Tutor advised we stop 11+ tutoring.(30 Posts)
Following on from my post last month about DS's lack of motivation & enthusiasm for 11+ prep, his tutor has just told us that she doesn't feel he will pass the test & advised us to start considering alternative secondary schools. Looking over the work he's been doing including some practise papers over Easter, I don't disagree and was the one asking for the update as I too had doubts but still, it is quite hard to be told your child isn't as bright as you (& he) previously thought!
Anyway, I know DS will want to keep going as all his friends are doing tutoring and/or fairly intensive coaching at home and foolishly we've been bigging-up the grammar in an attempt to motivate him with 11+ prep work so of course he's got his heart set on a particular school .
Do we stand firm and say no he can't sit the test or stop the tutoring but let him do it and deal with the consequences of a fail? Unfortunately we have no idea which school he'll end up at so can't even rave about the comprehensive alternatives!
uplifting stories of your DC passing the 11+ against all odds and then thriving at grammar selfish but appreciated
Is it definite that his lack of progress is due to ability rather than motivation?
Does h get on with his tutor or would it be worth a change of face?
I think it's getting harder and harder to pass the 11+ and even harder to get a place even if you do pass.
Why don't you know what the alternative school will be?
If you genuinely think he is not bright enough rather than being unmotivated, then give up. There is no point setting him up to fail either at test level or later when he is struggling to keep up.
However, what would happen if you tell him the tutor doesn't think he will pass with the amount of effort he is currently putting in and that unless he actually works hard he will not have any chance of going to his preferred school?
But your DS can't have it both ways. he can't set his heart on a school but be unmotivated to do his 11+ prep. DS2 is horizontally laid back but he never once complained about his 11+ sessions because he really knew what school he wanted to aim for and he knew he'd not get there without work. It shouldn't be too arduous. DC never did more than 2-3 hours per week max, plus reading aloud with us. That was: 1 hour with the tutor, 1 hour homework set by the tutor and then as the exam got closer, 10 mins a day on NVR or maths, or the occasional extra piece of writing.
Can you get him re-enthused? My instinct would be to say: this is a gamble. you might not get in. You won't stand a chance unless you give it your best shot. Are you prepared to do that? If he is, find him a new tutor or tutor him yourself with books from WH Smith and get onto the 11+ forum which is full of wonderful knowledgeable people.
But do find a back up school and be massively enthusiastic about its good qualities too. We didn't and although both DC were fine. I felt sick before results came in as none of us had liked the local schools and hadn't hidden our opinions. That was a massive mistake and would have been a disaster if they hadn't got in.
How long has his tutor been preparing candidates for this type of exam?
OP, I feel you - my DS is prepping for exams that might not go that well, but we're stumped for alternatives at short notice, so he's taking them. Good luck!
If he is not motivated he would struggle at a grammar. I tutor for 11+ and entrance exams and, with rare exceptions, children have to want to do the work and enjoy doing the practise papers on some level. I would take him to see other possible schools and point out all the pluses of each school.
My impression from the tutor was lack of motivation not helping but ultimately not clever enough - I've no idea as I always used to think he was bright enough but I'm not a teacher & we get no feedback from school. He will do the homework set, but half-heartedly and hates going thorough papers with me (so never learning from mistakes ). For example, didn't get one particular maths problem so we spent a while going through it & the minute he grasped it & got one right he was ready to run outside & play - he just wouldn't think to persevere and try a few more just to make it really stick. He likes the tutor, she was recommended but again, I've no idea if someone else could find something in his she couldn't or whether this is a daft idea & I'm being unrealistic thinking like this.
Our problem with choosing a comprehensive is down to lack of religion & distance to only non-denominational secondary. We could get any one of 4 neighbouring town schools - 2 good, 1 awful, 1 no idea all miles away!
Such a dilemma and our decision could have such a massive impact on his future
I have academically average dc and they are doing OK in life, not perfect but they are both doing thier own thing. Ldest has a great job, no debts from ini as she didn't go. The job is a career and she choose it herself and is good at what she does. Youngest is at college doing vocational course and working, college she could probably do better but lack confidence and always has. Work she excels at and her boss would have her there full time if he could - he pays her full wages even though she is 8 years younger.
Don't worry it's better that he is happy at school than it is all to much for him if he is struggling with tutor.
Not everyone is meant to follow the same path...
Op are you in Kent ?
