Gransnet forums


GD terrified of 11+

(139 Posts)
silversurf Fri 07-Sep-18 11:01:59

Actually it’s my Partners granddaughter. We don’t live together so I don’t see a lot of her, but my partner is very close to her and her younger brother.
She gets very good school reports, has lots of friends, but is a bit shy with adults.
School have given children mock papers to try at home, but she can’t even look at them and dissolves into tears when her mum suggests she tries them.
Mum and dad have recently divorced, but the children have a good relationship with both of them. Could this be making her lose confidence? What can the family do to help her?
It’s heartbreaking to see her in such a state.

Luckygirl Fri 07-Sep-18 11:13:26

Don't take the damned thing! Are there no local comprehensive schools? This is one of the reasons it was abolished and now it is creeping back. Sickening.

tanith Fri 07-Sep-18 11:19:28

What Luckygirl said smile

Greenfinch Fri 07-Sep-18 11:22:11

So much is made of these tests now. No wonder so many children have anxiety issues. Education seems to be going backwards. The 11+ should be abolished in my opinion.

Greenfinch Fri 07-Sep-18 11:23:10

Yes, don't put her through it.

DoraMarr Fri 07-Sep-18 11:24:46

I agree with Luckygirl. My three daughters went to the local comprehensive school, my son to grammar school. All of them got similar A level results, went to university of their choice, one at Cambridge, and all now do their dream jobs. If she is so upset about doing a mock paper, how will she ope with the real thing? And even if she passes, how will she cope with the intense pesssure at grammar school? If she is doing well at primary school, why won’t she do well at secondary?

J52 Fri 07-Sep-18 11:26:18

Why is anyone putting a child through this?

Thousands of 11 year olds, who don’t do the 11+, go through the Comprehensive school system, do well at GCSE and A levels and are eventually happy in their chosen careers.

If she doesn’t do well in the exam, then the anxiety could develop into a life long sense of ‘failure’.
So damaging to a child.

eazybee Fri 07-Sep-18 11:52:51

If she was happy about taking the exam previously I would say the grandchild is more unsettled by her parents' recent divorce than her family realise; the impact of divorce on children is grossly underestimated, however well they get on with their parents and appear to accept the situation.
Passing the eleven plus would possibly mean separation from her schoolfriends as they tend to move en masse to the nearest school and this may be another worry about losing touch with all that is familiar at present.
My daughter moved to the local Grammar school to pursue her choice of A levels, and her lovely schoolfriends she had grown up with all cut her dead.
(Pleased to say she made much kinder ones there).

glammanana Fri 07-Sep-18 14:01:47

Please tell her parents to let her go with her friends to a local comprehensive and not put her through this.
My DD has just gone through the most horrendious 2 yrs with my DGD and the pressures she was under for her GCSEs she is just like your DGD and couldn't cope well with exams.
We wish my DGD went to the local Comp but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

pollyperkins Fri 07-Sep-18 14:09:07

There are some areas such as Buckinghamshire and Kent (and N Ireland?) where there are no comprehensives just grammars and secondary schools and there is little or no choice about whether to take the 11+. I for one think this is wrong. My children all did extremely well at comprehensives schools.

NfkDumpling Fri 07-Sep-18 14:12:56

My DGD has opted not to sit it. She reckons she’s unlikely to pass so what’s the point. Better to be at the top of the comprehensive school with her mates than struggle along at the bottom of the grammar school.

I agree with Luckygirl. Its an outdated system with too much pressure at too young an age.

Jalima1108 Fri 07-Sep-18 14:36:16

If it's distressing her then it is not a good idea to even sit the exam. I hope there is a good comprehensive in her locality so that she can transfer without taking the 11+ - it is nerve-wracking enough going up to 'big school' without all this added pressure.
One of our young relatives is going to a centre to take test papers but, although she was a bit nervous the first time, she is enjoying taking the papers.

silversurf Fri 07-Sep-18 15:43:46

Thanks for all the replies. I tend to agree with you, I went to grammar school and struggled. But partner thinks she should try to do it.
Of course neither of us would voice our opinion, it’s up to her parents.
It will all be over next week, just hope she isn’t too upset whatever the outcome.

