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3+ 4+ 5+ 7+ support thread 2013

(323 Posts)
mumteacher Wed 19-Dec-12 22:26:41

I have had a number of messages asking if I have any spaces in my classes. I'm really sorry but I have been at full capacity for some time now.

However, I do appreciate that this is a very stressful time of year for parents who have children sitting these private school assessments in January 2013. So, I'm hoping that by setting up this support group thread I can help by answering some questions you have about these assessments.

Hopefully this thread will also contain some useful insight from the experiences of parents who have already been through the process.

mumteacher Mon 31-Dec-12 10:47:56

Motherto4 different schools use different ways to grade and assess children. It is a little usually to be graded A B C in year 4 but nit unheard of. I would most definitely ask the school if you have concerns. To me from what you've said looks like your DD is doing very well overall. If this was my child I would look at science and ict and see why she didn't achieve higher in these two subjects too. Your DD seems like a bright girl.

If there is no test/assessment for the local state grammar school then it does seem pointless to prepare. I would check with the school if they have a selection process at all before making a decision not to prepare.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to understand how your child is doing at school. Speak to the class teacher she may want you to make an appointment so can discuss your questions properly. Please don't think this means you're a pushy parent. Just one that wants the best for her children. As a teacher I think it's really important to get parents on board.

motherto4 Tue 01-Jan-13 13:30:08

Thank you mumteacher for your advice. Your message was on page 2 so didn't see it initially.

Will definitely make an appointment with the teacher and discuss how she's progressing this year. Will also look thoroughly into school admissions process etc.

rathlin Tue 01-Jan-13 21:18:28

Hi there, my DS will be taking part in a 4+ assessment for Sep 13 entry to St Helen's College in NW London next month.

I've no idea what to expect and was wondering if you knew or if you could offer any general advice on these assessments.

mumteacher Wed 02-Jan-13 23:31:36

Ratlin this a lovely school head by a husband and wife if I remember correctly. The biggest obstacle is number of spaces as many of the children from nursery go on through to their reception class.

Social skills and interaction with other children will be important.

meandthree Thu 03-Jan-13 13:39:02

Hi mumteacher. My daughter is doing the 4+ assessment. She is quite a confident child but can interrupt with questions and comments while the teacher is talking. Will this be an issue and if so, what can you recommend to stop her doing this and wait until after the story has been read?

smallbluestar Thu 03-Jan-13 17:12:51

My daughter just completed her first round assessment at a selective north london girls school.

She wasn't asked to draw, write her name, count, read or anything - she says she played with the princess stuff, was a doctor and pretended one of the teachers was a patient, and did some sequencing.

Can anyone tell me what will come up if she is invited back to the seocnd round, which is one to one?

mumteacher Thu 03-Jan-13 19:31:26

Smallbluestar which school?

Meandthree it depends on a number of things. What's your DD DOB? If she interrupts with questions that are related to what the teacher is talking about then it should be fine. If the questions are not related depending on which school, it may look as if your DD isn't concerntrating on what the teacher is saying.

When you're speaking to your DD

mumteacher Thu 03-Jan-13 20:45:06

Sorry posted too early.

When giving your DD instructions and she interrupts you, bend down so you're eye-to-eye, facing her and ask her "what did mummy just ask you to do?" if she repeats the instruction follow with, "no talking, no discussion please just go and ....(get your socks) and then we can talk about (whatever she interrupted you with)." then lose eye contact.

When she comes back with her socks make sure you have the conversation about what she wanted.

This sometimes happens with my youngest who feels she needs to interrupt everyone and shout to have a chance at getting her say and be heard.

Clothqueen Thu 03-Jan-13 22:47:38

Hi mum teacher thanks so much for starting this thread really helpful at a nerve wracking time! My DS is doing 7+ at two of the London day preps which seem almost impossible to get into! He is a lively boy and is very interested in many things but its proving a bit challenging to crack the "story in 20mins" they have to do with 3 paras etc etc he likes to stare into space for half the time" just thinking!" and I would be very interested in your tips on story writing for seven year old boys with just over a week to go. He can do it but only if I am nagging in the corner and as I keep telling him, I won't be there to do this on the day....aargh ! He tells me the girls in his class just get writing but when he does write its great stuff. Very frustrating as I think he will run out of time on the day. Can you help?

meandthree Fri 04-Jan-13 11:50:38

Thanks mumteacher. My daughter is August-born so will be one of the youngest in her class. You mentioned that it depends on the schools - which schools will it matter more for? She is doing the north london / northwood schools .

The interuptions are usually to do with something in the story initially but she will slowley go off at a tangent e.g if we were reading the story about the Hungry Caterpillar and it mentions he eats a pear, she will start to say that she likes pears but she can't eat too many because she will get sick. I am not sure how much of the story she has heard as she appears to go off in her own thoughts. Any suggestions?

mumteacher Fri 04-Jan-13 12:18:48

Meandthree the example you gave about pears(she interrupts with something related to the topic) and the fact that she is August born means she should be given some 'grace' at both these schools.

Interrupting a story with relate question/discussion is fine. Interrupting an instruction and then not being able to follow the instruction for not having heard it is something different and may not sit well at north London.

Assuming north London is next week you don't have much time (don't panic) explain to your daughter the difference between a story/discussion and instructions. Discussion when it's ok to interrupt and (instruction) when it's not- she listens and follows no talking.

Then practice this in a game format. So you start the discussion about for example and don't ask her questions just talk and see if she interrupts. If she does get excited, clap your hands and say yes well done, this is a discussion so you can interrupt as long as it's something to do with the topic. Next give her an instruction to follow -DD I want you to go into the kitchen jump up and down three times. If she does it straight away without chatting about give her the biggest hug! If she questions the instruction like how many time do I jump mummy? That's fine (answer with one word keeping conversation to a minimum) but if she asks/says something irrelevant explain again what the difference between instructions and discussions. And try it again.

