What age to start 11+ preparation?

(55 Posts)
PeppermintScreams Mon 21-Oct-13 14:13:43

DS is in year 1 shock and already other parents are talking about preparing them for the 11+ and doing workbooks. (I'm guessing the Bond aged 5-6 ones) While obviously I'm not going to sign him up for a tutor just yet hmmgrin what sort of things should I be doing now or making plans selling a kidney for in the distant future?

Forewarned is forearmed.

Ragusa Fri 25-Oct-13 21:24:39

Oh bleuuuurgh. This sort of stuff makes me feel so sad. Where is the evidence that attendance at a super-selective school truly afvantages children?? As in, leads them to have happier, more fulfilled lives?? I suspect it is the biggest pile of BS going. Unless of course every other school for miles around is really dreadful (and I mean, really bad and not just under achieving owing to intake).

Kids crying themselves to sleep at night over the 11+? Hideous.

There is no way on earth I am putting my kids through that. Ever.We are in an area with a mixed system - some grammar, some comp, some religious.

Books one way flight to Finland

MacaYoniandCheese Thu 24-Oct-13 12:02:49

Thanks for the info smile. What a tricky issue.

Elibean Thu 24-Oct-13 11:01:17

Miranda - ditto!

Though dd not ds smile

Norudeshitrequired Thu 24-Oct-13 10:07:56

Thanks all for the info on super selective grammars.
Our nearest grammar requires a combined standardised score of 360 from VR, NVR and maths. I wasn't sure if this meant it was super selective or not. It does take mainly from catchment so I'm guessing it's not super selective. I was just wondering how difficult it will make it to get a place if it had been super selective.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 24-Oct-13 09:22:55

different LEAs - that should be

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 24-Oct-13 09:20:56

Maca - Super-selectives take all applicants simply in order of 11+ score, they don't prioritise children that live closer to the school. Normal grammar schools usually apply proximity to the school or other catchment area criteria for all children that have passed the 11+ regardless of how high their score is. Often children commute a long way to get to super-selectives (even from differ LEAs) leaving local children who have passed the 11+ at slightly lower scores without a grammar school places or with a grammar school place a long way away.

In terms of the scores that can depend massively on lots of things. The best thing is to ask any potential super-selectives what their threshold scores have been in the recent past.

Retropear Thu 24-Oct-13 09:17:58

In our area the ones that don't go just go to the huge amount of other alternatives(many of which are very good).

The vast majority of parents with bight kids aren't bothered and don't even put their kids in for it.

Not sure how a tiny fraction of kids children have never met going to another school have an impact on their results.

There was research recently saying grammar school areas produce better A level results even in areas with social deprivation.

Norudeshitrequired Thu 24-Oct-13 08:23:56

Does anybody know how a super selective us differentiated from other grammar schools? What scores/ levels are usually required to define it as a super selective?

MacaYoniandCheese Wed 23-Oct-13 23:37:30

Thanks PAB.

This must be incredibly stressful for families. I don't know what I'd do confused.

PiqueABoo Wed 23-Oct-13 23:02:44

...AKA robbing Peter to pay Paul.

MirandaWest Wed 23-Oct-13 23:02:42

I am very glad I don't live in an area where there is the 11 plus. DS is in year 5 and I know I would have been torn between feeling I should get him tutored and feeling I could do it myself. He is pretty clever but not at the level of level 5s at the end of year 4. Should be getting level 5s by the end of year 5 though so generally OK smile

PiqueABoo Wed 23-Oct-13 23:01:05

MacaYoniandCheese: "what happens to the kids that live in grammar areas that don't pass the 11+?"
--
Statistically the grammar kids do better and the non-grammar kids do worse.

MacaYoniandCheese Wed 23-Oct-13 22:40:40

...because it kind of reads like tutoring children for this intelligence/aptitude test is a bit like cheating, or am I misunderstanding? I'm trying to get my head around telling an eleven-year old that they have failed an exam required for entry into the 'intelligent' stream. How does that work, and what are the prospects for kids who (presumably) then must go to a sub-standard secondary school?

MacaYoniandCheese Wed 23-Oct-13 22:27:24

Sorry to go off-topic but I have a burning question after lurking on this thread. I don't live in the UK so am not familiar with the system...what happens to the kids that live in grammar areas that don't pass the 11+?

Notcontent Wed 23-Oct-13 22:03:44

I feel really upset reading this, in fact I feel like crying. Because actually, so many quite bright children don't stand a chance do they? I am not from the UK - I was educated in a system with no ability groups, no exams to go into secondary school. The UK education system really sucks.

