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11+ Question

(32 Posts)
BaconAndAvocado Tue 21-Mar-17 13:21:45

DS2 will be sitting his 11+ in September. He currently has tutoring for one hour a week.

Has anyone had experience of this? Should we be doing any extra at home?

DoItTooJulia Tue 21-Mar-17 13:23:36

I guess it depends on how naturally able your child is, how badly you want them to go to grammar school and how oversubscribed or easy it is to get into the grammar school!

Do you know what kind of exam it is?

BaconAndAvocado Tue 21-Mar-17 13:52:41

It's the Kent Test, GL assessment (I think!)

As far as being "naturally able", he is top of his year for Maths and in the top set for English.

We would love him to have the opportunity to go to a grammar school and the other options locally aren't that great.

He would have a choice of 2 local grammars, which because of where we live, he would get a place at either.

bojorojo Tue 21-Mar-17 14:01:58

I am not sure about the amount of tutoring (my child did not have any) but reading widely, doing puzzles with words and numbers and acquiring a good vocabularly and general knowledge helps. I am not in Kent, but familiarise yourself with the components of the test so you can build up knowledge and expertise (is there VR or Non VR for example?)

Also, make sure he understands timing. Move on to the next question if he gets stuck. Do not waste time. Go back if time permits. I know lots of children where I live "fail" the Bucks test because they are too slow. They may be top table, but not quick enough, and with poor exam technique. Perfectionists and deeper thinkers can have particular problems. So going through timed tests really helps.

FuckTheFuckityOff Tue 21-Mar-17 14:09:44

DD sat the Bucks and Berks 11+ last year. She had an hour of tutoring a week for a year and a half and is in top set maths and in the top 4 in her year for English.
She didn't pass either 11+ (although officially only 4 points off for Berks but the schools set their own pass marks)
It's definitely the timing that gets them and they've also made the exams harder.
Two years ago, half the children passed 11+ and this year only 12 did. One of the teachers said to me that if the children from this year took the same test from 2yrs ago, many more would have passed. There's so much competition from people who live outside of the counties, it's crazy.
DD's friend had 3hrs of tutoring per week and passed but we couldn't have done that as
a) we couldn't afford it and
b) DD would have hated it.

BaconAndAvocado Tue 21-Mar-17 14:14:22

Thanks boro

Unfortunately , he isn't keen on reading widely although i do try my best!

There is VR and NVR in the test.

I think the timing is really hard for him! That's definitely something we need to work on.

bojorojo Tue 21-Mar-17 14:39:04

We worked through the Susan Doughtrey books on 11 plus VR at home. (There are lots of NVR books). DD got fed up with working through all the different types of questions, so had to wing it in the exams! She still got 140, albeit some years ago! It did help with timing though as the test books are timed. Basically, you just cannot force feed children. Short bursts and no angst! Going out to educational events helps. Not Disney and similar for holidays. Visit and talk about interesting things. Find out about the exams asap but do not upset him. Try and get him reading.

BertrandRussell Tue 21-Mar-17 14:41:19

"Going out to educational events helps. Not Disney and similar for holidays"

This helps with the 11+ exactly how?

BertrandRussell Tue 21-Mar-17 14:50:44

0P - it's the timing that trips a lot of kids up.they have to work very fast. Some people swear by doing things like the Nintendo Brain Training to help with speed in a reasonably painless way. And for the kids whose maths is not the strongest, really solid tables knowledge and instant recall up to 15x15 if possible is a huge help.

BaconAndAvocado Tue 21-Mar-17 15:41:33

Haha , that's us scuppers then, re Disney - we're off to Florida this Summer!!

Will have a look at the books you mentioned bojo

Bertrand is Nintendo brain training on the xbox ??

Maths is his real strength, it's the English/VR he finds harder.......vocabulary etc, which obviously goes back to the reading!

BaconAndAvocado Tue 21-Mar-17 15:42:54

confused scuppered not scuppers.......oh dear........not much hope for the poor lad is there?!

Matildatoldsuchdreadfullies Tue 21-Mar-17 16:50:17

Assuming you're not in the super-selective parts of Kent, it's worth remembering that about 25% of all children pass the Kent Test. Sorry, are 'deemed suitable for a grammar education.'

If you're doing the GL books, and he's doing reasonably well, he'll probably be okay - remember, the pass mark is typically around 55-60% (sometimes lower).

It's also worth having a nose round the 11+ forum. Most of the parents on it are frankly scary, but it does have some useful hints.

bojorojo Tue 21-Mar-17 17:43:58

To be clear - what I meant was that children who soak up local culture, history, wildlife, rivers, seaside, mountains, festivals, theatre, and similar events are at an advantage over children that do not get these opportunities. They are all enjoyable things you can discuss with your child and extend their knowledge and vocabulary. It does not just have to be books. I am not against Disney or having fun, (although mine never particualry wanted to go) but it is not cultural (in a meaningful way) so does not extend knowledge. These exams are never just about school work. Learning happens in the home and on holiday too. If your child is super bright, it does not really matter what you do, but if you can extend vocabulary and interest in other ways, it helps the borderline child. Even reading about animals in a zoo helps.

