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AIBU to ask for your views on the 11+

(22 Posts)
Crisscrosscranky Mon 09-May-16 19:04:50

I went to an all girls' grammar and know no different so looking for assurance that attending a single sex school/grammar isn't the be all! My DH went to local comp and left with 3 GCSEs and although he's in a good trade now it's not the education I'd imagined for my DC.

My parents were pushy but poor so I had no coaching and scraped my 11+ to get in but I was academic. My DD is clever and 'above average' in term of her ability (she's 9) but a bit (very) lazy with it. I think she'd need a push to get through the 11+.

She'll sit her 11+ in the November of Y6. WIBU to start her on weekly coaching from September of Y5 (a full year of prep)?

I'm not bothered about the cost if she fails/passes I just want to give her the best opportunity. Am I being a pushy parent? blush

Fluffythepantfireslayer Mon 09-May-16 19:22:27

We tutored both our Ds. One scraped through, the other did exceptionally well - all depends on the child. With hindsight though I wish we hadn't bothered as the one who did well is struggling at his grammar. Some dcs need a push, others will fly through regardless - you know your own dcs better than anyone.

SaturdaySurprise Mon 09-May-16 19:24:31

A year of prep for the 11+ is pretty standard so YANBU.

MrsPatrickDempsey Mon 09-May-16 19:24:36

Does your daughter want to do it?

Fourarmsv2 Mon 09-May-16 19:26:35

Many will do more than a year. Are you looking at a super selective or are you in a grammar county?

herecomethepotatoes Mon 09-May-16 19:26:51

You are being pushy but I think it's part of being a parent.

I believe that children get dragged along and I'd rather their dragged along by more intelligent or harder working children than they be the ones doing the dragging.

I say go for it but make sure this isn't one of those cases where according to parent, 80% of children are above average or "a pleasure to teach"

herecomethepotatoes Mon 09-May-16 19:27:35

their = they were

MrsPatrickDempsey Mon 09-May-16 19:28:08

In my opinion it's not just about the 11 plus exam. Whether the school is right or not for your child is important. My DD got into a super selective all girls grammar comfortably with not a great deal of tuition but isn't particularly happy there in year 10.

ArmfulOfRoses Mon 09-May-16 19:36:06

My dd is at a girls grammar, year 8.
Only one girl has left and she was tutored to within an inch of her life (I know her parents), in all honesty, all that happened was that she was taught how to pass a couple of specific tests and she really struggled once she was there.

I'm not saying don't do any prep though.

Crisscrosscranky Mon 09-May-16 19:38:57

Yes - she does want to do it; well she wants to go to the all girls grammar because there's no boys ( I will remind her of this when she's 15!).

We are in a grammar county- our nearest grammar is about a mile away and there's another about 5 miles away.

potatoes she is above average but I'm not sure she's a pleasure to teach - she's lazy and stroppy (but always pulls it out of the bag in terms of testing/knowing an answer which is super frustrating for me; I'm sure her teacher feels the same way!!).

Sounds like a should start looking for a tutor as I'm sure the next thing will be a long waiting list!!

TheDailyMailareabunchofcunts Mon 09-May-16 19:43:54

My ds and Dd sat their 11+ this year and last to give them similar chances to you ( poor parents, bright kids)

Depending on where you live ( you don't say where?) 11+ is increasingly competitive, either by score or location pushing up house prices to live close enough to get a place

At both children's test days, every single one of the parents I was sat waiting with had paid for tutoring.

Pushy? Don't think so. If everyone is tutoring then you are caught really. Lots of people will say a bright kid can pass anyway, but the marks are standardised so they do look at the whole spread of results to determine the pass mark. You don't have to be a genius at statistics to work out that your kid is at a signicant disadvantage without any preparation.
It was VR here. ( not anymore) there is a knack to the questions and learning the technique is very advantageous

There does become a point where the limit is hit though. Teaching the technique is one thing but after that not much can be gained. Half of it is speed anyway.

For my kids it's meant a chance at a first class school versus the local failing one. For that reason I don't care if people call me a pushy parent. Do what you think is right

LostInMess Mon 09-May-16 19:44:03

My eldest is only Y3 but the nearer we get to it the less keen I get. She's bright but am not entirely sure how she'd handle the pressure of exams let alone the pressure and homework once there. We have recently been contemplating a move to somewhere without grammars and it has really struck me how much the 11+ makes primary school so much more pressured than it would otherwise be.

Crisscrosscranky Mon 09-May-16 19:59:57

Thanks for your views. We are in Essex - we have 2 grammars within 5 miles but a lot of private primary schools too that offer 11+ tutoring as a standard.

Lost I completely agree. I never appreciated before that it does add a layer of stress - for me it wouldn't matter too much if she failed (I'd be secretly disappointed but NEVER let her know that) however how does a 10 year old accept they aren't clever enough without that really hurting? My worry is that because of the close proximity of the 2 grammars (4 if you include the boys' schools) they 'cream' the top off the Y7 intake which automatically puts our local comps at a disadvantage.

