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Tutoring for 11+ - was told too late

(31 Posts)
thetropicmama7 Fri 14-Aug-15 22:05:22

We live in an 11+ area with a strong emphasis on children getting in to grammar schools. My DC is just going in to Year 5 and when I enquired with tutors in the area, I was repeatedly told I have left it too late as apparently most children have been having tutoring from Year 3/4. I was initially it going to et a tutor for my son but feel forced to do so as everyone seems to have one and I would feel awful if DC ever thought I disadvantaged him by not getting one when his classmates have them hmm. If you did get a tutor, at what stage did you start your DCs with tutoring specifically for the 11+?

PettsWoodParadise Fri 14-Aug-15 23:46:08

At start of Y5 We tried Explore Learning, a tutoring centre franchise and when that became chaotic we tried a tutor for two months but ended up doing it ourselves. Exams in a few weeks so will find out if tactic worked fairly soon....there is no perfect route. Start of Y5 is fairly normal IMO. Each child is different. You will also find a lot of anti-grammar sentiment along the journey too. Try the Elevenplusexams website for info for your area. Good luck

Goodbetterbest Fri 14-Aug-15 23:53:55

Easter in year 5. Too early and they get bored.

People get their tutors lined up very early on, some start tutoring early. Too early. It's a huge amount of pressure.

My lot started in Easter Year 5. They mainly do practice papers and fill in gaps - things like bus stop division method which haven't been taught yet in school, stuff like that - it's about practice, timing and technique, not so much knowledge IYSWIM.

Parents are an absolute fucking nightmare about the 11+. I wish they would just go back to letting everyone sit the test at their desks at school and give everyone a fair crack at it.

LilyTucker Sat 15-Aug-15 07:38:45

2 of mine started in Jan of year 5(both got into 3 schools)the other who has drawn the short straw as regard maths teaching,job shares etc in the Sep of year 5. The jan starters were bored of it well before the Sep of year 6 when they took it but needed to do it as they hadn't covered a lot of the work at school.

All this leave kids to do it stuff is baloney. Dd is doing it in Sep and still hasn't covered half the maths and some of the English in school. That said if you get an 11+ maths book and look at the content a year is plenty to cover it and they are the right maturity to do so in year 5. Any earlier and I think you are in danger of putting them off.Imvho.

MMmomKK Sat 15-Aug-15 11:10:32

It all depends and - whatever other people do is not really relevant to

teddygirlonce Sat 15-Aug-15 11:16:16

It's not too late at all! We started 11+ prep with DS half-way thro' Year 5 (and he passed all three that he took). We're about to start with DD at the beginning of Year 5.

I think the tutors are hedging their bets TBQH. Maybe they can't guarantee that a DC will pass if they don't have years of tutoring!!!

And don't take any notice of what other parents tell you either! You will learn there's a lot of subterfuge and snide - if not downright nasty - behaviour from some sharp elbowed parents when it comes to the 11+ exams!

Beat to your own drum with your DC - and good luck!

MMmomKK Sat 15-Aug-15 11:16:34

Oops - phone posted too soon!

I just wanted to say - do whatever feels right for your child. There isn't such a thing as "the right time to get a tutor"!

If you feel confident that you know what's needed to be done to get ready for the exam - do it. Or get someone to help you.

In most prep schools Y5 is a year when they cover most of the material needed for 11+. Y6 is then spent practicing, revising, drilling the technic.

Your child is starting Y5 - so you have time but need to get serious, whichever way you choose to go.

Good luck to both of you!

Heyho111 Sat 15-Aug-15 11:19:33

So what this means is that children are not getting the educational level to pass the 11+ in your area. That their education needs to be supplemented. If a child cannot pass the 11+ with normal schooling and support from home then perhaps it's not the school for them. How much pressure is your area putting on these kids. It seems wrong.

Lagodiatitlan Sat 15-Aug-15 11:25:21

Much depends on how clever your child is. Some will need relatively little tutoring - just familiarising themselves with the format of the paper, exam technique and maybe speed. Even clever children will see a big increase on the scores once they have done a few papers.
Others will not pass with years of tutoring. Those that require years of tutoring to scrape in will not thrive in a grammar school.

ImperialBlether Sat 15-Aug-15 11:28:51

I agree, Heyho. That isn't the point of the 11+, that people train for it for years! Obviously it's good to see a past paper or two, but there's a school near me where they have Saturday morning classes for three hours for two years - AND some parents pay for extra tuition on top of that. I think that's ridiculous, frankly.

3littlefrogs Sat 15-Aug-15 11:30:03

If your child is bright you can buy the books in WHSmith and do it all yourself.

These kids who have to be tutored from the age of 7 are probably going to be burnt out and struggling by the time they are 11 IMO.

Just going into year 5 is fine OP, if you buy the practice papers and start now. All this tutoring is a money making racket.

Do the schools sell past papers?

CremeBrulee Sat 15-Aug-15 11:43:22

We live in an 11+ area and I am opposed to tutoring for many of the reasons set out by pp.

But what is happening here is that the kids that have been tutored for 3 years are scoring better marks and therefore getting places at the super selective grammar schools and the kids that are always top of the class are not.

