11+tips

(103 Posts)
Amythesianwaterfall Thu 17-Oct-13 17:14:11

Dear mumsnetters,
A quick question but what would you say your top tips are for prepraring your dc for the 11+?
Our school is preparing an open evening for parents and any suggestions would be very welcome! Thank yousmile

Schmedz Thu 17-Oct-13 21:12:27

Don't stress about it! Children will pick up on any anxiety.

Of course, this is 'do as I say, not as I do!'

limegreenpickle Thu 17-Oct-13 21:54:40

Possibly advise parents/carers to thoughtfully consider which type of school environment would best suit their DC (rather than assuming Grammar=best for my child)
Give examples of well known people (politicians, authors, journalists etc) who did not pass the 11+, but who are obviously intelligent and articulate.

snowsjoke Fri 18-Oct-13 09:37:40

Look on the elevenplusexams website - everything you ever wanted to know about the 11+ and more!

antimatter Fri 18-Oct-13 09:40:07

Read thoroughly about type of questions and how test is going to be conducted - it differs between schools

working on timing against the clock is as important as learning the subject

antimatter Fri 18-Oct-13 09:41:21

also - I've asked my 16 year old daughter what she remembers from that time she was sitting her exams 0 she said that she knew me and her dad believed in her being able to do it and that made her not stressed at all smile

RustyHalo Fri 18-Oct-13 09:51:33

Work your way through the Bond books. Do some of the papers with your child until they become more confident & then see how they manage on their own.
A wide vocabulary is essential - do lots of reading & dictionary work alongside practice papers.
Timing is important. Make sure that they can eventually work at a fast enough pace to complete the paper. Tell them not to spend too long on tricky questions - leave them and go back at the end of the test.

17leftfeet Fri 18-Oct-13 09:58:18

I'm going against the grain but do as little as possible

A bond book is a good idea to get them used to the style if questions but if you tutor and practise to within an inch of your life when do you stop?

My brother scraped into a grammar school and constantly feeling like he was struggling to keep up and was bottom of the class was very damaging for his self esteem

He would have done much better sitting nearer the top of the alternative school

If your child has the natural ability and aptitude then they will be fine with the minimal intervention/coaching

Amythesianwaterfall Fri 18-Oct-13 12:58:01

Thank you ever so much! The 11+ website is excellent but ever so scary...!

pickledsiblings Fri 18-Oct-13 13:07:26

"If your child has the natural ability and aptitude then they will be fine with the minimal intervention/coaching."

This is not a helpful attitude if your child is applying for a super selective Grammar where competition is fierce and only the fastest get a look in. And you will never need to be that fast again. Ridiculous really but still true.

So coach your bright child for speed if you want to give them a fighting chance.

In reality this means that they need to have huge quantities of information instantly accessible which means practise, practise and then practise some more.

Retropear Fri 18-Oct-13 13:58:33

What pickled has said also your dc may well be bright but not covered some of the 11+ work.There is no way you can do nowt.

My DS(who is vey able at maths)hasn't done prime numbers,square root(and a shed load of other 11+ stuff) which we will need to do with him.

Op CPG and Bond How to books.

Are you self tutoring? We are but finding it bewildering(and starting to wish I'd stopped being such a prig,sold a kidney and booked a tutor). If you are I was going to start a self tutoring thread so we could all hold hands(and tear our hair out together). grin

TeenAndTween Fri 18-Oct-13 14:08:12

Move to Hampshire grin

pickledsiblings Fri 18-Oct-13 17:33:53

Retropear, start that thread, I'll be on it!

wearingatinhat Fri 18-Oct-13 17:52:18

I'll be on that thread too!

PastSellByDate Sat 19-Oct-13 09:53:33

Hi

We've just learned DD1 was very close, but didn't score high enough to get in to a grammar school here most likely. We're gutted but this is my advice....

11+ is super-selective areas where competition is fierce is most likely going to lead to disappointment (here it's 1 in 7 at best and rumours are that this year it was more like 1 in 10).

So my advice is that this should be about the learning (getting to a very high standard in 3Rs, reading children's literature/ classics for the exposure and getting sound calculation skills/ high level ability by primary standards.

