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has anyone prepared their DC to get into a grammar school with no tutor??

(25 Posts)
SAMS73 Thu 04-Nov-10 23:13:33

We cant afford to have a tutor to specifically tutor for eleven plus exam. I was not even thinking about it till recently. She has gone into year 5 and she is a bright girl. She is good in maths ( she told me the other day that she is the only one in the class who gets separate work which is 2 years ahead of the top set in her class ), she reads a lot but as I have to work full time with a small baby I must admit I dont sit with her to explain thinks when she reads but she understands the story and enjoys it. Most of her peers have been tutored to get into GS from year 4 apparently. May be we have left it a bit too late. My inclination is that she will do very well wherever she ends up and dont want to put undue pressure on her. But on the other hand I want to atleast try and help her in the run to the exam to give her a decent chance. She is not afraid of hard work(bit like me wink).
The schools apparently gets 20 applications to a place.
I would like to have some advice regarding how you will go about this?
We will be starting to prepare after the christmas holidays - which will give us approximately 9-10 months of preparation.

stillconfused Fri 05-Nov-10 08:40:35

We have used a tutor for DS1 who will sit the exam in two weeks but if our second DS would want to prepare for the 11+ I may try to do the tutoring myself.

You need quite a lot of time and patience and your DD needs to be the sort of child who will take your direction well (DS likes to argue a lot...).

Our DS had a lesson once every two weeks to start with around this time last year (and we did some work inbetween), eventually a lesson once a week and since the summer we have stepped up and practiced a lot more.

Year 5 is not too late in my opinion. There is a very good forum (type eleven plus forum), where you can get excellent advice, they also have sections per county as the exams and standards seem to be very varied overall. If you want to go ahead do some research into the type of material you want to use as I made the mistake of getting practice papers which were not right (due to exam format etc.). Hope this helps

FWIW where we are is super selective so we had to take the whole 11+ process quite seriously but it has not actually been that stressful (just tried to incorporate it into our weekly routine).

Doobydoo Fri 05-Nov-10 09:15:33

We didn't tutor ds1.We did get 2 sets of practice papers for him though which he worked through.The 11+Forum was helpful in my area although some people say it is frightening!

thelastresort Fri 05-Nov-10 09:34:03

Yes, my 3 DCs gained places at a grammar school without professional tutoring (from a state primary school which gave no advice or help),

I 'prepared' them by buying papers from WHSmith and going through them, showing them ways to approach the problems, sometimes having to explain words they had not come across, doing timed tests etc.

I think once you have established they can actually do the tests (i.e if they really find it hard, then prob not a good idea to enter for a GS test in the first place), then the main thing to do is work on the speed at which they can do the test papers, telling them not to spend too long on questions they can't do etc.

In our area, for the super selective school, you are looking at getting very high results on the practice tests in order to be in with a chance, but you can work up to these scores. However, I do think in the real thing they score lower, IYSWIM. Certainly my youngest claims he left quite a few out on the day, but still got a place

FreudianSlimmery Fri 05-Nov-10 09:44:03

I got into a superselective with no tuition (couldn't afford it) - I'm 23 now so it's not a vastly long time ago really.

I just did some practice papers at home but it wasn't a big deal for me, I did those kind of puzzles for fun anyway <geek>

Goingspare Fri 05-Nov-10 10:31:25

We've gone down the papers from WH Smiths route twice. Worked for DD1, don't know about DD2 yet, but don't mind too much.

Year 5 is quite soon enough to start (DD1 started at Easter for an early Oct test) - don't worry about the tutoring hype, some sort of preparation is important along the lines of what thelastresort suggests, but I don't think that the more tutoring a child has, the cleverer she becomes, though it probably has some sort of impact around the borderline of the pass mark.

Different areas have different types of test; have a look at this site under your local area for useful factual info, but don't panic about the level of commitment shown by some of the contributors...

sue52 Fri 05-Nov-10 12:51:55

We didn't use a tutor for DD1. We just used the bond papers. I did put quite a lot of time and effort into making her sit down and concentrate. When it was DD2s turn, I just didn't fancy the arguments so I chickened out and paid a tutor. I didn't bother with any extra papers or tuition for maths as the DDs were both in the top maths set and were given extra work (enrichment) at school in that subject. They both passed.

