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Practice and reasoning books for NLCS 4+ assessment

(16 Posts)
mumtalker Wed 13-Feb-13 08:44:32

I know there are lots of threads as to why one cannot and should not prep a 4 year old. This thread is not about that.

My DD (3.5 years) practices Schofield and Simms workbooks at her pre-school which has lot of activities including dot-to-dot, tracing, copying pictures, spot the difference, find the odd one out, whats comes next in the pattern etc.

My DD will be sitting for her 4+ assessment in NLCS next year (which I do appreciate is a long way) and her teacher recommended that I should get her to practice more of this and similar exercises at home on weekends. I was wondering if anyone knows of similar books, activities, puzzles or any other advice that will help in preparing her (or atleast give her a taster) for this assessment.

horsemadmom Wed 13-Feb-13 09:05:43

Cut things,stick things,listen to stories, answer questiond about stories (what do you think happens next? Why did she do that? etc), draw pictures. Enjoy being a toddler. End of.

ariane5 Wed 13-Feb-13 09:40:03

I know absolutely nothing about assessment for schools as my dcs go to state school BUT dd1 has always been very clever and has been on g+t for last 4 years and is doing really well.

When she was little I used to spend hours with her doing drawings, reading to her, painting, making pretend things out of play dough and playing 'shops'.
We went for nature walks and made scrapbook and talked about everything.
Every night in the bath we did counting/nursery rhymes/alphabet song/times tables and she picked it up really easily.

We didn't do much actual sitting down and doing workbooks but I was teaching her stuff all the time.

Poor ds1,dd2 and ds2 havnt had as much time spent on them as I'm so busy but dd1 has done so well.

Hope that helps and gives you some ideas smile

Biscuitsneeded Wed 13-Feb-13 10:00:34

Oh for heaven's sake, play with her, talk to her, sing songs, take her to playgroups, take her to a museum or two, read stories. If her nursery are already doing workbooks with her then surely she doesn't need the rest of her day taken up with more of the same? If you talk to her and stimulate her it will benefit her loads more than being made to do yet more workbooks. I can understand that you really want her to get a place at a particular school, but surely three is too young to start ramping up the academic pressure? She may find the workbooks relatively fun but don't you think doing them at nursery is enough?

Sorry, I usually try to sit on my hands when I see things I don't agree with but at her age she should be PLAYING!

mumtalker Wed 13-Feb-13 10:01:41

Thank you horsemadmom and ariane5. I do most of these things with my DD, but apparently this is not enought. Her teacher said that the child will be presented with puzzles and patterns which they need to solve and there should be a logic behind it.

I only intend to use any workbooks as a booster on weekends, say for 20 mins. Like any other mum, I do want my DD to have a fun-filled childhood.

Also, when done for a short sitting, my DD infact enjoys workbooks with pictures and where she needs to figure out something!

ariane5 Wed 13-Feb-13 10:27:48

Like I said before I do not know anything.about these assessments but I wonder if the teacher is wrong? Telling you that your dd will have to do puzzles/work out patterns, show logical thinking seems a lot for her age.

Surely the teacher doing the assessment will be looking for more than that at such a young age? Demonstrating a good level of concentration and having a good vocabulary, drawing pictures that contain a lot of detail, things like being bright,alert and inquisitive would be what I would expect them to be looking for?

Obviously it won't do any harm for your dd to do these little workbooks and she may enjoy it if she has been doing it at her nursery but I would imagine it is what all parents do and when presented with a lot of children all doing the same things at an assessment the teachers may be looking for something 'different'. Something that shows natural intelligence/ability rather than being able to do lots of puzzles.

bloomsilk Wed 13-Feb-13 10:35:08

for goodness sake. if she's bright enough she'll get in. if you have to prep her at 3 what will you do if she gets in, start tutoring her at 5 to keep up.

the whole point of these tests is not to test what they have been prepared for but to test their IQ. NO amount of workbooks will improve her IQ and even if she gets through the exam they will see that at the interview.

also you should ask how many girls are 'encouraged' to leave at 11 since NLCS is clearly not for them. Would be interesting to know how they were prepared for the 4+.

also please consider your child's happiness. putting them under pressure at 3 is not good for their mental wellbeing and confidence, you'd be surprised how much they pick up and feel your pressure and desire for them.

also suggest you speak to the nursery -maybe the reason they are suggesting more practice is because she is having problems with it there. Not a good sign!!

Enjoy your daughter for what she is and make the most of the time with her at weekends by doing normal fun things. GOod luck

mumteacher Wed 13-Feb-13 10:43:52

Mum talker your teacher isn't wrong but I question her approach.

Have a look at the 3+ 4+ 5+ 7+ thread currently in primary education which has a lot of useful info re assessments.

Horsemadmum for someone who claims to know exactly what comes up in these assessment ( horsemadmum claimed this in the 3+ 4+ ...thread) why would you suggest basic activities that any old nursery would be doing?! I guess you're just a typical Nlcs mum who even though has no more Chn to put through these assessments won't enlighten the rest of us!

ariane5 Wed 13-Feb-13 10:53:21

For what it's worth (and just to reassure you) I do not think a little bit of pressure to do well would 'damage' a 3 or 4 year old. As long as you give plenty of praise then I don't imagine its an issue?

