Advanced search

11 Plus - what levels would indicate suitability in year 4?

(44 Posts)
SVN Sun 16-Jun-13 21:14:59


My son is in year 4. He's always been very bright with regards to literacy and is currently a 4b in both reading and writing. Mathematics is his weaker subject with a level of 3a. I know that none of these levels are exceptional, but the school has always led us to believe that he was doing very well and was considered within the top band of pupils for his age group.

On Friday, when he came home, he told me that four of his classmates had been given a letter offering them in-school tuition for the 11 plus. I'm presuming that they're all more rounded in their abilities, hence them being selected. I have no problem with this, but just wondered if it was worth approaching the school to see if my son can still sit the 11 plus (either with tuition from us or potentially a private tutor) or are we being a bit naive and perhaps he's not really grammar school material? What levels in year 4 would indicate that a child has the potential to possibly pass the 11 plus?

Any input gratefully received.


herdream1 Sun 16-Jun-13 22:24:15

My only DD is in year 3, so I still have lots to know about 11 plus. But I am trying to get to high level 4 or low level 5 by the end of year 4, so that thorough level 5 + some level 6 could be reviewed/covered in year 5. Surely it depends on the competition (area and school).

If your DC is keen for grammar, I would support him to work towards it. I believe in motivation, good teaching and hard working, rather than in-born ability or IQ.

PareyMortas Sun 16-Jun-13 22:34:28

Dd2 passed the 11 plus for a super selective this year, she was getting 4's in literacy in year 4 and high 3's in maths. The exams for the school she wanted were Maths, VR and NVR so more maths based then literacy. She saw a tutor once a week, but we didn't get carried away with lots of work at home, summer schools etc.

tiggytape Sun 16-Jun-13 22:39:27

He is doing very well SVN. The general expectation is that he will make at least one whole level of progress over the next 2 years so should finish Year 6 with a 4a minimum in maths and a 5b minimum in reading - both of which are above the expected standard for that age. Of course, he may do much better than that if he has been at a plateau for a while, he could suddenly forge ahead especially in maths where once it clicks, progress can be very rapid.

It also depends on which grammar you are aiming for. There are some that have no catchment area and where hundreds pass but don't all get a place. For these even mid level 5’s in Year 6 may not be enough. There are others where they only take local children so the competition is less fierce.
It also depends on the format of the exam at the grammar you are aiming for - not all of them test maths and those that do may give it equal weighting with English and reasoning so you’d need to look at the schools and how they make their selection.

It sounds like you might be in one of the dedicated 11+ areas if the primary school is getting involved. Primary schools aren’t usually allowed to prepare pupils much less invite some for extra tuition but that doesn’t mean your DS cannot sit the test too. There’s still a long time to go yet.

yummumto3girls Sun 16-Jun-13 23:52:19

My DD is year 4 and we have one at grammar. I'd say those levels look pretty good and I would certainly go for it grammar wise. My DD is lower than that at yr 4 now, but we have issues with the school as she is far more capable. They need to be achieving high 4's or level 5 by the time they sit 11+. ours is Sept 2014, she is doing some foundation work for it now and will start 11+ tutoring in September this year.

steppemum Mon 17-Jun-13 00:00:30

I would say it depends on the test.

ds is going for the 11+ It is a Verbal reasoning test only, so no English and Maths test.

He is easily capable of doing all the 11+ material we are working on (he is year 5, sit sit at beginning of Oct)

He is 4a across the board at the moment and will be 5c probably by the end of year 5 in a couple of areas (report shows it divided into reading, comprehension, writing, numeracy, mental maths etc etc)

So you ds sounds fine to me.
BUT some areas do a maths paper that includes work done in year 6, so you would only be able to do it if tutored.

goingmadinthecountry Mon 17-Jun-13 00:51:57

Really, her dream?
Do parents really aim like that for their children?

It's not allowed round here for schools to offer 11 plus support by the way, assuming it's a state school. Certainly wrong to be divisive by offering it to some. You choose if you want your dc to sit 11 plus, not school.

Dd is y4 and 4b/as apparently and working towards 5s. I'm yet to be stunned by her brilliance. She's no.4 and other 3 go to/have been to grammars. She'd better get in too. I can't afford private education but wouldn't send her to a non-grammar in this area.

Our area does maths on the paper from y6, so I agree with making sure it's covered.

HabbaDabbaDoo Mon 17-Jun-13 09:14:46

In house tuition? shock

A certain poster who considers herself MN Royalty insisted that state schools were prohibited from doing this. This was in response to a MNetter suggesting that state schools could address the unfair advantage that prep school kids have plus those with parents who knew how to tutor or could afford one.

Obviously that HRH was talking bollocks then. Thanks for setting me straight OP.

HabbaDabbaDoo Mon 17-Jun-13 09:19:37

But to answer your question, your DC is roughly at the same SAT level as my DS at that age and slightly better than my DD. And today they are both doing well at their selectives. Based on that I think that your DC is 'grammar school material'.

sillyname Mon 17-Jun-13 09:27:30

Not really the place to bring your personal grievances habba

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Mon 17-Jun-13 09:30:56

That's the first I've heard about (presumably state) schools tutoring for 11+ (I also have three at grammar).
Not convinced the 'HRH' was talking bolleaux - I think I'd be checking it out with the LEA.
Fwiw, my DS2's y4, 5 and 6 teachers were very sniffy about his chances, based on his 'levels' (which baffle me to this day and would totally evade my memory if anyone asked me what level my DCs were working at).

'I'll be the judge of that!' was my thought as I nearly laughed in her face.