LadyPeterWimsey Fri 05-Nov-10 13:03:10

No tutor here. We did a fair few practice papers and lots of reading and discussion. There was also an interview (private grammar school) so we talked that through a few times.

It helped that DS was very motivated to get in, because that kept him doing the papers even when he didn't feel like it, and that we had no doubt that he was quite capable of doing very well because that kept us from doubting whether we were doing the right thing.

Wilferbell Fri 05-Nov-10 13:46:13

I did the DIY method for dd1 for a super-selective. The 11+ forum has a bit of a scary reputation (super-pushy and obsessive parents) but it's really helpful with detailed info on the various test formats and exactly which pratice materials are relevant. Chuckra is also a really useful resource for free material plus excellent How-To video clips and on-line mini tests.

9-10 months is loads of time. I think we started about May for a December test. If your daughter is a keen reader then she's already got a big advantage as lots of the VR testing is about vocabulary and awareness of language.

One of the most useful thing we did was to get hold of some mock 11+ tests and the published scores of the children who had sat those papers. (I think this was through Chuckra). This gave us a benchmark of how DD's scores compared against her peers and whether she stood a good chance of success.

Wilferbell Fri 05-Nov-10 13:46:39

I did the DIY method for dd1 for a super-selective. The 11+ forum has a bit of a scary reputation (super-pushy and obsessive parents) but it's really helpful with detailed info on the various test formats and exactly which pratice materials are relevant. Chuckra is also a really useful resource for free material plus excellent How-To video clips and on-line mini tests.

9-10 months is loads of time. I think we started about May for a December test. If your daughter is a keen reader then she's already got a big advantage as lots of the VR testing is about vocabulary and awareness of language.

One of the most useful thing we did was to get hold of some mock 11+ tests and the published scores of the children who had sat those papers. (I think this was through Chuckra). This gave us a benchmark of how DD's scores compared against her peers and whether she stood a good chance of success.

skadey Sat 06-Nov-10 08:20:06

My son gained a place from a small primary school where he wasnt given extra work to a very over subscribed Grammar School. They changed the time of the exam so he had 3 weeks. We downloaded some free papers from internet in verbal and non verbal reasoning and he did some work on internet on fractions as they had not been covered at his school. He passed with flying colours and is now loving his school, he wanted to go there for sports. Howver my daughter attended a local comprehensive as she wanted to stay with her friends and is now studying psycholgy at Leeds Uni. If they are happy they can do well any where.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sat 06-Nov-10 09:13:25

My DD decided last weekend she wants to try fir the GS so we have 4 weeks to prepare her. To be honest I'm not sure it is the right place for her but given sh wants to try I will obviously help her as much as possible.

I have been given a stack of practice papers from a friend which are really helpful but I have decided to get her 4 sessions with a tutor just to have someone who really knows what they are talking about to give her some tips. Time will tell what happens but I have heard of quite a few children who were heavily tutored not coping with Grammar this year so am quite glad we don't have long to prepare as last thing I would want is her somewhere she can't cope with.

CardyMow Sat 06-Nov-10 13:28:28

I have got some verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning books from Smiths for DS1 (in Y4) as I can only afford a tutor for a year (at a massive push with help from family). They are timed 10 min 'puzzles', DS1 loves doing them, but TBH everyone I know that gets into our local GS is heavily tutored, much more so than DS1 will be, starting at 7yo. shock. DS1 is almost 9yo, will be almost 10 before he gets a 'proper' tutor!

SAMS73 Sat 06-Nov-10 13:33:32

Thanks for all the replies. I will go to theWH smith and have a look around for bond papers and see how we get on

lbubbly Sat 06-Nov-10 14:24:40

Once you have the handbook on how to teach it it is actually quite simple and you'll be surprised how quickly the children get the hang of it.

mumblechum Sat 06-Nov-10 14:39:20

Yes, ds went to grammar with no tutoring.

We bought him some Bond books, then some actual 11plus books & let him get on with it.

DS is significantly more intelligent than me blush and if he got stuck, I hadn't a clue if it was a maths question.