Twowrongsdontmakearight Mon 09-May-16 21:30:07

We're in Trafford and like where you are DC get tutored during Y5 unless they go to a prep. Tutoring doesn't guarantee a pass but it levels the playing field a bit vs the preps. The pass/fail business is part and parcel of the grammar system unfortunately.

grannytomine Mon 09-May-16 21:35:42

I bought the books and did the work with my kids and grandson. I felt up to doing it with them and they did fine. If I hadn't felt I could do it I would have had a tutor for them.

I hate the whole thing but if you are in an area with a grammar school and have a bright child it does feel like you have to do it but I feel weak for saying that.

yummumto3girls Mon 09-May-16 21:39:06

If she wants to do it then give it a try, you won't then live to regret not having tried in the future. It's hard work, a year of tutoring is the norm. You just need to manage expectations of a pass/fail and be proud for working hard and giving it a go. Two girls at grammar, one loves it the other is struggling as it has really brought out undiagnosed dyslexia, however school are on it and I therefore think she will bode better here overall than at a comp. be prepared for a year of nagging to do homework and tutoring, it's a huge amount of work and can be very stressful. If you are both prepared and committed then you will be fine.

MargaretCavendish Mon 09-May-16 21:49:25

Presumably you're in Southend, OP? Yes, the grammars in Essex do 'cream off' to an extent - but it's not like every other school is a failure!

In terms of trying to tone down the stress: I grew up in Essex and my parents really tried to make it as small a deal as possible. They emphasised that very few people went to the grammar schools, tried to make sure I was excited as possible about the school I'd go to if I didn't pass the 11+, and repeatedly urged that you couldn't 'fail' the 11+, you just went to one school or another one. I can't absolutely guarantee it would have worked because I did pass, but I think it sort of did. I do remember seeing a girl that I knew from Brownies getting all upset and worried on the morning of the 11+ as we went in, and just being totally perplexed: why would anyone be that concerned about this silly little test? I think it probably helped here that hardly anyone in my primary school went to the grammar schools (I was the only one in my year) so there wasn't much stress about it at school, but I do think that as a parent you can choose whether to pile that pressure on or whether to try and hold it back.

For what it's worth I think that I had some amazing opportunities at my school and there's no way I'd be where I am now without it; I also think it really helped bring out a lot of neuroses and mental health issues that I still battle now. I'm a long way off having to think about it, but I really don't know whether it's what I'd want for my own daughter.

Sorry for the essay!

SATSmum Mon 09-May-16 21:51:48

it is actually quite easy to do the tutoring yourself. Non of it is rocket science, and there are plenty of books to follow.
If your child is grammar school material, then the tutoring shouldn't be having to teach them lots of new things, it should be cementing what they know and practising some things, eg mental maths so they can do it very quickly.

The biggest problem is that children will often do things for the tutor that they won't do for you, so doing it yourself can be a struggle.

I did DIY tutoring for both ds and dd. It was really hard with ds, but OK with dd. that was personality, not ability. They are both now at superselectives. (well, dd starts in sept)

But I would seriously think about the right school for your child.
ds's school is just right for him for lots of reasons.
dd's school is lovely, but the comp which was our backup was also lovely and I would have been happy for her to be there too.

TrixieBernadette Mon 09-May-16 22:32:44

My DS is due to sit his 11+ in September. I went to the local grammar, as did my siblings and cousins.

He wants to pass. We have bought some past papers, but that's it. We will practise, he's naturally bright, his school is positive.

But, he's also known people who haven't passed, and is happy with the alternative school which is near my work.

I would like him to pass, as I believe it would suit him. But I always said I wouldn't tutor for it.

DS2 I have no clue about tbh.

Middleoftheroad Mon 09-May-16 22:51:03

I guess it depends on your local comp. Our nearest is awful so we have been private tutoring my year 5 twins since Sept and I wouldn't be doing that if they weren't in the top sets at school. If you don't need to do it and have a good school nearby I would think carefully.

However it's hard work and I cannot wait for it to be over in Sept. I would not embark on this if we had a decent secondary. We may scrape into the next nearest school which is good, but last year our neighbours didn't.

Competition for 11+ is tough with so many kids being tutored and I feel we have some way to go still. If we dont get in We will have to see if we scrape the good school or downsize (from just a three bed!) Into catchment and join a long waiting list. We are not moving yet in the hope we might get in grammar or the good school (i need 2 places remember) and because we don't really want to move into a smaller house when our three bed isnt even big enough!

PlymouthMaid1 Tue 10-May-16 22:40:41

One of my girls went to the grammar school a d the other one refused to co wider it although she was plenty bright enough. They ha e both done very we!l academically as they went to the schools which suited their temperaments.

I have also tutored 11plus in the past and I would say that to succeed even very bright kids need to do practice papers. They also need to want to do the work as it becomes quite stressful combined with a large amount of regular homework. A child who would be crushed by failing or not gaining a p!ace is probably best not to do it. Too much tutoring suggests that a child could struggle later and would probably thrive elsewhere and be happier. No tutoring gives a child little chance against the private schools entrants. If is a tough decision but try to discuss the pros and cons with your child and visit the schools.

Letseatgrandma Tue 10-May-16 22:46:33

If you're in Essex/Southend-the 11+ is in September, not November-just to warn you!

My two are both at grammar here and I tutored them myself. Was a bit painful at times but we got there!

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