Good or bad idea not to use tutor for super selective?

(30 Posts)
Chocolatesandicecream Sat 09-Nov-13 21:20:35

Hi. Wanted to get peoples' opinions on whether I should persevere to find
decent tutor for dd or work with her myself?

Dd is y5 in a very poor performing school and, although top of her class, has never been given particularly challenging work ie she always gets either top marks or just misses a couple so I figure this must mean she could do harder stuff. Her school are in dire straits so no point talking to them. Things have been bad for a few years.

We have done stuff at home already and she got 90% in a verbal reasoning paper I gave her recently. We had a tutor last year who kept cancelling and when we had her recently, for the first time in ages, she clearly had no clue about the entrance exams and winged the lesson. I cancelled her as not paying 30 quid for this! I found someone else and we met with them today. This person uses exactly the same books we already have at home and didn't seem any more experienced than me.

All the good tutors seem to be booked and I don't want to pay for something I can do myself.

However, I was never taught grammar at school and my maths is rusty so I am worried I won't be able to get her up to the standard required especially as she will be competing against children in good or outstanding schools, preps etc and with tutors.

Our local secondary school is poor so I really want her to have a chance.

Her school levels are 4c for writing and maths and 4a for reading although she got near full marks for two lots of optional sats last year (4a) and more recently got 5b for sat paper in reading. She had about 20 supply teachers last year and no long term teacher.

Does she stand a chance with me tutoring her? I work full time but she does enjoy working with me and responds well.

Clavinova Sat 09-Nov-13 22:33:31

Definitely look for a maths tutor (rather than general 11+) if maths is part of the entrance exam - it's very difficult to diy the maths unless you're competent in the subject yourself.

nancy75 Sat 09-Nov-13 22:38:57

I live in an 11+ area, with 2 super selective schools nearby, I don't know anyone that has got their child in without a tutor.

sittinginthesun Sat 09-Nov-13 22:58:02

I'm not a great fan of tutors for the sake of it, and I'm not planning on getting one for ds1, but in your situation, I would.

I struggle to help ds1 with maths. He is also year 5, and the level 5/6 stuff is pretty full on.

I'm in kent. Ds in yr4. Apparently all children in yr 5 have tutors and most yr4 children have tutors booked. We have mostly super selective near us. I know already that although my ds is bright the boys schools are unlikely to suit him due to all the traditional sports they do. They are also very pressured. It sounds as if your dd would do really well. Have you talked to the school first about more challenging work. It doesn't sound as if the school would have a gifted and talented but try the head or head of governors. Also re tutors perhaps you could see if a trainee teacher could help. You are very lucky that you can work with your dd. mine won't let me sad

invicta Sat 09-Nov-13 23:13:28

If you feel you are capable to coach yourself, then you don't need a tutor.

Do you know the website Elevenplusexams.co.uk ? Pit has a lot of useful information to do with the 11+.

Chocolatesandicecream Sat 09-Nov-13 23:22:28

It seems the only tutors available don't seem great and the goods ones are full. I object to £30 for something I could do myself but if I had a good tutor I wouldn't mind.

Chocolatesandicecream Sat 09-Nov-13 23:23:56

It seems so unfair that she is disadvantaged unless she were at a half decent primary or we'd organised a reliable tutor a long time ago.

nancy75 Sat 09-Nov-13 23:29:16

Op, I do know someone that is a very in demand tutor, i think she has a space as her last girl has just got all her results through, she is in bromley in Kent, I haven't got a clue where you are but on the off chance you are nearby I could get some info for you

Chocolatesandicecream Sat 09-Nov-13 23:30:27

Hi. Yes, that would be great, nancy. Could you on me please? Thanks!

Chocolatesandicecream Sat 09-Nov-13 23:30:53

Pm, I mean.

sittinginthesun Sat 09-Nov-13 23:36:13

Chocolate - I agree, it is unfair!

We're just going through this too (most secondaries around here are part selective). From what I can tell, the verbal reasoning is fairly straight forward and easy to teach. This isn't covered by school anyway.

It is just the maths. If your dd is a level 4c, she will still have a lot of ground to cover before the entrance exam. Not 100% sure, but I think it covers the level 5 curriculum too, which is a lot of ground to cover in less than a year.

If its just exam practice, then a tutor's probably not worth it, but if you need to teach chunks of the curriculum, I would take longer.

nancy75 Sat 09-Nov-13 23:40:52

I think I have sent you a pm!