A lot of people will criticise you putting your child in for assessments/interviews for ind schools but it is YOUR choice.If you like the school/s and think your dd will do well there then go for it and good luck.

mumtalker Wed 13-Feb-13 11:48:55

Thank you mumteacher and ariane5. Mumteacher, I have had a quick look at the thread you suggested and it does indeed give lots of useful information.

However, what would be really useful if there are any online resources or other books / tools / activities that you recommend / know of which I may be able to use to prepare here on the weekends. Someone told me "I can learn: Match and Sort". Also, someone told me about "Collins Shapes". I have not yet looked at these books in a store but your input would be greatly appreciated.

mumteacher Wed 13-Feb-13 12:53:37

All these are great resources but when youblook at them you might find that you don't have to spend a lot of money buying them all but can do something similar yourself. Look at what the out come of the activity is and create a game yourself with a similar outlook.
also learning through pen paper- books worksheets, work books isn't the best why tp teach for best results in the assessments. Think about how they might test shapes for example. Try and work practically as possible. Bring whatever is on the page to 'life'.
If youre learning to count in twos I like to do that with pairs of socks for example - not saying the 4+ requires a child to count in twos!

Books alone won't secure your child a place no matter how wonderfully your child can count or read x

Sunlight01 Sun 13-Sep-15 14:02:07

Hello everyone, I don't know how to start, we relocated from heart of the city to zone 5, place which has outstanding state school. The move was just become I couldn't afford private education fees. She was not given an admission in my prefered school, coz i was 0.6 miles away and school would accept 0.4 miles kids for nursery. In return, she was given admission in a school where she would have to travel by bus then train then bus as we didnt had car it was a very tough year especially in winter dragging my 3years at 7:30 for 8:30 school. And with a fultime working mother it makes no easy. This year she is given admission in one of the school which is closer to my house but again not my perfered school. Even after all this i had hope and courage so called council on asking for her position in waiting list. She is at 31 rightnow and as the school is outstanding a only place will be given when a child moves out of school and she is on top of list. So out of utter frustration I have moved towards private education and from past 2and half years time have changed a lot. We can afford the fees and move to any part of London for her. In all this time is the biggest constrain. Its sep 2015 already and reception is already started. And I have mailed NLCS to explore her chances. You can say I am crazy and in all do respect I would not mind for your opinions. But I want best for her which any mum would desire. Could any one please help me to understand if she could be given a chance in NLCS inspire of being late??

FanDabbyFloozy Sun 13-Sep-15 23:16:58

Sunlight - your post is confusing.. Your child has been in 2 schools already, all because you want her to go to a certain "outstanding" state school? Do you actually know much about this school? What happens if it is downgraded - will you move again?

NLCS is a great school for very academic kids. You seem to be pursuing an ideal rather than a school. There are many good preps in the area and you will find a place if you want to move to private. However do take a long look at why you are so sure you want particular schools only as they may not live up to your standards.

Sunlight01 Mon 14-Sep-15 01:13:01

Thanks for your consents funDabbyFlooozy. My child hasn't asked for the moves neither do I so as per the state school system, I am sure everyone knows about the state school application process you apply for nursery and then you have to reapply for reception place via council website. And they would allocate a place in school for you. So in nursery she was given a far away school and for reception she will be going to a nearer school which is gonna start from tomorrow. @ if I know NLCS smile I have not randomly selected this school. In my research on finding a best education from joiners till they reach college NLCS comes on top. It has been in top 5 when it comes to A levels and GCSEs from 2010. I have read all the threads from 2011 till date on mumsnet. Also I have gone through all possibly website which could give me as much information on the school. Mostly I want my child not only to be good academical and other activity's but also should be polite, humble and well mannered. If she knowns all the answer she should say I am still learning. I dont expect to be top in all fields but should be able to resist outside would and further challenges. Surely, I have engraved well behavior in her since the day she was on my lap, but its the persists which I am worried about. Believe me all private school are not like NLCS. Coz I myself have studied in one, but overseas. And to be honest I have not made any bad chosen. I pray my 4 year gets in to NLCS. Not sure if this is possible but we never know.

ImNotChangingMyUsernameAgain Tue 15-Sep-15 09:55:32

Whilst I entirely understand that you want to do the best for your DD, just because NLCS has some of the best exam results at GCSE/a level does not make it the "best" school for your DD. It can be an incredibly challenging environment and extremely difficult to obtain a place.

If I understand you correctly, your DD is just starting reception, in which case you have no chance of getting her into NLCS. The school is highly over-subscribed - maybe 400 applicants for 40 places - and all of those places were filled last February after the 4+ assessment. The next entry point is 7+ where a large number of girls will sit for a handful of places. Almost all of the 'top' private schools will have filled all of their reception places after assessments earlier in the year so now it is a question of finding out which schools still have places and deciding whether any of them might be suitable for your DD. At this point Radlett Prep may be your only realistic option for a place in Reception if you are looking at living in the area around NLCS. It is a good, solid prep school which feeds in to many good schools (NLCS, Habs, St Helens etc.) at 11.

softhedgehog Tue 15-Sep-15 20:50:38

Sunlight01 as said above, none of the very competitive schools (NLCS, Habs, SHHS, Channing) will have spaces now.

You could try the schools that are traditionally seen more as backups such as Devonshire House, St. Margaret's in Hampstead and Northbridge House as they may have spaces.

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