JudyJudy12 Fri 07-Sep-18 21:23:02

It is so sad the pressure on children nowadays, I hope your house is where she does not have to talk about it.

Melanieeastanglia Fri 07-Sep-18 23:13:38

Perhaps the 11+ has to be taken in some areas if they don't have comprehensive schools but purely grammar and secondary ones.

If there are comprehensive schools available, I guess one option is to not take the 11+.

I suppose they could leave it a week or so and then try to reasonably discuss the matter with her. A lot depends, I suppose, on the girl's general nature.

BRedhead59 Sat 08-Sep-18 07:37:47

We moved out of Kent deliberately to avoid our children having to take these tests. We moved to a Comprehensive area and both boys went to good universities.

Hm999 Sat 08-Sep-18 07:45:41

If there are grammar schools in the area, the other schools are secondary moderns, not comprehensives, because the most able pupils have been 'creamed off' (hate that expression). Having said that, grammar schools are full of those who have been crammed for the previous year or two for 11+. There are even Saturday schools, as well as tutors, specifically for that purpose.

M0nica Sat 08-Sep-18 07:50:12

The problems lie with the adults around her, who have made a big deal about it, plus the problems at home. If nobody around her was bothered about it, or its result she is unlikely to be bothered about it either.

aggie Sat 08-Sep-18 07:54:17

One GS didn't get the grades and is in Secondary School , he is well , happy and top of his form , but will have to leave and go to Grammar or Further Ed to do A levels . Younger GS refused to sit the damned thing and is doing well too . All my lot were Grammar educated with varying results and I wish we had been more laid back

LJP1 Sat 08-Sep-18 07:56:06

Try working through a paper or two with her. You will probably find she knows more than you and this builds confidence. Laugh at your ignorance and point out that ignorance of these points hasn't stopped you being happy!

Maccyt1955 Sat 08-Sep-18 08:09:08

I agree with DoraMarr
My three went to a faith comprehensive school, which was in fact streamed according to ability. The pastoral care and the attention given to how they were doing was amazing.
They all went to Russel Group universities and are actually doing better than some of their peers who went to Grammar school. The children who were not so academic were looked after as well and went on to have successful careers or apprenticeships of their choice. Everybody was treated as equal and that’s how it should be.

PECS Sat 08-Sep-18 08:28:41

I have a friend who I met at secondary school. She always got horribly stressed and anxious at exams..unlike me who never appreciated the need to prep! She always did very opposed to me! However we both via different routes ended up as teachers. It still bugs her today that I had what she percieves as a far more successful career than her. She got straight As & I did not.
Point of my anecdote is exams are a small part of life.. some need the stress to perform well, others avoid it & still do ok! Sadly some get over stressed and cannot perform at all. Best those people find a different path to success.

PECS Sat 08-Sep-18 08:29:32

Perceive not percieve

grannytotwins Sat 08-Sep-18 08:40:12

In Kent nobody has to take the 11+. It’s usually a mutual decision between the school and parents. So the school must think she is capable of passing. I’ve worked in both secondary moderns and grammar schools in Kent and the grammar schools are marvellous for very able children. The quality of teaching is good and the behaviour of the students tends to be better. If your OH’s GD is struggling at the thought of the test, she shouldn’t do it as the pressure in a grammar school could be too much for her.

ajanela Sat 08-Sep-18 08:46:05

Have the parents thought of seeking professional help for their daughter and the family. The reaction to the exam papers is a symptom that this little girl needs some support and needs help voicing her feelings. The school maybe able to help with a recommendation. The children may get on well with both parents but they may have problems coming to terms with the divorce and/or other problems.

Many of the posts so far have been about the 11+ and I would include STATS in that problem. I went to a meeting at my GS school about STATs and you could feel the fear in the room .