my son is going into yr 5 in sept, and we were hoping to sit him for latymer (selective state in north london). having spent the last few weeks phoning around, it seems the tutors are already fully booked! have I left it too late? any advice gratefully received!
You don't need a tutor. My ds got through the Bucks 11plus just by using the books which are widely available. I'd suggest that if you know anyone who passed last year, you ask which books the tutor used.
The private tutors will have been booked up for ages but you can still find good tutors through the agencies. Places like fleet tutors or home tutors in muswell hill for example. Its not too late but to have the best chance your son will need to be familiar with the style of exams latymer use etc. Its fiendishly difficult to get in, so good luck to your ds.
And do check the tutor is not only specifically trained in 11+ but in the Latymer exam in particular, as the 11+ criteria vary massively. In the meantime, buy Bond papers or similar to get him acquainted with what the tests entail.
Go on to the 11+ forum and see if you can find out the format of the exam your ds will be taking and go from there. It's important that you get the right info on that because it varies massively, and it will be much harder to get into your chosen school than it would be in the Bucks system for example. There will still be tutors available, you just have to look for them in the right place, but tbh, doing a bit of work at home should be more than enough.
He is only just going into year 5? So that is 15 months to tutor? That is way excessive. If your DS needs that much tutoring would he cope when he got to the school? We home coached our DD for 4 months with past papers and she passed, For DS we are currently doing the same but started a month earlier as the pass mark is higher for the boys grammar. There is a great website www.11plus.co.uk/videos/verbal-reasoning-videos/21-verbal-reasoning-question-types.html that helps you with the techniques for the 21 different verbal reasoning questions. As another poster said, find out what the test consist of maths and english or verbal and non-verbal reasoning? You DS school will be able to tell you this.
Do it yourself - no tutor cares as much as you do. It's not difficult - after all, the standard is only aimed at an 11 year old. See the 11 plus forum for detailed advice and you'll need to check recent guidelines; th Latimer exam changed recently. Make sure you've covered all the maths up to the end of yr 6 (if there's a maths paper) - I used How to do 11+ maths by Bond to give a framework for my DD which covered more or less all the topics. 15 months is ages to prepare - I did it (successfully) in 6 with my dd. Make sure your dc reads loads - vital for vocab/comprehension/grammar skills whatever exam you're doing.
Happy to offer advice. Is your dc already in all the top groups at school? Or they could struggle, tutoring or no tutoring?
thanks for the advice. yes he is in the top groups, though I dont really know what that means . I dont think he is being challenged really, but is doing fine. the problem is, I dont think he has the application to sit down with us and concentrate, but will probably be much better with a 'teacher'. I did speak with home tutors in muswell hill at the advice of someone on here, and they said there wouldnt be a problem finding me someone locally, so I think we will go down that route. thanks for all the advice!
Wormshuffler, it depends so much whihc catchment you're in. If it's a grammar area then a few months at home is fine, but if the only grammars nearby are super-selectives then you do have to prepare for 15 months, as everyone else is, and pass rates are in the high 90%s and people travel from miles around to get a place. At our local grammars around 1400 boys sit the test for between 120-140 places. If we didn't tutor for a year, they wouldn't stand a chance.