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(23 Posts)
choobieskoo Fri 03-Jan-14 18:32:37

My 9 yr old DS is at a very good private school and doing well many parents there choose to privately tutor their children. This creates a competitive situation whereby if you don't tutor you feel you should in order for your child to keep up with those children who are tutored!

LadyMuck Fri 03-Jan-14 18:45:45

So you have to decide whether that is the ethos which you want to buy into or not. There are some parents out there who genuinely believe that being top is the only important thing, and will do everything they can for their child to be there. Thankfully those parents are usually in a small minority, and it just requires everyone else to step back from the madness...

creamteas Fri 03-Jan-14 18:46:34

As long as any child is achieving their best, it really doesn't matter if they come top, middle or bottom. Anyone who thinks education is a competition is just stupid.

But why would anyone pay fees for a school that they don't believe is educating their children properly? That is just crazy

Kenlee Sat 04-Jan-14 01:07:38

Trust me you don't want to fall into that trap. I have sent my daughter 7,000 miles away from me just to get away from it. Your child will be in constant competition they will not be able to form friendships. Instead will be taken from one tutor to another... My daughters HK friends have taken to this path...3 hrs of tutoring a night. Then homework ....Piano practise.... The weekends are no better as double tutoring.

I suggest if you are to tutor for the 11+ then don't go crazy...I think tutoring for a specfic goal is ok....Please don't tutor to keep up with the Jones....its absolutely bonkers...

My daughter came back this Christmas and her eyes are crystal clear fun loving and full of life...So to does who say an English education is rubbish...I give you the Winston Churchill salute...In her primary she was disengaged and withdrawn not to mention any sign of life was sucked out of her....She is now going to take grade 8 music at school...She hated practice at primary.... So she quit as her other tutoring wss deemed more important....

Elibean Sat 04-Jan-14 12:03:54

Kenlee, flowers to you for being as clear eyed as your daughter.

OP, I visited a friend in Bucks the other day, with a bright dd at a local prep school. Only 3 parents out of their class are choosing not to tutor for either grammar or selective private secondaries - 3! Bonkers. It is a PREP school.

She is one of the 3 so her dd, who will do extremely well without any added pressure, is thankfully leading a reasonably normal life. Even though her 1-1.5 hours daily homework (in Y5) makes my Y5 dd's jaw drop wink

Sparklingbrook Sat 04-Jan-14 12:06:07

But sending your child to a fee paying school and paying for a tutor? That's what confuses me.
My friend is a tutor and does tutor lots of children at Private Schools. Seems really weird.

Shootingatpigeons Sat 04-Jan-14 15:32:37

Sparkling Just because you pay for your child's education does not make you immune to 11+ parental anxiety syndrome. The playground at my DD's West London prep developed such a miasma of desperation, anxiety, competition and Chinese whispers in the run up to the exams in January that I developed the skills of an SAS hostage rescuer so quickly did I get my DD out of there. They rarely own up to tutoring though, it's just their DDs get so infected by the values behind the arm's race that they cannot help blurting out to their classmates that they stand no chance because they are not tutored as well.

And it has absolutely nothing to do with educating their children or the requirements of the indies, and certainly not any sort of common decency sense. When the results come out the schools select the brightest regardless of tutoring, indeed go out of their way to make sure the exams test ability not cramming and the parents are completely bemused by the fact that this was one process they could not influence with money or networking......... However it takes a strong set of principles and nerve to resist the pressures.

Elibean Sat 04-Jan-14 18:21:17

Oh I do enjoy your posts, Shooting!

Happy New Year grin

Shootingatpigeons Sat 04-Jan-14 19:48:24

Happy New Year to you too! grin

Kenlee Sun 05-Jan-14 03:47:59

Now I was talking to my daughter about tutoring and she says if the school is doing its job properly then there should be no need....

In a proper school you need to raise your hand up and say I don't understand so it can be explained ABC...

If all schools worked on tjis principle then tutoring will be obsolete...

hercules1 Sun 05-Jan-14 11:11:53

No, Kenlee. Tutoring for 11plus is part to ensure the child know the whole of ks2 curriculum by the start of year 6. Also often to teach things not covered day to day. State primaries don't usually do verbal or non verbal reasoning nor spend time on extended timed pieces of writing.

