Should we do the eleven plus tuition for educatcational benefit if not applying to Gramma school?(8 Posts)
My child is in Year 5 and we are now looking to secondary schools.
Our primary school attracts pupils from a couple of different counties as it's close to the border. One county has the grammar school and eleven plus system, the others don't.
My child is very academically bright and so were we in the catchment we would be doing eleven plus and applying for the grammar school system.
As it goes we're not, and in our area we have some equally fantastic schools choice mostly without an entrance exam (1 with) where we live which we are confident are just as good options as grammar in the other county.
My quandary is that the other "clever kids" in my child's class have been doing eleven plus tuition since September to apply for grammar school and now seem to be excelling academically in maths and literacy at a rate that my child isn't. The school focuses heavily on SEND for those who are struggling educationally (rightly so) but doesn't do too much in terms of encouraging/stretching higher attainers. My child has been moved into a lower group with easier work because her peers being tutored have massively improved, (or can answer the right questions on a test) and I now feel that my child is being disadvantaged and left behind, especially as it's a mixed year class so the teacher is more predominantly focused on Year six pupils this term.
My child's teacher doesn't seem particularly educationally aspirational (went to local comp, doesn't seem to see the point in grammar/maintained schools) and I asked her whether I should get a tutor regardless of whether my child is doing eleven plus or not because I was concerned she had been moved down and she was very non committal about it. I also asked her how she was encouraging a higher attainer like my child and she skirted around an unacceptable answer which was basically "i'm not".
What should I do? I feel that my child is being disadvantaged by not doing eleven plus tuition as she is academically capable of doing it, but is it worth the cost when we will not be applying to grammar school? Once she gets to senior school will she be disadvantaged for not having had a tutor/eleven plus tuition as i know schools don't always cover all areas of the syllabus.
Please excuse the spelling mistakes - couldn't edit from my phone!!
No. I'd put money towards tuition in something your DC is interested in (music, French, creative writing, sports) instead as the 11plus tuition is geared towards the exam, not the general curriculum and skills. I used to teach secondary and don't think any child would be disadvantaged by not having had 11 plus tuition. They go over stuff in yr7 that they've already done anyway, plus the grammar in primary school is really advanced now.
I would recommend reading widely for fun, lots of experiences (museums, visits, theatre, cinema) and there are some great online resources for challenging more able students.
If it's affecting your child's self esteem then maybe it would be a good idea. At this age children can start to believe the wrong things about themselves and it won't help if she starts seeing herself as not so clever. Is it possible though, that you could just help her at home yourself? Buy a book or online programme and work through it with her? That's what I've done with mine in primary and early secondary ( but I do have the advantage of being a teacher myself.)
It's true though that the curriculum repeats for things like maths and English.
Are you sure you couldn't apply to the grammars if you wanted to? I didn't think they were allowed to discriminate according to what county you live in, just by actual distance.
Check their admissions criteria.
Would your dd enjoy the NVR / VR that the 11+ mostly focusses on ? Would you like her to have extra tutoring irrespective of how others are doing?
It does seem like the ultimate madness that competitive tutoring is now affecting even those who aren't applying to grammars!
Yes, if you can manage it, I would arrange some tutoring for her since she has been put down a set and feels 'behind'. As pp mentioned, you also won't want her to lose confidence.
Moving down a set will have other ramifications since not only might the academic work be less challenging but also the pupils' behaviour may not be as good, leading to an all round demotion in experience.
Years ago, a teacher friend sent her clever older daughter for tutoring and that girl won a place at the grammar in the next county; like you they lived near the line. When her younger son was the same age, she arranged the same tutoring for him out of fairness. She knew he was not as clever but wanted him to have the same advantages. She was very pleased to find that even though he was not applying to the grammar (it's girls only) the tutoring had an excellent 'consolidating' effect so felt it was definitely worth it.
As a manager of a tuition centre, I can tell honestly tell you that some children really enjoy the challenge of the 11+ especially in timed conditions. Others really get bored with the repetitive nature of the tasks.
I really think it depends on your child. Speak to them about it and see what they would like to do.
We introduced bond VR and non VR when we did home ed in Yr3 (left a failing school). By the time Yr 6 came around we unexpectedly had a GS as our nearest school and DD passed the test without tuition (had been back in school since Yr 4 and hadn't looked at VR/NVR since).
Could you buy a couple of books to try at home?
Join the discussion
Please login first.