Bunny would like to go to Grammar school and I wrote once before about how we unfortunately missed the application deadline for the initial grammar school entrance exam. We were unsure how likely we were to be successful in getting Bunny accepted for the late entrance test. When I phoned Gloucestershire County Council and spoke to the school admissions team, they were very vague about the whole process. If I’m completely honest, they sounded quite despondent and pessimistic about the whole thing.

Well in the last three weeks, things have hurtled along at breakneck speed. We have gone from wondering what the actual process is, to test day. First came allocation day. Bunny was allocated a secondary school. A local public school, which both Bunny and I are perfectly happy with. It’s where all of her friends are going, it’s easy to get to and she can take the school bus. It has simultaneously got great design and sports departments. However, since allocation day, Bunny has become more and more obsessed with wanting to go to a grammar school instead. So we accepted her place at the local comp and applied for the waiting list for the grammar school she chose (where two of her friends currently go to school). Then we made an application for the late entrance exam. Then she was accepted for the late entrance exam.

And then all hell broke loose because we realised she is borderline on the pass mark and she wants to prepare every waking minute!

In the practice tests at home, she has excelled in non verbal reasoning, passed in verbal reasoning, but she is fighting an uphill battle with the maths test. In the past week I think we have conquered ratios, multiplying fractions and introduced her to algebra. We have revised decimal points, tenths, hundredths, angles, triangles, and goodness knows what else, but I fear we might be fighting a losing battle with the maths.


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Bunny is a perfectionist and gets really downbeat each time she doesn’t hit the pass mark she knows she needs (80%). I’m trying my best to guide her, without putting any pressure on her, but I know she’s going to take this hard if she doesn’t pass the test. The biggest and most difficult hurdle to overcome, however, is the time limits. Each section of the test has time limits and Bunny is struggling to finish any of the tests inside the time limit.

I wish I wish I wish I had known, a year ago, how important this would become to her. But a year ago, Bunny didn’t seem that decided between grammar school and public school. Now it’s suddenly a burning desire; the be-all-and-end-all, and we don’t have much time to prepare her.

Today is exam day and in just a few days, we will know how well she did. Her school teacher has every faith in her, but as her mum, I am much more worried. I’m worried because I want her to do well for her own sake. For her confidence and self-belief. I am ridiculously proud of her for even trying, because do you know what? Those tests are bloody hard. I am not even sure I could pass it myself! I had to Google “obtuse angle” earlier and this is the first time in two decades I’ve had to try and remember what Pi is!


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Bunny might be 10 years old (going on 15), stubborn, ambitious, full of attitude and trying her hardest to get into grammar school, but she’s still my little girl. Nobody wants to see their little girl fail and deep down I know it’s going to break her heart if she doesn’t pass this test. I wish I could sit it for her, but this is one of those times as a parent that you have to let go and let them do it for themselves. I’m sat at home, twiddling my thumbs, waiting to pick her up from the exam and find out how it went. When I dropped her off, she was not at all nervous, but full of excitement. I was so nervous and emotional that I had to call my own mum for a calming chat! So I’m keeping my fingers crossed for my first baby girl. Hoping that I’ve underestimated her and that she will smash this exam right out of the park. Either way, I’m wearing my mum-pride high this week.

  1. pinkoddy says:

    This has all been a learning curve for me as I had no idea that they could even take it late. Did you have to give a reason? It’s difficult because a lot of the CEM test covers things they don’t learn until year 6 – and so that should put her at a huge advantage taking it late in terms of it being more equal imo. Best of luck to her and at least she doesn’t have long to wait for the results. Can/will you appeal it if necessary?
    pinkoddy recently posted..Gloucestershire #MyCommunityandMeMy Profile

    • Emma Day says:

      Well the tests are standardised and childrens birth month is taken into consideration. So when the scores are standardised, it’s done so that a child born in July for example, wont be scoring against a child born in September. When the late test scores are standardised, they take into account that the children are a bit older, so effectively they have to score higher in the late test to do well. There is stuff in the CEM tests that a lot of children don’t study until year 7 or 8. I know I didn’t do algebra, mean, median, mode, range, multiplying fractions, pi, angles and all that until secondary school, but that was all in the test.

      I won’t appeal. If she doesn’t get the qualifying standard, then that’s that.

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