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Hi I have just spoken to mark taylor from hampstead and frognal tutors regarding tutoring for 11+ for my daughter for north london girls consortium and grammar entrances. Would be really helpful if I can have some information if anyone has interacted with them or know someone who has. They did seem quiet promissing.
Hi gazzalw. Thats really great ... Could you please give me some insight into it if i want to prepare my DD ... The thing is everyone told me that the exams are v competitive n cant be achieved without tutoring .. Some sais u need two years of tutoring ... And since am new to this education system , frankly it scared me. Didnt want to my DD to be at a disadvantage. I have been teaching her till date. You have given me a little hope to try... Could you pls guide me on how you did it n what books n material can i refer to .
I think that there is a huge amount of spin about these 11+ exams. They are highly competitive (and only likely to get more so with the baby-boomers starting to head to secondary schools next year and beyond) and you do need to do the prep for them with your DC, but it is perfectly possible to do it yourself. However, I would imagine that DIY tutoring vs external tutoring comes down to logistics: other time commitments (whether it is work and/or siblings) and whether studying with the DCs is a battleground in your household or otherwise!
We are on the other side of London to you and had the whole Sutton grammars and Tiffin Boys dilemma. They are all highly competitive, super-selectives too, although I have a feeling that HB and DAO score more highly in league tables. The number of applicants seems to be around 1700, with Sutton Grammar having one of the highest number of applicants per place in the UK (I think it's 14 boys to one place).
Our DS was always a top table child and naturally bright, although not terribly learning-focused in his spare time so we weren't 100% convinced that he would pass (he did pass all three that he took and is currently at one of them!).
We did six months of practice but not OTT. We started him off on the Bond Online tests (which are short and sweet and more quiz-like in approach) doing about 15 - 20 minutes a day during the week and then doing age-appropriate Bond books at the weekends. We didn't teach to tests per se, but went over the papers and explained why/where he went wrong. As the summer holidays approached he was doing half a Bond paper (maths or English) a day and we had by this time run out of Bond papers anyway so were using the NFER ones and a greater variety (which he enjoyed more because they weren't as long!) than we had previously done.
We were lucky because DS likes doing exams and was in a highly academic class (just mixed state school but his class was very bright) with lots of healthy competition. Six out of the 30 got places in semi (three) or super-selective (three) schools and none of them had been tutored to within an inch of their lives.
DS isn't at all fond of reading but can pull a reasonably good essay out of the bag when needed. We were quite in denial about the English side of the tests and know that, had he not got in, this would have been the stumbling block. We certainly didn't spend loads of time coercing him into writing persuasive argument or imaginative composition essays.
We didn't actually put DS in for the Tiffin exams. We felt it seemed to be a rather anomalous exam compared with the other 11+ ones (and as we wanted to have a normal comprehensive as one of our six options, we didn't feel it wise to put six selective schools on DS's CAF). It certainly seems as if a lot of parents put a lot more effort into Tiffin exams, but I'm not sure whether that says more about the parents than the inherent abilities of the DC!
It's a difficult one but I do think that a lot of people are making a lot of money out of tutoring, when many of us are more than capable of doing it ourselves. And the thing is that from what DS has told us, many of the children, despite getting into the best state schools in the UK, are continuing to be tutored even once they've secured places.
Our routine was similar to gazz and it was enough to secure offers from a number of highly selective schools.
People often go Shock! Horror! at the thought of kids being tutored for a couple of years. We did 9 months so that wasn't us but my friend started in Year 4. Her kid did one 30min paper on a Sunday morning for about 18months and for the final few months they ramped it up to 1 hour Saturday and Sunday morning. Hardly a tortuous routine.
Anyhoo, check out the website elevenplusexams.co.uk. It does exactly what it says on the tin. It has links to self tutoring resources plus the forums are by region so you have a greater chance of connecting with parents who have kids at.your pprospective school.