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Please can someone talk to me about 11+?

(10 Posts)
lookout Wed 05-Mar-14 17:05:10

For some reason the parents I know with older children have closed ranks on this and I am finding it hard to get any information out of anyone. I know next to nothing about the 11+ and would love a sort of idiot's guide. What is it like? Is there a point in tutoring? (I thought the new papers were supposed to make tutoring unnecessary, yet people still seem to tutor??) Are some grammars better than others, and is there an easy way of comparing results? etc etc

Ds1 is in yr4 and we are in Bucks, if that makes a difference smile

Thanks in advance!

ShredMeJillianIWantToBeNatalie Wed 05-Mar-14 17:18:14

You need to get yourself over to the 11+ forum, which has lots of helpful information divided up by county. The Bucks forum can feel a little bit intimidating at first as everyone seems to know so much, but the moderators are friendly and helpful.

If you read the "sticky" threads at the top you will find basic guides to the process and tips on home tutoring. The format of the test changed recently with the objective of making it tutor-proof, so the current year 6 were the first to take the new test. It is certainly possible to home tutor, we did it with ds1 and he passed so don't feel it isn't possible.

NotEnoughTime Wed 05-Mar-14 20:13:17

Hi lookout

I live in Bucks too. If you let me know what town/village you are in then perhaps I can help you with the secondary schools in your area. I have seen one son through the 11+ (albeit it was two years ago) and I have another son to go through it in three years time.

I know a little bit about the new style test. Personally, I think it seems a lot better than the old style test and will hopefully make sure the right school fits the right child (if you see what I mean)

I think (a little bit) of tutoring is helpful so that your son is familiar with the style of questions (I'm assuming that your DS is at a state school?) if not he should already know the type of questions.

lookout Thu 06-Mar-14 12:24:30

Shred thanks for the website advice. It is vast but exactly what I needed thanks! Have started to browse and I really think it will help.

NotEnough We're in South Bucks, in catchment for BGS but hoping to move closer to the boys grammars in the next 12-18 months. Any advice gratefully received smile

Theas18 Thu 06-Mar-14 15:07:08

Make sure you get area specific advice from say 11+ forums ( and here) different areas run very differently. Read the stuff on the LA or school websites carefully too. And yup consider a tutor for exam technique practice. Watch very carefully and avoid those that seem to try to " teach to test" though. Your child will take a pretty formal exam at the start of year 6 when state schools are prepping kids on a times scale of " ready to do SATS exams" at the END of that year ( so there will be, even with the brightest child a learning need IYSWIM)

MillyMollyMama Thu 06-Mar-14 16:49:39

Royal Grammar, High Wycombe or Sir William Borlases, Marlow or Dr Challoner's, Amersham are the top picks so decide which one you like best and move into catchment if you do not want to stay in the Burnham catchment.

Basically, exam technique and completing the papers in time is vital. You can help with this via tutoring or going over the question types yourself. Other forum probably will have more detail about types of questions and where you can get practice questions. In general though, speed of working, quick processing of what the question is about, a good vocabulary and maths agility all help. SATs type questions do not but you would expect your child to be doing very well with a reading age several years above chronological age. If your primary school gets lots through every year, do you know where your child stands in the class? Top table (ish) or mid division? Top table in some schools will not tell you much if school only gets 2 a years into a grammar school, but will tell you a lot if school gets 40% through every year. General knowledge is also useful. Every year bright children do not pass but the main thing is exam technique, speed and accuracy. Being bright does not always equal a grammar school place if other attributes are absent.

Bucks has always said tutoring makes no difference. Rubbish, of course. However, children who are more than a few marks off probably will not achieve the pass mark through tutoring. The tutors will take the money though. The grammar schools are middle class dominated from the better schools. To make it fair, ALL the children should receive help in ALL the schools, but Bucks do not accept this. All the schools tutored in my day!

NotEnoughTime Thu 06-Mar-14 21:15:13

Well, all the boys grammars have good reputations so I'm sure you and your DS would be very happy with them if your DS passes the 11+. However you also need to make sure you are happy with the non grammar options just in case he doesn't qualify (I really hope you don't think I'm being mean, it's just something to bear in mind)

I second having a look at the eleven plus website as there is a mine of info on there.

Good luck with it all.

lookout Fri 07-Mar-14 12:18:49

Thanks all.

We'd like to move into catchment for ideally RGS and then John Hampden. I've no idea what the secondaries are like in that area though.

Our primary gets around 25% through, and ds is on top table and very bright. I would need to get his speed up though, without any doubt, as he is quick, but makes a lot of mistakes. I do not like the idea of tutoring, but feel I need to pay for it in order to give him all his chances re: exam technique etc.

Have been browsing that website and it's really helpful. Thanks for getting me started!

MillyMollyMama Fri 07-Mar-14 13:36:57

Secondaries in HW are not so good! Look at Holmer Green and live in catchment! You could also look at Misbourne in Great Missenden but again you must live in catchment. These are the sought after schools so living in the "right" area is vital and do not leave it to chance, or appeal!!!

ShredMeJillianIWantToBeNatalie Fri 07-Mar-14 13:45:26

I can't say what the "old" 21 question format was like as we never went through it, but the "new" test was very quick fire.

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