The only preparation that needs to be done prior to Y5 is making sure that your child is confident with their multiplication/division facts and that they develop a wide vocabulary through reading a variety of books by different authors.

LaQueenOfTheDamned Wed 23-Oct-13 21:45:07

Sorry, and meant to add - and then even more silly, is that you end up with these girls (don't know about boys), already clever, already academic, but with the extra tutoring - then ace-ing the 11+ and getting scores in the high 270s.

It's just not necessary. I wish it was a far more level playing field a la 25-30 years ago. Then DD1 could have wandered into the exam, and she would have been absolutely fine, only ever having done 3 past papers in school (just like her Daddy did) and easily passed.

LaQueenOfTheDamned Wed 23-Oct-13 21:33:49

Obviously, I can only speak from my local experience here, where some form of tutoring for most children seems very common.

I don't agree with it, necessarily - and I resent feeling I have to provide some level of tutoring for DD1, when she had Level 5s at the end of Yr 4 FFS hmm

But to not have done so, would have disadvantaged her. She wasn't the cleverest little girl in her class. Girls I would consider more clever, also had tutoring.

I agree it's unfair. But I don't agree that children like my DD1, and her close friends would have lost their grammar places, without tutoring. We are talking very clever little girls here (all Level 5s in Yr 4, exceptionally high reading ability etc), before they even sniff a tutor.

And, that's the silliness of it all - around here, you get already very academic girls, who already have lots of advantages (graduate parents, home filled with books, lots of support) getting even more polish and technique from tutoring hmm

It really annoys me, and I wish it could be stopped but I don't see how? Too many parents are hooked into it.

Hamishbear Wed 23-Oct-13 17:46:28

Most seem to think that NVR, puzzles, VR and brief English and Maths aptitude type tests are good predictors of IQ. Eton have some sort of computerised test apparently which differentiates the bright from the tutored progressively getting harder until children consistently get questions wrong. Why can't Grammars come up with something like this to make things fairer? Not perfect but may be better than now? Something that separates raw ability from current attainment? I thought there was a movement to do this now at some Grammars?

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 23-Oct-13 17:15:55

X-post with Errol who makes my point far more succinctly!

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 23-Oct-13 17:14:14

LaQueen - That might be true of the primary school that your DD goes to (where tutoring sound endemic) but it won't be true of a lot of schools which have a more disadvantaged intakes. There might be many potentially academic children at those schools who won't be getting any tutoring and may well be only getting minimal support with normal homework. Those children might well deserve a place in grammar school based on academic potential but instead their place goes to a good but not excellent child who's had many hours of tutoring. That simply isn't fair and it isn't what the schools want either.

You DD sounds naturally bright; she probably didn't need the tutoring to get into grammar school. But some of her tutored classmates may well have taken places from more able but less supported children.

ErrolTheDragon Wed 23-Oct-13 17:12:22

>the inherently most able are also being tutored.

not necessarily. Maybe every child in your DDs school was tutored one way or another - but an inherently able child from various socially deprived backgrounds probably wouldn't be.

LaQueenOfTheDamned Wed 23-Oct-13 17:00:12

"Those parents who tutor their kids for months and even years beforehand are skewing the results away from the inherently most able to the most polished. I think that is wrong anyway, especially as only the wealthier families can afford tutors for their children."

I have to disagree ghoul. IME, the inherently most able are also being tutored.

My DD1, was already on Level 5s, by the end of Yr 4, before she even met her 11+ tutor. And, she was by no means, the cleverest little girl in her class - yet, every girl in her class had some form of tutoring.

Although the tutoring wasn't necessarily expensive - as many parents tutored themselves, and bought the books. Neither DH, or I, have the patience for this, so we paid a professional tutor.

Though DD1 probably ended up doing less preparation/11+ homework, then many of her friends, who were home tutored. But, our tutor knew exactly what he was doing, and could pin-point specific areas, and stream line her homework, to exactly suit her needs.

However, I agree - it does skew the results when you have inherently clever children, then being given further polish with professional tutoring.

ErrolTheDragon Wed 23-Oct-13 16:25:50

>This is quite a risky approach

How risky depends on exact circumstances - whether there is a good Plan B, just how competitive it is in your particular area etc.

>She was very, very familiar with the format of 11+ papers. And she could cut through a NVR paper, or a VR paper, like a knife through hot butter, and not even break a sweat.

yes, mine too - really didn't require doing them for more than a few (not too casual) months ahead.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 23-Oct-13 16:13:26

That's a good point Elibean. I know in our area they are trying to tutor-proof the exams. Not sure how effective it will be though. The schools want the most academic children, not the most pushed, so it's in their interests too.

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