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We have fucked up big time

(90 Posts)
TheOriginalFAB Sat 20-Aug-11 08:50:42

DS1 is 10 and taking the 11+ next month. He has just done a paper and got 20/50 and it was basic maths. He is in the middle group at school. He is bright but doesn't enjoy school, he is an inventor really. WTF do we do now as at this rate he won't pass the 11+ but tbh my main worry is what kind of school has a child at 10 who can't get basic maths right? He has flashes of brilliance and then doesn't get basic maths right. We have 2 other children at the school, 1 extremely bright and 1 average, we don't want to let them down as well.

MrsRobertDuvall Sat 20-Aug-11 08:55:28

Why are you letting your other children down?
Have you just realised he can't do maths?
Do you have an alternative school which is not selective?
Sorry for all the questions but ai don't understand what you're asking really.
I have a child who is exceptional at maths and one who frankly isn't...she has a maths tutor just to get her through gcse.

TheOriginalFAB Sat 20-Aug-11 08:56:53

We have been led to believe he was doing a lot better than he was.

I am worried that if a school tells you one thing that turns out not to be true, we woud be letting the other kids down by leaving them there.

MigratingCoconuts Sat 20-Aug-11 09:00:08

what are you local choices of school? Is the grammer really the only reasonable choice? What is it he doesn't like about school?

If this is his first attempt then part of it could be learning the style of questions. You need to get him to practise repeatedly these type of questions so that he gets more used to them. Half of the success in exams is down to understanding how the game is played and what to expect on the paper.

If he doesn't like school much, this is going to be an uphill battle!

trixymalixy Sat 20-Aug-11 09:01:32

Can you afford a maths tutor?

I agree it's about practising the type of questions.

MigratingCoconuts Sat 20-Aug-11 09:02:28

I am worried that if a school tells you one thing that turns out not to be true, we woud be letting the other kids down by leaving them there.

No, the school let you down!

You won't let them down by leaving them there but you will be better prepared to ask the right questions and look out for warning signs.

That's the lot of the eldest child, I'm afraid. Its a learning curve for the parents!

The 11+ papers need a special technique. That's why so many people use tutors. Not to 'cheat', but because they aren't like anything they do at school normally.

He may just need to get used to the style and timing of the maths questions. His basic maths may be fine/better than fine.

Some places to week long intensive 11+ courses so it
may be just possible for you to find one.


gapants Sat 20-Aug-11 09:05:13

doing well in tests are quite often indicative of being good at --taking tests. He will need lots of practise in test formats. However what were his last levels more Eng/Maths at the end of the summer term? They will be based on class work and continual assessment.

If you think the Grammar school is the best option, then forking out a tutor might be worth the money.

MrsRobertDuvall Sat 20-Aug-11 09:06:43

Sorry I thought you had dcs at the grammar.
We moved younger ds from primary as we realised dd's needs were being overlooked...quiet girl, middle of the middle maths group.
He has just finished yr 7 on level 7 for maths.
You might be struggling now to get him up to speed for 11plus paper if part of the test is maths. If he doesn't like school, a grammar environment may not be the best for him. What's the local school like?

SuePurblybilt Sat 20-Aug-11 09:08:31

I managed this at school - we moved around lots and as I was fairly bright in other ways they never seemed to notice that I couldn't do fractions, multiplication, long division - any of it. I developed very good mental artithmatic and they just never copped on to how little I knew (and still don't).

I would say to address it with the school calmly and if you still have concerns, look at your options. Don't go into a panic now. FWIW I passed the 11 plus without any of the above, ditto GCSEs, A levels, degree, professional qualifications and more.

TheOriginalFAB Sat 20-Aug-11 09:12:36

We have a tutor now to help him with the 11? but tbh we should have got him sooner. DH and I disagreed about having one but onjce we got his report it was a case of crap.

I want him at a grammar to get him away from the bullies. There are lots of schools but I am not from here so don't understand how they work tbh.

He has been doing papers for months now as dh paid a fee and you can go on line and do them.

MigratingCoconuts Sat 20-Aug-11 09:17:31

going to the grammer doesn't automatically mean getting away from the bullies. I would use this year to personally visit some of your other options and also read the OFSTED reports. It sounds to me like you need a back up plan.

I say this not because I think he'll fail but because its going to start putting pressure on a boy who isn't fond of formal learning right now. And also is the light of some of your other recent posts, you need to take pressure off.