Your options of schools sound like my area
Do you know anything about the other school options outside the town itself?
Which bit of Kent are you in? I know quite a lot about the schools round where I am- happy to discuss by PM if you'd rather not say on here
Based on previous Y6 offers at our school, we'd most likely be looking at Beacon in Crowborough, Hayesbrook & Hugh Christie in Tonbridge & unlikely but on the list Uplands in Wadhurst so if you know anything g about these do tell
It may help to share my experience.
My DS was always way ahead at primary and easily passed the 11 plus and went to grammar where he was miserable for 7 long years. His A level grades were dire as a result of depression in 6 th form and he went to a fairly rubbish Uni. He has had a very good Uni experience and is predicted a 1st or poss 2-1 in July.
By contrast, his classmate from primary wasn't entered for the 11 plus as he was not that bright. He went to a comp where he thrived and his A levels were way better than DS's so he went to. RG school and is also expected to get a 2-1.
So my point is that just because your DS may not seem super bright, he has just as good a chance of eventual success at a decent comp.
As long as he's doing the practice in between lessons, let him sit the test. But do it in a 'we are doing it a go for fun' way. Stress free exam. No pressure to pass. He just needs to do his best on the day.
Big up the other schools. Tell him he's a winner if he passes or fails because each school has strengths.
He might be bottom of a grammar but could be set 2 in a normal school.
If he says he wants to sit the test when it comes round, let him sit it, otherwise as an older teenager he will wonder what might have been. But start now with being positive about the comps, as that's where he's likely to end up. You've still got time to influence him. Talk about the different subjects and activities that all secondaries have. Go to open days. And make clear that at the grammars there will be a lot of homework and a lot of tests.
Let him sit the test.
Otherwise you'll never know if he could have got in.
My DD wasn't motivated to do the 11+, the tutor said that she would probably pass but that it wasn't worth putting her through it. We agreed, she didn't have the tutoring or do the exam and went to the local comprehensive where she thrived, worked hard and left with good grades at GCSEs and A levels. The 11+ isn't the be all and end all and neither is grammar school so if he doesn't want to go then don't force him IMO.
There are 9 different types of intelligence by the way. This test will only test for limited aspects
To be honest, if we had a bit more certainty with alternative school options I think we would have got to this point far sooner. He's sociable and makes friends easily, sporty etc so if he is academically more average I'm sure he'll still do well and would be happy with any 1 of the 3 comprehensives in town
it's just a bloody shame he won't get into them
Let him sit the test if he wants to.I know of cases where a DD was not supposed to pass and did and every year there are children who are expected to pass and don't.What do the school say?
I will find a different tutor and still get him to try for 11 plus but also start looking at other schools and gave aback up plan. At least you can say he tried but don't give up without trying. Have you told him he needs to put more effort? Maybe you need to stick to your guns and says he needs to do 40 min of work per day before playing, The majority of children do need a bit of pushing and discipline.
I cannot see what is less inspiring for a child to get down to serious work than being told the likelihood is they will fail. Get another tutor.
How does he feel about doing the work? Does he worry about not passing the test? Is he concerned about not living up to your or his own expectations if he fails? Has he set his heart on grammar or could he see himself being happy at another school? In short, he needs a good listening to. Get him to plan out what he wants to do for study for the 11+ and work on a timetable together. Lastly get him to always look at his progress rather than his distance from the end goal.
If he does want to do the test you have to have the attitude that he stands a good a chance as any, but there are no guarantees. Even a top student could have a bad exam day. Talk about alternatives. However his chances of passing for grammar will be zero if he does not at least give the test a go. Let him know you will be proud of him for that and that, in the long run, success does not come from how easily we win, but from how resiliently we bounce back from failure.
I am a tutor with over ten years' experience so I will risk giving my opinion.
Some very bright pupils are struggling because they are not willing to apply themselves. Poor motivation, peer pressure and other factors all contribute to this.
Frequently boys find it hard to sit still long enough to give the topic time to sink in (you mention this in your post)and consequently drift off-task.
Short bursts of study are more effective for them.
However, in your DS's case I would let him sit the test and see how it unfolds. You may be pleasantly surprised.
I also wonder if the tutor is covering herself by warning you in advance that she has not made significant progress with your DS. Give him a pep-talk, try a different tutor and bribe him to do say three short fifteen minute study bursts each day.
Good luck with that.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.