yes in some boroughs they seem too young still to be tested at that age!!

    The Dotteral- thanks, tests all over today now just waiting on results!! Roll on 3 weeks lol

  4. When did the 11+ come back in? I thought it was something my parents took... I obviously have a lot to learn about the school system.

  5. Oh very scary! I do hope he did well and that he gets what he wants. Things have a way of working out for the best though;-)

    It's done very differently over here. No stressful test...for the children!! A primary school will have a secondary school that it 'feeds' into but you put your child's name down for any school you want. And pay whatever fee they want to charge! Some years back parents had to queue up overnight in SOME areas...just to get their child's name down! More or less a waiting game here.

    Our boy has been accepted into our feeder school (and it's a good one)and we're also waiting to hear back from another school.

    xx Jazzy

  6. Jazzy- I wish it was that way for us makes so much more sense than to stress kids and parents out!! Brilliant news for your son though :)

  7. Newest follower from the blog hop! Still reading through your posts and what a great blog and can't wait to read more. I absolutely love your tag line because I too am "only a bar of chocolate and a glass of wine away from insanity!!"...LOL!
    I hope all goes well with the testing!

    Have a great weekend and would love for you to swing by and follow back!

  8. Hi Jenelle thanks for popping over :) Glad to meet someone else on the brink like me!! Will be popping over to find your blog :)


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