BBC news Kent 11+

(113 Posts)
Startail Tue 19-Mar-13 11:03:09

stopping coaching

I am confused how does making the 11+ maths and English based reduce the value of paying for tutors.

Surely it increases the value of paying a current teacher to tutor your child to the very very top of the primary curriculum. Well of parents are still not going to leave it to chance that their DCs class teachers have.

I'd be quite happy to buy a few bond Verbal and non verbal reasoning books and tutor my own DDs (I'm not Kent and in the end DD2 decided not to try for our grammar which is a very long day).

DD1 gets 131 on non verbal reasoning without having ever practiced at all, she just likes them.

English on the other hand I certainly would need to pay someone, I've tried marking SATs practice papers the mark scheme is in gobbledygook teacher speak. It's not simply right or wrong like maths or VR/NVR

seeker Wed 20-Mar-13 11:40:14

I am opposed to selective education of political and philosophical reasons. But even if I wasn't, the simple fact that it has so far proved completely impossible to design a selection process that is either uncoachable, or which tests for raw ability, without any bias in favour of the children of privileged/educated/better off/middle class people means that it is inherently unfair, and therefore unacceptable.
If such a test could be found, then there is a debate to be had about the merits of selective education per se. But it hasn't been found, despite years of trying, and I doubt if it ever will be.

Provided you have the language, the knowledge, the confidence, the time

Well yes, but people upthread are saying that it's easier to home prepare for VR/NVR. If you can cope with that you can cope with English.

seeker Wed 20-Mar-13 11:49:41

It's not easy to home prepare at all. Anyone who thinks it is has a very narrow view of society!

As explained in the previous post I am talking about people who said they would be happy to prepare for VR/NVR and maths but for some reason not English. My point is that it is no harder to prepare for English than the other three.

The head at the grammar school felt the English exam was the one which most closely matched the work done in general class so one that didn't need tuition (and I would agree - albeit the 11 plus is taken too early in most places now).

Startail Wed 20-Mar-13 12:02:17

No English isn't easy, because of having a dyslexic DD1 we tried doing SATs practice.

No way could I mark writing tasks, you need knowlage of what good writing of DCs that age looks like. As a non teacher with just your own DCs work in front of you it's very very difficult.
You can't just look at the answered in the back of the book.

Yes I accept not all parents can work out maths or NVR questions by looking in the book, but most with DCs capable of going to grammar school probably can.

socareless Wed 20-Mar-13 12:05:33

Perhaps we should sterilize couples with income of more than £50000 to level the playing field a bit. If we miss any couple and they have children we can just whirl them away and lock them up.

this will level the playing field and keep you all happy.

You can just look at the back of the book for the main English paper. If they're doing the usual English paper there is a right and wrong answer for every question and it is given in the back of the book. It is no different to teaching maths, they don't even need to write a sentence.

We didn't do much essay practice. But the mark scheme was provided (basically you get more marks for more complicated sentences) so you can show your child how to improve but that IS covered in school and really isn't all that 'tutorable'. As I said upthread some of the tutored kids hated the essay paper because they couldn't write descriptions.

Our essay preparation consisted of using free websites to get a list of titles. Then discussing the sorts of things ds2 could write. He did a few practice timed ones and I showed him the sorts of things that would mark him down (all very basic). Showed him the mark scheme and talked about how we could use better words (my tutoring consisted eg of 'don't use 'got')

But anyway we didn't do much of that - the harder paper was the main English one which does have mark schemes, does have right and wrong answers, doesn't need the child to write much more than a word (if that) and is easier to do at home than something alien like NVR.

Startail Wed 20-Mar-13 12:26:58

I guess being dyslexic English is alien and NVR is blindingly obvious, like DD1 I'd do them for fun.

Selective education is intrinsically unfair, my Dyslexic DD1 couldn't read well enough to do our VR based 11+, which was held in oct when she was 10. She'd have passed a NVR based one.

DD2s EAL DF and all DCs like her are massively disadvantaged by English and VR tests even though her maths are really good.

Really good comprehensives are what all DCs should have access to, but that's never going to happen.

weighingitallup Wed 20-Mar-13 12:27:33

What a brilliant idea socareless - we can send them all to eton and then lock them up in the houses of parliament and give them moats for their ducks - they will be perfectly happy there, bless their little cottons.

As I said, its not selection based on income that i oppose to, its selection at such a young age.

Your life is mapped out for you before you are even born sad

socareless Wed 20-Mar-13 12:35:23

not sure the answer is to demonise parents and their children though weighing.

weighingitallup Wed 20-Mar-13 12:52:40

who is demonising? I am certainly not - I don't have the answers - i think that there needs to be good education available to everyone and having selective schools doesn't achieve that. Those children in private/grammar schools wont have to sit in a class of rowdy disruptive kids who's parents couldnt give a shit about their education and try and work through it. (im not wording this very well) So will rather be used to being able to carry on with lots of support from peers etc, when they get to real life and work situation then they will get a shock. A more equal playing field is what is required but i don't know how to achieve that. There is clearly no point in having high achieving kids wanting to be stretched and challenged in with those who are struggling, that would be no good for either end of the spectrum.