Why? Because it means the likelihood is that your child will be streamed into top set at senior school and that can be a huge advantage. In general once streamed - there you stay. Of course there is some movement (in both directions) - but around here the perception is that once in top set always in top set. Schools tend to ignore students in the middle and focus on D/C boundary and top set because they need the high percentage at C or above at GCSE and they want to have good results to boast about as well (e.g. 1/3 of Y9 had A/B at GCSE, etc....).

So although disappointed we didn't get success - as many will know we've had a long hard slog and a very slow start (and a fairly mediocre school) to contend with. So for us - to have got so close is amazing - after all DD1 was NC L1A Maths/ NC L2c Reading end KS1 SATs and we were told for some time by the school not to have high expectations for her as a student.

For us - it's just nice to have got to a place were we have a very solid & reasonably skilled/ intelligent 10 year old on are hands. We had serious concerns about that at 7.

PastSellByDate Sat 19-Oct-13 09:55:49

sorry that should be our hands. Not awake yet.

richmal Sat 19-Oct-13 11:12:43

I would second the 11+ website as mentioned by snowsjoke.

I would also add to look at the admissions criteria for the school. If they do GL assessment you need to get their practice packs. (We did some Bond as well).

Make sure they have covered all level 5 maths if maths is to be tested. For this you just need to go into Waterstones or WH and get the relevant level book or books to work through.

zzzzz Sat 19-Oct-13 14:57:12

I honestly think too much coaching is counter productive.

We did minimal prep (she worked through about 6 past papers in the month before the exam and we talked about any questions she couldn't do). She at and kept well and did her best on the day, knowing that it was fun if she didnt get in.

On the day I found the other parents terrifyingly aware and focused. I felt I'd been silly being so "sensible" about it all, and maybe let her down.

She was one of the few children smiling as she got out and did very well. If my next child wants to try we will follow the same plan.

Elibean Sat 19-Oct-13 15:17:10

I like you zzzzz! That was how I took my 11+, admittedly a long time ago, and I really enjoyed it.

We're not in a grammar area, but I plan to let my dd have a bit of verbal reasoning practice, and some help with maths not covered by her state primary, and then let her try for a few of the local indies. She's likely to do far better at interview (which counts for a lot at the schools we're considering) if she's happy and relaxed.

zzzzz Sat 19-Oct-13 16:58:06

Sorry about blindingly awful typos. I am not great with touch screens.

I think the only thing dd said was she wished she'd known how to find the circumference of a circle, which she hadn't covered. There's always something!

maree1 Sat 19-Oct-13 20:51:44

Familiarisation with the types of questions helps. There is plenty of advice available on the websites already mentioned, other help in articles like this londonmumsmagazine.com/2013/creative-writing-magic-money-cards . Use practice papers and try support materials in WH Smith.

zzzzz Sat 19-Oct-13 21:16:29

Most grammars say that coaching doesn't make any difference, why would they lie?

todaysdate Sat 19-Oct-13 21:30:24

I think tutoring helps marginal students achieve the grade.
They said this at the super selective we went to.
I think the prep depends on your child.
We had a tutor once a week since late feb and ds did a practice paper 3/4 weeks
He did nothing over the summer and lost some ground.
But I didn't want to to become a slog.
His primary doesn't do homework so he wasn't used to doing anything at home either.
He's a stubborn kid and he wouldn't listen to us so it was hard to tutor him ourselves.
I hate to say it, it's not a boast because it does get a bit mad here sometimes, but ds is really good at maths and science and pretty poor at writing stories.
The school we applied to changed its exam this yr and cut out the creative writing so we entered him for he exam.
If there was a story part then we would t have done it.

Anyway, my advice is to look at the school - do you like it?
Do you think it will suit your child?
Look at the exam type and then decide if your child will let you help them or not.. If they will, then do it yourself but do et push too hard. If they are like my son, then you need thst external help.
Good luck

richmal Sat 19-Oct-13 21:35:14

Most grammars say that coaching doesn't make any difference, why would they lie?

So they won't mind if you do coach then, as it makes no difference to the result.

todaysdate Sat 19-Oct-13 21:43:57

As I said, at the open evening of the one we went to, they said that tutoring will bring a marginal student up to a grammar exam level.
They then have advice about not leaving kids alone with tutors and being sensible about recommendations.
They seemed to accept that kids will be tutored.

We tutored ours so he would get some external input and some good tries at suitable tests etc

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