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New test for Tiffin Girls

(134 Posts)
legallady Mon 20-Feb-12 22:26:49

This will really put the cat amongst the pigeons!

I have a lot of sympathy for those girls planning for 2013 admission and who have only just found out that they will now have to prepare for numeracy and literacy (at Level 5 and above) as well as VR and NVR just in case they are lucky enough to be one of the 400 girls to get through the first stage testing confused

singersgirl Tue 21-Feb-12 07:20:24

Why? They've got nearly a year to prepare and they are, after all, doing numeracy and literacy every day in school. Surely that should be long enough to familiarise themselves with comprehensions etc under timed conditions. I would have thought that any girls hoping to get into Tiffin would be at Level 5 and above anyway by the end of Year 5.

Fraktal Tue 21-Feb-12 07:23:01

I suspect that many of them will also be preparing for the private sector which has literacy and numeracy as standard anyway.

SoupDragon Tue 21-Feb-12 07:32:19

Literacy and numeracy are standard for entrance exams in my area.

basildonbond Tue 21-Feb-12 08:50:28

well, if they're not already level 5 and above by the end of year 5 they haven't got a hope in hell of getting through have they? I'd have thought most people would prefer this - it seems like much less of a lottery and will ensure they have the most able girls rather than ones who are good at VR/NVR

Interestingly at Graveney, where to get in on the test children have to get stupidly high scores in the Wandsworth test, many of those children don't get placed in extension as despite their brilliant performance at VR/NVR they're not actually as academically able as other kids who don't do as well in that particular test

stillfeel18inside Tue 21-Feb-12 09:00:28

I agree - from the kids I know who've tried and passed (or failed), they'd need to be at least a level 5 across the board to have any chance of getting in. Also a tutor has told me that a lot of Tiffin girls still come to her for english coaching as they struggle with writing essays etc so perhaps the school is trying to address that problem by ensuring they don't just get the ones who are fantastic at VR/NVR?

CustardCake Tue 21-Feb-12 09:52:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jeee Tue 21-Feb-12 10:01:13

Tiffin is super-selective isn't it? So sounds fair enough to me. And having had a child sit the Kent Test last year, it seems to me that it's far easier to coach for the VR/NVR than it is for maths/literacy. I think that numeracy and literacy papers are likely to be a more accurate test of a child's true ability.

CustardCake Tue 21-Feb-12 10:13:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NotYetEverything Tue 21-Feb-12 10:14:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

singersgirl Tue 21-Feb-12 10:19:02

Yes, you only have to look at the Eleven Plus exams site to realise that some people are tutoring their children (boys and girls) for grammar school for years before the tests. The narrower the test, the narrower the spread of academic abilities and aptitudes in the school.

CustardCake Tue 21-Feb-12 10:20:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

legallady Tue 21-Feb-12 12:29:28

CustardCake, it's not just "tutored" children who will be experiencing a very busy Summer, but I would have thought all girls who want to give themselves a realistic chance!

I actually don't have any DG affected by this change this year, but I still reiterate my sympathy for any state educated girl who now has only 7 months to get themselves beyond a level 5. MY DS is year 5 at a very average state school and he has only just started to learn chunking and they haven't even begun on long multiplication yet! How could he be expected to sit a level 6 maths exam if I (or someone else I pay for) didn't teach the necessary elements to him?

I have two children already at superselective GS (not Tiffins) and they certainly weren't top level 5A or level 6 when they sat their entrance tests (I would guess at nearer to a 4A hmm ) though they both achieved level 5s at the end of year 6 and have both coped very well with the level of work at their school.

I too agree that the change is a better test of ability than VR and NVR alone, but it will certainly be a tough ask for those sitting it in September shock

CustardCake Tue 21-Feb-12 14:54:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

singersgirl Tue 21-Feb-12 15:00:06

Well, lots of children in my DSs' primary school are at level 5 at the end of Y5/beginning of Y6. You don't need to be taught anything specific to be a Level 5 in reading/comprehension or writing - you just need to read a lot and write well. Maths is a bit different but I'd be very surprised if Tiffin Girls is really expecting Level 6 to be taught by that stage. All they're saying is that the child should be working at at least a Level 5, which is what you would expect.

SheHulk Tue 21-Feb-12 15:44:41

notyet They still have to pass a first test, so it's not left to genuine ability. To be accepted to Tiffin you need to be prepared for the VR/NVR exam anyway with either a tutor or with your parents...Ability is how the child uses the preparation he or she has received. The only change is they now have to broaden the preparation to include maths and english. My guess is they are preparing for other selectives too which will test for this.

legallady Tue 21-Feb-12 16:40:21


I hope you don't think that my last post was intended to be a dig at you - it certainly wasn't, but that's the risk with these boards - no intonation. I'll just have to start using more of these. grin. And you were certainly one of the people on the thread who recognised that not many, if any, primary schools prepare their children to the level required.

It does seem, however, from some of the other posts (and again I'm not having a dig at anyone by saying that) that our primary is in the minority in that it is extremely rare for a child to be at a high level 5 in everything by the end of year 5 envy

CustardCake Tue 21-Feb-12 17:05:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SheHulk Tue 21-Feb-12 17:25:20

Do you think they're just justifying it with the fact that primaries are, as of this year, officially sitting a few DC for Level 6? It's a selffeeding snake, the pressure on our children.

CustardCake Tue 21-Feb-12 17:57:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

singersgirl Tue 21-Feb-12 19:15:01

But it doesn't say the tests will be Level 6. What it says is this:

Stage 2 testing will include three tests which will assess numeracy and literacy: one each of mathematics, reading and writing. All three tests will assess performance appropriate to the English and Mathematics National Curriculum at Level 5 and above.

What I would take that to mean is that they will mostly be Level 5 with a few harder questions as well. Those harder questions will be designed to challenge very bright children. Tiffin wants to select very bright children.

Still, more work for tutors then. (I'm not against tutoring, by the way, and my son was tutored for 11+ exams).

CustardCake Tue 21-Feb-12 22:06:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

singersgirl Wed 22-Feb-12 11:38:33

Above level 5 is level 6, but the wording suggests that the tests will be focused on level 5 with elements of level 6. Otherwise they would have said 'at level 6'. You would expect many of the children going for Tiffin to be able to manage some elements of level 6.

CustardCake Wed 22-Feb-12 12:17:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SoupDragon Wed 22-Feb-12 12:27:24

It says "level 5 and above" which means level 5 and 6 (or 7 I guess grin). It doesn't just say above level 5.

DSs were certainly at level 5 (for maths) on leaving Y5 and both passed the exams for selective secondaries. Their exams include questions at the end to highlight potential scholarship candidates which are certainly above level 5.

TBH, I count very much that any girl Tiffins accepts would be below the level they are now specifying.

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