I went to a comprehensive school - i left without qualifications becaue i was bullied for being bright. There were other reasons too, i later went on to achieve a degree and PhD. I don't think i got these despite a comprehensive education, It must have equiped me somehow. However, i have not had the confidence to do anything really with that - maybe that was due to the bullying - would that have happened in a grammar school? I might hve been bullied for being from a council estate, i might have been bulled because i had a terrible ever snotty nose and i snorted alot blush But i do believe if i wasn't bullied at school i would have probably been in a much better position now. I clearly had what it took, but a test that i sat when i was 11 suggested otherwise.

weighingitallup Wed 20-Mar-13 12:54:40

My DD1 did not pass her 11+ and as a consequence did not get into grammar, she did not do well at school but seems to be doing ok making her way in life (shes 22 working and happy enough - im proud of her). The irony being that had we lived in a different catchment area (a poorer area - thanet) she would have been well above the pass mark for that area and gone to grammar school. I think this clearly highlights the bollocksness of selection.

socareless Wed 20-Mar-13 13:01:06

I do not work with rowdy or disruptive people weighing. so is that one of the benefits of comp education to be able to work with rowdy people? genuine question.

weighingitallup Wed 20-Mar-13 13:03:41

No, my point - which i agree was badly made, is that in life we have to deal with all sorts of challenges and diversity. Diversity is the big thing these days isn't it? Well how are we encouraging that if we only have all the bright kids together and the less academic together?

socareless Wed 20-Mar-13 13:05:42

sorry about your experience weighing. but I thing from your post if you could you would have preferred a school where you would not have been bullied for being clever irrespective of whether it is a comp, grammar or private school

weighingitallup Wed 20-Mar-13 13:10:38

Yes i agree, which is why i said that i could have quite possibly have been bullied for other reasons if i had gone to a grammar school. WAs recently on a train carrying loads of kids from local grammar and to be fair, their behaviour was appalling. I was shock

My only problem with selection is that it happens too young. Once you are slotted into that expectation, that follows you. Your exam grades are predicted when you leave primary school i heard!

socareless Wed 20-Mar-13 13:13:15

yes i heard that too. that is a shame I think.

seeker Wed 20-Mar-13 13:13:48

I always ask this question and it's always ignored. Maybe I'll try again!

If selective education is so fantastic, why is it that Kent, which is wholly selective, doesn't get significantly better GCSE and A level results than wholly comprehensive LEAs?

My feeling is that there is more scope for tutoring if the test is solely on English and Maths, as they are much wider subjects in scope, and taught at very different levels at different primaries. At least the VR and nVR are finite and easy to find resources for if you wish to support your child at home; with the new test only those "in the know" will have a good idea what to cover and tutoring from teachers/ those with experience of the CEM style test will be a a premium.

TSSDNCOP Wed 20-Mar-13 13:22:08

Don't know the answer to that Seeker. What I do know though is that all the time the Grammars exist, and lets face it even Maggie couldn't get shot of them in Kent, tutoring will happen.

Selective education is fantastic for those who would be a square peg in a round hole at a comprehensive. That does not neccessarily mean that it will lead to better results overall, but it may be a happier time for many children.

weighingitallup Wed 20-Mar-13 13:23:47

I do think that is a fair question seeker, i haven't igonored it, i don't have the answers though. I think it proves your point but i can't help but wonder if other areas are selective, just tht the individual schools have their own selection criteria? Maybe having a county wide one is fairer?? If thy have to have one at all that is! Its all a bloody lottery really, because if there is a good school then only the more affluent kids will go there because of catchment areas. I know a school local to me that has a ridiculouly small catchment area and they had to enforce a new rule that you only "counted" as being in that area if you lived there for over three years as people were moving there to get there children into the school! Pricing everyone else out of course!

I wasn't aware that kent was wholly selective though - the secondary school in my hometown certainly isn't - no one in their right mind would choose to send their child there, it takes what is left over.

socareless Wed 20-Mar-13 13:28:24

seeker because Kent doesn't have 100% grammar schools. the SM 's will be akin to mid/bottom set in a comp area.

seeker Wed 20-Mar-13 13:29:06

"Selective education is fantastic for those who would be a square peg in a round hole at a comprehensive. That does not neccessarily mean that it will lead to better results overall, but it may be a happier time for many children."

But in a comprehensive school, the top sets will be the same children who would, in a selective area, be in the grammar school.

And who says that square pegs are academically able?

seeker Wed 20-Mar-13 13:31:30

"seeker because Kent doesn't have 100% grammar schools. the SM 's will be akin to mid/bottom set in a comp area."

And the grammar schools will be akin to the top sets in a comprehensive area. My point exactly.
[puzzled emoticon]

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