We would like to commend you for taking the time out to prepare your child for the 11 PLUS exams because it can be a very intense time for children and their parents.
If you have received your results and your child is deemed ‘unselective’, do not despair and do not think that your child is a failure.
The 11 PLUS exams are like athletic races- there is no pass or fail. Like the race, the results reflect the position of the athlete. There are so many factors that can affect performance on the day.
The most important thing to do at this stage is to keep positive and look at the bigger picture.
- Celebrate and Commend them for their Achievements
It is difficult for 10- and 11-year olds to make such sacrifices when their peers are outside playing and enjoying themselves. You do not want to put your child off education and exams forever, so do not start attacking them. Instead, go out together, celebrate their efforts and plan for your next steps.
- You could consider appealing
Appealing can be emotionally draining and time-consuming, so think carefully about lodging an appeal. However, if you missed the mark by one or two marks, it might be well worth it. You can discover how to lodge an appeal on the school or local authority website.
- Consider Independent School Exams
Appeals will not begin until March, and you still must complete the CAF form by the 31st October. Meanwhile, you can consider applying for your child to attend an independent day or boarding schools.
Independent school entrance exams are often similar to grammar exams. However, there is usually an interview. Many argue that the independent school exams are generally more straightforward than the grammar school exams. Nevertheless, familiarise yourself with the format for each school.
- Attend Open Evenings
Appeals will not begin until March, and independent school exams rarely start until January.
The all-important CAF form must be returned to your local authority on the 31st October if you want to secure your child’s place at a school.
It is important that you visit the schools that you will be putting on your CAF form. As mentioned in the other article, this could be the place where your child will spend the next five to seven years of their lives.
- Read reviews
Again, understand what the schools are like when comparing them. You can get comparative information from the school league tables, Ofsted report and useful guides like the Good School Guide.
- Talk With Other Parents
Parents whose children attend the school of your choice often have the best information about the school. After all, their children go there daily. You can then discover if this is the right place for your child.
- Complete Your CAF Form Before the Deadline
You cannot get the schools of your choice if the CAF form is submitted late, so complete it as soon as you and your child have decided on their favourite school.
The closing date is Wednesday, 31st October 2018.
- Prepare for SATS and Independent School Exams
The thought of preparing for another exam might be emotionally draining for a child who did not pass their 11 PLUS. They might begin to be resistant to taking another exam, so it is worth spending time with your child explaining the difference in exams.
You should also ensure they have a break between the exam period. A 4 weeks break has been suggested as an ideal time frame.
After months of 11 PLUS preparation, preparation for SATS (May) and Independent School (January) can be well-paced. Children should not be encouraged to cram for exams as this will cause them to develop bad habits and lots of unnecessary stress.
- Don’t Be Complacent
Whatever you do, don’t give up. You must keep your child’s future in mind. Life does not stop after grammar school exams. Their future is bright.
10. Learning to Bounce Back
If managed well, being ‘unselective’ can motivate them to try harder and learn how to bounce back after what they might consider ‘failure’.
Whatever you do, keep going and remember you are not at a crossroad; they still have six years of compulsory education ahead of them. So, embrace the future with lots of hope and love for your child.