Shootingatpigeons Sun 05-Jan-14 11:33:32

Kenlee state schools here may not have covered the curriculum by the time of the indie exams in January. My DD was at an International School and we needed to work through key stage 2 Maths workbooks together because there were things on the indie entrance exam papers that she had not yet covered. I am not sure why Hercules considers the need is to cover the entire curriculum by the start of Year 6. A terms preparation was perfectly adequate.

There are two issues in relation to tutoring. The first is need driven, sometimes a child has a need for tutoring, DIY or otherwise, to help with a particular weakness. Both my DDs have had help with developing strategies to cope with their Dyslexia for instance, or to enable them to show their potential in exams, some practise in sitting papers in timed conditions, help with exam technique, covering parts of the curriculum they haven't covered, some practise of reasoning papers.

However over here, certainly in this area, it has reached Hong Kong levels with some children being tutored for years, and some of the tutoring factories are not providing a positive educational experience. That is not related to need, it is more a parental arms race.

Kenlee Sun 05-Jan-14 11:45:10

I am not agaisnt tutoring...I dislike the arms race that it involves. I understand the need to prep for the exam. My daughter and I also preped for her NVR and VR before her indie exams. I suppose we were luckier the school had already covered what was in the exam and we had already tutored it extensively before to keep up at school.

However, it is something I hope my dd will never have to endure again.

One thing to tutor for the specfic exam or subject that is not understood. Its another thing to go way over the top and tutor for everything....

hercules1 Sun 05-Jan-14 11:48:37

When I say entire curriculum I mean English and maths. I live in superselective area and you really do need to have these covered by start of y6. In fact earlier would be better as you then need to be able to spend time on papers.

Kenlee Sun 05-Jan-14 12:02:54

So what you are saying ia that the child is not just taught to understand the subject matter but is rote taught to remember the answers.... in the great HK tradition... remember the answers and when you see the question write it down verbatim....

I hope its only for the 11+....I would hate my child to do just papers for tutoring....

hercules1 Sun 05-Jan-14 12:08:17

Not sure I understand your last post. I mean the exam will test them on the curriculum up to the end of year 6 but taken at the beginning of year 6. You also need to know exam technique and have familiarity with papers - things not taught in state schools usually. So no good having just covered the curriculum early you also need to know how to answer questions using this knowledge.

hercules1 Sun 05-Jan-14 12:09:45

No one knows the questions so not sure how you can be rote taught for the exam but I'm not that knowledgable about it so happy to be proven wrong.

Kenlee Sun 05-Jan-14 12:14:38

Its a legacy of tutoring were pass papers are memorized verbatim its just something I do not like...Thats why I hate multi choice and short answer questions..

hercules1 Sun 05-Jan-14 12:17:16

Dd has been doing the odd paper and no hint of having to rote learn but no idea other tutors do. Incidentally she is the only child who doesn't attend a private school at her tutors.

Shootingatpigeons Sun 05-Jan-14 12:26:46

Kenlee Rote learning is not as engrained in our culture as it is in Hong Kong. The exams are generally set to test ability not cramming, which is why the parental arms race is so irrelevant. I can't speak for Hercules area but the supers electives around here just introduced tests of English and Maths that they have made difficult to tutor too because they had not invested in making the VR and NVR tests tutorproof by making the questions unpredictable. The result was tutor factories that had the poor kids sat there sitting endless practise VR and NVR papers so that they could answer the types of questions they could predict would arise. Rote learning in effect with no educational benefit. All the local schools, both state and private emphasise to parents they do not want applicants to be extensively tutored, but they might as well be talking to themselves sad

hercules1 Sun 05-Jan-14 12:30:45

We might be same area. Unfortunately dd is at a particularly crap primary so we'd probably be tutoring regardless of wanting her to sit 11 plus. She would have no chance without additional support as her day to day education has been inadequate for years.

LadyMuck Sun 05-Jan-14 12:43:57

The school uniform thing is new and a bit divisive surely? The number of prep school uniforms (and some Whitgift and Trinity ones!) turning up for the grammar exams was bad enough. That said it looks as if our 3 schools are all "wear what you like".

LadyMuck Sun 05-Jan-14 14:25:44

Sorry - posted on the wrong thread!

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