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Has anyone taught the 11+ to their own child?

(27 Posts)
BooToYouToo Sat 02-Jul-11 17:50:17

Hi, my DD is about to go into year 5 and take the 11+ a year in September. We had booked a tutor who has had to cancel for health reasons so it looks like I will be preparing her myself.

Not sure what the tutors would have done other than practice papers. Has anyone tutored their child - how often, for how long each session and did you use internet sites or just books of papers?

Or, if you have used external tutors for your child do you know how they structured their sessions?

exoticfruits Sun 03-Jul-11 07:04:01

Do a few practise papers.If she doesn't get the hang of them then grammar school isn't the place IMO. Passing the exam is the start, the next 7yrs are the hard part-and not a good idea if she can't keep up.
If you do want to drill for 18months you will have to be guided by DC-no point in forcing them to do more sessions or longer sessions than they want.
I would have thought that you would have only been paying a tutor for one hour a week.

seeker Sun 03-Jul-11 07:16:09

Depends where yhou are and what school you're aiming for - do you need your child to get top marks in the test for a chance at one of the super selectives or are you in an area where a pass will get you a place?

Wormshuffler Sun 03-Jul-11 07:17:26

I did my DD myself, I bought a pack of practice papers from whsmiths, and also found an internet site with videos of the techniques for the VR and NVR.
We did a VR and a NVR one a week from after the whit break up until the september so 3 and a half months and that was enough. She passed and is getting on great at the school coming top in her recent science and English tests. I wouldn't call it a high pass either which illustrates my point about the 11 + being no measure of how well a child will do at school, just how well they have been "coached"

I am now doing the same for DS, however as his grammar only takes the top 145 scores I started a month earlier and am doing 2 VR per week (this is his weakness) and 1 NVR.

I am wholely against people who have their DC's tutored proffesionally for over a year, I have to admit I see it as cheating and buying a place at grammar. These tutors don't make the children any cleverer they simply teach tricks and stratagies for getting a pass and put the pass mark up for the super selective schools.

cjbartlett Sun 03-Jul-11 07:36:21

What's a vr and nvr?

cjbartlett Sun 03-Jul-11 07:38:12

Well a tutor teaching tricks and strategies is revision

You'll encourage them to revise for their gcses so I don't get why it's wrong to study and be prepared for the 11+
Its preparing for it not cheating

Wormshuffler Sun 03-Jul-11 07:42:18

It does not take a year to familiarise yourself with the question styles, which is all that should be done. If everyone simply did this, then the children that deserved a place would get in rather than them struggling against the children tutored extensively who push up the pass mark yet are the brightest in their year group.

VR is the verbal reasoning test, NVR is the non-verbal test.

Wormshuffler Sun 03-Jul-11 07:43:18

that sould read they are not the brightest in their year.

mumblechum1 Sun 03-Jul-11 08:06:01

Yes, I just bought the practice papers, ds did a couple a week (more in the week running up to the test), and he got through. Apart from the odd thing, he didn't need any actual coaching, he'd just sit and do them agains t the clock at the kitchen table whilst I made dinner.

I think people make much more of a big deal about them than necessary. They're aimed at 10 year old kids, not graduate students.

pinkgirlythoughts Sun 03-Jul-11 08:15:16

It's a few years ago, but my mum prepared me for it. She just bought a pack of papers from whsmith, then basically left me to get on with a paper, and we talked about the ones that I'd got wrong afterwards. I can't remember how early we started practicing, but it can't have been far in advance, because I only applied to sit the tests after mum happened to see an advert in the local paper and asked me if I thought it might be fun to try!

CecilyP Sun 03-Jul-11 08:26:55

^I am now doing the same for DS, however as his grammar only takes the top 145 scores I started a month earlier and am doing 2 VR per week (this is his weakness) and 1 NVR.

I am wholely against people who have their DC's tutored proffesionally for over a year, I have to admit I see it as cheating and buying a place at grammar. These tutors don't make the children any cleverer they simply teach tricks and stratagies for getting a pass and put the pass mark up for the super selective schools.^

So it is perfectly OK to tutor your child yourself, but, if you are not so confident in doing so and pay someone else to tutor them, it is cheating?

Please explain?

Wormshuffler Sun 03-Jul-11 08:48:39

I do it for 14 weeks, not over a year. There was an article I read recently where tutors are now doing it for up to 3 years in some cases. Purely for 2 tests.

CecilyP Sun 03-Jul-11 09:00:28

Yes, 14 weeks seems entirely sensible. Once children have got the idea of what is expected, more than that would seem a bit pointless. Dependent on what the exam involves, I think people who pay a tutor for years might be wasting a lot money, rather than cheating.

BooToYouToo Sun 03-Jul-11 09:06:47

Hi, thanks for your comments.

Exoticfruits - you are quite right that if they struggle with practice papers then grammar is not right. I'm not aiming for the top grammar but from her NFER scores she seems to be capable of taking the 11+ so I just want to get her used to the question formats esp. VR and NVR.

Will start her on one paper a week and see how it goes, step up closer to the exam, don't want her to burn out.

My main aim with a tutor was that my DD would settle down if it was a fixed activity every week whereas when I try to get her to do any homework she comes up with every excuse under the sun.

BooToYouToo Sun 03-Jul-11 09:09:03

Wormshuffler - what was the internet site you used please?

Doobydoo Sun 03-Jul-11 09:12:54

OP go to 11+website.They will have lots of info and it is split into location so there will be people fro your area.Some people have found it competitive and abit bonkers.I am in Lincolnshire and found it very helpful when we moved here.smile

cjbartlett Sun 03-Jul-11 09:19:39

Everyone tutors , you can't change that, so if you want them to have a fair chance they need tutoring imo

meditrina Sun 03-Jul-11 09:22:40

Practising the VR/NVR question papers only gets you so far. It is very important for the candidate to have seen the style of questions before (you don't want her slowing down unnecessarily to puzzle out how to go about something).

But after a few papers, you can expect scores to plateau. There is little benefit in practising on papers intensively beyond that point.

Wormshuffler Sun 03-Jul-11 12:13:43

The website I used for the tutorial viodeos was 11plus.co.uk OP it had free test on there too, but you can only see what asnwers you got wrong if you pay the one off £14.99 fee.

bellamom Sun 03-Jul-11 20:27:01

please could you answer this question - if there are several grammar schools, does a child need to sit each school's exam or is there one national 11plus exam??

mumblechum1 Sun 03-Jul-11 20:31:40

You sit one exam, eg we're in Bucks and so could put up to 5 Bucks grammar schools down on the list. We were offered our first choice as it was the nearest.

Amaretti Sun 03-Jul-11 20:33:14

Also check what maths is covered in the exams - in our area much of what is examined isn't taught in state schools until after the exam!

meditrina Sun 03-Jul-11 20:45:40

mumblechum: normally one exam for the LEA.

mumblechum1 Sun 03-Jul-11 20:46:41

Yes, that's what I mean.

MoreBeta Sun 03-Jul-11 20:48:25

BooToYou - yes we did. We took it very gently though. Got some past papers from Waterstones.

We didnt do many but just used them to identify weak areas in maths and give him some technique practice over a 6 month period. Just gentle home tutoring talking through problem areas and maybe we did 4 papers in each of maths, english, NVR, VR at the rate of one paper per week. The biggest tip I can give is make sure DD gets lots of practice and instruction on managing her time so she gets a chance to do all the questions not just stuck on one. Also find out if it is a multiple choice version she will be doing or expected to write actual answers down.

Incidentally, we started in the summer holidays as the exam was in January/February. Why are you thinking it is next September? Surely DD will be starting the new school then.

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