Honestly, your DS is too young to be written off at this point, and the chosen few are too young to be starting tuition - burn-out is a real possibility for them.

Also, I don't think teachers are above choosing favourites for this sort of thing - there are pupils whose faces just 'fit' and teachers who operate using that method. I've seen it time and time again.

Just get some sample papers when your DS is in y5 and see how he does with them. And grass up the school for unfair practices!

HabbaDabbaDoo Mon 17-Jun-13 09:40:13

What 'personal grievances' am I bringing up? I'm not naming names.

You do know that HRH is not the person's name, don't you? Royalty. HRH.

jeee Mon 17-Jun-13 09:42:06

I live in Kent (same as HRH), and it's definitely the case here that state schools are not allowed to prepare children for the 11+. Doesn't mean that all schools follow this. But as a parent, I'd certainly (and anonymously - I'm very brave...) report the school to the LEA if my child hadn't been picked for the extra tuition.

I'm sure your son will still be able to sit the 11+, but it does seem unfair that the other children have been given this extra advantage. And I'd certainly find out what your local grammar school says about in-school tuition of this kind.

Sleepyoto Mon 17-Jun-13 10:01:02

Is it possible OP's son is not in state?

HabbaDabbaDoo Mon 17-Jun-13 10:11:03

I doubt that prep schools will select only a handful of kids to prep for the 11+. After all, the prepping is part of what parents are paying for.

HabbaDabbaDoo Mon 17-Jun-13 10:13:12

"I live in Kent (same as HRH)"

Its interesting that you know who I mean by "HRH" and where she lives.

tiggytape Mon 17-Jun-13 10:39:19

Well I don't know who HRH is but they are basically correct.
In some area like Bucks (a fully selective grammar region with an opt out not an opt in policy), the primary schools are involved in the whole 11+ process because it is a fully selective region so concerns all children. Even then all children are treated equally though eg they all sit the same "preparation tests" at school.

In other grammar areas, the primary schools have no input in preparation. The 11+ is strictly an opt in test and most children won't sit it.

HabbaDabbaDoo Mon 17-Jun-13 10:49:36

"Well I don't know who HRH is but they are basically correct.
In some area like Bucks (a fully selective grammar region with an opt out not an opt in policy), the primary schools are involved in the whole 11+ process"

I don't want to be accused of getting personal so I'll continue to refer to the poster concerned as HRH but what 'HRH' was saying was that all state primary schools are not allowed to give 11+ tuition. If you are saying that some primary schools are allowed then 'HRH' is not 'basically correct'.

I'm not out to score points. I'm just hoping that people outside of Kent can tell me whether their primary schools, with the full knowledge of their LEA, provide 11+ tuition.

jeee Mon 17-Jun-13 10:52:45

Habba, you made it pretty obvious who you were talking about (and anyway, I saw the thread that you're referring to) - and she often refers to her county. So it's hardly 'interesting' that I know who she is, and where she lives.

Tiggy, does this mean that Bucks state schools actually prepare for the the 11+? This sounds a bit fairer than Kent, which is also a full selective region, but doesn't allow any state school practice of Kent Test papers, meaning that some bright children are massively disadvantaged when they sit the test.

HabbaDabbaDoo Mon 17-Jun-13 11:25:52

I posted that 'HRH' thinks that state schools are not allowed to offer 11+ tuition and that was 'pretty obvious' to you? Most impressive jeee.

But staying on topic, they are hardly 'massively disadvantaged' by their schools not offering 11+tuition. A lot of parents home tutor.

HabbaDabbaDoo Mon 17-Jun-13 11:50:45

.. and that was 'pretty obvious' to you who I was referring to and which thread it came from? Most impressive and interesting at the same time.

xylem8 Mon 17-Jun-13 12:26:54

well I haven't clue who you are talking about, but certainly in our county primary schools are only allowed to do 1 practice paper in each of VR and NVR per academic year and no other preparation.
Op- it depends what the 11+ in your area consists of.As I said above ours do VR and NVR comparing them to SATS levels is like comparing apples and oranges.They are testing different things

drwitch Mon 17-Jun-13 12:43:44

but back to what the OP wants to know about. My understanding is that you will need to be on track to getting level 5s at the end of year to stand a reasoable chance of passing. A level 3a in maths is quite a way below that tbh although 4bs in literacy are quite far above it. This is probably why the school did not write to you. Do you think that you (or a tutor) can help your ds improve on the maths front?

tiggytape Mon 17-Jun-13 12:49:20

No Bucks schools don't prepare the children for it (well unless you count doing mock exams as preparation - some people would and some people wouldn't count that).

SVN Mon 17-Jun-13 13:07:18

Hello again,

Thank you all for taking the time to respond. It's very much appreciated and has reassured me that perhaps it may be worth an attempt, if we can improve his maths' level.

My comment regarding in-house preparations may not be totally correct, think it's in the form of an after-school club for the selected children. Not sure if this would breach any rules on primary schools prepping children for the test. Even if it did, I'm not really of the frame of mind that I would want to lodge a complaint against the school. I just didn't want my son to be dismissed if he did actually have a chance of possibly securing a place.

To answer Sleepyoto, it's not a private school, just your normal primary.

Drwitch - he had a rather disastrous year in year 3 with regards to Maths. His teacher was unwell and then went on maternity leave for two thirds of the school year, and the class had no less than 16 cover teachers in her absence. As a result, he lost his confidence in maths and has since struggled to recover. His current teacher seems to think that he is much more able mathematically than his current level suggests, so I think that maybe with some extra tuition/input we could possibly boost his level.

Thanks once again everyone.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now