Chocolatesandicecream Sat 09-Nov-13 23:47:37

Thanks, Nancy. I've sent a reply. smile

Shootingatpigeons Sun 10-Nov-13 12:48:49

chocolate I tutored my DD in Maths, I just about kept one step ahead of her de rusting my Maths. We had to cover bits of the curriculum she hadn't been taught yet. You presumably studied it at school, just get some decent workbooks and spend a bit of time preparing before each session to make sure you have the logic clear in your head. Only thing I found hard was that some of the conventions have changed eg on carrying over but actually working through together how each of our ways worked was also useful to make sure the logic was clear. The fact that it is right or wrong makes it easier than helping with literacy which is more subjective. I quite enjoyed it and one night at dinner with a bunch of accountants, bankers etc I threw 7*8 into the ring and not one could answer it as quickly as me wink. She was successful, now at uni studying Science, lots of Maths! And I of course have forgotten all I relearnt.....

Clavinova Sun 10-Nov-13 13:21:16

Your post says you're aiming for super selective grammar OP - definitely get a tutor for the maths - it's much easier to pass for selective private school than ss grammar - I speak from experience and so does shootingatpigeons I think!

Crowler Sun 10-Nov-13 15:17:55

I hate the whole thing, but you need to tutor your children for super-selectives because the competition has all been tutored.

Shootingatpigeons Sun 10-Nov-13 16:00:41

Clavinova St Pauls' Girls School? In fact the person sending all the materials to me on the other side of the world was doing so with the benefit of knowing how her boys' prep school had prepared her boys for St Olaves etc. The only difference was that the more selective indie London day schools tend to set some questions that are more tests of lateral thinking / logic based on knowledge of the curriculum so we also did a lot of logic problems.

Obviously if the OP wants a good tutor that is her preferred route but if she can't find one, as she says in her post, I was reassuring her that DIY is doable.

Crowler Sun 10-Nov-13 17:39:55

We do DIY tutoring. Is this not considered tutoring? We don't hire one. Although I probably should for the sake of my relationship with my son.

anotherboringnickname Mon 11-Nov-13 08:15:40

DS got a place at a Sutton superselective and we tutored him ourselves.
I did reasoning, DH did maths. We took turns with English. Some friends with tutors did not get in. So paying is not always a sure bet.
Like you said, they use the same books. I followed Patricia´s steps for VR at the Elevenplusexams forum.

In your situation, you may want to hire a maths tutor, someone who tutors maths at a secondary level, rather than an 11plus tutor. And do the rest yourself.

And don´t feel your daughter has been unfairly disadvantaged by her primary school, primary schools do not prepare for the 11plus, even the best ones!

Retropear Mon 11-Nov-13 09:18:51

Another could you reassure me about the essay as I haven't a clue.Can do Spag but the content is concerning me.How did you attack it?I'm not sure what we're supposed to be aiming for and there is very little out there to advise.

Dp is doing the maths and I'm doing VR.Bar percentages/ converting fractions etc it seems to be going well for dp.They're flying through VR but I'm worried as I thought it was supposed to be hard.Perhaps we're not doing it right?

Basically having a bi of a wobble.

anotherboringnickname Mon 11-Nov-13 10:39:39

Essay content varies between schools. Teach time management, structure, expose point of view at start and wrap up nicely. Organise ideas. Use complex sentences and wow words, use paragraphs. IME the only way to get better is do loads of them under timing, read through, see how it could've been better. I gave DS a different theme each time. Also did lots of creative writing and finishing a story etc. He naturally likes that.

VR difficulty depends on publishers. They do get better at it with practice. Are you timing it?

Tuitionservices Thu 03-Apr-14 17:35:17

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MarriedDadOneSonOneDaughter Fri 04-Apr-14 11:58:55

We used a tutor for a total of 10 hours, one hour once a week, in the lead up to the test. The tutor was all about how to get what's in the student's head onto the page to maximise marks. I think we could have worked at that ourselves, but our son probably paid more head to a third party with a track record of success. (Son tried for 2 schools, got both grin).

I would caution you against using a tutor to actually teach any English, Maths etc. You can get some NVR/VR done along with some extra Maths/English practice with study books and schoolwork/homework should be enough for the Maths/English. Just make sure homework is done to the highest standard and get plenty of literature read. Many schools show a "reading list" for year 7s which is a good guide. If not already part of homework, make sure they read out loud to you every day for 10 mins.

If you child "needs" additional teaching then I would wonder if a super-selective is the right school anyway. If your primary school is falling short on teaching, then perhaps you can bolster weekly work at home. Most primary schools aren't falling short. Most of the time, the parents I see are using tutors to try and push their child beyond their natural abilities (6-18 months of tutoring!) which I regard as counterproductive in the long run, but perhaps everyday reality. A good super-selective school, especially those with an interview process, will cut straight through that anyway.

ISAmum1 Sat 05-Apr-14 19:15:21

Just for inf. my DS (year7) goes to an ordinary grammar (in Bexley). He told me that in his class, only he and one other child did not have a tutor for the Bexley Test! I did work with him, rather than have a tutor, but this gives you an idea of the competition for grammar schools.

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