This is very important but its not that important in the light of the bigger picture.

lollipoppet Sat 20-Aug-11 09:20:49

I wouldn't be too hasty whipping your children out of school over this. You said you have been lead to believe he was doing better than he is, I'm wondering if the school have said yes he is doing fine because he is fine, just not exceptionally good at maths? Is he very good at another subject? Maybe that's how confusion has occurred?

Don't forget, the 11+ is designed for particularly talented children so it will be hard. Even the best at maths won't get all the questions right.

Do you know if the school uses sats to get an end if year level? It would help to know what level he was at.

If you're worried, could you afford to have a tutor a couple of times a week? This one to one time will improve his confidence greatly.

Also, if he is going to do the 11+ then he really needs loads of practise to get used to the papers style. I remember when I was at school it was all we did for a few weeks before the exam! Schools won't do that now though! They probably won't do any practice unless all/a lot of the children are taking the exam?

What area do you live in? Maybe you should start looking at other schools to broaden your options, just in case.


ChippyMinton Sat 20-Aug-11 09:20:55

This website here has masses of advice about preparing for 11+.

Ladymuck Sat 20-Aug-11 09:22:20

Which area are you in, and are the grammars superselective (ie not catchmemt related)? Which subjects is he having to sit, and how is he across the other subjects?

MrsRobertDuvall Sat 20-Aug-11 09:23:26

The are bullies everywhere op.
You will have to have a second/third choice.
It is not fair on your son if you are pushing the grammar school as the only place you want him to go....what if he fails?
And I speak as the mother of a son who refused to go to grammar, favouring the local boys school which doesn't have the best reputation.

Optimism Sat 20-Aug-11 09:33:21

Agree with coconuts. If this is his first go at a paper like this then I wouldn't be too worried. If it's common entrance he's doing, then they have very similar style questions each year - once he's got the hang of what to expect and how to tackle them he should be fine. IME children always do badly on their first try but I've seen children whose marks double once they've had a bit of practice at the types of questions and at working under 'exam conditions' (- ie to limited time, without being able to ask for help while working).

You should be able to get hold of past papers from the ISEB (or maybe even from WHSmiths?).

TheOriginalFAB Sat 20-Aug-11 09:36:34

We are in Kent.

The tutor has told DH that he won't pass at the levels he is getting so now we are using the tutoring as a way to get him nearer to where he should have been. He is bright but he doens't like maths though is better than he thinks. DD is like me. Loves school and it all comes naturally to her at the moment. She is the youngest in the year but top for almost everything.

I don't want him at grammar as I am a snob, I just wanted him to have a chance. DH knows which school he will probably go to so we will look at that school.

I appreciate all your help. I am going out now to get some shopping but will be back later to look at the links.

Thanks again.

iggly2 Sat 20-Aug-11 09:37:14

If you think it is the right school I think you could teach him yourself you have a month. Certainly keep doing papers. This is primary school maths and I would think most adults would be very capable of teaching it. One to one gets a lot done.

iggly2 Sat 20-Aug-11 09:43:15

Does your son like computers? How about maths websites eg Topmarks, coolmaths, woodland primary school. If there is an element of fun he may enjoy it and build his confidence.

mrz Sat 20-Aug-11 09:48:33

I would talk to your son's teacher ...interesting the tutor considers your son is failing and needs more support when the school considers him "average" hmm

StillSquiffy Sat 20-Aug-11 09:53:04

Just keep plugging away.

My nephew lived abroad for a few years and came back at the end of the summer holidays just before the kent test. His parents went through exactly the same as you did and found he scored very poorly across all the areas of the Kent test. In the end he didn't pass, but he did get to within a whisker in just 3 weeks, so I think it can certainly be done in the timeframe you have. I think their tutor came about 3 times a week and they did the rest of the practice work.

talkingnonsense Sat 20-Aug-11 10:03:29

Hi fab, which bit of Kent are you in? Usually, about 50% on an 11+ paper here will equate to a pass. The letts/nfer practice papers are good. How is he doing on verbal/ non verbal, as if he just misses on maths he may get through on head teachers appeal if they think he is able. Pm me if you like ( am also in Kent, ds1 at grammar, ds2 taking it in sept) .

MigratingCoconuts Sat 20-Aug-11 10:17:46

I would talk to your son's teacher ...interesting the tutor considers your son is failing and needs more support when the school considers him "average"

That depends on the standards by which they are being compared. The school may judge him as average by national standards but the selective system may consider that a 'fail' when taking the exam.

MigratingCoconuts Sat 20-Aug-11 10:28:39

sorry...I meant to add that it all depends whether the school knew that FAB was planning for her son to take the test for the selective schools.

I don't know Kent so don't know how much the primaries gear up for the tests.

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