BertrandRussell Tue 21-Mar-17 17:52:37

Not for this thread, but if you are right, then even more proof, if proof were needed, of the inequity at the heart of the 11+ process.

Dixiechickonhols Tue 21-Mar-17 17:52:45

I'd look on the 11 plus forum too. Mine sat GL 11+ in September. I think you are same as up here not super selective so only needed 75% to pass. Main thing for dd was ensuring maths curriculum covered as the test inc all yr 6 stuff and beyond 3rd week into yr 6. English lots of reading esp classics for speed and vocabulary, lots of 11 plus lists around. Mine is a voracious reader luckily. For GL from memory there are only 8 sample bond papers for each exam so don't do too soon. Best for summer to get used to timing and get speed up. And general exam technique advice. And there luckily isn't a box on the exam saying how many times have you been to Disney as my dd is in double figures and would have been scuppered too!

mge Tue 21-Mar-17 18:10:05

My dd sat and passed bexley and Kent tests last sept. Kent was easier than bexley (and more children pass) but includes a writing component and bexley is all multi choice. We did one hour's tutoring a week from the start of yr 5 and test papers over the summer. We also signed up to do a couple of mocks. We went to Disney returning only 3 weeks before the test and did not choose a tutor who told us we would need to cancel it! We did some light work while there but all needed the break. I know some who don't have hols and work all summer but we had the attitude that we didn't want to force dd to pass and then get her into a school where she would struggle. To me the tutoring and work is about getting used to the style of questions and getting up to speed. Especially in the bexley test speed is quite important. The GL books are good and the Bond 10 min tests. Good luck and try not to stress too much.

BaconAndAvocado Tue 21-Mar-17 19:10:29

Where do I find the 11+ forum?

Dixie when you say "classics" for reading, which ones would you recommend?

Dixiechickonhols Tue 21-Mar-17 19:58:35

The forum is on elevenplusexams.co.uk. I agree it is very intense, but some good info.
If you put 11 plus reading list in google several come up. 11 plus guide.com had one. Basically things like Narnia, Swallows and Amazon, Railway children. I used to order from library and let her choose, left to her own devices at school she chose more modern stuff like Michael morpurgo which is also on list but for vocab and vr definitely some familiarity with old fashioned language helped. I did that before 11 plus though and still do to try and encourage variety.

Misplacedcell Tue 21-Mar-17 20:02:21

Always do extra work at home. For Maths there is no substitute for doing past papers (there are plenty online options for this) and try London mum’s creative writing cards for English. More practice typically leads to better results, more often than not.

nightswimming1 Tue 21-Mar-17 22:09:08

Does your tutor set homework? We were doing indie 11+ only (top girls' schools) but the tutor set past papers in maths and English so DD did those (2-3 hours) on top of her weekly hour with the tutor. We did a little bit of BOFA in the 4-5 weeks approaching the online tests.

goingmadinthecountry Tue 21-Mar-17 22:56:33

I have 4 who have been/go to Kent grammar schools. In our nearest town (Ashford) there are still no decent state options to grammars in my somewhat biased opinion.

Speed is a big deal. Times tables need to be known and vocabulary is very important. It's not that hard - 25% of children get in.

goingmadinthecountry Tue 21-Mar-17 23:00:09

Disclaimer: as a teacher I am fully aware that the grammar schools are the reason there are no other decent schools in the town. As a parent I am just delighted that my older girls got better A level results than most at local private schools down to excellent teaching and nurturing of independent thought. Love their grammar school and dd3 is flourishing there too. I am aware that this is somewhat hypocritical.

BaconAndAvocado Wed 22-Mar-17 14:00:32

goingmad I completely understand your view!

Thanks for the website recommendation , I had a look last night. There's some really helpful stuff on there.

His class have tests all week his week and he's feeling the pressure, so, apart from the tutor, I'm going to allow him a break from any extra 11+ stuff this week.

Would anyone be able to suggest an amount of time per week for extra 11+ work at home?

MistyMeena Wed 22-Mar-17 14:24:46

I'm in Kent (not super-selective area) and have tutored 11+ for a good few years. I would say the key things that let kids down (even the 'bright' ones) are lack of vocabulary and speed. It's important to read a lot at a level that will challenge. The English element of the test need a wide vocabulary, good inference and close reading skills. VR is also reliant on good vocabulary and spelling.

If he's high ability in maths I would say concentrate on the tougher topics as that gives the edge over those who haven't been tutored (I knowconfused) for example ratio, percentages, nth term, algebra.
The CGP Books are very good prep, but not the CEM ones obviously. By now he needs to be working through them fairly easily ( 9-10) and starting to have a go at whole papers for speed practice.

bojorojo Wed 22-Mar-17 14:52:35

Bertrand: of course the 11 plus is skewed towards children of parents who do middle class activities. If a child doesn't read anything then surely finding activities that encourage that are needed? A list of books will be daunting! If a child is doing every aspect of the test extremely well then it won't matter what you do. If not, do the activities that encourage reading.

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