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What fun/learning activities at home to help prepare my child early on for possible entry to grammar school?

(38 Posts)
Tudaisy Thu 13-Mar-14 22:30:47

A while ago I saw a thread about ways you could help a child prepare for grammar school entry at home. I have searched high and low for while now but can't find it anywhere on mumsnet. I seem to think it was on mumsnet but maybe it was even another site I just can't soo annoyed it didn't bookmark it as it was good thread. It was something along the lines of ideas such:

Lots of reading and wide range
Word games such as scrabble....

I can't remember anything else.

can you help by suggesting other things from 4 years through to 11 year old. Also I'm trying to look at creative ways so it doesn't look like preparing for grammar at all and can be passed of as fun activities.

Tudaisy Fri 14-Mar-14 07:58:16


givemeaclue Fri 14-Mar-14 09:06:25

Would you not read widely and play word games with your child anyway. What is the connection with grammar school, I don't get it? For grammar, you need a good tutor a couple of tears before. Scrabble won't cut it

Tudaisy Fri 14-Mar-14 09:52:35


Thanks for replying

I would have read but I didn't know about reading widely. I know that sounds really basic but I hated reading when I was younger.

I'm sorry it might be the way I have worded this thread but it is the little things that could help your child with learning- learning to read, counting and things specific to grammar tests short of doing bond papers. I want to get tutor later on and I will start on bond papers but wanted to get the basics and I don't know how to start on the basics from 4 years old.These basics could be obvious to others but not me.

I hope this makes sense, if not a few examples of what I am doing but not sure what else to do ?

*I having been reading with my child everyday and encourage discussion about what is happening on pages

* going to library each week but DC doesn't like it so end up picking few books and read at home

*counting- counting steps when walking down stairs

Tudaisy Fri 14-Mar-14 09:55:04

givemeaclue I didn't mean to strike your name out. I was thinking of making bold and used strikeout by accident. Sorry.

Hoppinggreen Fri 14-Mar-14 10:09:48

I understand what you are asking but to get into grammar they need to pass the 11+ and as this is a very specific exam which is usually very different to what they learn at school the best way is to get them a tutor or do sample pages from around the end of year 4.

BornFreeButinChains Fri 14-Mar-14 10:30:23

GOOGLE look at the 11+ forum, there are tips and guides there, the sort of books they should be reading, There is another thread re books in chat at the moment with some good lists.

All common sense stuff.

Keep an eye on their progress at school familiarise yourself with what's going on in the NC and levels.

Get work books, they are all over the place, they are fun, and help you to keep an eye on what your childs good at, they need to be strong in maths and english.

culture too, museums, and so on.

BornFreeButinChains Fri 14-Mar-14 10:32:08

Op dont worry about the shitty replies either, 11+ is a touchy subject on MN!

They are not acting in the spirit of the site which is supposed to be helpful!

Ignore and dont pander

noramum Fri 14-Mar-14 10:46:23

I think grammar or not, supporting your child from Reception onwards is never wrong.

We read to DD since she is a newborn, we normally read a level higher than she can read herself. For example we currently read Famous Five and similar while she reads Rainbow Fairies (thank you school) or similar levels.

We normally hit the library so she can choose books for her and we then get a chapter book for bedtime story. She has lots of books on her own, I normally hunt them down in charity shops or at The BookPeople so the odd mistake is not too costly. We never followed any reading scheme, that's the school's job, mine is the fun reading.

We also do lots of board games, Scrabble, Monopoly, ludo, snakes and ladders, all kind of Orchard Games. Jigsaws, puzzle books for problem solving.

You can introduce maths in everyday life, baking, shopping and reading the time.

Topics like history, science and geography leads to further practise in reading, writing and maths.

If around Year 3-4 your child emerges as a candidate for the 11+ you will need to prepare for the exam formally. Kent tries to make the exam un-tutorable but you would still be able to find out what the exam contains and make sure your child is knowledgeable.

Tudaisy Fri 14-Mar-14 10:52:52


Thanks very much. I'll try the 11 plus forums - wow lots of stuff which is great.

That's a good idea the culture and museums bit.

Is the books list on mumsnet or 11 plus site? If so which section?

BornFreeButinChains Fri 14-Mar-14 11:08:26

I just had a quick look on 11+ site and found it very easily its a good site to navigate.

They just need to be very rounded!

Excellent spelling so get a dictionary and so on.

BornFreeButinChains Fri 14-Mar-14 11:09:48

you can also buy bond books on line - amazon which cover vr and nvr fr the test

Tudaisy Fri 14-Mar-14 11:27:35

Thanks Noramum

I completely agree grammar or not, I just want to support my child in learning which will help prepare for grammar if DC grammar material otherwise if not another school.

Thanks for all the tips like reading a level higher, maths in everyday life and games.

givemeaclue Fri 14-Mar-14 17:33:55

OP have you checked that you live in a grammar school area?

BornFreeButinChains Fri 14-Mar-14 18:38:15


Are you providing a positive contribution to the discussion?

I was asked this question too, and I think I am in the highest concentration of grammars in the UK.

givemeaclue Fri 14-Mar-14 19:13:27

Yes I am, it is definitely worth checking. Not all areas have them but can still have schools that are called grammars but are not actually grammar schools. There is one in my town and it does cause confusion.

BornFreeButinChains Fri 14-Mar-14 19:24:11

Op, are you confused, do you have any grammars in your area.

Tudaisy Fri 14-Mar-14 21:39:34


Yes there are grammar schools in my area. That's the first I've heard about schools not grammar but called grammar.

Tudaisy Fri 14-Mar-14 21:44:34

Definitely not confused. I have grammar schools in my area and researched them.

BornFreeButinChains Fri 14-Mar-14 21:57:39


givemeaclue you can relax now, Op does have grammars in her area and she is not confused.

Reading all over MN and else where one gets the impression that in state schools the bar and expectations are set low. There is no aim.

My DD is strong in Maths and English thus far so I am keeping my eye out on progress for the 11+ but lots can go up and down, but I am greatly heartened by her Maths so far. If she was weak in either Maths or English I would be thinking along other lines for her.

Just found this article for another thread about state schools and applicants for oxbridge

BornFreeButinChains Fri 14-Mar-14 21:59:25

columngollum Fri 14-Mar-14 22:55:10

Sometimes we wonder if the bar not only is set low, but if there are a few people sitting on it to make sure that it doesn't move.

Tudaisy Fri 14-Mar-14 23:50:47

Just reading that Guardian article link.

It is really shocking to me that less then half of teachers in state schools are not encouraging their gifted students to apply for Oxford or Cambridge. I had to read this article a couple of times thinking maybe I had missed something.

This is exactly what gets me annoyed and gives me more reason not to step back and let a state school just educate my child.

richmal Sat 15-Mar-14 08:03:50

Was this the thread?

BornFreeButinChains Sat 15-Mar-14 10:18:36

Totally agree Tudaisy.

Coloumn, who would be sitting on the bar and why?!

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