What if? (Grammar school entrance)

What if he doesn’t get the marks?

What if he doesn’t get the school?

What if he doesn’t get his second choice school?

What if he doesn’t get into his brother’s comprehensive?

What if plan C has to become plan A?

What is plan D and plan E?

What if? What if? What if?

It’s a few days now until we (hopefully) get some answers. If he comes out in the top 120, everything is fine. I’m not sure how many people sat the grammar school entrance exam in Gloucestershire – probably in the low thousands. The top 120 are automatically eligible to get into our first choice school (which just happens to be a couple of miles down the road from us), although not all of them will take it. Some of them will opt for one of the other six grammar schools in the county, which are closer to their homes. So anyone in the top 160 stands a chance of getting in and should make it their first choice on their application form.

There is only one other grammar school we would send our son to – the others are either too far away or girls’ grammars! It is a good school and I would be very happy for him to go there, but I can’t get rid of this nagging feeling that his destiny is with the ‘top’ grammar. Will I be disappointed if he doesn’t get in there? If I’m honest, yes I probably will.

And then there’s plan C – his brother’s comprehensive. It’s a very good school – I even went there myself. But my son is not a comprehensive kind of kid. While grammar schools exist in our area (and I know many people disagree with them), a child of my son’s ability needs to be there. My eldest has started mucking around a bit and mocking authority (I don’t think he’s brave enough to actually do it at school, but he admires that sort of behaviour in others and replicates it at home). This would be totally out of character for my younger son, but if he goes to a comprehensive, will he end up doing the same?

Then there’s plan D. There is no plan D.

If my son doesn’t get into grammar school and his brother’s comprehensive becomes plan A, there is no second choice for us. (Sadly there is no preference for siblings to get into the school.) There was another comprehensive which would have suited my eldest – half the size of his school and rewards the kind of slightly-above-average kids who usually sail under the radar un-noticed. Kids like my eldest. He would have thrived there. But it’s not a suitable environment for my high-achieving younger son.

I’ve heard it all before: It doesn’t matter. He’ll do well wherever he goes.

But it does matter. Yes, he’d do well at comprehensive, but he’ll do better at grammar. He will fly there – surrounded by people who want to learn and teaching at his own level. He has so much potential and to fulfil that potential, he needs to be at grammar school.

So we just have to wait and hope. Hope that he really did as well in the test as he thought he had.

Entrance exam, Son, Secondary school, 365

Author: Sarah Mummy

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29 Comments

  1. Best of luck, he will fly through I am sure. He sounds bright and like a natural fit for it and with it bring so local too it’s the perfect place for him. Even if he doesn’t get in I hope they have some type of appeal process, not that he’ll really need it but just in case. Not too long a wait now.

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    • Thanks very much! There are certainly options for getting into the second choice grammar further down the line, but I think the first choice is a one-shot thing! We’re off for him to have a look round his brother’s comprehensive today.

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  2. My word, I thought fighting to get into the primary school of your choice was hard enough! I guess it is so different when your kids are that much older and education becomes an issue of importance. I wish you and more importantly your son the very best of luck.

    As an aside, I have no issues with grammar schools at all, so long as they exist alongside comprehensives etc. I quite like the fact there is variety within the education system.

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    • I think when they’re at primary school the education matters, but it is the child’s happiness which matters most when they start school. Now it is definitely about getting into the right school to suit his needs. He’s going to be there seven years – from little boy to fully grown man – and it needs to be right for him so he can achieve his potential.

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  3. Obviously I wish him all the best for getting into his first choice, but as I said bare in mind people pay a lot of money to get their kids into that particular school. The next choice down is a really good school – especially if he is very highly academic. It is a long and awful wait – hopefully you wont be left in limbo when the results are out this month.

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    • Thanks very much. I know the next school on our list is a very good one – and I know that if he doesn’t get into our preferred school it won’t be down to a lack of ability on his part, only that other parents have pushed their kids and spent a lot more money to get them in there! I really hope things are a lot clearer when we get his results.

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    • Thanks very much! Just over a week to go… x

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  4. Grace & Lucas say – Good Luck. We’re sending you XL MEGA High-5’s for being so awesome anyway and can’t wait to hear 🙂 #pocolo

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    • Thanks, Grace and Lucas! He really appreciates that 🙂

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  5. awww this is a tense time for you! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it all goes the way you guys want it to!
    Its so hard knowing what will be best for our kids future isn’t it, this kinda thing seems like it might be the biggest decision/ road junction ever but i’m sure that whatever happens he will be just fine….really! I honestly believe its more about the group of people you find yourselves being friends with than the school you are in. I mean, you could be in the best school in the world but if you get in with a ‘bad’ crowd and you are easily influenced (and lets face it who isn’t as a young kid!?) then it doesn’t matter where you are!
    It sounds like your little guy is as bright as a button and will do fantastically wherever he is!
    #pocolo

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    • Thanks very much, that’s such a lovely comment. It’s so hard not to worry, but deep down I know he will be find wherever he goes.

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  6. Wow go you, grammar school eh?!
    Wish i could afford to send my boy, but public school still managed to get me some very good grades and i need to remind myself of that lol
    #pocolo

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    • Thanks very much. Grammar school is free – that’s why there’s so much competition! They get the sort of education they’d get at private school, but for nothing!

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  7. Had we stayed in the UK we would have gone through this too as we lived in an area with Grammar schools. No 1 son would certainly have been grammar school material but no 2 is a different kettle of fish and I am not sure what school would have suited him best. Here in France there is only the choice between you local secondary school or a fee paying Catholic school which was never to be an option for us. There is however much more choice later when kids chose which final school (Lycée) to go to … but I am yet to find out if there are problems getting into the school of your choice and whether there are entrance examinations. Fingers crossed you get the result that suits everyone.

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    • Thanks very much. It must be nice not to have to worry about the school – choice can make things difficult! Your boys are the opposite way round to mine!

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  8. It is one of those awful situations when you are waiting for a life changing thing to happen. You need to forget about it for a few days. I’m sure he did really well and I have everything crossed for you

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    • Thanks very much! I must say I’ve been more relaxed about waiting for the results than I was in the run-up to the test. Only a few days to go!

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    • Thanks very much, Claire! 🙂

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    • Thanks very much, there will most definitely be an update, whatever the outcome! x

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  9. Good luck to him, though I am sure he did fine. Don’t sweat it – if he’s that kind of boy, I’m sure he’ll do well in any school, regardless of what type it is.

    – Linking over from Weekend Blog Party

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    • Thanks very much, that’s a lovely thing to say.

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  10. I really am wishing you all the luck in the world. Can’t wait to hear the news 🙂 #PoCoLo

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    • Thanks very much, I will most definitely be sharing the news! 🙂

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  11. Crikey, what an anxious time it must be for you. I am very much about what will be will be at the same time as thinking positive! I hope it all turns out for the best for him – and you 🙂 Thank you for linking to PoCoLo 🙂 x

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  12. We are from Gloucester too, I’m trying to work out all of the 6 schools , can only think of 4!! I hope he gets in to the school you really want but if not as long as he is happy at school and doing well is what really matters. I’m glad I don’t have this for a while myself, my eldest has just started primary school! Fingers crossed for you. #pocolo

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    • We’re not actually from Gloucester, so it’s probably not the schools you’re thinking of! (Apart from one of them!) Thanks very much.

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