My DD sat the 11+ untutored 2 years ago and scored a good mark but not nearly as good as her friends that were tutored. She may have just scraped a place through waiting lists but we decided to go another route anyway.

DS is now starting Y4, he's a maths whizz and generally very bright - the 2 local grammars would suit him very well. My heart says that tutoring is wrong but my head says it's not fair for him miss out on a place because everyone else in his year group that applied tutored and we didn't.

Hoppinggreen Sat 15-Aug-15 11:51:05

We began at the beginning of year 5, however we are not in a Grammar area as such and most children from DD's school won't be doing it.
One tutor we approached told us that some children start from age 7 but I wouldn't even consider that, I feel bad enough that DD has had to give up 1 hour a week for the past year.
If you think it will work just do the Bond 11+ books yourself, we do a bit of that but felt that an external tutor would work better as fewer distractions at home

thetropicmama7 Sat 15-Aug-15 12:27:52

Thank you so much for all your responses, it has certainly allayed my fears and I'm not too worried anymore. I was just overwhelmed by how such a big thing it is in our area - I think it's because the local comprehensive isn't all that good (apparently). I never had tutoring before, neither did any of my DCs and both are doing well. I was planning to work with my DS on some papers myself but would feel awful as it seems like he's the only one of his friends (and it seems like the class) who doesn't have a tutor lined up. It's a shame really that all this extra expense partly depends on where you live.

WitchofScots Sat 15-Aug-15 12:51:03

I'd have thought year 5 was fine. We don't have the 11+ here but the neighbouring county has one which we briefly considered, DD did the exam and was offered a place but we decided it wasn't the right school for her and so she went to the local comprehensive. She had minimal tutoring and just needed to get to grips with the verbal reasoning papers.
I think it was the right decision but ask me after Thursday!

clam Sat 15-Aug-15 13:07:48

I would say that if a child "needs" tutoring for the 11+ in Yr 3, then it's worth questioning whether they're really up to it and if a grammar school is right for them.

janetandroysdaughter Sat 15-Aug-15 13:15:11

January Y5 for exams in October and January. Definitely wouldn't opt for any earlier than that. Though DC enjoyed what they called 'Puzzle Game' books which were the Yr3 & 4 Bond NVR and VR practise papers.

You've not left it too late. You can always tutor yourself. the key thing is to be calm and methodical and not to overdo it. DC did one paper a week for a year - that's all. Over Christmas leading up to their most important exams they did those 10 mins a day maths papers. Google the 11+ forum. It's really helpful. There are some brilliant tutors and wise parents on there (or there were a couple of years ago.)

3littlefrogs Sat 15-Aug-15 13:17:36

I agree clam. Unfortunately the whole tutoring thing has moved the goal posts.

When I did 11 plus we just did it one day at school.

DD went to local grammar school and some of the kids in her class really struggled, having been tutored to the test for years. It is a very stressful environment if you can't keep up.

Goodbetterbest Sat 15-Aug-15 16:29:51

Unfortunately the school curriculum and the 11+ knowledge required is completely out of sync at the local state primaries. If the 11+ was taken at the end of year 6, everyone would have the same knowledge. We live in a state grammar area. The private prep schools start prepping early on, so it's a massively unlevel playing field from the off.

I've raised it with our state primary, I've asked them to have sessions for parents to familiarise them with papers and techniques to pass on - so at least there is a choice. A lot of able children aren't getting a fair crack because either families can't afford tutoring, maybe parents don't have same aspirations or whatever the reason.

To run a state school system so bias towards the 'haves' where being able to pay for a tutor gives a massive advantage is grossly unfair.

clam Sat 15-Aug-15 16:33:39

It's not a state primary's role to prepare some (more able) children for an exam to a selective school. Its job is to educate all children to national requirements.

LilyTucker Sat 15-Aug-15 17:19:19

You don't need to pay but you do need to be aware of what is in the exam and what they will need to have covered. Many parents can't be arsed so outsource.

Op it also depends on how much you want to do a week. I frankly didn't want 3 months of burning the midnight oil so we started from Sep and Jan and have had a gentle couple of hours a week. My dc did less 11+ a week than their privately educated friends did in general homework.

enderwoman Sat 15-Aug-15 17:48:46

We live in an 11+ area. Start of y5 is fine to start revising but the most popular tutors are booked in y3/4 ahead of time. Sorry if that's not what you wanted to hear...

HeighHoghItsBacktoWorkIGo Sun 16-Aug-15 17:13:57

My DD started tutoring the end of May, year 5. She got into 4 selective independents to which she applied. One highly selective. She did not get into the SS grammar school though. She did well, but not well enough.

To be fair the requirements for the SS independent were different than the requirements for the SS grammar school, and she prepared with an eye towards the independent school because with about half a year to prepare we didn't want to bog her down prepping for something that wasn't the real "goal." She took the grammar entrance test as a free mock test.

My point is, I think you have enough time. (I also think that you need to prepare specifically for the test the child will take that matters most. The exams can vary quite a bit.)

TutoraPrivateTutoring Wed 19-Aug-15 16:01:59

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

WiryElevator Fri 21-Aug-15 18:17:43

My DS had tutoring once a week for 45 minutes throughout Y5. He did well in the test and starts at a superselective next month.

If your child is doing well, top tables etc a year is plenty in a granmar area.

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