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What age to start preparing dc for 11+ and how

(75 Posts)
ThisSummerBetterBeDarnGood Sun 02-Mar-14 13:45:36

Are there bench marks, aides and so on.

Is there a target for instance that should be hit by a certain age at school or there is no point even trying sort of thing.

At what age would I know my DC is 11+ material.

How will I also know if my dd school is covering enough material to get her through it. she is sept born 6. in year 1.

SmileAndNod Sun 02-Mar-14 15:39:14

My `friend` first made me worry about this in reception year, asking when I was going to start tutoring for DS shock. Fact is, we can't afford to at £25 or so a week, every week for four years. Her children started with the tutor going into year 3, so I guess by the time the year 2 SATs are done you should have an idea of whether they are grammar types?

DS is a similar age to your DD. I'm just grateful at the moment that he loves school and had friends and is happy there. I'm not an overly pushy mother though, so may have low standards!

InMySpareTime Sun 02-Mar-14 15:50:55

My DD is midway throughY5, we're planning to look at schools this summer and decide which ones to try for, then do some practice a couple of afternoons in late August for familiarity before the 11+ exams in Sept. No stress, no pushing, if a DC is "grammar school material" then all they'll need is a little practice to understand the wording used in the exams.

TalkinPeace Sun 02-Mar-14 15:58:34

ah, the joys of living in Hampshire wink

Kent LEA are under huge pressure to make their grammar segregation test non-tutor-able
so do not rely on what has gone before

(bucks and lincs are the other two grammar counties but their mix is much less extreme)

super selective schools are the next on the hook for proving benefit other than the rich tutored .....
within the next 4 years

ThisSummerBetterBeDarnGood Sun 02-Mar-14 16:49:07


How do you know though whether to even try for exams, is there a bench mark somewhere?

We can't afford tutors and I would never ever think of wasting money on tutoring now.

Is there a certain point where someone would say - "yes, this child has 11+ potential?" is there year 1 stats? I thought sats were for the school only.

Rabbitcar Sun 02-Mar-14 17:46:59

We started Feb/March Y5 for a Sept Y6 exam, but with holidays off (apart from the last two weeks of summer). I wouldn't want to have started much earlier than that because we would have all got really bored with it. I guess we will find out tomorrow if that was enough! Others I know started both earlier and later.

ThreeBeeOneGee Sun 02-Mar-14 19:28:03

DS1's end of Y4 report showed CAT scores of 132 in VR and >139 in Maths, which led me to think that he might be capable of doing well in the 11+.

I started working with him in the summer of Y4, which in those days was 16 months before the test.

richmal Sun 02-Mar-14 19:59:07

English and VR skills can be improved by reading. Whether or not a child does take the 11+ these are skills worth improving anyway. There are also KS1 revision and workbooks which will reinforce the things learnt at school. Dd also enjoyed doing the Enchanted English series.

The corresponding maths series is Mythical maths. We also used to work through the Letts KS1 revision guide and workbook for maths. IMO it is better to do little and often now than trying to cram for the 11+ in year 5. They are never too young to learn and it is surprising how their ability improves by doing a little one to one learning at home.

Dd got 140 in both NVR and VR tests in year 4 and I often wonder how much of this was due to plodding away at teaching her through the years.

ThisSummerBetterBeDarnGood Sun 02-Mar-14 20:18:20

Thanks everyone, great tips, I totally concur that any learning I support my DC with will not go to waste whether or not they are 11+ material.

richmal I had never heard of the two series you mentioned, just had a look and they seem wonderful, my DD will love these. Thank you so much for alerting me to them.

I have no idea what 140 is though in real terms, but you seem v pleased with it.

I have some work books I pick up in Tesco's and some toy shops, now my DD can read she seems to enjoy doing little parts of them in the holidays, just ten mins at a time maybe twice day.

rollonthesummer Sun 02-Mar-14 22:54:11

Do you have grammars or super selectives in your area? I'd say if your DC gets L3 across the board at the end of KS1, then they are in with a chance.

My DS is at grammar now and left Y6 with a L5 in Reading/Writing and L6 in Maths. We didn't have a tutor-I did some bits with him at home. My next child is in Y5 and I'm just doing what I did before.

Depending on the area you live in, I can recommend some good resources. Some areas do Maths/English/compositions/VR/NVR or a combination of all of these.

SmileAndNod Mon 03-Mar-14 06:40:11

As we can't afford tutoring (and have three children) I was going to leave it until the Christmas of year 5 and then start doing some papers at home - should DS want to, and show the aptitude for it. Have no idea about the levels he is working at atm. He's 6 and finds school fun so that is enough for the minute.

I have been made to feel like a crap mother who has let my child down by not paying for Kip for years. Not exactly sure what they can provide that a parent cannot? Does anyone know? I do need to stop taking all the comments to heart though.

rollonthesummer Mon 03-Mar-14 08:26:54

Smile and nod-I also have 3 children and didn't get a tutor. My eldest passed and my second will sit it this year. If it's any consolation, the majority of DS's friends who had tutors failed. It guarantees you nothing. The children in his school who passed (about half of those sitting the exam) all had v involved parents who worked through example questions with their child at home rather than just paying a tutor and assuming they'd pass.

