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northern ireland - transfer tests

(11 Posts)
weeonion Thu 29-Oct-15 23:54:43

Hi folks. We left northern Ireland about 12'years ago and since then, the old style 11 plus exams have been done away with.

We hope to return in the next couple of years - when dd1 is about 10yrs old (primary 6).

Couple someone please update me on the new system? Is there an exam for each school? What kind of things are they tested on?

My recollection us of spending ALOT of primary 6 doing ok 11 plus papers to prep for the exams in early autumn of P7. I presume that isn't the case now?

weeonion Fri 30-Oct-15 09:19:38


nlondondad Fri 30-Oct-15 10:04:42

I suggest you contact one of the secondary schools which I understand are still selective, in some way to find out.

If you google RBAI that will get you one, email them (?)

weeonion Fri 30-Oct-15 11:42:32

Ta nlondondad. Are you on northern Ireland?

I will probably contact my old school and see what they say.

I would love to hear parents experiences of the tests and how kids prepared for them. It is a big consideration for us as we make our plans to move back home!

MrsRyanGosling15 Fri 30-Oct-15 11:53:13

My son just started p6 in September. There are 2 types of test. The GL is one test sat in November. It is the test for catholic schools. All catholic grammars accept this test and a few non catholic school accept it too. The other test is 3 separate tests also on separate Saturdays in November. I think u can choose to do 1,2 or 3 of them and the best mark will be used. If u want to cover all bases and schools like we are, your child will do 4 tests. One test every weekend in November. I think the Catholic grammars only accept the GL tests. No practice papers are done in school. The school just cover the syllabus. If there are children in the class not doing the test they will all still be taught the same material. We have started with a tutor already, in September and have found every child in the class are also using tutors. This is my first experience of this and I'm finding it very stressful so far! We are at a Catholic primary and will be trying to get into the attached grammar which just so happens to be one of the most popular schools around.

weeonion Fri 30-Oct-15 12:11:03

Oh lawks! Thanks mrsryangosling!

That is really helpful. Am i right in thinking that your child and many others will have a tutor for most of P6 in prep for the following year?

I am a bit more worried now as our daughter is in Scotland with whole different curriculm!

MrsRyanGosling15 Fri 30-Oct-15 12:33:21

Yes, he is tutored once a week from now until June then twice a week in the summer (with extra practice papers in between) 2 weeks off whilst away on holiday in July but straight back onto it. This seems to be what most of the parents I know are doing. To be honest it seems you have more of a choice with non faith schools but the Catholic grammars seem to do much better result wise. I feel bad making him do 4 tests. I much prefered the old style 11+

weeonion Fri 30-Oct-15 13:02:55

It seems so much!!!!

When I was a primary school -"we moved at the beginning of may of my P6 year from a school which had little focus on the 11 plus nor prep for it to one where all we seemed to do every day was practice papers. It was a shock to me and my parents as the whole focus was the test. We couldn't afford a tutor but that didn't seem as popular or necessary then.

I am a bit freaked by this tbh. We were planning on moving back before she left primary but now wonder just how early that needs to be, especially as she wont have been following any of the curriculum.

What do families do who cant afford all that tutoring!!!!!!

MrsRyanGosling15 Fri 30-Oct-15 14:22:32

It's all been a real shock to me too. The school brought all the parents in on the 1st week back and explained it all.
To be honest I don't know about not having a tutor. There are no past papers for the GL tests but you can buy the full revision set and practice papers for the other exam online. I think it's either £95 or £195 for the full set. If we didn't have a tutor I imagine we would just use this and try and tutor him ourselves. My son is the 1st from all my friends children to do it, so we are a bit blind. After the school meeting I did feel a bit nervous as it all just seemed so competitive. Having read some threads about getting into schools in England though it does seem to be easier over here. (In my opinion anyway)

weeonion Fri 30-Oct-15 22:59:42

I spoke with dd's head teacher today. I have sent her a copy of the NI Curriculm as per her request and she is going to go through it to compare to the Scottish one. I also rang a primary school close to the area we would like to move to to speak to the head teacher. She will hopefully ring me back next week.

So much to think about!!!

wigglesrock Mon 02-Nov-15 20:34:15

I've just found this thread grin. My P7 does her first test this Saturday. She's doing the 3 AQE (state) papers and the 2 GL (maintained) papers. Just agreeing with everything Mrs Ryan Gosling said. My dd is in a Catholic primary school and their school prepares them. They do somrwhere between 2 and 3 practice papers a week, they also stay behind (optional) one afternoon after school with the school principal to go over exam techniques, tips, wording of questions, timings etc. The principal does this so there isn't the pressure on parents to pay for tutors, although most parents do also use a tutor or if a relative is a teacher they're the go to person grin.

My kids have covered most of the P6 to P7 curriculum by the end of P6, P7 is then used for transfer prep and revision. Open days for schools are held in January. The results from both sets of exams are out on ghe same day - end of Jan.

Sorry I can't scroll back to see any specific questions, but just give me a shout if you can think of anything else.

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