Where to start with grammar/private school entrance exams(9 Posts)
DS is 5 and in reception.
I know nothing really about how the entrance exams work.
I know they do an 11+ and that's probably about it.
Where do I start? What do I need to be doing?
DS is keen and enthusiastic about school, loves reading. I have no idea if he has what it takes for the exams but figured I should think about where to start from now and give him a chance.
Any help and advice appreciated!
In the nicest possible way, the best thing you can do is chill.
To get into and (importantly) thrive at a grammar/academically selective school your child needs to enjoy learning. And the danger with hot housing from such a young age is that you kill that enjoyment off.
If he is naturally able you'll find out soon enough and you can think about tutors and practice books, but honestly, letting him be a kid, playing, reading (lots of reading is genuinely really helpful for 11+ stuff: introduces the wide vocabulary needed) and helping him to flourish in the areas he enjoys will stand you in great stead.
Reception is far to early to worry about this. About Y4 take a look at the elevenplusexams website. They have region pages which tell you the type of exam for that school / region. Plus a chat area that is a mine of information. Once in Y5 you register for the tests so you have a huge amount of time. Focus on the foundation skills of vocabulary and numeracy now so you have a great springboard later. Encourage your DC to read lots and lots. I live in an area where DCs typically sit local superselective (based on score), neighbouring borough (based on pass and distance) and neighbouring county (a combination of the above). Nearer the time check the admissions criteria so you are only sitting tests where your DC can gain access to the school, a good number sit and even if they 'pass' can't qualify for the schools due to other criteria. We did home familiarisation for DD and didn't get an external tutor and this was for a superselective - not just a pass, but the tutoring industry is huge in some areas and can be hard to resist.
Thanks. My other post had the same responses so I think I will relax.
Thanks for the advice.
You really don't need to stress about this in Reception. But always, always, read to your child and listen to him reading to you.
also, depending on the area that you live in, the exams can change so make sure you get up to date information.
Please don't even think about it for another 4 or 5 years!.
We did no prep or hot housing with our dd, apart from the educational and cultural encouragement you'd expect - reading to and fostering love of books, encouraging interests, music lessons, fun clubs for confidence like Guides. She went to local primary. We were open minded about what type of school she might go to, but as she's bright we did look at some academic independents. Then, when in Y6 we found a lovely school she was excited to try for, that did have an entrance exam, we did a small amount of exam prep as she'd not done any similar tests before. I am of the opinion that you should not hot house, it does no good. You want a confident well rounded individual going forwards, this is important for their whole future success and resilience.
Regarding my dd, she has passed and they were complimentary about her attitude and friendliness. I hope she will be happy there and achieve to her potential.
I was at a prestigious university and met lots of hot housed young people who were doing degrees early. I never understood why as they were unable to participate in the rest of university life or have friends. It seemed like a sorry state of being.
There's nothing wrong in being interested in your sons future education-but the stuff to do now is to foster a love of learning. Actual exam prep comes later-if it's the right thing for him.
He's lucky to have you rooting for him!
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