We’d tried to put the results of the grammar school test out of our heads. We had the panto auditions to look forward to take our minds off it for a while and lots of school stuff to keep us busy. But the last week before the results went very slowly indeed. There was a lot of thinking going on.
I’d resigned myself to the fact that my daughter wouldn’t be going to her brother’s school. It was always a very long shot. Even though she’d come out of the test happy and confident, she had missed a small number of questions, and I know she’d struggled with some of her practise work. But there were still times when I dreamed she would make it
Ever since she was very small, I’d pictured her at the girls’ grammar school and that was still where I felt she would end up. But you can never be sure, can you? Maybe she’d got more questions wrong than she thought she had? Maybe everyone else had just done better than her?
We went to an open evening at my eldest’s comprehensive school and I was very impressed. There is a new head teacher who has some good ideas and I think it’s really going to improve over the coming years. I’ve always said that the school hasn’t done a lot for my son. But I know he hasn’t done a lot for himself either. Someone who was willing to put the work in would do a lot better.
I thought about our ‘third choice’ grammar school and the complicated travel arrangements involved in getting there. I thought about having to drive there at night after concerts or sport and wondered if it was worth it. Maybe if she could ‘only’ get the third choice grammar, maybe she would be better off at the comprehensive?
I woke up early on results day (yes, even earlier than usual), dreaming about my daughter in the third choice grammar school uniform. It’s not something I’d pictured before.
Results day was a long one. I felt like I was too excited and nervous to work, but I’m pleased to say it actually calmed me and took my mind off things.
When my son got his results, the emails from the two schools came almost simultaneously and they were very clear-cut. My son had come inside the all-important top 120, which meant he was assured of a place at our first choice grammar school. Below that, I knew things would get more complicated.
The first email came as we were sat waiting for my son to come out of school. It was from the third choice school. There were A LOT of words in it. About how they were pleased she’d taken the test etc etc. I didn’t need all those words, I just needed to get to the point! The point was quite complicated – about numbers of grammar school places for girls, about how many girls had taken the test, where she had come in terms of the number of girls, what sort of position in the rankings girls would need to be to get into the school…
There were a lot of words, but I eventually got to the point.
We had a grammar school girl in the family!
And I just knew immediately that she wouldn’t be going to her brother’s comprehensive. We wanted her to go to this grammar school.
She ran out of the car to meet her brother to tell him. (Having your primary school kid sister getting out of the car to meet you isn’t cool, but he let her off as he knew she would have some good news.)
Our first choice girls’ grammar got in touch nearly an hour later. The same complicated words… She’d reached the grade for the school and her ranking means she should hopefully get in, although it will be quite close.
We will look round both schools again over the next few days, then make our application. One thing is for certain, whichever school she goes to, my girl will be going to grammar school!
I’m so proud of my daughter. She’s a bright and determined girl and she’s worked hard for this. She totally deserves her grammar school place and I know she will thrive at whichever school she goes to. I think they will be very lucky to have her there!
At the start of the autumn, my daughter had three aims – to get into grammar school, to get into the panto and to become head girl. Well two out of three ain’t bad and she got the important two!