Once she gets the idea, give her the chance to 'test' you-so her turn to give you instruction or read you a story. Do this a few times and sometimes you make a mistake of interrupting her instructions she gives you, so giving her the opportunity to correct you, hence consolidating the learning.

oliverreed Fri 04-Jan-13 20:05:38

hello mumteacher, can you give any advice on 7+ exams for westminster under (colet court?). ds has been working through bond 7-8 books in maths and english getting 90% +. Not a quick writer though. He is a good 'all rounder', sporty and grade 1 in first instrument. Thanks

mumteacher Fri 04-Jan-13 21:49:02

Clothqueen try|1;d|CyWsLJyM1gLshM:

(or plug in story hill into google)

Get your son to write 5 things into the story hill
1) time of day ,characters
2) introduce the problem - car wouldn't start, lost birthday present...
3) expand problem - dad tried the car many times but the car refused to pass attention ignoring all my dad's efforts
4) how problem is solved
5) ending working car takes you to the beach at last perfect day out had by all.

Break down beginning middle and end into how many kinds to write
B- 8-10 lines
M- 8-10
E-5-7 lines

Give him 3/4 sentence starters - in the cold frosty winter morning..., suddenly..., in the blink of an eye...,to my amazement ..., meanwhile..,

Give him 3/4 the night was as black as coal, the room was as pretty as a picture...

And 4 wow words peculiar, dangerously,....

And take away words such as then, but, replacing with meanwhile, excitedly,slowly, out of nowhere...

Arm him with all this and work through a story together. Give him a printed story hill and set a buzzer on your phone for 2mins (thinking time) he can fill in as much of the hill as he can with words or simple sentences, after this he must start writing his story.

Set timer for 5 minutes next. After this time tell him he can't continue with the beginning and must move on to the middle. Remind him it's only 8 lines.
5 mins middle 5 minutes ending.

He then has 2 minutes to read, fill gaps etc...

If you practice this buzzer system to begin with he may not finish the beginning part of the story but he will realise time constraints and get quicker.
It does work!

If you're going to use the buzzer system make sure you go through all of the above with him before. Let him have the words, sentence starters in front of him. That way he can get use to using them and more importantly remembering them.

Clothqueen Fri 04-Jan-13 23:42:00

Thanks so much mum teacher this is excellent, so helpful.

mumteacher Sat 05-Jan-13 16:03:39

Oliverreed bond books are a good tool but your son will most definitely need to do the next age band. 7-8 may not be enough.

if he's slow with story writing use my response to clothqueen.

SuiGeneris Sat 05-Jan-13 16:13:20

Marking my place as I have a nearly 3-year-old who will be sitting SW London exams in October.

OP: what would you suggest by way of preparation, please?

How do they take to bilingual children, please?

mumteacher Sat 05-Jan-13 19:23:43

SW London schools can very a far bit, so you're going to have tell which schools.

At most of these highly competitive schools the assessments are carried out in English. So as wonderful as it is that you have a bilingual child, he/she will need to have a firm handle on English in order to follow 2/3 tier instructions and be able to have discussions on certain topics.

mumteacher Sun 06-Jan-13 23:56:15

Suigeneris I realised I didn't answer both your questions sorry.

Recognition of own name
Social skills
Numbers to 5

mumteacher Wed 09-Jan-13 00:26:04

Round 1 assessments are underway. Hope it's going well.

Good luck x

Seaswan Wed 09-Jan-13 15:00:03

Thanks, Mumteacher, for your earlier advice! Last first round assessment tomorrow...praying for the best! We have been invited for interview to Northwood College, apparently they interview the parents and daughter separately in the second round. Not sure what to!!! Thanks x

iseenodust Thu 10-Jan-13 12:51:46

The answer to clothqueen is just what I needed. thanks.

meandthree Thu 10-Jan-13 13:55:13

Does anyone know when to expect to hear from Habs or NLCS after first round interviews and when to give up hope? I have seen from previous threads that they can be quite slow in getting back with a 'no'. I am a bundle of nerves!!

traintracks Thu 10-Jan-13 14:00:19

NLCS say in their letter not to phone unless you haven't heard by Tuesday. Habs were a bit vague when I asked.

meandthree Thu 10-Jan-13 17:31:36

Do you know if they call you or post a letter?

matchsticksbynoon Thu 10-Jan-13 19:26:13

mumteacher, are you able to give advice on 9+ assessment? DS is being assessed next week and my main query is regarding bringing in a piece of work to show off. What piece of work? Is numeracy ok or must it be literacy/humanities based?

He is also a massive reader, already achieving 4b in comprehension though not yet 8 1/2. He read 1-2 books a day over Christmas. How do I choose a suitable book for him to bring in and discuss? He has read almost everything suitable for his age including all Roald Dahls, all Harry Potters, most Alex Rider, the Hobbit, all Narnia series, all Diary of a wimpy kid, lots of Beast Quest, all How to train your dragon, all Scary Street, Tom's midnight garden etc. Currently reading the Iron woman and Mortal engines.

What kind of questions will they ask regarding the book he brings in?

I am a bit worried as he should have no problem in getting in to this selective school but we are applying for a bursary which is very competitive so he needs to really show his best side. The assessments take place over several days and time is spent with the current class.

Also, how well are they expected to write? I have always been told that his ideas are amazing but the stories lack structure (I totally agree). How can I practice this in one weekend?

I haven't pushed him much before as he is doing remarkably well, being late August born, and he doesn't want to do work with me - until we start and he actually enjoys it. He works hard at school though.

Hugely grateful for any help from any source.

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