He's very happy at grammar and tbh, friends of his who were tutored have struggled to keep up.

CristinaTheAstonishing Sat 06-Nov-10 14:48:52

We are using Bond papers too for VR and NVR. DS started with a tutor friend in September this year for exam in 2 weeks' time, Maths and English. He decided very late for this other grammar school, so we panicked a bit, I suppose. VR and NVR he does with DH. We started about Easter time for January exam. (And September for late Nov exam.) Obviously, no results yet so I can't tell you if this is the way to go!

Zenyatta Sat 06-Nov-10 17:58:11

Some kids just 'see' the answers to reasoning qustions immediately. I'd say let yours have a go at some before they get bogged down in the technicalities of how to work out the answer by laborious means. There are Bond books which show you how to go through the possibilities till you have the answer. But you will get far more marks in less time if you just look and see, IYSWIM.

Ds did his with v little tutoring and passed.

musicmadness Sat 13-Nov-10 19:27:37

Not my own child but I got into a grammar (about 10 applications per place I believe) without any private tutoring. My mum bought a those 11+ practise paper books from WHSmith (verbal & non verbal reasoning) and I did a couple of mock exams so I roughly knew the format a few weeks before the actual test. That was it. I'm 19 so this wasn't that long ago. It might be harder if the school that you are applying for tests maths and english too as some of my friends who applied for more than one grammar said the maths test in particular covered things they had not been taught in school yet.

freedom3 Sat 13-Nov-10 19:36:38

I think you have to be practical here. Like you not much cash, job and a baby tried to tutor my oldest myself with practice papers from friends, WH Smith's etc but the reality was I couldn't spare the time to help/explain.(Her primary hadn't covered some of the maths) In the end I had her tutored in the areas that the tutor felt she was weak in for 2 months money well spent and far less stress for everyone concerned.
I admire people who do it themselves with their children but you can't be superwoman.

curlymama Sun 14-Nov-10 22:22:52

I started a simelar thread at the beginning of the summer, you might find something useful on there.
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/secondary/1011768-Anyone-else -trying-to-home-tutor-for-a-grammar-schoolhere

capitalt Mon 15-Nov-10 14:07:37

Most primary schools will only prepare your child for the actual technicalities of the 11 plus exam and give them a locally agreed amount of practice so that they aren't emotionally unprepared for the exam. They do this out of fairness.

Whatever your hear, relatively few students will pass the 11 plus without extra practice so it's good to try to do some to give your child the best chance. The reality is, most other parents and carers of successful children will. You can do this yourselves at home easily enough as there are plenty of relevant papers on the market and even some websites that support study. Be clear about which sort of test your child will set (there are 2 or 3 types) and give yourself a couple of hours with the test papers in the first instance to learn the different types of questions that will come up. You wont have to invest this time again and I bet you enjoy it yourself once you get into it!

We've listed our top three favourite websites on our own, www.capitaltalent.co.uk, click on Getting In, Support Materials, Guidance on preparing for entrance exams,

or copy and paste this into a search box on google or something and the page should come up.

http://capitaltalent.co.uk/getting-in/support-mate rials/guidance-on-preparing-for-entrance-exams

Good luck!

SAMS73 Mon 15-Nov-10 18:30:57

Thanks. I am just marking all the adv given and will start in January if necessary. DD is that sort of person whi will put in the effort if supported. I love maths and so does DD.I have looked at the eleven plus forum and there are certain good recommendations. I did not realise that there are various tests set by various schools.

thinkingaboutschools Thu 18-Nov-10 20:33:03

I met with someone for lunch who has 4 children who have passed the 11+. Although he did pay for tutoring, he thought that it only helps at the margins and doesn't really fundamentally affect the result.

Greenshadow Fri 19-Nov-10 21:17:19

Didn't have a tutor for DS1 and DS2 who both passed just by practising at home.

DS3 had a tutor and didn't pass....

The first two were obviously grammar material and to be honest, it didn't occur to us to have them tutored.

DS3 has mild literacy issues and wouldn't have stood a chance without a lot more practice and more professional help. As it was he missed the pass mark by quite a lot and although he was a bit upset, it was the right result - he would have struggled.

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