ThisSummerBetterBeDarnGood Mon 03-Mar-14 09:49:12

Smile what is KIP?!

Roll, thats really encouraging that Mums help can also get them through.

My DD has good solid Maths skills, as far as you can tell at this age, and she also seems to be a really good speller, I never ever was!

So I will be looking out for L3 then.

Retropear Mon 03-Mar-14 10:15:37

I wouldn't put much stock in Sats tbf.

I have twins.1 level 3 across the board in KS1,gets picked for everything,G&T etc.

His quieter very reserved/shy twin continuously fell through the cracks back then(I knew there was buggar all between them) didn't get 3s in everything has now matured and is finally being pushed.He is rocking the VR and beating his twin.

Personally I'd leave it until now in year 5. It's not rocket science.Obviously if it's uber crucial she gets in(it isn't for us) you may want to be less relaxed.

ThisSummerBetterBeDarnGood Mon 03-Mar-14 10:22:57

Personally I'd leave it until now in year 5

Thanks Retro, do you mean leave it now, at year one, until year 5?

But what if they don't cover all the curriculum at school or she gets a dodgy teacher and so on....

Isn't that rather late to be playing catch up?If she was at a an independent school who had their eyes on the 11+ goal I would relax, but she isn't.

And should my DD be 11+ material she will be up against girls who have been educated with the 11+ in mind.

This is why I want to keep up with her from the get go now.

ThisSummerBetterBeDarnGood Mon 03-Mar-14 10:24:23

.Obviously if it's uber crucial she gets in*

Yes, if and its a big if she has the potential, yes I think its crucial she gets in.

If she does not have the potential then no.

rollonthesummer Mon 03-Mar-14 10:30:54

I started doing bits with DS in y4 actually.

Obviously you can help much earlier in a fun way by introducing a variety of reading books and fostering a love of literature, play word games eg scrabble or Boggle. Also-by doing maths puzzles, crosswords, anagrams and alphabet/times tables games in the car etc My kids love things like this.

ThisSummerBetterBeDarnGood Mon 03-Mar-14 10:34:32

Reading is up and running thankfully, Will look into Boggle as I hate scrabble and can't spell myself!

Retropear Mon 03-Mar-14 10:43:31

Now in year 5 not year 1.

My dc are in a school that scores in the bottom quintile for most things and I was/am worried however I'm beginning to relax.We've only just really started and it's not that onerous at all.The VR is a doddle(if they're bright they could do most of it themselves actually) and mine seem to be fine with the rest looking at the standard expected.

That said they're not in yet obviously and the alternative is fine so we're not getting stressed.

To be honest I'm not sure what you'd be doing if you started earlier.

ThisSummerBetterBeDarnGood Mon 03-Mar-14 10:52:59

That is encouraging Retro and thus far our school looks pretty good, she is being taught well so far.

To be honest I'm not sure what you'd be doing if you started earlier

I think what people have suggested up thread, going to order the english books and maths work books someone suggested, keep an eye on her school work, take her to loads of places, stuff we sort of do already I suppose.

I was hoping for a bench mark score on whatever to give me an idea of whether she could be on target for it someone mentioned L3. Expose her to VR and NVR papers like they would in an indie school with its eye on 11+

Retropear Mon 03-Mar-14 11:03:36

I don't think at this stage in year 1 a benchmark is very useful.

Kids change/mature/accelerate/dip a lot between year 2 and 5.

I'd the things suggested over the next few years(although I wouldn't overdo the work books as it could turn her off) and then try some VR round about now in year 5.

kilmuir Mon 03-Mar-14 11:05:43

Go on eleven plus forum. It will tell you which test your area has. You could look at the exam papers

Kittymalinky Mon 03-Mar-14 11:20:40

As a teacher (in Kent) I'd say you can start picking children out in about Y2 that might be good for the 11+. That's not to say that children won't develop later and in Y3&4 teachers and parents be able to say yes to 11+ material.

I know some parents that have started doing a couple of 11+ NVR questions per evening in Y2. Saying that I currently teach Y5 and some of my 11+ children have only just started looking at the tests. Their parents are 'tutoring' them rather than paying.

Personally I think it's awful. If a child is able to pass the 11+ I would just give them a few practice tests so they can become familiar with the format. If they don't pass then they would probably have struggled at grammar school

princessalbert Mon 03-Mar-14 11:26:51

Personally I think it's awful. If a child is able to pass the 11+ I would just give them a few practice tests so they can become familiar with the format. If they don't pass then they would probably have struggled at grammar school


DS is at a selective grammar, and they have made their entrance exam less 'tutorable' also. There is no point getting a place if it's all going to fall down a year in.

I don't think you should worry about in year 1. Just encourage your DC to enjoy reading, and assist with school work if necessary.

kilmuir Mon 03-Mar-14 11:36:18

As someone who has a DD in grammar, i would say read loads. You do need to know the exam structure and practise the different type of questions.
Non verbal reasoning questions , i feel, need some looking at. , as they are expected to complete a lot in short time
We never had a tutor, and would always be careful of the over pushy parents. My DD has some friends who are struggling, they were tutored to pass the eleven plus, but not necessarily able to cope with workload once at the school

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